Bill Young's WWII Flight Diary
Arrived 26 June 1944 Greenoch, Scotland on liner "Queen
Elizabeth". Five days en route.
Spent a few days at Stone. Then 24 hours at Darlington. Flew to
Ireland and took a 10 day "refresher" course. Flew direct to Wendling
in a B-17 arriving here July 16. Flew first mission to St. Lo on July
24. Target closed in by clouds so we did not drop bombs. Alt 14,000
about a dozen bursts of flak to the right. No bombers lost. About 6
hours. S - 09:20 14:42 Right rear wing on left of group.
#2 July 25 - S - 6:15-11:30 St. Lo again in direct support of troops.
We dropped 240 23# frags on the target from 4000 feet. Haze on the
ground. Supported by P47's, 51's, and 38's. Saw the greatest amount of
heavies at one time. The sky was filled. Two ships to the rear right
exploded. Same as before.
#3 After 2 days of Almagordo to rough targets we hit an oil factory
just outside of Bremen. We used P.F.F. through 10/10. The flak was
extremely heavy, the worst we were to get. We got 8 holes, one missing
elevator cables by a fraction of an inch. 16x250# and 4x500# incend.
M. 6:00 12:35 July 28 #3 position.
#4 July 30. LWD was S Haven. D 9:10 - 15:45 bombing altitude
25,000. -23 degrees C. PFF. 12x500# GP. I. G. Farbon Industries. Flak
moderate and accurate. Saw rockets for the first time. Two went off
directly in our path. We cut their trail. We were commended by G.H.Q.
for job done at Bremen. Hit oil, rail works, warehouses, burning for
three days and even hit ships in the harbor. Nice work Young!! We got
3 holes on this one. Poor visibility on return.
#5 Aug 1 - M - 12:00-17:30. Target was a bridge at Bolbec near Le
Havre. 8x1000# G.P. Had engine trouble in #1 came in on 3 engines.
Had to salvo bombs in fields.
#6 Aug 2 - L - 16:20-21:50. Target - bridge near Amiens. 8x1000#.
Missed target. Bombed from 22,000. Light but accurate flak. 6 holes,
one on catwalk near foot.
#7 M - 16:05-21:27 1 hole near tail. Saw hundreds of silver barrage
balloons protecting London from buzz bombs. Target was synthetic oil
refinery at Lens, France. Brought bombs home. Edmunds, our bombardier,
put on another crew. Aug 3.
#8 Aug 4 - Kiel. - sub works. 12x500#s. Pretty good results. Light
flak. Cartridge cases from ship ahead(?) hit us. Knocked a hole in top
turret. Thought that "Grandpa" had it. M - 1010:16:30. Four men from
group killed by flak. One ship went to Sweden.
#9 Aug 6. Hamburg. Oil refinery. We really plastered the target this
time. Heavy black
clouds of smoke rose to 15,000 ft. Took pictures. Flames covered
blocks of ground with a yellow color(?) We had to salvo bombs due to a
malfunction. We bombed from 22,000. 12x500# G.P. Heavy clouds of flak
over city but we dodged it. Other groups really caught it. - M -
#10 F 07:06-18:00 (?) Air field near Lyons - in preparation for
invasion of southern France. No flak. 12x500#. Bombed visually(?) and
laid a good pattern. Right on the MPI we could see the Alps. They were
deep blue in color. Aug 14.
#11 F - 08:20-13:55. Air field near Wilhelm???? Rocket ship training
center. Moderate accurate - Poor results. Sent A4 to P6L . Aug 15.
Got stuck between radio table and top turret - about the time of this
mission, a couple of R.O.s flew out of bomb bays so I switched to a
#12 - F - 10:55-18:54 Airport at Nancy . About two or three dozen ships
scattered on the ground. When we got through P38's strafed field. Sent
A3 to P6L(?) Aug 18. Did a fair job on target. 13-500#s.
#12(sic) A. Aug 25 - F - 06:55-14:43. Air field at Schwerin - really
plasters the place. It was an F.W. repair field. These air field jobs
are OK as there doesn't seem to be much flak. "Grandpa" did a "strip"
act for us. Glen Miller played for us when we got down.
#14 S. 9:09, Aug 27 - 10:10-16:15. Target was to have been
Oranienburg , on outskirts of Bremen(?). Heinkel works. Clouds solid
up to 30,000. Changed target to Heligoland, where they were
shooting at us. There was
a general snafu over the target, with 360 degree turns. Finally
dropped P.F.F.and came home. 12x500#s 21,300.
#15 Sept 8 F 07:00 14:30, marshalling yards at Karlsruhe. Had to
climb to 26,500 to get over clouds. Got separated so we went over
target with 96th. Bombs did not drop, and emergency bomb release would
not work. #1 engine caught fire from hits. Feathered it. Jettisoned
all our incendieries in the drink. Got about a dozen holes, one hit
Hart's armor plate and we came home alone. Sent 5 pontifications(?) to
MF/DF and got reamed for it.
#16 Sept 9 - W - 06:50-12:55 Mainz marshalling yards. Flew #4 bombed
P.F.F. moderate accurate flak. 1 hole.
#17 Sept 11 - W - 08:05-19:10 Today we met some Jerry fighters. ME
109. Four of them came directly in on our tail shooting like mad. Hit
ships flying our wings but not us. Both wing ships disappeared. Tail
gunner, Clemmer and Jack Stern fired but claimed no hits. Shields
sprayed a 109 who made the mistake of pulling up and stalling out on
our left wing tip. Gunner on another ship saw pilot jump and chute
open, but no credit given. Saw 2 "jet" planes at 1-3 o'clock also
rockets and heavy flak. We got hit by the heavy flak and got about a
dozen holes. #1 engine knocked out and feathered. Our escort finally
chased Jerry away. Oh yes, the target was large machine shop, foundry
for tanks, guns etc at Hanover. We dropped 8x1000#s
from 23,500 rigth smack on the button, bombing in clear skies. Colonel
Johnson was pleased as punch when he saw strike pictures. The target
was really blown to hell. Saw diffraction phenomena. We came home
alone on three engines. Called CQ9 twice, because we thought we were
low on gas and would have to ditch. Today was a really big day 130
Jerries bit the dust - a record up to that time - and we lost 49
bombers. Took pictures. Listened to U.H.F channel "C".
#18 Sept 18. F 1300-1800 After practicing low altitude flying on
Sunday, we dropped supplied to paratroopers near Eindhoven in Holland.
20x240# bundles of grenades, ammo, etc. Got half a dozen .30 cal
machine gun holes. Burst oxygen bottle in waist. Saw fields full of
gliders, chutes, and the people waved to us. Land flooded badly. Losses
moderately heavy. Saw a 491st ship explode on landing. We also had one
crash as it landed. No casualties.
#19 Sept 25 A - 8:10-14:30 Marshalling yard at Coblenz. Moderate but
inaccurate flak. P.F.F. through heavy clouds.
#20 Sept 26 A - "Good luck, boys" 299 . -11:30 12:00 Largest
marshaling yards in Germany. Hamm. Bombed visual from 23,000 ft. -31
degrees C. Flak moderate but inaccurate. 1 hole.
#21 Sept 29 - A 6:05-1300 Kassel heavy manufacturing - Tiger tanks,
locomotives. P.F.F. results poor. As it was bombed the next day.
Meager flak. Air battle to rear. Six fighters shot down. 42 bombers
lost. 445th(?) lost 29 out of 36 Line Abreast
#22 Sept 30 - F - 10:00-16:08 Hamm marshalling yards. Occasional light
flak. Poor oxygen connection, nearly blacked out. Excellent fighter
support. Heavy losses in last few days as Luftwaffe rises up. German
radio claiming we are terrorists. 23,900 12x500#.
#23 Oct 3 Daimler Benz engine factory at Gaggenau. Flew #4 482 ft.
06:50-15:20. Missed target, but hit town with 12x500#. No flak. Did
considerable moving about - took one picture.
#24 Oct 5 An airfield near Lippstadt. 194 W 0810 1250. Low left of low
left lead - excellent results. Good pattern of 1000#ers. Landed first.
#25 Oct 7 F 08:00-14:30 7x1000#. A factory at Kassel. Missed.
Moderately heavy and accurate flak. Hit rudder hinge. 3 holes.
#26 - (had a Magdenberg Almagordo) F 10:50 11:20 Koblenz marshalling
yards. P.F.F. moderate flak. Gear collapsed in ship as it landed. Left
wheel. (not our ship)
Friday Oct. 13. 3 buzz bombs came over about 10 pm on a windy night.
One exploded a couple of miles away and knocked articles from shelves.
The second kept on going and the third "circled" around.
#27 Oct 15 E 6:30 12:50 FORD Motor Works about 5 miles north of
Cologne - missed. Hit unidentified industrial works on the Rhine.
Flew through clouds of smoke left from the RAF raid of the
night before. Moderately heavy flak. One hole. 23,000 8x500# navy and
4 incendiaries. "F" for fox badly smashed over Cologne in a subsequent
mission and crash landed in Brussels. Jones' crew.
#28 Oct 22 - Hamm marshaling yard H - Gashouse Gus 10:35-16:22
P.F.F. 10/10 weak and inaccurate flak. 16x250# 4x500# incend.
#29 Oct 28 1944 Airfield at Neumunster near Kiel A - 299 - 09:00 -
15:21 P.F.F. 14 miles NW Kiel. No flak. 6x500# 6xM17A1 First ship
to land. Got sick.
#30 Oct. 30 Harburg(Hamburg) A 08:50 - 19:22 P.F.P. Moderate
flak. Hazy cloudy day. High clouds. The right door was hard to open.
24x250# -44 degrees C.
#31 Nov 2 - A - 08:20 - 13:50 Door trouble again. P.F.F. on Hamm.
Moderate flak. Biggest day, 200 Jerries got it. Made 2 dishes of ice
#32 Nov. 4 - A - 08:40 - 14:59 Misburg (Hanover) oil. Heavy and
accurate flak. Both 88 and 155. We flew high right. Most of it was at
10-11 o'clock, with some at 12. 8 or 9 holes. Burst oxygen bottle in
waist. Missed Blackie. Good fighter cover. Our bombs fell prematurely
on a road(?) 12x800#
#33 Nov. 16 Missed about half a dozen no-????s due to pass and
weather. Took off in fog to bomb German positions in front of our
lines near Aachen. 24x250# frags. B - About 5 hours. Diverted to
Benson, an RAF field 30 mi from London. Spent 2 most boring days
there. Finally came back.
#34 Nov 21 07:55 - 14:55. Harburg - oil. We missed the target, but our
bombs landed in center of city and did damage there. Had stomach
cramps. Mission seemed to take a *long* time. Moderately heavy flak.
#35 Nov 25 Bingen railroad yards. On the Rhine. A 08:30 - 14:45.
Missed the target. made half gallon of "tutti frutti". Pretty good.
Saw a couple of V2's. Had to sweat out a very low ceiling on the
Nov 27 Sweating out D.F.C.
Dec 3 Leaving Wendling
Dec 15 We are at Membury, 9th AF troop carrier base(?) We are teaching
the higher brass. We are "big wheels".
Jan 20 Arrive at Stone - Nelson
Jan 31 At Prestwick, Scotland, waiting a plane.
14th combat wing D6L - Wendling
392nd JBV - division
44th VITOS - squadron