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Bill Young\'s WWII Flight Diary

Bill Young's WWII Flight Diary

Red text indicates comments from Ben Jones at b24.net

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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 (New Mexico where the 392nd came together before overseas) to rough targets we hit an oil factory just outside of Bremen. We used P.F.F. (Path.Finder.Force) 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.

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#4 July 30. LWD Ludswigshaven was S Haven. D 9:10 - 15:45 bombing altitude 25,000. -23 degrees C. PFF. 12x500# GP. (General Purpose) 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

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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 - 7:25-14:10.

#10 F 07:06-18:00 (?) Air field near Lyons (Lyon-Bron A/F) - 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???? Wihelmshaven (Whittmundhafen) Rocket ship training center. Moderate accurate - Poor results. Sent A4 to P6L D6L(Wendling). 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 backpack.

#12 - F - 10:55-18:54 Airport at Nancy (Nancy-Essey A/F). About two or three dozen ships scattered on the ground. When we got through P38's strafed field. Sent A3 to P6L(?) D6L(Wendling) 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 the outskirts of Berlin, on outskirts of Bremen(?). Heinkel works. Clouds solid up to 30,000. Changed target to Heligoland, where they were shooting at us. There was

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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. One ship joined with a B-17 Group (96th) and bombed Ludwigshafen)

#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

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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 (Aircraft they flew in that day). -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 (See http://www.kasselmission.com/ and http://forum.armyairforces.com/Kassel-Mission-92744-m177146.aspx)

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#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 (position 432(A/C#)) 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

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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. (No mission credit)

#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 (Incendiary) 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 cream.

#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

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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 landing.

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 Hall (Staffordshire UK possibly)

Jan 31 At Prestwick, Scotland, waiting a plane.

14th combat wing D6L - Wendling 392nd JBV - division 44th VITOS - squadron 491st BUTTERNUT - ? Could be Wing

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