Mission#34 October 10, 1943 – Target Munster

Date: Oct 10, 43

Dispatched: 54 Aborts: 12

Mission: Withdrawal support to 2nd TF 180 B-17’s Field Order: 153

Time Up/Down: 14:04 hrs 17:15 hrs Leader: Lt Col. McCollom

Target: Munster

Claims Air: 05-01-04 Claims Ground: 00-00-00 Lost/Damaged: 00-02

Group made landfal at Zandvoort at 15:05 hrs, 28,000ft. Continued course, observing 1st TF with escort and R/V with 2nd TF at 15:29 hrs in the vicinity of Rheine. Escorted the bombers along the planned route, leaving the coast at 15:55 hrs at 23,000ft at Zandvoort and left bombers at 16:05 hrs 60 miles off the Dutch coast. 60 enemy aircraft Me110s predominating, with Me210s and Me109s and Fw190s seen to rear of the bombers at the R/V point at about 19,000ft. E/A took evasive action by turning sharply and losing altitude. E/A were engaged at 17,000ft with results stated below. These encounters with e/a were brief at this altitude, group zooming back to 23,000ft to provide escort cover. No attacks on the bombers were observed thereafter. 6 e/a were observed attacking three straggling B-17s from the 1st TF over Bathernem. One U/I S/E/E/A observed going down over Enschede. One Me109 seen spinning down in flames at R/V point. Four open chutes observed over Helversum. One B-17 seen on fire directly after the bombers had left target area. No parachute seen. One large naval vessel seen just off the coast at the Hague. Flak weak to moderate accurate for height at Amsterdam, Schipol and Enschede. No Spitfires seen. Radio interference was so bad that intercommunication between fighters was very difficult. Weather: Strata cumulus overcast just off the English coast extending 2/3 way across the North Sea. Clear remainder of route. Visibility 2 miles, light fog at take off, worse haze below 10,000ft. Light haze above that. Visibility improving to good over the Continent. Base on return was just on the edge of incoming fog bank which reduced conditions to zero-zero before Group had landed. Capt. Stafford and Lt. Thistlethwaite of Group HQ participated.

Claims:

HQ      1 Me110 probable by Lt Col. McCollom

350th     1 Fw190 destroyed by Lts. Hurst and Tanner

1 Fw190 destroyed by Lt. Hurst

351st    2 Me110s destroyed by Capt. Beckham

1 Me210 destroyed by Capt. Beckham

1 Me110 damaged by Capt. Walsh

1 Me210 damaged by Lt. Mincik

1 Me110 damaged by F/O Wood.

352nd    1 Me110 damaged by Lts. Fogarty, Juntilla and Keywan.

Our losses Nil

350th: Major Rimerman. T/U 14:15 hrs. T/D 17:15 hrs. Total flight time 3:00 hrs.  Four returned early, one with radio trouble, two with belly tank trouble and one as escort. Just before R/V with bombers, Lt. Hurst saw one B-17 going down in flames. No parachutes were seen to open. Another was seen going down in a tight turn or flat spin a few minutes later but no fire was seen. After position was taken Lt. Hurst saw an Fw190 in a slight dive at his own altitude (23,000ft and at about 10 o’clock). Lt. Hurst led his red flight after the Fw190 giving him a 30 degree deflection burst. Strikes were seen and smoke started pouring from the E/A. Lt. Hurst could not continue the turn, and Lt. Tanner, his wingman, slid into line astern position on the Fw190 at almost 100 yards range. As Lt. Tanner fires the Fw190 exploded and pieces came off. Five minutes later, in the vicinity of Zutphen, Lt. Hurst saw another Fw190 slightly above his flight at 11 o’clock and about 400 yards away. The Fw190 made a climbing turn. Lt. Hurst applied full throttle and climbed up with range of about 150 yards before opening fire. After a 3 second burst the Fw190 began to disintegrate and went over on its back. It began to tumble out of control with large pieces flying off and burst into flames.

Major   Ben Rimerman (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt   Melvin P. Dawson
1st Lt   John Sullivan
1st Lt   Tom Lorance
Capt   Stanley R. Pidduck (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   John H. Winder
2nd Lt   William J. Price
2nd Lt   Robert C. Peters
1st Lt   Wilford F. Hurst (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   William F. Tanner
1st Lt   John L. Devane
2nd Lt   John Zolner
Capt   Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Dwight A. Fry
1st Lt   William W. Odom
2nd Lt   Walter L. Angelo
2nd Lt   Francis T. Walsh
2nd Lt   Joseph Rosenberg

351st: Lt Col McCollom. T/U 13:56 hrs. T/D 16:41 hrs. Total flight time 2:45 hrs. Route: In north of the Hague, R/V with bombers, Ochtrup, Hortsmar, out north of Hague. [Lt. Mincik was flying one of the Squadron aircraft damaged. On his way home he evaded two enemy aircraft who put a 20mm into each wing].

Lt Col   Loren G. McCollom (Gp & Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt   Benedict E Kraft
1st Lt   Francis N. King
2nd Lt   Frank J. Mincik
Capt   Walter C. Beckham
2nd Lt   Richard D. Stanley
Capt   Charles L. Stafford
2nd Lt   William T. Thistlethwaite
1st Lt   William J. Maguire
2nd Lt   Harold J. Morris
2nd Lt   Jack Terzian
Capt   Jack R. Walsh
F/O   Joseph E. Wood
1st Lt   William R. Burkett
2nd Lt   Lloyd A. Thornell
Capt   Orville A. Kinkade
2nd Lt   Herbert K. Field
1st Lt   Frank N. Emory
1st Lt   Gordon B. Compton
2nd Lt   Edgar J. Albert
1st Lt   Vic L. Byers

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 14:10 hrs. T/D 16:45 hrs. Total flight time 2:35 hrs. Withdrawal support. With Major Bailey the Squadron made landfall at 16:05; made rendezvous with bombers on time. On way out Lts. Juntilla, Fogarty and Keywan attacked and dammaged one Me110 over Amersfort. Four chutes observed near Hilversun.

Major   William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt   Edison G. Stiff
1st Lt   Clinton H. Sperry
2nd Lt   Clifford Armstrong
Capt   Charles J. Hoey (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Joseph Schillinger
1st Lt   Gordon L. Willits
Capt   Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Harry H. Dustin
1st Lt   Robert A. Newman
1st Lt   Charles W. Kipfer
1st Lt   Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Richard V. Keywan
1st Lt   Edward M. Fogarty
2nd Lt   Donald J. Corrigan

Group Aborts/Early Returns:

42-8373 ABT   radio LH-?
42-8513 ERTN   escort 8373 LH-Y
42-22466 ABT   radio SX-E
42-7904 ERTN   escort 22466 SX-F
42-74728 ABT   radio
42-22458 ABT   radio SX-L
42-22482 ERTN   escort 22458 SX-M
42-22463 ABT   radio
42-8478 ERTN   escort 74728 YJ-Y
42-8395 BD Cat   A YJ-S
42-8375 BD Cat   A YJ-D
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