Mission#37 October 20, 1943 – Target Duren

Date: Oct 20, 43

Dispatched: 54 Aborts: 13

Mission: Withdrawal support to 2nd TF 120 B-17’s Field Order: 163

Time Up/Down: 13:28 hrs 15:44 hrs Leader: Lt Col. McCollom

Target: Duren

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

Group crossed the enemy coast at Maristede at 14:06 hrs and proceeded on course making R/V with the bombers at Waldenrath at 30,000ft, 14:29 hrs. At 14:09 hrs the Group leader developed engine trouble and was forced to return, Capt Pidduck, Blue leader, 350th FS taking over. R/V with lead units of the 2nd TF as outlined in the FO at 14:29 hrs, 30,000ft. Bombers were at 28,000ft. Second box of bombers considerably strung out from the first box. One Squadron went back and circled over them. Being unmolested they retired to escort position with the lead unit. Left bombers at 14:55 hrs at Zevendergen, where another Group of P-47’s took up withdrawal support. Out at Westhoofd at 15:10 hrs at 20,000ft. 10+ Me109s were seen at our level at 2 o’clock just after R/V. Turning into them they broke down and away. Just after R/V point another gang of 3 Me109s were seen flying parallel with the bombers and upon turning into them they turned right and headed inland. Enemy tactics seemed to take advantage of cloud cover to manoeuvre, as our aircraft would turn to attack another e/a would appear from out of the clouds to position himself on the tail of our aircraft. Enemy fighters did not appear to be too aggressive but wished to engage the attention of our fighters rather than any concerted attack on the bombers. Pilots seemed to think enemy fighters were more experienced than recently encountered. A large white burst seen over Herrenthal apparently coming from centre of bomber formation on way to target. 5 to 6 freighters and 5 barges towed by tugs seen in Oostercheld. Approx 20 aircraft seen to land on field near Zerkzee on Schouwen Island. One large splash seen in Channel. Upon investigation only large oil slick visible. No chutes in the vicinity. Two flights circled. One flight leader gave mayday at 3,500ft. Radio whine not as intense as usual. Lt. Thistlethwaite, Capt. Stafford and Lt. Herfurth of Group HQ participated. Capt. Stafford returned early due to radio trouble.

One Me109 probable by Lt. Fogarty 352nd

Two Me109s damaged by Capt. Hoey 352nd

One Me109 damaged by Lt. Morris 351st

350th: Lt Col McCollom and then Capt Pidduck. T/U 13:19 hrs. T/D 15:45 hrs. Total flight time 2:26 hrs. One returned with prop failure. L/F was made at 14:06 hrs north of Walcheren Islands. Made R/V with bombers at 14:29, about 30 miles NW of target. Escorted bombers about 30 miles east of Eindhoven and in vicinity of Amsterdam. No action.

Lt Col   Loren McCollom (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt   Alan W. Lowe
2nd Lt   William J. Price
2nd Lt   William F. Tanner
Capt   Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt   Wayne K. Blickenstaff
1st Lt   Tom Lorance
Capt   Stanley R. Pidduck (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Walter B. Stone
1st Lt   William W. Odom
1st Lt   Wilford F. Hurst (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt   Richard A. Stearns
1st Lt   Melvin P. Dawson
2nd Lt   John Zolner

351st: Major Christian. T/U 13:12 hrs. T/D 15:48 hrs. Total flight time 2:36 hrs. Route: In at Haamstede, R/V with bombers at Duren, escorted out to Turnout, out Schouwen Islands.

Major   Shannon Christian (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt   William T. Thistlethwaite
Capt   Charles L. Stafford
2nd Lt   Hassell D. Stump
Capt   Frederick H. Lefebre
2nd Lt   Don M. Hurlburt
1st Lt   David C. Kenney
2nd Lt   Irving Toppel
2nd Lt   John G. Treitz
1st Lt   Vic L. Byers
Capt   Orville A. Kinkade
F/O   Cletus Peterson
1st Lt   Harry F. Hunter
2nd Lt   George F. Perpente
Capt   Jack R. Walsh
F/O   Joseph E. Wood
1st Lt   William R. Burkett
2nd Lt   Lloyd A. Thornell
2nd Lt   Harold J. Morris
2nd Lt   Jack Terzian

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 13:35 hrs. T/D 15:27 hrs. Total flight time 2:02 hrs. Major Bailey was leading the Squadron but had to return to station and Capt. Hoey took over. Made landfall south of Haamstede at 14:06 hrs, two minutes late. Proceeded on course and encountered five Me109s near rendezvous point. Capt. Hoey believed to damage two Me109s and Lt. Fogarty believed to have damaged one. Made rendezvous with bombers and made left turn to escort them out. Four white Fw190s were observed but not damaged. They were flying approximately 2,000ft above the Squadron’s formation which was at an altitude of 31,000ft. Approximately 20 enemy aircraft seen to land on field near Zierkzee.

Major   William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr) ERTN
2nd Lt   Edison G. Stiff
2nd Lt   Hildreth Owens
2nd Lt   Clifford Armstrong ERTN (escort to Fogarty)
2nd Lt   William S. Marchant
2nd Lt   Victor L. Vogel
2nd Lt   William J. Jordan
2nd Lt   Glenn C. Callans
1st Lt   Charles W. Kipfer
1st Lt   Jesse W. Gonnam
Capt   Charles J. Hoey (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt   Clinton H. Sperry ERTN
Capt   Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt   Robert P. Geurtz
1st Lt   Thomas J. Forkin
1st Lt   Robert A. Newman
1st Lt   Edward M. Fogarty (Flt Ldr) ERTN Motor
1st Lt   Leslie P. Cles

Group Aborts/Early Returns:

42-8531   ERTN   engine overheated   SX-C
42-8428   ERTN   radio dead   YJ-?
42-8395   ERTN no belly tank fuel pressure   YJ-S
42-7972   ERTN   escort
42-8446   ERTN   low oxygen
42-8471   ERTN   escort   SX-S
42-8522   ERTN   belly tank wouldn’t release
42-8376   ERTN   supercharger regulator out   SX-Q
42-7910   ERTN   radio too loud   SX-J
42-8687   ERTN   engine cutting out   SX-R
42-22462   ERTN   escort   SX-P
42-7900   ERTN   temperature problems
42-74659   ERTN   escort
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