Mission#52 December 5, 1943 – Target: Paris

Date: Dec 5, 43

Dispatched: 50 Aborts: 4 Mission: Target support to 80 B-17’s (1st Div)  Field Order: 196

Time Up/Down: 10:17 hrs 13:01 hrs Leader: Major Bailey Target: Paris

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

Group made landfall at Cap Griz Nez at 26,000ft at 11:01 hrs directly behind the 56th Group. Saw four boxes of bombers (20 each box) in Channel to the right. R/V made at 11:28 hrs proceeding on course with bombers above solid overcast until 12:00 hrs when 352nd and 356th Groups came in. Out enemy coast at Cayeux at 12:09 hrs, 28,000ft. No stragglers seen. Able to contact Kenton 2-2. No bombing seen. No e/a seen. On course from what is believed to be vicinity of Bellville to target, one S/E A/C was seen going down in flames. Unable to read controller after mid Channel. Buzz saw whine interfered with transmission throughout mission. Lt. Thistlethwaite and Capt. Rose HQ participated.

350th: Capt Pidduck. T/U 10:17 hrs. T/D 12:55 hrs. Total flight time 2:38 hrs. Squadron entered enemy coast on course at 27,000ft at 11:10 hrs. Proceeded on course to Port St Maxence where R/V was made about 10 mins later at 28,000ft. Followed course to Meaux Villenay where rear box swept west over Paris. Lead box south west over city. Squadron followed rear box over Paris. Both sections of bombers rejoined at Rambouillet, where we left the bombers. Followed course out east of Cayeux. Left turn out of Straits of Dover and then dive north to base. No e/a. No bombers in trouble. Very light flak out over Cayeux inaccurate. Weather over Channel in and out clear. Continent – solid overcast over target. Contrails from 27,000ft Horizontal visibility good, vertical poor. R/T fighter to fighter poor, steady hum and whine, reception rather weak.

Capt Stanley R. Pidduck (Sqdn Ldr)
Capt John B. Rose
1st Lt William J. Price
2nd Lt Carl W. Mueller
Capt Wilford F. Hurst (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt William F. Tanner
1st Lt Robert N. Ireland
2nd Lt Chauncey Rowan
Capt Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt John Zolner
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
2nd Lt Richard A. Stearns

351st: Capt Lefebre. T/U 10:10 hrs. T/D 12:55 hrs. Total flight time 2:45 hrs. Squadron took off at Metfield, made landfall at Sangatte at 11:07 hrs, altitude 27,500ft. Proceeded on course to Abbeville where Group leader made an orbit previous to making R/V. Squadron instead of making orbit swung off course to the right and then back into position. R/V was made slightly behind schedule at 11:30 hrs and altitude at the time being 33,000ft. A P-51 group was seen heading north over Amiens after R/V. Squadron took up position as top cover, escorting the bombers to 352nd and 356th R/V. Left bombers at 12:00 hrs, leaving coast at Berck at 12:13 hrs at 27,000ft. No E/A seen at any time. After leaving target area, bombers were seen flying in 4 distinct boxes. No stragglers were seen. R/T remained the same as on previous mission.

Capt Frederick H. Lefebre (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Don M. Hurlburt
1st Lt Gordon B. Compton
2nd Lt William T. Thistlethwaite
Major Shannon Christian*
Capt Jack R. Walsh
1st Lt George N. Ahles
2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman
2nd Lt Frank J. Mincik
1st Lt William J. Maguire
1st Lt Francis N. King
1st Lt Frank N. Emory
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards
2nd Lt George F. Perpente
F/O Cletus Peterson

*Returned to Squadron from Wing HQ for mission

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 10:16 hrs. T/D 12:47 hrs. Total flight time 2:31 hrs. Squadron took off as the lead squadron in the Group with Major Bailey as group leader. Squadron crossed the continental coast at 26,000 ft over cape Gris Nez, 3 minutes later than schedule. Proceeded on course to Grandvillers making a sweep to the left in order to R/V with the bombers in the correct place at the correct time. Made left hand turn to Port St Maxe, made right turn and proceeded to Belleville. On the course from Belleville to target, one single engine A/C was seen going down in flames. Made right turn at Breligny and one A/C believed to be an Me109 was seen circling over target area at about 14,000ft; it was making no attempt to attack. 352nd and 356th Gps were seen coming in to R/V at Rambouillet and we made a right hand turn and left the bombers at that point. The bombers were not observed to have dropped their bombs. Proceeded out and left the enemy coast over Le Touquet. Crossed English coast over North Foreland and landed at base at 12:47 hrs. Bombers were well covered over entire route and all fighter support seemed to R/V on time. Bombers were a little more scattered than expected. Three or four bursts of heavy, inaccurate flak was shot up at one flight of our Squadron from Boulogne; it burst at about 27,000ft. Horizontal visibility excellent, an overcast covered the continental coast and target area restricting vertical visibility, the top of this overcast was believed to have been around 12,000ft. Upon returning to base, the field was covered with an overcast, tops around 1,100 ft. R/T air to air communication good. Controller poor. “C” channel was good part of the time.

Major William B. Bailey (Sqdn & Gp Ldr)
2nd Lt Wilton W. Johnson
1st Lt Clinton H. Sperry (Abort) SX-E 42-22466
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong
Capt Thomas J. Forkin (FLt Ldr)
2nd Lt Harry H. Dustin
1st Lt Robert A. Newman
2nd Lt Glenn G. Callans
Capt Raynor E. Robertson (FLt Ldr)
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger
1st Lt James N. Poindexter
2nd Lt Victor L. Vogel (Abort) SX-J 42-7910
Capt Wilbert H. Juntilla (FLt Ldr)
2nd Lt Richard V. Keywan
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame
2nd Lt Hildreth R. Owens
1st Lt Robert P. Geurtz (Spare)
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer (Spare)

Group Aborts/Early Returns:

42-8380 ABT   belly tank release froze YJ-A
42-7903 ABT   tach out LH-?
42-7910 ABT   tach out SX-J Lt.   Vogel
42-22466 ABT   belly tank fuel pressure SX-E Lt.   Sperry
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