Mission#53 December 11, 1943 – Target: Emden

Date: Dec 11, 43

Dispatched: 48 Abort: 2 Mission: Target support to 240 B-17’s (1st Div)  Field Order: 198

Time Up/Down: 11:00 hrs 14:26 hrs Leader: Lt Col Duncan Target: Emden

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

Group crossed over the North Sea, advised by controller [that the] bombers were 30 minutes late, then later notified that they were 23 minutes late. Bombers sighted 30 minutes before actual contact. R/V with the bombers at 12:40 hrs. Proceeded with the bombers making right turn off Helgoland to Emden, left bombers at 13:07 hrs with other Group seen coming in. Out Den Helder 13:25 hrs at 25,000ft. Bombing appeared to be very well concentrated in target area. Effective smoke screen over Emden. Moderate and inaccurate flak from Aurich, barrage type from Emden. Combat Wing formation of bombers looked good. 20+ bogies seen far to the east of Emden but never came close enough for identification. One B-17 straggler seen at Stadskanaal unmolested. One B-17 seen coming out over North Sea when Group going in. One parachute seen to open just north of Emden. Contact with Goldsmith 2-3 very good up to IP. Radio whine intense but reception good. Lt Col. Duncan and Lt. Thistlethwaite of Group participated.

350th: Lt Col Duncan. T/U 11:05 hrs. T/D 14:15 hrs. Total flight time 3:10 hrs. Scheduled course: L/F at 12:03, 30,000ft to Anjum at 12:17 to R/V with B-17s (Essen at 12:32 to Emden at 12:38 to Nieweschans at 12:42 to Hoogesand at 12:45 to home at 13:19). R/V with B-17s made about 13:00 just north of Nordeney Island. Bombing results observed. Emden harbour area saturated. One parachute was seen to go down. No e/a encountered. Lt. Blickenstaff sighted 30 plus e/a far to the east of Emden. They were too far off to bounce or constitute a threat to bombers. Flak north to northeast of Emden medium to intense directed at bombers. Weather: Clear in target area and to north and northeast of target. Overcast with holes on route out. Capt. Hurst landed Red Flight at Docking.

Lt Col Glenn E. Duncan (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt John Zolner
1st Lt John Sullivan
1st Lt Charles O. Durant
Capt Wilford F. Hurst (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt William F. Tanner
1st Lt Melvin P. Dawson
2nd Lt Richard A. Stearns
Capt Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt Charles W. Dinse (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Robert S. Hart
1st Lt Robert N. Ireland
2nd Lt Chauncey Rowan
2nd Lt Walter L. Angelo

351st: Major Beckham. T/U 10:50 hrs. T/D 14:00 hrs. Total flight time 3:10 hrs. Squadron took from home base [Route: In Texel Island-Anjum to R/V Essen-Emden-out Den Helder] and shortly after setting course call was received from Parker that bombers would be 30 minutes late. Squadron throttled back and proceeded on course, Bombers were seen at 12:12 hrs, north of planned course. Course altered making R/V north of Ameland Island at 12:42 hrs. One B-17 seen turning back shortly after R/V. Bombers were flying in good formation which made escort comparatively easier than on previous missions. In general bombing results looked very good. Large explosions seen right in center of target. Left bombers at 13:10 hrs. Out the coast at 13:25 hrs at Haarlem at 29,000ft. No e/a were seen. R/T interference normal. Four planes landed at Downham Market. One pilot (Lt. Toppel) ground looped. No damage.

Major Walter C. Beckham (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Harold J. Morris
1st Lt William J. Maguire
2nd Lt Edgar J. Albert
Capt Frederick H. Lefebre
2nd Lt William T. Thistlethwaite
1st Lt Gordon B. Compton
2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump
1st Lt George N. Ahles
Capt Vic L. Byers
2nd Lt Harry D. Milligan
1st Lt William R. Burkett
2nd Lt Jack Terzian
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman
2nd Lt Irving Toppel
1st Lt Francis N. King
2nd Lt Richard D. Stanley
2nd Lt Lloyd A. Thornell

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 11:06 hrs. T/D 14:25 hrs. Total flight time 3:19 hrs. Squadron up Metfield at 11:06 hrs. Was proceeding on planned course when Parker called at 11:40 hrs saying “Big Friends were 30 minutes late.” C Channel reported call from bombers that they were only 23 minutes late. Group leader proceeded to bear left and throttled back in order to slow up and meet bombers on time. One group of fighters were seen to our right proceeding on original course. It is believed that they did not R/V. Our Group made R/V and turned right at approx 54 degrees-7 degree E and continued to target. Meagre, inaccurate, heavy flak shot at us from Langeoog. Target was covered by very dense smoke screen. Moderate, heavy, accurate flak was seen fired at the bombers from the target area. No casualties observed. Left bombers after target at which time another group R/V’d with them. We continued out over Gronningen. Meagre, heavy flak, accurate for altitude (30,000 feet) but behind, was fired at one of our flights from Leewarden. Squadron landed at base 14:25. Boxes of bombers were too scattered for good coverage. Bombing believed to have been successful, as bombs were seen to drop right in the target area. No E/A seen. Weather: Target area clear. North Sea about 4/10 cumulus. 10/10 over Channel and Zuider Zee, building from 6000 to 14,000ft. Middle layer of cloud at 15,000ft at south end of Zuider Zee. R/T fair. Parker very weak although our ground station came in very clear.

Major William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt Wilton W. Johnson
1st Lt Clinton H. Sperry
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong
Capt Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Hildreth R. Owens
1st Lt Edward M. Fogarty
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger
Capt Thomas J. Forkin (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Richard V. Keywan
1st Lt William F. Streit
2nd Lt Russell E. Moriarty
Capt Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Leroy W. Ista
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame
2nd Lt Victor L. Vogel

Group Aborts/Early Returns:

42-8674 ABT   anoxid gasket YJ-K
42-8375 ABT oil   leak YJ-D
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