Mission#60 December 31, 1943 – Target: Bordeaux.

Date: Dec 31 43

Dispatched: 49 Aborts: 3

Mission: Withdrawal support (middle units) 2nd ATF (240 B-17’s 1st Div, 120 B-17’s 3rd Div & 180 B-24’s)

Field Order: 211     Target: Bordeaux A/C assembly works

Time Up/Down: 12:24 hrs 15:15 hrs Leader: Major Beckham

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

Group crossed the enemy coast at Grand Camp at 13:23 hrs, 25,000ft. R/V with bombers 13:51 hrs, 15 miles north of Lorient. Left 14:32 hrs vicinity of Lannion at 22,000ft, 14:42 hrs. B-24s sighted 13:46 hrs when Group northeast of Lorient. Three Groups bunched together with one Group 10 miles behind. Two more Groups of B-24s seen to the east of Group. Four boxes of B-17s seen northeast of Vannes flying on a converging course, bombers flying 12-16,000ft. One B-17 seen flying 1000ft above the rest of B-17 formation vicinity of Gorlay. Several stragglers on wide front; no e/a seen. Meagre flak at Lorient.

350th: Capt Pidduck. [No further details available in Squadron records].

351st: Major Beckham. T/U 12:15 hrs. T/D 15:15 hrs. Total flying time 3:00 hrs. Route: In at Grand Camp, R/V in Bannalee area, out at Perres-Guirec. Squadron and Group led by Major Beckham. Took off Metfield crossed out English coast at Newhaven at 13:03 hrs, 17,500ft and in enemy coast at Grand Camp at 13:23 hrs, 25,000ft. Proceeded on course, sighting 4 boxes (of 23, 12, 11 and 18) B-24s at 13:46 hrs making R/V at 13:51 hrs in Bannalee area. Bombers at 15,000ft. Made contact with Goldsmith 2-4 on channel C. Escorted bombers out to coast, leaving them at 14:32 hrs at Perres-Guirec. Squadron landed at Exeter. Took off from Exeter 09:40 hrs 1 Jan 1944 down at Metfield at 10:50 hrs. No E/A seen. R/T good. 4-6/10ths clouds.

Major Walter C. Beckham (Gp & Sqdn Ldr)
2nd Lt John G. Treitz
2nd Lt Herbert K. Field
1st Lt George N. Ahles
Capt Frederick H. Lefebre
2nd Lt Frank J. Mincik
1st Lt Francis N. King
2nd Lt Edgar J. Albert
Capt Charles L. Stafford
1st Lt Gordon B. Compton
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards
F/O Cletus Peterson
2nd Lt Don M. Hurlburt
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman
1st Lt William J. Maguire
2nd Lt Lloyd A. Thornell
F/O Joseph E. Wood
2nd Lt Richard D. Stanley
2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 12:27 hrs. T/D 15:15 hrs. Total flight time 2:48 hrs. Squadron left English coast over Beachyhead. Landfall #1 was at Grandcamp les B on time. Landfall #2 was made over Malo, Group a little south of course. Made R/V with bombers at 13:52 hrs and bombers were flying at 12,000 to 16,000ft in small bunches (Groups of 12 to 24). Several stragglers were noted and bombers were flying in a very wide front. No e/a were encountered or seen. Goldsmith 24 was heard asking for cover not help. “C” channel was garbled. Escorted bombers out to Brecht and left them at 14:41 hrs. Group landed at advanced bases at 15:15 hrs. At R/V there was an overcast with breaks, tops 10,000ft. Sky at advanced base had 8 to 9/10 clouds, base 1200 to 1500 feet variable with tops at 4,000ft. Meager, medium flak (about 8 bursts) seen fired from Lorient. “A” channel reception fair. 11 down at Exeter, 31 Dec. 1 down Harrowbeer, 31 Dec. 1 down Middle Wallop, 31 Dec. 5 up Exeter, down Yeovilton, 31 Dec. 1 up Middle Wallop, down Metfield 31 Dec. 5 up Exeter, down Metfield, 1 Jan 44. 1 up Exeter, down Harrowbeer 1 Jan 44. 5 up Yeovilton, down Metfield, 1 Jan 44.

Major William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt William J. Jordan
2nd Lt Richard V. Keywan
2nd Lt Glenn G. Callans
Capt Charles J. Hoey (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Wilton W. Johnson
1st Lt Robert P. Geurtz
2nd Lt Victor L. Vogel
Capt Thomas J. Forkin (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Harry H. Dustin
1st Lt William F. Streit
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer
1st Lt Jesse W. Gonnam (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger
1st Lt Gordon L. Willits
2nd Lt William S. Marchant


Group Aborts/Early Returns/Damaged:

42-8634 ABT   belly tank failed to release LH-X
42-8379 ABT   supercharger trouble YJ-H
42-8002 ABT   push-rod leaked YJ-E
42-8375 ERTN   flaps not fully extend YJ-D
42-8401 ERTN   belly tank fuel pressure YJ-R
42-8674 ERTN   intake valve leaked YJ-K

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