Mission#62 January 5, 1944 – Target: Neuss

Date: Jan 5, 44

Dispatched: 48 Aborts: 4

Mission: Support to rear 2nd ATF, 120 B-17’s (3rd Div) Field Order: 213

Time Up/Down: 10:23 hrs     13:29 hrs Leader: Lt Col. Duncan

Target: Neuss (not hit), Eberfield & Targets of opportunity

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

Group made landfall over Schouwen Island on time at 11:09 hrs, 25,000ft. Bombers seen ahead at 11:25 hrs. Actual R/V was made at 11:34 hrs as planned. Group of P47s seen coming out just prior to R/V. Group of P-47s seen on right at R/V. Flew with bombers from IP to target. First CW taking a right turn, second CW taking a left turn. Half the Group escorted first while the other half escorted the other CW. Left first CW vicinity of Aachen 12:12 hrs and out enemy coast at Calais, 12:56 hrs, 20,000ft. Group escorting second CW left bombers north of Gilze-Rijen at 12:14 hrs, and out over Haamstede at 12:21 hrs, 24,000ft. Between Eindhoven and Gilze-Rijen a single Me109 with belly tank came in on rear box of B-17s lower level firing from 1500 yards. E/A was attacked by White flight and destroyed by Lt. Col Duncan. Bombing appeared to be well concentrated within target area. No bombers seen to be in trouble. One straggler observed but upon investigation was found to be escorted. Two red parachute flares seen prior to target. Moderate flak seen in target area, accurate for height, inaccurate for direction. Reception from Parker good. Contact on “C” channel excellent. One U/I A/C seen at 36-40,000ft following formation west from target area to vicinity of Tilburg where it turned and headed east. Lt Col. Duncan, Lt. Herfurth, Lt Thistlethwaite and Capt. Rose participated.

1 Me109 destroyed Lt Col. Duncan.

350th: Capt Pidduck. T/U 10:29 hrs. T/D 13:05 hrs. Total flight time 2:36 hrs. Squadron entered enemy coast on time and on course. Bombers reported late and then early. R/V made SW of Koln at about 11:40 hrs and bombed about 11:45 hrs. Bombers made left turn and did not follow prescribed course out. Front box followed correct course. Escorted bombers to vicinity Gilze-Rijen and left enemy coast about 12:15 hrs. One S/E E/A destroyed by Col Duncan vicinity Eindhoven. Heavy intense flak from Koln. Bomb results good. Channel and islands overcast 6/10 target.

Capt Stanley R. Pidduck (Sqdn Ldr)
Capt John B. Rose
1st Lt William J. Price
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Robert S. Hart
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
2nd Lt Carl W. Mueller
Capt Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
Capt Bergman* (361st FG)
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
2nd Lt John H. Winder
1st Lt John L. Devane (Flt Ldr)
Lt Latimer* (361st FG)
1st Lt John Zolner
2nd Lt Richard A. Stearns

*Capt. Bergman and Lt. Latimer on detachment from the 361st Fighter Group.

351st: Capt Lefebre. T/U 10:15 hrs. T/D 13:25 hrs. Total flight time 3:10 hrs.  Route: Entered enemy coast over Schouwen Islands. R/V at Gummershack. Escorted to Aachen area. Left coast NE of coast. Squadron made landfall over Schouwen Island 11:10 hrs, 25,000ft. Proceeding on course to planned R/V point seeing bombers well ahead. R/V finally made at Gunnersback 11:50 hrs. Bombers were flying in two boxes, 20 and 30 respectively. Escort provided to Aachen area where two left orbits were made. Left on call from Group leader to Indian at 12:12 hrs. One box of bombers made a right turn SE of Duren heading NE. Two pilots reported seeing bombs hitting in centre of large city with a winding river running passed outskirts. This city is believed to be the Meuse. No e/a seen. Left enemy coast NE of Calais 12:56 hrs, 20,000ft. R/T same as on previous mission.

Capt Frederick H. Lefebre (Sqdn Ldr) YJ-L
F/O Joseph E. Wood YJ-S
2nd Lt Edgar J. Albert YJ-H
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards YJ-T
1st Lt Gordon B. Compton (Flt Ldr) YJ-G
2nd Lt Lloyd A. Thornell YJ-F
1st Lt Harry F. Hunter YJ-A
2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump YJ-K
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman (Flt Ldr) YJ-N
Lt Feller* (361st FG) YJ-U
1st Lt William R. Burkett YJ-Z 42-22469
2nd Lt Harry D. Milligan YJ-E 42-8002
1st Lt William J. Maguire (Flt Ldr) YJ-M
2nd Lt Don M. Hurlburt YJ-H
1st Lt Francis N. King YJ-P 42-7972
F/O Cletus Peterson YJ-R
2nd Lt William T. Thistlethwaite (Spare) YJ-I 42-22459

*Lt. Feller on detachment from the 361st Fighter Group.

352nd: Lt Col Duncan. T/U 10:23 hrs. T/D 13:21 hrs. Total flight time 2:58 hrs. Squadron up Metfield. Set course approx on time. Over North Sea heard bombers say they were late; later called they were three minutes early. Made landfall over Walcheren Islands on time. Proceeded on course and R/V’d with bombers at approx 11:33 hrs. Stayed with the bombers and escorted them over the target, when first section turned left with second box and second section turned right and escorted first box. Bombing observed to be excellent, very concentrated. “Looked like bombers dropped bombs through a funnel.” With a first section on the way out Lt. Col Duncan destroyed 1 Me109 which was attacking the bombers. The second section had no encounters with E/A. No bombers were seen to be in trouble. One straggler was observed by second section, but he was O.K. First section escorted the bombers out and left them near Gilze-Rijen area. Landed at base at 13:21 hrs. Flak – meagre, heavy flak, about 10-12 bursts from area just south of Woensdrecht. It was accurate for altitude and position bursting at about 30,000ft. Intense, heavy, concentrated flak in the target area. It was accurate for altitude but to the left. A few bursts were seen on the way out. Overcast prevailed over the North Sea and coast up to Gilze-Rijen area, tops around 12-14,000ft. 3/10ths clouds over the target area. Over the target horizontal and vertical visibility was excellent. Contrails were light and non-persistent for 27,000ft. R/T – “A” channel good “C” channel Good except for slight jamming. Course: Landfall, R/V, Target, Neuss, R/P, Landfall out, home.

Lt Col Glenn E. Duncan (Gp Ldr) LH-X
Major Kruzel* (361st FG) SX-U
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong SX-F
2nd Lt Glenn G. Callans SX-V
Capt Thomas J. Forkin (Flt Ldr) SX-W
1st Lt William J. Jordan SX-T
1st Lt William F. Streit SX-Y
1st Lt Herman Herfurth LH-E
Capt Raynor E. Robertson (Flt Ldr) SX-S
Capt Smith* (361st FG) SX-C* 42-75065
1st Lt James N. Poindexter SX-B
2nd Lt Victor L. Vogel SX-E
Capt Charles J. Hoey (Flt Ldr) SX-A
2nd Lt Wilton W. Johnson SX-D
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-G
2nd Lt William S. Marchant SX-O
2nd Lt Harry H. Dustin (Spare) SX-I
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer (Spare) SX-X

*Major Kruzel and Capt. Smith on detachment from the 361st Fighter Group.

Group Aborts/No Take Off:

42-75065 DNTO mechanical trouble SX-C* Capt. Smith
42-22469 ABT smoke in cockpit YJ-Z Lt. Burkett flying
42-7972 ABT oil leak YJ-P Lt. King flying
42-22459 ABT broken glass elbow YJ-I Lt. Thistlethwaite flying
42-8002 ERTN escort 22469 YJ-E Lt. Milligan flying

 *Note this code listed in the Squadron flight line up appears to be wrong. The only SX-C known in the Squadron was McCollom’s former aircraft 42-8531. The flight line-up lists A/C 42-75065 as SX-L when it was lost on February 22, 1944. Any further clarification always welcome…

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