Monthly Archives: February 2014

Lt. Douglas A. Makikuhna, 352nd Fighter Squadron

Sandy Kuhna, the daughter-in-law of 352nd pilot Doug Kuhna (Makikuhna during WWII), got back in touch after she saw a photo of Doug I posted on the Facebook page last year. Sandy advises that her father-in-law is alive and well at 91 years young and tells her lots of war stories whenever she sees him. Luckily, Sandy has written some of these stories down and kindly shared them with me for the blog along with some great photos. The below is a summary of Doug’s career in training and combat that included thirty nine missions with the 352nd. It is posted with thanks to Doug and Sandy for sharing their memories and research (and with apologies from me for the time it has taken to get it posted).

Doug wasn’t drafted into the military. He went along to a recruitment office with a friend who wanted to sign up for the Air Force. As it happened the friend couldn’t pass the eye test, but the recruiters saw Doug wasn’t wearing glasses and asked him if he wanted to take the test. Assuming he wouldn’t pass he agreed and actually came through all the tests with flying colours. The recruiter suggested he would be drafted soon anyway and so talked him into joining the Air Force. As Doug was not yet 18 he needed his parent’s signatures of agreement and had to drive to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to get his mother’s (Olga) signature. It seems that his parents were none too impressed with their son’s decision – his mother told him straight-out that the next time she would see him he would be in a box.  His father, who had fought for Finland and Russia as an NCO sharpshooter during World War I and knew the hardships of war, advised him to hide in the woods behind the farm. Both gave their signatures.

Doug spent the first three months of his military life in Miami Beach, Florida and the College Training Detachment at the University of Toledo, Ohio (in addition to providing basic military training both of these were often a way of hoarding eligible recruits from the clutches of the other two services until they were required for flight training). Doug then moved to Maxwell Field, Alabama for pre-flight assessment and training at the Air Force Pilot School. This included all kinds of courses on the mechanics and physics of flight, codes, meteorology along with plenty of physical training. Next Doug went to Ocala, Florida for primary flight training (probably at the AAF Contract School at Taylor Field). He flew the first time in a Piper Cub, but the majority of his primary flight training was in the PT-17 Kaydet (an open-cockpit bi-plane) which he flew dual for up to 15 hours before being allowed to fly solo. Doug’s first solo was on his twenty-first birthday, September 24, 1943.

After about 60 hours of training Doug moved on to basic flight training in Bainbridge, Georgia. There he flew a Vultee BT-13 Valiant (a mono-wing basic trainer). He was there for 60 more hours of flight training over a period of some three months. He then moved to advanced single-engine training at Mariana, Florida. There he flew the AT-6 Texan for another 60 hours of flight training. Doug passed the course and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Force. On his graduation day his future wife, Ethel Johnson, came down to Mariana to pin his pilot’s wings on him. It was a proud day for all concerned.

Doug then headed for Punta Gorda, Florida for advanced fighter transition training flying on P-40 Warhawks. The Air Force then assigned him to the 8th Air Force in England. On reaching England Doug would probably went to the 496th Fighter Training Group at Goxhill for some additional training on P-51 Mustangs before joining the 352nd Fighter Squadron at Raydon on November 19, 1944. At his new home he would have undergone further training in the Operational Training Unit (OTU) before flying his first mission just under a month later on December 18, 1944. Doug would fly Mustangs throughout his tour – he did get to fly the P-47 Thunderbolt a few times but only for training or fun. Regardless of the aircraft Doug always loved flying – particularly among the big fluffy clouds where there were tunnels that you could fly through and the thin wispy clouds that you could cause to disintegrate with the aircraft.

By coincidence the 352nd CO Major Wilbert H. Juntilla was also, like Doug, of Finnish descent. They did not know one another prior to serving at Raydon, but quickly found out they lived about ten miles apart in Michigan (Juntilla was from Calumet and Doug from Atlantic Mine). They became firm friends and Doug jokes he may have been treated better than the other pilots because he was a fellow Finn. When he took over Capt. William Davis’s old aircraft, Juntilla let him change the name of his plane to “Miss Ethel” faster than the other replacement pilots.

Doug has many memories of his tour and was awarded the Good Conduct Medal and Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters during his service. The longest missions he flew were to Berlin – a flight of seven hours round trip in a very cramped cockpit. He particularly remembers a “Maximum Effort” to Berlin in early 1945 that involved nearly 2000 aircraft. The fighter pilot’s job was to keep the German planes away from the bombers, but by this stage of the war most of them were afraid of the American fighters so they would turn back or abort an attack when they spotted them. Doug did almost get his first kill with an ME 109, but the bombers got it first. The white cliffs of Dover were a welcome sight on many missions and let him know he had made it back safely. His friends sometimes did not make it back and it was always a very sad time. Doug recalls going to bed at night and looking at the bunk next to him that had been stripped and was empty.

If the Germans didn’t come up to harass the bombers then Doug and his fellow pilots went down to look for targets of opportunity such as trains and trucks. He was told never to bring back unused bullets. Strafing was dangerous work and the pilots learnt to avoid some trains in particular because they had flak guns that would shoot straight up at attacking aircraft. Nevertheless Doug was able to destroy two locomotives and several ground vehicles on the mission of February 26, 1945. Doug also remembers that with this kind of work he would see farmers out in their fields and would not shoot at them because his father was a farmer back in Michigan and so Doug understood that by this stage in the war they were just trying to keep their families fed.

Flying fighters was, of course, a dangerous activity and Doug remembers quite a few close shaves. During one practice bombing run at Raydon he accidently dropped one of his bombs (inert) on the base PX and caught a lot of grief. Another time he was taking off when one of his external gas tanks fell off and he had to return to base or he would never have made it to Germany and back (this probably would not have counted as dispatched as the aircraft failed on take-off. Doug’s only recorded abort from a mission was due to a rough engine on December 23, 1944).

One day it was so foggy at Raydon the pilots couldn’t see to land and someone had to stand at the end of the runway with flares and shot them up so the pilots could see them. They also shot flares in an arch so the planes could land under the arch and know it was the runway. Another time Doug was landing (aircraft always landed two at a time side by side) and the guy next to him veered into his lane so Doug pulled up and took off to make another pass. This is very difficult to do since the plane will start dipping a wing if you try to go to fast all at once. Doug managed it without smashing into the ground at high speed and when he landed his CO made him get into another plane straight away and take off and land again so he could shake off his nerves. Doug modestly describes the incident as like getting back on the horse straight away when you fall off.

Doug’s last mission of the war was in his faithful SX-A on April 25, 1945 (also the Group’s last mission escorting bombers to Hitler’s mountain retreat in Berchtesgaden). He was on leave in Dublin when word came that US forces had used an atomic bombs on Japan and the war ended a few days later. He returned to Raydon and learnt that getting sent home depended on a points system. You got more points for your age, whether you had a wife, kids or fulfilled many other detailed criteria. With few points Doug was sent to Frankfurt, Germany as part of the occupation. This was about six weeks before they were sent home and Doug remembers piles of Nazi weapons and regalia laying around and brought some of it back as souvenirs.  He then travelled by train to Le Havre, France and came home on the SS Argentina via Camp Kilmer. The base did not give any passes but, as his sister Hilkka and her husband Arvo lived in New York, he found a hole in the fence behind the barracks and visited them whenever he could. The first time he made his elicit escape he and his friends thought the hole in the fence was a big secret until they saw the big line of taxi cabs just the other side of the fence. He got his discharge a few weeks later.

After the war some pilots went to work for the airlines, but Doug heard they did not want “hot shot” pilots from the war as they might be too reckless. Instead he decided to go back to his studies and went to Michigan Technological University in Houghton on the GI Bill and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Subsequently he worked for the John Fauver Company who sold pumps and valves until he retired in the late 1980s.

Doug at home in more recent years talking about his time with the 352nd Fighter Squadron (Kuhna)

Doug at home in more recent years talking about his time with the 352nd Fighter Squadron (Kuhna)

A Brief History of SX-A

The following is as complete history of the use of SX-A coding on aircraft by the 352nd Squadron as we currently have. There was, as far as we know from Squadron records, no use of SX-A Bar as an aircraft code. Posted with thanks to Ash Gant for our usual brain-storming and, of course, I welcome evidenced corrections or clarifications.

A/C 42-8420 P-47D-5-RE. We have no details of the assigned pilot, but the aircraft was lost September 15, 1943 when Capt. Robert C. Durlin was forced to bail out.
A/C 42-74728 P-47D-6-RE. This aircraft shows up in Squadron records for the first time October 10, 1943. It appears to have been assigned to Capt. Charles J. Hoey. The aircraft left the Squadron (probably around the time D-15s came in February 1944) and went to the 495th FTG. Lt. Paul Fulton lost his life when he crashed in the aircraft August 24, 1944.
A/C 42-75707 P-47D-15-RE. This aircraft shows up on Squadron records for the first time on February 10, 1944 as part of the upgrade to D-15s. Capt. Charles J. Hoey flew SX-A on 28 missions between January and March 1944, but was assigned to Group in February 1944 and it is possible the aircraft then became the personal aircraft of Lt. Richard V. Keywan. He flew the aircraft on 50 missions between April and June 1944. Given his flight record and the famous photo it would seem very likely he was responsible for the name “Little Hotsy” rather than Hoey but we cannot state this to be known fact. Keywan lost his life when he was shot down in this aircraft June 12, 1944.

The famous photo of Lt. Richard V. Keywan in front of SX-A

The famous photo of Lt. Richard V. Keywan in front of SX-A “Little Hotsy” (a/c 42-75707). Sadly the names of the two ground crew were not recorded.

A/C 42-26643 P-47D-25-RE. This aircraft joined the Squadron mid to late June 1944 and was the personal aircraft of Lt. William M. Newton Jr. who flew it on 46 missions between July and October 1944. Lt. Newton’s name for the aircraft “Aw Nuts” was, perhaps, appropriate for it was involved in an embarrassing taxiing accident at the hands of 2nd Lt. Edward C. Andrews on July 9, 1944. A picture of the aircraft artwork and damage is on p.518 of Jonah’s Feet Are Dry. A close look at that photograph indicates this was one of the camouflaged aircraft in the Squadron. The aircraft was still flying with the Squadron in September 1944 and was sent to the 509th FS, 405th FG when the 352nd converted to P-51s. It flew as G9-D “The Virgin” with the 509th and was damaged in a landing accident at R-68 Straubing June 4, 1945 while being flown by Lt. John H. Carroll.

A/C 44-14642P-51D-10-NA. This history of this aircraft is unclear in places. It was assigned to the 352nd in October 1944 and remained with the Squadron until after the end of the war. It was the only “A” coded P-51 in the Squadron flying 94 missions between October 1944 and April 1945 with 25 different pilots. The first assigned pilot was Capt. William C. Davis who flew the aircraft on 25 missions between October and December 1944. Davis completed his first tour in January 1945. We believe he named this aircraft “Aurora Houn Dog” and that his first aircraft was SX-A and not SX-V as is sometimes stated. The confusion arises because on his return to the Squadron Davis flew SX-V (a/c 44-72392) “Aurora Hound Dawg” – his old SX-A had by this time become the personal aircraft of Lt. Douglas A. MakiKuhna who named it “Miss Ethel” for his future wife Ethel Johnson. Makikuhna flew the aircraft on 29 missions between December 1944 and April 1945.

As a final word – the crew for SX-A throughout the war were S/Sgt Cecil C. Clark (Crew Chief), Sgt Horton (Assistant Crew Chief) and Sgt Murray H. Scheshko (Armourer). Horton does not show up on the original stateside roster for the Group so may have joined them later as a replacement. Clark and Scheshko were originally from “B” flight and transferred to “D” flight when it was formed in the spring of 1944 to cope with the increased number of Squadron aircraft. It really is a shame that so many of the official photos do not name the ground crews and this makes identification difficult. Let me know if you can confirm who is who…

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Mission#71 January 30, 1944 – Target: Brunswick. Victories for Major Beckham, Lt. Tanner, Lt. Jordan and Lt. Newman.

Date: Jan 30, 44

Dispatched: 39 Aborts: 6

Mission: Withdrawal Support to 1st ATF 360 B-17’s (1st Div)

Field Order: 227

Time Up/Down: 10:29 hrs 14:04 hrs.

Target: Brunswick Leader: Major Rimerman (then Major Beckham)

Claims Air: 03-02-01 Claims Ground: 00-00-00 Lost/Damaged: 00-00

Group made landfall 12:01 hrs, 23,000ft north of Ijmuiden. Leader forced to leave Group 12:25 hrs approx vicinity of Lingen due to radio failure. Major Beckham took over. R/V from south at 12:35 hrs with 1st TF of bombers who were flying in very good formation. P-47s and P-51s seen in vicinity. Escorted bombers along W/D route leaving only for encounters until 5 minutes after passing out enemy coast at Egmond at 13:42hrs, 18,000ft. Four Me110s who were about to attack a lone bomber from rear were attacked by Red flight of the 350th probably destroying two. At the same time P-51s cut in and engaged nos 3 and 4 E/A. Two Ju88s flying southeast not molesting bombers were attacked by Red and Yellow flights of the 352nd Squadron, one destroyed and one probably destroyed. Several Me109s making unusually steep diving attacks on bombers were engaged by White flight of 350th Squadron. E/A dispersed, one E/A destroyed. Group orbited above as cover during these encounters. Two Fw190s were seen flying NE of Zuider Zee at 24,000ft, one destroyed. Major Rimerman returning early escorted [a] straggling Fort to enemy coast. B-24 ditched just off the Hague. Emergency IFF put on. Additional information was relayed by controller upon return. Contact on “C” channel Goldsmith 1-3 and 1-4 good. Capt. Rose, Lt. Herfurth, Lt. Thistlethwaite [of Group HQ] participated.

1Me109 destroyed Major Beckham (351)

1 Fw190 destroyed Lt. Tanner (350)

1 Ju88 destroyed (shared) Lt. Jordan and Lt. Newman (352)

1 Me110 probably destroyed Lt. Chetwood (350)

1 Me110 probably destroyed Lt. Walsh (350)

1 Ju88 damaged Lt. Streit (352)

350th: Major Rimerman (then Major Beckham). T/U 11:18 hrs. T/D 14:25 hrs. Total flight time 03:07 hrs. L/F in on course 12:01hrs, 22-23,000ft. R/V on course 12:38 hrs, 27,000ft. Close P-51 and P-47. Combat 4 Me110 at R/V. Left bombers Egmond 13:30 hrs, 22,000ft, left coast N of Egmond 13:30 hrs, 23,000ft. Heavy, meagre [flak] Ijmuiden.

Major Ben Rimerman (Gp Ldr)
Capt John B. Rose
1st Lt William F. Tanner
1st Lt Chauncey Rowan
Capt Charles W. Dinse (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt John H. Winder
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
2nd Lt Kenneth Chetwood
Capt Wilford F. Hurst (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Richard A. Stearns
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt Robert S. Hart
Capt Robert E. Fortier (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Carl W. Mueller
1st Lt Robert N. Ireland
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
1st Lt Charles O. Durant
1st Lt John Sullivan
Major Walter C. Beckham of De Funiak Springs, Florida and CO of the 351st Fighter Squadron claimed his 14th confirmed victory.

Major Walter C. Beckham of DeFuniak Springs, Florida and CO of the 351st Fighter Squadron claimed his 14th confirmed victory.

At approximately 13:26 hrs, Major Beckham, now flying as Pipeful White leader, was able to destroy an Me109:

I observed, from 19,000ft, several fighters diving steeply through a bomber formation at our four o’clock. I turned sharply toward them and identified them as Me109’s. They obviously saw us and began gentle evasive turns.

My number #2 (Capt. John B. Rose Jr.) and I chased one for a minute or so at full power using my water injection. He could have easily evaded by diving sharply into the cloud layer below. Instead, he dived shallowly turning to the right at first and then to the left. I fired several short bursts from well over 500 yards range and over a ring of deflection. I fired from these excessive ranges because I felt he would flip over and dive into the clouds before we could close in. He did not, and as I closed in from astern I got strikes, pieces, and smoke so heavy that I could not see the e/a through it. I had closed the throttle but was still overshooting.

I pulled up violently and barrel rolled, watching him from the top of the barrel roll on around. This roll put me in firing position again and I got more strikes and pieces. My No 2, Capt. Rose, and I watched him enter the cloud layer at 5,000ft in an almost vertical dive at over 400mph. Large pieces continued coming off after I stopped firing and until he disappeared.

I think the barrel roll is a particular valuable manoeuvre with which to resume the astern position on a target that has been over run. An unidentified flight of P-47’s attacked one more of the Me109’s with unobserved results.

Some informed guesswork based on the caption attached to this series of gun camera shots tells me it's the Me109 Beckham shot down on January 30, 1944.

Some informed guesswork based on the caption attached to this series of gun camera shots tells me it’s probably the Me109 Beckham shot down on January 30, 1944.

Major Beckham’s wing man, Capt. Rose, reported:

In the vicinity of North Deventer Major Beckham spotted two grey Me109s below us, and went down on the leading plane. Shortly after he started firing I noticed smoke pouring from the Jerrie [sic] plane. He continued firing until the plane dove vertically through a solid cloud layer at about 6,000ft. As the plane entered the cloud, I noticed many large pieces streaming back. In my opinion the plane was destroyed, as I doubt very much he could have pulled out after losing so many large pieces of his aircraft.

Major Beckham with his crew chief on YJ-X, Sgt Henry Bush.

Major Beckham with his crew chief on YJ-X – S/Sgt Henry Bush of Easley, South Carolina.

Flying Pipeful White # 3 that day was 1st Lt. Bill Tanner, who destroyed an Fw190:

Just before we left the bombers my engine started cutting up. My wing man and I could not keep up with Major Beckham so we dropped behind over the Zuider Zee. There was a clear spot and from 20,000ft I saw two aircraft heading Northeast (both Fw190’s with belly tanks). I waited till I got directly in the Sun and split S’d on the number two man’s tail. I closed to about 300 yards and opened fire. I saw several strikes on the left wing and wing root. When the left wing exploded and flames were coming out. The e/a did an attempted half roll and fell like a falling leaf into the clouds where just before we entered the whole left wing broke off. I could not follow the other e/a because my engine had quit, so I ducked in the cloud level and nursed it going again’.

Tanner’s wing man, 2nd Lt. Chauncey Rowan, gave escort his leader and fired on the second Fw190 from 600 yards as he was entering a cloud but observed no hits. Chauncy later recounted the following:

I had the chance to fly with William “Wild Bill” Tanner. Bill was one of the best pilots I have known. One day he asked me to escort him home with the excuse that his engine was not running right, and I did. Just the two of us, my plane above his, with him between me and the Sun. Two Fw190s were below us, but Bill’s plane blocked my view of them, and as Bill slowly descended I thought that he had more engine trouble, so I called him repeatedly, with no answer from him. I increased my speed and dove to get closer to Bill, thinking that he had radio problems to. I then spotted the two 190s as Bill fired his guns and blew off the right wing of the lead 190. I quickly got the wing man 190 in my gunsight, but as I was ready to shoot, Bill moved in line with me and the 190. I held fire and Bill followed the 190 as it quickly turned left and downward, but Bill could not catch him. I later confronted Bill with purposely deceiving me, so that he could get both “kills”. He did not deny it. A year or so later I was in a movie theatre in San Antonio, Texas and saw a newsreel of the plane being blown apart by Bill.

Flying Pipeful Red three, Capt. Dinse’s flight, was 1st Lt. Francis T. Walsh who claimed an Me110 destroyed:

Immediately after R/V with the bomber, Pipeful Red leader spied 4+ twin engine e/a flying parallel and to the left of the bomber formation. We bounced these e/a from 27,000ft, and were just getting lined up on their tails when some P-51’s came swooping in. Capt. Dinse and his wing man had to pull up to avoid tangling with them. I was closing rapidly on the tail of the Me110 I had picked on and observed strikes all over the e/a before I had to pull up to avoid running into him. My rate of closure was very great, as we had dove 12,000ft down to the e/a. I did not observe what happened to the 110 after I pulled up.

Walsh’s wing man, 2nd Lt. Kenneth Chetwood, was awarded an Me110 as a probable:

I later saw the Me110 come out of a cloud. Lt. Walsh my #1, took the #2 man and I took the #1 man. They were in a sharp bank to the right which made us overrun, and I zoomed straight up and came back on his tail. He was then turning to the left. I was about 300 yards behind. I fired at about 15 degrees deflection and observed many strikes on the left engine and cockpit all the time I was firing. He then disappeared into the overcast at 6,000ft. He seemed to be going into a spiral and to be out of control. I called Walsh that I was not with him and climbed back up and rejoined him.

351st: Major Beckham (then Lt. Emory). T/U 11:20 hrs. T/D 14:27 hrs. Total flight time 03:07 hrs. Withdrawal support. Two aborts one radio, one belly tank. One Me109 destroyed by Major Beckham. [L/F in] Egmond at 12:01 hrs at 26,000 ft. Lead box of first task force. Good close bomber formation. P-47s seen going in as Squadron going out. [L/F out] Ijmuiden. [The Squadron was only able to put up seven aircraft due to the ongoing conversion to P-47d-15s].

Major Walter C. Beckham (Gp & Sqdn Ldr) YJ-L
F/O Joseph E. Wood YJ-W
2nd Lt Jack Terzian YJ-P
2nd Lt Irving Toppel YJ-R
1st Lt Frank N. Emory (Flt Ldr) YJ-E
2nd Lt William T. Thistlethwaite YJ-G 42-75688
2nd Lt George F. Perpente YJ-I

352nd: Capt Robertson. T/U11:18 hrs. T/D 14:10 hrs. Total flight time02:52 hrs. [L/F in] Believed S of course on time at 23,000 ft. [R/V] Siedenburg area, on time at 28,000ft to 30,000ft, with units of 2nd ATF and 3rd ATF. B-17s were flying good close formation. P-38s and P-51s observed escorting bombers from time of our R/V to well after leaving enemy coast. 2 Ju88s flying at 12,000 to 14,000ft were attacked by Red and Yellow flights. Lts. Jordan and Newman destroying one and Lt. Streit probably destroying the other. Portions of the Squadron remained with the bombers until five minutes past landfall out. [L/F out] approx 13:40 hrs, Egmond at 23,000ft. Moderate heavy flak, accurate for altitude on the way in believed to have come from Amsterdam. 2 ASR launches and Walrus type ship seen in the middle of the North Sea on the way back. 10/10 overcast over continent, tops 6,000ft with an opening on the Northern part of the Zuider Zee.

Capt Raynor E. Robertson (Sqdn Ldr) SX-N
2nd Lt Richard V. Keywan SX-O
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame SX-?
2nd Lt Edison G. Stiff SC-C
1st Lt Jesse W. Gonnam (Flt Ldr) SX-U
1st Lt William J. Jordan SX-T
1st Lt William F. Streit SX-Y
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-V
Capt Charles J. Hoey (Flt Ldr) SX-G
2nd Lt Wilton W. Johnson SX-D
1st Lt Robert P. Geurtz SX-I
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger SX-J 42-7910
1st Lt Clinton H. Sperry (Flt Ldr) SX-E
2nd Lt Maurice Morrison SX-R
1st Lt Robert A. Newman SX-Z
2nd Lt Hildreth R. Owens SX-Q
1st Lt Herman Herfurth (Spare) ?

[Lts. Jordan, Newman and Streit’s combat reports are not available in Squadron records. If anyone has a copy then please do add them to the post as a comment or email me].

Group Abort/ERTN/Damaged:

42-7910 ABT prop out SX-J Lt. Schillinger flying.
42-75114 ABT radio out YJ-M
42-75688 ABT cylinder/temp gauge YJ-G
42-75050 ABT belly tank YJ-? Possibly YJ-I
42-7903 ABT engine/aux tank LH-?
42-8001 ABT radio out LH-V Likely Major Rimerman

 

 

 

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Blast from the Past…

I’ve been in the US again recently – hence the lack of posts.

Here’s a picture I thought you would enjoy. The 353rd return to Raydon 1990 style. Happy times…

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Mission#70 January 29, 1944 – Target: Frankfurt.

Date: Jan 29, 44

Dispatched: 33 Aborts: 1

Mission: Escort (Freelance Support to 1, 2, 3 ATF). Field Order: 226

Time Up/Down: 09:11 hrs.  12:25 hrs.

Target: Frankfurt Leader: Major Bailey

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

Group made L/F flying 132 degrees, solid overcast. No ground checks throughout mission. R/V first ATF 10:40 hrs, 26,000ft. Bomber formation very good. Withdrew 10:52 hrs along incoming bomber route passing 2nd and 3rd ATFs. Intense accurate flak believed Koln. Many friendly fighters seen. No e/a seen. No HQ pilots.

350th: Capt. Pidduck. T/U 09:15 hrs. T/D 12:15 hrs. Total flight time 03:00 hrs. L/F on course 10:01, 20,000ft. R/V on course 10:45, 30,000ft. B-17s excellent. P-38 and P-51 giving close support. Flak heavy concentration heavy Ruhr valley accurate. Solid overcast enemy territory except vicinity Brussels where ground could be seen through haze. Air to air visibility good.

Capt Stanley R. Pidduck (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt Robert N. Ireland
1st Lt Chauncey Rowan
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Robert S. Hart
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt Joseph F. Furness
Capt Dewey E. Newhart (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt John H. Winder
1st Lt John Sullivan
1st Lt Charles O. Durant
Capt Wilford F. Hurst (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Richard A. Stearns
2nd Lt William F. Tanner
2nd Lt Kenneth Chetwood
Capt Robert E. Fortier (Flt Ldr with 352nd) LH-A
1st Lt Roland N. Mckean (with 352nd ) LH-H
1st Lt Carl W. Mueller (with 352nd) LH-F

351st: None. T/U 09:05 hrs. T/D 11:35 hrs. Total flight time 02:30 hrs. Route: Due to assignment of new planes, a one man flight was dispatched. He in turn was forced to return early due to his motor cutting out (Lt. Stump) [Lts. Emory and Treitz were not counted as they were not given a credit for the mission. Lt. Stump was awarded a single credit].

2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump YJ-K 42-8674
1st Lt Frank N. Emory YJ-V 42-7958
2nd Lt John G. Treitz YJ-U 42-22771

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 09:11 hrs. T/D 12:22 hrs. Total flight time 03:11 hrs. Free lance escort to First, Second and Third Task Forces. [L/F] unknown but believed to be on course and on time. Were flying north of course and passed over vicinity of Cologne when a right orbit was made and R/Vd with bombers on course at [??]. All combat wings of B-17s and B-24s flying in excellent formation stacked up to 30,000 ft. Several fighter groups including the P-47s, P-38s and P-51s observed escorting the bombers. Withdrew at 10:50 hrs. [L/F out] unknown but believed to be on course and on time. Intense, accurate, heavy flak of barrage type from Cologne. A flight of three ships crossing English coast at 27,000 ft on return course encountered about ten bursts of accurate flak from Felixstowe area. Reception on “C” channel faint. White #2 contacted Goldsmith 1-1 who reported bombers a few minutes late. 10/10ths overcast, tops of about 3,000 ft over Continent. Course: Landfall, R/V Huy, Withdraw, Landfall out, home.

Major William B. Bailey (Sqdn Ldr) SX-K
2nd Lt Richard V. Keywan SX-O
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-G
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer SX-R
Capt Charles J. Hoey (Flt Ldr) SX-I
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger SX-J
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong SX-F
2nd Lt Hildreth R. Owens* SX-D
1st Lt Jesse W. Gonnam (Flt Ldr) SX-U
1st Lt William J. Jordan SX-T
1st Lt Robert A. Newman SX-N
2nd Lt Glenn G. Callans SX-Y
1st Lt Gordon S. Burlingame* (Spare) SX-C

*Lts. Owens and Burlingame flew in a composite flight in the Squadron with aircraft from the 350th Squadron. Line up was Fortier, Mueller, McKean, Owens and Burlingame.

Group Aborts

42-7958 ERTN oil leak on windshield YJ-V Lt. Emory flying.
42-22771 ERTN belly tank not drawing YJ-U Lt. Treitz flying
42-8674 ERTN engine cutting out YJ-K Lt. Stump flying.

 

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