Mission#77 February 10, 1944 – Target: Brunswick. Lt. Emory, Lt Armstrong and Lt. Jordan Claims.

Date: Feb 10, 44

Dispatched: 40 Abort: 8

Mission: Withdrawal support to 1st ATF 180 B-17’s (3rd Div)

Field Order: 239 Target: Brunswick

Time Up/Down: 11:04 hrs     14:05 hrs Leader: Major Bailey

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

Due to take off in snow storm Group was delayed approx 14 minutes. L/F south of Den Helder 25,000ft, 12:03 hrs. R/V 2 boxes approx one hundred 3rd Div B-17s vicinity of Quackenbruck 28,000ft, 12:35 hrs. Bomber formation good. Left bombers middle Zuider Zee, L/F out Egmond 25,000ft, 13:13 hrs. On way in two T/E A/C seen vicinity Zwolle 20,000ft. Dove and disappeared in cloud when flight investigated. Near Quackenbruck one Me110 seen below bomber formation, bounced and destroyed by Wakeford Yellow flight 15,000ft. This E/A believed to be a stooge because immediately thereafter 20+ S/E E/A bounced 352nd out of the Sun. In resulting mix up from 25,000ft to 10,000ft, one Me109 destroyed and others dispersed. Vicinity Hardenberg one Fw190 dove thru 2nd bomber box. Engaged by Roughman Yellow Leader and destroyed, pilot bailing out at 12,000ft. Capt. John B. Rose and 1st Lt. Thistlethwaite of Group HQ participated.

350th: Capt Newhart. T/U 11:10 hrs. T/D 14:00 hrs. Total flight time 02:50 hrs. L/F in on course 12:10 hrs, 28,000ft. R/V with 2nd Box N of Furstanau, 12:40 hrs, 31,000ft. Good close. P-47 No e/a. Left bombers W Zuider Zee 13:00 hrs, 29,000ft. Left coast 10 miles north of Egmond 13:13, 29,000ft No flak, R/T good. Boats in Zuider Zee, small.

Capt Dewey E. Newhart (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
1st Lt Robert N. Ireland
1st Lt Carl W. Mueller
1st Lt John L. Devane (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Tom Lorance
1st Lt William J. Price
2nd Lt Kenneth Chetwood
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Robert S. Hart
1st Lt John Zolner
1st Lt John H. Winder
Capt Robert E. Fortier (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Joseph F. Furness
1st Lt Charles O. Durant
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
1st Lt John Zolner

351st: Lt. Emory (after Beckham and then Byers had to abort). T/U 11:10 hrs. T/D 14:00 hrs. Total flight time 02:50 hrs. Route: In at Ijmuiden, over Hardenberg, out at Egmond. Ijmuiden at 12:10 hrs at 29,000ft. [R/V] at Lingen area at 12:43 hrs at 29,000ft. Good close formation. P-47s. One Fw190 destroyed [by Lt. Emory] near Hardenberg. At coast at 13:16 hrs at 25,000ft. Egmond at 16:16 hrs at 25,000ft. 5 to 7 e/a operating singly, apparently trying to ease up to fighters before making attacks on bombers and fighters. 3 aborts (two engine trouble, one frost and ice on canopy.

1st Lt William R. Burkett (Flt Ldr) YJ-B
2nd Lt Frank J. Mincik YJ-L
1st Lt William T. Thistlethwaite YJ-O
2nd Lt Don M. Hurlburt YJ-H
2nd Lt John G. Treitz (Flt Ldr) YJ-I
2nd Lt Harry D. Milligan YJ-Y
2nd Lt Jack Terzian YJ-Z
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards YJ-T
1st Lt Frank N. Emory (Sqdn Ldr) YJ-E
F/O Joseph E. Wood YJ-W
2nd Lt Herbert K. Field YJ-F
F/O Cletus Peterson YJ-P
Capt Vic L. Byers (Flt Ldr) YJ-V
2nd Lt George F. Perpente YJ-G 42-75688
Major Walter C. Beckham YJ-X 42-75226
1st Lt Vernon A. Leatherman YJ-A
2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump YJ-S 42-75647
1st Lt William J. Maguire (Relay) YJ-M
2nd Lt Richard D. Stanley (Relay) YJ-R

Lt. Emory reported destroying an Fw190:

I had been turning inside of the Fw190, and as he pulled back up into position, I closed rapidly from dead astern. I held my fire until about 300 yards away from him. He started a sharp left turn, so I gave him a long burst, but saw no strikes. I then dropped the lead, and put the bead on his engine and fired a three or four section burst, which struck behind the cockpit, making many flashes, and smoke poured out the back half of the fuselage.

As I overshot him, he rolled on his back and dove down. As soon as I turned around, I dove after him, following him down to 12,000ft. He levelled off on top of the clouds, and I saw something leave the aircraft. I thought it was the canopy, but it may have been the pilot himself, as I saw a chute open below and off to my right soon afterwards. The aircraft pulled up in an easy climb, rolled on its back and went straight down through the cloud deck which was about 6,000ft.

1st Lt. Herbert K. “Shorty” Field, flying number three to Emory, also fired at the aircraft but recorded no strikes.

352nd: Major Bailey. T/U 11:04 hrs. T/D 14:10 hrs. Total flight time 03:06 hrs. Made landfall in near Den Helder at 12:03 hrs flying at 27,000ft. R/Vd with three combat wings of B-17s at Quackenbruck at 12:35 hrs, 28,000ft. They were unescorted when we met them. Bomber formations were good; two combat wings followed by one combat wing. Very few stragglers. Observed other 47s, 51s and 38s. 25 plus E/A observed in the vicinity of Lingen. We engaged and destroyed one Me109 and one Me110. These engagements were at approx 12:40-12:45 hrs. Left bombers on the east coast of Zuider Zee at 12:50 hrs when another group of P-47s R/Vd with them. Left enemy coast at 13:17 hrs north of Egmond at 25,000ft. Channels very poor – much jamming. England and North Sea overcast. Breaks encountered at Zuider Zee becoming 3-4/10ths with tops around 15-18,000ft east of Zuider Zee. 4 aborts Capt. Juntilla reason unknown down at Wattisham, Lt. Corrigan belly tank would not release, Lt. Sperry engine cutting out, Lt. Schillinger escort to Lt. Sperry. 1 Me109 destroyed by Lt. Armstrong and 1 Me110 destroyed by Lt. Jordan. Rounds fired: Jordan 832, Gonnam 49, Geurtz 320, Armstrong 924. 8 down at Metfield 14:10 hrs. 1 down at Ludham [Lt. Fogarty].

Major William B. Bailey (Gp & Sqdn Ldr) SX-H
1st Lt Clinton H. Sperry SX-A 42-75707
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong SX-F
1st Lt Edward M. Fogarty (Flt Ldr) SX-O 42-22470
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer SX-Q
2nd Lt Joseph A. Schillinger SX-J 42-7910
2nd Lt Donald J. Corrigan (Flt Ldr) SX-X 42-75140
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-C
2nd Lt Richard V. Keywan SX-N
1st Lt Jesse W. Gonnam (Flt Ldr) SX-U
1st Lt William J. Jordan SX-W
1st Lt Robert P. Geurtz SX-Z

1st Lt. Jesse W. Gonnam saw an Me110 to the right of the bombers during rendezvous and led Yellow flight down to attack:

I called to go down, but my receiver was out, and I didn’t know White section had started down. We bounced and I closed and fired but didn’t hit the e/a. Because my radio was out I didn’t hear my No 4 call a break when a 109 bounced the flight. My No 3 chased this ship away and I pulled up and to the right. At this time six 109s attacked the bombers and I climbed to intercept them but they broke away too quick.

Gonnam’s wing man 1st Lt. William J. Jordan followed in the attack and was awarded the Me110 as a probable:

We had just made R/V with the bombers and had made a 180 degree turn to escort them. A Me110 was called in below us at about 20,000ft and Lt. Gonnam and I peeled off diving down on him. The e/a saw us and went into a steep dive. I was directly behind Lt. Gonnam and a little below him. He got behind the e/a and fired for a while, then pulled up. I didn’t see any strikes on the e/a from the bursts that Lt. Gonnam fired. I closed in on the e/a and fired one long burst getting many strikes on both of the engines and on the cockpit canopy. Heavy black smoke began pouring from both engines and trailed back covering my aircraft. I continued firing and the e/a went into the clouds at about 15 to 16000ft, after which I pulled up and broke off the engagement. During the engagement with the 110 I opened fire at about 250 yards and closed to 80 or 100 yards.

Second element lead in Yellow flight was 1st Lt. Robert P. Geurtz, who saw an Me109 coming in:

My leader started down on an Me110. I followed with my wing man Lt. Zolner [350th FS]. I noticed a Me109 on the tail of a 47 just below me. I pulled down and behind him and fired a short burst. The P47 and 109 then rolled and went straight down. I did not get any good shots, so I broke off at about 11000ft. I climbed back up to about 27,000ft with my radio out and I continued home with my wing man.

Yellow flight had been bounced by a further 15 Fw190s and Me109s. Luckily White flight were able to give cover. 1st Lt. Clifford Armstrong, flying Wakeford White 2, claimed an Me109 destroyed:

I spotted an Me110 below us and called Wakeford leader. We started to make a pass at the 110 but another flight cut us off and so we pulled up to be top cover. About this time I heard someone call that there was an e/a on his tail. I glanced to my left and a P47 [Lt. Fogarty], followed closely by an Me109, went by. I didn’t have time to call Wakeford leader and I immediately did a half roll and went down after the 109. I followed down approximately a 45 degree dive. I fired several short bursts out of range, probably about 800 yards, hoping to get the 109 off the 47’s tail. At about 15,000ft the P47 broke to the left and the 109 continued in the dive. I followed the 109 down, gradually closing to approx 250 yards, at 350 to 400mph. I got several hits on the e/a on the left side of the fuselage; at this time I was down to 2000ft. The e/a started to smoke and [he] did sort of a half roll to the left and crashed into a field in the vicinity of Lingen. I went back up to 4000ft in a layer of clouds and flew instruments most of the time until landfall out. There were several breaks in the clouds and I could see pretty well were I was.

Flying Wakeford White three it was 1st Lt Edward M. Fogarty’s lucky day:

We were making an orbit to the left while two of our aircraft went to attack an Me110, I called in six bogies at 5 o’clock to the bombers, and received a message from some other flight of another Squadron saying that they were in position. Shortly after I turned my back to the bogies I was bounced by them. I broke left and took evasive action as I dived. In the dive, I had my left aileron partially shot away by a 20mm shell. I recovered from the dive at approx 4000ft and started climbing back up. I levelled out at about 12,000ft. Shortly after this an Me109 came at me head on. I had very little control of the ship so I kicked the nose around and came at him with guns firing. No strikes were seen, the e/a continued on and I made no attempt to turn and follow him. I joined up with Lt. Gonnam who escorted me home and landed at the first airdrome I saw in England. [Lt. Fogarty landed at Ludham without flaps or ailerons and at a speed of 180mph].

Group ERTNs/Aborts/Damaged:

42-74618 DNTO radio out LH-K
42-75647 DNTO engine overheating YJ-S Lt. Stump flying.
42-75140 ABT belly tank wouldn’t release SX-X Lt. Corrigan flying.
42-75707 ABT engine cut out SX-A Lt. Sperry flying.
42-7910 ERTN escort 42-75707 SX-J Lt. Schillinger flying.
42-8575 ABT engine cut out
42-8661 ERTN escort 42-8608
42-8608 ABT pulling too much mercury LH-D
42-8378 ABT excessive vibration LH-R
42-75226 ABT couldn’t draw gas from BT YJ-X Major Beckham flying.
42-75688 ERTN frost and ice in cockpit YJ-G Lt. Perpente flying.
42-22470 BD Cat AC SX-O Lt. Fogarty flying.

 *The two unknown aircraft may well be 350th. Hopefully I can confirm later.

1 Comment

Filed under Missions

One response to “Mission#77 February 10, 1944 – Target: Brunswick. Lt. Emory, Lt Armstrong and Lt. Jordan Claims.

  1. Jessica Gonnam

    My name is Jessica Gonnam, named after Jesse W Gonnam he is my Grandpa. I enjoy reading these and seeing the pictures and also showing them to my two sons.

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