Mission#79 February 13, 1944 – Target: “NoBalls” Albert Area.

Date: Feb 13, 44

Dispatched: 47 Aborts: 2

Mission: Type 16 Support to 1st, 2nd, 3rd ATFs (B17, B24s)

Field Order: 242 Target: “NoBall” targets Albert area

Time Up/Down: 13:54 hrs     16:47 hrs Leader: Capt. Pidduck

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

L/F Gravelines 14:28 hrs, 21,000ft. [At] St. Pol Group vector to Cambrai area. Controller advised E/A disappeared. Vicinity Le Cateau one Fw190 engaged 15,000ft to 5,000ft [and] probably destroyed [damaged]. North of Albert ten + Fw190s at 26,000ft in distance Group 18-21,000ft. Attempt to engage unsuccessful. E/A dove in steep spiral to deck. L/F out Cayeux 16:00 hrs, 18,000ft. The two interceptors flying at 35,000ft bounced an S/E A/C at 33,000ft which turned out to be a tapered wing Spit. Spit continued towards England after being bounced. 1st Lt. Herfurth of Group HQ participated.

[NoBall targets were V Weapon sites and in a Type 16 mission the Group were vectored to possible targets by radar control].

350th: Capt Pidduck. T/U 13:47 hrs. T/D 16:50 hrs. Total flight time 03:03 hrs. L/F in Mardy K 14:28 hrs, 20,000ft. Entered patrol area 24,000ft. P-47 Beavais area 12 Fw190s. Left coast Le Touquet 15:55 hrs, 16,000ft. No flak. Broken cumulus 4/10.

Major Stanley R. Pidduck (Sqdn Ldr)
1st Lt Francis T. Walsh
Col Henry R. Spicer* (Observer)
1st Lt John H. Winder
Capt Robert E. Fortier (Flt Ldr)
1st Lt Carl W. Mueller
1st Lt Roland N. McKean
1st Lt Chauncey Rowan
1st Lt Wayne K. Blickenstaff (Flt Ldr)
2nd Lt Arthur C. Bergeron
1st Lt Melvin P. Dawson
1st Lt Richard A. Stearns
1st Lt John Sullivan
Lt Moraga** (with Spicer?)
1st Lt Charles O. Durant
1st Lt Herman Herfurth
1st Lt Robert S. Hart YJ-U

*Col. Spicer, then of 66th FW, flew as an observer with the Squadron.

** A bit of a mystery – answers?

1st Lt. John A. Sullivan reported an encounter with the enemy at 15.30 hrs in the vicinity of Beauvais and luckily avoided a tragedy:

I was leading Pipeful Yellow flight as top cover for our Squadron. We had gotten just slightly ahead of the lead flight when bandits were reported coming in at 10 o’clock from us. Seeing them, I pushed everything forward and climbed into the sun. Approximately 12 e/a passed under us, flying a very loose formation. I proceeded to go down on the last flight. All e/a went into a tight left spiral going downward. I saw five a/c flying close together and started after them. When one of them broke off I gave him a short burst but stopped immediately when he got further into a turn as it was a P-47. I spoke to this pilot later and found out that he had started to overshoot the Fw190 he was chasing and had broken off. I made the mistake of thinking he was part of their flight. No hits were made on his plane.

351st: Major Beckham. T/U 13:53 hrs. T/D 16:55 hrs. Total flight time 03:02 hrs. Area support (Type 16). Route: In at Gravelines and over Cambrai area, out at Quend Plage. Two aborts (one flak damage Cat A and one escort). One Fw190 probably destroyed [damaged] by Major Beckham Cambrai area. Gravelines at 14:28 hrs altitude 20,000ft. Quend Plage 16:01 hrs at 20,000ft.

Major Walter C. Beckham (Sqdn Ldr) YJ-A
1st Lt Harry F. Hunter YJ-H
1st Lt Gordon B. Compton YJ-O
2nd Lt Don M. Hurlburt YJ-H
1st Lt Frank N. Emory (Flt Ldr) YJ-E
F/O Cletus Peterson YJ-P
2nd Lt Herbert K. Field YJ-F
2nd Lt George F. Perpente YJ-G
Capt Frederick H. Lefebre (Flt Ldr) YJ-L
2nd Lt Hassell D. Stump YJ-S
1st Lt William J. Maguire YJ-M 42-75114
2nd Lt Richard D. Stanley YJ-R 42-75507
Capt Vic L. Byers (Flt Ldr) YJ-V
2nd Lt John G. Treitz YJ-I
1st Lt William R. Burkett YJ-B
2nd Lt Jack Terzian YJ-Y
2nd Lt Francis L. Edwards (Spare) YJ-T
F/O Joseph E. Wood (Spare) YJ-W
1st Lt Robert S. Hart (Spare 350th) YJ-U

Shortly after crossing the coast the aircraft flown by Lt. Stanley in Yellow flight was hit by flak. He returned to Metfield with a damaged aircraft.

In the vicinity of Cambrai at 15.20 hrs Capt Lefebre broke right, into an Fw190 that was firing on a P-47 in the high flight. He fired a short burst forcing the aircraft to break off and corkscrew down. Major Beckham was leading White flight and moved in to damage [claimed as a probable] the 190:

A lone Fw190 with belly tank attached came from our one o’clock position at about 21,000ft. We were at 20,000ft. Roughman Blue flight attacked him first. He turned sharply to the left for about 270 degrees, then dived steeply. After Blue flight broke off their attack I followed him down.

I fired 706 rounds from too great range, observing strikes on the fuselage. He dived under a cloud at about 3000ft. I pulled up over the cloud and tried unsuccessfully to find him for several minutes.

352nd: Capt Hoey. T/U 13:50 hrs. T/D 16:48 hrs. Total flight time 02:58 hrs. Made landfall in over Gravelines at 14:28 hrs, 23,000ft. Proceeded toward Albert and were vectored east by Jensen. Flew near the Cambrai area then south to St. Quentin. 15 plus E/A (109s and 190s) seen near Montdidier area but did not engage. Landfall out made over Pointe Haut-Bane. R/T was poor. Controller was loud at first but later became very weak. England and Continent inland was cloudy. Sky over Channel and enemy coast was clear making horizontal and vertical visibility good. Two planes of our Squadron (Major Bailey and Lt. Jordan) were dispatched to patrol area above our planned route to look out for an E/A that has been seen spotting for the enemy. Our two planes made landfall over Hardelot at 35,000ft at 14:33 hrs. Made landfall out over Gravelines and made several orbits over this area. No E/A were seen by this flight but one Spit VII was seen at 32,000ft. Observed several small boats in the harbor at Boulogne. Flak observed from both St. Omer and Abbeville, no damage seen from it. A large pillar of smoke seen in the Montreuil area. Course: L/F, Albert, L/F out, Home. Target: Watten.

Capt Charles J. Hoey (Sqdn Ldr) SX-U
2nd Lt Wilton W. Johnson SX-V
1st Lt Clinton H. Sperry SX-B
2nd Lt Clifford F. Armstrong SX-F
Capt Wilbert H. Juntilla (Flt Ldr) SX-K
2nd Lt Donald J. Corrigan SX-N
1st Lt Leslie P. Cles SX-G
2nd Lt Edison G. Stiff SX-L
Capt Thomas J. Forkin (Flt Ldr) SX-W
2nd Lt Harry H. Dustin SX-Z
1st Lt William F. Streit SX-X
1st Lt Charles W. Kipfer SX-Q
2nd Lt William S. Marchant (Spare) SX-H
Major William B. Bailey SX-S
1st Lt William J. Jordan SX-R

Group Aborts/ERTNs:

42- 75114 ERTN escort 42-75507 YJ-M Lt. Maguire flying.
42- 75507 ABT loss of power YJ-R Lt. Stanley flying.
42- 75507 BD Cat A YJ-R Lt. Stanley flying.

 

 

  

 

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