From Guy Webb ... explaining the name of his dad's plane ...

"The Glengary Guy".  Dad's planes always had his, my brother Gary's, and my name on them.  During WWll, the right hand side of the plane had my Mothers name, "Jackie" painted on it.  The plane he died in had all of the above, but my three-month old (on December 7, 1951) sister's name "Julie" had been added next to "Jackie".  Thus all five names on the one plane.

 

This diary was written in by pencil  

by Glenn Martin Webb

 

  

1ST Mission            May 1, 1944            4 hours             
 

Page 1

 

     Bomber escort to Brussels.  Met bombers (B-24ís) over North Sea and escorted them until we reached Brussels.  77th then remained as escort and 55th went down to strafe locomotives in the vicinity of Liege with 79th as top cover.  Shot up several locomotives many cars.  One man from 55th crashed into ground while strafing and one man circled wreckage and did not return.  Ed Wasil clipped off part of his wing and horizontal tail stabilizer on a tree but managed to get back safely.

      Ground defenses sent up one rocket with no effect.  Flak was amazingly accurate as to altitude but no fighters were hit.  One burst broke between our two elements.  I could see puffs following me along in the rear view mirror so took evasive action.  One bomber hit by flak over target and started spinning.  It exploded at about 5,000 feet.  No one was seen to bail out.  Many bogies were called but they all turned out to be little friends.

      Contrary to what I had been led to believe, I was not scared at any time during the mission.  Perhaps some later ones may provide the proper incentive. ??

      Drop tanks look like eggs falling when they are dropped.

 

2nd Mission              May 7, 1944              5 hours          Page 2

 

     Penetration support for bombers to Berlin.  Rendezvoused with bomber (B-24ís) over Belgium and escorted them to target.  Rather an uneventful mission.  Ground was completely covered by overcast from  middle of North Sea to beyond Berlin.  No bogies seen.  Flak was accurate in spite of cloud cover.  Bombing was done through clouds.  We were flying at 29,000 feet and it was terribly cold.  A long mission and my dinghy got to be very hard.  P-51s came in as we left.

  

3rd Mission              May 8, 1944              4 Hours 15 Minutes

 

     Penetration and target support for bombers (B-17ís & B-24ís) to Brunswick.  Clouds covered the ground again today and the only open spot was directly over the Zuider Zee.  We met bombers about 100 miles inside enemy coast and escorted them to and beyond target.  Bombing was done through clouds again.  Quite a few bogies were seen but most of them would duck into overcast as soon as we made passes at them.  I saw one ME 109 diving straight down through the bombers with three P-51s on his tail.  They got him before he reached the clouds.  Two bombers were hit by flak and went down.  One broke up in the air and the other one spun down through the overcast.  One pilot from the 55th called in that his engine was on fire and that he was bailing out.

  

4th Mission              May 9, 1944               4 Hours 40 Minutes  

 

     Penetration support/escort for B-17ís to bomb marshalling centers in Luxembourg.  This was a clear day with good visibility over target.  After we had been with the bombers for about 30 min. some bogies were sighted.  We had just completed a 180 degree turn when a FW 190 bounced McCarthy.  We were nearest flight so we dove on the 190 with our belly tanks still on.  Bench fired a short burst and I continued on down and fired a long burst out of range to scare him off.  After pulling up and leveling off my right prop ran away and had to feather right prop.

      McCarthy had been hit and his right engine was on fire so he bailed out in the vicinity of Nancy.  I called in and took up Safe Course Home.  After a few minutes I was joined by six others from my squadron and escorted out.  A couple of bogies were seen on the way home but none bounced us.  While passing out over the French coast I saw many large fires from bombs between Calais and Dunkirk.  Remainder of mission uneventful.  Landed on single engine without mishap.

 

5th Mission              May 12, 1944                4 Hours 30 Minutes

 

     W/D Support.  Bombers had already left targets near Brunswick when we met them.  We were middle squadron and covered the last box of bombers including a few stragglers.  Four ME 109ís dove through the bombers but we didnít follow.  A short time later 12 FW 190ís made a head on pass at the bombers below but we stayed up for top cover.  The 77th got one on a head on shot but they got one of the bombers and we saw about six chutes come out.  Harry went home early to escort Capt. Gotterdam who was having engine trouble.  It was very warm at our altitude (24,000 ft.).  Flak encountered only once and it was light and inaccurate.  As we got nearer to the coast all of the bandits left.  Someone shot at a P-51 again.

  

6th Mission               May 13, 1944                   5 Hours 5 Minutes

 

     W/D Support.  This was a long mission to escort bombers withdrawing from a raid on Pognam, Poland.  This is the first time that targets in Poland had been raided from England, the target being an aircraft factory.  Most of the trip was over water as we flew along the Dutch coast and turned inland north of the Frisian Islands.  Our route took us within about 8 miles of neutral Denmark.  No enemy fighters were seen but we ran into  light flak on the Jutland Penninsula coming out.  One man in our squadron was hit by flak but came home safely.  We were top cover and the 77th went down to strafe airfields after we left the bombers at the coast.  They found an airfield and set two hangers on fire but one ship was hit by flak and caught on fire.  The pilot pulled up and bailed out safely.  Another ship was hit but managed to come home on single engine.  There may have been ships in the hangers that were strafed but there none on the field.  We came home on the deck in a very low overcast and poor visibility.

  

7th Mission               May 23, 1944               3 Hours 55 Minutes

 

        B-17ís.  A short mission to an airdrome near Paris.  An overcast covered the ground from our field to beyond the target area.  No bogies were sighted and only a little flak.  I found a small flak hole on top of my left wing when I got on the ground but I didnít see any flak near me.  It was very cold and I was glad to get on the ground.

 

 8th Mission                May 24, 1944             4 Hours 30 Minutes

 

     Bomber escort to Berlin.  I had to come back with a ship that was in trouble just as we ran into a bunch of bogies.  It turned out to be a pretty rough trip with several of our boys shot up.  Harry landed on a field near the coast with only about 5 min. gas left.   (Page 5)  Ilfrey ran into an ME-109 and tore off two feet of his left wing.  Four ships came back on single engine and all returned except Huarte who was last seen on single engine over Denmark.  Part of his cowling was shot off and was causing so much drag that he couldnít hold his altitude on one engine.

 

 9th Mission                May 25, 1944             4 Hours 15 Minutes

 

     A B-17 escort mission to Brussels.  We stayed with the bombers until they hit their target, which was a group of marshalling yards, and then went down to look for strafing targets.  I couldnít find any suitable targets at first so I flew around taking pictures of the countryside.   Finally I found a group of barges in a canal and shot up two of them.  A few of my shots went through the roof of a two story building nearby.  I hope there wasnít anyone in it.  A short time later as we started for home I saw a train pulling into a station.  Coming up from in back I shot up about five of the car (sic) which contained goods and also the locomotive.

      A few seconds later I noticed the coolant leaking out of my right engine and then saw that I had a large flak hole just outside of my right engine in the wing.  I feathered the right prop and started out on single engine about 50 ft. off of the ground.  I hadnít noticed any flak but there must have been some near the railroad station.

 

     The rest of the flight couldnít do me any good by staying around so they went on.  I flew out toward the coast and then had to fly down quite a distance before I could find a place to cross out.  I had to find a spot where there were no turns so as to avoid any more flak.  In a little while I found a good spot between Dunkirk and Calais and crossed out.  As I went over the beach a saw a number of gun emplacements (Page 6) and a number of workmen working on the anti-invasion defenses.  There were a number of rows of telephone poles stuck in the sand at low tide with mines on the top of them.  These would probably be invisible at high tide and would be a very effective boat trap.

 

     No shots were fired at me as I left but the workmen on the beach all ran when they saw me coming.  I didnít shoot because I didnít know whether they were Germans or merely slave laborers.  A few miles out I saw a small boat and headed towards it.  As I neared it I saw a French flag flying from it and it appeared to be a fishing boat.  There were about five men on it and they were trying to crouch behind a ridiculously small cabin.  I rocked my wings and when they saw that I wasnít going to shoot they came out and started waving madly.

 

     Being still at zero altitude and safely away from shore I tried to gain some altitude.  When I got to about 3,000 ft. another P-38 joined me and escorted me home.  It turned out to be McCully and he called and said that I had a hole through my right wheel well door.  I lowered my wheels so he could check to see if I had been shot through the tire.  He said that I had been.  The landing was better than I had expected.  The tire was flat but the ship only veered a little bit before I got it stopped. 

 

     When I got I (sic) I (sic) saw that a 40mm shell had gone through the tire and also the wheel.  I was fortunate that the wheel didnít collapse on me.  The wing had two 40mm (Page 7) flak holes in it which had exploded inside. The wing and gone clear through.  The upper skin of the wing was raised like a blister and all of the rivets had pulled loose for about six feet.  The hole was big enough to stick my head in.  The shots had just missed the main spar and about 3 control cables and pulleys.  One pulley was broken and I had no aileron control tab.  On the way back I had to hold the wheel over to one side.

 

     Several of the boys were shot up.  Saltzman had a shell explode in his cockpit and wound him in the right arm and leg.  He managed to bring the ship back and land just inside the coast when he passed out.

 

     Harry Watson was not seen after we started down to strafe and has been reported as missing in action.  There is a good chance that he may have crash landed or bailed out for some reason.  He never called to indicate that he was in any trouble.  I certainly hope that he is okay.  This will be some blow to Sis.

 

     Lt. Bench was seen to roll over and crash into the ground upside down after a shell exploded in his cockpit.  He was listed as definitely killed in action.

 

     No enemy fighters were seen all day.  The 55th Squadron found a troop train and shot it up.  When the train stopped the soldiers all started to run and they killed about 300 of them.

  

10th  Mission            May 27, 1944             4Hrs 35 Min

 

     Bomber escort again.  This was a rather uneventful trip.  Many bogies were called but they all turned out to be little friends.  As we neared the coast coming out we we (sic) instructed to look for enemy fighters in the vicinity of Lille but we found none.

  

11th Mission               May 28, 1944            5 Hrs 5 Min.

 

     B-24ís.  A chemical plant at Meresburg, Germany was the target this time.  We went in over Holland and met the bombers about 10 min. away from the target.  A smoke flare was sent up to mark the position of the bombers but we saw no enemy fighters.  After we left the bombers our flight went down to strafe a train.  We destroyed 3 locomotives and damaged about 50 freight car (sic).  Two were oil cars and about ten of them had armored vehicles on them.  We also shot up several switch houses before going back up.  Some fairly accurate flak broke near us before we crossed out.

  

12th Mission              May 30, 1944             4 Hrs 50 Min

 

     Withdrawal support for B-17ís.  We picked up bombers shortly after they left the target which was an aircraft factory at Oschersleban (from flight log book).  No enemy fighters were sighted and we left the bombers after they crossed the Dutch coast.  We then went back in and met over the Zuider Zee.  From there we dropped down to look for strafing targets but there were very few.  We saw an airfield but there were no planes on it.  We finally found a train and destroyed the locomotive.  By the time our flight got to it the locomotive was spouting clouds of steam steam so we concentrated on the freight cars.  I barely missed some men who were running from the train as I started to shoot.

 

 13th Mission              May 31, 1944          3 Hrs 15 Min     (Page 9)

 

     At last a mission that was a little different.  This was a dive bombing mission on an airfield in Germany.  On the morning mission they had noticed a camouflaged dispersal field a few miles from an airdrome.  This field has about  30  HE-111ís on it packed close together on it so the group came back home and loaded up with 60 fragmentation bombs on each ship and went back to look for the place.  When we got there the ground haze was so bad that it was very difficult to see anything.  We couldnít find the target right away so we bombed an alternate airdrome with 6 or 8 ships on it.  We were the second flight and we dove down from about 12,000 ft. reaching a speed of about 500 MPH.  The flak was very heavy as we went over the field and four of our ships returned with flak holes in them.  By the time that the last flight had passed over the field was covered with smoke & fires and practically all of the flak was silenced.  We scored some very good hits and a P.R.U. ship accompanied us to take pictures of the damaged (sic).  The return trip was uneventful.

 

 14th Mission              June 3, 1944             3 Hrs 20 Min

 

     This was an area support mission for B-24ís & B-17ís who were bombing the Pas de Calais area.  It was very cloudy and we could see the ground only in spots.  Flak was meager & inaccurate.  No bogies sighted.

 


NOTE ~ JUNE 4th

 

     Everyone is restricted to the post and pilots bunks have been moved to the line.  Our ships have been painted with black & white stripes for easy recognition by the navy.  Should be any time now.


 

15th Mission              June 5, 1944            3 Hrs 10 Min        (Page 10)

 

     This is what the world has been waiting for.  At last the mission is starting.  Our mission today was cover support for naval vessels numbering around 4,000 in the English Channel.  I have never seen so many ships in my life and every one filled with men and equipment.  Our work will be of this type from now on flying at between 3,000 and 5,000 ft.  Today we saw no enemy planes and do not expect to see any for several days until the Germans are able to bring some of them down to Southern France.  The RAF will bomb all night tonight and then tomorrow morning our bombers will take over and continue to bomb until two(double underline) minutes before the actual landing begins at 7:48 (underline).

 

     The operations now beginning will be in conjunction with combined efforts on the Russian front and on the Italian Front which has been going on for about a week and was climaxed by the fall of Rome today.

 

 16th & 17th Missions     June 6th  D-DAY   3 Hrs 25 Mins (for each)       

 

     The landings this morning were very successful and casualties were less than expected.  Two divisions of American troops and 3 divisions of British troops were landed on the Cherebourg Penn.(insula).  At the same time paratroopers were dropped to cut off the Penn.(insula) at the neck.  Our missions today were naval and shore cover but no(underlined) air opposition has been offered as yet.  We saw one ship on fire off of the French coast and one other blow up in a harbor.

 

     Other fighters have gone further inland to bomb and strafe targets of opportunities.  Particularly trains & convoys or large troop concentrations.  All of the bridges  on the Seine River have been bombed to hamper bringing down reinforcements.  This evening 450 gliders will be landed in France with fully equipped troops.  So far the opposition has been only light.

 

 18th, 19th, & 20th Missions     June 7th, (1944)   10 Hrs (total)

 

     Not much excitement on these, no bogies sighted.  Last mission lasted until after dark and we had a red alert just as we were landing.  One of the other groups had their field attacked last night and had to land here.

 

 21st & 22nd Missions   June 8th (1944)         6 Hrs 35 Mins

 

          Still not much excitement.  We are still patrolling and we get a good view of the naval shelling.   A bit flak (sic) came up at us from the Cherebourg Penn.(insula) today.

 

 23rd & 24th Missions     June 10th (1944)     (No Time Listed)

 

     Same type of missions, area patrol.  We havenít seen any bandits yet.  Lots of naval fire off shore.

 

 25th Mission                      June 11, 1944           4 Hrs 30 Min

 

     More patrol work and we were supposed to go strafing afterwards but the clouds were so low over Cherebourg that we didnít go down. 

 

 26th Mission                   Power Station

 

     (no entry notes)

 

 27th Mission                    July(sic){June} 12, 1944                  4 Hrs

 

     A droop snoot mission Ė The target was a couple of bridges on the Loire River near Tours.  We got a little flak from the Island of Jersey going in.  On both targets the bombs fell short and did not even damage the bridges.  After this we went down to strafe on our way out.  There werenít many targets but we found a camouflaged van and 4 trucks which we shot up.  No flak on the ground.  The 55th lost 3 men while strafing.

 

 28th Mission             July (sic)  {June} 13, 1944

 

     This was a dive bombing mission on a bridge near _______                __.   The first squadron went down and got two direct hits on the first bridge so we took another one and got two direct hits on it.  My bomb was a little long and it in a small forest near the bridge.  We went down to strafe after this and in a few minutes we saw a train in a small town so our flight went down after it.  I was flying on Capt. Ilfreyís wing and as we went down it seemed as if a dozen flak guns opened up on us.  They were all over the place.  I followed Jack and we destroyed the locomotive so no one else went down.  As I passed over the locomotive it was steaming a great deal and I noticed tracers flying past my cockpit as I put my ship in a violent skid.  I noticed that Ilfrey had been hit on the right side and was smoking badly.  I flew up along side and saw that his right engine started burning badly so he rolled his ship over and bailed out at about 2,000 ft.  His chute opened immediately and his ship crashed and exploded.  I swung around and took a picture of him in his chute before he hit.  I circled for a few minutes and noticed that he was lying on the ground in the back of a small farm house.  The landing had apparently knocked him out.  We formed up and went on out as we didnít feel like strafing any more after this.  I looked for bullet holes in my ship when I landed but there werenít any.  The boys who were flying top cover for us said that they didnít see how I got out without being hit-----neither did I.

 

 29th Mission                  July 14, {1944}

 

     A B-24 escort mission on a raid in Holland.  The target was an airfield but it was hazy and we couldnít see if there were any good hits or not.  We took the bombers back to the coast and then went back to strafe.  Major Anderson and I destroyed a locomotive and Denbo got one also. Spencer crashed over there today. 

 

     We received a letter of commendation from Gen. Spaatz (sp?) & Gen. Doolittle on our part in stopping enemy supplies and support from being brought to the front by our ground attacks.

 

 30th Mission           June  16, {1944}             4 Hrs 20 Min

 

    This was supposed to be an escort mission but we were never able to find the bombers.  We had to fly up through a 5,000 ft overcast which obscured the ground from home base to beyond the target.  A major from the 55th spun in and was killed while letting down through the overcast on single engine.  I landed with only 10 gals of gas left.

 

 31st Mission                        June 18, {1944}

 

     An escort mission.  Cloudy most of the way and nothing eventful.

 

 32 Mission                           June 20, {1944}            5Hrs 10 min

 

    Another escort (B17s) on a bombing raid to Brunewick (Brunswick?).  There were thousands of bombers in the area and there was some very good bombing.  In one city I saw a huge ball of fire about the size of a square block and it went up for about 5,000 ft.  There were fires & smoke from the bombings all over Germany.  In the larger cities they tried using smoke screens but they werenít very effective.  The bombers dropped tinfoil to confuse the flak gunners.  In one spot the flak was so thick that it looked like a flat black cloud.

 

 33 Mission                                 June 22, (1944)   3 Hrs  {page 15}

 

     A glide bombing mission on a railroad bridge in France.  One 1,000 lb & one 500 lb bomb on each ship.  There were a few clouds but we found the target and got some near hits on it but no direct hits.  One bomb hit a railroad junction near the bridge.  We strafed a train nearby with flak  cars on it.  The locomotive was destroyed but one of the boys from the 55th was hit in the right engine and it started to smoke, he pulled up a then the ship wobbled a bit then fell over on its back and crashed in a ball of flame.  He never got out.

 

 34th Mission                          June 24th, (1944)

 

     Escort for B-17ís to Bremen.  Nothing exciting.

 

 35th Mission                           June 25th, (1944)

 

     Area support for bombers in Paris area.  About 15 min after we reached our area we ran into about 20 ME 109ís slightly below us.  Someone called them little friends as usual.  The Colonelís radio was out so he couldnít call us when he started to make a pass at them.  By the time we had dropped our belly tanks they had split essed and disappeared.  Col. Wilson got one.  We didnít see any more after that.

 

 36th Mission                    June 30th, (1944)   Chatanooga  (Page 16)

 

     The targets were a couple of bridges which we were to dive bomb.  Shortly after crossing in we noticed about 15 bogies very low near Rouen so our Squadron down after them.  They ducked through a hole in the overcast and although we followed them we couldnít find them underneath.  As we started to come back up through a hole heavy flak started bursting around us and about seven of our ships were hit but none seriously.  We proceeded to our targets and bombed them then flew top cover for the 55th while they frag bombed a marshalling yard near Moulin.  Several fires were started then they continued out on the deck shooting up locomotives and  T.O.O. (Targets Of Opportunity?)  We lost them after a while and later we heard them call they were bouncing about 8 109ís  They got two of them with no loss.

 

 37th Mission                    (no date)          5 Hrs 10 Min

 

     A bomber escort job to target near Tours.. The targets were several bridges in the area.  France was pretty well overcast and we couldnít see much of the ground.  After we had (Page 17) been with bombers for about an hour my right engine began to run roughly and so I cut back on the throttle a little.  It continued to vibrate and then started backfiring and pouring out black smoke so I feathered up and started for home.  Peckeweg (sp?)  went with me.  There was a break in the clouds near Rouen and as  I  passed over an airfield near there I noticed some orange flashes coming from (^) near the hangers as I took evasive action thinking it was flak.  No bursts appeared so I circled around and took a closer look.  I then noticed long streaks of flame shooting out flat for about fifty feet so I knew they were launching rocket bombs from a nicely concealed catapult.  I told Peckeweg (sp?) to take a good look at it and made a note of the position to report when I landed.  As we neared the coast we saw four bogies at about 10 oíclock low to us and so I unfeathered my bad engine and let it idle so that they wouldnít know that I was on single engine.  We were higher than were so I started a dive towards them and saw that they were ME 109ís.  They saw us coming and ducked into a cloud so we went on.  Coming across the Channel I tried a few slow rolls on single engine and then tried an Immelman but I had forgotten that my belly tanks were still on and I fell into a spin.  Tsk! Tsk!

 

 38th & 39th Missions         (no date/times/destination)           (Page 18)

 

     These were escort missions and nothing exciting happened.  No bogies were seen.

 

 40th Mission                     (no date/times)

 

     A strafing mission from Angouleme north.  Our squadron was top cover as we didnít go down.  The other squadrons got a few trains and trucks but there werenít many targets .

 

 41st Mission                    (no date)                                  5 Hrs  

 

     Escort for B-17ís to Saarbrucken.  It was overcast most of the way and there was mild flak in several spots.  We started down to strafe but the visibility was poor so we came back up and started home.  This was the first time that I have led a flight.  It was also our last flight (sic) in P-38ís.

 

42nd Mission                     (no date)                             4Hrs 10 Min

 

     First mission in  a P-51.  It was an area support for bombers on the Brest Penn.(insula)  We had to go up through a slight overcast but it was fair weather over the targets.  No bogies sighted.

 

 The following was intentionally deleted by Glenn Webb::

 

43rd Mission                    (no date)                              2 Hrs

 

     This was supposed to be an escort mission but the soup was so thick by the time we reached the middle of the Channel that we were recalled.

 

43rd Mission                 (no date)                            2 Hrs  (Page 19)

 

     Another bomber escort job but I had to bring another fellow back early so I didnít see anything.

 

44th Mission                    July 31st(1944)                   6 hrs 30 Min

 

     Escort for B-17ís to Munich.  Targets were aircraft factories.  There were 6 groups of P-51ís with the bombers and we gave them good support.  It was overcast all of the way so we couldnít see the target.  Richter aborted just as we crossed in because he couldnít get one of his wing tanks to work but no one has seen or heard from him since.  One fellow from the 77th became separated from his flight and when he joined back up he found that he was flying formation with 8 ME 109ís.  He got out before they noticed him then they chased him for a ways then quit.  One bomber blew up over the target and another spun down with chutes going out of it.

 

45th Mission                      August 1st (1944)                 7 Hrs

 

     A new type of mission.  We were escort for bombers carrying supplies to French patriots near the Swiss border.  No enemy fighters were seen on the whole trip and very little flak.  The bombers dropped the supplies & arms in the hills near Lake Geneva.  The country is very beautiful around there, tall high snow capped mountains with deep blue lakes among them and bright green valleys.  The parachutes that were dropped were all different (Page 19) colors and looked pretty going down.  This was our longest mission to date and we were all tired and hungry when we got back.

 

46th Mission             (no date)      5Hrs       Saarbrucken, Germany

 

     Escort for B-17ís to bomb factories at Saarbrucken.  We met them just inside the coast and took them to the target and back to the coast.  No enemy fighters were seen on the whole trip.  Flak at the target was intense and two of the bombers were hit.  One turned off just below us with its two right engines on fire.  Three chutes came out and the ship exploded.  My radio shorted and smoke started to fill the cockpit so I turned it off and continued without it.

 

47th Mission          (No date or destination)               6 hrs

 

     Escort again.  The bombers went up to _________________(no destination) to bomb the factories where they make the flying bombs.  The only enemy ships seen was a jet propulsion job but he was too far off to go after.  The 77th strafed a couple of airdromes near Denmark and destroyed a HE 111 and damaged several other ships.  Capt. Rheimer was hit by small flak on the airdrome and bailed out over the Baltic Sea.  He was seen in his dinghy.  Capt. Baker of the 55th was killed when his ship crashed on take off.

 

48th Mission   Aug 5, 1944     (no hrs )       Magdeburg   

 

     An exciting one today.  This was another escort for B-17ís to Magdeburg.  Everything went well until we reached Hamburg and then we saw several batches of bogies to the South.  Someone called them in as little friends again but two of our flights went over there anyway.  We crossed over the top of them and saw that they were ME 109ís and there were about 50 of them.  They seemed to be almost as surprised as we were.  It was a couple of minutes before we could get rid of our tanks then we started a huge dogfight with our eight ships and their 50.  A P-51 started in a dive with two 109ís on his tail and Baldwin started after them when another 109 tagged on to him.  I pulled up to shoot at him and then spun out before I could see what happened to him.  I recovered and found myself in the middle of everything and a 109 started a deflection shot on me.   I got rid of him when another one got on my tail and I tried everything to get rid of him.  I finally did and ended up flying formation with another one.  We both tried to slow down to get on each others tail and both  (Page 21) spun out.  I recovered again and looked around for something to shoot at.  I started down on one ship but when I looked in my mirror I saw another 109 on my tail and firing.  I  out dove  him and tried to find someone to join up with.  After a few minutes I joined Bradshawís flight and we started out for home.  The group score for the day 3 destroyed, 1 probable, and 4 damaged.  One of our ships failed to return.  We could have done much better if we didnít have so much gas left in our fuselage tanks.  This makes the ships rather unmaneuverable.

 

49th Mission               Aug 6th, 1944                  Berlin

 

     Bomber escort to Berlin.  We met the bombers just outside of the Big City and werenít with them very long before we began to see scattered enemy fighters all over so we all broke up.  Our flight started after a ME 109 and had him boxed when another ship bounced us so we had to break into him.  It turned out to be another P-51 so we continued.  We didnít see any more and the Flight Leader was low on oxygen so we started out.  Before we left the target we saw five or ten of the (Page 23) bombers go down, hit by flak.  Most of them were blazing and there were many chutes in the sky.  We drove out clear from the last box of bombers past the front box and didnít see either friendly or enemy fighters near the bombers.  At Hamburg the sky was black from fires where the bombes (sp) had hit oil storage plants.  The 55th Squadron got three ships including one which bellied in after it was attacked while taking off.

 

50th Mission                  Aug 7th, 1944

 

     An area support job near Paris.  It was generally overcast so we couldnít see much.  No E/A (Enemy Aircraft) were seen and after the last bombers had crossed out we went back in to strafe but it was too hazy on the ground.

 


NOTE Aug 9th

Our squadron ( I was on pass) on a bomber escort mission to Munich met & destroyed 14 FW 190ís & ME 109ís and damaged 4 others.  The 55th got two more for a total of 16 in the air for the day with no losses to ourselves.


 

51st Mission               (no date)                    4 hrs 30 Min

 

     Our first bombing mission in P-51ís.  Our targets were to be any & all transportation facilities in Southern France.  While crossing in we were met by heavy accurate flak and it was so close that I could hear it explode over the noise of the motor.  The only hit that I got was a small hole in my right aileron.  When we reached our area we chose a marshalling yard to drop our bombs on.  It has many trains on it most of our bombs were direst hits.  After we left this place we flew along the tracks until we came across a siding with about 15 or 20 locomotives on it with steam in all of them.  I destroyed 4 of them getting two with one pass.  Our group total for the day was 82 locomotives damaged or destroyed also 77 boxcars and a few trucks. On the way out we bounced a few P-47ís before we identified them and Capt. Meyer strafed 3 FW 190ís on an airport.  One pilot from the 55th & one from the 77th bailed out as a result of flak damages (sp).  I landed with 5 gals of gas left.

 

52nd Mission                       Aug 11, 1944         6Hrs  35 Min

 

     An uneventful escort mission to bomb rail targets in Southern France.  Our flight went down & destroyed one locomotive on the way back.   No bogies were seen.  We could see the snow capped Alps near our target.

 

53rd  Mission                     Aug 13, 1944               5 Hrs

 

     Fighter sweep work this time.  We went South-East of Paris and found some barges, trucks, and locomotives to strafe.  After strafing a truck we found a round house in a railroad yard and the first flight went over & dropped their belly tanks on it and I set them on fire.  It made a large fire and I dropped my tanks on the fire as I went over.  We continued & found a locomotive and about ten cars.  The first flight destroyed the locomotives and I damaged the cars but they were all empty.  One fellow had to land on the beachhead for gas.

 

     In the afternoon mission my room mate was killed when his plane crashed after being hit by flak.  This is the third one that I have lost.

 

     In a special mission later in which Shultz flew my ship he said that it was an escort job in which a B-24 took off loaded with nitro-glycerine.  The pilot was supposed to bail out (Page 26) after reaching 8000 ft and two B-34ís were to take over by radio and guide the ship to the target and dive it down.  The B-24 ran into some rough air and blew up before the pilot got out.

 

54th Mission             Aug 14, 1944    5 Hrs 30 Min    Stuttgart

 

     Bomber escort again.  An uneventful trip to Stuttgart, Germany.  Lots of flak over the target.  We made several bounces but they all turned out to be P-51ís.

 

55th Mission                Aug 18, 1944          3 Hrs 50 Min

 

     A short escort job near Brussels.  No fighters were seen and very little flak.  My engine was running very rough and I thought that it was going to stop completely a couple of times.

 

56th Mission                  Aug 24, 1944              5 Hrs 45 Min

 

     An uneventful escort mission.  Everyone returned safely.

 

57th & 58th Mission           Aug 25th & 26th, 1944         (no time)

 

     These were short escort jobs to bomb a bridge in the Dutch Islands.  The first day they missed the bridge and the second day there were too many clouds to see the bridge so they didnít bomb.

 

59th Mission       Aug 26th (1944)           (Page 27, back of Page 28)

 

     We were supposed to escort B-24s to Berlin but when we crossed in over Denmark the weather was so bad that the bombers decided not to go in.  They circled for a while and then found an airdrome to bomb.  Col. Wilson went down to strafe the airdrome after they had bombed and as his flight was crossing out over the shore line the flak started hitting them.  Anderson got a direct hit and crashed in the water.  Col. Wilson and two others were shot up so badly that they had to bale (sp?) out about 5 miles offshore.  A fishing boat was seen to pick up the Col.

 

60th Mission                    Sep (crossed over/nothing else)

 

     The target was supposed to be Stuttgart but soon after we crossed in the French coast we met a solid wall of clouds that the bombers couldnít get through so we turned back.  On the way out we met some other bombers coming in trying to go around the cloud front but after tooling around for a while the (sp) also turned and came out.

 

61st Mission              Sept. 3, 1944              6 Hrs (Page 28)

 

     A chemical works at Fredrickshaven was the target for the bombers today.  We flew in over France and it was nice flying over friendly territory for such a long time.  The trip was uneventful and on the way back we flew across Paris at a low altitude and got a good look at it.

 

62nd Mission               Sept 5, 1944                 8 Hrs 15 Min

 

     This was the longest mission that Iíve been on so far or any other fighter pilot in the E.T.O. (European Theater of Operations).  We picked up bombers just inside Germany and I picked up a straggler with my flight that had the two outboard engines knocked out and a large hole in the tail among  other damages.  They kept losing altitude and continued to dump everything overboard that was detachable.  They finally leveled off about 1500 ft and started out slowly.  The rest of my flight became lost in the overcast and went on out so I stayed with the big friend.  The (Page 29 Ė back of Page 28)  weather was pretty bad and they couldnít gain any altitude so they went South trying to find a hole.  We find (sp) found one and flew almost over the center of Paris.  I took some pictures of the Eiffel Tower.  We eventually came to the Channel and got across safely so I left them then.  We didnít see any enemy fighters during the whole trip.  I landed after 8 Hrs 15 Min and still (three words crossed out here, looks like ďhad about 55? gal) enough gas for about another 45 min flying.  Over France the roads were literally jammed with Allied vehicles moving North.

 

63rd Mission               (no other info)

 

     The mission started out uneventful until we reached the target area.  There was quite a bit of flak there and while trying to get a look at something under us I went into a flat spin and after trying unsuccessfully to get out I dropped my tanks and pulled out.  I joined up with the 55th as I couldnít find our squadron and the flight which I was in went down to escort a straggling (Page 30) bomber.  We left it after a while and continued out.  I dropped behind because I was short on gas.  I came back on the deck and on the way out I crossed low over Chateau Thierry and saw the old trenches and shell craters of World War 1.  In the center of it all was a monument erected to the memory of the soldiers who fought & died there

 

(note to self > 1159 Monument StreetÖ)

 

64th & 65th    Missions covered by separate three typewritten pages of text.


R E S T R I C T E D

20TH  FLIGHT GROUP

 

INTELLEGENCE BULLETIN                                                                 17 SEPTEMBER 1944.

No. -  -  -  -  -  -      30)

 

     After 5 weeks of anticipation the trip to Russia finally came through and the 20th Group led by Col. Rau took off on Monday, September 11, at 0948.  71 planes were airborne divided into 4 squadrons led by Col. Rau, Lt. Col. Randolph, Major Anderson, and Major Low.  Each squadron was composed of 16 planes and 2 spares and the first break came for a spare when Lt. Larrabee was unable to take off.  Gradually the spares filled in as Major Low, Capt. Hower, and Lt. Coughran of the 79th were forced to return.  Lt. Van Woert of the 77th was the only unused spare and although he tagged along deep into Germany, he finally returned alone when no none else dropped out.  Major Smith led the 55th Squadron after Major Low turned back.

 

     Our mission to Russia was carried out with bombers which formed a small part of a great force of more than 1,300 American Heavies, sent out to smash German oil refineries and storage facilities in the Leipzig area, Western Czechoslovakia and at Hannover.  The Group R/Víd (rendezvoused) with 75 Fortresses (not including that of crew number ď13Ē B, Capt. Steiner, right waist gunner, which turned back at the Rheine) 30 miles east of their target, an industrial plant in Chemnitz.  74 Fortresses landed at their Russian Base.  1 landed at Zhitomir, 160 miles short.  Who do you suppose manned the right waist gun?  Could it have been Major Lamek?  You guessed it.  Major Lamek and Captain Steiner have received notice that here after they are personae non gratis to the 45th Combat Wing, 3rd Bomb Division.

 

     Our bombers formed the last two combat wings of the first force, 3rd. Division B-17ís.  The lead 8 Combat Wings of the Force, assigned to targets near Leipzig and S.W. of Chemnitz, precipitated the greatest air battles since the war against the Luftwaffe began.  One entire group of Fortresses (13 Aircraft) was wiped out by enemy aircraft in five terrible minutes.  Seven more were lost to other causes.  Strangely and happily our bombers were not attacked.  Fighters supporting the first force shot down 57 enemy aircraft, and destroyed another 26 on the ground.  The bombers claimed 12 destroyed.  Altogether for that day 175 enemy aircraft were claimed destroyed for the loss of 52 bombers (20 to enemy fighters, 14 to flak, 18 to other causes) and 32 fighters ( 6 to enemy fighters, 2 to flak, 24 to other causes).   (end of page 1)

 

        Our bombers were escorted uneventfully until they ran into heavy weather near the Russian-German battle lines.  Col. Rau went out ahead to check on the weather and informed the bombers they could go between cloud layers at 22,000 feet but the bombers plowed right into the front at 25,000 feet.  Our group went between cloud layers after some instrument flying and became separated for a short time but reassembled and again picked up the bombers on the other side of the weather and escorted to Luck, Poland.  Our group went on and landed at Piryatin airfield, a U.S. base in Russia, 80 miles east of Kiev. 

 

      No enemy aircraft were encountered by our bombers or fighters.  Lt. Tennant of the 55th was hit by light flak over the Russian-German lines and bailed out in the middle of a tank battle.  He was unhurt and made his way to an Eastern Command Base in Russia.  Lt. Horst of the 79th became separated from the group going through the overcast and made his way to an emergency Russian airfield and was not permitted to take off.  Lt. Mansker of the 55th had fuel trouble and landed at a Russian base.  With fast talking and a bottle of Bourbon he persuaded the Russian Colonel to refuel his plane.  He took off the nexr day and joined the others at Piryatin.  While at the Russian base he attended a dance, had a steak dinner and partook of genuine Russian ďhospitalityĒ.  Get the details from Joe.  The group landed at 1630, 6 Ĺ  hours after take off.

 

     Monday night the boys sampled freely of Vodka and on Tuesday some went swimming Ė not in Vodka.  Women?  ďToo rugged for me, ď said one normally brave pilot.

 

     On Wednesday morning at 1013 the 20th took off from Piryatin to escort the bombers to Italy.  62 planes took off and rendezvoused with the bombers at the target Miscolcz in Hungary.  The Group crossed Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Yugoslavia.  They left the bombers at the Adriatic Coast of Yugoslavia and all landed safely at three different bases on the eastern coast of Italy near Foggia.  The trip was uneventful and all of our planes landed safely after 6 ľ hours of flying.

 

     Thursday, Friday and Saturday found the boys guzzling canned beer, coca cola and bourbon shipped from the States.  Some of the boys visited Foggia.

 

     Col. Rau got all the breaks and surprised his wife by walking into her office in Naples.  Pfc Rau of the WACís (once a corporal) rejoined her husband for the first time in 18 months.  With the aid of a borrowed P-38 piggy back the Col. Flew his wife to the fighter base and took over the Generalís quarters for two days.  Pfc Rau is probably a Private now for being AWOL one day.

 

     On Sunday, September 16, the group completed the last leg of the trip on a non-operational flight from Foggia, Italy.  59 planes took off at 0850.  Lt. Taylor of the 79th returned to Italy after take off and Lts Barnes and Hurst of the 55th and Gardner of the 79th did not take off.  The Group crossed the Ligurian Sea, flew over Marseilles up the Rhone Valley, over Paris and landed here at 1420.  They flew over Rome, Paris and London on one mission.

 

     Lt. Kummerle of the 77th had engine trouble and bellied in 40 miles Southwest of Paris.  He was unhurt and walked away from his plane.  Captain Meyer of the 79th had his engine paractically quit but landed at another base in England.

 

     Lt. Roark of the 79th returned to find another bar waiting him and Captain Roark will be waiting for us at the bar tonight.

 

     And so it is over Ė Tennant and Horst in Russia, Gardner, Taylor, Barnes and Hurst in Italy, and Kummerle in France.  Lts Kummerle, Rader, and Fagg and Capt. Horne of the 77th and Major Anderson of the 79th completed their tours with this mission.

 

     While the boys were relaxing in Italy yesterday, eight of our pilots who had stayed behind, led by Capt. Nichols, roamed over central and south-eastern Germany and western Czechoslovakia with 4 P-38 photo-reconnaissance planes out to get pictires of the targets attacked by the bombers on Monday and Tuesday.  The Luftwaffe failed to make an appearance, even against such a tiny force, but the flak gunners along the whole route unlimbered their pieces with a vengeance and only fancy maneuvering kept the damage down to minor wounds to one aircraft.  All our pilots returned safely.


 

66th Mission    Sept 26, 1944    4 Hrs.15 Min    Osnabruck

 

     Ordinary escort for B-17ís to bomb chemical plant on Osnabruck.  Quite a few clouds but target was clear (over scratched out) good hits were seen.  Lots of flak but no bombers hit.  Col. Rau ran out of oxygen and hhad to drop down so I took over the Squadron on the way back.  As we crossed out over the Dutch Coast we saw a B-17 on fire heading South.  After a few minutes six chutes were seen to come out.  We returned to the base on the deck.

 

67th Mission               Sept 27, 1944                 6 Hrs 15 Min

 

     Escort as usual.  The bombers were late.  Over the target one bomber blew up and another one blew up on the way out.  We bounced around several P-51ís before we recognized them but saw no bandits.  The 77th ran into about 50 109ís and got eight of them.   Fieblekorn got four.

 

68th Mission           Oct 2, 1944           ( Page 31, back of Page 30)

 

     The target for the bombers was Rassel (Passel? Rasselberg or Passelberg?).  Nothing of interest happened until after the target when we picked up a straggler.  We escorted him to friendly territory and then back across Belgium on the deck.

 

69th Mission           Oct 3, 1944

 

     Nuremberg was the target for today.  It was pretty well overcast but the bombers bombed through it.  Shortly after the target I took my flight down on a bounce but they turned out to be P=51ís.  They strafed an airdrome with six ships on it but there was a lot of ground flak and one ship crashed in flames and another one bellied in.  Another ship from the Flight landed in the wheat field and picked up the pilot after throwing out his dinghy & parachute.  We went out on the deck and saw several trains, one carrying armored vehichles (sp) but we told not to strafe.  I crossed over a small field filled with about 200 German soldiers that scattered when they saw me.  I didnít shoot however.

 

70th Mission                (no other info)               (Page 32/ back of Page 21)

 

     B 17 escort up around the Frisian Islands and into Stettin (sp?).  The bombers hit an airfield near Stargard and headed out.  We were top cover and on the way out the other two squadrons dropped down to look for seaplanes in the Baltic Sea bays.  They managed to find quite a few and destroyed 39 and damaged several more without a loss to ourselves.

 

71st Mission             (no other info)

 

     Same mission as above and same target.  Quite a bit of flak over the target this time and three or four bombers were seen to go down.  Capt McKeon of the 77th and his wingman had a mid air collision and went down.  Their chutes were seen to open at a low altitude.   We dropped down again to look for more targets.  There were many ships on an airfield at Peenmunde (sp?) and the 77th went down on it.  They got four but one ship was hit by flak and headed for Sweden.  He was forced to bail out before he reached there though.

 

72nd Mission           (no date)           4 Hrs 30 Min     (Page 33/ back of Page 20)

 

     The Rhur valley was the target today.  One bomber went down in flames at the target and four chutes were seen to open.  Shortly after we left the target a rocket or jet propelled plane went up towards the bombers at a steep angle and high speed.  None of the bombers were hit however.  I took my flight down and escorted several stragglers out to friendly territory and then dropped down and went out on the deck. 

 

73rd  Mission               (no other info on this line)

 

     A solid overcast up to 28000 feet in places covered the route & target which was Nammehausin (sp?)  The escort was uneventful except for Capt. Taylor of the 55th bailing out shortly after the target when his ship caught on fire for unknown reasons.  We came back on the deck and got a little flak crossing in the English coast.

 

74th Mission          Oct 25, 1944           5 hrs      (Page 34/ back of Page 19)

 

     Bomber escort up around the Frisian Islands an into ________.

We had to climb through an overcast at take off and although we saw many bombers we couldnít find ours so we escorted some lonesome B-24s instead.  The whole continent was overcast and the bombing was through it with unobserved results.  Flak was light and no bombers were seen to go down.  No E/A (Enemy Aircraft) seen.

 

75th Mission                 (no date)       4 Hrs 30 Min

 

     Uneventful escort to Munster.  Flak over the target got one bomber and another one crash landed in Holland and exploded.  I took my Flight an escorted a couple of stragglers home.

 

76th Mission                (no date)          3 Hrs

 

     We expected to see some action this mission but the weather was so bad that we turned back when we reached a front at about the German border.  Col  Zempke was lost today due to the weather.

 

77th Mission            Nov. 2, í44         5 Hrs 15 Min    (Page 35/ back of Page 18)

 

     Bomber escort to Meresburg.  We expected to see some enemy opposition today and we did.  Shortly after target time someone called in two gaggles of 109ís and we heard the other squadrons (shooting/crossed out) in a fight.  It took us several minutes to locate them and when we did most of the E/A had gone.

 

     I took my flight over to where a fight was still going on and my No. 3 man took his element off and went after a 109 which he got.  I saw one split s and head for the deck so I went down after him.  When I broke out of the clouds near the ground I couldnít see any other ships except my wingman who had stayed with me so I stooped around looking for something.  We were flying at about 100 ft. when we passed a 109 going in the opposite direction so I broke to get on his tail.  He must (Page 36/ back of Page 17) have seen me because he broke also except he spun out and crashed causing his ship to explode.

 

     We couldnít find anything else except a truck and a locomotive which I shot up and then we headed out.  A jet job passed over us on the way out but he was too high for us to go after and he didnít see us so we didnít bother. 

 

     The Group total for the day was 29 destroyed in the air.

 

78th Mission                  4 Hrs 15 Min                   Nov. 4, 1944

 

     My last mission and an uneventful one.  We took some B-17s to the Rhur Valley and hung around the edge while they went in.  It was a short run and after we had escorted them out to the coast we went back on a sweep but found nothing.

 


 

*Information from the inside back cover of the:

 

ďSterlingĒ

HIGH GRADE LETTER PAPER

28 SHEETS

 

                                   Made in U.S.A.

                                          Expressly for F.W.Woolworth Co.

 

notebook that this diary was written in by pencil by Glenn Martin Webb:

 

1 Locomotive Damaged                         DAM.                     DES.

5 Cars                                                  1 Loco.                   8 Loco.

2 Barges                                             45 Frt. Cars          3Trucks

1 Locomotive Destroyed                       2 Barges                1 Roundhouse

20 Cars Damaged                                3 Switch Houses     1 ME-109

3 Switch Houses Damaged                    2 Trucks

4 Cars Damaged

3 Trucks Destroyed

2 Locomotives Des. 1 Frt. Car Dam.

4 Locomotives Des.

1 Truck Dam.

15 Freight Cars Dam.

1 Round House Des.

1 Truck Dam.

1 Locomotive Des.

1 ME-109 Des.