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Grandpa's Diary (Copy)

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S: Jay's Story The Diary of a WWII Aerial Engineer and Gunner

FC: Jay's Story The Diary of a WWII Aerial Engineer and Gunner

1: Jay's Story

3: In loving memory of the man that taught his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren the true meaning of being a Christian, a Gentleman, and a Hero.

5: Table of Contents: Jay's Separation Record & Letter of Commendation Jay's Statistics Pictures of B-24 Liberator Jay's Diary - 35 Missions (All Diary Pages are Verbatim) Definition of Terms Map of Attlebridge, England Map of Europe Jay's Medals and Accomplishments Newspaper Articles Tribute

9: JAY's STATISTICS: Army Serial Number: 16086812 Place of Enlistment: Kalamazoo, Michigan Date of Enlistment: October 14, 1942 Branch: United States Air Force 8th Air Force 466th Bombardment Group WWII Base: RAF Attlebridge Airfield and Station, England Missions Completed: 35 Position: Aerial Engineer and Gunner Operated Martin Upper Turret on Combat Missions Plane: Consolidated B-24D Liberator Trained at: Camp Custer, Michigan San Angelo, Harlingen and San Antonio, Texas Topeka, Kansas Colorado Springs, Colorado Lincoln, Nebraska Greenier Field, New Hampshire Keesler Field, Mississippi Fort Sheridian, Illinois Miami Beach, Florida Boston, Massachusetts Date of Honorable Discharge: July 10, 1945

10: B 24 L i b e r a t o r

12: September 1, 1944 (Friday) FIRST MISSION - RECALL Target: Ammunition dump 50 miles over the Maginot line in Southern Germany. Was awaken at 3:00 am for breakfast and briefing. We took off at 7:00am. After forming in the formation we headed straight south over the English Channel to the French Coast, then flew all the way across France, then into the southern part of Germany. The target was an ammunition dump fifty miles over the Maginot line. The time to hit the target was 11:45am. We had a very good escort of our fighter planes. Near the German Border the flak was light and we was not attacked by any German fighter planes. The mission lasted eight hours. We were five hours on oxygen. We returned to the field and landed at 3:00 pm. We was only thirty minutes from the target when we was called back. So we didn’t get credit for this mission. We heard latter that the reason was when we got over there, it was already captured and if we would have dropped our bombs we would have hit our own troops. Bomb Load was six 1000 pound bombs Gasoline Load was 2700 gallons Temperature at that altitude was 27 degrees below zero Ammunition was 4500 rounds

13: September 5, 1944 (Tuesday) FIRST MISSION - CREDIT Target: The marshall yards which were railroad yards and repair shops located near Karlsruhe in Southern Germany. Was awaken at 3:45am for breakfast and briefing. We took off at 6:55am. After forming in the formation we headed straight south over the English Channel to the French Coast, then flew all the way across France, then into the southern part of Germany. The target was the marshall yards which were railroad yards and repair shops. They are located near Karlsruhe, Southern Germany. We hit the target at 11:23am and we really hit it. We blew the place sky high. The smoke pour up as we left the target. The flak was very heavy and plenty accurate. The sky was just black with black puffs of flak. We received two flak holes in our plane; one by the left waist gunner and the other by the top turrent. The weather was very nice and clear, especially over the target so we could really see the bombs hit. But they could really spot us too with that clear sky because they sure had our altitude that day with flak. This was a very rough mission. We were not attacked by any German fighter planes. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter planes near the target. We returned at the field and landed at 3:05pm. The mission lasted eight hours and ten minutes. We was six hours on oxygen. Bomb load was ten 500 pound bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Bombing Altitude was 26,000 feet Temperature at that altitude it was 22 degrees below zero Ammunition 4500 rounds

14: September 9, 1944 (Saturday) SECOND MISSION - CREDIT Target: The marshall yards which were railroad shops and repair shops located near Mainz, Germany in the center of Germany, in the district of Frankfurt. Was awaken at 3:30am for breakfast and briefing. It was cold and rainy and very windy, but we took off anyway. We took off at 7:20am. After forming and climbing to altitude in the formation, we headed southeast over the North Sea to the Dutch Coast. We flew over the southern part of the Netherlands, then across Belgium and into the center part of Germany. The target was marshall yards, which were railroad yards and repairs shops located near Mainz, Germany. We was at the target at 10:48am, but we didn’t drop no bombs because we was flying over a heavy overcast and couldn’t see the target. It was the fault of the lead bombardier in the lead ship because he was suppose to bomb by p.f.f. We made two runs over the target. There was an awful lot of flak but they was low with aiming. We was really throwing out the chaff on the second run because we was afraid that they had our altitude. Lost two planes out of the 458th Group. One exploded in the air and the other went into a spin. No parachutes were seen to come out. Both were a direct hit by flak. We was not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of our P-51 and P-47. Near the target, we returned to the field and landed at 1:30pm with a full bomb load. The mission lasted six hours and ten minutes. We were five hours on oxygen. We was given credit for this mission because we flew twice over the target and because the flak was so heavy. Carried 4500 rounds of ammunition Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Bomb load was twenty 250 pound bombs Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet Temperature 28 degrees below zero

15: October 3, 1944 (Tuesday) THIRD MISSION - CREDIT Target: An airplane and engine factory located near Gaggenau in Southern Germany. Also, near Baden-Baden Germany Was awaken at 4:00am for breakfast and briefing. We took off at 7:30am. After climbing to altitude and forming in the formation, we headed straight south over the English Channel to the French coast, then flew all the way across France, then into the southern part of Germany. The target was an airplane and engine factory located in a very heavy forest near Gaggenau, in southern Germany. We hit the target at 11:45am. We dropped all our bombs and really hit the target. The flak was heavy at three places but it wasn’t too accurate. We seen a lot of scare crow flak with it. We were not attacked by any enemy fighter planes. We had a very good escort of our P-51 and P-38 near the target. The weather was fair. It was about 5/10 coverage over the target but we could see the bombs hit. We returned at the field and landed at 3:30pm. The mission lasted eight hours. We was on oxygen seven hours. When we returned to the field, we shot yellow flares so we could land first of the formation because we was running very low on gas. Bomb load twelve 500 pound bombs They were the incendiary bombs or fire bombs Gasoline load 2700 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 24,500 feet Temperature at that altitude was 22 degrees below zero

16: October 9, 1944 (Monday) FOURTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: Marshall yards which were railroad yards and repair shops located near Koblenz in Southern Germany Was called at 7:45am for breakfast and briefing. We took off at 11:30am. After climbing through a heavy overcast and forming in formation above it, we headed southeast over the North Sea. Then over the southern part of the Netherlands, then over the Northern part of Belgium then into Germany. The target was marshall yards which were railroad stations and repair shops located near Koblenz in the district of Frankfurt, in Southern Germany. The target was 100 miles over the Siegfried Lines. We hit the target at 2:45pm. We dropped all our bombs. We was flying over a very heavy overcast over the target. The overcast was just one solid carpet. We bombed by p.f.f. so we could not see the bombs hit. On account of the overcast, when we came back to the field, we let down through the overcast on instruments to 200 feet which was just below the overcast. We landed at 5:30pm. The mission lasted six hours, was five hours and thirty minutes on oxygen. We was not attacked by enemy fighters but seen some jet propelled way out at a distance. We had a very good escort of our own fighter planes. They were mostly P-51. It was a must mission and was requested by the ground forces. We seen quite a bit of flak over the target but it was not accurate because it was a heavy overcast and we was throwing chaff which really through their radar off. They was aiming low and way to our right. It was a easy mission. Bomb load was twelve 250 pound bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 24,000 feet Temperature 28 degrees below zero

17: October 12, 1944 (Thursday) FIFTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: The City of Osnabruck Was awaken at 5:00am for breakfast and our briefing at 5:45am. We took off at 8:30am. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude, we headed straight east over the North Sea, then to the northern part of the Netherlands, then over Zuider Zee. Flew the rest of the way over the Netherlands then into Germany and the target was the town of Osnabruck. We hit the target at 11:40am. We dropped all are bombs. The flak was quite heavy but very accurate. A plane out of our group and out of the 786 squadron was hit by direct flak. It was hit in the left wing between No. 1 and No. 2 engine. Half of the left wing broke off, then the left side burst into flames and went into a spin towards the ground. No parachutes were seen to come out. He was flying high right on the right side of us. Seen it go all the way to the ground. The flak they was shooting today was a light gray color. We were not attacked by any enemy fighter planes but we was right in the fighter district. We had a pretty good escort of our P-51 fighter planes near the target. We returned at the field and landed at 2:00pm. The mission lasted five hours and thirty minutes. We was four hours on oxygen. Bomb load fifty two 100 pound bombs. GR bombs Gasoline load was 2300 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 21,000 feet Temperature at that Altitude was 18 degrees below zero

18: Jay and his crew after a bombing mission

19: October 18, 1944 (Wednesday) SIXTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: Marshall Yards of Cologne Germany, in the Ruhr Valley Was awaken at 4:30am for breakfast and briefing was at 5:15am. We took off at 8:00am. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude we headed southeast over the North Sea, then towards the center part of the coast of Belgium. Then flew all the way over Belgium and then into Germany, and the target was Marshall Yards of Cologne, Germany which were railroad yards and loading yards of the Ruhr Valley of Germany. We hit the target at 10:45am. We dropped all are bombs. We bombed through a heavy overcast by p.f.f. When we dropped our bombs, we kept going straight on into Germany Then made a large turn towards the southern part of Germany, then towards France, then flew all the way over France towards the home base. The flak was very heavy over the target and very accurate. We received two holes in the plane; one on the left side of the bomb bay doors and the other in the left rudder. We also had quite heavy flak over Coblence. We were not suppose to fly over Coblence, but the lead navigator took us right over Coblence by mistake. The flak was a dark black color today. We were not attacked by any enemy fighter planes. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter planes over enemy territory. We returned to the field and landed at 2:20pm. The mission lasted six hours and twenty minutes. We were five hours and thirty minutes on oxygen. Bomb load was six 500 pound incendiary bombs Gasoline load was 2300 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 31,000 feet Temperature at that altitude was 45 degrees below zero

20: ][ | October 19, 1944 (Thursday) SEVENTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: Marshall yards of the City of Mainz, Germany in the district of Frankfurt, Germany Was awaken at 4:00am for breakfast. Briefing was at 5:00am. It was really raining hard when we was awaken. We didnt take off right away on account of the rain. We finally took off at 9:00am. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude, we headed southeast over the North Sea. Then turning towards the center part of the coast of Belgium, then flew all the way across Belgium and then into Germany. The target was marshall yards of Mainz Germany, in the district of Frankfort, Germany which were repair shops and loading yards. We hit the target at 12:45pm. We bombed by p.f.f. It was about 9/10 coverage but there were enough small openings in the clouds so that we could really see the bombs hit. We really hit the yards and the center part of the city. The marshall yards were located in the center of the city. We also started a lot of fires because we was also carrying incendiary bombs. We dropped all are bombs over the target. The flak was quite heavy over the target but not at all accurate. They was shooting way below us and to the both sides of us. We were not attacked by any enemy fighter planes. We had a very good escort of our fighter planes. They meet us aways in Belgium and took us all the way over the target, brought us up to the border of France. They were mostly P-51 and P-47, also a few P-38. We were right in the enemy fighter district. We returned to the field and landed at 3:20pm. The mission lasted six hours and twenty minutes. We was six hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 250 pound general purpose bombs and six 500 pound incendiary bombs Gasoline load was 2500 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 26,000 feet Temperature at that altitude was 40 degrees below zero This was our second mission trip to Mainz but this time we really hit the marshall yards. They was located right in the center of the city. Reports were that thirty blocks of the city was destroyed.

21: October 26, 1944 (Thursday) EIGHTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: Large oil refinery of the Ruhr Valley of Bottrop, Germany Was awaken at 7:00am for breakfast, briefing was at 8:15am. We took off at 11:30am. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude, we headed straight east over the North Sea. Then towards the coast of the Netherlands and flew over the Zulder Zee, then southeast into Germany. The target was a large oil refinery and gasoline cracking and processing refinery. A very important target of the Ruhr Valley of Bottrop, Germany. We hit the target at 2:45pm. We dropped all are bombs. The flak was very heavy over the target and heavy from the IP on. When we was on our bomb run, we received two flak holes through the left navigator window. We bombed on p.f.f. through a heavy overcast. We flew over a very heavy overcast all the way to the target and was let down through the overcast for landing by instruments. We were not attacked by any enemy fighter planes. We had a very good escort of our own fighter planes. They met us over the Netherlands and were with us all the way over the target and brought us out of enemy territory. They was shooting everything at us they had over the target. They was shooting rockets and scarecrow flak. Also, was shooting white and black flak. We returned to the field and landed at 5:30pm. The mission lasts six hours. We were four hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twenty four 250 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline Load was 2300 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 24,000 feet Temperature at that altitude was 29 degrees below zero The weather was very bad over England. When we returned, we was let down through the overcast by instrument. Then we flew very low around the field under the overcast until we could come in for landing.

22: October 30, 1944 (Monday - Halloween) NINTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: Large oil refinery of Hamburg, Germany Was awaken at 6:15am for breakfast. Briefing was at 7:00am. We took off at 9:30am. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude, we headed first for a little while straight north, then headed straight east over the North Sea. Then over the northern part of the Netherlands, then on into Germany. The target was a large oil refinery of Harburg, Germany. It was the second most important target of Germany because Germany is running short of gas. A whole German division was captured because Jeeps and trucks had run out of gas. We hit the target at 1:35pm. We dropped all are bombs but we don’t know how good we hit because in the first place, we was flying over a heavy overcast and when we got a little ways into German territory, the weather really got bad. It was sure terrible soupy up there. The weather was really bad because it was all the way up above flying altitude. That’s sure dangerous to be flying in formation in such weather because half of the time we could hardly see our own wing tips. They were not shooting much flak, not any that we could see. The weather was so bad, so we really couldn’t tell. We were suppose to have intense flak according to our briefing. We had a very good escort of our fighter planes from the coast of Netherlands almost up to the target. Then we lost them in that soupy weather. Guess they went back to their base. We returned to the field and landed at 3:30pm. The mission lasted six hours. We were five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twenty four 250 pounds general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2800 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet Temperature at that altitude was 40 degrees below zero

23: November 1, 1944 (Wednesday) TENTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: Large Oil Refinery in the Ruhr Valley of Gelsenkirchen, Germany Was awaken at 7:45am for breakfast. Briefing was at 8:30am. We took off at 11:00am. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude, we headed first for a little while straight north over the North Sea. Then we headed southeast over the North Sea then towards the coast of Netherlands over the Zuider Zee, then on over the rest of the Netherlands and then into Germany. We left the English Coast at 12:35pm. The target was a large oil refinery in the Ruhr Valley of Gelsenkirchen, Germany. We hit the target at 1400. We dropped all are bombs. We bombed by p.f.f. We was flying over a very heavy overcast. The flak was very light. They didn’t start shooting flak until we had already passed over the target and had dropped are bombs. We first thought we had caught the Germans off guard but when we was about five minutes pass over the target, we seen that they was expecting to attack us with their fighters. They had a lot of their fighters up today. There were also a lot of jet propelled planes up. Our group was not attacked but they were in our area. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter planes. We sure saw a lot of dog fights between our P-51 and the enemy fighter planes. We saw one of our P-51 go down which was hit. The reason the flak was so light because they had their fighters up. We came back all the way from the target on three engines. We had a bad oil leak on No.3 engine so we had to feather the engine because the oil pressure dropped down to twenty pounds. We also came back without a bomb bay door. We had two bombs hung up which we couldn’t get out, so we closed the bomb bay doors. As soon as they were closed, the two bombs fell taking the bomb bay door along and all. Returned to the field and landed at 3:45pm. The mission lasted four hours and forty-five minutes. We was four hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twenty four 250 pound general purpose bombs

24: Formation Plane | Plane dropping general purpose bombs

25: November 5, 1944 (Sunday) ELEVENTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Karlsruhe in southern Germany, which were railroad yards and repair shops. Was awaken at 4:00am for breakfast, had briefing at 4:30am. Had to be at stations at 6:00am. We took off at 7:00am. After climbing to altitude and forming in the formation, we headed first straight south over England, then headed southeast over the Channel to the coast of France. Then flew straight east over France and straight on into the southern part of Germany. The target was the marshall yards which were repair shops and railroad yards of Karlsruhe, located in southern Germany. We hit the target at 11:24am. We dropped all are bombs. We bombed by p.f.f. We bombed over a heavy overcast. According to the reports, we really hit the marshall yards and I bet we really flatten things out because we was all dropping the big ones of a ton a piece. We had been out to Karlsruhe once before, the fifth of September, and dropped 500 pound bombs then and really blew the place sky high. Imagine what we did now with these big ton bombs. We carried four of these ton bombs. The biggest bomb load we have carried yet so far. The flak was modern over the target anyway for us because we was flying high. Right of our group was the 466th who was leading the second division. Today we were not attacked by enemy fighters and didn’t see any in our area. We had a very good escort of our fighter planes. They were mostly the P-51. When we came back we had very bad weather over England. It was really raining. We returned to the field and landed at 2:20pm. The mission lasted seven hours and twenty minutes. We was around five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was four 2,000 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2500 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 25,000 feet Temperature at that altitude it was 30 degrees below zero

26: November 9, 1944 (Thursday) – CREDIT TWELFTH MISSION - CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Saarbrucken in southern Germany, which were railroad yards and loading yards Was awaken at 2:30am for breakfast, had briefing at 3:30am. Had to be at stations at 5:45am. We took off at 6:45am. It was still dark when we took off. After forming in the formation and climbing to altitude, we headed first straight south over England then headed southeast over the English Channel to the coast of France. Then flew straight east over France and straight on into the southern part of Germany. The target was the marshall yards which were loading yards and railroad yards of Saarbrucken, located in southern Germany. The marshall yards were located in the center of town. We hit the target at 10:08am. We dropped all are bombs. We bombed by p.f.f. We bombed over a heavy overcast. We had a bomb run of fifteen minutes long. The flak was quite heavy and plenty accurate. The flak was worse after we had dropped are bombs, which wasn’t as bad as if we would had hit it on the bomb run, because after we dropped our bombs we could use invasion action. The shells were exploding above us today and they was really tracking us. We were not attacked by enemy fighters and didn’t see any today in our area. We had a good escort of our P-51 and P-38 fighter planes. When we came back to England and let down from altitude we hit very bad weather over England. It was really snowing and raining and the ceiling was very low. We returned to the field and landed at 1:10pm. The mission lasted six hours and twenty minutes. We was five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was four 2,000 pound bombs Gasoline load was 2300 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 22,000 feet Temperature at that altitude was 40 degrees below zero

27: November 16, 1944 (Thursday) THIRTEEN MISSION - CREDIT Target: Tactical targets in the Duren-Eschweiler area of Germany, east of Aachen. Requested by the ground forces to help General Hodges of the US First Army. Was awaken at 4:30am for breakfast and had briefing at 6:15am. Had to be at stations at 7:25am. We took off at 10:05am. We was suppose to take off at 8:00am but the weather was very bad, it was very misty. It was right down to the ground because we could not see the end of the runway. We waited two hours but it wasn’t any better so at 10:05am, so we took off anyway. Because it was a must mission and required by the ground crew. We couldn’t wait any longer for the weather with taking off, because we had to drop our bombs over the target before 12:45pm. So we climbed to altitude and formed our formation on the way to the target. To reach the target in time, we headed first straight south over England, then flew over the English Channel to the center of the coast of Belgium. Then flew all the way across Belgium and on into Germany. The target was tactical targets in the Duren-Eschweiler area of Germany, east of Aachen. It was a must mission and requested by the ground forces. General Hodges of the U.S First Army had asked for the heavy bombardment because he could not go farther east without the help of the heavy bombardment. We had to hit the target before 12:45 because his men were going to go over the top at 12:45. We dropped all are bombs and bombed visually. It just happened there was a break in the clouds over the target and the target was visually. The bombs striked with very good results because we was only bombing a half mile to two miles ahead of our troops. We had to do some very good bombing and do some tight formation flying over the target to get all are bombs in that pocket of Germans. We could really see the bombs hit. The reports were very good of our bombing because the ground forces reported no German opposition and that the Germans were still in there fox holes late that day. We was also dropping fragment bombs which is a very wicked bomb. Our ground force boys also threw up some red flak at 18,000 feet to show where the front lines were. The enemy flak was light and we did not see no enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter planes. On our way home, we was called and told not to return to the base because the weather was too bad and the ceiling was too low to find the run way. So, we was told to land at a R.A.F. base about 120 miles from our base. We stayed there until Sunday noon on account of weather. Bomb load was twenty 260 pound fragment bombs Gasoline load was 2500 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 22,000 feet Temperature at that altitude was 40 degrees below zero The mission lasted six hours and fifteen minutes. We was on oxygen four hours and thirty minutes.

28: November 26, 1944 (Sunday) FOURTEEN MISSION - CREDIT Target: A large viaduct in the area of Bielefeld, Germany Was awaken at 4:30am for breakfast, had briefing at 6:00am. Had to be at stations at 7:30am. We was suppose to take off at 8:30am, but we were just ready to taxi on the runway for takeoff when No. 1 engine wouldnt run up properly. There was something wrong with the mixture control so we had to change over to a other plane. Then it was quite late but we took off with the second plane at ten oclock anyway and we just caught the formation leaving England. They had already formed and had left on course so we kept climbing altitude and fell into our position. We headed straight east from are base, over the North Sea, then towards the Northern coast of the Netherlands. Then flew over the Zuider Zee, then over the rest of the Netherlands, then flew straight southeast into Germany. The target was a very large viaduct in the area of Bielefeld, Germany. It was very large railroad viaduct. The railroad connected Bielefeld, Germany with Herford, Germany. It was a very large viaduct. The height was seventy feet high and 580 feet long, with a 400 yard long approach on each end. It was the first most important target on are transportation list to bomb. We hit the target at 12:15pm. We dropped all are bombs and bombed visually. We could really see our bombs hit and was really blowing things sky high. We was all dropping eight 1000 pound bombs and there sure went a bunch floating down when all those bomb bay doors were opened. The flak was light over the target but they shot at us quite heavy both times when we passed between Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. We didnt see no enemy fighters in our area, but seen a lot of rockets shot at us passing over the eastern part of the Netherlands. There was also some scare crow flak over the target. We had a fair escort of our P-51 and P-47 fighter planes. We returned to the field and landed at 1500. The mission lasted five hours. Were four hours on oxygen. We had very nice weather for flying today. The nicest we had for a long time. Was even nice over England when we returned. Bomb load eight 1000 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2300 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 21,000 feet At that altitude it was 39 degrees below zero

29: November 29, 1944 (Wednesday) FIFTEEN MISSION - CREDIT Target: A large viaduct in the area of Bielefeld, Germany Was awaken at 5:00am for breakfast, had briefing at 6:00am. Had to be at stations at 7:30am. We was suppose to take off at 8:30am. When was ready to start engines we got notice that take off time had been set back a hour and that take off time was now 9:30am. The reason was that a high warm front had moved in over the target and that it would be moved past the target and cleared off if we would wait a hour. So at 9:30am we took off. After climbing to altitude and forming in the formation at 11:3am, we left the English coast. It takes around two hours with take off and climbing to altitude and forming in the formation. We headed straight east over the North Sea, to the coast of the Netherlands, then flew over the Zuider Zee, and then over the rest of the Netherlands, then southeast into Germany. The target was a very large viaduct in the area of Bielefeld, Germany. It was the same target as where we had been three days before on the 26th of November. According to the reports on the bombing of this viaduct on the 26th, our bombs had fallen a little north of the viaduct and had not completey destroyed it and had left one end of the concrete viaduct standing. So I guess they wanted it pulverized, so we went back again today. We hit the target at 1:00pm. We dropped all are bombs. We bombed by p.f.f. because it was 10/10 coverage over the target. The flak was very light over the target but they shot flak at us from Osnabruck and from Munster. They put a heavy barrage of flak up over Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. They also shot flak at us on the coast of the Netherlands. They had a four gun battery and a six gun battery on the coast of the Netherlands. They was very accurate but they didnt have very much up there. We was briefed very heavy on running into enemy fighters because our 96th wing was making the deepest penetration into Germany today. We were not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of our P-51 and P-47 fighter planes. We had very nice flying weather today, it was especially very nice over England for a change. We returned to the field and landed at 3:30pm. The mission lasted six hours. We was five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was eight 1000 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2300 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 21,000 feet At that altitude it was 31 degrees below zero

30: This picture was taken on July 20, 1944. It shows the plane, The Rosalyn, that took Jay and his crew from Topeka, Kansas to their base at Attlebridge, England. Back row, left to right: Peters, Walters, Van Ginkel, Dickerman Front row, left to right: Whitebread, Weiner, Stewart, Schneider, Kooiker, Jordan

31: December 5, 1944 (Tuesday) SIXTEEN MISSION - CREDIT Target: Marshall yards which were repair shops and loading yards of Munster, Germany Was awaken at 3:30am for breakfast. Briefing was at 4:30am and had to be at stations at 6:00am. Taxi at 7:00am, we took off at 7:15am. It was still dark when we took off. Flew awhile with the navigation lights on. Forming altitude was 18,000 feet after climbing to altitude and formed in the formation. We headed first straight east over the North Sea, to the Dutch coast, then flew over the Zuider Zee, then southeast over the rest of the Netherlands and on into Germany. The target was the marshall yards of Munster, Germany which were large repair shops and loading yards. There was also a aircraft repair shop near the marshal yards. Germany is having such a hard job to get help on railroads and in marshall yards because his help is refusing to work in marshall yards, because we are bombing railroad lines and Marshall yards so often. This marshall yards was supplying the western line. We hit the target at 10:24am. We dropped all are bombs. We bombed p.f.f. over 10/10 coverage of clouds. We had a short bomb run. The flak was moderate over the target. We were not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of our P-51 and P-47 fighter planes. We had a escort of one fighter for each bomber. We returned to the field and landed at 12:15. The weather was very nice over England when we returned. The mission lasted five hours, were a little over four hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2500 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 22,000 feet At that altitude, the temperature was 44 degrees below zero

32: The last day in the old year December 31, 1944 (Sunday) SEVENTEEN MISSION - CREDIT Target: Large cement bridge which was a railroad and highway bridge in Wilhelm, Germany four miles north of Koblenz Was awaken at 4:20am for breakfast, had briefing at 5:30am. Had to be at stations at 7:00am, taxied at 7:40am, take off time was 8:00am. After climbing to 13,000 feet which was are forming altitude and after forming in the formation, we headed southeast over the North Sea, to the coast of Belgium. We kept on climbing all the way to Belgium until we had reached 22,000, which was our bombing altitude, then flew on over Belgium and on into Germany. The target was a large cement bridge which was 900 feet long and 36 feet wide. It was a large highway and railroad bridge which was a main supply line to the German troops. East of Aachen, the bridge was located in Wilhelm, Germany four miles north of Koblenz. We hit the target at 11:35am. We bombed by G.H. It was around 5/10 coverage although it was very nice flying weather above the clouds. The flak was light over the target. They was also shooting at us near the Belgium border and there they was getting plenty close. We had a very good escort of P-51 and also had some P-47 in the area for support. We were not attacked by any enemy fighter planes. The mission lasted 6 hours and thirty minutes. Was four hours on oxygen. We returned at 1430 in the afternoon. Bomb load was four 1,000 pound bombs and two 2,000 pound bombs Gasoline load was 23,000 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 22,000 feet At that altitude, it was 38 degrees below zero We bombed the Germans on the last day of the old year. We are also alerted for tomorrow so if the weather is good, we will also bomb them on the first day of the New Year.

33: The first day in the New Year January 1, 1945 (Monday) EIGHTEEN MISSION - CREDIT Target: A large railroad viaduct in the city of Koblenz Was awaken at 4:45am for breakfast, had briefing at 5:30am. Had to be at stations at 7:00am. Taxi time was 7:50am, we took off at 8:15am. After climbing to altitude which was 14,000 feet, our forming altitude, we formed in the formation and headed southeast over the North Sea to the coast of Belgium. We kept climbing all the way to Belgium up to 23,000 feet which was our bombing altitude. We flew on over the center of Belgium and then on into Germany. The target was a large railroad viaduct in the center of the city of Koblenz. The second division of the Eighth Air Force has to destroy all bridges and viaducts along the Rhine River, to cut transportation and supply lines which are supplying the big German push. The order is they must be completely demolished. We hit the target at 1301 in the afternoon. We bombed visually. The weather was very clear. We could see things just as plain on the ground. The flak was light over the target. We were not attacked by enemy fighters. We had P-51 fighter planes for area support. We could see our bombs go down and hit and explode. We returned to the base and landed at 1500 in the afternoon. The mission lasted six hours and forty five minutes. We was five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was four 2,000 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2,300 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 23,000 feet At that altitude, it was around 40 degrees below zero We really started the New Year off by hitting the Germans the first day of the year. We also hit them the last day of the old year.

35: January 13, 1945 (Saturday) NINETEEN MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Kaiserslautern, Germany, which were railroad yards and loading yards Was awaken at 6:15am for breakfast, had briefing at 7:30am. Had to be at stations 9:00am. Taxi time was 10:00am, we took off at 10:08. After climbing to altitude which was 14,000 feet, our forming altitude, we formed in the formation. We was flying high right on the 458th Group. After we was formed, we headed southeast over the Channel and kept on climbing all the way over the Channel to the coast of Belgium. We flew on over Belgium and then on through the northwestern part of France and then into Germany. The target was the marshall yards of Kaiserslautern, which were railroad yards and loading yards supplying the German armies. We hit the target at 1400. We bombed by H2X. It was around 3/10 coverage of clouds over the target. We dropped all are bombs. The flak was modern over the target. The high right was catching most of the flak. They also shot a four gun battery at us when we crossed the enemy line. We was not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a good escort of P-51 fighter planes. We also seen some V-2 shot up when we was crossing the line. It was very nice flying weather above the clouds but when we returned to England, there was a solid overcast of clouds over England. The overcast was from 50,000 feet to 400 feet. It was a instrument let down. We flew around for a hour above the clouds because we was flying high right, which is the last to peel off. One plane peels off every 20 seconds. On instrument let down, we took a heading through the clouds on bunker 5, which is over the North Sea. It was even very bad weather under the clouds. We was flying lot of times only 150 to 200 feet off the ground. We couldnt find our field so we landed at 392nd Group which is Wendling Field, where Jay Folkert is stationed. We landed at Wendling Field at 1700. The mission lasted seven hours. We was around five hours on oxygen. I was with Jay Folkert all evening. I slept in his barrack and was with him until 10:00 the next morning. We took off from Wendling Field at 11:00am and landed at Attlebridge at 11:15. We would had flown a mission if we would had got back to the base last night. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2500 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet At that altitude, it was 48 degrees below zero

37: January 16, 1945 (Tuesday) TWENTIETH MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Dresden, Germany Was awaken at 4:00am for breakfast, had briefing at 5:00am. Had to be at stations at 6:30. Taxi time was 7:20am, we took off at 7:30am. After climbing to our formation altitude which was 13,000 feet we formed in the formation and kept on climbing to altitude over the North Sea to 22,000 feet. Then headed for the coast of the Netherlands, and flew on over the Zulder Zee, and on over the rest of the Netherlands, then on to Germany. We went on north of Hanover and then flew on in between Magdeburg and Berlin, then flew southeast to Dresden. On our route to Germany, we made a lot of turns and did a lot of invasion action to avoid flak areas. We made a lot of turns also to fool the enemy where we was headed for. The target was the marshall yards of Dresden, Germany. It was very important target because Germany was getting a lot of her supplies through this marshall yard. Dresden is also noted for the manufacturing of a lot of chinaware. We hit the target at 12:20 and bombed visually. We really plastered the marshall yards and also the city. We could see our bombs hit right in the choke point of the marshall yards. We also set almost the whole city on fire because we was dropping general purpose bombs and incendiary bombs. Those incendiary bombs sure raise heck with a town because they spread over such a big area. There wasnt any flak over the target when we came over, but we was the first ones to go over. The group which came in right behind us really caught the flak. They shot there lead plane down over the target where the colonel of the 44th group was in. The 44th group was the group that came in right behind us. Over the target, we really caught the Germans off guard because according to the turns we made, I dont think they expected we would bomb Dresden. We really expected to get hit by fighters because the second division was making the deepest penetration into Germany, which is our division. We really got briefed for fighters, but we was not attacked. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter plans. This was the best escort that we ever had because they really took care of our formation. We was bombing only fifteen miles from the Fifteen Air Force of Italy. The sky was just black with bombers today. Today was the most bombers I saw, all going to different targets in Eastern Germany. Our rally point was in Czechoslovakia, where we met with the 467th bomb group and then headed straight west for France. They shot quite a bit of flak at us crossing the enemy line going into France. On the way home, some of our P-51 went down to strafe them that was shooting the flak. We landed at a air transport command base around eight miles out of Paris. Our whole bomb group landed there and also three more groups. We landed there at 4:00 because the weather was very bad over the whole of England. The ceiling was zero over England. Quite a few were also running out of gas. They gave us supper at this field, then took us to Paris to the Red Cross where we slept for the night. They got us a truck convoy out of Paris at nine oclock the next morning. We got in Paris about eight oclock that night. We took off from this field near Paris at two oclock in the afternoon of the next day. We landed in Attlebridge at 4:30. The whole mission lasted ten hours and thirty five minutes. Was seven hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound incendiary bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 22,000 feet At that altitude, it was 30 degrees below zero This was the longest mission our group has ever pulled. We rassed each other in the morning that it was Russia ground support, because it was such a long haul and clear across into the other side of Germany. We flew over six different countries. We flew over England, Netherlands, Germany, Czechoslovakia, France, and Belgium. Our secondary target for today was Berlin. We found out later that it was ground support for the big Russian drive which will soon start.

39: January21, 1945 TWENTY FIRST MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Heilbronn, Germany Was awaken at 4:30am for breakfast, had briefing at 5:30am. Had to be at stations at 7:00am. We taxi at 8:15am and took off at 8:30am. The weather was terrible this morning. When we was awaken, it was storming out and the weather was bad. According to how we got briefed, they didnt expect us to land at the base again tonight on account of the weather, but we took off anyways. We climbed up to 21,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We flew around for awhile at that altitude over our forming area, but it was so terribly soupy up there. Couldnt see nothing and couldnt hear anything over V.H.F. on account of the clouds. So the lead plane of the group couldnt call out the positions he was at. So the group had a awful job with forming. We finally went down to 19,000 feet and happen to find the group. Lot of them was still forming on the route over France. We headed straight south from our base over England, to the southern part of England. Then flew southeast over the English Channel to the coast of France, then flew straight east over France then on into the southern part of Germany. The target was the marshall yards of Heilbronn, Germany. It was a very important marshall yards for Germany because it was connecting so many main lines from the main cities. This marshall yard was running 4,000 railroad cars through every 24 hours. We hit the target at 12:45. WE dropped all our bombs. It was 10/10 coverage over the target. Bombed by p.f.f. We went quite a ways farther east of the target then made a big turn and bombed this target on the way out of Germany. The flak was light over the target and didnt hit any on the way in or out. We had a pretty good escort of P-47 and P-51, but it was so soupy up there that we couldnt hardly see them half of the time. It was terribly cold up there. Everything was covered over with gray frost. It was 65 degrees below zero. The coldest I ever been. We came back the same way we went. We had to land at the 446th Group about thirty miles from our base because we was about out of gas. The No. 1 engine did cut out but fed it off No. 4 tank. We landed at the 446th Group at 4:15pm. We stayed long enough to eat supper. They fueled up while we ate supper, they put 200 gallons in each tank. We took off at 5:45 the same night and landed at Attlebridge at 6:00. The whole mission lasted eight hours, was around five hours on oxygen. We used such a lot of gasoline this morning, with climbing up and down with a heavy bomb load, hunting for the formation. Bomb load was ten 500 pound general purpose bombs and two 500 pound incendiary bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 21,000 feet At that altitude it was 58 degrees below zero The whole sky was just filled with vapor trails. The weather was awful up there today, but when we returned to base, the weather was very nice for landing.

41: February 3, 1945 (Saturday) TWENTY SECOND MISSION CREDIT Target: Large oil refinery in Magdeburg, Germany Was awaken at 4:00am for breakfast, briefing was suppose to had been at 5:00am but when we was eating breakfast, briefing was set back a hour because the target was changed. So had briefing at 6:00am, had to be at stations at 7:00am. We taxied at 7:45am. Was going to take off at 8:00am, which was takeoff time. We was taking off down the runway when the prop governor run away on No. 4 engine, so pulled the throttles back and taxied off the runway and went back to the revetment and had it fixed. Then took off at 9:00am. The deadline for takeoff was 9:00am, but we just made it. We climbed to 10,000 feet which was our forming altitude and we found the formation about right away. The formation was ready to take off on their course because they was already formed, but we fell in position and flew straight east over the North Sea, to the northern coast of the Netherlands. Then flew on over the Netherlands and then on into Germany. The target was a large oil refinery in Magdeburg, Germany. We hit the target at 11:35am and dropped all our bombs. We bombed by p.f.f. There was around 3/10 coverage. There was an awful lot of flak just before we hit the IP. We received a large hole in the tip of the left wing where a 8mm went through the wing and kept right on going. We was very lucky that it didnt explode on contact. It missed the gas tank by a few feet. They shot a lot of flak at us all the way in to the target. They really tracked us with their flak guns and they sure had our right altitude. We had a fair escort of P-51 fighter planes. We were not attacked by enemy fighter planes and the weather was very nice for flying and the weather was very nice over the base when we returned for landing. On the the way out from the target, we headed north towards the North Sea, and then flew on over the North Sea to base. We returned to the field and landed at 3:15pm. The mission lasted six hours and fifteen minutes. We was five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was ten 500 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons of gasoline Ammunition 4500 round Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet At that altitude, it was 38 degrees below zero Gods Miracle: We had such a big hole in the left wing when we got back at the base, we could jump through it. The plane flew so rough we had to fly on full flaps. We were afraid we would lose the wing.

42: February 11, 1945 (Sunday) TWENTY THIRD MISSION CREDIT Target: Large underground oil storage in Dulmen, Germany near Munster, Germany Was awaken at 3:20am for breakfast, briefing was suppose to been at 4:00am but briefing was set back a hour. While we was at chow, it was set back until 5:00am because the target was changed at the last minute on account of the weather. We had to be at stations at 6:30am. We taxied at 7:25am. We took off at 7:30am. We climbed to 12,000 feet which was are forming altitude, we then formed in the formation. We left the English coast at 9:00am. Forming took a hour and a half this morning. We then headed southeast over the North Sea and kept on climbing to 23,000, then over the North Sea to the coast of Belgium. Then flew on over Belgium and then headed northeast into Germany. The target was a large underground oil storage in Dulmen, Germany. It was just a little ways from Munster, Germany. We hit the target at 10:46am. We had a very nice target because they didnt get no where near us with flak today. This was the easiest mission we had made so far. The weather was quite bad up around 23,000 feet. It was terribly soupy up there and we was making a lot of vapor trails. We was suppose to have such bad weather over England on return. They only flew the ten oldest crews today of our group. The rest of the crews of this group was scrubbed, or in other words, got stood down because they thought we had to make a instrument let down and land on SCS-51. But the weather turned out pretty good over England on return. On the way back from the target, we came back through the Netherlands and dropped down fast over the North Sea, and got down below the overcast before we hit England. We were not attacked by enemy fighters but they were up. We had a pretty good escort of our P-51 fighter planes. We returned to the field and landed at 12:30. The mission lasted six hours. Was around four hours on oxygen. Bomb load was six 1,000 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet At that altitude, it was 45 degrees below zero We bombed by Micro X and bombed over a very heavy overcast.

43: February 15, 1945 (Thursday) TWENTY FOURTH MISSION CREDIT Target: Large underground oil storage in Magdeburg, Germany Was awaken at 3:30am for breakfast, had briefings at 5:00am. Had to be at stations at 6:30am. We taxied at 7:30am and took off at 7:45am. We climbed to 12,000 feet which was our forming altitude and formed in the formation. We left the English coast at 9:30am and headed straight east over the North Sea and kept climbing to altitude over the North Sea and headed for the Dutch coast. Flew on over Zuider Zee and the rest of the Netherlands, then flew straight east into Germany. The target was a large underground oil storage in Magdeburg, Germany. We hit the target at 11:35am and bombed by p.f.f. There was around 8/10 coverage of clouds over the target. We was briefed on having clear weather over the target and was suppose to bomb visually but the weather man had missed it by forecasting the weather. They put up a lot of flak while we was on the bomb run, but they was off to our left. They sure put up a lot of that real black flak but didnt get near us. We dropped all are bombs. We made a left turn when we had dropped our bombs and came out the same way as we had gone in. There were enemy fighters in the area but we were not attacked. We had a good escort of our P-51 fighter planes. We had nice weather for forming and for flying at our altitude. The weather was also nice over England for landing when we returned to the base. We landed at the base at 1440. The mission lasted six hours and 55 minutes. We was five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition load was 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 22,500 feet At that altitude, it was 30 degrees below zero

45: February 16, 1945 (Friday) TWENTY FIFTH MISSION CREDIT Target: The Northern marshall yards of Osnabruck, Germany Was awaken at 7:30am for breakfast, had briefing at 9:30am. We was suppose to take off at 10:45 but it was set back on account of the weather. We took off at 11:45am. The weather was very bad around take off time. It was very foggy and very low ceiling, but we took off anyways. We climbed to 18,000 feet which was are forming altitude. We had to form at that altitude on account of the clouds. After forming, we headed straight over the North Sea and kept on climbing to 23,000 feet. We headed for the Dutch coast and then flew on over the Netherlands, and then on into Germany. We had very bad weather all the way into the target. We had a lot of vapor trails at our altitude and it was very soupy, but the clouds were higher up then flying altitude so we just flew right on through it. We hit the target at 2:21pm and dropped all our bombs. We bombed by G.H. The flak was light over the target. We bombed over 10/10 coverage of overcast. We were not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of P-51 fighter planes. The weather was too bad over Germany for any enemy fighters to get off the ground. We returned to the English coast around four oclock and the weather was very bad over whole England. The formation had to make a instrument let down and we was about the last ones to peel off, so we was flying around above the overcast for over an hour. We let down on instruments through the overcast, over the North Sea. We then flew on in towards the base around 100 to 200 feet off the ground and still could not see nothing. By the time we came over the field, the weather had soaked in way to the ground and the ceiling was zero. We could not find our base, so the tower called us to go on up and land in some field in France. We called the tower back and told them we didnt have enough gas to make it back to France, but that we would go back up over the overcast. We went back up and let the navigator bring us on over the base, above the clouds on his G. box. We then flew on 90 degrees heading from the field for five minutes, then came back on a 270 degree heading, and then went down on in on the SCS-51. The pilot did very good on that because the SCS -51 brought us right in line with the runway. The pilot could not see the runway until the wheels hit the runway. He couldnt off made a nicer landing then if it had been visually. This SCS -51 is just a new thing. We landed at 7:00pm. The mission lasted seven hours and fifteen minutes. We was four hours on oxygen. If the weather had been nice over England on return, we would have had landing at 4:00pm and it would of have been a very nice, short mission. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing Altitude was 23,000 feet At that altitude, it was 40 degrees below zero

47: February 21, 1945 (Wednesday) TWENTY SIXTH MISSION CREDIT Target: The target was the center of the city of Nuremberg, Germany Was a awaken at 3:30am for breakfast, briefing was at 4:15am. Had to be at stations at 5:45am. Take off time was suppose to had been at 6:45am, but when we was out at the airplane it was set back to 8:00am on account of the weather and because they changed it to plan B, which was Nuremberg. Plan A was Magdeburg. We started out yesterday for Nuremberg, but we was all recalled when we got near German Territory on account of the bad weather, but we got there today. Our forming altitude was 8,000 feet. After we was formed, we left the English coast at 9:30am and headed southeast over the English Channel, to the coast of France and kept on climbing to altitude 23,000 feet which was our bombing altitude. We kept on climbing to altitude to about half way into France, then kept on flying over France and then into the southern part of Germany. Flew for quite aways into Germany and then headed north into Germany. The target was the center of the city of Nuremberg, Germany. The M.P.I. was right in the center of the city. The target was no military objective but this was the new German capital. Since Berlin had been in danger, a lot of the main military leaders of Germany was suppose to been there. This was also a big place in peace time for German military leaders. We hit the target at 12:15. We bombed by p.f.f. There was around 3/10 coverage of clouds over the target. The smoke bombs were seen to go right in the center of town through the breaks in the clouds. I dont think there is much left of the city of Nuremberg because the whole Eighth Air Force went out there today to Nuremberg. The flak was quite heavy over the target. They had our altitude but was shooting a little to the left of us. The 467th Group got shot up quite bad today. They came in over the target right behind us. We dropped all our bombs and returned out on the same route as where we came in. We were not attacked by any enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter planes which we picked us up half way in France and stayed with us until we was out of German territory. Again they shot quite a bit of flak at us both times when we crossed over the front lines. The weather was nice up there at our flying altitude and was nice over England when we returned to base. We landed at 4:15pm. The mission lasted eight hours and fifteen minutes. We was around five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was ten 500 pound R.D.X. bombs Gasoline load was 2700 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet At this altitude, it was 40 degrees below zero

49: February 22, 1945 (Thursday) TWENTY SEVENTH MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards and oil refinery of Peine, Germany, the M.P.I was the center of the town. Was awaken at 5:30am for breakfast, briefing was at 6:15am. Had to be at stations at 7:15am. We took off at 8:45am. We climbed to 18,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We formed and left the English coast at 10:00am. We headed straight east over the North Sea, to the coast of the Netherlands and flew straight on over the Netherlands and kept that altitude. We then flew straight east into Germany for quite awhile, then flew straight south into Germany for awhile. As soon as we hit the German territory, we started letting down to 8,000 feet. Just opposite what we are use to doing. Otherwise, these were one of those low altitude missions. It sure felt funny to be flying over Germany without our oxygen masks on. We was about half way to our target when they started shooting the flak at us. They really put it up there. It was visually all over Germany as clear as a crystal. The flak boys had all the advantages of the world. It was clear and we was so terribly low. They really tracked us with the flak. They really had it in close. We received two small holes in the elevator. They shot down two planes; one out of the 467th Group and one out of the 458th Group. They both went down in a spin. They both took direct hits by flak. One burst in flames right away and the other went way down to the ground before it exploded. No parachutes came out of either plane. We hit the target at 12:45. We dropped all our bombs and bombed visually. We really hit that town. The fire sure leaped up and the smoke came up to our altitude. When we left the target, that oil sure burned. We could really see things today. We really seen Germany today. We could really see how much damage we did today because it was so clear and we was so low. It was an all out effort today. The whole Eighth Air Force was out and the B-26 of the Ninth was out and the fighters were out in full force for escort and straffing. Germany really got a pounding today because the Eighth Air Force went in on this at low altitudes and all bombing reports were very good. The 467th Group and 458th Group also got shot up bad besides losing those two planes. After we left the target, we started climbing to altitude and came out on the same route as we went in. The weather was very nice today, was also swell over the base at return for a change. We were not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a very good escort of our P-51 fighter planes. They really stayed close to the bombers and gave us a very good escort. We was expected to have enemy fighters because the weather was good over there. We returned to the field and landed at 4:00pm. The mission lasted seven hours and fifteen minutes. We was around three hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound bombs Gasoline 2700 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 8,000 feet At that altitude, it was zero

50: March 11, 1945 (Sunday) TWENTY EIGHTH MISSION CREDIT Target: Large shipping port and large submarine factory of Kiel, Germany Was awaken at 5:45am for breakfast, had briefing at 6:45am. Had to be at stations at 8:30am. We taxied at 9:20am. We took off at 9:30am. We climbed to 10,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We was flying in the slot of the first squadron of the 466th Group. Our group was leading the second division today. The order of the divisions were first the 2nd, then the 1st, then 3rd. The order of the wings were the 96th, 14th, 2nd, 20th. Our group was the first one in today and the last one out. We formed in the formation and left the English coast at 11:00am. We headed northeast over the North Sea and kept on climbing up to 23,000 feet which was our bombing altitude. We kept on going northeast over the North Sea, to the coast of Denmark, then went southeast into Germany. The target was the large submarine factory of Kiel, Germany. The port was suppose to had been filled up with shipping and there were suppose to had been lot of submarines stored up. The city was built up right around this area. We hit the target at 1:20pm and dropped all our bombs. The bombs were really raining down today because the whole second division was going to Kiel and were all carrying 52- 100 pound general purpose bombs. After we left the target, we headed southwest over the North Sea towards base. We bombed by H2X. There was around 10/10 coverage over the target. We was briefed for heavy flak but having 10/10 coverage, the flak was scattered and they was off to the right of the formation. There was quite a lot of flak over the target but it wasnt to near. They was also shooting a lot of scarce crew flak trying to mislead us where the target was. We had a good escort of P-51 but were not attacked by enemy fighters. We returned to the base and landed at 4:00pm. The mission lasted six hours and thirty minutes. We were three hours on oxygen. Bomb load was 52 100 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline 2500 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet At that altitude, it was 40 degrees below zero

51: March 12, 1945 (Monday) TWENTY NINTH MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Friedberg, Germany Was awaken at 4:45am for breakfast, we had briefing at 6:00am. Had to be at stations at 7:30am. We taxied at 8:15am, we took off at 8:30am. We climbed to 13,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We was flying the third position in the first squadron. We formed in the formation and left the English coast at 10:45am. We headed straight east over the North Sea, to the coast of the Netherlands and kept on climbing to 20,000 feet, which was our bombing altitude. We kept on flying straight east over the Netherlands and then on into Germany. We flew straight east into Germany for awhile and then went south on into Germany. The target was the marshall yards of Friedberg, Germany which is around fifteen miles north of Frankfurt, Germany. We hit the target at 12:45pm. We dropped all our bombs. We bombed by G.H. We bombed through 10/10 coverage of clouds. There wasnt any flak over the target. It sure was a nice mission because they didnt shot any flak at us no where on the route for a change. We seen them shoot quite a few V-2 up into the air. We had a escort of P-47 and P-51. We were not attacked by enemy fighters. When we left the target, we headed northwest and came back through Belgium towards Yarmouth, England. The weather was very nice up there for flying. The 10/10 overcast of clouds were up to above 5,000 feet. We returned to the field and landed at 3:05pm. The mission lasted six hours and thirty-five minutes. We was around five hours on oxygen. Bomb load was forty two 100 pound general purpose bombs and two M-17 incendiary bombs of 500 pounds each Gasoline load was 2500 gallons Ammuntion was 4500 Bombing altitude was 20,000 feet At that altitude, it was 24 degrees below zero

53: March 14, 1945 (Wednesday) THIRTY MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Giessen, Germany Was awaken at 7:30am for breakfast, had briefing at 8:30am. We had to be at stations at 10:00am. The zero hour for takeoff was 12:00. We taxied at 11:00am, we took off at 11:15am. We climbed to 16,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We formed in the formation. We was flying in the second squadron of the 466th Group. We was leading the high right. We left the English coast at 1:20pm. We headed southeast over the North Sea, to the southern coast of the Netherlands, and then flew on southeast over Belgium and on into Germany. We flew on into the Ruhr Valley all the way into Germany. It was sure a awful mix up with the formations today. They first made one run on the primary target which was suppose to be bombed visually. Only the first squadron dropped their bombs on the primary. Then the formations started turning and looking for the secondary target and happen to go right over Dortmund. They really start shooting up the flak there because it was visually. They was really putting it on all sides of us and it was plenty close. The formation got all scattered up there, but we finally got back together again and got on the bomb run for the secondary target, which was the marshall yards of Giessen, Germany. We hit the target at 3:55pm. We dropped all our bombs. We bombed by H2X. We really hit the town according to the reports. They also put up a lot of flak over the target and they really had our altitude. We sure seen a lot of flak today. We came out about on the same route as we went in. We had a very good escort of P-47 and P-51 fighter planes. We returned to the base and landed at 6:30pm. The mission lasted seven hours and fifteen minutes. We was running five hours and thirty minutes on oxygen. Bomb load was forty four 100 pound general purpose bombs and two 500 pound M-17 incendiary bombs Gasoline load 2500 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 20,800 feet At that altitude, it was 28 degrees below zero The reason for taking off so late this morning was on account of the fog to clear off.

55: March 15, 1945 (Thursday) THIRTY FIRST MISSION CREDIT Target: The new German Headquarters in Zossen, Germany which was only twenty miles south of Berlin. We was awaken at 5:00am for breakfast, had briefing at 6:30am. Had to be at stations at 8:00am. We was suppose to take off at 9:30am, but when it started to get light, such a heavy fog started to blow in and it got so terribly foggy. So they delayed take off until 10:45am. Take off was delayed on account of the fighters couldnt get off, which were for our escort. We finally took off at 10:45am. We climbed to 14,000 feet, which was our forming altitude. We formed in the formation. We was flying in the third squadron and leading the high right. After we was formed in the formation, we headed straight east over the North Sea to the coast of the Netherlands, and then on over the Zuider Zee, and on over the rest of the Netherlands, then straight east on into Germany. They really put up a good smoke screen over Hanover and over Brunswick as we passed by to the north of these cities. They thought we was going to bombs these places. We received a lot of flak on the way in over Stendal. We kept on going right, straight east into Germany. We hit the target at 2:30pm. We dropped all our bombs and bombed visually. The target was the new German headquarters in Zossen, Germany, which was only twenty miles south of Berlin. We got briefed that the new German headquarters had just moved out there from Berlin and that they was putting in flak guns installations. So the whole Second Air Division was going out there today to knock it out. We had to bomb visually otherwise we had to go to our secondary target which was Berlin. There wasnt much flak over the target. We turned right and took the same route out as where we came in on. They also shot at us a few places on the way out. It was clear all over Germany today. We really hit that city today with our bombs. We had a very good escort of P-51 fighter planes. They picked us up in the Netherlands and was with us all the time until we got back over the Netherlands again. We returned to the field and landed at 6:00pm. The mission lasted seven hours and fifteen minutes. We was six hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 250 pound general purpose bombs and four 500 pound M-17 incendiary Gasoline load was 2700 gallons and had all tanks topped Ammunition was 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 21,800 feet At that altitude, it was 34 degrees below zero

56: March 17, 1945 (Saturday) THIRTY SECOND MISSION CREDIT Target: The marshall yards of Hanover, Germany Was awaken at 6:15am for breakfast, had briefing at 7:15am. Had to be at stations at 8:30am. We took off at 10:30am. We climbed to 16,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We formed in the formation. We was flying lead plane in the slot of the First Squadron. After we was formed in the formation, we headed straight east over the North Sea to the coast of the Netherlands, then flew on over the Netherlands, and then straight east into Germany. We had a strong tail wind going into the target. We left the English coast at 12:30pm. We hit the target at 2:05pm. The target was the marshall yards of Hanover, Germany. We dropped all our bombs and bombed by H2X. There was around 6/10 coverage of clouds over the target. There was a lot of flak over the target but wasnt accurate. We made a right turn when we got over the target, after we dropped our bombs, and took the same route out as where we came in on. We had a strong head wind going out. We had a very good escort of P-51 fighter planes all the way from the Netherlands and all the way back to the Netherlands. We returned to the field and landed at 5:05pm. The mission lasted 6 hours and thirty five minutes. We was five hours on oxygen. We had a lot of contrails at our bombing altitude. Bombing altitude was 25,000 feet At that altitude it was 40 degrees below zero Ammunition 4500 rounds Gasoline load 2700 gallons Bomb load was twelve 500 pound R.D.X. bombs The marshall yards were on the southern part of the town.

57: March 18, 1945 (Sunday) THIRTY THIRD MISSION CREDIT Target: Large armor tank factory and metal and small arms factory, in the city of Berlin, Germany We awaken at 3:30am for breakfast, briefing was suppose to had been at 4:30am but while we was at breakfast, briefing was set back to 5:30am. We had to be at stations at 7:00am. We taxied at 8:10am, we took off at 8:15am. The zero hour for takeoff was 9:00am. We climbed to 12,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We formed in the formation and was was flying lead in the slot of the Second Squadron of the 466th Bomb Group. We left the English Coast at 9:45am and headed straight east over the North Sea to the coast of the Netherlands, then flew straight east over the Netherlands, then straight east into Germany. We hit the target at 12:15pm. We dropped all our bombs and bombed by H2X. There was around 1/10 coverage of clouds over the target and a heavy ground haze over the ground. The target was the large armor tank factory and large metal and small arms factory in the city of Berlin, Germany. They didnt care too much if we hit the target but to hit the city in general. There was an awful lot of flak over the target. On the bomb run we received fourteen small holes in our airplane. They really had some good boys on those flak guns around Berlin. We lost two planes today out of our group by flak. Over the target the weather was also very bad. At our bombing altitude, there was such a lot of contrails at our bombing altitude and sure made a mix up with the different squadrons. On the bomb run we had a very good escort of P-51 fighter planes. There was also quite a lot of enemy fighters in the area today but our group, the 466th was not attacked. We returned to the field and landed at 3:35pm. The mission lasted seven hours and thirty five minutes. We was six hours on oxygen. Bomb load was five 1000 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline 2700 gallons and all tanks topped Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 25,000 feet At that altitude it was 35 degrees below zero

58: March 19, 1945 (Monday) THIRTY FOURTH MISSION CREDIT Target: A jet airfield and a large jet plane factory of Leipheim, Germany. It was the third largest jet plane factory in Germany. Was awaken at 5:30am for breakfast, had briefing at 6:30am. Had to be at stations at 7:30am. Take off time was suppose to been at 8:30am but when we was out at the airplane, take off time was set back to 10:30am on account of the weather. The weather was bad this morning. It was raining and there were heavy clouds up to way over 20,000 feet. But at 10:30am we took off anyways. We flew straight southeast over the North Sea, to the coast of Belgium and formed above Belgium and France today on account of the bad weather over England. We formed there at 12,000 feet which was our forming altitude. We was flying on the left wing of the plane that was leading the slot of the Third Squadron. After we was formed, we headed southeast over France for awhile then went straight east for Germany. The target was Leipheim, Germany a large jet factory and jet airplane airfield. It was the third largest jet airplane factory of Germany. We bombed visual and dropped all our bombs. We really plastered that place. We could see the bombs go right direct into the target area. We really set the place a fire. We dropped incendiary bombs. Our whole squadron was dropping incendiary bombs. The other two squadrons were dropping general purpose bombs. There was no flak over the target. After we left the target, we went northwest through Germany right along the front lines and up until the Netherlands. Then went straight west over the Netherlands and on over the North Sea. We really had a tour along the front lines. We could really see a lot of fighting going on along the front lines today. It was clear all over Germany today but the weather was bad up at 23,000 feet, which was suppose to had been our bombing altitude. We was making a lot of vapor trails and it was very soupy up there, so we had to go down to 18,000 feet to bomb on account of the weather. We returned to the field and landed at 6:40am. The mission lasted eight hours and ten minutes. We was four hours on oxygen. Bomb load was ten 500 pound M-17 incendiary bombs Gasoline load 2700 gallons and all the tanks topped Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 18,000 feet At that altitude, it was 21 degrees below zero

59: March 20, 1945 (Tuesday) THIRTY FIFTH MISSION (LAST ONE) CREDIT Target: The third largest oil refinery that Germany still had. It was the oil refinery of Hemmingstedt, Germany. They got us up at 10:30am, briefing was at 11:30am. Had to be at stations at 12:30am. It was very short notice so we didnt have time to eat. It had been raining all night and they expected the weather to be bad all day, but at 10:30am, the weather started to clear off so they decided to send out a mission on the last minute. We took off at 1:30pm. We climbed to 10,000 feet which was our forming altitude. Forming only took 50 minutes today because our group only put up one squadron of nine planes. We left the English coast at 2:20pm and headed northeast over the North Sea, to the northern part of Germany. The target was the third largest oil refinery that Germany still had. It was the refinery of Hemmingstedt, Germany. We hit the target at 4:15pm and bombed visual and dropped all our bombs. We really hit that place. We seen the bombs go right into the target area. When we left the target there was fires started all over and a lot of explosions. The smoke was really pouring up. There was no flak over the target. The nicest target we had so far. We made a right hand turn off the target and came back the same route as where we went in on. On the way back, we seen a squadron of the 458th Group bombing the secondary target. They caught quite a bit of flak over there and happen to shot the lead plane down there of the Squadron of the 458th Group. We had a very good escort of P-51 fighter planes and were not attacked by enemy fighters. We had a very nice mission for our last one. On the way back we also seen Rosalyn flying in the Group of the 467th. That was the plane that we took overseas last July. We returned and landed at the base at 7:05pm. The mission lasted five hours and fifty minutes. We was only around three hours on oxygen. Bomb load was twelve 500 pound general purpose bombs Gasoline load 2500 gallons Ammunition 4500 rounds Bombing altitude 19,500 feet At that altitude, it was 34 degrees below zero

60: A B-24 Liberator on the way to bomb Germany | The city of Norwich after a bombing mission. It was destroyed.

61: DEFINITIONS: P.F.F.: Pathfinder Force (radar bombing system) H2X: A P.F.F. upgrade, a new radar bombing system Flak: Anti Aircraft Fire G.H.: Radar Blind Bombing System Strafe: Practice of attacking ground targets from low flying aircraft V.H.F.: Very High Frequency IP: Initial Point SCS-51: Instrument Landing System. A low approach system for directing aircraft to the runway in low visibility R.D.X. Bombs: Research Department Explosive MPI: Mean Point of Impact Contrail: Condensed water vapor made by the exhaust of an airplane

62: RAF Attlebridge Airfield and Station, England

63: Map of Europe

64: Jay's Accomplishments and Awards | Air Medal This award is presented to US and civilian personnel for single acts of heroism or meritorious achievements while participating in aerial flight. Jay received 4 | Good Conduct Medal This award is presented to those who are recommended by their commanding officers for exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity. Persons awarded this medal must have had character and efficiency ratings of excellent or higher. Jay received 4 | European Campaign Medal This medal is awarded for service in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater between Dec 1941 and Nov 1945. | American Campaign Medal This medal is awarded for service within the American theater between Dec, 7 1941 and Mar, 2 1946 for permanent assignment as aircrew members of airplanes making frequent flights over ocean waters for a period of 30 consecutive days or 60 days nonconsecutive and In active combat against the enemy. | US Army Air Force Aircraft Mechanic Proficiency badge | Ut Viri Volent "That men may fly" A commemoration pin of the 60th Anniversary of WWII.

65: WWII ARMY AIR FORCE PROP & WING SWEETHEART PIN | Mechanics Triangle

68: Jay and Jeanette Kooiker

69: By the grace of God, Jay survived the war and is honored, loved, and remembered by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. | Children Glenn and Jan Kooiker Sandy and Gary Meeuwsen Graydon and Sandy Kooiker Barbara Kooiker | Grandchildren Greg Meeuwsen Kevin Kooiker Steve Meeuwsen Wendy (Kooiker) Harkema Scott Meeuwsen Lindsay (Kooiker) Smithers Kristin (Kooiker) VandenHeuvel Jeffrey Kooiker Sherri Meeuwsen Timothy Kooiker Great Grandchildren 12 and counting

71: Jay Graydon Kooiker April 24, 1920 - September 21, 2009

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About This Mixbook

  • Title: Grandpa's Diary (Copy)
  • Jay Kooiker's experience during WWII.
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  • Started: over 6 years ago
  • Updated: almost 6 years ago

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