Floyd Crew - Assigned 755th Squadron - July 20, 1944
(Photo: Bobby Simon)
2Lt John B. Floyd Crew - Completed Tour
|1Lt||John B Floyd||0817652||Pilot||May-45||CT||Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross|
|1Lt||John C Ellis||0820976||Co-pilot||09-Apr-45||CT||Mission List - Lechfeld, Germany|
|1Lt||Gerald L Covey||0716590||Navigator||May-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI|
|1Lt||George W Dicks||0717043||Bombardier||May-45||CT||Awards - Distinguished Flying Cross|
|T/Sgt||William E Moran||13075277||Radio Operator||22-Feb-45||CT||Mission Load List|
|S/Sgt||Lee Hall, Jr||35446955||Flight Engineer||23-Feb-45||CT||Mission Load List|
|S/Sgt||Eugene R Griffin||12170157||Armorer-Gunner||16-Mar-45||CT||Suspended fr flying AAF Reg 35-16|
|Sgt||Loveless J Simon||18171006||Aerial Gunner||Oct-44||CT||Trsf to RD for return to ZI|
|S/Sgt||Melvin S Eaken||34105834||Aerial Gunner||Apr-45||CT||Trsf to 70RD for return to ZI|
|Cpl||George E Gordon||33101243||Aerial Gunner/Duty Soldier III||13-Feb-45||RFS||Reclassified MOS 611/590|
John B. Floyd and crew arrived at the 458th on July 20, 1944 and were
placed in the 755th Squadron. The crew flew their first mission eleven
days later to a chemical plant near Ludwigshafen, Germany. One aircraft
from the 754th Squadron was lost on this mission. The crew flew their
second mission on August 2nd, but was forced to abort with engine
trouble and was not awarded sortie credit.
The crew completed ten additional missions prior to the 458th being removed from combat operations to assist in hauling gasoline to France. These “Truckin’ Missions” began in mid-September and would continue until the end of the month. Several of the crew took the opportunity on at least one of these trips to take in the sights as their Liberator was unloaded, and collected some souvenirs. [See photo below]
On October 23, 1944 the 755th Squadron became the 458th’s “lead” squadron and a shuffling of crews took place in the group. Floyd and crew remained in the 755th, however one of the gunners, Sgt Loveless J. Simon was transferred to the 780BS 465BG 15AF in the Mediterranean Theater. Simon had a tragic connection with the 755th Squadron long before he and his crew had arrived at Horsham.
On May 27, 1944 his cousin S/Sgt Wilbert Abshire an original member of the 755BS on Lt James Olney’s crew, had been killed in action when the aircraft he was flying in collided with another in the formation. Abshire and one other crewman bailed out, but the aircraft, Briney Marlin, was brought under control and landed safely at Horsham. The two men were never found, victims of the cold North Sea. Simon flew several missions in August on the very aircraft that his cousin had last flown in on that May day. On February 17, 1945, Simon's crew flew B-24J-195-CO 44-41064 V-Grand on a mission where they lost one engine, collected over 150 holes (large holes in the nose and ball turrets), lost all hydraulic fluid, rudder controls and partial aileron controls, a hole in the nose wheel, and the oxygen system shot out. "But we were lucky," wrote Simon, "yes, very lucky and made it OK to our base." The landing gear was lowered by hand and the crew was able to repair one rudder cable and aileron controls. His last mission was on April 24, 1945.
Beginning in early December Floyd began flying as group deputy lead with various command pilots who displaced co-pilot John C. Ellis. Ellis was soon assigned his own crew in January and records show that he flew 13 credited sorties as first pilot, including ten as a lead or deputy lead. It is not known exactly which crew members flew with Ellis, but navigator Gerald Covey is known to have gone from the Floyd crew to Ellis’.
Floyd flew his last mission on March 30, 1945 and John Ellis flew his
last on April 9, 1945. Most of the crew completed their combat tours
around this time as well. The radio operator and engineer were both
promoted to T/Sgt on November 4, 1944 and then appear only on two mission load lists in February 1945. As they both appear in a 1945 crew photo, it is
assumed that they flew with Floyd long after November. One gunner was
removed from flying status in February1945 and reclassified in a
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Cmd Pilot||Ld||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|28-Jul-44||LEIPHEIM & CREEL A/Fs||SCR||--||42-51179||P||J3||--||DUSTY'S DOUBLE TROUBLE||BRIEFED AND SCRUBBED|
|02-Aug-44||3 NO BALLS||101||ABT||42-51097||T||J3||--||UNKNOWN 022||#4 ENG OIL ZERO|
|03-Aug-44||2 NO BALLS||102||2||41-29288||L||J3||43||BIG-TIME OPERATOR|
|05-Aug-44||BRUNSWICK/WAGGUM||105||4||42-110141||U||J4||10||BREEZY LADY / MARIE / SUPERMAN|
|12-Sep-44||WELFORD to CLASTRES||TR01||--||42-52441||I||J3||T1||LAST CARD LOUIE||CARGO|
|20-Sep-44||HSF to CLASTRES||TR04||NTO||42-99997||P||755||T2||NOT 458TH SHIP||NO TAKE OFF|
|21-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR05||--||42-52441||I||J3||T4||LAST CARD LOUIE||CARGO|
|23-Sep-44||HSF to ST DIZIER||TR07||--||41-29288||L||J3||T5||BIG-TIME OPERATOR||CARGO|
|25-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR08-1||--||42-50320||H||J3||T2||NO NAME or NAME UNKNOWN||1ST FLIGHT - CARGO|
|26-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR09||--||42-94996||G+||389BG||T4||LIBERTY BELLE||TRUCKIN' MISSION|
|27-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR10||--||42-94996||G+||389BG||T5||LIBERTY BELLE||TRUCKIN' MISSION|
|30-Sep-44||HSF to LILLE||TR13||--||42-94996||G+||389BG||T8||LIBERTY BELLE||TRUCKIN' MISSION|
|02-Nov-44||BIELEFELD||140||ASSY||41-28697||Z||Z5||A27||SPOTTED APE||ASSEMBLY CREW - 755|
|08-Nov-44||RHEINE||144||17||42-50768||J||J3||16||ARISE MY LOVE AND COME WITH ME|
|06-Dec-44||BIELEFELD||153||20||DARELIUS||L2||44-10487||R||J3||20||Girl on surfboard (no name)|
|11-Dec-44||HANAU||155||21||QUINN||L5||44-10602||P||J3||19||TEN GUN DOTTIE|
|12-Dec-44||HANAU||156||22||QUINN||L4||44-10602||P||J3||20||TEN GUN DOTTIE||ABORT (OPS REP GIVES CRED)|
|07-Jan-45||RASTATT||166||ABT||PHILLIP||L2||42-50608||W||J3||--||FILTHY McNAUGHTY||#2 ENG OIL PRES|
|31-Jan-45||BRUNSWICK||176||ABT||RUE||L2||44-10618||T||J3||--||UNKNOWN 038||ELEC SYSTEM FAIL|
|03-Feb-45||MAGDEBURG||177||26||42-50504||S||J3||19||UNKNOWN 019||COMPOSITE SQDN w/466|
|17-Feb-45||ASCHAFFENBURG||REC||--||BLACK||42-50504||L||7V||--||UNKNOWN 019||RECALL - WEATHER|
"Spoils of War" - September 1944
Bill Moran, Loveless Simon, John Ellis, John Floyd, Gerry Covey, George Dicks
(Photo: Dave Ehnebuske)
John Ellis Missions as 1st Pilot
|Date||Target||458th Msn||Pilot Msn||Cmd Pilot||Ld||Serial||RCL||Sqdn||A/C Msn||A/C Name||Comments|
|08-Jan-45||STADTKYLL||167||ABT||42-50499||U||J3||--||COOKIE/OPEN POST||GUNNER GOT THE BENDS|
|29-Jan-45||MUNSTER||175||2||44-10487||R||J3||29||Girl on surfboard (no name)|
|03-Feb-45||MAGDEBURG||177||3||L4||44-10487||R||J3||30||Girl on surfboard (no name)|
|06-Feb-45||MAGDEBURG||178||4||44-10602||P||J3||27||TEN GUN DOTTIE|
|20-Feb-45||NUREMBURG TANK FACT||REC||--||RUE||42-95557||H||J3||--||LADY PEACE||RECALL - WEATHER|
|21-Feb-45||NUREMBERG||185||6||RUE||L2||42-95628||K||J3||10||UNKNOWN 038||REPLACED 557|
|26-Feb-45||BERLIN||190||8||L2||42-50504||S||J3||21||UNKNOWN 019||GROUP 200TH MISSION|
|04-Mar-45||STUTTGART||196||ABT||PHILLIP||D1||42-51669||J||J3||--||UNKNOWN 026||ABORT - #2 ENG OUT|
Maximum Effort - December 24, 1944
Just a few of the 56 aircraft the 458th put up on Christmas Eve 1944
The Floyd crew took part in the mission of December 24, 1944 to hit the marshalling yards at Schonecken, Germany, south of Aachen. Due to the weather, this was the first time since December 12th that the 458th had been able to mount a mission. This was also the first day of clear weather since the Germans had launched their offensive in the Ardennes, which would come to be known as “The Battle of the Bulge”. On this particular day, the Eighth Air Force mounted a maximum effort, sending more that 2,000 heavy bombers and nearly 1,000 fighters to hit airfields, marshalling yards, and communications centers to try and relieve the pressure from the ground forces. The 458th put up an unprecedented 56 aircraft, of which 53 dropped their bombs on Schonecken and other targets in Germany.
It was also on this date that the town of Malmedy was mistakenly bombed by the USAAF. While not purposely targeting this city, which was under the control of the Allied forces, elements of the 458th are believed to have unloaded their bombs here in the belief that they were bombing a target of opportunity in Germany.
The after action critique held by Col Isbell shows that the lead squadron, “failed to pick up primary target…and bombed a crossroad and railroad north of the assigned primary. (Maj. Betzold, CA of deputy lead A/C, stated that GH fixed bombs at Blumenthal, about 22 miles north of primary target. SAV’s confirm this showing excellent pattern on railroad and roads.)”
The mention of “Blumenthal” in this report is confusing, especially when the distance between the primary target at Schonecken and Blumenthal is stated to be “about 22 miles north….” Blumenthal, Germany is in fact over 300 miles north of Schonecken. The town of Malmedy is a little over 21 miles north of Schonecken, as mentioned further along in the Colonel’s critique: “A Group – Low Left SQ:, Major LaRoche, CA and the lead bombardier thought they had bombed the primary target but had hit to one side. (SAV’s show that bombs of this squadron landed in open fields 2 miles south east of Malmedy, some 22 miles from assigned MPI.)”
If the bombs of Major La Roche’s squadron landed in open fields two miles southeast of Malmedy, which is stated to be “…some 22 miles from assigned MPI” and Major Betzold’s squadron bombed a crossroad and a railroad “…about 22 miles north of the primary target”, the evidence is very compelling that Major Betzold’s squadron mistook Malmedy for the primary and dropped on that city.
Further evidence shows that the primary was bombed at 1436 hours by at least two squadrons, one of which was led by Floyd. They were flying in the “B Group” Low Left Squadron with Captain Simes as command pilot. The son of navigator Lt Gerry Covey (left) remembered that his father told the story of the Christmas Eve 1944 mission every year: “The bombardier on my Dad's plane was a fellow named George Dicks, who stayed in the Air Corps/Air Force after the war and became Colonel George Dicks. He earned the DFC on the Christmas Eve mission for hitting the target exceptionally well.
“Anyway, he recollected to his son years later that the Group had great difficulty finding the IP somewhere near Namur. It is quite possible that one of the towns bombed by the Group was actually Malmedy; the distance between Malmedy and Schonecken by air is only around forty miles and the Group had to go after many secondary targets in the area. Bombing a Belgian town would have been only another mess-up among a few. For example, the squadron ahead of my Dad's going after Schonecken dropped way too early and plowed up a field. On the other hand, so many planes were in the air that there's lots of room for doubt.
“Things got so bad navigation-wise that afterwards a fellow by the name of Simes, who was a ‘guest’ co-pilot [Command Pilot] on my Dad's plane, recommended that if the Group ever needed to go all-out again, there should be more Group lead navigators. I'm sure he was thinking in particular of my Dad, who had been grousing with Dicks about how close the Group came to being truly lost.
“My Dad's squadron was the last one of the Group to bomb and it was during the bomb run that he conclusively identified the town as the primary. Because of that, the Group lined up on his plane to return home and, because the 458th knew where it was, the ‘whole damn Eighth Air Force lined up behind us.’"
The mission critique seems to lend credence to this: “B Group – Low Left Squadron: Lead bombardier stated that they had hit the I.P. and that the res t of the group went off course there. There were no check points in the snow, so they selected a target of opportunity, and made a run on it. Just at bombs away, the navigator got a GEE fix that indicated their target was the primary. They laid a pattern in center and west side of town. (SAV’s show an excellent pattern of bombs on the primary target with 95% within 1000 feet, and 100% within 2000 feet.)”
American soldiers of the 30th Infantry Division were currently occupying the town. Eye witnesses on the ground saw B-24 bombers approaching from a northerly direction. The numbers vary, but anywhere from 12-18 were seen.
1Lt Frank W. Towers, a
platoon leader and Liaison Officer in the 30th Infantry Division, had a
ring side seat and viewed the bombing of the town: "In the meanwhile, the Germans had
claimed the capture of Malmedy (right), and the headlines of the Stars &
Stripes proclaimed this! Thus our Air Corps partners, the “9th U.S.
Luftwaffe” as we called them, came over with their heavy B-24 bombers on
24 December, and opened their bomb-bay doors directly over Malmedy.
"Malmedy had been liberated in October 1944, with little or no fighting, as the Germans were on the run at that time, heading for their defenses along the nearby border of Belgium and Germany. So, Malmedy had been spared of any appreciable damage, and when we moved into the town on 18 December, it was a beautiful and picturesque resort town, where everyone was merrily going about their business as usual.
"This suddenly changed the whole picture! Malmedy was a total disaster, with the entire center of the city laid to waste. Many civilians were killed and wounded, but we were fortunate in losing only a very few men of our own. Our biggest loss was our Christmas dinner, which was being prepared that day. Spam and bread is what we got!! Three of our Company’s kitchens located within the City of Malmedy, were totally destroyed.
"As I mentioned, the entire center of the city of Malmedy was a total wasteland, and the next day, the Stars & Stripes proudly proclaimed,’ that Malmedy had been retaken by our troops, due to the strong support of the Air Corps, in stopping the German advance through Malmedy.’
"At this particular time, I was a Liaison Officer from the Division Hq., which was located in the Hotel des Bruyeres in Francorchamps, to the 120th Regimental Hq. which was located in the City Hall in Malmedy. I drove between these two points frequently, day and night, so it was prudent to find the shortest route between these two points. This led me to an unimproved road up over a mountain to the northwest of Malmedy, and through the settlement of Burnenville, situated on the top of the mountain. This route saved me many miles of travel and hours of time.
"On the fateful day of 24 December, as I was traversing this route, and was about to descend the slope of the mountain down into Malmedy, I heard the drone of planes to my rear. I told my driver to stop right there. We looked back and saw this great flight of B-24 bombers. What a wonderful sight to behold! I said to my driver, “The Germans are going to catch Hell somewhere”, and he agreed. Little did we know at that moment that their target was Malmedy!! In a few moments, we were appalled when we could see the bomb-bays of the planes open, and the bombs began to tumble out!! It was total horror as we watched the bombs drop all the way down to their target, the heart of the City of Malmedy!! Clouds of smoke erupted from this point, then flames reaching hundreds of feet into the air over Malmedy. I had a small camera with me, and I took a few photos of the planes, dropping their bombs, and then of the city shrouded in smoke and flames.
30th I.D. Funeral Truck after the bombing
Old Hickory Website
"We cranked up our Jeep, and raced down the slope of the mountain, and crossed the bridge over the river on the north side of the city. That was as far as we could go, as there was debris from the bombing all over the streets, making them impassable. People were running around screaming for help and needing assistance. Knowing where all of our medical facilities were located in Malmedy, all that I could do was to direct them to the nearest medical facility, where they could get help. Upon reaching the Regimental CP located in the City Hall, I found that all of the phone lines were out, and radio communication with the Division Hq. was not possible due to the distance and the interference of the mountain between the two headquarters.
"I was delegated to race back to the Division Hq. and advise them of the disaster that had just occurred, and to summon assistance at once. Almost immediately, as many of the Medical officers and staffs were summoned and dispatched to go to Malmedy to render any assistance possible to our own troops first, then to render assistance to the civilian population as needed.
"Needless to say, the 105th Engr. Bn was dispatched also, to render assistance in clearing the main routes through the city as quickly as possible.
"It was remarkable to note that, although the entire heart of the city was destroyed, the St. Quirin Cathedral was virtually untouched! Talk about Miracles!!
"However, we recovered from this disaster rather quickly, as most all of the necessary ground support was almost immediately available, since we were in the midst of the 1st Army supply depots, which had been abandoned by them on 16, 17 & 18 December 1944."
"Malmedy was a beautiful town of
some 15,000 people that had been spared the destruction that occurred to
so many European towns and cities. Later that evening we received some
information that had been reported to Army Hdqrs. 'Malmedy had been
captured by the Germans.' December 24th dawned bright and clear as we
remained in our positions. Around noon my Company Commander sent his
jeep to pick me up to report to "M" Co. Hdqrs. I asked Mike O'Hara to
go with me and we reported to the Command Post in the center of
Around 2:30 PM, after the meeting with Capt. Broussard, Mike and I retired to another room in the three-story house that had a “wood burning” stove so we took off our combat boots to warm our feet. We had been there about five minutes when we heard a "swishing" sound that kept getting louder and louder. We thought some German rockets were coming in so we grabbed our boots and headed for an interior hallway that had no exterior windows. About that time there was one hell of an explosion and dust and debris flew everywhere. We sat down and put our combat boots on and about that time somebody ran into the Command Post and yelled that our Mortar Platoon had been hit by a bomb.
"This time it was twelve or fifteen
American B-24 Bombers that had bombed Malmedy and their accuracy was
deadly. The loud explosion we heard was the house next door that
suffered a direct hit. This was a three-story house that was flattened
even with the ground. I never did know if there were any soldiers or
civilians in that house but for sure no one survived. As soon as we had
our boots on we took off down the street about a block where our Mortar
Platoon was located. We came to a pile of debris that had been a
three-story house and someone said the 1st Section of the Mortar Platoon
was in that house. It was obvious that there would be no survivors so
we worked our way around to the back of the house to see if there was
another way to get into the basement because we were sure that is where
they would be. It was hopeless but we did find one man who was still
alive but he died in about five minutes. The bomb must have had a
delayed fuse because the men we could see were blown up under what had
been the first floor of the house. The Mortar Platoon lost fourteen men
in that one house but they did not suffer because death was
instantaneous. It was beyond our belief that our own planes could bomb
us two days in a row. Most of the bombs landed in and around the center
of Malmedy and the destruction was terrible. The final count was
something like thirty G.I.s killed and four hundred civilians killed and
"Mike and I decided that we could not be of any help so we grabbed a jeep that someone had abandoned and returned to our hole in the ground. This had been one terrible Christmas Eve - one that will never be forgotten by the ones who were there."
While much of the evidence
points to the 458th as having dropped on Malmedy, no record of this
exists in the 458th war diary, other than what is mentioned in Colonel
Isbell’s mission critique of bombs landing two miles “southeast of
Malmedy.” It does not help the group’s case that one squadron that had
trouble with check points elicited the response, “There is some doubt as to where this squadron bombed” from the Colonel.
While the truth of who actually bombed Malmedy on December 24th may never be known, there is one thing for certain: the town of Malmedy was NOT bombed deliberately by this group. If it was in fact a squadron or squadrons from the 458th, they believed they were either dropping on the primary target of Schonecken, or a target of opportunity in Germany.
Floyd Crew - 1945
(Photo: Jim Leddy)
S/Sgt Loveless J. Simon
Mission-Ludwigshafen, Germany July 31st 1944. 24 bombs 250 lbs, 6hr. 50 min. No fighters- intense flack P-38/P-51 escort.
Mission-Northern France-No Ball Mission Aug 3rd, 1944. 24 bombs 250 lbs, 5 hrs. 1 ME 210 light flak escort P-51
Ship- "Paddle Foot"
Mission-Rastock, Germany Aug. 4, 1944. 10 bombs 500 lbs, 7 hrs. No fighters. Intense flak-P-51 escort, P-47. Lost 2 engines (#2 and 4) very low on fuel
Mission-Brunswick, Germany Aug. 4, 1944. 12 bombs 500 lbs, 7hrs 15 min. light flak at our Gp. No fighters, Bombed at 23,000 ft., flew at 24,000 most of the way, escort P-51, intense flack.
Ship-"W for Williams"
Mission-Caster, France Aug 8, 1944, 52 bombs 100 lbs., 4 hrs. 45 min. intense flak, thickest ever seen by all crews, no fighters, escort by P-51s.
Mission-Northern France, Aug 13, 1944, Bombed front line, 42 bombs 100 lbs., 5 hrs. near mouth of Seine River, France. Very intense and accurate flak. Light fighter-escort by P-51
Mission-Vechta, Germany, Aug 15, 1944, 5 hrs. 20 Min., 4 bombs @ 1000 and 4 bombs @500 lbs., Moderate flak. Fighters ME 109s Escort P-38 & P-51.
Ship-"A" new ship
Mission-Hanover, Germany Aug 23, 1944. 6 hrs., 24 bombs @250 lbs., intense flak at target. not too accurate but very thick. Good escort P-51, P-47, P-38.
Ship-"Briney Marlin" [same A/C his cousin Wilber Abshire, KIA, was in when it was hit by another A/C over the channel in May 1944]
Mission-Karlshrue, Germany Stpt. 5, 1944. 9hrs. 30 min., 10 bombs @ 500 lbs, some flak and heavy overcast. Flew over Germany at 25, 600 and dropped at 22,500. P-51 escort.
Ship-"Last Card Louie"
Mission-Lillie, France. Sept 22-23 slept there overnight brought gasoline-10,000 lbs load in bombay and waist-no credit for mission. Landed on fighter strip at night. Sept 25-26 Same, repeat of 22-23 no credit.
Missions-**Brux, Germany. Dec 16, 1944 (Note-not sure if this is out of England or Italy because a straw draw, sometime in late fall of 1944, by crew in England had him transferred to Italy and the 15th where he finished the war with the 55th BW, 465th BG, 780th BS).
**Blechhammer, Germany Dec 18, 1944 and **Brux, Germany Dec 28, 1944 where they bombed Amstetten, a first alternate
**South Vienna, Germany (the way it is in the book) Feb. 14, 1945
**Pola, Italy Feb. 17, 1945--Here they were in "V-Grand" where they lost one engine, over 150 holes, large hole in nose and ball turrets, lost all hydraulic fluid with no flaps, lost rudders U two strand left on ailerons. A hole in the nose wheel, oxygen system shot out. dad writes, "we were lucky, yes, very lucky and made it ok to our base". He also stated "we (he and another crew member) put landing gears down by hand and repaired aileron cables and 1 rudder"
**Northern Italy Feb 24, 1945 where the over and undercast was intense and caused an ineffective sortie and landed with their bombe [8 500 lb];
**Augsburg, Germany Feb. 27, 1945 ["close to Switzerland on our rally from the target. We could see it from our right waist window and top turret]
**Vienna, Austria [no date];
**Szombathely, Hungary [spelling] Mar 4, 1945
**Verona, Italy Mar 8, 1945 [NOTE "so far 31 missions"]
**Regensburg, Germany Mar 13, 1945 [very low on gas and sweated it back over the alps etc.]
**Graz, Austria Mar 15, 1945
**Muhldrof, Germany Mar 19, 1945
**Neuburg, Germany Mar 21, 1945 [36 cluster bombs hit Jet propelled airdrome sweated out Jet planes all day. Good P-51 escort. Saw one enemy aircraft unidentified plenty contrails of jet jobs. [NOTE the 17's were hit hard by the Jets]
**Gmund, Czechoslovakia Mar 23, 1945
**Prague, Czechoslovakia March 12, 1945 [36 cluster bombs on airdrome North of capitol, "plenty of aircraft on the ground. Knocked the hell out of them"]
**Villach, Austria Mar 31, 1945 [did not see target due to weather bombed by "P.F.F", what ever that means]
**Bruck, Austria April 1, 1945 did not reach the target on account of the Russian front moving in too close--credit for ineffective sortie
**Graz, Austria Apr 2, 1945 [intense and accurate flack "blew us out of formation, I sure thought I was gone for good, but we finally made it back. My officers are now all through and I'm going to rest camp"]
**Front line of Northern Italy April 10, 1945 [flak intense and inaccurate "at our box", "saw two B24's go down in flames]
**Front lines (8th Army) Northern Italy April 13, 1945 ["flew nose--heard later the infantry made a big advance where we bombed"]
**Northern Italy front lines April 16, 1945
**Northern Italy Apr 20, 1945 [bombed bridge behind German front]
**Northern Italy Apr 23, 1945 [bombed a bridge in defense of the front lines]
**Northern Italy April 24, 1945
[railroad bridge--"moderate flak. I sure was nervous but made out O.K.
for my last one--no escort 10 500 lbs bombs]
"-FINITO- /// So lets go home."
Photos and mission info courtesy: Bobby D. Simon