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T/Sgt. Joseph E. Hornyak
721st Squadron



Information courtesy of 450th Bomb Group (H) The "Cottontails" of WWII and Turner Publishing Company


COMBAT MISSIONS


JUNE (Two E.R's [Early Returns] to Ploesti) 27th   [24th]
(2) M/Y VESCES HUNGARY – encountered heavy flak, feathered # 3 engine. Snuffy [Everett Frank] dropped thru doors.

JULY
(2) 3rd GIURGU, ROMANIA - oil storage – encountered heavy, intense, accurate flak – 2 planes went down – 14 men bailed out
(1) 4th PITESTI, ROMANIA - rail road bridge – dropped thru doors – no flak (very light)
(1) 6th TOULON, FRANCE – submarine pens – heavy intense accurate flak
(2) 7th ZAGREB, YUGOSLAVIA – marshalling yards – heavy intense flak
(2) 8th MARKERSDORF, AUSTRIA (Vienna Area) airdrome – one rocket burst right off tail.
(1) 22nd PLOESTI, ROMANIA – Romano-American oil refineries – intense flak – no bombs – another formation in way.
(2) 26th MARKERSDORF/DUSSELDORF, AUSTRIA (Vienna Area) – airdrome; alternate Daimler-Benz aircraft – intense flak – fighters in area.

AUGUST
(1) 3rd BOLZANO, ITALY (Brenner Pass) – Ora rail road bridge – intense flak but inaccurate.
(1) 5th [6th] TOULON, FRANCE – submarine pens – didn't quite make target. #4 went out – landed at Corsica – stayed overnite. 
(1) 13th TOULON, FRANCE – Coastal defense gun positions – no flak.
(1) 14th GENOA, ITALY – Coastal defense gun positions – intense accurate flak
(Southern France invasion came off today – Aug 15 – 44)
(2) 22nd VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Labau oil refineries – 17 holes in ship – worst flak encountered yet. ME-109's encountered.
(1) 26th GIURGU/RUSCHUK, ROMANIA – Ferry boat on Danube River
(1) 28th MISKOLC, HUNGARY – Main marshalling yards – moderate flak.

SEPTEMBER
(1) 4th [3rd] TORINO [TRENTO], ITALY (Brenner Pass) – marshalling yards – moderate accurate flak – 1 plane went down burning.
(1) 6th LESKOVAC, YUGOSLAVIA – marshalling yards – 35,000 troops were concentrated there.
(1) 13th ORA, ITALY – railroad bridge (Brenner Pass) – no flak.
16th – fractured heel – D.N.I.F. [Duty Not Involving Flying]
LT. RAE [Rhea] got wounded Oct. 7
Cast removed Oct. 23rd

OCTOBER
(2) 9th PLOESTI, ROMANIA – Ploesti oil refineries – heavy, intense, accurate flak.
(1) 12th THEOULE, FRANCE (Toulon Area) rail road viaduct – intense flak along coast – feathered # 3 – landed at Rome for fuel.
(1) 14th BUDAPEST/FERENCVAROS, HUNGARY – main marshalling yds. – escort kept fighter off. Witnessed 1 FW-190 go down.
(2)(single) – 15th PLOESTI, ROMANIA – Romano-American oil refineries – heavy, intense accurate flak – Lead ship (Col Snaith) went down. Lost another one near home.
(2) 20th FRIEDRICKSHAFEN/LOWENTHAL, GERMANY – airdrome – 72 A.A. guns reported – heavy intense accurate flak – 450 enemy fighters were sent up against us. 100% bombing.

NOVEMBER
(2) 5th VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Florisdorf oil refineries and storage tanks – intense flak.
(2) 6th VIENNA , AUTRIA – Moosbierbaum oil storage tanks (underground)
(1) 8th ALBANIA – troop concentrations – little flak – BLOUGH, Pilot. [Daniel Blough]
(1) 18th SJENICA, YUGOSLAVIA – railroad bridge – light flak.
(1) 23rd SKLOPJE, YUGOSLAVIA – Doboj railroad bridge.

DECEMBER
(2) 3rd LINTZ, AUSTRIA – industrial area – heavy flak - very low on gas – 60 gals. left after landing.
(2) 15th [16th] INSBRUK, AUSTRIA – early return – MYERS [Pilot, Arthur Myers]
(2) 16th [15th] ROSENHIEM, GERMANY – (Munich Area) heavy flak.
(Walde lost – on Vis)
(2) 17th WELS, AUSTRIA/GERMANY – moderate accurate flak – marshalling yards.
(2) 20th SALZBURG, GERMANY (Munich Area) – marshalling yards – moderate accurate flak.
(2) 25th INSBRUK, GERMANY – main marshalling yards – moderate accurate flak – MYERS [Arthur] – 345 (RAMP RAT)   LAST MISSION CHRISTMAS DAY

35 SORTIES
51 MISSIONS


FINIS

This information was written in 1944 during the war
Notes added later are in brackets [  ]

ORIGINAL NOTE PAGES


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Mid Michigan Honor Flight - 26 September 2018



























For more letters from the kids, CLICK HERE

Hello everyone!
Dad and I are grateful to all of you for your well-wishes, cards, letters, thoughts and prayers!
Dad stayed up after our return flight until 2:30 am reading every one of the cards and letters – and then again over the next several days!
A special thank you to teacher Lindsey Miller* and the other teachers at her school in Dearborn, Michigan, for helping their students (grades 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th) write letters and draw pictures (83 in all)!granddaughter They were all special — attached are a few to share with you. Please don’t miss reading them!
*Lindsey is Dad’s granddaughter and my niece.
The entire flight and day was amazing. All volunteers!

A few notes….
- 400 hundred US flags and 500+ people at Cherry Capital Airport, Traverse City, Michigan, to send the veterans off and to welcome them back… Boy Scouts, church groups, schools, women’s clubs, softball and hockey teams, Blue Star Mothers, Rotary, Michigan State Police, Veterans Coalition, VFWs, American Legion and Amvets, military personal, local law enforcement, kids with signs & flags, and more- all there “To thank a veteran”.
- In DC… live string trio welcoming us; Mid-Michigan Honor Flight ground crew who live in the DC area directing us in the airport (a good thing)!
- Police escort throughout DC and Virginia…we really stoped traffic!
- Tour guides on each bus that explained about the history of the city, the memorials and Arlington (we learned much and realized we don’t know enough…. time to hit the books!)
- Hand painted rocks with the US flag and “HERO” written on them from children for the vets
- “Mail Call” insuring every vet had plenty of mail
- Hand made “Project Hero Hugs” bears for each vet
- Hand made red/white/blue/patriotic quilts for each vet
- Medical team (in red shirts!) “just in case”
- Professional photographers, media personal
- Fire departments in both Traverse City and DC with their water canon salute
- Many great memories!

Thank you all!

Sandra and Joe



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