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"We Remember"
by Dwayne O'Brien

2nd Lt. Theodore R. Tautfest
723rd Squadron


1944

Picture courtesy of the 450th Association Archives

The following pages contain the dairy of my life in the service. This simple record of my daily experiences and thoughts has given me pleasure in the writing of it.

 

 

The following pages are an account of my life after receiving orders for overseas duty.

 

Nov. 21 - 43 B-24H 41-28579 Twin Tail

We took off today at 0800 for Herington, Kansas which is a staging area. We came from Alamogordo, New Mexico to Herington, Kansas in four and one half hours. We landed at 1230. Here it was much colder than at Alamogordo. Maxine and Theo also left Alamogordo today with Jack Ward's and Lt. Long's wives. This evening Loomis, Long and I saw a movie, Princess O'Rouke.

 

Nov. 22 43

We were at roll call at 7:15 this morning and boy was it cold. We took a short exam afterwards and than were through until 1:50 which was roll call. Afterwards we saw several short movies about war tactics and were through until 7:00 this evening. At 7:00 P.M. we had a briefing on the route we were to fly on our way overseas.

 

Nov. 23 43

This morning roll call was at 7:15 as usual and we didn't get up until 7:05. We dressed and ran all the way. Just as we walked in they called our names. Afterwards we were busy with clothing checks and shortages. This was really a mess. It was noon when I finished. After dinner we were so called processed and paid. I had a will and a "power of attorney" made. I took both and went to the post office and mailed them along with $100 to Maxine. Tonite at 5:30 I phoned Maxine and found out that she had gotten home the day before by driving all nite. The first thing she wanted to do, as I hoped, was come to see me. I told her if Norma & Jim wanted to, to come ahead. We talked which seemed like no time at all and it cost $2.35 (but it was worth it). At 7:00 this evening we had a briefing on escaping if captured by the enemy.

 

Nov. 24 43

This morning we had roll call at 0800 and nothing else to do. Loomis and I went to the PX and about 10:30 Long came in to tell me Maxine was here to see me. I was really surprised and rushed right out to the car. Maxine really looked nice but I could tell that she was tired. I felt so sorry for her but was glad that she came. We visited until 12:50 and they went to town and we had a short physical, then drew our .45 and a knife.

About 4:00 P.M. Maxine, Jim and Norma came back out to the field. They brought with them a John filled with almost anything that you can name. It was swell and we had so much fun. At 6:00 we had supper and a big steak which wasn't any too good. Afterwards we sat in the Officers Club and talked for our last time just we like we use to at home but about different things which did us both a lot of good. At 11:30 they were all so tired that we decided they should go. I went to the gate with Maxine and I thought of lots of things on that last ride together. The only reason that I wished Maxine hadn't come was the sad parting. That is something I will never forget. I told her that I would see her next Xmas and I only hope that I can keep that promise. Maxine met for the first time today Loomis, Vernon, Fox, and Leo.

 

Nov. 25 43

This morning we were up at 0600 and took off for West Palm Beach, Florida or Morrison Field, at 0830. This was a long flight on Thanksgiving Day. We had coffee and sandwiches at 9000 feet, for dinner. We landed in Florida at 5:00 P.M. We had supper at the Officers Club. It was nice with turkey at $2.00. Too damn much but we were hungry. This is a pretty place, warm, palm trees and green grass. It is too warm this evening to wear a jacket.

 

Nov. 26 43

This morning we had a briefing on the route to Porto Rico or Borinquin Field. Afterwards we checked our supplies and other accessories. This afternoon I was made a Class B Finance Officer and given $500 to use in case we needed it. This evening we ate at the PX which was a lot cheaper. I began calling Maxine about 7:00 and finally got her at 11:00. I only hope she enjoyed it as much as I did. I know she did.

 

Nov. 27 43

This morning we took off for Porto Rico at 8:00. This was our first flight over water. It was a beautiful sight. One that I will never forget. However I had a very lonesome feeling when we left the U.S. for I knew that there is no place like them. We got here in Porto Rico at 2:00 P.M. The island and the surroundings didn't appeal to me at first sight. But it was very warm in fact so warm that I changed to summer clothes this evening. The palm trees are beautiful and it rains each afternoon.

The barracks are long buildings and all were named after some hotel in the States. We are staying in the Roosevelt Hotel. Sounds good but I wished that you could see it. This evening Long and I ate supper at the Officers Club. This is the most beautiful club that I have seen. It sits on the bank overlooking the ocean. The meal was pretty good for 60 cents.

 

Nov. 28 43

We were to take off this morning but are grounded because of our engines. Loomis ordered 28 sandwiches for our flight today. This evening we tried to eat some of them but the bread was too hard and the ham too salty. This evening Long went to the club and hit the jack-pot on the quarter and nickel machine. He was really thrilled. I bought a carton of cigarettes today for 60 cents.

 

Nov. 29 43

We are still grounded today so we got a pass and went into a small town called Aquadilla. Here my eyes were really opened to how nice things were in the States. The town is crowded and dirty. The people are dirty and almost without clothes and speak nothing but Spanish. We soon got enough of that and went back to the field. This evening while at the club I saw Joel Mcrea. I wrote to Maxine for the first time since I was out of the States. We now know that we are taking off in the morning so am going to bed.

 

Nov. 30 43

We took off this morning at 0700 for Atkinson Field in South America but our radio developed trouble and we had to land at Waller Field in Trinidad. This is a small island just off the coast of South America. I am not sure if they named the field after Fat Waller the negro band leader or not. It was raining when we landed and rained about every five minutes there after. By the way this is a British island and all trucks drive on the left hand side of the road. Sure looks silly. We got the radio fixed and are already to go in the morning. By the way our orders read that we were going to Casablanca but were changed tonite to Chateadun so that's where we are going.

 

Dec. 1 43

We were off this morning at 0545 for Belem, Brazil. Everything went well. Saw a lot of jungles and rivers. We got here about 1:30 this afternoon. This town is on the south bank of the Amazon River which is very large and muddy. We had our briefing for the route tomorrow and are ready for bed.

 

Dec. 2 43

We were off this morning at 0600 for Natal, Brazil. Every thing went well today and we landed here this afternoon our last stop before the big hop. It is really warm here and we are taking tablets for the prevention of malaria. Also we sleep under mosquito netting. There isn't much here and they all speak Portuguese. Our meals consist mostly of fruits especially fresh pineapple and the coffee is strong as hell. We are all set to take off tomorrow nite at eleven o' clock after the briefing.

 

Dec. 3 43

Today is very warm and we are planning on going swimming at the beach. We are not allowed in town and from what I hear we're not missing anything. Loomis and I played the dime machine at the club this evening for nothing because there was something wrong with it and all that we got was $3.60. We did not take off tonite because of engine trouble.

 

Dec. 4 43

We didn't get up in time for breakfast so had to wait until noon. I bought a pair of mosquito boots today and saw Humphrey Bogart and his wife at the PX. Here they have Brazilian money and it's a mess but I think I am going to get away without getting any of it. I wrote Maxine a letter today. They show out door movies here but I've seen all that they have shown. We are taking off tonite so had better get some sleep.

 

Dec. 5 43

We were off at two o'clock this morning. This was a long flight and nothing but water. We sighted a couple of surface vessels but nothing else. Everything went well except Vernon missed his ETA a little and some of the fellows got a little worried. We landed here this afternoon and what a place. It is dusty, dirty and the natives are really black. This is Dakar, Africa and almost everyone here has had malaria. We had a pretty good supper, the first American food in sometime. We saw a movie tonite and is time for bed.

 

Dec. 6 43

We were supposed to take off today but didn't because of bad weather. There is nothing to do. We can't go to town. They say the town is filthy dirty. All the people are French and natives. They say that they will pay lots of money for Parker fountain pens and gold watches. We saw Humphrey Bogart and his show which stunk. The natives work around the post here for 40 cents a day. The same movie is showing tonite so there is nothing to do.

 

Dec. 7 43

We are grounded today again because of weather. We got paid our per diem that is $7.00 a day while coming across. We had to take it in French Francs. What a mess it is. It amounted to $57.75. The PX carries a good supply of things. They tell us it is the best that we will ever see over here. They opened what they call an Officers Club today. It is nothing but an old French house with a small bar, a few chairs and tables and an old phonograph. The drinks which are very poor consist of wine and beer made from peanuts. This place has the worst quarters of any that we have been at yet. No mattress no sheets and only two blankets.

 

Dec. 8 43

We are still here because we are grounded. Bob and I went to the beach for a swim. Even if this is Africa the water was rather cool. Today our ship was given the name of "Twin Tail". I haven't seen it yet but the boys tell me it is really a good picture. It consists of two practically nude girls with blonde hair and are about five feet tall. Jake Ward and another kid that is riding with us bought a monkey today. About all we do around here is read books that we can buy at the PX. I wrote Maxine a letter tonite.

 

Dec. 9 43

It is rather cool this morning and I am going to hunt more blankets to sleep under tonite. I saw the picture of the girls that Fox painted on our ship. They really show up. The monkey that the boys bought is really a corker. We have heard a rumor that President Roosevelt is coming here today. Guards are lined on both sides of the road. About six o'clock this evening the President flew in. He came from the field and through the camp in a big black sedan. He looked just as I had expected. I wrote Maxine a letter this evening.

 

Dec. 10 43

We were awakened at five o'clock this morning and were off at 0700 for Marrakech. This was a long flight over many a mile of sandy desert. An airplane had been lost in the desert a day before an we were instructed to look for it but no sign of it. Just before we arrived we crossed some mountains covered with snow and they were really beautiful. Everything went well today and we landed here this afternoon. Loomis and Ward had a little accident with the monkey on the way here. The food here is good. The barracks are poor, without stoves and it is cold. Bob and I want to town tonite to see a movie and we saw Bogart and his same show. We are to take off in the morning.

 

Dec. 11 43

We were briefed today for the route to Chateaudun but didn't go because of weather. Nothing to do but wait. We went to the PX to buy things and what things they have are rationed and we had to get a ration slip. Only two packs of cigarettes each day.

 

Dec. 12 43

We didn't takeoff today because of weather. Nothing to do so Bob and I went to town and tried to rent a bike but it couldn't be done. The people and the town are dirty. Most of the people are Arabs and French. Orange trees grow on each side of the street. Many automobiles have had the motors taken out an are now pulled by horses. Bob took a few pictures in town.

 

Dec. 13 43

It is raining today so we won't be gong anywhere. Loomis met some fellows here that he went thru flying school with. They are in the A. T. C. and stationed here. They have swell rooms and quarters. They have invited us over so we spent the day with them playing cards. We got so tickled playing blackjack with Loomis.

 

 

Dec. 14 43

Nothing doing today but the same old thing. We decided that we were going to make a stove. What a stove it is. Smoke is so thick in here that I can hardly breathe. We played cards for a while tonite.

 

Dec. 15 43

We were off this morning at 0900 for Chateaudun. Everything went well except we flew through clouds and snow for almost an hour. We landed here this afternoon and what a place. Nothing but tents. We filled our own mattresses with straw. Ate out of mess kits for the first time this evening. We are to wait here a day or two for more of the ships to come in. It sure is cold in this damn place this evening.

 

Dec. 16 43

Nothing to do today. We heard of a place which has a natural hot spring. We went down and took a bath. It was really nice. This afternoon we went to a town about forty miles away. Had a nice supper at the Red Cross and saw a stage show given by a group of soldiers. It was really good and funny. We are taking off tomorrow. I hope I get only half as cold tonite as I did last nite.

 

Dec. 17 43

We were off this morning at 0900 for Manduria, Italy but landed at Tunis because of bad weather ahead. This is the first place where I have really seen the ruins of war. The hangers have no roofs, large bomb craters are all around and wrecked German planes practically cover the place. We are staying in town at a hotel. Tomorrow if we don't get off I hope to go to the ship docks and look it over.

 

Dec. 18 43

We are grounded this morning because of weather. Loomis, a couple of other fellows and myself took a walk down to the harbor and it is certainly in ruins. The buildings nearby are all shattered and many ships are half submerged in the harbor. We came back to the field for dinner. I came out to the plane as I am guarding it this afternoon and tonite. I wrote Maxine a letter tonite. I know that she will be angry with me if she ever reads this but I just started my diary here tonite.

 

Dec. 19 43

We are still grounded today because of weather. It rained last nite and today. The plane leaked where I was sleeping so I had to move. I went to town after dinner. I don't know what for because there is absolutely nothing to do. There are several movies but the pictures they show have been shown in the states six months ago or more. This is about the best town that we've been in but it is dirty as any. The Col. thinks we will be able to take off in the morning so I had better get some sleep.

 

Dec. 20 43

We were off at 0830 this morning for Manduria, Italy. Everything went well and we are all OK. (To here 9000 mile trip completed) We got here shortly after lunch and thought for awhile that we weren't going to get anything to eat but finally got some Spam. This is some place but I guess it could be worse. We do have old Italian barracks. As yet we have no cots but we did get two blankets this evening and luckily I had three or I would freeze tonite as we are sleeping on the floor. We have no stoves and no lights.

 

 

 

Dec. 21 43

I was cold and stiff this morning but I am about to thaw out now. Bob and I went in town today and what a town. It is the worst I've seen. I turned in my $500 today and we were lucky enough to find some candles or we wouldn't have any light whatsoever. We put up a clothes rack and a few shelves. We also got cots this evening.

 

Dec. 22 43

We were supposed to go on a local flight today to get familiar with the country but our radio was inoperative. They tell us it won't be long until we will be doing the real thing. There is another group here which have been here for sometime. We were looking at some of the planes that were on a raid yesterday. They had several bullet holes in them. It looks as if there may be a war around here and not far away either.

 

Dec. 23 43

Nothing to do today for we can't fly as our radio is still out. We have finally gotten enough wire from the old wrecked Italian planes to fix the lights in our barracks. When the Germans left this place they tore all of the wiring out of the plugs. Now if we can only find a light bulb which are very scarce.

 

Dec. 24 43

We had a local flight today and had nothing else to do. This is Christmas Eve but it only seems like another evening to me. What I wouldn't give to be home if only just for this evening. I wrote Maxine a letter this evening. I hope that she enjoys Christmas Eve and Xmas Day for both of us.

 

Dec. 25 43

Christmas Day in Italy. I had never dreamed that such a thing would ever happen to me. I only hope it never happens again. We did nothing today except the usual things. We had a fairly nice dinner considering this place. It consisted of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and butterscotch pudding. I wrote Mom and Jannie today for the first time since I left the states. The Col. called us together and read us Xmas greetings from President Roosevelt, General Marshal, Gen. Arnold and Doolittle.

 

Dec. 26 - 43

We had a group formation flight today. Aside from that we did nothing at all. We are to have another flight tomorrow. I did some washing today and hung them up to dry on a red wire and did it ever fade. I have two tone drawers now.

 

Dec. 27 43

Weather didn't permit a flight today so we did nothing again. Loomis and I went to town and finally managed to get a light bulb but it cost us $2.00. The postmaster told us that it would be two or three weeks before we would get any mail. I would like so much to get a letter from Maxine.

 

Dec. 28 43

We had a short flight today and it is really cool. Bob and I gathered up a few things and hope to get a stove made tomorrow. More crews came in today and they had to put three men in each room. A fellow by the name of Jim Lombardi from Mass. is with us.

 

Dec. 29 43

It rained last nite and almost all day so we didn't fly. We worked on a stove practically all day and believe or not it works. We are burning gasoline in it. That is what they burn in all stoves over here. It's no wonder it is rationed at home the way it is wasted here. Well finally got my diary up to date so I am going to bed.

 

Dec. 30 43

We had a short flight this morning and did nothing the rest of the day. Believe it or not it didn't rain today, something unusual. We are not flying tomorrow but are supposed to have a meeting with some general. Everyone has been in looking at our stove. They really think it is something great. Several of the boys are making themselves stoves like ours. This one was made from scraps from old airplanes. I wrote Maxine a letter tonite to let her know I am OK and thinking of her.

 

Dec. 31 43

We had a meeting with a General this morning and he gave us a little pep talk and how easy he thought we would win. We did nothing of importance the rest of the day. Loomis and I made a few modifications on our stove and it works a lot better. This is New Years Eve but you would never know it for it is as quite as any other nite. Our group is going on their first mission tomorrow. However our crew is not going this time. Some crews will be left each time and we happened to be one of them this time. I hope they have good luck but I hope we have the best of luck on our first and all there after. It is raining now so I doubt if they go.

Well this is 1944 but we had quite an exciting New Years Eve after all. About 10:30 tonite some of the fellow's stove blew up in the other wing of our barracks (722nd). Some one yelled fire and the fellows in our barracks almost went crazy. Naturally we thought it was going to burn our barracks to. So about ten minutes after the fire started this barracks had everything in it taken out. Some of the fellows lost stuff and are still looking for them but luckily I found all of my belongings. The fellows in the barracks that burned lost practically everything they owned. The concrete latrine that joins the two barracks is all that saved ours. Naturally they have made everyone take their stoves out so I guess we will freeze now. By the way my pen was shaken up a bit in the confusion tonite so it didn't do so well when I started on the other side of this page. Well I was in bed once tonite, we are all moved back in, the fire is about out so I will try it once again as it is now 12:30 1944.

 

1-1-44

Well this is the first day of a new year. We finally got to bed after the excitement last nite. There was a bunch of sad looking boys this morning when they went out to look in the rubbish to see what they could find. But I don't think they found much for the fire did a pretty good job.

Our group was to go on their first mission today but didn't because of bad weather. It rained last nite and practically all day. However, I imagine we will be going on one in a day or so.

We had a rather nice dinner today consisting of turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, canned pears, coffee, oranges, hard candy and almonds. Our crew and another cleaned up our latrine today. Otherwise we did nothing else but the regular routine. It is rather chilly and I have written Maxine a letter so I think I shall go to bed.

 

1-2-44

The group didn't go on a raid today but we are supposed to go on one tomorrow. We are not scheduled to go but we may at the last minute. We did nothing today of importance. Ed and I went out to the ship and worked with things in the ship until we got them organized a bit. I washed some pinks and a shirt in gasoline and they came out pretty good. We played a little poker tonite and I won about $1.70. Vernon did alright with about ten bucks. I have a slight cold, it is nine-thirty so I am going to get some sack time.

 

1-3-44

Well the group was scheduled to go on a mission this morning but for some reason, which I don't know, didn't go. We saw a short movie this afternoon on the ditching procedure. This evening Ed, Jim and I went to Manduria to get a haircut but they were too busy. We bought some candy, figs and wine ($1.60 quart). I wrote Maxine a letter this evening. It is ten o'clock now so I think I will turn in.

 

1-4-44

With Ed's brush which he bought last nite, we gave the room a good scrubbing this morning. Doesn't look bad. If only we could keep it that way. The rest of the day we did nothing. We all donated $1.00 to the squadron fund which is supposed to go for fixing a few things in the latrine. Since I couldn't find any almonds in Manduria last nite, this evening Long and I went to Oria. He was there last nite and knew they had some. I could have gotten plenty last nite that were already hulled out but if you could see the way these people live, you would understand why I didn't buy any. By the way a couple of fellows got some mail today so maybe it won't be long until I will be getting some, I hope. Well it is ten o'clock which is my bed time so here goes.

 

1-5-44

We did nothing today except the usual routine. I did some washing but I don't know how I am going to get them dry for it has rained practically all day and is still raining and getting colder. We got our rations today which consisted of five packs of cigarettes, one pack of smoking tobacco, a bar of soap, one bottle of ink, two small boxes of matches, shoe polish, and a writing pad. Long, Jim, Vernon and I went to Manduria to a movie this evening. It was an old picture and I didn't like it. Some of the fellows got mail today and I hope I will be lucky and get some tomorrow. Ed just came in from guarding the ship which is what I will probably be doing tomorrow nite.

 

1-6-44

Today we did nothing. Just sat around and played cards. It was somewhat colder today than usual. We had a little sleet and snow. Long, Vernon, Jim, Ed and I played Hearts tonite, and I lost about $1.50. Jim also cut Ed's hair tonite which took about an hour. He was about half through when the lights went out so had to finish by candle and flashlite. Jim's dad is a barber in Boston and he intends to take up the trade after the war. I am guarding the Ship from 2:00A.M. until day lite and it is ten thirty now so had better get a little sleep.

 

1-7-44

Today was just another day. We did nothing but lay around. It has rained so much in the last few days that we are unable to fly. However I think that there is to be a mission tomorrow but we aren't going. Long, Jim, Ed and I went to a movie in Manduria this evening. We saw Get Going and was really funny. We bought some oranges at twenty cents per pound. We priced some of their so-called cookies at two dollars and twenty cents per pound. They say the Americans are suckers and they seem to know it. Well no mail today and it is ten o'clock so will try to get some sleep.

 

1-8-44 Sat.

We did nothing today unusual except the regular routine. Our group went on their first mission today but we didn't go. They all came back in good condition. No one was hurt and almost all ships had a few flak holes. The mission was considered a failure for they missed the target. Jim cut my hair this evening. Ed, Jim and I hooked a piece of pipe this evening which we hope to use in making a stove tomorrow. It is really chilly at evenings and mornings. No mail today in fact only one letter for the whole group.

 

1-9-44 Sunday

Some of the group went on a mission today but our squadron didn't go. I heard that they didn't do so good. We are having a meeting tomorrow but I don't think we are flying. We did nothing unusual today. Gathered up things for a stove and took them to the welder. We are to get it tomorrow. Long, Vernon, Jim, Ed and I went to a movie tonite in Oria. Saw Remember the Day. Wasn't too bad. Long got his stove that he had made in town. When he started a fire in it the solder melted and the pipes come apart. It's ten-thirty and time for bed.

 

1-10-44 Monday

Today was just another day. Two squadrons of our group went on a mission and they think it was a success for one. We worked on our stove and finally got it in and it works swell. We are to on local flight tomorrow. It seems silly as hell to us but we can't do anything about it. We borrowed a truck to get our stove fixed today and it is the first Army truck that I had ever driven. Well no mail today. I wrote Maxine a letter last nite, and will write her again tomorrow nite. It is ten o'clock and will be getting up early in the morning so had better get some sleep.

 

1-11-44 Tues

Well I did nothing today except the usual routine I was to fly but the Capt. decided that he wanted to go so I didn't fly. Jim got his face burned from the heater in the latrine. I did a little washing today. We are flying a practice mission tomorrow. We have just finished eating some "K" rations so are ready for bed as we are getting up early in the morning. No mail today.

 

1-12-44 Wed.

Today was only another day except we flew a practice mission but we are to get a real one tomorrow. We got our rations today which wasn't much but one can get by on them. No mail today and I should have written Maxine tonite but will do so tomorrow nite. Yes tomorrow we are supposed to get our fist mission and I only hope it isn't our last. We are having breakfast at five in the morning and it is ten now so better get some sleep.

 

1-13-44 Thursday

We were up at five this morning and briefing at six forty-five and were suppose to go on a raid up north and east of Rome but we had trouble with our ship and didn't go. However I guess the boys made out OK. We started to Lecce this morning and saw a ship crack up on the runway. The nose wheel gave way on take-off. It was a ship from the 98th I'm not sure but three or four fellows including a Col. was killed. No mail today and we are getting up at five in the morning so better get to bed.

 

1-14-44 Friday

We were up at five this morning and went on our first mission. Our group bombed Mostar, Yugo. We didn't do the best but not the worst. No one was wounded. They say there wasn't much flak but being my first mission I thought there was plenty. We got only two small holes in our plane. One in the windshield on my side and one in the left wing. Jack Graham of the 721st got one engine knocked out and they think he went down. There is a mission tomorrow but our ship is grounded. Yes we have only forty-nine more to go which means a lot of sweat. I wrote Maxine a letter this evening. No mail today. It is ten o'clock and time for bed.

 

1-15-44 Sat.

Did nothing unusual today. The group went on a mission today and didn't do so good again. We are to go on a mission tomorrow. Jack Graham made a forced landing at Trestia and got out with a broken arm. That is about eighty or ninety miles from here and they came in this evening. Ed and I built a small table between our beds today, There was a lot of mail for us today and I think everyone got a letter but me. Our ground crews came in today also. Jim is going on his first mission tomorrow. I got paid yesterday $110 which wasn't all I had coming. They took $150 which was to be Maxine's allotment but it wasn't to start until December but I will get it next month. Well getting up early in the morning so better get to bed.

 

1-16-44 Sunday

We were up this morning early and went on our second mission up in northern Italy a town by the name of Zara, Yugo. We blasted the hell out of it. However we lost a ship. First Lt. Holloman, a fellow from Fredrick, Okla. They all bailed but I suppose they were captured by the Germans. They were shot down by fighters. We had very little flak and no fighters. Only forty-eight more to go but I can see where that is too damn many. We are not flying tomorrow. I got my first letter today from Mother but it was sent to Herington, Kan. Ed got his promotion to First Lt. today. Well it's ten o'clock and time for bed.

 

1-17-44 Monday

Well another day and I did nothing unusual. Our group went on a mission but turned back because of weather. So the mission was considered unsuccessful and the fellows are really getting fed up. But they are going tomorrow however our ship is grounded. I was supposed to stand guard tonite, but some other fellow is taking it because our crew had it last nite, which doesn't make me mad at all. No mail today but maybe tomorrow. It is ten o'clock and time for bed.

 

1-18-44 Tuesday

Another day and we did hardly nothing. Our group went on a mission and were fairly successful. We are to go on one tomorrow which will be our third. I sent Maxine a hundred dollars today. I also wrote to Maxine and Mother this evening. No mail today. We'll be up early in the morning so better go to bed.

 

1-19-44 Wed.

We were up early thing morning and to go on a mission but our plane had a gas leak so we didn't go. The rest of the group went but didn't do so good. We hauled a truck load of dirt today to cover our stove as we are piping heat into Long's and Vernon's room. I got a haircut and shave in town today for twenty cents. We are not going on a mission tomorrow but are giving our ship a test hop to test the gas leak. No mal today. I am going on guard tonite from ten until two which is about thirty minutes from now.

 

1-20-44 Thursday

Did nothing today but flew for about an hour testing our ship. I am a very happy person tonite as I got my first mail from my sweet wife and plenty of it to. I got a total of twelve letters and a Xmas card from Maxine. It certainly was wonderful to get letters from her, such nice letters and beautiful Xmas card. I wrote Maxine a four page letter this evening. I also got a letter from Jannie, cards from Lorine and Lonie, Mr. and Mrs. George Morris and Velda and Moe. Well we are to fly a mission tomorrow so better get some sleep as it is eleven o'clock.

 

1-21-44 Friday

Was up early this morning and went on a mission to Prato in northern Italy, however we couldn't find it because of clouds. So we dumped our ten-five hundred pound bombs in the ocean (Med) on our return. We got back about four o'clock. The Red Cross girls had doughnuts and coffee for us. Ed, Jim and I went to Manduria to a movie and it stunk. We got back about seven-thirty. I wrote Maxine a four page letter.

 

1-22-44 Sat.

Didn't fly today. I went up to Grotogola and saw Marion. That place was really bombed and is it ever beat up. Later he and I went in to Taranto where they have a nice Officers Club. Tate came over this evening and showed me a picture of Theo that Maxine had sent. He also told me that some other crew flew their ship and didn't get back. We are flying a mission tomorrow in support of the ground forces and a big push which began today. No mail today. I wrote Maxine a letter this evening. Marion already has six missions.

 

1-23-44 Sunday

We were up early this morning to go on a mission but didn't get off because of trouble with our ship. However it is ready and we are going tomorrow. I wrote Maxine and Jannie letters this evening. No mail today. It is ten o'clock so better get to bed.

 

1-24-44 Monday

We were up early this morning and went on a mission which was our fourth to Skopclj, Bulgaria. It was a pretty good mission but a few enemy fighters were encountered. However none attacked us but some of the boys in the other squadrons got shot up a bit and one tail gunner was killed, the first casualty for our group. No mission tomorrow as we been on enough to earn a days rest. I got a letter from Maxine today. I enjoyed it so much. I wrote Maxine a letter this evening.

 

1-25-44 Tuesday

I did nothing today except I took my laundry to town (Manduria) Ed, Jim and I went to Oria to get a radio fixed (belongs to another kid). We are to get it tomorrow. Our ship is grounded because of a gas leak so we are flying another fellows ship tomorrow. I just heard someone say that briefing is at 5:45 in the morning so I had better get some sleep. No mail from Maxine today.

 

1-26-44 Wed

We were up this morning at four and briefed on a mission in southern France but it was called off because of weather. It was a long mission of about nine hours. Turned in the necessary date to get paid which is to be the fourth of Feb. Got the radio fixed today and it doesn't work so bad. The Germans have a lot of the stations garbled but we get a couple out of England with American music. We had a short flight today. Wrote Maxine a letter this evening. No mail today. We are getting up at four again in the morning.

 

1-27-44 Thursday

We were up early this morning at four and took off at 6:45 for Istres Le Tube, France in southern France. The mission was pretty good. This was our fifth with only forty-five more to go. We got about five so it was a long tiresome mission. The 721st lost one ship (Wandell). We ran out of gas just a few seconds before we landed so we were mighty lucky. There was some flak but no fighters. We are not flying tomorrow and I'm glad for I am dead tired. I don't feel so bad however for I got thirteen letters and Xmas card from Maxine. Also a Xmas a card from Jannie. I wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

1-28-44 Friday

I did nothing today since we didn't fly. But we are flying a mission. I got a letter from Maxine and one from Mom. I answered them this evening. Leo & Fox made promotions a few days ago. Leo made tech & Fox made staff.

 

1-29-44 Sat.

Today we went on a mission and what a mission to Siena, Italy. There was clouds over the target but we dropped our bombs anyway. This made our sixth with only forty-four to go. We are going again tomorrow. No mail from Maxine today but I got a letter from Mom and Rich dated Dec.2. There is supposed to be an uprising of the Italians so we are restricted to the post.

 

1-30-44 Sunday

Today we went on a mission to Campformida, in northern Italy. The mission was a success as we destroyed 34 planes on the ground. We had P-38 escort who shot down at least five enemy fighters. We had a little flak. A couple of the fellows got hurt. Only forty-three more to go. No mail today. I am O.D. tomorrow. Vernon is O.D. tonite and he just came and said there is an air raid alert and all lights are off.

 

1-31-44 Monday

We didn't fly today and I guess the boys that went had a rather rough time, especially the 449th, who lost either three or four planes. Yesterday we had a Capt. (Wicks C.O. 720th) injured by flak and died today. I was O.D. until noon and Long went on. This P.M. we saw Joe E Brown in Oria with a show of his. It was pretty good and he is certainly showing his age. No mail today however I wrote Maxine, Mom and Lorene.

 

2-1-44 Tuesday

Today we did nothing. I haven't felt so well today. However I got five letters from Maxine and one from Mom and Rich which helped a lot. I think I might have a touch of the flu. Tomorrow we have a mission, number eight.

 

2-2-44 Wed

We took off this morning on a mission to Budapest but were called back because of weather. No one was sorry either for it would probably have been rough. I got two letters from Maxine this eve and so glad to hear from her for they were such sweet letters. I wrote to her this eve. I love her so much.

 

2-3-44 Thursday

We went on a mission today up near Florence but we couldn't find the target, which was a railroad yard, because of clouds. However we dropped our bombs on something and no one seems to know what. This made our eighth with forty-two more to go. We are going again tomorrow. Ed met some fellows this eve that he had gone through school with and we had a "bull session." No mail from Maxine today however I wrote her a letter this eve.

 

2-4-44 Friday

We went out on a mission to southern France near Toulon but we turned back because of engine trouble, however a short time later the complete group also turned back. We are now waiting to see if it counts as a mission. You can bet we are all hoping it does. No mission tomorrow but a practice flight and is everyone ever "P"ed off. I had Fox to paint the name of our ship and my name on my jacket today. No mail today from Maxine.

 

2-5-44 Sat.

No flight today because of weather. It rained almost all day. We did nothing but lay on the sack. No mail from Maxine but Xmas cards from Mom and Rich. I wrote letters today to Maxine, Mom & Rich, Velda and George Morris. I traded a shirt that was too small to Leo for a pair of G.I. shoes.

 

2-6-44 Sunday

We were all set for a mission in Northern Italy but it was called off because of weather. We did nothing the rest of the day. It rained, sleet and snow all day long. No mail from Maxine. (Drill too damn it).

 

2-7-44 Monday

The mission today was cancelled because of weather. We had rain, snow and sleet again today. We did nothing else. We are to go on a mission tomorrow. I wrote Maxine a letter this eve although no word from her.

 

2-8-44 Tuesday

We went on a short mission today north of Rome a place called Viterro. We missed but hit something else. No one seems to know exactly what. I got a sweet letter from Maxine this eve and one from Mom. I started a letter to Maxine. We are not flying tomorrow. This was our ninth mission with only forty-one to go.

 

2-9-44 Wed

We didn't fly today so had nothing to do. Ed and I got the silly idea that we wanted a motorcycle so today we went to Taranto looking for one but no luck. I got a letter from Maxine dated the 11. One from Irene and valentines from Mom and Rich.

 

2-10-44 Thursday

I got letters this morning from Jannie, Irene and Bertha. The boys are being pushed back on the beachhead near Rome so we sent out planes this morning to help them out but weather kept them from hitting the target. We were to go this afternoon but weather didn't permit. So we are going in the morning. I wrote Jannie a letter this eve and got three from Maxine 47, 49, 50, dated 11 & 16th. I wrote Maxine a letter this morning. The rest of the men's promotions came through making them staff.

 

2-11-44 Friday

We didn't get off this morning because of weather but we are to try it again tomorrow. Did nothing much all day. Got a letter from Maxine dated Jan.4. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

2-12-44 Sat.

We were briefed for a mission today but due to weather we didn't go. However we are supposed to go again tomorrow. I am very happy today as I got a valentine and two letters from Maxine. Such a nice valentine and letters. I wrote to Maxine tonite. Leo won $500 yesterday in a poker game.

 

 

2-13-44 Sunday

We didn't fly today because of weather. I got two packages from Maxine and a letter. Everything was wonderful except the food was spoiled. I wrote Maxine a letter this eve. We are flying tomorrow.

 

2-14-44 Monday

We started on a mission today in northern Italy but we turned back because of engine trouble. They missed the target and as yet we have one ship missing. I understand there is no mission tomorrow. I got the sweetest Valentine from Theo this eve.

 

2-15-44 Tuesday

No mission today so we just layed on the sack. The ship that is missing is given up for lost (Gernand operations officer) I got a card (valentine) from Maxine and a letter.

 

2-16-44 Wed

Sent $260 to Maxine and $40 to Mom, got paid $305.50. I didn't fly today as Capt. Miller flew in my place he made Major today. Gernand made first Lt. today also. I wrote Maxine a letter this morning. I got two letters and a valentine from her this eve. I wrote her a letter this eve. She is so sweet and I love her very much. I got my barracks bags today.

 

2-17-44 Thursday

Well today we had a little excitement. We went on a mission up by the beachhead a town by the name of Messina, Italy. Damn was it rough. I've never seen so much flak. Kellman's co-pilot (Huber) was injured in the leg. We lost one ship T. A. Scott 721st. We got nineteen flak holes in our ship. Most in the Group.

 

2-18-44 Friday

No mission today. Ed, Long, Vernon & I went to and censored the enlisted men's mail this morning. No mail today.

 

2-19-44 Sat.

No mission today and it has been raining. I wrote to Moe, Bertha and a V-Mail to Theo. I got four letters from Maxine. They were 52 53 70 71 72. Such nice letters and she is worrying too much. I hope she realizes that to. I answered her letters this eve.

 

2-20-44 Sunday

No mission today and it is still raining. I went to church this morning. No mail today and we have a pass tomorrow.

 

2-21-44 Monday

We went on a pass today and started for Bari. We were flying up but the weather was bad and the plane didn't come in. So we went on our thumb. My first time there. It is a fair town but nothing extra. We couldn't find a place to stay so we slept in chars at the Officers Club. It wasn't so pleasant but nothing could be done. It is a nice building. We had a nice snak with ice cream. We saw Sergeant York.

 

2-22-44 Tuesday

We had a good breakfast and went to the PX and I bought a comforter, cigars, and candy. We came back this eve and the boys had a rough mission into southern Germany. We lost one ship (Nielson) and Reno (721st). Major Miller is really unhappy because we lost a ship. We are flying a mission tomorrow, I got a letter from Maxine No. 76 Feb 8.

 

2-23-44 Wed.

Today was really a day of excitement. We went on a mission to Steyr, Austria. Damn was it rough. Our group lost seven ships. Our squadron lost three, Major Miller, Samsa, and Scanlon. The 721 lost four but (Waste) was the only one I knew. We really got the hell shot out of our ship, which will be grounded for about six weeks. No one was hurt and our crew is claiming six ships. We are to get credit for two missions so that leaves thirty-eight more. There is no mission tomorrow as we have no ships in commission and are short of crews.

 

2-24-44 Thursday

No mission today and it rained almost all day. Kellman is our C.O. now and Ed is flight leader. I got three letters from Maxine and they were so nice. I wrote her a letter this eve.

 

2-25-44 Friday

This morning we went on a mission into Germany. We hit an ME-109 factory at Regensburg. We lost four ships but no one was injured. Lot of flak but only a few fighters. Ed and I led the squadron for the first time. It was raining like hell when we got back at five o'clock. This made my fourteenth with thirty six to go. We got credit for two today. No mail today.

 

2-26-44 Sat.

No mission today and we did nothing all day. It rained more today. No mission tomorrow so I am going to church. No mail today.

 

2-27-44 Sunday

No mission today and it has rained like hell all afternoon. I went to church this morning. No mail today and I wrote Maxine a letter this afternoon.

 

2-28-44 Monday

No mission to day so nothing doing. Gilman, Vernon and I went to a double feature movie this eve, not bad. "This is the Army" and "They Got me Covered". No mail today. I am O.D. tonite from one until seven.

 

2-29-44 Tuesday

No mission today and it rained almost all day. We did nothing at all. Some of the boys came back from "rest camp" but I don't guess we will go as we are short on crews. No mail today but I wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

3-1-44 Wed.

No mission today so we did nothing all day. It has rained a lot and is awfully wet so there is no mission tomorrow. We had a basketball game this eve with the 47th Wing Officers and lost by a score of 16-40. No mail today.

 

3-2-44 Thursday

Paid today $149.50. No mission today. We censored mail this morning and started to level ground for a basketball and volleyball court this afternoon. No mail today. I wrote Mom telling her to get flowers for Maxine & Jannie for Easter.

 

3-3-44 Friday

They had a mission today but we didn't go. It was a very easy one too. We lost a ship and crew on take-off this morning. Isabel and Jackson. It was a terrible sight as it blew up at the end of the runway. We got two crews today for replacements. I saw Marion this eve and he made first Lt. today. I sent Maxine one hundred dollars today. No mail today and I wrote Maxine a letter this eve. Mission tomorrow.

 

3-4-44 Sat

We started on a mission today but turned back because of weather. Did nothing the rest of the day. I was so happy to get six letters from Maxine. They were 66-67-73-74-75-80-87. I wrote Maxine a letter this eve. We are going on a mission tomorrow. I had a chance for a crew today but didn't take it.

 

3-5-44 Sunday

No mission today as it has rained almost all day. I have been feeling a little rough, sick at my stomach. I got a letter from Maxine today dated Feb. 17.

 

3-6-44 Monday

No mission today and no mail but I feel a lot better. Did nothing today. Had a little excitement this eve as the AA guns broke loose and everyone including me thought it was an air raid but they were only testing their guns. We played basketball tonite and got beat by the Wing team 32-36. I wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

3-7-44 Tuesday

Had a mission today but I didn't go as Ed took a new pilot to get him broken in to the game. They had a little fire in the tail of the ship and almost bailed out over the target. Mission went off well near Florence, Italy. No mail from Maxine but a package containing cigarettes and candy which arrived in good condition and very nice. Got three cartons of cigarettes from Jannie and Joan.

3-8-44 Wed

No mission today and did nothing but play a little volleyball and went to a movie this evening, saw "Topman". It was a comedy, not so bad. Marion came while I was gone. The lights are off until 2:00 PM off at 5:00 PM. On again at 10:00 PM. Silly as hell. I wrote Maxine a letter this morning.

 

3-9-44 Thursday

No mission today as it rained all day. The Officers Club was opened this evening and what a riot that was. Everyone was drunk (almost). No mail today.

 

3-10-44 Friday

No mission today because of weather. Did nothing unusual. I got three nice letters from Maxine this eve. They were 77-(78-79)-92. Dated Feb. 10, 12, & 25.

 

3-11-44 Sat.

We didn't go on the mission today with the group. They lost two ships. Ed & I flew up to Naples and dropped Walters off. When we got back Ed checked me out as first pilot. No mail today. I wrote Maxine a letter this morning. We are flying tomorrow.

 

3-12-44 Sunday

No mission today so Vernon and I went to church. Did nothing else today. I am to go play in a basketball tournament tomorrow on the wing team. No mail today. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

 

3-13-44 Monday

No mission today so Hagenson and I went to Foggia with the "Wing Team" to play in a basketball tournament but got beat 45-56. It rained almost all day. Got back about eleven this eve. No mail from Maxine.

 

3-14-44 Tues.

No mission because of weather. It rained all day. Did nothing but censor some mail. No mail today. Wrote Maxine a letter this afternoon. The boys had some more AA practice this eve. Jack Morris made 1st Lt.

 

3-15-44 Wed.

No mission today because of weather. Did nothing today unusual. No mail from Maxine. I wrote Maxine a letter this eve. Briefing is at six tomorrow. That's rough.

 

3-16-44 Thursday

No mission today as it rained all nite. Did nothing all day. Got a letter from Maxine this eve, dated Feb 29, No. 95. I wrote her a letter this eve. Jim, Sam & I had our pictures taken today.

 

3-17-44 Friday

Went on a mission today. It was my sixteenth with only thirty-four more to go, we went up to Austria to a place called Vienna. It wasn't bad but we didn't do any good. Got a letter from Bertha and one from Maxine, 85 & 86.

 

3-18-44 Sat.

Didn't fly today but we are flying tomorrow. No mail today from Maxine. Wrote Maxine and Jannie letters this morning.

 

3-19-44 Sunday

Went on a mission today to Graz, Austria. Wasn't so bad, lot of flak. Lost one ship (McGregor). This was my eighteen with thirty-two more to go. Not flying tomorrow. No mail from Maxine.

 

3-20-44 Monday

No mission today so nothing doing. I wrote Maxine and Mom a letter this morning. I got six letters from Maxine this evening no. 81-82-83-89-90-97. Also got two from Jannie, one from Mom & Rich and my first V-Mail today. It was from Bertha. Ed, John, Leo & I took some pictures today. Ed told me today that Long and I had been put in for first Lt.

 

3-21-44 Tues.

No mission today and it has rained since noon. We were on pass today and tomorrow. Ed and Long went to Lecce however I didn't go but stayed and wrote letters to Maxine & Jannie. No mail today.

 

3-22-44 Wed.

No mission today so nothing doing all day. We had a basketball game this eve with the 719 Sqd 449th. We won 26-30. Got two letters from Maxine dated Feb 29 & Mar 7, 76-77. Wrote Bertha a letter today.

 

3-23-44 Thurs.

No mission today as it rained. I was O.D. from seven this morning until one this afternoon. I wrote Maxine and Mom a letter this morning. Also I got a letter (104) and an Easter card from Maxine. Got a letter from J. N. and one from Bertha. We had a party this eve for the opening of our Officers Mess. Had eight quarts of whiskey.

 

3-24-44 Friday

Did nothing today. It snowed a little this morning. Two ships collided in mid-air (721) I knew Hartman. We lost four ships out of the group today from fighters. None from our squadron. Wrote Maxine a letter this morning. Got two from her this eve dated Feb. 27 (No. 93-94). Also got Easter cards from Velda & the Morris's.

 

3-25-44 Sat.

No mission today. We hauled a load of sand from the beach. Wrote Maxine a letter this morning and another this eve. Also wrote J. N., Bertha, Velda and the Morris's. No mail from Maxine but an Easter card from Theo and Jannie. Letters from Rich and Mom and Irene.

 

3-26-44 Sunday

No mission today. Went to church this morning. It rained all day. Wrote to Irene, Jannie, Mom & Rich. Got seven letters from Maxine this eve. They were No. 100-101-102-106-108-109 & 110. Cards from Mom & Rich. Two of the cutest snapshots of Theo. Wrote Maxine a long letter this eve.

 

3-27-44 Monday

No mission today, so had nothing to do all day as it rained. Wrote Maxine a letter, also got letter No. 91 from Maxine this eve. We had a basketball game this eve with Wing (47th) but got beat.

 

3-28-44 Tues.

Mission today but we didn't go. All ships returned. Censored mail this morning and wrote Maxine a letter. It was snowing this morning. We test hopped our ship this afternoon. Got a letter from Maxine this eve dated Mar. 15 No. 111. Also wrote Maxine this eve.

 

3-29-44 Wed.

Had crew pictures taken today. Had a mission but we didn't fly. All ships returned. Saw a movie this eve, "A Guy named Joe." Got a letter from Maxine this eve dated Mar. 19 (107). Neilson and four of his crew got back from Yugo. this eve.

 

3-30-44 Thursday

Went on a mission this morning but turned back because of engine trouble. We started to Sofia, Yugo. I am Officer of the Guard tonite. No mail from Maxine. Lost one ship. Got the air medal or ribbon. Got credit for this one later.

 

3-31-44 Friday

No mission today as it rained and we had to go and wash our airplane. Our Squadron paper came out for the first time today. Got a letter from Maxine dated Mar. 20 No. (115 & 116). Also wrote Maxine a letter this eve. Nielson is going home Monday. Lucky guy, wish I were.

 

4-1-44 Sat.

No mission today because of weather. It rained again today. No mail today but I got two packages from Maxine. They contained soap, toothpaste, shaving cream, razor blades and a very beautiful picture of Maxine and Theo. I am really proud of it. I also got a package from Mom and Rich. It was cookies & candy. It was really good. I wrote Maxine a letter today. Our Sqdn. put on a little skit at the Club this eve.

 

4-2-44 Sunday

Had a mission today but we didn't fly. Group lost two ships. Went to church this morning. Wrote Maxine and Mom letters today. No mail today. Are flying tomorrow.

 

4-3-44 Monday

Went on a mission today to Budapest, Hungary. All ships returned. Did a good job, lot of flak, and a few fighters. This counted two making me twenty, thirty more to go. No mail today from Maxine.

 

4-4-44 Tues.

Ed and I flew up to Bari today but didn't fly a mission. Went to the hospital to see some of the boys. Got three letters from Maxine (98 & 99)105114. Letter from Lorene & Lonie & cards from Mom & Rich. Wrote letters to Maxine, Jannie and Mom today.

 

4-5-44 Wed.

Didn't fly today but the group went to Polesti, Rumania. Pretty rough as the group lost four ships. We lost Lael (Hageman, Rickey, Roberts). Wrote Mom & Rich letters. Got two letters from Maxine (112113). We lost Edwards (720) today.

 

4-6-44 Thurs.

No mission today, rained last nite. Got a new C.O. Lt. Col. Babb. Flying tomorrow. No mail today. Wrote Maxine a letter.

 

4-7-44 Friday

Went on a mission today to Mestre, in northern Italy. It was really an easy one. Lost one ship but I think the crew was saved. This made me twenty-one with twenty-nine to go. Didn't fly with Ed, flew with Jeff Thomas. Got two letters from Maxine (120121). Wrote Maxine a letter this eve. Flying tomorrow.

 

4-8-44 Sat.

Started on a mission this morning but turned back because of weather. No flying tomorrow as we are on a pass. No mail today.

 

4-9-44 Sunday (Easter)

No mission today and we have a two day pass. Went to Services which were held outside. Got two air-mail and my first V-Mail from Maxine. Also a letter from Mom & Rich. Wrote letters to Maxine, Jannie, Mom & Lorene & Lorrie. The latest letter is the quickest yet in nine days. These were 117124127.

 

4-10-44 Monday

No mission today because of weather. Wrote Maxine a letter today. No mail from her but did get two Tonkawa papers. Saw a movie this P.M. Miracle of Morgan Creek. I am O.D. tonite (Officers Guard)

 

4-11-44 Tues.

No mission today because of weather. We drilled a while this morning. No mail today.

 

 

4-12-44 Wed.

Mission today but I didn't go. We flew a test hop, Group lost one ship. Wrote Maxine and Mom letters. Got two letters from Maxine 125126. Got V-Mails from Fran & Bertha. Got a Tonkawa paper (Mar 2).

 

4-13-44 Thurs.

Mission today and Ed was leading the wing but turned back because of engine trouble. I didn't fly. No mail and I wrote Maxine, Jannie, and Mom. I did get an Easter card from the Service Women's Club.

 

4-14-44 Friday

No mission today because of weather. Saw a movie this afternoon "Buffalo Bill." No mail today. Wrote Maxine, Jannie and Mom letters today. Flying tomorrow.

 

4-15-44 Sat.

Started on a mission to Bucharest but we turned back because of engine trouble. We lost no ships. No mail today flying tomorrow.

 

4-16-44 Sun.

Went on mission today to Brasov, Rumania. Lost one ship (Clay). This made twenty-four. Got a small piece of a twenty-mm shell in my right leg and went to hospital. No mail today.

 

4-17-44 Mon.

Did nothing here in the hospital. No mail but wrote to Maxine and Fran. Guess will be here about a week.

 

4-18-44 Tues.

Ed, Jim, Dalgish and Kellman came to see me. Brought two letters from Maxine 118-119. Wrote to Maxine & Bertha. Saw a movie this eve "Girl Crazy".

 

4-19-44 Wed.

No mail today, wrote to Maxine, Mom & Jannie. All the crew were here to see me and brought my rations.

 

4-20-44 Thurs.

The Dr. put four stitches in today and left the fragments in there. Tells me I can go home tomorrow. No mail today. Saw "Buffalo Bill" again.

 

4-21-44 Friday

Got back from hospital today. Two packages came from Maxine today. Cookies, cake, P.J. and cigarettes. Everything arrived in good shape. Got two Tonkawa papers. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

4-22-44 Sat.

Ed, Long, Vernon, Morris & I took an airplane to Foggia. Saw a movie "Phantom Lady". Saw J. D. Montgomery. Found out Travnit is missing. No mail today.

 

4-23-44 Sunday

Didn't fly today but the group event on a mission and didn't lose any ships. Went to see Marion but he was flying. No mail today. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

4-24-44 Mon.

I didn't fly today but Ed did. The Group lost two ships. No mail today. Flying tomorrow.

 

4-25-44 Tues.

Went on a mission today in northern Italy but didn't get to the target because of weather. Group lost six ships. One from our squadron (Barry). Courtright & us got lost from the rest and came all the way home by ourselves. This made twenty-five for me. No mail from Maxine. Letters from Jannie & Mom. I am O. D. tonite.

 

4-26- 44 Wed.

No mission today because of weather. Did nothing today. Got letter from Maxine (135) and Mrs. Manis.

 

4-27-44 Thurs.

Flew a practice mission this P.M. (Jim & I). Got letters from Mom & Rich. Got packages (choc. & wash clothes, hankies, candy & gum) from Jannie & Maxine. Wrote letters to Maxine, Mom & Rich.

 

4-28-44 Friday

Didn't fly today but the Group went to northern Italy and lost one ship. Got two letters from Maxine (129 & 130-131). Also letter from Jannie. Wrote to Maxine. Got 3 pictures of Theo.

 

4-29-44 Sat.

Went on a mission today to Toulon, France. This made twenty-six for me. The group lost two ships Maj. Orris & (Maddux & Poore 722nd). No mail today.

 

4-30-44 Sunday

Didn't fly today but the group went on a mission. No losses. Got a letter from Maxine today (133). Wrote Jannie a letter. Went to church this morning.

 

5-1-44 Mond.

No mission today but we flew a practice mission. Got paid $150.90. Got three letters from Maxine (122 & 123), 128, (135 & 136).

 

5-2-44 Tues.

Went to Rest Camp today at Santa Cesaria. Got there about five P.M. Wrote Maxine a letter.

 

5-3-44 Wed.

Wrote Maxine a letter. Went sail boat riding. Saw a movie this eve.

 

5-4-44 Thurs.

Went fishing this morning but no fish. Bob and I went hill climbing and took a few pictures.

 

5-5-44 Friday

Went bike riding this A.M. Got back from Rest Camp about 11:30 P.M. Had ten letters from Maxine and some pictures also package from Irene. (132143144145146147149150152153)

 

5-6-44 Sat.

Censored mail this A.M. and wrote Maxine a letter. Got my Purple Heart today. Got letters from Maxine (137138). Also from J.N., Fran, Bertha. Cards from Mrs. McDaniel, Rich, Christian Church. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

5-7-44 Sun.

The Group went on a mission but turned back because of weather. I didn't' fly, how ever I flew a ship as first pilot for the first time today. I got a letter from Maxine 153, also from Jannie, Mom & Rich. Wrote Irene a letter. Tate 1st Lt.

 

5-8-44 Monday

No mission today because of weather. I test hopped a ship this P.M. I got three letters today from Maxine. They were 141142(154 & 155). I wrote Maxine two letters and one to Mom & Jannie. Flying tomorrow.

 

5-9-44 Tues.

The mission was canceled today because of weather. I flew a practice bombing mission. Got letter (156157) from Maxine dated May 1. Eight days is the quickest yet. Also letters from Mom, Rich and Jannie. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

5-10-44 Wed.

Started on a mission to Wiener-Newstat but turned back because of weather. Easter card from Laughline. No mail from Maxine but got a package with two sheets. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

5-11-44 Thurs.

No mission because of weather. Did nothing today but wrote Maxine a letter. No mail from Maxine. Got V-Mail from Rich and two from Jannie.

 

5-12-44 Friday

Were supposed to go on a mission this afternoon as the Group was to go on two missions today but the afternoon one was called off because of weather. No mail from Maxine but V-Mail from Mom & Jim Boyd. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

5-13-44 Sat.

Went on a mission this morning to Piacenza, Italy. No flak and no fighters. This made twenty-seven. No mail from Maxine. V-Mail from Jannie. Flying tomorrow.

 

5-14-44 Sunday

Went on a mission today to Italy. I flew as first pilot on mission today. It was easy and this was my twenty-eighth. No mail from Maxine. V-Mail from Bertha. Mailed purple heart home.

 

5-15-44 Monday

No mission today, why I don't know. Did nothing today but lay in the sun and wrote letters to Maxine, Mom & Jannie. No mail today.

 

5-16-44 Tues.

No mission today and no mail from Maxine. I wrote her a letter this eve.

 

 

 

5-17-44 Wed.

Went on a two day pass and flew to Bari. Did nothing but got some decent food and a good bed to sleep in.

 

5-18-44 Thurs.

Got back this eve and had three letters from Maxine 161162 (163-4). Also a letter from Jannie. Wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

 

5-19-44 Friday

Went on mission today to LaSpesia, Italy. Very little flak and no fighters. This was my twenty-ninth. Got three letters from Maxine no 139140165. Also snapshots of Maxine & Theo. They certainly are cute.

 

5-20-44 Sat.

No mission today because of weather. No mail today but did get a package from Maxine with candy, T-shirts & film. Wrote Maxine & Jannie letters. Censored mail today.

 

5-21-44 Sun.

Went to church this morning. Had a formation for presentation of awards this P.M. No mail from Maxine. Wrote her a letter this eve.

 

5-22-44 Monday

Didn't fly today but the group did. No ships lost. Did nothing. No mail today. Wrote Maxine a letter.

 

5-23-44 Tues.

Flew a mission today to the Rome area. Some flak but no losses. Got a letter from Maxine 167. This was my thirtieth mission for me. I am O.D. tonite from 7 -1 A.M. Wrote Maxine a letter.

 

5-24-44 Wed.

Didn't fly today but the group did and lost eight ships. Florip, Wells, Baker, and Griffen from our squadron. Jim and I flew to San Pan. Got four letters from Maxine 151158159160. Flying tomorrow.

 

5-25-44 Thurs.

Flew a mission to Italy, making thirty-one. All went well and no losses. Had a coke for supper. Got a letter from Maxine 169. Wrote her a letter. Got a picture of Theo.

 

5-26-44 Friday

Mission today but didn't fly, all ships returned. Ed and I flew a practice mission. No mail from Maxine. Got a letter from Rich.

 

5-27-44 Sat.

Flew a mission to Marseille, France. All ships returned and it wasn't so bad. This made thirty-two. No mail today.

 

5-28-44 Sun.

No mission today. Went to church this morning and to the beach this afternoon. Got my 1st Lt. today which was dated May 17. No mail from Maxine. Wrote her two letters today. Got a letter from Jannie. Flying tomorrow.

 

5-29-44 Monday

Flew my thirty-fourth mission today to Weiner Neustadt, Austria. Everything went well and all ships returned. No mail from Maxine today. Had an air raid alert last nite.

 

5-30-44 Tues.

Didn't fly today but there was a mission and all ships returned. Went to Taranto and sail boated. Got two letters 166 168 and two packages from Maxine. One package from Mom & Rich. Wrote Maxine, Jannie and Mom & Rich letters today. Flying tomorrow.

 

5-31-44 Wed.

Flew a mission to Polesti, Rumania. This made thirty-six for me. Group lost three ships, we lost Lombardi with thirty-nine missions. No mail today. Got paid this eve $153.05. Saw a movie "Ladies Courageous".

 

6-1-44 Thurs.

No mission today. Went to the beach this afternoon. No mail today. There is an alert tonite.

 

6-2-44 Friday

I didn't fly today but Ed did and Jake Ward finished with 51 missions. I sent Maxine $120. Also got three letters from Maxine (170171)172173. Also a letter from Mom with two snap shots.

 

6-3-44 Sat.

Sent Theo a doll for birthday. No mission today because of weather did nothing else all day. Wrote Maxine a letter. No mail today.

 

6-4-44 Sun.

Went to church. Mission today but I didn't fly. Everyone returned. Did nothing today, no mail. Wrote Maxine & Mom letters. Tate & I developed some pictures.

 

6-5-44 Mon.

Went on a mission to Bologna, Italy. All ships returned. Some flak and two fighters. This is thirty-seven for me. No mail today. Saw a movie "Whistling in Brooklyn."

 

6-6-44 Tues.

Didn't fly today but there was a mission to Polesti. All returned. Wrote Maxine a letter and sent her some pictures. Got a letter from Rich.

 

6-7-44 Wed.

No mission today, flew a practice bombing mission this afternoon. No mail from Maxine. Saw a movie. Got my air medal.

 

6-8-44 Thurs.

No mission today. Drill this morning. Got two letters from Maxine 175(177178) also letter from Bertha. Wrote Maxine a letter. Flying tomorrow.

 

6-9-44 Friday

Went on a mission to Munich, German, but had to turn back because of engine trouble. Smick went down. Got credit for two making me thirty-nine. Leo finished today. No mail from Maxine. Saw a movie. Tate finished.

 

6-10-44 Sat.

Didn't fly today but group did and everyone got back okay. Did nothing much all day. Sammy and Buksa and some enlisted men left for home today. No mail from Maxine today.

6-11-44 Sun.

Went to church. There was a mission but I didn't fly. Fox & Vernon finished. Wrote Maxine, Mom & Rich letters. No mail from Maxine. Letter from Rich.

 

6-12-44 Mon.

No mission today. Did nothing much. Got two letters from Maxine No. 174(184185). Wrote Maxine a letter this eve. Flying tomorrow.

 

6-13-44 Tue.

Went on a mission to Munich, Germany. Wasn't too bad except flak. How ever I got back I'll never know. This is forty-one for me. Lost two ships Scott from 721 Smith 722. Long and Ringland finished. Got two letters (186 187) and a card from Maxine, also a Fathers Day card from Theo. Wrote Maxine letter. Flying tomorrow. Word, Byers & Ringland made Tech.

 

6-14-44 Wed.

Went on a mission today to Osijck, Yugo. No flak, no fighters and all returned. This made forty-two for me. No mail from Maxine. Flew deputy lead of second attack.

 

6-15-44 Thurs.

No mission today because of weather. Flew a practice gunnery mission with a new crew which I got today. No mail from Maxine. Letters from Jannnie & Irene.

 

6-16-44 Friday

Went on a mission today to Bratislava, Czech. Little flak but several fighters. Our sqdn lost one ship. This is forty-four. No mail. Wrote Maxine.

 

6-17-44 Sat.

Mission was called off today because of weather. Went to the beach this afternoon. No mail from Maxine but letters from Mom & Irene. Wrote to Jannie.

 

6-18-44 Sun.

Mission cancelled because of weather. Went to church. Tate and I took a ship up for test hop. Got two letters from Maxine 191192. Wrote letter to Maxine, Jannie, Irene and Bertha.

 

6-19-44 Mon.

No mission today because of weather. Ed & I flew a test hop today. Got letters 179180181-182 & 183 from Maxine also letters from Jannie & Lorene. Wrote Maxine. Hollander cracked-up.

 

6-20-44 Tues.

Mission cancelled because of weather. Another ship cracked up today. Got letter 194 from Maxine. Wrote Maxine this eve. Flying tomorrow.

 

6-21-44 Wed.

Mission cancelled because of weather. Did nothing else. No mail from Maxine. Saw a movie this eve. Shoes soled.

6-22-44 Thurs.

Went on a mission to Udine, Italy. Very little flak, no fighters. This is forty-five for me. Long, Gelman, Jeff, Robertson, Fox and Ringland left for home. Three letters from Maxine 176(198199) 200. Wrote Maxine letter & Jannie.

 

6-23-44 Friday

Mission called back because of weather. Did nothing all day. Got letter 190 from Maxine. Saw a movie this eve. Flying tomorrow.

 

6-24-44 Sat.

Went on a mission today to Polesti, Rum. Little flak but lot of fighters. Group lost six ships. We lost Hefner. This is forty-seven for me. Got a Father's Day card from Maxine and letter 188. Also letter from Bertha. Wrote Maxine this eve. Flying tomorrow. Tate left today.

 

6-25-44 Sun.

Went on a mission today to Toulon, France. Little flak. One ship missing. This is forty-eight for me. Got letter 189 from Maxine. Also letter from Mom & Irene.

 

6-26-44 Mon.

Didn't fly today. Group lost two ships from flak. Did nothing today. Got letters 196197204 from Maxine. Saw a movie "Ritz Brothers".

 

6-27-44 Tues.

On pass today so didn't fly. Group did and all ships returned. Tom Miller finished today. No mail from Maxine. Wrote to her.

 

6-28-44 Wed.

No mission today. Ward, Byers, Leo, Vernon left today. Got letters 201202203207 from Maxine. Also letters from Mom & Jannie. Saw a movie.

 

6-29-44 Thurs.

No mission today. I flew a practice gunnery mission. No mail from Maxine. Wrote her a letter. Flying tomorrow.

 

6-30-44 Friday

Went on a mission today to Zabreb, Yugo. All ships returned. Very little flak, no fighters. This is forty-nine. Got letter (205-206) from Maxine. Saw a movie. Flying tomorrow.

 

7-1-44 Sat.

Mission to Munich cancelled. Did nothing all day. No mail from Maxine. Wrote Maxine, Mom & Jannie. Fly tomorrow.

 

7-2-44 Sun.

Hurrah! Finished with fifty-one missions today. Went to Budapest, Hungary. Lots of flak, no fighters & all ships returned. Brill, Benz also finished. Sent Maxine a wire. No mail today.

 

7-3-44 Mon.

Did nothing today but try to get my orders started. Mission today and group lost three ships. Sqdn. Lost Cubbins, Kappelar (CP). No mail. Wrote Maxine. Saw a movie.

7-4-44 Tues.

Did nothing today but bitch at the guys to start my orders. Group lost one ship today (722). Got letters 209210-211 from Maxine today.

 

7-5-44 Wed.

Did nothing again today but try to get orders started. Group flew a mission and all ships returned. Wrote letters to Maxine, Mom, Jannie, Lorene, and Bertha.

 

7-6-44 Thurs.

Just another day but finally my orders are started. DeeGee & Dalgish left. All ships returned. Courtright finished. Got letter 208 from Maxine. Saw a show.

 

7-7-44 Friday

Nothing doing today. All shops returned from the mission. Tom Miller, Zink, Shoaf left for Naples today. No mail. Saw a movie. Johnnie Walters finished. Blood test.

 

7-8-44 Sat.

Had pictures taken for the paper. Wrote Maxine a letter. Also got letters 193195(215216) from Maxine and a letter from Jannie. My orders finally got started today.

 

7-9-44 Sun.

Went to church and wrote Maxine a letter today. Group went to Polesti and all ships returned. Ed finished today. No mail today.

 

7-10-44 Mon.

Did nothing today but check on my orders. Got two letters (212-213)(218-219) from Maxine.

 

7-11-44 Tues.

Nothing today. Long, Tate & Morris were down from Naples and Ed & I flew them back. No mail today. Wrote Maxine.

 

7-12-44 Wed.

Ed, Brill & I went to Bair today. Ed found that he was a Capt., July 7. Saw a movie "Mr. Lucky". Stayed at Red Cross. Wrote Maxine, Theo, Mom, Jannie, Rich & Bertha. "Twin Tail" cracked up.

 

7-13-44 Thurs.

Did nothing much this morning. I got my orders and my D.F.C. We are staying over for it is too late to go back. Wrote Maxine.

 

7-14-44 Frid.

Got back from Bari today about ten. Had drill this eve. Got two letters from Maxine, 217-220 her last letter to me. Ed, Brill, Courtright & I are O.D. tonite.

 

7-15-44 Sat.

Nothing doing today. Group lost a ship Col. Snaith, Fritz, Tautfest (Earl), Strickland. Saw a movie "Roxy Hart".

 

7-16-44 Sun.

No mission today and did nothing but pack and get ready to leave tomorrow. No mail but wrote Maxine a letter this eve.

7-17-44 Mon.

Left Manduria today and came to Naples. It isn't such a bad place. Long left yesterday. Got D.F.C.

 

7-18-44 Tues.

Tate, Gilman, Miller and all the fellows left this morning. Nothing to do but lay on the sack.

 

7-19-44 Wed.

Nothing today and nothing new. Got a physical. Wrote letters to Maxine also Ed.

 

7-20-44 Thur.

Was put on orders today changed my money and had some things censored.



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