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Sgt. William L. Waldrop
722nd Squadron






























Our crew had our living quarters (tent) just outside of the mess hall.
We kept a bottle of booze for the cook - and as a result we had a lot of "goodies" and a happy cook.

War Journal of William L Waldrop

Fields I've been at from induction to discharge:

Sworn in at Cleveland, Ohio

Fort Thomas, KY

Keesler Field, Miss

Miss. State College, Miss.

San Antonio, Texas

Lowry Field, Colo.

Harlingen, Texas

Westover Field, Mass.

Chatham Field, Ga.

Langly Field, Pa.

Gander Field, New Hampshire

Azor Islands

Maracatch French Moroco, Africa

Tunis, Africa

Goia, Italy

Manduria, Italy

This is to be an accurate account of my missions for reference at a further date –

Cpl. Wm L Waldrop

PLACE – Italy

TIME – Oct. 8,'44 – to –

MISSIONS REQUIRED – Fifty Combat

TYPE OF PLANE – B-24

MAKE OF PLANE – Ford & Consolidated

ADDRESS – 722 BOMB Sqd., 450 BOMB GROUP

                        APO 520,  N.Y., N.Y.

                        47 Wing

Missions to Germany count as double credit while Northern Italy and Yugo. etc. count as one combat mission – We are required by new orders to put in 50 missions or 35 assorted combat missions whichever may be to our good.  

# 1            Combat Mission – Credited for 2

            Pilot – Lt. McLain

            Position – Waist

            Bombs – Six, 500#

Place of Mission – Steyr Germany but got off course and missed "I.P." and bombed another burg, saw all of southern German.

Date – Oct. 16,'44

Boxes Sent – Two

Altitude – 25,500 feet

Flak – Light and not very accurate

Interception – None – briefed for 55 escort P-38's

Damage – None to ship and no ships lost

# Oct. 17,'44

Two boys I trained with were shot down over Vienna their first mission nothing has been heard from them.

Delbert Trueman

Marian Ind.

1 daughter

                                   

Charles Kleinhenz

Vunda, N.Y.

Single – 18 years old

They where in Lt. White's crew.

# 2            Combat Mission – Credited for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon            Plus Crew

            Position – Sperry Ball

            Bombs – 3 – 2,000 #

Target – Railroad in the Brenner Pass but failed to drop bombs there, but salvoed over the Adriatic Sea.

Date – Oct. 23,'44

Boxes Sent – Two

Altitude – 21,000 feet

Flak – None – except on way to target in the Adriatic Sea by a navel craft, nothing done.

Interception – None – briefed for 55 escort P-38's

Damage – None to ship or entire group but some ships did hit and ruin target.

Combat Mission – No credit – Early return

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Sperry Ball

            Bomb Load – 8 clusters incendiary bombs

Target – Marshalling yards in Munich, but failed to reach target - #2 engine quit fell from 23000 to 17000 feet before ship was recovered. Couldn't stay with formation so returned through enemy territory. Engine failure occurred over the Alps and we thought we were dead ducks.

Date – Nov. 4,'44

Altitude – 23,500 feet

Flak – None

Interception – None, were escorted by 150 P-38's

Damage – Ruined 2 engines on return but none done by flak.

Note – Were 40 minutes from target.

# 3            Combat Mission – Credit for 2

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Sperry Ball

            Bomb Load – 8 – 500 #

Target - Vienna – Refinery for aviation gas – we hit the target and ruined it – oil refinery.

Date – Nov. 6,'44

Boxes Sent – Two – ass end of flight

Altitude – 25,000 feet

Flak – Heavy all on left side but inaccurate.

Interception – None for our box but another box was jumped – our group had 45 P-51's total escort for flight was about 150 P-51's.

Damage – None to our ship, we hit target tough.

Note – New heated suit was perfect, first time I have been completely warm.

# 4            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Sperry Ball

            Bomb Load – 6 – 1000 #

Target – Brenner Pass – Ora bridge and railways.

Date – Nov. 12,'44

Boxes – Two – ass end again

Altitude – 22,500 feet – and cold as hell - 450  below 0.

Flak – Moderate but accurate – we had holes all over the ship one large piece bounced off Cpl. L. Power helmet.

Interception – None – had 50 P-28's for escort.

Damage – Ruined target but they did damage to our ships, none shot down.

Note – For the first time I was down in the ball over the target – saw flak hit other boxes and watched bombing of target.

# NOTE: Lusby was grounded and I took over the Nose turret. * I GOT THE NOSE *

# 5            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon            Plus - Cameraman

            Position – Emerson Nose – First time rode the nose position in combat intend to stay there.

            Bomb Load – 40 – 100 #  "Booby trap" delayed action fuses.

Target – City (burg) of "Sjenia" in Yugo. Intended to bomb troop concentration that were retreating north, very important

Date – Nov. 16,'44

Boxes – Two

Altitude – 23,500

Flak – None – supposed to be heavy type but inaccurate, medium.

Interception – None – no escort.

Damage – None to ship, none to target had to drop load in Adriatic Sea.

Note – Tried out new style shoes – heated cords sewed to socks worn inside my G. I. shoes.

# 6            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose Turret

            Bomb Load – 40 – 100 #  a few were "booby traps"

Target – Airdrome in Northern Italy just 10 min. from the northern coast of the Adriatic.

Date – Nov. 18,'44

Boxes – Two – counted 250 or 300 B-24's enroute over the Adriatic, sky was packed with them.

Altitude – 23,500

Flak – None

Interception – None – but P-51's were strafing the airdrome, the y came close to us and our first impression was that they were 109's – scared shit out of us.

Damage – None to ship – my heated suit burned out coming back and burned me.

Note – We blew hell out of the hangers and runways – evident that they will not use that field again.

# 7            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose

            Bomb Load – 6 – 1000 # 

Target – Bodoj – Yugo. a bridge (4 span) with a railroad bridge next and parallel to it.

Date – Nov. 20,'44

Boxes – One

Altitude – 19,000 feet. (lowest yet)

Flak – None –briefed there might be.

Interception – None – no escort.

Damage – Our box (lead box) missed target but 3 following boxes hit and destroyed bridge.

Note – Warmest I've been up there feet were just comfortable but chest was too hot.

# 8            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose Turret

            Bomb Load – 4 – 1000 # 

Target – Ferrera Bridge – North Italy

Date – Nov. 22,'44

Boxes – Two

Altitude – Briefed 25,600 – but flew 26,500

Flak – Intense Heavy & Accurate – just one immense cloud which scared living shit out of me, my first time too really see flak from Nose or Ball.

Interception – None – no escort.

Damage – I believe we destroyed target, no injury to ship.

Note – The poorest formation I've ever been in – out of 7 ships 2 were in formation over target.

# Grounded for three days for a heavy head cold (stopped up nose and sore throat).

During this time we had "Stand Downs" and if a mission was scheduled they didn't fly. I lost out on no missions.

# From this page on all missions count as single credit (discontinued double credits), but, we only have to put in 35 assorted missions instead of 50 straight missions (including doubles).

# 9            Combat Mission – Credit for 2

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose Turret

            Bomb Load – 6 – 500 #  (incendiary clusters)

Target – Railroad 14 miles north "Vienna", went over primary & alternate targets failed to hit either, tried to hit a "burg" but failed here also.

Date – Dec. 2,'44

Boxes – Two (flew #3 position X-Ray 2)

Flak – Some – at a distance (white & black) none near us.

Interception – ? – may have called P-51's as FW-109's but not sure – reports state there were some.

Damage – None to ship – or target (by us anyhow)

Note – Complete undercast.

# 10            Combat Mission – Credit for 2

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Co-Pilot – Lt. Babbet (to be broken in)

            Bomb Load – 8 – 500 #  (2 booby traps 6 – 36 hours delay)

Target – Moosbierbaum – Viennia area "N.E." – Oil Refineries.

Date – Dec. 2,'44

Boxes – One – No. 3 position.

Flak – Heavy – tense - accurate

Interception – None – P-38's & P-51's as escort.

Damage – None to our ship but others were hit and hit bad. We blew hell out of target.

Note – There were B-17's along who got hell shot out of them (us too). Target was covered with smoke screen. Multi flak damage was done to the hundred or so planes in the sky. Flak was a beautiful red color at a jerk town we passed over by mistake. Too damn many planes went down.

# 11            Combat Mission – Credit for 2

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Co-Pilot – Lt. Siegal

            Position – Nose turret

            Bomb Load – 10 – 500 #  (with whistles to scare hell out of the people)

Target – Linz, Germany (southwest) railroad yards for tank cars.

Date – Dec. 17,'44

Boxes – One – We flew number 2 position so haven't been ass end for a long time.

Flak – None

Interception – None – P-38's escort who cut up and had a hell of a good time.

Damage – None to our ships, don't know if we hit target.

Note – Complete undercast over target – Mts. were beautiful with snow – Hit a thunderhead up there – split up formation and scared shit out of everyone.

# 12            Combat Mission – Credit for 2

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose turret

            Bomb Load – 8 – 500 # 

Target – Salsburg – Munich 4 miles south, Synthetic oil refineries.

Date – Dec. 22,'44

Boxes – One (6 ships)  #2 position

Flak – Accurate, Heavy – Didn't shoot at first two boxes but shot holy hell at us and a Group behind us.

Interception – None – we were supposed to have P-38's & P-51's as escort but never saw the bitches.

Damage – None to our ship – don't know if we hit target most likely we did.

Note – A complete undercast from the field to the target except over the Alps, on the way back we got between a overcast and a undercast the most beautiful sight I've ever seen.

# Orders have been changed again where as we can go home on 50 missions or 35 sorties.

                                     - MULTI  BONO ! –

# 13            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Co-Pilot – Lt Kvamme plus engineer

            Position – Nose turret

            Target – Brenner Pass - Innsbrock

Date – Dec. 25,'44

Boxes – One "Deputy Lead" for five new crews

Flak – Accurate & Heavy – I understand two ships were lost one over the target & one in the mts.

Interception – None – No escort.

Damage - Hit target – one hole in our ship and it stared me in the face – that hunk of flak scared hell out of me those Germans wished us a Merry Xmas with flak

Note - This was a bitch of a day to fly – Had a white Xmas and we wished them the seasons greetings.

"Merry Christmas" 

P.S. Rufus Hamman, Robert Coble and I sweated out #13 together - Powers didn't fly.

# 14            Combat Mission – Credit for 1

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose (damn it)

            Target – Railway loop in Brenner Pass

Date – Dec. 29,'44

Boxes – One, we were "deputy lead" first time for flight "B"

Flak – Multi – Heavy & accurate – one plane was hit it was the first plane I've seen get hit – the flak hit it dead center then fell over it's left wing and did one spin straight down, one man got out his "chute" opened then the plane blew up with orange yellow and blue flames, pieces of the ship could be seen falling – whole wings – tail sections etc. – worst thing I've ever seen.

Interception – 50 P-38's – no enemy planes

Damage – one ship that I know of – and our ship was a wreck – tail assembly shot to hell – hole in wing – hole in bomb bay through to Sperry Ball.

Note – No flak over target but the nest we did go over was a hot "sonabitch", even shot at escort.

            Combat Mission

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Position – Nose

            Target – Ferrona & Ferrona Bridge in the Po Vallie Northern Italy

Date – Jan. 20,'45

Flak –Heavy & accurate (at a distance)

Interception – It is believed 4 enemy 109's were screwing around in front of us, no passes attempted.

Damage – None to target or to ship other than where a ammunition link hit in the plexi-glass between pilot and Copilot it came from the lead ship (we were deputy lead)

Note – "Multi" P-28's, 51's, 24's, 17's most I've seen yet at one time 15 miles away from target – undercast.   # -500

Crew – Parsons, Ed - Minus – Powers & Coble who are now Pvts. And grounded with 10 hard labor.

# 15            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "22"

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon            - "deputy lead"

            Position – Nose

            Target – Moosbrierbaum – Vienna area oil refineries.

Date – Jan. 31,'45

Interception – None – 60 – P-38's

Flak – NONE – for us anyhow.

Damage – None to ship or group - believe we hit target

Note – -500  below zero – craziest briefing I've ever had in fact didn't even know where we were going there were so many targets.

# 16            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "24"

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon            - Group deputy lead

            Position – Nose

            Target – "Vienna Area" right down the "FLAK alley", railroad yards

Date – Feb.15,'45

Interception – None – escort of P-51's & P-38's

Flak – "Multi" metal thrown at us gets worse & worse.

Damage – We got several holes, a bombardier was killed by flak and we hit our target.

Note – A man flew with us today and finished – his last name was Martin. Our 3 Pvts didn't fly, Parsons did.

# 17            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "26"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon            - "Deputy Lead"

            Position – Nose

            Target – Rosenheim – railway junction

Date – Feb. 22,'45

Interception – None – No escort

Flak – None

Damage – None hit us – we hit target

Note – What a mess didn't know what was going to happen and were flying 15,000 over Germany which made it worse.

# 18            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "27"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon            - "LEAD SHIP"

            Co-Pilot – Lt. McCarthy

            Position – Nose

            Target – Verona – rolling stock tracks & junctions

Date – Feb. 24,'45

Interception – None – 50, P-51's

Flak – Accurate we were hit by a unexploded shell that went clear through #4 engine.

Damage – It was a miracle we hit that target but as sure as hell we were knocked out of action ourselves.

Note – We had to leave the formation because we lost altitude from 24,500 to 17,000, we limped back over the battle line in Florence pursuit ship landing strips (3,000 feet long and ours is 7,000) – I give credit to the Pilot – Co-Pilot and Navigator and to the Bombardier for hitting the target under the circumstances.

P.S. Came back to the Base by C-47 – I'll never forget this mission.

# 19            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "28"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Co-Pilot – Lt. Bland

            Position – Nose – Lead Ship "Y-2"

            Target – Isarco Albes – Brenner Pass loop rail bridge

Date – Feb. 28,'45

Interception – None – No escort

Flak – Very little inaccurate which made us happy.

Damage – Knocked hell out of target, none to our ship – it is believed they shot 1 then had to crash land in N. Italy.

Note – Since we have lead the Sqdn. we have 100% target hits.

# 20            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "30"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Shannon   

            Co-Pilot – Lt. Bland

            Position – Nose – Lead Ship "Yoke 2"  (10 ships)

            Target – Vienna – Florsdorf junction and rolling stock yards.

Date – March 12,'45

Interception – None – 50 P-51's

Flak – Heavy intense accurate (whew!!) – they sure can put up plenty of it.

Damage None to us – don't know if we hit target, complete undercast.

Note – I'm willing to stay on the ground.

# 21            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "32"

            Pilot – Lt. Borgstrom

            Position – Nose – #7 position

Target – Newsburg Air field (jet propelled plane assembly depot) east of Regansburg north of Munich.

Date – March 21,'45

Interception – None – 50 P-51's escort

Flak – None

Damage - None to us ship but sure as hell hit the target.

Note – Today was the coldest I've ever been in the Consolidated Nose instead of the Emerson Nose – Borgstrom's crew went down for 36 days and today was their first in 3 months and they sweated it out and I sweated it out.

# 22            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "34"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Stepanek 

            Position – Nose – #7 position in 10 ship box

Target – Vienna, rail way junction depot

Date – March 22,'45

Interception – None – P-51 & P-38 escort

Flak – "MULTI" it was really bad today but I wasn't as scared as yesterday without flak (anyhow not till I saw the stuff).

Damage – Hit the target and we got a few holes – knocked hell out of lead ship believed to have lost #3 man.

Note – Pilots last mission and was he sweating it out, damn good pilot. Second day in a row and I'm scheduled again tomorrow.

P.S. – 8 more doubles to go!!

# 23            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "36"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Hailley

            CoPilot – Lt. Bland

            Position – Nose – #6 position (Yoke) Y-2

Target – St. Pape marshalling yards

Date – March 23,'45

Interception – None – P-38's for escort

Flak – None over target but we saw some at a distance.

Damage – None to us – hit the target.

Note – Good mission after yesterday's.

# 24            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "38"                            

            Pilot – Lt. Chubb      

            Position – Nose – #4 – "deputy lead"

Target – 65 miles north of Regansburg 710 miles up 710 down – Jet propelled airfield

Date – March 25,'45

Interception – Fighters were reported but we had 100 (hundred) P-38's escort.

Flak – None

Damage – None to us but hit the target.

Note – Copilot finished today – longest mission this group has ever made – Lt Shannon flew group lead today but I didn't fly with him cause he had a nose navigator so I flew next best position.

# 25            Combat Mission – Credit for 2                                                     "40"                                        

            Pilot – Lt. Precourt   

            Position – Nose

Target – Linz (north marshalling yard)

Date – March 31,'45

Interception – None – P-38 & 51 escort

Flak – Multi – it was right up there

Damage – None to ship – hit the target.

Note – We were really sweating this one out – was easier than expected.

# 26            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "41"  < DAMN IT!

            Pilot – Capt. Hunt     

            Position – Nose - #6 position in X-Ray 2

Target – Sulm (R.R. bridge) "Yugo."

Date – April 2,'45

Interception – None – 36 P-38's plus P-51's

Flak – NONE

Damage – None to us and I don't think we hit the damn bridge.

Note – This Capt Hunt isn't such a good pilot, the landing tore the underside of the waist off – scared hell out of us all.

# 27            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "42"                                        

            Pilot – Captain Hunt 

            Position – Nose - #3 "X-Ray 2"

Target – Veronia, N. Italy marshalling yards

Date – April 6,'45

Interception – None – P-51's escort

Flak – Not bad – right up there at our altitude (27500 feet)

Damage – None to ship and our box didn't hit target (other boxes did though)

Note – We never got over the target for some reason, quite a undercast, went down at 2000 feet per minute.

# 28            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "43"                            

            Pilot – Captain Hunt 

            Position – Nose - #6 "Yolk 2"

Target – Brenner Loop

Date – April 8,'45

Flak – "MULTI"  Whew!!!  Thick & heavy

Damage – One hole in our ship (thank God) Powers got hit in the ass by a small piece but didn't draw blood.

Note - Two ships blew up in box before us another went down.

# 29            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "44"                                        

            Pilot – Captain Hunt 

            Position – Nose  "Deputy lead"

Target – "Military Targets" in Po Valley

Date – April 10,'45

Flak –  ?? British were shooting to let us know where the front lines were and the Germans were shooting at us.

Damage – We hit target – didn't get hit

Note – Only in enemy territory 1 minute, our troops made "T's" and "X's" out of white tape to indicate front lines.

# 30            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "45"                                        

            Pilot – Captain Hunt 

            Position – Nose  - #2 position

Target – N.I. railway bridge

Date – April 12,'45

Flak –  None

Damage –  None

Note – Never got to target  "MILK"

# 31            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "46"                            

            Pilot – Lt. Kvamme ??

            Position – Nose  - #7  X-Ray 1  Wing lead

Target – Arsenal, N.I.

Altitude – 18,000 feet

Date – April 14,'45

Flak –  NONE

Damage –  Hit target on the nose

Note – Crew flew wing lead ship and had N.N. so I was chucked elsewhere!

"DO I FINISH"?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

# 32            Combat Mission – Credit for 1                                                     "47"                                        

 

            Pilot – Captain Hunt

Position – Nose  #7 "Yoke 2"

Target – Military objectives in Bologna

Date – April 15

Flak –  Yes – but not bad!

Damage –  None to us – hit target

Note –  Hunt had "G.I. shits" so Engineer Nose flew pilot.

(NOTE)

The Engineer & I each have 47 missions, but we cannot get any more because we & our crew & our wing have all signed up to train in "29's" and go to the "Asian Theater."

I guess the whole "450th" signed up!!

(NOTE)

The engineer & I drank a little too much because of the END of our missions – and as a result I don't remember the following three days – BUT my "buddies" told me – what a mess I was sick – sick – sick!



We were 2 days out on the Mediterranean and this news came through


Information courtesy of William Waldrop

Link to Crew Picture
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