S/Sgt. John J. Greishammer|
Combat World War II Diary
29 January 1945
Lt. Nutt, pilot, flew as copilot to Lt. Hendricks in A/C #161 M+. (This was normal procedure for experience).
5 February 1945
Target: Munich, Germany. Was scrubbed.
6 February 1945 -- Mission 1
Target: Madgeburg, Germany, primary with Berlin as secondary. A/C #616 R+ named "Glory
Bee." Bomb load: 10 500-lb. G.P. bombs. My message inscribed on one 500-lb. bomb was, "From Bee to Adolph."
Got up at 0315, ate breakfast, briefed and took off at 0750 hours. Flew over the English Channel, met a little flak over Holland. Made a deep penetration of Germany to our target, a synthetic oil plant at Madgeburg, a very rough target due to its importance to the German war machine.
Flak over Madgeburg was classified as moderate by S-2 (intelligence). Thank goodness, we had good cloud cover. In spots, flak was awfully concentrated. We bombed through the clouds (PFF). On the way home, we encountered flak over Hanover. We didn't see any enemy fighters. We bombed at 23,000 feet where temperature was 40 degrees below zero.
Flying time for mission was 7 hours 40 minutes.
8 February 1945
Formation was recalled, giving us three hours and five minutes flying time, but no sortie credit. I had to get up at 0215 hours in preparation for this mission.
9 February 1945 -- Mission 2
Target: Magdeburg, Germany. A/C 616 R+. Glory Bee. Bomb load: 5 1,000-lb. GP bombs.
Got up at 0345 hours, ate, briefed and took off at 0820 hours. We flew over the English Channel, then over Holland, and nearly to Berlin. Our target was the same synthetic oil plant at Madgeburg as on our first mission.
Flak was moderate. No enemy fighters. Visibility poor due to cloud cover. We bombed from 22,000 feet. I saw one parachute while over Holland. Temperature at 22,000 feet was 39 degrees below zero. Due to the heavy cloud cover, the secondary target, Madgeburg marshalling yards, were bombed in place of the oil facilities. Flying time: 6 hours 50 min.
15 February 1945 -- Mission 3
Target: Magdeburg, Germany (Same as previous missions)
A/C #594 P+. No name. Temp. 32 degrees below zero. Bomb load: 9 500-lb. GPs.
Got up at 0345. Ate, briefed and took off at 0745. Again, we flew over the English Channel where it was 107 miles wide. Then, two inboard engines (#2 and #3) started smoking and continued to smoke nearly all the way to the target. I saw some flak over Hanover, then we fell back from our formation due to these two smoking engines. But eventually, we caught up again and got back into formation at our briefed position.
Eight minutes before we were supposed to bomb our target, six of our 500-lb. bombs fell through the closed bomb bay doors! I am not sure what caused the problem, and I couldn't see the results of the bombs. The doors were hanging down loosely, out in the slipstream, swinging around and causing quite a drag on the engines. Even with all of this, our pilots managed to keep up with our formation.
Of course, the extra drag from the doors caused the engines to consume more gas as we crossed over our target and dropped the three remaining bombs. As there was about a 70% cloud cover, the visibility was not too good trying to observe the results. The black flak was moderate and we also saw some "scarecrow" flak, which is white. The flak was fairly heavy to the rear, but not accurate due to the chaff and cloud cover.
On our way home, Lt. Crook's plane, N+ 314, was losing altitude and falling behind our formation. But eventually, they got back to base. On our way back, we stayed with the formation, but were low on gas -- and sweating it. Just as we neared Shipdham, the engines started sputtering, so we couldn't fly the normal pattern, but headed straight in for the runway. We tried to lower the landing gear, but everything happened so fast. I had gotten out of the tail turret, was attempting to disconnect my interphone, and heated suit cords when we hit! Lt. Nut made a beautiful belly landing and we skidded a great distance along the runway. Big, long sparks and smoke filled the bomb bay until we finally stopped sliding.
We scrambled out of the ship as quickly as we could in case the ship caught fir and burned -- or exploded. It appeared like the whole base was out to meet us -- even the Red Cross meat wagon. It happened so quickly we hardly knew what was happening. Everyone who saw us come in said it really was a beautiful belly landing that appeared not to have torn up the ship too badly. (True. Plane was repaired, continued to fly missions and returned to the states after the war).
T/Sgt. Geigenheimer, engineer from Capt. Testa's crew, flew with us as waist gunner, while Hartung moved from left waist to nose turret. F/O Sharf didn't fly this mission. I thank God for bringing me home safe without any personal injuries. Flight time was about seven hours.
21 February 1945 -- Mission 4
Target: Nurnburg, Germany. A/C #185 So+ "Wild Bill."
Bomb load: 5 500-lb. GP and five clusters of incendiaries with 34 sticks to a cluster.
Was awakened at 0300. Ate, briefed at 0400. Took off at 0720. We assembled at 6,000 feet, bombed from 23,000 feet. We went up to altitude as we went over the Channel and into Belgium. From there, we went across France and into Germany. When we passed near Frankfurt, we saw about seven or eight bursts of flak fairly near. Before we got to our target, which was supposed to be the marshalling yards at Nurnburg, and while setting up the bombsight, something went wrong just after the bomb bay doors were opened -- and the bombs dropped!
Nothing to do but to continue with our formation, through the bomb run over the target. We got plenty of flak with some of it getting rather close to us. It was so close we were bounced around a little, so that I wasn't sure if we got hit or not. Anyhow, I could feel the bursts of flak as they were so close.
After our formation's bombs were away, we headed for home. When approaching the Ruhr Valley, near the Rhine River and in the vicinity of Strasbourg, it was pretty visual, so the Jerries sure splattered our plane. This was one time I got scared, for I could feel the flak hitting us. But we continued on home with trouble, through France, across the Channel and finally England.
After landing, we found from ten to 15 flak hole sin our plane. Four or five of them were in the right wing with one hole about a foot from the radio operator on the flight deck. A couple more holes were found in the fuselage, and one about two feet from me in the tail turret. There may have been other holes in the bomb bay, etc. Oh well, it was too close for comfort, but what an experience! Luckily, no one was injured.
Lt. Hutch flew as copilot with us today, with F/O Sharf in the nose section. The mission flight lasted eight hours and 30 minutes.
22 February 1945 -- Mission 5
Target: Gottingen, Germany marshalling yards. A/C #1o85 S+ "Wild Bill."
Bomb load: 12 500-lb. GPs.
Got up at 0430. Ate, briefed at 0540 and took off about 0850. Our target was the secondary one of Gottingden after the primary at Hohengandern could not be bombed due to ground haze. We were after the choke point for great concentrations of supplies in the marshalling yards, headed for both fronts, western and eastern.
We formed at 12,000 feet, flew over the Channel and rose to 18,000 feet. We crossed Holland and into Germany. While passing over Kassel there was quite a bit of flak at nine o'clock, but it wasn't near our formation. Instead, it was directed against another group. It was visual at Kassel.
We continued on to our IP (initial point) and bomb run, where we let down to about 9,000 feet, found our target and bombed visually. I'll be the German people down below were scared stiff, for undoubtedly they could see all of the Liberators with their bomb bay doors open -- and so low.
We came over our target and dropped our bombs. It was an excellent strike, for we really could see the bombs hit it right in the middle. Smoke, lots of it, came up and then a great big red blaze in the middle of the marshalling yards. I'll bet they won't use those railroads for days to come.
I liked this mission for it was the easiest one so far -- practically no flak over the target. I think the Germans were surprised and I know the 8th Air Force is proud of our fine job today.
We came back to the base after a flight of seven hours and 15 minutes. I can say that I am very tired for I've flown about 16 hours in he last two days.
25 February 1945 -- Mission 6
Target: Aschaffenburg, Germany. A/C #185 S+. "Wild Bill." Minus 30 degrees at bombing altitude.
Bomb load: 12 250-lb. GPs plus four cluster incendiaries.
I was awakened at 0230. Ate, briefed at 0330 and took off at 0645 hours. We formed at 6,000 feet over London, went across France and hit our target in Germany, the Aschaffenburg marshalling yards. At target time, I was throwing out chaff, so it was after bombing before I could see the target and found it covered with clouds of smoke and fire. The target was visual and we had hit it from 22,000 feet.
When on the return route and over Belgium, we were running short of gasoline. So we tried to spot the airfield at Brussels, but failed. So we were forced to land at a P-51 fighter field which formerly had been a Luftwafte Base. The camp was in a town named Chievres, Belgium. We gassed up and started back to England, but immediately ran into bad weather, forcing us to turn around and return to Belgium. We nearly had to bail out because the flight controls froze up, with the airspeed indicator showing only 80 mph! Luckily, we landed safely again on the same P-51 fighter field.
We had to sleep in an attic of a nicely camouflaged building. Next day, as the weather was bad, we remained grounded, so I went into the nearby village of Aft. Upon returning to that base, Kohn, Marsh and I went into Chievres and bought a couple of fried eggs and a glass of beer for 58 Francs.
On Tuesday, the 27th, we took off in the afternoon, and landed back at Shipdham around 3:30 p.m. Therefore, we got in ten hours and 20 minutes of flying time. There we learned that our visual bombing on the 25th had been excellent.
28 February 1945 -- Mission 7
Target: Siegen marshalling yards, Germany. A/C #279 K+ "Henry." Minus 26 degrees at 22,000 feet.
Bomb load: 20 250-lb. GPs plus two clusters of incendiaries.
Got up about 0615. Ate, briefed at 0730 and took off about 1100 hours. We formed at 11,000 feet, bombed at 23,500 through 10/10th cloud cover, target not visible. I was throwing out chaff over the target to confuse the German gunners. So I didn't see any flak or enemy fighters.
One of the batteries in our plane caught on fire and our #3 engine smoked quite a bit. Otherwise, it was a very easy mission. We dropped our bombs about a minute late, but it is possible that we hit the target because I learned that our formation bombed early.
We landed at 1725 back at Shipdham, credited with six hours and 25 minutes flying time.
2 March 1945 -- Mission 8
Target: Magdeburg, Germany -- industrial facilities. A/C #329 H+ "Fifinella." Minus 32 degrees at altitude.
Bomb load: 10 500-lb. GPs.
Target was workshops and buildings in Madgeburg Industrial District.
They got me up at 0230 hours. Ate and briefed at 0330. We took off at 0645. No enemy fighters seen, but flak over the target was thick and accurate. I saw lots of flak concentrated at 7 o'clock. It was the most flak I've seen so far. We bombed at an altitude of 22,500 feet. Flying time was seven hours and 35 minutes.
8 March 1945 -- Mission 9
Target: Siegen marshalling yards, Germany.
A/C #846 L-Bar "Mi Akin Ass." Bombing altitude of 22,000 ft.
Bomb load: 12 500-lb. GPs.
I was awakened at 0615. Ate, briefed at 0730. I flew in my tail turret after pulling the safety pins on the bombs. Our primary target was Siegen marshalling yards, but we bombed the Frankfurt marshalling yards instead. This proved to be a rough target even though we bombed through 10/10th cloud cover. Flak was accurate and rather heavy. My oxygen mask froze up on me.
Don't know if we hit the target or not due to the cloud cover. I did see some scarecrow flak but most of the flak was between 5 and 7 o'clock. I saw at least 60 bursts of flak in that area.
K+ (#279 - Kleinschmidt) feathered one engine, had another engine smoking, but he was able to get back to the base safely.
15 March 1945 -- Mission 10
Target: Zossen, Germany. A/C #616 R+ "Glory Bee." -25 degrees at 21,500 feet.
Bomb load: 12 250-GPs and four clusters of incendiary.
Our target was Zossen, 16 miles southwest of Berlin and contained all the German War Department that had moved recently from Berlin and was a Class A target, the first priority in Germany. I think the whole Eighth Air Force was there trying to destroy this target, as that might shorten the war.
I got up about 0600 hours. Ate, briefed at 0720. Our takeoff was through a low ground fog, then we formed above the clouds. Our route took us across Holland and into Germany. While over Holland, I saw a couple bursts of scarecrow flak, and into Germany I saw three or four potential targets with flak above them. Included in this number was Hanover, which had quite a bit of flak.
At Zossen, the weather was clear and the target visible through a slight haze. Our bombing results should have been pretty good, but officially reported only fair.
On our return, we saw little flak, had no problems, and landed about 1800 hours. Flying time was seven hours and 50 minutes.
16 March 1945 -- No mission
Target: Baunheim, Germany. A jet plane plant, but scrubbed.
17 March 1945 -- Mission 11
Target: Munster marshalling yards. A/C #616 R+ "Glory Bee." -30 to -40 degrees at 23,500 feet. Bomb load: 44 100-lb. GPs plus two clusters of incendiary.
I got up about 0600 hours. Ate fried eggs for breakfast, briefed at 0720 hours. We took off around 1000 hours to enjoy a pretty day in the air until we neared the target. There, we found 10/10s cloud cover.
Our flight plan again took us out over the Channel and into Holland, where we encountered some scarecrow flak, and several flak batteries opened up on us as we entered Germany. Then, after the IP and on our ten-minute bomb run, the Germans threw up plenty of flak. However, most of it burst between 21,000-22,000 feet below us, as our bombing altitude was 23,500 feet. Some burst eventually were pretty close, but we received no battle damage even though the flak was heavy. Flying time was six hours and 15 minutes.
19 March 1945 -- Mission 12
Target: Neuburg, Germany, a jet plane assembly plant. A/C #224 W (A 68th Sq. airplane).
Bomb load: 10 500-lb. GPs.
Our target was Neuburg, a jet aircraft ME 262 plant, including the surrounding buildings where they assembled the various parts.
Got up about 0315, ate, and briefed about 0420 hours. Takeoff was supposed to be at 0900 hours, but it was delayed until 0945 due to bad weather. After taking off, we assembled over France and started a deep penetration into Germany. Shortly thereafter, number 3 engine started leaking gasoline so badly that it drenched the right waist window like in a heavy rainstorm. Our engineer, Marsh, worked on it and finally got the leak stopped. Also, for most of the mission, No. 1 engine smoked rather badly, while No. 2 also smoked, but only slightly.
We dropped our bombs on the target, which was visible, and S-2 later told us that the results were excellent for the plant and the whole area was wiped off the map. On our return flight, I could see huge columns of smoke and many explosions for up to 100 miles away. The explosions continued, one after the other and covered the whole target area, so we completely wiped this target out.
While on the bombing run I continued to throw out the chaff even though there was no flak that I could see. But, while this all was happening, the oil pressure on No. 4 engine dropped to 20 psi. Lt. Nutt elected to keep the engine running under low power, rather than to feather it, not wanting to chance having German fighters attack us as a cripple. He tried to hold our position in the formation, but couldn't maintain altitude, until we dropped down to an altitude of about 13,000 feet.
By this time we were all alone and still deep into southern Germany. We all were really sweating it out because by now our supply of gasoline was down to 400 gallons, too. This was precious little to get us back over the lines and to a friendly airfield. Either that, or we'd be forced to bail out over German-held territory, and possibly become POWs or worse.
When we approached Frankfurt, we diverted a bit to avoid their flak guns and we were lucky enough to get past that area with no damage. But at Mannheim and Worms the flak guns zeroed in on us with burst all around us. All of us were scared, figuring they couldn't miss us at this low altitude.
Also, there was another serous threat, as there were many jet fighters in this area. But the flak became worse, as one burst hit very close to us, rocking the whole plane and several holes appeared in the bomb bay section. At that time, I was down on my hands and knees, throwing out more chaff and really sweating it. I didn't have my flak suit on because I was expecting to get the bail-out signal at any moment. I threw out at least three cases of chaff over that area.
After getting out of Germany, we felt better. But we only had about 15 minutes of gasoline, so we decided to land on the first airfield we saw. Not far after crossing the battle lines, a P-47 spotted us and brought us in. We landed without further problems and knew that God brought us back safely. Gee, we were really lucky!
We landed on an airfield at Luneville, France, which is 17 miles from Nancy, and is now a P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Base. We slept in their Orderly Room, which really was a grandstand for a stadium. The Orderly Room was on one side, with a dispensary on the opposite side. We ate supper Monday evening with the officer's at the Officer's Mess.
We learned that this field was about 60 miles from the front lines the next day (Tuesday) before we took off again, landing back at our base in the afternoon. Flying time was ten hours 40 minutes.
22 March 1945 -- Aborted. No mission credit. A/C #616 R+. Flying time just 45 minutes. Target was to have been a jet aircraft field at Schwabisch/Hall, Germany.
23 March 1945 -- Mission 13
Target: Rhine, Germany. A/C #314 G+. No name.
Bomb load: 44 100-lb. GPs plus two cluster incendiaries. Bombing altitude was 20,000 feet.
Our target was the Rhine marshalling yards in an attempt to keep the Jerries from supplying the Western Front.
I got up at 0315 this morning. Ate fried eggs for breakfast, and had briefing at 0420 hours. Our formation assembled at 12,000 feet and we were over the Channel by the time I had pulled the safety pins from all the bombs. By that time, we were at 15,000 feet. But before we took off, I found one bomb that did not have an arming wire!
Again, we flew over Holland and into Germany, but only penetrated about 18 miles into the Ruhr Valley, where we bombed the Rheine marshalling yards visually. Flak was moderate and pretty accurate. Bombing results were excellent according to the lead ship commander in Lt. Alley's plane.
We came back to base, landed at 1230 hours, with our flying time shown as five hours and 25 minutes, so it was our shortest mission so far.
NOTE: G+ 314 was lost on March 24th, flown by Lt. Grandell.
25 March 1945 -- Mission 14
Target: Hitzacker, Germany. A/C #594 P+. Temperature at 18,000 feet was -25 degrees.
Bomb load: 24 250-lb. GPs.
Target was the Hitzacker Oil Storage Dump where the Jerries keep their oil reserves. The dump was located out in a forest near a small town of Hitzacker.
I was awakened at 0130. Ate five fried eggs for breakfast, and was briefed at 0245 hours. We formed up at 12,000 feet but couldn't get all the planes together due to bad cloud conditions, with a storm setting in over the base. However, we caught one formation near Holland and stayed in that formation. We flew on into Germany and as we passed Hanover, the RAF was attacking it! I saw intensive flak thrown up against he Limies -- there were RAF bombers all over the sky. It sure looked like a rat race to see which one could unload his bombs first.
We dropped our bombs on signal from the lead ship, visual bombing, as the weather was good. A few bursts of flak and some scarecrow flak was thrown up at us, but it could be considered nearly nil.
Shortly after we hit our target, we passed over the small town of Minburg where we were greeted with about 50 bursts of accurate flak -- apparently a six-gun battery. But from there on it was okay and we landed about 1230 to 1300 hours. Flying time was seven hours 15 minutes. Don't know what the results were, but they should be good for we bombed visually. (Official records show results were excellent).
31 March 1945 -- Mission 15
Target: Brunswick, Germany. A/C #616 R+ "Glory Bee." -30 degrees at 22,500 feet.
Bomb load: 12 500-lb. GPs.
I was awakened at 0050 hours. Ate and briefed at 0210 hours. We took off and formed at 13,000 feet, flew over the Channel and over Holland. Clouds began to get thicker and thicker, so by the time we were over Germany, there was 10/10s cloud cover. We hit our secondary target
-- Bruswick marshalling yards, through these clouds by means of PFF. I couldn't see the flak because I was busy throwing out chaff, but it was reported moderate with about 30 or 40 puffs of black flak over Brunswick target area. But chaff and the PFF bombing techniques must have messed up their radar, if not the clouds. Naturally, I couldn't see our bombing results either.
We had a little trouble with No. 2 engine, but it got us home okay, arriving a little after 1200 hours -- noon. Flying time was six hours 10 minutes.
2 April 1945 -- No mission credit.
Target: Tirstrup airdrome in Denmark. Mission abandoned. A/C #616 R+ "Glory Bee." -22 degrees at 18,000 ft. Bomb load: 36 150-lb. GPs.
A very severe weather front near Denmark forced a recall. Target was at Tirstrup Jet ME-262 airfield, where we were to bomb visually only. This target had not been bombed for over a year, so hopes were it would be a surprise attack. We were going to hit the runways of the airfield.
I was awakened about 7 o'clock, didn't get up for breakfast, but made the briefing at 1000 hours. We took off and formed our formation at 16,000 feet. Most of the mission was over the waters of the North Sea. We penetrated into the enemy-occupied territory of Denmark for only a few miles when the command pilot was notified that our target was 10/10th covered, and we were to return to base. We were to bring all our bombs back, and it was called "abandoned mission." We were within 15 minutes of our target, were practically on the bomb run . . . .
We turned around and came home okay, but we didn't like it, wanted to complete our mission. No sortie credit was given. Flying time was six and one-half hours.
8 April 1945 -- Mission 16
Target: Bayreuth, Germany. A/C #161 M+ "Jail Bait." Bomb load: 11 500-lb. GPs.
Target was Bayreuth Ordnance Depot near Nuremberg.
I was awakened at 0345 hours, ate fried eggs, five of them, was briefed at 0500 hours. We took off and formed at 8,500 feet. I pulled the bomb pins while we crossed the English Channel. We crossed over Belgium, gradually gaining altitude until we reached 20,000 feet, and entered air space over Germany.
We bombed our target visually, and it looked like we had good results. (Results were excellent). No flak and no enemy fighters was encountered. We came back to the base with no problems after flying time of seven hours and 50 minutes. It was a very pretty day.
10 April 1945 -- Mission 17
Target: Parchim, Germany. Airfield for ME-262 jet aircraft. -26 degrees at 21,000 feet
Bomb load: 10 500-lb. RDX.
Awakened at 0630 hours. Ate breakfast, briefed at 0740 hours. We took off and formed at 10,000 feet. We left England and flew a long distance across water, broke the coast near Denmark, but it was Germany. We flew over Germany until we came to our IP. There, we were notified that our target was visual and was about 25 miles southeast of Schwerin.
I saw moderate flak after our bombs were away. I suppose the results were pretty good for it was visual. (Error in setting up bombing mechanism for one squadron caused them to miss badly, but the others did well).
Our return took us near Osnabruck in Germany, which already is in Allied hands. Also saw Munster, etc. We didn't see any enemy fighters and our plane flew very well, so it was a good mission. Flying time was seven hours and 20 minutes.
11 April 1945 -- Mission 18
Target: Neumarket marshalling yards, Germany. A/C #548 0+, "Jersey Jerk."
Bomb load: 5 1,000-lb. GPs. Bombing altitude 18,000 ft.
Was awakened at 0415, ate, briefed at 0530 hours. We took off and flew across the Channel at an altitude of only 3,300 feet. I pulled the bomb safety pins over a "buncher" near Brussels, Belgium at 6,000 feet.
Then we penetrated deep into southern Germany near Nurnburg and on to our bombing run for a visual attack. But part of our formation failed to drop their bombs, so we made a second run on the target for the rest of our planes to unload. No flak or enemy fighters were encountered, so our results were probably fair.
On the return flight, we could see lots of German cities that are now in our hands -- such as Aachen, Frankfurt, etc. It was a nice mission, but a long one. Flight time was eight hours and 50 minutes.
16 April 1945 -- Mission 19
Target: Rosenheim marshalling yards and station, Germany. A/C #548 0+. "Jersey Jerk."
Bomb load: 10 500-lb. GPs.
Primary target to be bombed was the Rosenheim marshalling yards south of Munich, but the priority target No. 3 was hit due to cloud cover over the first two priority targets.
I was awakened at 0540 hours, ate, and briefed at 0700 hours. We took off about 1000, formed at 9,000 feet, flew across London. As we started across the English Channel, I could see the White Cliffs of Dover. Then I pulled the bomb pins before crossing into France.
In the distance, as we penetrated into Germany, I could see plenty of flak at Stuttgart, but it was aimed at a different formation of B-24s. We had a messed-up affair because of the weather, and had to attack the third priority target of Landshut marshalling yards. After opening the bomb bay doors on the bomb run, only eight of our bombs dropped and they hit right in the center of an autobahn! We flew on, but before we reached the intended target, several other planes dropped their bombs early, too.
Somehow we didn't bomb our target because it had been bombed and there was too much smoke from the previous formations. (One squadron managed to hit the target, with excellent results).
So we started on our route back to base. We toggled out the two remaining bombs, but in the safe position, after I had put the safety pins back in them. As we passed over Donanworth, they really rocked us with close flak, because it was right under us and very accurate. Those were tense moments for us as we thought we might have had it.
We landed about 1930 hours, at night, so it was really a long mission. Flying time was nine hours and 25 minutes. Later, we learned that the close flak was from railway flak guns.
19 April 1945 -- No mission credit. Target: Schwandorf-Irlaching railway junction. Mission scrubbed at 0630 hours.
20 April 1945 -- Mission 20
Target: Schwandorf-Irlaching railway junction. A/C #594 P+. -19 degrees at 18,000 feet.
Bomb load: 10 500-lb. RDX.
This priority No. 1 target is located near Regensburg in southern Germany, and was to be bombed visually.
I was awakened about 0300 hours, ate breakfast, and was briefed at 0415. We took off a little after 0700 hours, formed at 6,000 feet over our base, but it took nearly two hours. As we headed out over the Channel, I removed the pins from those ten bombs and Jangl test-fired my guns for me.
We remained at a relatively low altitude for quite a long time, so we could see the great port of Antwerp, in Belgium, with many ships in the harbor. Naturally, those ships were protected by barrage balloons.
It was quite clear over the whole continent, including our target in Germany. As we neared Germany, we started gaining altitude and continued climbing over Allied-controlled Germany for about one-half hour. Our target was just a short distance over the bomb line (the "front"), so I started throwing out chaff at the IP. We hit our target visually. No flak and no fighters were observed. A P-38 flew alongside of us for nearly one-half hour, apparently observing our formation.
It was a pretty long mission, but we returned to Shipdham around 1500 hours. Results of our bombing looked good. (Officially reported as excellent). Flying time was eight hours.
25 April 1945 -- No mission credit. Scrubbed -- Halversum, Holland. Dropping supplies to Holland and people in former German-occupied territory.
We were briefed at 1830 hours with takeoff at 2100 hours. We flew at an altitude of only 1,000 feet at night, returning to base at three minutes after midnight.
NOTE: The 44th Bomb Group flew its last operational mission on this date, 25 April 1945.