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Wallace  E.  Kirschner

 

Personal Legacy
WALLACE E. KIRSCHNER
Personal Diary
World War II

Combat crew of John Money (pilot) and Ralph Golubock (copilot) consisting of: Andrew Graff, Sgt. Lt. Harold Wheatley, Lt. John Money, Lt. Bob Bauman, Sgt. Dutch Schneidwend, Sgt. Herbert Hill, Donald Young and Eugene Roop.

1943

18 October
Landed at Prestwick, Scotland at 4:45 p.m. with our own ship. All the boys were more or less glad to get back on the ground. Ship's name was "MusMaller" (Marshmallow?). Snafu was okay. She stayed in her sock all through the trip (dog mascot). Andy stood guard that night on ship.

19 October
Nothing new today. Rained pretty hard last night. We slept in half oilcans. Boy, it was cold. I stood guard.

20 October
It rained again last night, as usual. I got up early and had some chow. We weren't going to leave today. Sat around the ship and did nothing. Gene stood guard.

22 October
Made all arrangements to leave. We had a new member to our crew - an RAF man and radioman. Lt. Money was not allowed to fly over England without aid for the first trip. We took off at about 3:30 p.m. and landed 70 miles SW of our destination at a B-17 base. The officers slept with us and also the RAF boys. The officers had a swell pillow fight. No guard was needed on the ship, but Herb stayed there anyway.

23 October
After having our flight canceled, we decided to go to town but they chanted their minds and we took off and landed at our base at Hethel at 4 p.m. Then came the run-around and we finally slept in the plane except Dutch, Andy and Herb. There were no beds. We finally got settled and to bed we went.

24 October
Sunday. Got up very early and started to unload the plane. This is where we leave out plane! I think for good. The officers came down with a truck and we loaded our baggage on. There wasn't room enough so we had to make it in two trips. We laid around the barracks until 4:30 p.m. then dressed for town.

26 October
Got our orders to leave for school. We left about 12 Noon by truck and went to Norwich (Thorpe) Station. Caught a train to London. Ate there and caught another train out of Euston Station and got to Cheddington about 5:30 p.m. We were assigned to Site #5, Barracks #20. Half oil cans again.

27 October
Lecture and were told that we could get a London pass tomorrow. Went to sleep early.

28 October
Got a 56-hour pass. Left about 10 a.m. and got into London 12 Noon.

12 November
Got up early and found out we weren't going to ship out so laid around the barracks and wrote some more letters. To bed early.

13 November
Left for Suittrsham about Noon - all except officers and Dutch. Got there about 6 p.m. and slept in tents without lights and without a stove.

17 November
We were supposed to ship today but didn't, so all we did was play cards. Bed early.

18 November
Got up early. Packed what clothes I had. We left the camp at 10 a.m. and got to Attlebridge at 3 p.m. Were assigned to barracks and there we met our officers and Dutch again. To sleep early.

27 November
We flew today! The pilots had to get checked out due to the fact that they hadn't flown in such a long time. Bed early.

28 November
Met the boys today and it was swell.

29 November
Flew again today. Wrote a few letters.

5 December
Left the field at 11 a.m. and reached Shipdham, our new base at 1 p.m. Were assigned to the 406th Squadron and to barracks, which is a Neeson hut. Lt. Holmes' crew is with us.

6 December
Went to a lecture and was told the history of the 44th and what we were here for as if we didn't know.

8-31 December
All of the days were the same. Went to town and saw the movies a few times in town. And so ends another year of war spent U.G. and in the barracks. Writing letters to all my friends and my dear folks.
1944

4 January
Was awakened at 3 a.m. and went to my first briefing. It was Kiel. We stood-by in operations, but didn't go. Went back to the barracks to sleep, write letters, etc.

5 January
Was awakened at 2 a.m. This is it! My first mission. Went to briefing and found out that Kiel was the target for today. They told us plenty of flak and fighters. Got our guns out of armament and then got dressed. Took off at 7:05 a.m. Danny was flying left waist and I was right waist. We were in ship at 0535 and Lt. Sayler was our pilot. Gene Roop was flying tail gunner on Lt. Duffy's crew. Got over the Danish Coast at 11:15, hit the target at 11:45. Plenty of flak and fighters; over the target we lost #4 generators and #4 supercharger and were blown out of formation. We were attacked by an ME110 who came in at 7 o'clock and whereupon the top turret gunner and Danny opened up on him. The top turret gunner burned out his guns on him. The 110 came under the ship and out at 3 o'clock. I opened fire on him. He stayed out at 1,500 yards and then came in at 3 o'clock again. I opened up at 1,000 yards and held it until 100 yards. He went under the plane, smoking. I think I got an ME110. It was about 2:30 when we landed safely at base. Went to the interrogation and then to barracks and back to sleep by 7 p.m.

6 January
Got up late. No mission today. Cleaned my guns, wrote some letters and went to sleep early.

11 January
Awakened at 3 a.m. Went to briefing at 4:30. The target was to be Brunswick, Germany - an arms factory. Took off at 8 a.m. and was 30 minutes from target when we got a recall because of weather at our base. So we dropped our bombs on a small town which had a large canal and railroads. Got back at 2 p.m. Cleaned my guns and went to interrogation. No flak or planes today. To bed early.

13 January
Nothing doing today for me. About 3 p.m. had a crash on the field. A B-24 from the 68th Squadron (2nd Lt. Hovey - all ten men were killed). Wrote letters and to bed early.

14 January
Was awakened at 3:30 a.m. Chow and then down to he briefing room to find out that it was going to be a practice mission. We were a very mad bunch of fellows. We were supposed to take off at 9 a.m. but it was canceled in favor of a later mission to France. We took off at 1:30 p.m. The target was the French Coast. We had an easy time of it until we dropped our bombs then came the fighters. The attacks lasted for 15 minutes. Gene shot down an ME109 and I got an FW190, one of the yellow noses. I hope that we got claims for them. We were just out of the target when three FW190s attacked Lt. Goodwin's ship and blew it up. One man got out - God help them. (Only two men survived). Got back to the field at 5 p.m. Went to briefing and cleaned my guns and to bed.


18 January
Left at 1 p.m. for London. Got back from London 21 January.

24 January
Awakened at 3:40 a.m. Briefing at 5 a.m. We were to bomb Frankfort, Germany, but due to inclement weather, we came back after reaching the English Coastline. Found out that both Gene and I were given credit for a destroyed aircraft - No. 1 on the Hit Parade.

29 January
Was awakened at 3 a.m. Briefing at 4:30 a.m. Started engines at 7 a.m. and taxied at 7:30. Takeoff at 7:45. Went over target with plenty of fighters - both friend and foe. Made a good run on target and came back. No flak. Time of mission 6 h. Temp. -43 degrees. Altitude of 21,000 feet. Attack from west to east.

5 February
Went to briefing at 4:30 a.m. Take off at 8 a.m. Target, France (Tours). No flak or fighters except for friendly Spits. Back at 1300. Went to sleep early. Temp. -13 degrees. Alt. 13,000 ft., south to north.

7 February
Got the Air Medal today for our E/A.

8 February
Briefing at 4:30. Taxi at 6:15; T.O. 6:45. Alt. 31,000 feet. Temp -23; A.A. west to each. Returned at 1100. Plenty of flak (Watten). Three holes in ship - one in well, one in bomb bay and one in cockpit. All okay except Young who got frostbite in his feet. Grounded for some time. Gene got ungrounded.

11 February
Siracourt, France. Briefing at 4:15 a.m. Start engines at 6:30 a.m. Taxi at 7:00, T.O. at 7:15. Turn back at 11:30. Alt. 15,000'; Temp. -27. Bomb load of 12 x 500. No flak before I.P., but at I.P. slight flak. Fighter escort was P-47s. Flak on bomb run. Andy got hit by spent bullet but no other casualties. Three holes in top turret. One in nose and one in No. 3 engine cowling. 18 more to go.

12 February
Siracourt again. Briefing at 4:15. Start at 6:30. Taxi at 7; T.O. at 7:15; Alt. 19,000'. Temp. -27. 12x500. Time returned 12:30. No flak. Very few fighters. Escort P51 and 47s. Bombed through 10/10. Now only 17 to go.

13 February
Target Petit Bois Tillencourt. Briefing 11:30. Start 12:30. Taxi at 1300; T.O. 1315. Temp. -18. Alt. 15,000'; Time returned 1600. Bomb 11 x 500. We were alerted in the late a.m. No briefing for us. Andy was late. Plenty of flak over target. Seven holes in ship. All okay and we are set for tomorrow.


21 February
No. 10. Briefing at ? Start at 0800. Taxi 0830. T/O 0900; temp. at ?. Alt. 13,000'. Bombs 12 x 500. 10/10 clouds. No fighters but plenty of escort P-38s and 47s, 51s and Spits. Back at 1730 after hitting target.

22 February
No. 11. Briefing 0800. Start 1000; Taxi 1030; T/O 1045; B.A. of 21,000'; Temp. -34; Bomb 52 x 100GP. Plenty of goof flak. Good fighter support. No E/A and all well. 14 to go.

23 February
No. 12. Briefing at 0600; Start 0830; Taxi 0900; T/O 0915; Alt. 21000'; B.L. 12x500 GP; Temp. -30. Returned 1530. Didn't bomb. Made a tour of Germany. Had both fighters and flak but all safe on crew. 13 to go.

24 February
No. 13. Target: Gotha. Brief 0600; start 0830; taxi 0830; TO 0915. Alt. 21,000'; BL 12 x 500. Temp. -35. Returned 1535. This was Lt. Purdy's crew. I flew as engineer spare. Plenty of ships were shot down but we were okay. 12 more to go.

25 February
No. 14. Furth was target. Brief 0530; Start 0800; Taxi 0830; TO 0845; Alt. 22,000'; BL 12 x 500; Temp. k-35; Returned 1500. Flew with Purdy again as engineer. We got about 50 miles into Germany when we were hit by flak. No. 2 engine tank caught a hole and she was pouring gas. We turned around. Dropped our bombs and made for home. All well. 11 to go.

5 March
No. 15. Target of Opportunity. Briefing 4:30; start 0700; taxi 0730; TO 0745; Alt. 18,000'; Temp. -30. BL 12 x 500; Returned 1705. I flew with Lt. Lucas and crew as engineer. We hit Bandeau and started over the Channel. We left formation and landed at Ford (So. England Coast). Stayed for a day and then came back. All well. 10 more to go.

8 March
No. 16. Target just south of Berlin. Briefing 0530; Start 0745; Taxi 0815; T/O 0830; Alt. 22,000'; Temp. -33; BL 12 x 100 GP and 29 X 100 TB; Returned at 1730. Target was Berlin. Plenty of flak but no fighters. Very good escort. Hit the primary target. All well. 9 more to go.

9 March
No. 17. Target was Brandenburg, but hit T.O. Brunswick area. Briefing 0530; start 0745; taxi 0815; T/O 0830; Alt. 21,000'; Temp -35; BL 12 x 100 and 34 IB. Returned at 1705. We were airborne at 0837. We had no difficulty in making assembly. All went well until one hour from target. We had a bad oil leak in No. 3 engine and a gas leak in No. 4 so we started back all alone. Two P47s picked us up and stayed as escort. We returned safely to our base. We had lost 19 gallons of oil in one hour, which would have meant the loss of an engine over Berlin. I'm glad we decided to return. All well. 8 more to go.

12 March
No. 18. Target Siracourt, France. Briefing 0430; Start 0630; Taxi 0700 and TO 0715. Alt. 18,000'; Temp. -20; BL 8 x 1000 GP; Ret. 1205 hours. Was airborne at 0723. The clouds were hanging very low (1,500). We flew through clouds until 15,000' when we reached Deck. We had ice all over the wings and tail. Made a late assembly. All went well until we were two miles into enemy territory. Flak came up thick and fast. Dropped our bombs at 1105 and came back out. We couldn't land at our base due to ceiling zero, so we landed at Ford Field in S. England. All well. 7 more to go.

12 March
No. 19. Target: Brunswick, Germany. Briefing 0430; Start 0700; Taxi 0730; TO 0745; BL 12 x 500 GP; Temp. -35. We had good support all the way into target and all the way out. Plenty of flak over target. One ship went down off the right side of formation - three chutes came out. (This was 66th's A/C piloted by Lt. Talbott). Got back to base at 1415. All well except Gene who froze his left hand - probably will be grounded. 6 to go.

16 March
No. 20. Target: Fredrichshaven, Germany. Briefing 0430; Start 0645; Taxi 0715; TO 0730; Alt. 22,000'; BL 12 x 500 GP; Temp. -30; Returned at 1600. All went well about until we were 125 miles into France when we lost No. 2 supercharger. We then made for home because of the long trip to target and back. If anything then happened, we just would have had it. Was about 20 miles from Coast of France on the way out when we were hit by flak. But all okay. Landed at 1340. 5 more to go.

18 March
No. 21. Target: Friedrichshafen, Germany. The group lost eight ships. The 506th lost four. Two of these made it to Switzerland.

21 March
Target: Pas de Calais area, France. Briefing 0530; Start 0745; Taxi 0815; TO 0830; Alt. 21,000'; BL 4 x 2000; Temp. -26; Returned 1230. Plenty of flak but no fighters. All well. Got home on time. 4 to go.

22 March
No. 22. Target: Berlin. Briefing 0515; Start 0730; Taxi 0745; TO 0800. Alt. 22,000'; BL 52 x 100 Inc. Temp. -40; Returned 1600. It was raining when we took off. Were ten minutes late hitting the coast. Not much flak going in but when we made right turn out of target Berlin, they threw up a barrage. We hit flak for 30 min. About hour from target. Got back okay. 3 more to go.

23 March
No. 23. Target: Achmer Airdrome, Germany. Briefing 0345; Start 0600; Taxi 0630; TO at 0645; Alt. 21,000'' BL 52 x 100 IB: Temp. -5; Returned 1212. We were supposed to hit Osnabruck visual and if not able to hit Brunswick PFF. We hit Osnabruck PFF. Plenty of flak but no enemy fighters. All got back okay. Lt. Hovey and Hannuksella finished up their tours today! 2 more to go.

8 April
Target: Brunswick. The group lost 11 aircraft today. We aborted because of turret trouble. The 506th ships were Guy Johnson, Lt. Marx, Lt. Sprinkle, and Lt. Winn. Lt. Bauman was on Lt. Guy Johson's crew and he survived.

11 April
Log is not completed as this crew did not return from the mission. The target was Bernberg where fierce enemy attacks and heavy flak was encountered. A number of enemy aircraft made attacks at the formation - determined and aggressive. This crew was aboard 42-7522 Southern Comfort II. MACR says, Rt. Bomb bay doors failed to open. Bombs on left side were away but on right side, frag bombs hit door and started a fire. Ship flew for awhile. Only two chutes were seen to open, but four bodies got clear of the A/C. Only Lt. Money, Kirschner and Young survived.
 
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