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LT  William J. WELLINGS

UNIT: 350th BOMB Sqdn POSITION: BOM

Lt William J Wellings was a bombardier in the 100th. He flew on the Crews of  Lt Rojohn, Lt Michael and Ivan Champion lead crew. He flew 27 missions total. Photo courtesy of Son Norm Wellings 

Lt William Wellings, Bombardier, transferred from Alconbury and served on Crews of RoJohn, Michael and Champion. Photo Courtesy of Norman Wellings. 

SERIAL #: O-762846 STATUS: CPT
MACR:

Comments1: LEAD BOMBARDIER

COMMENTS & NOTES

MEMO 1:

William Wellings arrived in Thorpe Abbots on 10/7/44 (via Alconbury) as a bombardier.

CREW

2nd Lt Glenn H.Rojohn               P     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt William G.Leek             CP       POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt  Robert Washington      NAV    POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG (from the Spear crew)
   Cpl Edward G.Neuhaus        ROG     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                     A/C #42 31987 "The Little Skipper" 
   Cpl Orville E.Elkin                TTE     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                        MACR #11550,Microfiche #4246
   Cpl Joseph L.Russo              BTG    KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG    
   Cpl Roy H.Little                  WG     KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Cpl Robert W.Baker            WG     NOC    
   Cpl Herman G.Horenkamp    TG      CPT   


350th Sqdn. This crew,as above (no Nav or Bom) joined the 100th Group on 15/9/44.
Crew formed in Salt Lake City UT on 5 May 44.   Left USA 16 Aug 44, arrived in Valley Wales, 19 Aug 44
Assigned to 95th Bomb Group 6 Sept 44, Left 95th Bomb Group on 14 Sept 44 and joined 100th Bomb Group (because of loss of 12 aircraft on September 11, 1944 mission to Ruhland) 

See S.O.C. p.88/89 and "CONTRAILS" p.91/92 for story of the mid air "Piggy Back" crash of this A/C and that of W.G.MacNab.

On 31/12/44, Lt Robert Washington,from the crew of A.S.Spear,was flying as navigator and 
became a POW. A Sgt James R.Shirley was flying as NG and was a POW. S/Sgt Francis R.Chase from Lt Hansen Crew, was aboard as TG and was KIA.

Both Roy Little and Francis Chase are commemorated on the Wall Of The Missing at the 
Netherlands cemetary.

Crew on December 31, 1944 mission to Hamburg:

2nd Lt Glenn H.Rojohn            P     POW    31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt William G.Leek             CP     POW   31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt Robert Washington   NAV      POW    31/12/44 HAMBURG (from the Spear crew)
Sgt James R. Shirley               NG      POW     31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Cpl Edward G.Neuhaus       ROG     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                           
   Cpl Orville E.Elkin              TTE     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                          
   Cpl Joseph L.Russo           BTG     KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG    
   Cpl Roy H.Little                 WG     KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
S/Sgt Francis R. Chase            TG      KIA        31/12/44 HAMBURG 

Missions of Capt. Glenn H. Rojohn from Sgt Herman G.Horenkamp (2003)

1.   06/10/44    BERLIN-FW 190 ENGINE PLANT
2.   07/10/44    BOHLEN/LEIPZIG-OIL REFINERY
3.   09/10/44    MAINZ-TANK FACTORY
4.   12/10/44    BREMEN-FW190 PLANT
5.   17/10/44    COLOGNE-MARSHALLING YARDS
6.   18/10/44    KASSEL-FW190 ENGINE PLANT
7.   22/10/44    MUNSTER-MARSHALLING YARDS
8.   30/10/44    MERSEBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY
9.   02/11/44    MERSEBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY
10. 05/11/44    LUDWIGSHAVEN-LUBRICATION PLANT (our records say marshalling yards..mpf)
11. 10/11/44    WIESBADEN-AIRFIELD
12. 16/11/44    AACHEN-GERMAN FRONT LINES
13. 21/11/44    MERSEBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY
14. 26/11/44    HAMM-MARSHALLING YARDS
15. 02/12/44    KOBLENZ-MARSHALLING YARDS
16. 04/12/44    FRIEDBURG-MARSHALLING YARDS
17. 05/12/44    BERLIN, ORDINANCE PLANT
18. 18/12/44    MAINZ-MARSHALLING YARDS
19. 27/12/44    FULDA-MARSHALLING YARDS
20. 29/12/44    FRANKFURT-MARSHALLING YARDS
21. 30/12/44    KASSEL-MARSHALLING YARDS
22. 31/12/44    HAMBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY, CREW DOES NOT RETURN. 


Rojohn Crew fill-ins and changes

S/Sgt Roy Little is injured on first mission (Oct 6 1944-BERLIN) and S/Sgt Robbie Gill from Lt Spear Crew fills in from Oct 7-Oct 22, 1944.   Little resumes missions with Rojohn Crew on Oct 30, 1944.  

S/Sgt Victor J. Vallerga (from Lt Stansbury Crew) fills in at TOG. From 6/10/1944-5/11/1944.  On mission to Ludwigshafen He is hit by Flak pretty badly in arm and leg.  

1.   06/10/44    BERLIN-FW 190 ENGINE PLANT 
2.   07/10/44    BOHLEN/LEIPZIG-OIL REFINERY 
3.   09/10/44    MAINZ-TANK FACTORY 
4.   12/10/44    BREMEN-FW190 PLANT 
5.   17/10/44    COLOGNE-MARSHALLING YARDS 
6.   18/10/44    KASSEL-FW190 ENGINE PLANT 
7.   22/10/44    MUNSTER-MARSHALLING YARDS 
8.   30/10/44    MERSEBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY 
9.   02/11/44    MERSEBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY 
10. 05/11/44    LUDWIGSHAVEN
11. 10/11/44    WIESBADEN-AIRFIELD     Sgt Hans ? flew as TOG

At this point, Lt William J. Wellings takes over as Bombardier and flies missions at Bombardier on Lt Rojohn Crew.  

12. 16/11/44    AACHEN-GERMAN FRONT LINES 
13. 21/11/44    MERSEBURG-SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERY 
14. 26/11/44    HAMM-MARSHALLING YARDS 
15. 02/12/44    KOBLENZ-MARSHALLING YARDS 
16. 04/12/44    FRIEDBURG-MARSHALLING YARDS 
17. 05/12/44    BERLIN, ORDINANCE PLANT 
18. 18/12/44    MAINZ-MARSHALLING YARDS 
19. 27/12/44    FULDA-MARSHALLING YARDS 
20. 29/12/44    FRANKFURT-MARSHALLING YARDS 
21. 30/12/44    KASSEL-MARSHALLING YARDS

***********************************************************************************************************

Lt William J. Wellings became a Lead Bombardier.  Lt Wellings came to 100th BG from Alconbury without a crew. He flew 10 missions with Lt Glenn Rojohn Crew.  Lt Wellings flew his last mission with Rojohn Crew on Dec 30, 1944 and misses Dec 31, 1944 Hamburg Mission where Rojohn Crew is lost.  Diary says he was assigned to Lt Joseph Michael's Crew and then goes into Lead Crew training with Ivan Champion Crew. 


CREW
Command Pilot             Capt. C.E. Robbs
Pilot                               Lt. I. Champion
Co-Pilot (Tail Observer) Lt. J.A. Plough
Navigator                      Lt. R. Andris
Radar Navigator           Lt. N.T. Gault
Bombardier                  Lt. W.J. Wellings
Radio Operator           S/Sgt H.A. Krumwiede
Engineer                     S/Sgt H.E. Lodl
Waist Gunner             S/Sgt F.J. Finn
Waist Gunner              Sgt  A.R. Spencer 

MEMO 2:

                                                   Mission Diary:

William Wellings arrived in Thorpe Abbots on 10/7/44 (via Alconbury) as a bombardier.

Thursday Nov. 16, 1944
1st Mission (111 days) 
Expected to go on pass today but they sure fooled us. Got us up at 0400 and we had briefing at 0515. Took off around 8 with 30 - 200 lb frags to bomb troop concentrations east of Aachen. Surprisingly, I wasn't nervous at all. Didn't hit any flak at all until we turned off target and they threw up about 6 pretty accurate bursts at the lead sqdn. I didn't have any flak helmet and when I saw those black bursts, with red flame in the middle, I sure tried to sink down into that flak suit. It was all over in a second or two, tho, and the mission was practically over because we were back over Allied lines again. Had to take special care not to drop bombs on our own troops and I think we hit a little "over" because of that. Was scared as hell my bombs wouldn't drop but they came out all right.
Worst part of whole mission was when we got back to England and found the whole island socked in. Took us 2 1/2 hours to land and we could hardly see the field until we were on top of it. Finally got some mail today addressed to here. Going on pass tomorrow- I hope. 

Monday Nov. 20, 1944 (115 days)
Went on pass Friday morning and as usual I ended up in Cambridge. Went to Dorothy's Friday and Saturday nites and left there about 4:30 Sunday afternoon. Had three packages waiting for me when I got back…… Mission was recalled today so its just as well we weren't flying even tho it was a milk run. We're on the line-up for tomorrow- 13th mission for the crew!

Tuesday Nov. 21
2nd Mission (116 days)
Got up at 4 this morning and briefed at 5 for "Merceburg". Everybody was nervous as hell or scared to death- like me- especially when we hit the coast and they were shooting at us immediately. Had flak for about 5 minutes, not very close to us and then it petered out. Got in as far as Osnabruk then before we saw any more and there was quite a bit of it over the town but far from us. Went in about 50 miles deeper and found out the weather was too bad for Merceburg so we went back to hit Osnabruk. They had quite a few rockets (nowhere near) when we got back there and I saw my first real flack. It was moderate and tracking but didn't get close to us until bombs away when two big ones burst as red as hell right in front of me. Would have scared me to death if I hadn't been too busy trying to get my bombs out. Never did get them out, tho, and we had to bring them back. Made the rest of the trip without seeing anything more than a few rockets. 

Saturday Nov. 25, 1944 (120 days)
Haven't flown since Tuesday at all. Wednesday nite Tennenbaum came over and asked me to go through 3 weeks of Mickey training here and I said OK. 
Smigo was in on it too and we went to Mickey Target study for two days and then found out this afternoon that its all called off now and so I'm still a bombardier on Rojohn's crew. 

Sunday Nov. 26, 1944 
3rd Mission (121 days)
Got up and ate at 5, briefing at 6 for Marshalling Yards at Hamm. Took off at 0830 and left coast about 1045. Saw a few V-2s going up from Holland Coast and a lot of flak off to the right but we were in the corridor all right. We're flying low, low, low today and Smith was leading our Sqdn. Lost the rest of the group at the I.P. and our Sqdn went across the target with 10 ships and all by ourselves. Quite a bit of flak and a helluva lot of rockets but the bomb doors had to be cranked down and I was too busy sweating bombs away to see if it was close to us or not- thank God. Flew back in a formation of 24s and saw some more V-2s. Landed about 2:15, ate and got ready for the party. 

Saturday Dec. 2, 1944
4th Mission (127 days)
Got up at 0530 and we briefed for Coblenz. Got all the way over to the I.P. and they re-called us. Think we're going to get credit for it but don't know for sure yet. It was a very dull trip and 10/10 most of the time. 

Monday Dec. 4, 1944
5th Mission (129 days)
Briefed at 0600 today for Geinz Marshalling Yards. Went out to the ship and #3 starter was out so we had to use the Ground Spare-5000. Take off was delayed one hour and it was 0920 before we took off. We were flying #3 in the Lead sqdn and took off third. Left England about 1135 and went over to Ostend then down towards Frankfurt. Had a very high tail-wind and ground speed was about 380. Ran into flak about 1215 and saw a 17 from the group ahead go down. He started to turn after he was hit but #1 and the left wing tip blew off and he fell into a tight spin. He was spinning like a top when he hit the overcast. Saw 2 chutes come out and was getting pretty well flaked up by that time. Then, they started the old screw-up again and we got completely lost. Made a half-assed run over Geinz but didn't drop. Shut up the doors and went around in every direction until the 1st thing I knew we were on another run. E. to W. heading this time and making about 100 mph GS over a visual target. Saw what looked like a million guns firing from that town but not one burst of flak. Got bombs away okay on the Lead and for once we hit something. Just a double track line, but we hit it. Took us until 1630 to get back to base and we flew the channel at 1500 ft, bouncing like mad. P-poor landing but not Rojohn's fault. Were briefed for 4500 fighters but didn't see any. No one knew (inc. Lead ship) what town we bombed until we got back and figured it out. It was Friedburg, about 15 miles S. of Geinz. On the tentative for tomorrow again so am hitting the sack at 2105.

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 1944 (130 days)
6th Mission (Jewelry)
Big "B" today! Got up about 0300 this morning and knew sure as hell it was going to be one of the Big Three. As it was, it turned out that there was a toss-up between Politz and Big B and thank God it was Berlin. It was Politz at first and then they changed it. We had a lousy breakfast and then after briefing, we took off and assembled completely in the dark.  We were flying number three in the Hi Sqdn.
Got through the corridor okay and found the continent practically 10/10 the whole way in. Fighter support was very good and I was glad to see it since the chin turret was out. They stayed with us the whole way in, too. The formation was damn good today, in fact the whole division was very good. We were tail end of it and we could see all the rest strung out in front of us. Reached the I.P. okay and could see the Groups in front going over the target and not getting much flak, which cheered me up some. Started down on a 10 minute bomb run and started to sweat like mad when I saw the group ahead of getting the start of the flak. Came over the target and it was partially visual with 10/10 all around. Just about Bombs Away they started on us and I heard 3 bursts go under us and saw 3 more tracking right past our right wing just missing the Lead and us. Bombs Away okay and made a turn to the left. Then, saw a whole mess of fighters out at one o'clock and they weren't ours ! They started in on us from the nose but our escort was really on the ball and hopped them right away. They were going all over the sky and the 51's kicked hell out of those 190's. A few broke out again and got within a mile of us but they were bounced before they got any closer. Turned on the R.P. and found that all our hydraulic fluid was in the bomb bays. Thought it had been shot away but found out later that the Engineer had accidentally kicked open the reservoir. Sweated out the #3 for awhile but it was okay. Awful slow trip home and no excitement until we reached Dummer Lake area where 30 190's were reported but never saw them at all. Sweated out the landing with no brakes and we circled until all ships were in. Had a parachute rigged up in the tail to stop us but Rojohn made a perfect landing and didn't have to touch the brakes until the end of the runway. Had about one application and it stopped us with plenty to spare. Cut the engines and they towed us in. Only 1 piece of flak in the right wing. Just hoping my luck continues to hold out. So damned tired tonite that I can't even think. Hitting the sack at 1900 and we're on the tentative for tomorrow. If this keeps up, we're all going to be flakked-up. 

Monday, December 18, 1944
7th Mission (143 days)
Got up around 0530 this A.M., ate, (fresh eggs) and had briefing at 0645. Were briefed for terrible wea. Then over the continent and expected it be scrubbed any minute but we took-off at 0900 and went on. We were flying 408 in #6 of Hi Sqdn. Last in Division column and it was 1200 before we left the coast. Things looked pretty good until we got about 5* then we started to hit a lot of cloud around 25,000. And, we were in that damn stuff until we came out at 5* again. Thought sure we'd turn back when we hit that but they kept right on going. It got pretty bad as we went in further and formations were scattered all over the sky. The division was spaced out about 15 miles wide and our group was all split up. We got knocked out of the formation, finally, and couldn't get back in with the high so we we crossed the target (?) flying off the left wing on #3 in the Lead. All the Mickey ships went out and the high was the only sqdn to drop. They did it on D.R.  Rest of us closed our doors and went home. Got knocked out of lead after a short while and ended up flying tail end Charlie in the low sqdn. We just sat there and sweated the whole time we were flying. Went over the target at 28,500 and the high went over at 30,000 and they were still in the stuff.
   Landed about 1630, got through interrogation in about 2 minutes, ate chow and came back to the barracks. Played bridge most of the nite and then Hoffman came in and told us we weren't going to fly tomorrow. Instead, we're going to put 5 hours slow time on a ship. 

Monday, December 25, 1944
Christmas Day (150 days)
Went on pass on Friday and went to London with Leek, Wash, and Lasky.  Got a pretty late start and didn't get in there until about 7 in the evening. Got rooms through the club here so we didn't have to waste any time looking for sacks. Ate at Grosvenor House and spent the evening in Hammersmith Hawes- lovely!  Had a damn good time and saw the whole town with a swell guide the next day. Went to the show Sat. nite and then to Picadilly Hotel. Beautiful nite, too.
  Leek and I fooled around all day Sunday and never got back to the base until 0430 this A.M. We no sooner got in the barracks then they came around waking every body up for pre-briefing. Lucky for us we weren't on the line-up and Ross took our place.  He didn't come back today either but they think he went to Brussels. Missed out on the good turkey tonite. One of our barracks burnt down, too. On the tentative. 

Wednesday, December 27, 1944
8th Mission (152 days)
Woke us up at 0430, ate fresh eggs at Paddlefeet mess and briefed at 0530 for M.Y. at Fulda, a small town about 20 miles N.E. of Frankfurt. We were flying #3 in C Sqdn. And  carrying 12 500 lb G.P.s. Flew in 408 and they delayed T.O. for one hour because of fog. Finally took off about 0715. Hadn't even made our first turn when we saw a big black cloud of smoke coming up through the fog in front of us. Saw three red explosions and more black smoke and when we got over top of it saw that a 17 had crashed at T.O. and exploded with the bombs. Whole thing looked messy. About a minute later we saw another explosion, this time at Framlingham. Found out later that four ships crashed and exploded this morning because of frozen Pitots and fog. We also saw another one exploding when we came home to land.
   Left English coast at Felixstowe at 1018 and hit Ostend about 25 minutes later. Went down through Belgium, a corner of France and then into the Reich so as to escape flak at the lines. It was clear as a bell most of the way and we got a good look at the battlefields by the Rhine. Seemed as though every little town had been knocked off the map. Started picking up a little flak about 20 miles west of Coblenz and N. of Werbaden and Frankfurt. We could see all 3 very clearly but didn't get any trouble from them. Overshot the I.P. and B Sqdn went in way ahead of us. The town stood out very clearly and they hit all over the M.Y.  P-poor pattern but they got hits. Smoke was pretty bad by the time we got over and we couldn't see much but don't think we'll have to go back there again. 
  Pretty dull trip back, as usual, but as we passed Friedburg, we saw that they really had wiped out the M.Y. there on our last raid to that place. Not a thing moving. 
  Were down at 3000 almost to the Channel when those damn Limeys in Bruger started shooting at us. Very funny sense of humor! Got back to England and it seemed nice and clear up at 2000 but when we peeled off and came in on the final, it was so foggy you couldn't see a damn thing. Had a hell of a time but finally managed to hit the runway by sheer luck. 350th has a stand-down tomorrow but Crew 31 will fly a camera gunnery mission at 1300. 

Friday December 29, 1944 (154 days)
9th Mission
Got up at 0345 this morning, had fresh eggs for breakfast and briefed at 0445 for Zietz, near Merceberg.  Field orders weren't in yet though, and we sweated it out until 0600 when they changed the target to Frankfurt, which was just as bad, but shorter.  Took off about 0815 and left E/C about 1030. Got over in France and found out that there were only 7 sqdns out of the Division going in there and we were leading. Picked up flak at the lines again but only about 6 bursts.  Our escort hadn't shown yet and we were sweating them out the whole way in.  They finally showed up at the target. We went in about 10 miles N of Frankfurt and kept right on going east until we were about 30 miles east of it.  Turned to the right and came back in on it and saw it was visual as all hell. Don't think they realized we were actually going in for awhile and I thot we were going to get away with it. About 5 minutes before Bombs Away it started to come up. About 15 bursts at first, all off to the left of the Lead Sqdn.  We were flying on the right wing of the High Element in B and it looked as tho we weren't even going to get scared. Then they really let loose and there was flak everyplace you looked. Saw a good chance to get some good pictures so Wash dropped the bombs and I worked the camera. They really plastered that M.Y. too, and that makes 4 straight in a row - all excellent for the 100th.  We turned to the right after B.A. but just couldn't get out of that flak.  They started to get a little closer, too, and I heard three of them go off they were so close. Got tossed around a little and picked up a nice gash in the right wing tip but finally pulled away and got back okay.  Lost two ships which probably landed in Belgium and had a few wounded. Group after us must have gotten hell shot out of them.  We're going on flak leave on Sunday but still were alerted and on the tentative tomorrow. 

Saturday, December 30, 1944 (155 days)
10th Mission
Got up at 0430, ate, and briefed at 0530 for M.Y. at Kassel.  We're flying 408, #3 in Hi Element of Lead Sqdn and carried 12 500# G.P.'s.
Weather was p-poor and we all prayed for a red flare but after a one hour delay, we took off at 0900.  Flew though weather the whole way up to 9000 before it broke. Left E/C about 1030 and I slept about 2 hours – fifteen minutes at a stretch, because it was 10/10 and I couldn’t do pilotage. Got to the target about 1300 and were the last group over. Must’ve had about 100 88’s down there all going but not too close to us. B took over lead on the bomb run and we got knocked all over the sky by their prop wash. Got through okay tho and I dozed most of the way back. Visibility wasn’t too good but we landed okay. Found out that our flak leave was postponed until Monday and Rojohn is flying tailend Charlies, but I’m not flying with him. Will probably be dropping practice bombs, I guess. Went up to the party tonite but only stayed five minutes.
 
Dec. 31, 1944
calendar 12-31 is circled and says "my luckiest day". ( was suppose to fly with Lt Rojohn)
Crew on December 31, 1944 mission to Hamburg:

2nd Lt Glenn H.Rojohn            P     POW    31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt William G.Leek             CP     POW   31/12/44 HAMBURG
2nd Lt Robert Washington     NAV      POW    31/12/44 HAMBURG (from the Spear crew)
Sgt James R. Shirley               NG      POW     31/12/44 HAMBURG
   Cpl Edward G.Neuhaus       ROG     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                           
   Cpl Orville E.Elkin                TTE     POW  31/12/44 HAMBURG                          
   Cpl Joseph L.Russo           BTG   KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG    
   Cpl Roy H.Little                   WG     KIA    31/12/44 HAMBURG
S/Sgt Francis R. Chase          TG   KIA        31/12/44 HAMBURG 

ROJOHN MISSING – Monday, Jan. 1, 1945
The Group went to Hamburg yesterday and got hit by fighters and terrific flak. I didn’t do anything at all except take a bath and catch pneumonia. Was playing solitaire when Browning came in and said that Ross and Rojohn were missing. Tore up to Interrogation to find out about it right away. Baker had crashed on T.O. this A.M. so Rojohn wasn’t flying tail end but took over #5 in C sqdn. They went over the target and lost a couple ships to flak and Smigo’s was one of them. He fell out of formation and smashed into another ship and both of them went down. Rojohn and McNab tried to take over low flight lead at the same time and Rojohn settled right down on top of McNab. All eight engines were running and the two of them went down and made a crash landing, still stuck together. Six chutes were seen and they think that nearly everyone had time to get out.  Russo had his turret pointed straight down so they think Rojohn was in trouble before it happened.  Ross was evidently hit by fighters but no one knows quite what did happen. We lost twelve ships altogether from the group- five of them from the 350th. One of them, 418th, called this morning and they were in Holland. Went all the way from the target on one engine. Afraid that’s all that will get back tho. The barracks were sure empty last night. We cleaned up all the boy’s stuff and kept all the candy, etc. I also have Koechel’s battle jacket. Had a terrible cough last night and hardly slept at all. Guys in the next barracks were drunk all night and that didn’t help any. I’m not going on flak-leave now but Gibbons said he would send me on pass in a few days. Horenfan, our tail gunner, just walked into the barracks! He was grounded because of a frostbitten ear yesterday. Frite’s toggilier was flying in my place yesterday and they also had a waist gunner from his crew, too. ROUGH! Ross screamed over the V.H.F. that he had two engines and was being attacked by three FW-190’s and that’s the last that was heard. Transferred to Lt Michael’s Crew. 

(Mike- next few pages are missing from journal; there is then a partial entry but date unknown)
right into our Bomb Dump. Thot as sure as hell we were being dive bombed when I heard it winding up. Had a lot of fireworks for about an hour and then it stopped. Started up again tho about 1 this aft and kept up for 1/2 hour. Don't know what damage it did.  Played bingo tonite and won $9 which is all right. Stand-down tomorrow because of too much battle damage. No mail.

CREW

1st Lt Joseph W. "Joe" Michael       P  CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.)
2nd Lt Robert E.Marsh               CP  CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.)
2nd Lt Robert Wojkovich         NAV  CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.) TAPS: 27 SEP 1978
 S/Sgt Martin Streetman         ROG  NOC                                                              TAPS: 05 JUL 1972
 T/Sgt Roy C.Grant                 TTE  CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.) TAPS: 17 APR 1986
 Cpl James L.Hostetter            WG   CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.)
 Cpl Harold B.Marck                 BTG  CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.)
 Cpl Paul J.Kick                        TG   CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.)
 Cpl John L.Stachowiak               NG  CPT 11/3/45 HAMBURG, OIL REFINERY (S.T.)

350th Sqdn. Crew,as above,joined the 100th Group on 28/10/44. On 8/1/45,Streetman reclassified to 611 from 757.
Streetman was replaced on the Crew after a few missions by S/Sgt Angelo Galasso (ROG) from the spare pool.  
He completed his missions with this Crew  This Crew flew 33 Missions, in most cases as Deputy Lead. 
Plane was called "Bit, O, Heaven" LN-V 505 which was never painted on the plane but was on the A-2 Jackets
according to Sgt Harold Marck. Lt William Wellings Flew as Bombardier on this crew for 5 missions.  

Saturday, Jan. 13, 1945 (175 days)
11th Mission
Got me and the navigator up for pre-briefing at 0330. Ate breakfast and briefed at 0430- for Deputy Lead yet.  Almost ___ when I heard that. Hadn't the faintest idea what to do. We flew #2 of the Lead Sqdn and were supposed to take over on the bomb run only in case the Lead aborted.  Took off at 0830 loaded with 5 - 1000 # G. P. s.  Flew up through crap for a few thousand feet and then were in the clear.  Were flying in 505 - Radkeis old ship.  Put a lot of crap into the sight and just sat back and relaxed.  Our target was a railroad bridge at Mainz and we were there before I knew it. Saw a lot of Ludwigshaven flak but managed to pull over to the left of it.  Were going down the Bomb Run before I knew it and when I tried to get the doors open, they wouldn't. Engineer finally cranked them down.  I was supposed to be synchronizing all this time but I was so busy sweating out the doors I hardly looked at the sight.  Just barely got the doors open in time for Bombs Away.  It was PFF and the flak wasn't bad at all -- most of it low, on us. Only got four of my bombs out and had to shut the sight off in order to get enough juice to close the doors.  We were going to dump the bomb in the Channel, but we hit some bad prop-wash at the lines and it threw the damn thing right through the door of the bomb bay-- armed at that.. It bent the hell out of the door and we don't know if it dropped on our lines or not. Got back to England and it was 10/10 down to 500 ft.  Made an instrument let-down and came right in tho.  Beck is suppose to be safe in France. Beck came back tonite.   (Lt Michael Crew)

Sunday Jan 14, 1945
(171 days) 12th Mission
Got up at 0400 this morning. Ate and briefed at 0445 for an underground oil bunker at Derben, about 20 miles west of Berlin. Flew "Heaven Sent" (414) in the lead of the low element in "C" Sqdn. Carried 6 1000 pounders. Took off in the dark at 0800 and flew the northern route. Were supposed to cut across up there at 24,000 but were still at 19,000 when we went over. Got a good look at Heligoland, too. It was visual all the way and we sure had them guessing this time because every town had its smoke screen going. Just got into Enemy territory for 5 minutes when they started shooting at us. Wicked-looking stuff too. Bursts as red as hell! Only got about 20 bursts but five of them were right on the low. Just started to reach for my flak suit when one blew right in front of us. I jumped a mile and a piece of flak came through the nose and splattered my arm with plexiglass. Don't know how the flak itself missed me. It came through right where I usually have my feet, too. I stopped doing pilotage right then. We were only a few miles north of Hamburg then and heading right for Big "B" and we were sweating! Our fighter escort was late! They finally picked us up about 5 minutes later and everything went ok until we were about 25 miles NE of Berlin. We were all pretty jittery expecting fighters and natch I was looking in the wrong place when they did hit us. Joe saw them first but didn't realize they were Jerries so he just called them out and went back on VHF. I looked out at one o'clock and a helluva dogfight was going on out there about a 1/2 mile from us. There were so damn many planes mixing it up that when they started towards us I was afraid to shoot for fear I'd hit a 51. They made a half-assed pass at us for about 1 minute and the 20 mm looked like flash bulbs exploding out there. Then they cut between the Lead and us and the whole damn mess went thru and I still didn't dare shoot. They got around to 0600 then and tried again but still couldn't get us so they turned and bounced the 390th, right in back of us and shot down 6 of their low Sqdn. There were dogfights all over the sky by this time and everybody was nervous as hell until Joe called and said there were bandits in the area. He didn't even know we'd been attacked by them. Went within 10 miles of Berlin and then turned right and made a run on the Target. It was still visual and Bombs Away ok. No flak at all. We smashed hell out of it too and so did the 95th in front of us . Had fighters in the area for next 20 minutes but didn’t get hit. Made Osrabauck and Zuider Zee okay and landed at 1535. Chicken dinner to-nite, shaved, and I'm hitting the sack  rite now- 2040!  (Lt Michael Crew)

Wednesday, Jan. 17, 1945 (174 days)
Got up at 0330 and pre-briefed at 0430 for Oil Target at Hamburg.  Flying "Heaven Sent" in Hi Flight Lead and hauling 12 - 500 lb G.P.s.  Took off at 0815, assembled and headed up the North Sea.  My heated suit went out and I almost froze but luckily we aborted about 52N and 02E because #1 was tossing oil all over the place.  Feathered it finally, and drop bombs in the Channel.  Landed about 1215 and loafed around in the barracks rest of day.  The group got some heavy flak and saw dog-fights but didn't get hit.  (Lt Michael Crew)

Saturday, Jan. 20, 1945 (177 days)
13th Mission
Up at 0230 this morning, pre-briefed at 0330 for a railway bridge on the Rhine about 10 mils E. of our lines down south of Stroudsburg.  Flew Hi Lead and carried 6 - 1000 lb G.P.'s.  Took off at 0815 and left the coast about 0945.  Got about half-way across the Channel and ran into clouds at 15,000.  Climbed on course and never got to the top until a few minutes before I.P.  We couldn't  bomb the primary because of cloud cover so we went up to the secondary- Heilbronn- had to bomb the M.Y. there by P.F.F. at 27,000.  The whole airforce was all split up and there were planes all over the sky.  We bombed in a 7 ship formation which was all that was left of our "C" Sqdn and after Bombs Away we left them and went home by ourselves like everyone else seemed to be doing.  We hit the tops of the clouds at 26,000 and let down at 1000' per at 195 mph and never broke out until 1000 ft.  Took the same route out (clean up through France and Belgium) and let the coast at Ostend at 500 ft.  Saw "Fireball Baker" partially formed going out a little ahead of us at about 18,000.  Roared across the Channel at 11 1/2 inches above the water at 180 to 190 mph- the best trip yet.  Ran into snowstorms all the way but made the base in the clear and got down before the formation even got to the field.  505 is definitely our ship now.  Saw a lot of flak today but they were shooting at different Groups, or bunches, rather.  (Lt Michael Crew)

Sunday, Jan. 21, 1945-- 
14th Mission-- 178 days
Got up @ 0345, pre-briefing at 0430 for the road @ railroad bridge between Ludwigshafen & Mannheim. Weather was briefed to be same as yesterday but they wouldn't scrub the damn thing. Had trouble with #3 and never took off until 0815 altho we were flying in "B" Sqdn. Ran into clouds about 5,000 but pulled out of it again at 12,000. Then they decided to move it up to 16,000 for assembly so up we went. The Group was half-formed by that time and when we got to 16,000 we ran into some really thick stuff where you couldn't even see your wing-men. Contrails started forming then so we made @ new altitude for assembly- 24,000. We managed to keep our own lead element in sight some of the time but lost everybody else. From then on, it was really a Rat-Race -- prop-wash and contrails all over the place. About 23,000 we suddenly came out to a clear layer and found three formations all heading towards one point. Everybody split up then and went everyway in that tiny hole and I just shut my eyes and sweated. Five minutes later we were back in the Pea Soup again and finally broke out at 25,000. Found out there were just four of us left- the lead element and us. Headed right out across the Channel then and I counted 100 ships in front of us and not more than 20 in one group. Most of them were in twos or threes. Never saw such a mess in my life. It was clear of clouds from 25 up but the contrails were D/P and were strung from England all the way to France. Had a hell of a time finding a place to keep out of them but finally found one clear track. Got over by the target and the whole division was all over the sky. Guys were flying about 5,000 ft below us and making bomb runs all by themselves. Flak was coming up all around but we confused hell out of them with our formations. Started down the Bomb-Run with 8 ships and it was visual as hell and we were really sweating, but just as we got up to the target there was a helluva big cloud over it and tho they threw up a lot of flak, it didn't seem close to us. 
About 2 minutes before Bombs Away a few burst pretty close to us and then a piece of a 105 smashed down through the top of the nose, clipped the chin turret sight wire right in half, and slammed right into my new flak suit right above the knee and bounced off and hit the ammo box for the R. Cheek gun. It was about 2 inches long and a 1/2 inch thick and it threw plexiglass all over me and in my eyes. I felt it hit my leg and that sure as hell that it went right thru me but I couldn't see for a minute and I really expected to see blood all over the place. After I got so I could see I saw that the flak suit had deflected it and tho it tore a big hole in the cloth and put a gash in the metal, it hadn't penetrated through. Dropped our 6 -1000 (salvo) on the Lead and started back in the old screw-up again. #2 just up and quit on us then (frozen turbo) and we couldn't keep in formation or feather it so we aborted and hit the deck just over the line. #2 caught again about 10,000 and we came back the whole way at 1500 @ 175 per; same as yesterday.
We actually bombed the M.Y. at Mannheim to-day- P.K.K.  10 ships from our group alone had aborted before the target.  (Lt Michael Crew)

Sunday, Jan. 28, 1945 (185 days)
I'm off Mike's crew now and sitting around waiting to get checked out to see if I can make Lead Bombardier on Champion's crew.  Eton is going to give me a couple check rides first and if I do all right, I will be sent to Lead Crew training for at least a month. Gibbons said that if I get through all right he'll get me my first around 18 missions and Captaincy (????) around 25.  I wonder??  
Went over to the Bomb Trainer Friday and Sat. to see if I still remember what to do and I've sure forgotten a lot.  If I don't have to go on that check ride for another week, I may pick-up enough to get through. 
Group went to Duisburg today and got back all okay. Party at the club tonite but didn't stay long- getting worse every time now. 

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 1945 (194 days)
Took that check ride last Friday with Eton and I was rusty as hell so they decided to hold me over for the next Lead and then go thru training.  Went to London Sat. and Sun. and got back this A.M. at 0400.  Mission was just getting up but I'm not flying combat anymore so I didn't even sweat it out. (Being on the line-up, I mean).Nice and warm in London this time and I got a darn nice room at Park Court and even managed to get up for breakfast on Sunday.  Had a pretty fair time and almost decided to take the Paper train back. Talked to Baker at 0400 this A.M. and found out the Maj. Rosie went down over Big "B" on Sat. on his 53rd mission.  Poor old Beck got it too- - a flamer at that. Had to get up at 0830 and go drop some more M88192's and found that I'm going to be on Champions crew after all.  Just had time to drop 2 bombs - 1st one pretty good and the 2nd a dud.  Couldn't make camera runs because of weather and landed at 1130.  Group went almost over to Russian lines today and 11 of them had to land in France.  Don't know if they'll all make it or not.

Thursday, Feb. 8, 1945 (196 days)
Started training today but only had one class at 0900- Command Pilots.  No target study today and weather was too lousy to fly in.  A few of the guys are drifting back from France now.  Hansen crashed in S. England and Frite was hurt and is in the Royal Navy Hospital down there.  Got quite a stack of mail from home today but nothing much new. 

Friday, Feb. 16, 1945 (204 days)
Flown twice since last Thursday - formation camera run and dropped 4 bombs yesterday- aside from that, haven't done anything.  Moved over to Barracks 4 tonite and almost start a riot because I brought my chest of drawers from 6 over here.  Frite got back last nite with his head all shaved and 18 stitches in it. 

Wednesday, Feb. 21, 1945 (209 days)
Been flying every day since last Sat. and they're even talking about getting us into the contest in a week or so.  We've been making Mickey runs mostly lately and have tried to drop some blue bombs but something always interfered.  Were out on the Orford Ness range yesterday at 20,000 and tried to drop some but cloud cover, and the fact we didn't have our heated suits with us, kept us from doing any good.  Also, the Limey AA gunners were practicing on a lane at our altitude and we darn near got shot. 
Dawson - with Silva (Bomb) and Browning, went down on yesterday's raid on Nuremberg.  Engine caught fire over France and they hadn't bailed out the last time they were seen. Didn't hear anything from them today but we're still hoping. That leaves the 350th with just Raiford and us as Lead crews- hence the rough training. 

Dawson and crew back tonite (Feb. 23). All bailed out by Rheims. 

Saturday, Feb. 24, 1945 (212 days)
15th Mission
Up at 0215 this morning, powdered egg breakfast, pre-briefing at 0315 and briefing at 0415.  A railroad bridge over the river at Little "B" was the target. Were supposed to take off at 0715 but they delayed T.O. two hours.  Just got to sleep out in the tent and they came and woke us up and we took off at about 0800 and flew around doing nothing for a few hours.  Finally got assembled and we left Southwold about 11.  100th was flying 13th B and we were leading the low squadron. Made the corridor at Zuider Zee okay and had an I.P. a little N.W. of Dummer Lake. Had about a 24 degree heading to target but overshot the I.P. a little and also got caught under the High Sqdn. So we had to S out and back to get over our interval.  Finally got started down the run and it was about 6/10s coverage so Nate gave me 3 checks and I finally picked up the bridge at about 9 miles. Took over the lead then and started synchronizing. Nate had put it right on course and I had a darn good drift from Andris and the hairs stayed right on it.  Took a level and had about 3/4 of a minute left when the Hi Sqdn. Crossed over on top of us and we pulled out to the right and the gyro toppled and we were running a collision course with another unknown sqdn and by the time the Command Pilot gave the ship back I had about 3 seconds to go.  There was a helluva lot of flak but not too accurate on us.  Couldn't find the target so let the indices drive and drop.  Didn't see them hit because of clouds and smoke but the waist seems to think they were fairly close to course but over quite a bit.  Don't know for sure just where they hit.  We carried 2 - 2000 lb G.P.s and 2 smokes and the Sqdn carried 2 - 2000 lb G.P.s and 2 - 1000 lbs.  Made trip back okay and picked up about 10 bursts from a 4-gun battery north of Osnabruck but didn't hit us.  Don't think we'll fly tomorrow. Lots of mail today!

Monday, February 26, 1945 (214 days)
16th Mission
Low Sqdn Lead again today. Took off about 0830 for Big "B".  Were briefed for 10/10 cover and it was, thank God! Flak wasn't bad at all and we kept pretty well out of what there was.  Tore down the bomb run at 335 mph G.S. and the checks came in so fast I couldn't get half of them. We were only supposed to bomb the city anyway so it didn't matter.  Nothing much happened on the way back except that it took us hours to get past Berlin. 

Friday, March 9, 1945 (225 days)
17th Mission
Up at 0200, pre-briefing at 0245 for a jet component factory in the northern outskirts of Frankfurt. Flying in the Lead of C and carrying 10- 500 M-17s and 18 x 100 lb G.P.s.  Flew in 344 again and took off about 0700.  Left English coast about 0820 and arrived at I.P. around 1000. Were supposed to make a CM run on Primary but Nate couldn't hold the beacons so we started down the run on just a heading. Stivers was command again and decided to tack on a drop with A Sqdn.  Went right over Primary, which was visual, but didn't drop. Kept on going straight down into the town and the flak was pretty rough.  They really had us pinned down  for awhile.  Went clean on through the flak down to the south of town and then turned back north and went up into it again and dropped our bombs on two old smoke bombs that were hanging around.  Don't know what we hit and don't really care. Turned off the target and saw a 17 in front go down in flames and then blow up about 1000 feet below us.  Eight chutes were seen tho so they didn't get it too bad.  Everyone is wearing his .45 on all missions now. Heard about 25 bursts go off today and had quite a few holes.

Sunday, March 11, 1945 (227 days)
18th Mission
2nd Bug
Dreamt last nite that we went to Hamburg and sure enough when we went to pre-briefing at 0530 this morning, the target was Hamburg. The Primary was oil at Harburg- visual only- and the secondary was oil in Hamburg itself- HoX or visual.  Joe Michael was flying his last one today and was really sweating it out and he wasn't the only one. Flew in 209 and Lead B Sqdn, carrying 12- 250 G.P.s. Rest of sqdn carried 20 -250 G.P.'s.  Took off around 0915, assembled, and left Soutwould at 1104.  It was 10/10 most of the way up the North Sea and then we could see a couple big breaks up ahead and thot sure that the target would be visual. Really started to sweat then.  Our escort showed up about time and we knew we wouldn't have to worry about fighters because we had P-51s all over the sky.  Got up around the I.P. and Nate was having a lot of trouble with Mickey and weren't sure if we could make the run or not.  We finally got into group formation half way down the run and dropped on the lead, which was dropping on 390th.  However, we had a beautiful formation and dropped all together. It was solid 10/10 the whole way and since we were the 5th group across, they hadn't gotten our altitude yet so the flak wasn't bad at all. In fact, they never did actually shoot at us because we were always slightly behind and above another sqdn.  Didn't get one flak hole even and only heard one burst go off. Joe Michael got his Captaincy today besides finishing up.

Wednesday March 14, 1945 (229 days)
19th Mission
Pre-briefing at 0645 this morning, for a change. Had about 7 or 8 targets up on the map with the Marshaling Yard at Seelze (N.W. edge of Hanover) as the visual primary and M.Y. in Hanover itself as the PKF on visual secondary.  Flew in 226 and lead the Low with Capt. Robbs as command.  Carried 28 x 100 G.P.s and Sqdn. carried 34 x 100 G.P.s and 2 M-17s.  Took off about 11 and went over by way of southern Frisians and down through France.  Went right passed Aachen and down south of Coblenz then back up North.  It was visual as hell and Jerry could see us plain as day but we couldn't see him because of a terrific ground haze.  Nate took us in in the general direction of the Yards and gave me about 4 rate checks and about 20 seconds before bombs away I just barely picked up the western edge of the Yards.  Made one course  and two rate corrections and the bombs went away and hit right in there.  B Sqdn lost its Mickey and ended up by dropping halfway between Hanover and the Yards. A dropped about 1/2 mile short of the primary. The flak was the worst I've seen yet and they really shot hell out of us. Two gunners got killed and 5 were wounded.  One ship got three direct hits but only one exploded. It hit right above the ball turret and blew out a terrific hole in the side and smeared the waist gunner all over the plane.  Our ship was damn lucky because we didn't get one hole, but it sure scared hell out of all of us. Got about 10 good bursts right smack under us.

Thursday March 15, 1945 (230 days)
20th Mission
Pre-briefing at 0600 this morning and almost died when I saw it was Big "B" again.  Actually, it was the Marshaling Yards at Oranienburg about 10 miles north of Berlin, but still in the Berlin flak. Those yards were primary visual,  the secondary and L.R. was the Tegel works in Berlin and the alternate last resort was the M.Y. at Wittenberg, about 70 miles W of Berlin and on the course back. We never took off until 1100 because of a bad ground fog, but we were assembled and left the coast about 1230.  Assembled at 3000 feet today and it saved lots of time.  Went in over Zuider Zee and Osnabruk corridor and then straight on to Big "B". Got a report that bandits were in the area but we never saw them. We were flying 334 in the #2 position because of wing lead and carried 8 x 500.  Started in on Oranienburg and the haze wasn't quite as bad as yesterday but still bad enough. Picked up quite a few checks on the way in and Nate clutched me in and gave me checks until I picked up the target.  Had rate killed so sat back and waited for Lead to drop. There was quite a bit of flak on the Group ahead of us but not very much on us.  Just a few were close enough to scare us. Went right past the old smoke bombs and never did drop because the Lead couldn't pick up the target. We didn't want to make a turn and go down on "B" itself so we went on to Wittenberg.  We were heading into the sun on this run and it was really a rough job trying to find anything through the haze. Just about a minute before B.A. that I finally picked it up. Lead dropped and I had three hang up for a few seconds but they went out and probably hit the M.Y. because the Lead dropped short.  We had delayed fuses today running from 10 seconds to 12 hours so we'll probably be keeping a lot of Germans awake to-nite. Wasn't supposed to be any flak at Wittenberg and there wasn't until a few seconds after bombs away and then they really gave it to us and some darn accurate bursts.  They flung about 5 at us that looked as tho they burst right between #3 and #4 and then they started pounding away underneath us for about 45 seconds. Again we were lucky because we only got one hole - through the chin turret.  Fritz got a hit at #2 and one in #3 but only feathered #2 and got back okay. Berlin and all, it only took us 7 1/2 hours because we came back the same way we went in.

Monday March 19, 1945 (234 days)
Went on pass last Friday and had a terrific time in London. Saturday nite Fritz, Plough and I went out to Hammersmith and got into a party and what a nite! Met Thomas, Finfinger and Todd in London this pass.
Group went to Big "B" again yesterday and got hit by Blow- Jobs at the I.P. and lost 4 ships.  They got the Lead of the Hi (where we would have been flying) and 3 other wing ships, but none from the 350th.  Silva got hit in the hand and the eye but is okay and back in the barracks already.  Got my 1st on the 15th. 

Wednesday March 21, 1945 (236 days)
21st Mission
Got up this morning at 0100, pre-briefing at 0130 for the oil plant at Rhuland.  There was an "A" and a "B" plan and we had hundreds of pictures, maps, etc. for all of them.  Took off at 0545 and left coast around 0800.  Went in through the Osnabruck corridor and headed for Berlin.  We were flying 344 and flying #2 deputy again.  There were only 4 groups out of the whole 8th going to Rhuland and the 100th was the third in the line.  We carried 8 x 500 and Sqdn had 12 x 500.  We got in around the I.P. and found that the weather was closing in.  Kodar called and said Target was 10/10 so at the I.P. we headed south to make another I.P. good for the secondary.  Just about that time we got a little flak and two ships had feathered engines and drop behind. We had some high cloud overhead and quite a few contrails and bandits were reported in the area.  Two 262s jumped Painter and Misch and Painter went down in flames, with one chute seen.  We flubbed around for awhile with no-one knowing exactly where to go and finally came up on the target-  Plauen.  We were aiming at some factories on the S. edge of town and really clobbered them.  All this time we were still being pestered by blow-jobs.  Misch called up three times that he was being attacked but they never did get him down.  It was about 15 miles N. of Geissen when about a dozen 262s attacked us - the Lead sqdn - from 6 o'clock level and high and barreled right straight through the formation.  But every ship on the formation was blazing away at them and they got very few strikes on us.  We had 4 groups of P-51s escorting our 4 groups of bombers but they didn't scare the jet-jobs at all. One of them came right over top of our ship and he was so close you could see the swastika plain as day.  He looked big as hell too but was going so fast that I only got a few shots at him. He only had one jet going but he was doing about 550 anyway.  He went spiraling down to 12 o'clock low and 4 51s went after him but didn't have a chance of catching him.  The jets kept pestering us clean up to the front lines and then 4 FW 190s came up from 12 low  with their cannons blazing.  But they were scared off easily enough by a few chin turrets and we came on back without any further trouble.  Altogether, we had fighters for about an hour and a half but only lost one ship. There was a claim put in for one 262. Flying Lead of Low tomorrow so hitting the sack at 0900. 

Thursday, March 22, 1945 (237 days)
22nd Mission
Pre-briefing at 0300 this morning  and for a change it looked like a real milk-run.  We were supposed to take off about 0600 but they delayed it an hour and a half and we finally took off about 0745.  We were leading "B" Sqdn so we took off first. Flew in 794 (1st mission) and hauled 38 x 100, same load as the Sqdn.  Stivers was command and I thot sure it would be all screwed up again, but as it turned out, everything ran very smoothly and we had a darn good mission.  The Primary visual target was the jet airfield at Ahlhorn, about 50 miles N.E. of Dummer Lake.  We left the English coast 1000 and went through the Zuider Zee, Osnabruck route and used Sulingen as the I.P.  Turned a little past the I.P.  but we had a good interval and didn't have any trouble getting back on course.  Nate couldn't pick anything up so Bob and I picked up our own checks.  It was visual as hell but we had a slight ground haze and restricted our visibility to about 15 miles.  Picked the field up at about 12 miles and even had time to use extended vision to kill course.  Had a pretty weak gyro but took about 4 levels  and managed to keep it fairly straight.  Hit prop-wash about 20 seconds before Bombs Away and spilt the damn gyro but I was pretty well synchronized so took my time getting it back up.  Put hairs back on the target and they stayed and all the bombs went away.  We used 100 ft intervalometer setting and walked right over the M.P.I.  We bombed at 18,500 today and never saw one burst of flak or fighter.  Didn't even wear a flak suit or helmet today and was a helluva lot easier to work.  Got back to the field around 1330 and were the first to land.  Saw the strike photos about 1600 and they were pretty good.  We really clobbered the whole field. My pattern ran right up to and slightly over M.P.I.

Saturday, March 24, 1945  (239 days)
23rd Mission
Dropped practice bombs yesterday and got back to the field in time to see a B-25 crash-land on the runway and hold us up for half an hour.  Group went to the Rhur and lost one ship.  Was eating dinner when the rumor started flying that we would be flying two missions today and around 1930 Hoffman came around and told us to be sure and go to bed early because there were definitely going to be two missions flown. They woke us up at 0100 and had pre-briefing at 0145 for a real dream target.  We knew that it would have to be a short one but never dreamed it would be as nice as it was.  It was the Steenwijk airfield just a few miles past the Zuider Zee.  We flew the 4 Sqdn deal today and were leading D Sqdn with no command pilot. Carried 34 x 100 GP.s and squadron carried 38 of the same.  Flew in 209 and took off about 0610 and it was beginning to get light already and just like its been for the past week, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. We assembled okay and left England around 0730.  It was warm as toast again today- only - 9 degrees C at 13,000 which was our bombing altitude. We reach Bomb Alt. just before landfall on the Dutch coast and I was sweating it out because we had that damn disc speed change deal again. We held it okay though.  Went in almost at the top of the Dutch coast and then turned right and went clean down to within 10 miles of Amsterdam at 13,000 and visual as could be but didn't pick up a burst of flak.  Looks like they must have taken all those guns out.  I was really sweating there, too, because I didn't even bring a flak suit along.  Our I.P. was the island of Marken and we made it perfectly with good interval.  The sun was at about one o'clock to us on the bomb-run and there was a moderate ground fog which cut viz down to about 8 miles but we knew just about where we were supposed to hit the Noord Oost Polder so we steered for that. Came right across it, on course, and I killed rate on the edge of it while Bob did the pilotage.  At briefing this morning we were told to hit this airfield if we had to make 10 runs to do it and I was all set to make at least 2 runs because we were 13C today and I was the very last sqdn across the target.  Thot sure as hell it would be so smoked up by the time I got there that I'd never pick up the M.P.I. 
About 15 miles from the target we saw the smoke bombs from the 95th and 390th go down so we corrected Champ over to the right a little and just sat and waited until we could find the darn thing. About 8 miles I picked up the field itself and the M.P.I. and started the run. Had a darn good run and when A dropped I took my level and by the time I got back in the sight their smoke was gone. Bombs away at 0851 1/2 and we really clobbered it good this time.  Were supposed to hit the eastern quarter of the runway and the bombs ran right up the runway and over the M.P.I. and on past it, still on the runway.  Got credited with an Excellent for it.  "A" squadron missed the M.P.I. but had a beautiful pattern and took out the middle of the runway. "C" squadron missed the runway completely and B sqdn took a second run and even missed the field. We had to go the whole way around again with B and got back to the base at 1100. Landed, had a brief  interrogation but no critique and ate lunch. No P.F.F. crews were allowed to fly both missions but quite a few wing crews did.  They just had enough time to eat lunch and get back for briefing at 1210.  They took off about 1500 and went to an airfield down by Geissen and are just getting back now (1930).  Its just beginning to get dark now anyway. We were briefed to watch out for the RAF towing gliders so I guess its something big all right. Don't know what the deal is for tomorrow but there are rumors that its going to be the same thing.

Friday, March 30, 1945 (245 days)
24th Mission (March 28)
I finally got it at Hanover the other day. Have been sweating it out for a long time and I'm glad it wasn't any worse.
We got up around 0230 Wednesday morning and briefed for the tank factory at Hanover for the visual primary and the M.Y. as P.F.F. secondary. The weather was briefed as p-poor and it was socked in right down to the ground and raining like mad when we got out to the ship. We waited until the last possible minute before putting in the guns etc., but they just wouldn't scrub it. We took off about 0615 and headed straight for France where we started to assemble at 3000 ft.  The weather was lousy and we gradually raised the altitude.  Flying the 4 squadron formation again and had a helluva time assembling because no one could find anyone else.  We were leading D sqdn in "Miss Angel" - 344, with no command pilot (thank God) and carrying 8 x 500. Sqdn carried 8 x 500 and 4 M-17s.  The wing delayed the timing 30 minutes because of the trouble in assembly and when we finally took off we cut corners like mad and got thoroughly confused. Just barely got to bombing altitude (24,400) around the I.P.  and had no interval at all. Essid like mad during the first part of the bomb-run.  The weather had been lousy the whole way but the target area was clear right up to the M.P.I. and then it got hazy, etc.  Nate started the run but I picked up some woods and saw we were way left of course so gave Champ about 10 degree right correction.  Nate gave me some rate checks and then I saw the railroad in the target area and finally picked up the M.P.I. with about a minute to go.  Went back in the sight but just couldn't find the damn thing in there. We'd been holding the same heading for a good solid minute and not a burst of flak had come up at us. I knew those b-----ds were tracking us and sure enough we got one terrific burst that lifted me right out of the seat and knocked out the interphone system.  I looked out and tried to pick something up but just then I got smacked up against the right side of the plane and heard the loudest report I ever hope to hear.  It was a direct hit by a 105 in the right aileron.  It seemed as though everything in the world was dead and then we started that old familiar sickening spiral that all those flamers I've seen start out in. I grabbed my parachute and ripped off my mask and waited for just one word from Champ or one tinkle from that alarm bell and out I was going.  But I was so sure that this was it that I couldn't even think of going out without someone telling me to. We were really screaming down by this time and it seemed as tho we couldn't help but start spinning. Then, we slowly started to come out of it and I looked out at that wing and all I could see were big jagged pieces of aluminum sticking up in the air, and what I thot was smoke trailing out behind #4 engine. It turned out later that it was actually our gas that was flying out.  Champ did a beautiful job and we finally leveled out around 20,000 and started a slow descent.  Bob, Nate and I all worked like crazy and managed to get us back somewhat on course.  Then we saw 6 fighters out at one o'clock and they turned in on us and I almost gave up then. But they turned out to be P-51s and were we glad to see them.  Nate's set started to work a little bit and our interphone came back on for some reason and we all breathed a little easier. The Engineer went back to the waist to see how the wing was and found out the tail was all shot to hell from that first burst. There were over 60 holes back there and it looked like a sieve.  Some of them were about 8 inch wide.  The interphone was completely severed back there, the oxygen was out (no one from the radio room back had any oxygen at all), the tail wheel tire was ruined and the servo motor back there was absolutely smashed. Ernie was riding in the tail and it's nothing but a miracle that he's still alive.  Lodl reported that the whole right aileron was gone and one third of the wing was gone too.  We headed straight for Liege as soon as crossed the lines at Remagen and found the right field but couldn't turn the damn airplane half fast enough to keep it in sight. Finally picked up the field at St Trond and made a couple of very wide circles around it.  Debated whether to jump or not and Champ decided to try the landing. Bob and I stayed up in the nose until we were coming in on the final and then we ran like hell to the radio room.  Just got set when we crossed the runway.  Had to bring it in at 160 with no flaps and we had a terrific crosswind and headed straight for a B-24 parked off the runway.  Champ pulled it up and prayed like hell and we just barely made it.  Made another circle with all of us actually sweating back there in the radio room, and came in again.  This time we made it, in as good a landing as could possibly have been made.  The flat tail wheel slowed us down a lot and made up for no flaps.  Found out later that we were on the wrong runway of course but we had to take it because of its length. Came to a stop as soon as we could and we really tumbled out of that plane. I was so damn nervous and just couldn't keep still.  And when I saw that wing----!  There was about 20 ft of it taken clean out. What a mess! We figured it out and there was about 105 sq.feet of wing shot away. They decided they'd have to salvage the ship so we took out everything we could including G-box, R. altimeter, I.F.F., 2 bomb sights, bolt studs, flak suits and helmets, etc. (Got it all weighed later and it came to 1600 lbs).  They assigned us to a building at this field (a P-47 base) to spend the night so we unloaded all that crap and took it up stairs to the floor we had.  Had a good hot meal, C-rations and then got some guy to take pictures of the plane. When we got back from there we found that they were going to ship us up to Brussels so we had to haul all that stuff down again and pack it in a truck.  It was drizzling a little by that time and getting a little colder and we rode for an hour and a half in that open truck and were pretty miserable by the time we got to the place where we were being put up.  It was too late to go into Brussels by the time we did get there so after unloading our junk we ate dinner, washed up a bit, saw the movie and hit the sack about 10.  Got up around 0730 the next morning, ate breakfast, and found out that we were going to get flown back by a C-47 that afternoon so we went out to the neighboring shops and got a lot of souvenirs and spent what little money we did have.  Loaded all our stuff on a truck about 1300 and along with 2 other crews went to a field about 25 miles from Brussels.  The weather was pretty bad so we sat in the trucks for 2 hours and they finally closed the field and we had to go back.  Unloaded all that stuff again and after eating and washing we took off for town on the liberty run.  And I'll never forget that night either!. Took the liberty run back at 2300 and hit the sack right away.  Got up early the next morning and got hauled out to an airfield about 3 miles from town.  Sat around until 1300 and finally took off in a RAF C-47 for Hennington.  There we unloaded and got on another C-47 which brot us right to the base here. Everyone was glad to see us and especially the equipment we brot back!  But they sure gave us the shaft!  Instead of going on pass today, they got Jim up at 0100 to fly to Zeitz with Dawson and they got the rest of us up at 0700 to drop 10 practice bombs.  We were so p-o'd that we couldn't even talk and I dropped the ten in just 4 runs.  Jim got back okay and we are going on pass tomorrow- just three days, too.  Everyone in our crew is pretty well flacked up now and its going to be rough flying these last 6.  

Thursday, April 5, 1945 (251 days)
25th Mission
Just got back from pass last nite but they got us up at 0200 this morning and we pre-briefed at 0300 for the large M.Y. at Nurnberg.  We were leading "B" sqdn, flying 009 (what a kite that is - phew!) and carrying 6 x 1000- same as rest of the sqdn.  Capt. Albrecht was command pilot and was okay.  We also had another guy, Capt. also, who came along for his first ride.  So we had quite a load.  The weather was terrible and raining like hell when we got out to the ship but they only delayed T.O. 1/2 hour and we finally took off at 0720.  Headed right for France to assemble and had to climb right through cloud the whole way.  Had a terrific time trying to assemble because our radio was on the blink and our flare pistol was no good either.  Assembled at 21,000 and I think that was the only break over the whole of France. Left the bunch about 8 minutes late and in pretty poor shape but on our way anyhow.  We had 2 ships from two different groups tacked on with us too.  As soon as we left on course we ran into clouds and we were in them clean up to 27,000 where we finally broke out.  Was beginning to get set for a milk-run when about 5 minutes before I.P., they dropped  2000 ft and we found ourselves in the clear with hi clouds above us and 10/10 below  us.  Didn't get any weather report but it was still 10/10 at the I.P. so we started H2X on secondary which was the R.R. station in center of town. Nate had trouble and we were way north of course and going way over.  Picked up the primary then and it was clear as a bell but it was out at 0300 and I knew we couldn't make it so I gave Champ 10 deg right to try and get over a little and let the indices drive on out.  We were getting some terrific purple flak  and it was just scaring hell out of me.  I can see that these next 5 missions are going to be twice as rough as the 1st 25.  The bombs hit about 2 1/2 miles N.E. of primary and over the secondary but landed right in a residential section so they did do some good.  I was too damned scared to give a damn anyway.  Fought through weather the whole way back and it was just as bad as the flak.  Landed at about 1445 and after critique ate chow and went back to the barracks.  Expected to get tomorrow off but now we've been told we're flying the mission.  No sleep tonight.  

Friday, April 6, 1945  (252 days) 
26th Mission 
Got to sleep last nite about 1100 and they got us up at 0145 for pre-briefing at 0230.  Still feeling lousy and didn't even enjoy the fried eggs.  Then when I get down to briefing I felt even worse.  It was "Leipzig".  We were actually going after a M.Y. about 4 miles west of the town itself but they had us routed to go straight across the center of town from E. to W. on one Bomb Run.  On top of that we were flying directly into the wind and our G.S. was nothing more than 143 M.P.H.  Also, it was briefed to be visual and that just about did it to me.  I got so damn flacked up that I had just about made up my mind that I'd never get back today.  We took off at 0555 and assembled down in France again. We were leading C Sqdn and carrying 23 x 150 G.P.s and the sqdn. carried 24 x 150 and 2 M-17s. We flew in 824 and took it up on its first mission.  The same ground crew has it that had 344. It had a nice comfortable seat up there so I slept for about an hour during assembly.  Didn't have too much trouble today in that.  We were the last group in the Division column and by the time we started out the sky was full of contrails and flying was pretty rough.  There wasn't a sound in our ship for about an hour and then we were getting pretty close to the target and sweating like mad.  "A" Sqdn decided to fly above the contrails so we had that much to be thankful for.  It had been 10/10 all the way so far but we had been briefed for that.  Then Plough came on interphone and said that the I.P. and target were both 10/10 and I never in my whole life heard anything that sounded so nice.  You could just feel the tension go out of the whole plane and everybody started talking again. Got lost just about that time in some contrails and sweated out the rest of the group but we finally found them again and in fact we just about tore right through the middle of them. 
We could see the smoke bombs from the other groups over the target and we could also see a terrific barrage of flak all around them.  Started getting nervous again there.  Turned on the I.P.  and started an H2X run on the secondary which was the big M.Y. in the center of Leipzig itself.  The wind wasn't as strong as briefed and we had a G.S. of about 200 mph. The old smoke bombs were casting shadows down on the clouds and I thought they were breaks.  (Nuff said!).  It was strictly 10/10s tho and all Nate's run.  He gave me some pretty good rate checks altho we were quite a bit to the right of the other sqdns.  It had been  a good 5 minutes or more since a sqdn had bombed and we thot sure as hell they were tracking us like mad, but we never had one single burst shot at our whole group.  Nate's rate looked like it was going to run way past the others so I twirled the sighting angle up a cut about a half a minute off the run and it seemed to work out pretty well.  We turned off the target and got out with still not a single burst after us.  The ride back was very slow and very dull.  There were bandits reported in the area at the R.P. but we never saw them.  Got back to the coast and started our descent and by the time we broke out we were about 200 feet above the water and had lost half our squadron. Got into the field and the visibility was about 500 yards and airplanes were all over the place. We got cut out 3 times on the final but finally made it on the 4th try.  Logged 8 hours and 31 minutes from wheels up to wheels down, which is about 3 hours too much. Definitely not flying tomorrow so I guess I'll get some real sleep tonight.  Those remaining 4 seem  worse to me than the 5 yesterday did. 

Tuesday April 10, 1945  (256 days)
Didn't fly Saturday and the Group got hell shot out of them by 50 109s and 190s.  Had a couple guys killed and wounded and lost 2 ships and nearly everyone was shot up.  Didn't fly Sunday again and I got sick as hell and finally ended up in the sick quarters on Sunday nite.  Had to get a shot of morphine as I thought my stomach was being burnt right out of me.  No doubt it was something I et!  Stayed in quarters until today.  Stomach still pretty weak but Champ and the guys flew yesterday and today so they're even with me now.  Had two airfields the last 2 days too, damn it!  But they got by jets again today so maybe its just as well.  Only lost one or two ships tho and had a few wounded.  Group is flying its 300th mission tomorrow but don't imagine we'll be on it.

Sunday, April 15, 1945 (261 days)
27th Mission
Got up at 1215 this morning, pre-briefing at 0100 for some gun emplacements down at Royan, France, about 30 miles north of Bordeaux.  Lead the Group today with Colonel Sutterlin himself as Command.  The 100th flew 13C today and we assembled down in France again because of the early take-off.  Took off about 0530 in 719 and carried a real load this time.  We had P-51 gas tanks loaded with 100 octane and a handful of Napalm tossed in to make it jell.  We had six of those jobs and what a mess they were.  They looked like they'd fall apart if you touched them.  And a lot of them did.  Our Radio Compass and G-box were out so we assembled on B Sqdn and then we took over for Wing and Division assembly.  Went to sleep through most of this because the Command Navigator was doing pilotage in my seat.  That damn nose was jam packed with equipment and we could hardly move around anyway.  I woke up just in time to get a good look at Paris.  It was visual nearly all the way down and saw quite a bit of France.  We were 8th in the Division column and by the time we got to the I.P. we had been shoved out to about 20 miles East of it.  We continued down S.E. on it and then turned up on a heading of 308 deg.  Andris was really on the ball today and its a good thing because I was completely lost by that time.  He made the I.P. good and got us pretty well on course while I was killing rate.  We picked up the Target area about 30 miles away -  mainly from the fires and smoke bombs the other Groups had left.  Tried to kill course but things were so smoked up that I couldn't be sure.  Got up almost on top of the damn thing and still couldn't see the M.P.I. so took a quick look at the big picture I had, picked out another target and looking ahead I could see it was a tiny peninsula and it was completely clear of smoke so I started a run on it. Good synchronized very good and dropped the things and they just went all over hell and back. Bombed from 15000 and didn’t see a single burst of flak all day. They had no fins at all and they just tumbled and turned and hit were they damn well pleased. We got some pretty good hits out of a few of them but not many. Guys in every sqdn had a couple hung up and the B sqdn (Silva) got all screwed up because the lead couldn’t get theirs out. The trip back was very dull and uneventful and awful long. Passed right over the center of London at 1000 feet but I was too lazy to get up and look. Had short critique after we landed at 1400, ate, washed and shaved, and then went down to the orderly room and signed the flak- leave papers.  We’re supposed to have tomorrow off and then go on flak-leave Tuesday.
 
Sunday May 6, 1945 (284 days)
Went on flak-leave to London and had a very quiet time. Got back to the base and found the Air Force was finished up with the war in this theater, so I went to the Hospital to get rid of a cold and also get rid of the chicken s—t. Flew Group Lead today on a Chow Mission to Holland and had a very good time. Got back and found out that Champ and the crew are going home but not me. All Bombardiers have to stay on and we’ll probably end up in the C.B.I., so I’m sending this diary home.

KIA / MIA / EVA / INT INFORMATION:

TARGET: DATE:  
AIRCRAFT: CAUSE:  

BURIAL INFORMATION

PLOT: ROW:  
GRAVE: CEMETERY:  

PHOTOS:

27 Missions flown by Lt William J Wellings. Starting with Mission 11/16/1944 to 12/30/1944 , Lt Wellings flew with Lt Glenn Rojohn Crew. Many Later missions flown with Capt Ivan Champion's Lead Crew.  List courtesy of son Norm Wellings. 

27 Missions flown by Lt William J Wellings. Starting with Mission 11/16/1944 to 12/30/1944 , Lt Wellings flew with Lt Glenn Rojohn Crew. Many Later missions flown with Capt Ivan Champion's Lead Crew.  List courtesy of son Norm Wellings. 

Lt William A McLaughlin Crew Stateside with Lt William J. Wellings ( second from right?) Crew cam overseas on July 21, 1944. Crew was assigned to 398th BG. Lt Wellings does not fly any combat missions with this crew. Transfering from Alconbury in October 1944 to Thorpe Abbotts 

Crew paperwork from States to ETO for Lt Wellings. 

Award paperwork for Distinguished Flying Cross

William Wellings with his A-2 jacket (from the collection of Ivan Champion)

Capt Ivan Champion's Lead Crew Officers: L-R Lt Jim Plough -CP, Lt Robert Andris-NAV, Capt Ivan Champion-Pilot, Lt William Wellings-BOM, Lt Nate Gault-Mickey Operator.  Photo Courtesy of James Champion. 

Ivan W. Champion Crew - Lead Crew (left to right)Standing: Ivan Champion (P), James Plough (CP), Nathaniel T. Gault (RADAR),William Wellings (BOM),Robert Andris (NAV)
Kneeling: Francis Finn (WG), Ed Kilroy (WG), Ernest Spencer (TG),
Herbert Krumwiede (ROG), Howard Lodl (TTE) ) 

Lead Crew officers of Ivan Champion Crew

Robert Andris, James Plough, Nathanial Gault, William Wellings, Ivan Champion (from the collection of Ivan Champion)

Ivan Champion, William Wellings, and James Plough in front of the Jewels Club in London (from the collection of Ivan Champion)

Howard Lodl, William Wellings, and Francis Finn (from the collection of Ivan Champion)

 

SERVED IN:

Crew 1

Crew 2

ID: 5459