5, 1942 Chelveston, England
This is the day we've been looking
forward to -- our first
raid. We went on the alert yesterday
and were called out this morning at 3:45 A.M to
be briefed for our first raid.
was a marshling yard at Rouen, France. We took off
at 8:30 A.M. climbed to 25,000 feet and joined another group, the 97th.
There were 36 B17's in the formation escorted by 60 Spitfires. We
were over the target at exactly 10:35 A.M., dropped our bombs and came
home with out a single bomber lost. Its a beautiful sight to watch
four 1,000 lb. bombs fall out of 34 planes. Two planes had to turn
back because of engine trouble -- one was our squadron commander, Major
Quick. Every bombardier claims a direct hit
so the destruction must have been complete. We landed back
here at 11:45 A.M. and were served Rum and Coffee, had interrogation,
then news that we were through for the day. I had
the same queer feeling I used to have before going into a ball game,
but just as soon as we started our motors it left and everything was
O.K. Not a single enemy fighter came at us and not
a burst of flack was fired from the ground. It is
believed that our fighters did a little mixing with F.W. 190's over
the target area. That's all for No. 1.
November 18, 1942 Chelveston
were honored last night with the presence of four Hollywood stars:
Fay Francis, Carole Landis, Martha Ray, and a new actress, Mitzy
Mayfair, a pretty little dancing trick. They entertained us for an
hour and a half in our new theater and was very good. Martha and
Mitzy were the high lights with Kay as mistress of Ceremonies with
Carole singing and leading the audience in song. After
the show, they came to the club and a good time was had by all. For
a long time the signing of short snorter bills was the mains source
of entertainment. Of course the bar was doing good business all this
time too. I always thought of stars being snooty and hard to understand
and talk to but I was entirely wrong because they are everything
but that. They are just like all the rest of the fairer sex, like
lots of attention and petting. Take it from me they are built just
like any other girl -- I know. Kay and Martha didn't like it so much
but Carole and Mitzy didn't seem to mind as long as you were half
careful, in fact, they seemed to enjoy it a little. Wonder how far
one could have gotten out under the beautiful moon looking down at the stars.
November 22, 1942
other place in England -- way down South -- but not of Carolina. Left
Chelveston this morning at 10:30 and arrived here at 12:30, had dinner,
cleaned up, and stayed in the briefing room the biggest part of the
afternoon getting the low down on our trip tommorrow. This is strictly
an English station with plenty of W.A.A.F.'s roaming around but darn
it we are confined to the barracks and can't do anything about it.
To make it worse, this is probably the last time we will get a chance
to look at a white woman. See you in Africa.
23, 1942 Baurenmouth, England
day at Hurn Field. We were up at 4:45 to get ready to take
off for Oran Africa by 8:15. Took off before sun up and had
to turn around and come back after about 15 minutes because
the oil dilution valve stuck open on #3 engine, so we fooled
around in general all day and Thomas and I got a hair cut.
We both got it all cut off with the exception of about an inch.
I'm glad we did too, because it will probably be a long time
before we get another one. Time to hit the hay because the
Colonel said we will have to be by our lonesome tomorrow, so
that calls for another early rise.
November 25, 1942 Tafaroui,
Africa -- just South of Oran about 12 miles
here last night at 4:45½ -- left Hurn Field
at 8:00 A.M. Had a wonderful trip down, we came the
water route just off the caost of France Spain and
Portugal, through the Strait of Gilbralter and along
the northern coast of Africa. When we landed it was
almost dark and by the time we were settled it was.
Not knowing where we were or where to go, we started
walking through mud knee deep (it had just rained
a flood in the afternoon) in search of something
to eat and a place to sleep. After walking for miles
with no success whatsoever, we finally went back
to the plane to sleep, all eleven of us. Boy, what
a night after being in the air all day. Dam little
sleeping I did using luggage for a bed.
November 26, 1942 Tafaroui,
thought I was tired last night but I was wrong because I'm absolutely
dead tonight. We got up this morning ready to pump 1800 gallons of
gasoline in our plane by hand from 50 gallon drums, and brother that
was a job I'll never forget. This afternoon we found a place to sleep
with eight other boys that came the day before in a 20' by 20' room;
with the floor as a bed and only five blankets to sleep on and under. Saw
my first Arab today, nobody knows were they live or came from but they
are on the field early in the morning with tangerines and eggs to sell
and trade. They would rather have cloth, preferably white, money doesn't
mean anything to them. They have a mule, a specie of a donkey, but
about half as big. They are
filthy and disgusting. One enlisted man traded
a mattress cover for 15 eggs this morning and
a basket of tangerenes.
November 27, 1942 Tafaroui
Fooled around out at the plane all morning
getting it cleaned up and ready to go. This afternoon we loaded it
with bombs and brother that is a job. It is a good mile and a half
out to the plane from here and every inch of it is mud all the way.
I made the trip twice so I'm dragging my tracks out again tonight.
I was wondering how I was going to sleep tonight on the damn floor,
but that problem is solved now. I've kept looking
for a change in food for the last two days, but it is still hash or
stew three times a day and it is really hard to swallow for breakfast. We
are on American money basis again now but
it wouldn't be worth a continental in the
states because it has a yellow seal in place
of the blue one.
It makes you
feel like you have money anyway. The silver is the same. The P.X. opened
up today and we got our candy and cigarette rations. Didn't care so
much for the cigarettes but the candy was delicious.