Mission 22 and 23
23, 1943 Oh Boy, what
a day. With only three hours of sleep last
night, we were up at 4:30, briefed at 5 o'clock,
took off for Kairouan Airdrome, near Sfax,
bombed it and were back on the ground by
9:30. I was first pilot with Thomas as a
brand new Captain as co-pilot. But
that wasn't the end of the day. At 2 o'clock,
we were given a 30 minute notice to be briefed
and off the ground by 3 and be over Kasserine
Pass, our target, by 4, where an enemy concentration
is located. We were there but it was solid
overcast, but that didn't keep them from
throwing up plenty of Flak. Every ship in
our squadron was hit, our four times -- no
one hurt. Bombing altitude 15,000 feet which
is strictly for the birds as far as I'm concerned. I'm
so tired I'm cross-eyed. Never again do
I want to fly two missions in one day.
Spent the most miserable
night I've spent in a long time. Went to the "Doc" and
he had me in the hospital before you could say
Jack Robinson. So the record I've held for 27 years
was finally broken. My temperature has been ranging
from 101 to 103.8 all day but it's down now.
first time I've ever had influenza and my
first time in a hospital bed.
February 28, 1943
sleepless night and very unpleasant too, freezing to death one minute and
burning up the next. I've drunk enough water to float the biggest ship that
the 301st sunk on their raid over Sardinia. I'm the only
officer in the room with 16 enlisted men. About 5 have flu, three or four
with gasoline burns and the others are gold bricks taking a rest or beating
guard duty. My temperature reached 104 at three o'clock
then started dropping.
March 1, 1943
another sleepless night with everything running
about the same.
March 2, 1943
almost went back to normal then back up again. They brought in
an old private from my squadron that must have
gotten mixed up with the wrong crowd cause
he was sorta messed up.
March 3, 1943
I must have
sweated my temperature away last night because I awoke from the knock-out
pill the "Doc" gave me ringing wet with my temperature normal and
it stayed there all day. Still feel lousy
as the devil though.
March 4, 1943
temperature today, wrote a few letters.
March 5, 1943
The "Doc" let
me get up and walk around a little today but I was
too weak to do much walking.
Got out of the hospital this morning and had
to stop and rest before I could make it back to camp I was so weak. Have
been up all day and am as tired as if I had worked
March 7, 1943
some things for our move today.
March 8, 1943
were up bright and early this morning running around like a chicken with
its head cut off trying to get everything ready to leave on the specified
time. Departed from Ain M'Lilla at 11 o'clock and arrived
at out new base at 11:30. It is only about 40 miles west of our old base. There
is nothing between us and the North Pole but a barbed-wire fence to keep
the wind off and the gap is down on it. Oh Boy, it is cold. We
are living in Pyramidal tents and they are pretty nice. My tentmates are
Kuncel, R.E. Hart, and Harold Wilson. We
put the tent that we had for a house
at Ain M'Lilla down for a rug and it
keeps the damp out.
We've been working all day fixing things up
and making it more comfortable. The name of our apartment is Maision de la
Caak, more of Hart's bright ideas. We have a victrola and
about 100 records, also a kerosene stove and lantern. There
isn't any electric generator close enough yet to have electric lights --
but give us time. This
is a regular Officers Club since
we have the only means of entertainment.
have some beautiful scenery around us. Mountains to the South and East,
farm land and waste land to the North and West.