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This is the content of my dad's mission diary. The punctuation and spelling is as he wrote it, as well as I was able to read it. There were phrases that didn't make sense. I assume he wrote this soon after completing each mission, since the intention was to have it sent home if he was KIA or MIA. He died Aug 26, 1999. Comments in italics are mine. Dan Dunphy email@example.com
Ray J. Dunphy
578th Bombardment Sqdn
392nd Bombardment Group
This Booklet to be sent home in case I am killed or reported missing in action
Note: If necessary - pages with navigation data may be removed
Mission No. One
392nd Mission 15
Dec 13 1943 Kiel
Mission number one and I've really been sweating this one out.
Flew with Lt. McKee - my crew didn't fly - truthfully speaking I was scared before we left but okay after I got in the plane.
Stratus about 6/10 over base increasing to 10/10 over target. CAUU above 6000. Saw 4 109's going in - P-38's chased them - Flak bad at target but not too accurate because of clouds. Saw two single engine fighters on way out. My Dead Reckoning poor going - very good coming - about 6 miles and one minute between D.R and actual position.
Alt. 24000 Temp -30
12 500# cluster of incendiaries
24 to go
Mission No. Two
392nd Mission 16
Dec 16, 1943 Bremen
Mission number two and it was almost the first and last for the Blue Ribbon crew. Just as we hit the German coast all four engines started to cough and sputter. Boy I almost got that parachute jump. Dropped behind formation - and low - ended up ahead. No enemy fighters sighted - thank God - because a straggler is a dead duck. The flak was very intense and quite accurate. Picked up several holes in plane and had a cracked glass in the bombardiers compartment. Coming in was very soupy. Sure was a rat race. Damned glad to get on ground.
52 67# incendiaries
23 to go
Mission No. Three
392nd Mission 21
Dec. 31 1943 St. Jean de Anglys
Another one for the Blue Ribbon crew.
Medium altitude over the Brest peninsula into Biscay Bay and then to this airfield in Southern France. Boy! oh Boy! I had a ringside seat for the bombing. Straddled my parachute and looked down through the glass. Man oh man did they smash the hell out of that target. It sure was fun to watch those bombs run up the buildings - Just like in the movies. One nazi pilot taking off ran smack into one. McKee was in formation with the 93rd and blew up over target. Damn soupy coming in. Formation couldn't find field - left them and homed on Gee box right into field. Saw one Nazi go down in flames. Major commended me for sketch I made of target showing hits.
Alt 13,500 12 500# G.P
Mission No. Four
392nd Mission #23
Jan. 5, 1944 Kiel
Another one to the old standby. Sure wish someone would knock this place out of commission. Too much water between me and this target.
Think we must have caught them by surprise because the didn't get their smoke pots going until we turned in from the I.P. Target was about half covered. We really smacked it and could see black smoke above it from miles away.
Flak was bad but didn't start until bombs away. Fighters jumped us going out from target Rickey claims a ME 109 -He picked it off tail of another 24 at about 700 yards. Flame and exploded. Saw 2 P-51's ride a 110 right into the ground. He blew up with a bang. -All okay.
Alt 23,000 Temp -32 12 clusters
P.S. Cunningham paid me L2 (8 bucks USA) to clean his guns. Said he could make more in the same time playing poker. The red cross girls met us with coffee and doughnuts. Oh wonderful. How we love them.
Rickey's ME 109 verified.
Mission No. Five N.T. Lead
392nd Mission 27
Jan. 21, 1944 Ecalle sur Buchy
Well, well, I finally got around to making my Spain/Spam ? ribbon mission. This time my navigating was all done in the target area. I rode nose-turret on Capt. Edwards ship. About 6/10 Cumulus over target area made it a hunt and peck mission ending up with Joachim missing the target after four bombing runs. Tsk! tsk! Saw two ME 109's but they had P-47's on their tails and therefore had business elsewhere. Also saw one crash and burn don't now who got it. No flak. 12,000' 12 500# G.P.'s
Mission No. Six
392nd Mission 28
Jan. 29, 1944 Frankfurt on Main
Picked a good one for #6.
Really got a chance to practice up on D.R. 10/10 stratus all the time. Went down to Frankfurt saw a hell of a lot of fighters but they weren't to eager in coming in. Did come through our formation a couple times. Mostly FW 190's. Pretty ships -Damned good too. Two of our ships collided over England - Pretty gooey - really screwed up the formation. Flak plentiful. Would have been accurate if it hadn't been for chaff. Laventers - Tail turret - Top turret out - Some people are crazy.
12 G.P 500# Temp -20 Alt 20,000
Mission No. Seven N.T. Lead
392nd Mission 31
Feb. 2, 1944 Eperlecque Forest
Ah ha! Dunphy plays high priced gunner again and rides nose turret for Captain Edwards. No soap or should I say lots of soup. It was piled up layer on layer and layer. We had half a hell of a time getting up into a clear space so we could go over. 10/10 so we went in on pathfinder. Boy oh boy those 2000 pounders must really lay stuff flat. They're really huge. And how!That nose turret is cold. Got to burn your feet to keep your hands warm.
Temp -18 19000 4 2000# G.P.'s
Mission No. Eight N.T. Lead
392nd Mission 34
Feb. 8 1944 Watton in Eperlecque Forest
Another nose turret job with Captain Edwards crew. It was a pathfinder mission and boy he really F--- up. Bombs were short of target. Plenty of flak and the most accurate I have ever seen. They were really on us. One busted almost in turret and missed me. Good deal! Some jerk had his phone on VHF and was broadcasting time - eta - etc. to Jerries. Triplett got superficial flak wound. Damn near froze my hands.
21,000 -30 deg 4 2000# G.P.
Note: GI Jane was Christened Pallas Athene on Feb 11, in honor of the WACs serving.
Mission No. Nine
392nd Mission 36
Feb. 12, 1944 Watton
Another trip to the Pas de Calias area. These aren't the milk runs they used to be. The flak was moderate and too close for comfort. G.I. Jane didn't come home with any souvenirs though. Enemy fighters were totally absent thanks to the P-47s
10/10 cover and PFF with some screwy maneuvering. The jerk let down at 1500'/min and my ears blew so I'm grounded for a while.
12 500# G.P.'s 17,500
Mission No. Ten
392nd Mission 39
Feb. 21, 1944 Airfield near Munster
A trip across Holland and north of Osnabruk and then south to this airport near Munster. 10/10 when we got there so we went for targets of opportunity. Lead and low blocks bombed Hi block didn't. Capt. Jones did wonderful job of navigating. Tried to salvo our bombs - got about 14 racks clear, couldn't get the others out. Closed doors and started home. Miller tried to salvo his and they went off 100' below plane and peppered us. Over England two bombs broke loose and went through the bomb doors - bombed door almost knocked right vertical fin off. Finally got down. G.I. Jane won't fly for another week.
40 100# G.P. 20,000 -35C
Swell fighter support. Dozens of P47s around. No Jerries.
Mission No. Eleven
392nd Mission 46
Mar 5, 1944 Cognac Air Base
Oh, my aching back and tail. That flak suit gets heavier and heavier every mile. Today was one of those long-long jobs to southern France. Primary target was covered with thin stratus.
Started for secondary & 44th lead navigator took us for a scenic tour of France before he decided to hit Cognac. Bombing results pretty good but lots of dribbling. Pursuit coverage excellent. Flak intense and accurate in target area. Some jerk in an unidentified B24 (no markings) flew our tail too close and we challenged him but got no answer. Almost had urge to shoot him up. Carnine got No. 25 today. Lucky Man.
Mission No. Twelve
392nd Mission 47
March 6 1944 Factory - Berlin
Oh! Oh! The long awaited day arrived and we took a trip to the Big B. Ground visible after passing Holland. Lead Nav. stayed 33 miles north of course all the time. Don't ask me why - I don't know either.
Target bombed before we got there so we hit bridge and airfield. Flak intense in places. Over center of Berlin sky was so black you couldn't see Forts. Luckily our route didn't go that way. Fighters scarce. Trip claimed an ME109. Saw 6 chutes from fort.
Alt 22000 Temp -30
12 500# G.P.
Trip's 109 verified.
Mission No. Thirteen
392nd Mission 49
March 9, 1944 Brandinburg A.P.
Over the hump on this one. This target in town about 20 miles from Big B. Solid 10/10 over water and continent. Our group lost contact with pathfinders. Stooged around for extra hour and toggled bombs around Germany somewhere. Picked up souvenir. Flak intense at places. Big dent in Nav. Department - didn't come in. Scared hell out of me. Right glove out - almost froze fingers. No Jerry fighters in air. Escort excellent.
21,000 -22 12 500# G.P.
Mission No. Fourteen
392nd Mission 51
Mar 15, 1944 Brunswick
One of the best PFF jobs I've ever been on. Darn good lead and no galloping around in 360's as usual. Just enough breaks in the clouds to pick up a pinpoint now and then. Intense flak at target but not too accurate. Got 3 hits forward of R. waist window. - FW190 sneaked in D. Millers contrails and shot him down in flames. Eight chutes & 1 burning chute observed. Poor bastage. P-47s took care of 190. Luftwaffe noticeably absent except that once.
24,000 100# G.P. + incendiaries -35deg
Mission No. Fifteen
392nd Mission 52
Fredrichshaven Mar 16 1944
Again I say Oh my aching back - this town is on the Swiss-German border at lake Constance and it's a hell of long way. French coast and 100 mi in 8-9/10. Then 4/10 and 10/10 at target. Wings screwed up at target and as result we had bombs raining all around us from aircraft overhead. Not so good. Flak rough in the Pas de Calais area coming out. Continues for fifteen minute. Escort good - Germans absent.
Just got good(?) news - gotta do 30!
M-47s 19000 -25 deg.
Mission No. Sixteen
392nd Mission 54
March 21, 1944 Eperlecque Forest
Another no-ball and I'm glad to see these targets come up. This was a PFF mission with the target obscured by a cloud with surrounding country clear.
Saw the bombs hit into the cloud so I think we hit it square. Flak not bad as expected. The ship sure humps when those 2000 pounders leave.
4 2000# -22 21,000'
Mission No. Seventeen
392nd Mission 55
Mar 23, 1944 Osnabruk
Another uneventful PFF without seeing an enemy fighter but we did see plenty of flak. Took off late and picked up group at coast and away we went. Bombs west of target - Flak not too rough on our group. Skirted Munster coming out - Flak pretty rough there.
Mission No. Eighteen Sqdn Dep. Lead
392nd Mission 56
Mar 24, 1944 St. Dizier A.P.
Oh boy! Oh boy! this is one target we won't have to go back to for a long time. We sure smashed the hell out of it. The bombing results were very good. The primary target was covered by a freak cloud formation so we hit our secondary. Cunningham was on the sight for the first time but didn't get to drop on his data but Zig did a swell job. US fighters by the scores - Marvelous Luftwaffe again absent - Thank God. No flak for a change. Had pilot trouble today.
12 500# 13,000 -12 deg
Mission No. Nineteen Dep. Lead 2nd Block
? 2 missions same day
Brunswick Waggum Airfield Apr. 18, 1944
Today was a weather freak - for a change there were no clouds over England or the continent.
About 50 Jerries jumped us just north of Brunswick and boy they were rough. Todays papers say we lost 34 but our fighters got 92. Saw some real dogfights and some other sights I'd rather forget. Cunningham's mask ripped and I almost salvoed him from the bomb bay when I bombed. Flak was rough in places. We flew deputy lead.
Intell. reports say 200 fighters.
23,000 -26 12 500# G.P.
Mission No. Twenty
392nd Mission 67
Cuxhaven via Brandenburg Apr 18, 1944
The weatherman sure didn't do so hot today. He said 9/10 but the continent was clear with another one of those freak clouds over Brandenburg. The PFF ship lead us right into it and everyone was crapping their pants for a while till we finally got out of it. Went looking for a target of opportunity and finally hit the docks at Cuxhaven. A convoy out by Heliogoland bracketed us with darned accurate flak.
23,000 -29 40 100# G.P.
Mission No. Twenty One Gp. dep. Lead
392nd Mission 69
Pas de Calais Apr 20, 1944
Almost flew this one with the RAF. Took off about 5PM. Didn't fly G.I. Jane. She blew a cylinder just before take off - lucky it happened then instead of on take-off or we've been burnt offerings. 5 to 6 tenths over target so we couldn't bomb so we carted 8000# of bombs back and landed with them. Not too much flak. Made 2 runs.
8 2000# G.P 20,000 -20
Mission No. Twenty Two Sqdn Dep. Lead
April 24, 1944 Liepheim A.F.
392nd Mission 71
Boy oh boy this was a long - long son of a gun. This A.F. is near Augsburg and 6 eng troop carriers were - and I mean were manufactured there. It was a pleasure to ride on this one because it was clear over the continent over the continent and made it easier than heck to navigate. No flack and boy oh boy we really knocked the hell out of the target. Could see the smoke about 10,000' in the air. Didn't see any fighters at all except ours and there were plenty of them.
21,000 -25 52 M47A-1
Mission No. Twenty Three Gp. Dep. Lead
392nd Mission 80
May 7, 1944 Munster
Oh! oh! Is my face red! We were deputy lead for the wing on a PFF job to Osnabruk. Somebody F-d up and our PFF was briefed for Munster. My D.R. said Munster but they are so close that I figured it was Osnabruk. Worse yet my log had to go to Wing. The flak was pretty darned rough. Got a piece into the compartment that scared Bob and I to death. Bombing unobserved - no enemy fighters Pretty darned chilly.
22,600 -39 12 599# G.P
Mission No. Twenty Four Sqdn Dep. Lead
392nd Mission 84
12 May 1944 Zietz
This was our first job at leading the group and we went to this synthetic oil plant near Liepzieg. There was a high haze and visibility was bad doing pilotage through Belgium and Germany. At the I.P.. gave Pilot course and 44th Gp starts out to left so I'm wondering who's right. I was for a change. Bob's bombing good. 44th made second run. We were 36 min late leaving the target. Our group avoided most flak which 44th lead us over. Saw 2 ships get it. One by flak one by fighter.
19000 -18 19 250# G.P.
Mission No. Twenty Five Gp Dep. Lead
392nd Mission 90
May 24, 1944 Villaroche A.F. Melum, France
"The last time I saw Paris" was the theme song for today's mission. This A.F is about 6 miles SE of the outskirts of "gay Paree". CSE took us down west of P. and then E. then into target from South. Joachim did a marvelous job of bombing for lead section and the fuel dump was last seen going up in smoke. Had trouble doing pilotage there was a terrific ground haze which cut "toward the sun" visibility to nil. Tightroped the flak areas on the way out of France.
20,000 -20 24 300# G.P.
Mission Twenty Six N.T. Lead
392nd Mission 95
May 29, 1944 Politz
Synthetic oil plant well no. 1 for Doolittle is out of the way but I sure thought I'd never see No. 2 The Luftwaffe met us in force by Tutow and swept through four times from front to rear of formation. Nose turret was out in elevation and I was cranking and shooting - swearing and praying all in the same breath. Estimate of 100 S/E & 50 T/E fighters. Our escort finally caught up (we were 8 min early) and drove them off. Target was bombed through smoke screen and column of smoke 20,000' high could be seen for 100 miles on the way home - Don't like these Russian No-balls
10 500# G.P. 22,000 -22
Mission No. Twenty Seven Dep. Lead
392nd Mission 100, 101, 102? Said he flew 3 on D day
6 June 1944 Flers
The long awaited D day is finally here. Planes have been roaring out all day We were to lead the third for the day but it was PFF. Soup up to twenty-four thousand and we assembled above. As we entered French coast east of LeHarve we could see hundreds of ships and invasion barges. The battleships were shelling inland targets. What a sight. PFF bombed adjacent town to target unobserved. Lost #2 engine over target and came home alone. Rain - ceiling 800' - Dark almost had mid air collision at base. Close - landed 11pm.
12 500# G.P. 17,000
Mission No. Twenty Eight Sqdn Lead
392nd Mission 108
12 June 1944 Dreux AF
Me and Ernie Pyle - we was known as in them thar days. Came across CAEN today to get first hand info about latest developments. P.S. the Germans still have it & they shot us up. Navigation good all the way. Bob was F--- on the bombing because we carry frags and his bombsight was not preset for trail. He had to compensate for it and we missed the target. Flak was rough at target and again at CAEN.
Came home on 3 engines again.
306 20# frags 20,000 -23
Dep. Lead Mission No. Twenty Nine
392nd Mission 109
14 Jun, 1944 Emmerich
Achtung! Another of the German's synthetic oil plants is missing. This plant was adjacent to the Rhine River just inside Germany. A very special mission having only 5 squadrons and our group led it while the rest the air force went to France. Weather briefing nil to 3/10 but it was 7-8/10 at coast and most of the way in clearing up just over the target. Our squadron's bombs right on MPI. Saw target blow up three times in a split second. Sure was beautiful bombing.
24 250# G.P. 18,000 -20
Mission No Thirty Dep. Lead 392nd Mission 112
17 Jun 1944 Tours
Bang! Bang! The last we hope. For a long while and it turned out to be a rough son of a gun. Right at bombs away they really bracketed us. Glass in Cunningham's face - Big piece of Flak right past my head - very near miss - thank God. Flak hit the flares on flight deck and we had us a good sized fire. Pete really put it out in a hurry. Lot's of excitement - but no fun. Guess they tried to get us on this one.
40 100# G.P. 20,000 -12
This was supposed to be the last one!
Dep. Lead Mission No. Thirty One
392nd Mission 130
12 July 1944 Munich
Well - I guess this is as good as any to start a second tour - or try to finish up a first. This is a long - long haul to stand up for in heel-less shoes and my legs ache like fire. Socked in solid all the way down and back but my D.R. was good. Did a sweet job if I do say so myself! The most flak I've ever seen but it wasn't accurate. Too darn long for me.
That's all folks - relieved 7-16-44
23,000 6 500# G.P 4 500# Incendiaries