Sun, August 1, 1943
The Lt. was supposed to go on a mission today but when we had ate & went to operations they were still in a huddle as to whether they go or not. Around 11:30 they called it off & we drove into Marks Hall. We ate & just got laid down when he came in & took Mandy & I back to Andrews Field. The mission was on again. We arrived here at 1:15 but on way it was cancelled. We drove back to Marks Hall & spent the eve there. I read all evening & to bed early.
Mon, August 2, 1943
We took care of our laundry & dry cleaning this morning & wrote letters. At noon we left for Andrews Field. A mission was to go at 5:00 with briefing at 3:00. The weather closed in and it was scrubbed. I had a briefing at 6:00 & took off at 7:30. The Lt’s was scrubbed but ours went out. We flew over Scotland & then into France & dumped our load of bombs. We were back at 9:30 and I got some pretty good pictures. I ate a bite and then was ready for bed. I didn’t sleep worth a damn all night. Guess this thing is getting me.
Tue, August 3, 1943
Well didn’t do any photo work today but sent the film I took last nite. It goes to London. After we took our still pictures and developed them this afternoon we printed them all up & made test with a periscope I figured out for our cameras. It should if it works film bomb strikes by shooting out the belly of the plane. I was all petered out by supper time & I’m hitting the hay early tonite.
Wed, August 4, 1943
The test proved out OK on the ground so first time up I’ll give it a test in the air. The Lt. went on his mission today. Left at 6:30 and when the rest of the boys came back his ship wasn’t among them. Boy was we worried. His plane landed just across the channel from France & had to gas up. He pulled in a hour late. They bombed a boat works & they won’t build any boats there anymore. He got some good pictures & I go up again next which should be tomorrow. We worked until 11:30 tonite getting the film ready & waiting for the Lt.
Thu, August 5, 1943
Made a mistake on date for the book so just turned them around. Getting so you don’t know what day or date it is. We spent the morning developing the K20 aerial film and there was some pretty good stuff on it. Several bomb strikes & it showed the target afire. This afternoon we lazed around and I started a plexiglass charm for my sheep. The Lt. left for London & left me in command. I have to check with the Col. at 5:00 and at 9:00 in the morning. I’m sweating out another mission. I’m going to the show tonite, “Aerial Gunner”.
Fri, August 6, 1943
Well we scrubbed up our trailer lab and had it in shape by noon. We didn’t do much in the afternoon and I started making a plexiglass case for my white sheep. It rained most of the day & all airplanes were grounded. When I asked the Col. if anything was cooking, he said no but it’s on the back of the stove. Went up to the Red Cross & wrote letters & had tea and crumpets. Was in bed early.
Sat, August 7, 1943
Arose at 7:30 this morn and at 8:00 was in the lab at Base Photo. At 8:30 Col. McFarland called and said to meet him in 3 min in front of the lab. I was there and he took me to the briefing room where he showed me the target for today. It was Abbeywell, France, a marshaling yard. Well I got all loaded up & the plane pulled out on schedule. We got to the takeoff strip then turned around & came back. It was scrubbed on account of bad weather at the target. Should go tomorrow. I was disappointed for you get 48 hour pass after every mission. We were told to standby but the clouds still remained. Almost finished my white sheep. Am going to see M.V. at the show tonite & then to bed. Got a letter from Sis and Aunt Bell today.
Sun, August 8, 1943
Still sweating out the mission. It was clear when we awoke this morn and after we attended mass at 7:00 and came out it began to cloud up. Spent the morning fixing my sheep & finished it this afternoon. Looks pretty good. It rained a little this afternoon. Played poker for 1/2 hour and dropped 10 shillings then went to lay down in the trailer lab & fell asleep. The boys woke me up at 5 and we ate & it’s sprinkling again. I’m going to bed.
Mon, August 9, 1943
Well this morning was taken up with getting equipment ready for our mission. At 2:30 we went into briefing and at 5:17 we took off and had our rendezvous at 7:00 with the fighters. Boy they looked good coming up out of the clouds. There were plenty of them. We crossed the coast between Dunkirk and Calis. There we ran into ack ack again 1/2 way between the target. But when we opened the bomb bay doors we really got it heavy. I was at the waist taking pictures but the clouds obscured the target so none of the ships dropped their bombs. We were over the target area 8 mins and the anti aircraft was really on the beam. Almost everyone of the ships had flack holes in them. We landed at 8:30 and then after interrogation ate and then developed our film so it could go to London in the morning. I had fighter shots & formation shots, 200 ft., but not being able to see the target I got no ground shots. We worked in the darkroom until 1:00. Right after we went to bed several “Jerries” came over in a sneak raid and dropped their bombs about 3 miles from here. One laughable thing occurred today. Sgt. Hussey was going to take the takeoff in color & wanted a formation over the flag pole. He set up and after waiting a couple of hours they dug up the pole to set it in cement & the only time he noticed it was when they were lowering the pole. He was asking himself questions and answering them the other night. I think we are all getting a little nuts. “Oh well”
Tue, August 10, 1943
Slept until noon today. I was so stiff in the leg muscles that I could hardly move. After lunch I figured out where we could tap for water & lights near the lab. We are going to put up a tent and sleep near there. After that I went in and took a nap until 5. I still am a little weak from the trip yesterday. There is a stage show tonite in the mess. So guess I and the boys will take it in.
Wed, August 11, 1943
What a day. They worked our asses off. We moved our lab and leveled off the ground and hauled in sand & cement blocks to cover the tent floor. We put up a 20 X 20 pyramidal tent and leveled off the floor & sand in it. We moved our stuff in and put lights in it. It’s OK now. I and Ben Rosenblatt and Elliot are staying here with me in charge and Mandalaro and Hussey and Capt. Culver (he was made Capt. yesterday) are going to work Marks Hall. Am going to bed early tonite. Today was Mandy’s birthday.
Thu, August 12, 1943
Well we started in early today – 4:45. Ate at 5:15 and was briefing at 6:15. Mandy and Hussey were to take the mission. The take off was at 9:29 and they returned at 11:45. Their target was Poix airport, France. They run into a lot of flak and one ship, 808, was shot up so bad it was grounded for parts. One gunner on it was wounded. The rest was OK. The other ships got some good coverage. Went went into Earls Colme and cashed our checks and I and Ben R moved our stuff up to Andrews Field. We are to be here for good I guess. We took care of all of our business and returned at 5:00. We are all tired out and have to finish putting up our lab tent tomorrow. So we had better hit the sack early. Got 5 letters today hurrah. John, Mary, Rosemary, Bill Wood, Nurse (purely platonic).
Fri, August 13, 1943
Well today went by with no accidents even it was Friday 13. We finished putting up the tent for the lab and Capt. Culver went up for a practice flight. The boys pulled in with our supplies also today Sid Rosenblatt & Ebbet Lynch. The Major also flew up to look us over. I am leaving for a 48 hour pass tonite at 8:00. I deserve the rest. The first day in 3 weeks. I’m getting a room at the best hotel, a bottle of Scotch & sleep I go. Sgt. Hussey was grounded today. His eyes have gone back on him. I think Lynch will replace him. Geo Gamble of McGovern’s unit was wounded yesterday on a flight over Germany. He is the first one of our boys to get the purple heart. I am supposed to go up Mon so I am going to really rest up. Saw Zussel, Zelinski & Merrit to nite at the RC Club while I was drinking coffee. We talked until 1:30 so I’ll finish this & get into the sack.
Sat, August 14, 1943
Slept until noon today and went out to Wide wing with Frank to get the mail. Boy what a room. 7 ft. tub, feather pillows & down comforter. Boy it was worth every dime of the 13 shillings. Wrote letters & was in bed by 10:30 after several Scotch’s & beers. Boy do I enjoy the rest.
Sun, August 15, 1943
Awoke at 9:30. Took a bath and then was ready for church. We had to turn our watch back another hour so I had time to go to the RC and get coffee. The church was 6 blocks from the club. It was a high mass and I really enjoyed it. They wanted 4 pounds for a bottle of Scotch. I didn’t pay it but put 10 shillings in the box. After church picked up two Canadians and had them for my guests. After dinner, we went over to the park and lay around looking the London public over. Boy o Boy what a bunch of characters. Went to the cinema in the evening & saw “Traitor Within” and “Song Hits of 1943”. It was a good show and enjoyed it. Went to bed early for I have to leave at 4:35 am in the morning.
Mon, August 16, 1943
The ticket seller gave me the works this morning. The train didn’t stop at my station. Had to go 3 stations by, get another train back, finish up on the bus. Was two hours late but the Capt. said it was OK. Didn’t do much today. Capt. Culver and Col. Dick Elliot went on a mission over Beaumont, France. Just before takeoff time a gunner accidentally, in the waist, let a 50 cal go and shot a big hole in the belly of the plane. Then over the channel one of the gunners in another plane let go a test and shot a hole in the top turret. Just missed the gunner. What an experience. The first time. Dick said they didn’t do so good. The bombs missed in quite a few planes. Well after we get our film developed it will be late. So I’ll turn in early. The ship that Dick went up in was Idiot’s Delight.
Tue, August 17, 1943
Got up early this morning, shaved and felt a lot better for all the sleep. The Jerries were over last night and laid a few eggs near here. Haven’t heard if any damage done. Ben and I had a 11:30 briefing but it was postponed. We were to raid Poix again. We’ll probably go up tomorrow. Went over to the machine shop and had a machine gun camera mount made and will try it out tomorrow if I go up. Went to the stage show tonite. It was swell. Bed early.
Wed, August 18, 1943
The Jerries sure played around last night, We had two raids but none hit here. They hit Chelmsford and Colchester. I finally got to sleep at 2:30 and the Capt. woke me at 4:30 & said your going out and are to be at briefing at 6:15. I laid awake until 5:00 then got up, dressed and ate. Into briefing and takeoff was at 8:30. Our target was Lille France Airdrome. We was over the target at 10:28 but it was the wrong airdrome. At this writing they are still trying to find which one it was. They got one brace of bombs on the dispersal area and all the rest were misses. And quite a few planes failed to drop theirs. We brought back 3 of ours. We run into plenty of flack and really caught hell over Dunkirk. I photographed the batteries in action. Now we can go over and wipe them out. Ben’s plane got a tire shot out and almost made a crash landing. All petered out tonite. We are going to start on a sound pic of the briefing here tomorrow. We do not get our egg rations until next week. Just heard we hit the Armatress Drome. Oh well just another day. To bed for me.
Thu, August 19, 1943
Ebbet Lynch, Zellinski, and Lt. Hynes came up last nite and we are going to make a pic of the briefing in sound. We were in the briefing rooms most of the morning and this afternoon. At 3:40 Capt. Culver & Captain Wesley went up for a raid on Poix Airdrome again. They were back at 6:00 and never dropped their bombs, the weather was closed in. I shot 200 ft. of fill in shots for our picture and put away all of the equipment.. Got 4 letters today; Mary 1, Rosemary 2, and Alberta 1. I put mother’s & Rosie’s names on the bombs that were taken to Poix. Going to answer some letters and then to bed. Lt. Fitzgerald’s unit were taking over. Bart &Bobbie will then be with me.
Fri, August 20, 1943
Wasn’t such a bad day today. Zelinski and I and Lt. Hynes made sound cable all morning. In the afternoon, we cleaned up our quarters and then took it easy. Hussey left last nite and will be out of our outfit for good. Ben Rosenblatt is off on pass until Sunday. We start on the briefing picture tomorrow. Zelinski & I are going to the Red Cross tonite & then a shower & to bed.
Sat, August 21, 1943
Started on the picture today. Shot 3 scenes before lunch and 4 after, only had one bad take. Went to see “Air Corps” at the show. After we came back to our tent. We short sheeted Lt. Hynes. Then we hid and when he went to bed & started hollering we took a flash pic of him. It turned out swell. He then started to let our tent down. We finally got to sleep around two am.
Sun, August 22, 1943
Started to set up this morn to finish pic. I had to do a little work on the camera head so we did not get set until after lunch. Just as we finished setting up & was ready they notified us that there was to be a briefing at 2:30. So we had to strike our camera & lights. Capt. Culver, Capt Wesley & Sgt. Mandelaro went on it. It was at Poix, France another air field. We are waiting for them to come back now as I write this. I’ll finish this after they return. Well they did not get across. The clouds had set in & the fighter support would not go. So back they came, The Jerries bombed Boxstead Field last nite. Knocking over 20 huts & killing & wounding plenty of our boys.
Mon, August 23, 1943
Was awakened at 3:45 this morning. They had a briefing at 5:15 and take off was 7:45. They had a big power plant in France to hit & was taking 21 planes & 1000# bombs. I put the family’s names on some of them even Alberta’s family. They came back at 9:00 and did not get to the target. Bad weather again. We lazed around in the afternoon. We got our first eggs issued on rations. I got 3. The Col. gave a talk on what to do on our field in case of bombing. Frank Z and I went to Braintree & had a few beers & played the pen ball game. Just as we were leaving Braintree had an alert or rather an air raid. It lasted 20 min and after we got home at 11:30 & was sound asleep at 2:00 we had one and had to hit the slit trenches. Boy was it cold.
ue, August 24, 1943
Worked on camera mounts all day today. The boys dug our slit trench. We’re all set now for the raids. We are all going to the show tonite at 6:30, “Pittsburgh.” Hope it will be good. Lt. Hynes left us & went back to London. We sure miss him, he was lots of fun.
Wed, August 25, 1943
Got up rather late. Was supposed to go to Huntingdon to get some parts of salvaged planes for camera mounts. Missed the truck. So just before noon Capt. and I and Ben R, a still man, went to Boxted Field to photograph the bomb damage caused by a 300# bomb the Jerry dropped on there. About 20 nissen huts were wrecked and one officer was killed while dressing at front of his dresser. Another was in bed and a piece of the bomb entered the side of the hut, went thru the dresser, came out front, knocked a handle off, passed over his face cutting it, & tore his clothes hanging there to shreds. It just wasn’t his day. We arrived back at camp at 5:00 and 2 of our boys, Mandy & Slate were up on a mission. They went to Triqueville, France and fairly laid low a large airport there. We are going to develop the film tomorrow & see just how bad. The Capt. and I are up next. It rained this evening & looks like it might keep it up all day tomorrow.
Thu, August 26, 1943
It rained most of the day and I spent it making some new camera mounts for the bombardiers spot. Was going to the show tonite but the Lt. said we are going on a raid early the next morning so I hit the sack after writing Mary.
Fri, August 27, 1943
Well I was awakened at 3:15 this morn and dressed in the cold. At at 4:00 and at 4:30 was in the crew briefing room. Our target was Rouen, France, a power station. I was also given instructions to take a pic of Le Trait, France where we bombed a couple of weeks ago to record the damage. We took off at 7:40 and was over the target at 8:30. It was rather broken up by big white clouds. I got several good pictures of the target. We circled it 3 times & after the third time flack and fighters hit us all at once. Three Focke Wulf’s took in after us and when we blazed away at them 2 turned off but the other was stubborn but he paid for it with his life as he bellied up under us and gave his last burst. It tore big holes in our wing flaps and one bullet just missed coming in at me by 1/2 inch. It hit the window ledge & ricocheted off. Flack also took its toll. We lost our air speed indicator and a 20mm went thru the prop blade and the governor of the left engine. It began to leak oil and when we buzzed the first field to make an emergency landing the wheels would not come down. I don’t know about the others but I done some praying. We made it to our own field but the plane will have to be in the shop for quite awhile. I got some good pictures and after dinner slept all afternoon. We arrived back at 10:00 and after we left the interrogation it was lunch time. I’m hitting the bed early tonite too. I’m glad God was so gracious in answering my prayers. Ebbet Lynch left for gunnery school & Elliot and Mandy on a 48 hour pass to London. Kind of lonesome here.
Sat, August 28, 1943
Had another easy day today. Spent morning dismounting parts out of wrecked B-26 and in afternoon finished two more camera mounts. Heard today Wallace Woods was lost in action. He was cameraman with McGovern’s outfit. Also Geo Bartholomew, my very good friend, was on a shuttle raid to Germany and Italy and had to turn back on the trip access & landed in Africa. Heard they were safe and should be home soon. Haven’t any details about Wood yet. Hope he landed OK & perhaps a prisoner of war. That would be better than crashing. Went to bed early but could not sleep. Finally did after 3:00 am.
Sun, August 29, 1943
Tried to go to early mass this morning but no go. Breakfast at 8:00 and ate my last fried egg. After breakfast cleaned up the lab and made a wind shield for the C3 camera. Went to 11:00 mass and in afternoon built a close closet for the Capt. At supper time had to drive to Earls Colne for mail and ate over there. The WAC’s are cooking & serving the meals there. Boy you can sure tell the difference in the taste of the food. I had no mail in the bag. We came back to Andrews Field at 7:00 and received some film we had shot a couple of weeks ago. It was fair but nothing to crow about. Am going to bed early tonite. Did not sleep very good last night.
Mon, August 30, 1943
Worked all day until 4:30 getting cameras hooked up in the nose and aft bomb bay of one of the ships. After, I drove Capt. Wesley to London to pick up more cameras & supplies. Arrived there at 7:30 stayed at the Capt.’s apt. Got up at 6:00 hit his Scotch up good and at 8:30 he woke up. What a night we had.
Tue, August 31, 1943
The Capt. & Maj. Tetszlaff(?) got into a beef with a 2nd Lt. at a club. Bob Hope and his wife where there and it started over them. The Capt. had his lip cut inside & several teeth loosened. I took him down this morning to post charges on the Lt. I waited around the office all day & at 4:00 Capt. called & said I better go on back without him for he was a sick man. I found out I get a furlough & Frank Zelinski and I are going to Ireland & Scotland. I left London at 5:00 & arrived back at the field at 7:30. Did not get lost once. Was all tuckered out & was in bed at 9:30.