Fri, October 1, 1943

Well we went to breakfast & they had hot cakes but by the time we got there all we did get was hot cakes, no butter or syrup. We made out tho. Was going to go to see Bart at Bassingboun but the mail came & I got 4 letters. One from Rosemary, one from Margaret Robinson, one from Kelly, & one from Silbert in New Guinea

Sat, October 2, 1943

Well the sun came out about 10:00 & I said to my self well something will surely cook today & at 11:00 they called me to operations. A mission was scheduled & briefing was for 1:45. We were to bomb St. Omer Longnet Airdrome. Sgt. Slate & I went & we took off at 3:40 & was over France at 5:00. We got lost in the clouds & boy did they send up flack at us. We were over enemy territory 28 min & that’s a long time. Almost every ship came back with holes in them. One waist gunner, his first mission, was instantly killed when a flack shell went thru the plane & him too. It was my air medal mission & when we arrived back the Capt. was back. He says that we might be grounded him & I on account of our age. If that’s the truth I’ll try and get out & into some civilian job over here or maybe be sent back as an instructor. I hope I do for these flights are getting me. I got a letter from my honey tonite. Boy was I glad. I feel better now. Carl Schricth also wrote to me. I’m all petered out tonite going to bed early.

Sun, October 3, 1943

Did not sleep a wink until about 5:00 this morning then had to get up at six. I could not get that gunner off my mind that got killed yesterday. Capt Culver was to go to 7:30 brief and the mission was an airdrome in Amsterdam, Holland. I had to get the motor for our Eyms wired up and a switch cut in. He returned at 12:30 and his tail gunner had the calf of his leg blown off by flack & the waist gunner was also wounded slightly. The Capt returned OK. They had another mission after dinner but all of us was petered out so we said screw you & we all hit the sack. All of us have to get our shots tomorrow & also our physical examination. I’m turning in early tonite. Bet I sleep.

Mon, October 4, 1943

We slept until 9:00 this morning. I was the first awake & dressed & had my coffee at the crew room. Then I went to the docs and had my 64. I passed everything 1st class & doc said you must of taken good care of yourself Sgt for you are sure in good shape for as old as you are. The dentist said I needed one tooth filled & cleaned so next Tue I go for that. When I returned there was a 1:30 brief for a mission & the Capt & I were to go. We were to bomb the airdrome of Evreux, France. We were to take off at 3:22 but at 3:20 they washed it up & we unloaded & returned. The weather closed in over the target. Am going to write a few letters to nite & go to bed early.


Tue, October 5, 1943

Was up early this morning & after breakfast we started making the asterdome so we could mount a camera in it. At noon I went to the bank cashed my check & got the money order to send home. Went to Marks Hall & moved the rest of our equipment over here. It’s rather bad weather today & the wind is blowing quite a gale. We got a new & bigger trailer lab today & is it a honey. It’s a 100% complete & twice as big as our present one. Stopped by & saw Mr. & Mrs. Wiseman at Braintree also had a letter from their daughter. She’s going to write to mine. They gave me a sack of apples to bring back. Got a letter from Rosemary today with Ronnie’s picture & hers. I was sure pleased with them & am going to mount them tonite. Wrote 2 letters & am going to bed early. Will have to hook up other lab tomorrow.


Wed, October 6, 1943

Slept late this morning and when I did wake up it was 8:15. Had to do with out breakfast. Went to the crew room & had my coffee. Then we started packing & cleaning out our old trailer and new trailer. We finished around 4:30 & then went to chow & it was pretty good. After the show I finished my plexiglass ring & it’s a beauty. Capt Culver was called to London today & is leaving in the morning, Going to bed early tonite.

Thu, October 7, 1943

Slept too late for breakfast. This is getting to be a habit. Hit the crew room for coffee & then started cleaning out our old trailer. Had it all done by 3:00. Finished my ring & took Mandy to Braintree. He took a bus to London. I went to Marks Hall & got our dry cleaning & then went to visit Mrs. Wiseman in Braintree. I stayed for tea & had a good visit. Left there  at 6:30 and came back & printed some pictures we had taken that morning. At 9:30 we had an air raid alert & boy did the ack ack go up around here. We had two of them before 12:00 & I was all alone & was in bed at 12:00 & fell asleep right away.

Fri, October 8, 1943

Overslept again. I was all alone & nobody got me up. Good excuse. I went over & got our asterdome with our camera mounted in it. It’s not so hot but could be worked out. At 12:00 they notified me of a mission & briefing was at 1:00. We were going to Belgium where the bombers came from that bombed London last nite. We took off at 3:00 & was entering Belgium at 4:15, here came the flack & they kept throwing it all the way into the target. But it was worth it when you saw the 6 1000lb bombs land on the runway & blow them all to hell. Maybe we’ll get some sleep tonite & we paid them back for the convent & homes bombed in London last nite. I’m ready for bed tonite for I’m all petered out. Mandy & Slate got back after I took off. I’m leaving with the film at 7:30 in the morning for London & my two days off. The Capt is finding out if I can be sent back to the states as an instructor. I’d just as soon if they are going to ground me. A Life photog went in our formation too today.

Sat, October 9, 1943

Was up at 6:00 this morning, shaved, ate & was on my way to London at 7:30. Arrived in London with my film at 9:00 and met Bart as I went into HQ. Boy it was good to see him. We went out sat nite and we got blotto. Came to at 5:00 out at Tottenham Court Road. Took a taxi back and hit the sack.


Sun, October 10, 1943

Got up at 10:00 and cleaned up & Bart and I went to High Mass at St. James at 10:30. In the afternoon we had a few drinks & went to Covent Gardens to the dance. Had a fair time, it was crowded to dance good. At 5:30 they quit & we run into Bobbie & Mary so we went to the Arch & had a very nice dinner then we went back to the pubs when they opened until Mary had to leave. At 9:00 went back to the office to go to bed & found out that Major Tinglaugh is going back to the states & Capt. Culver our CO is taking over his job & I am taking the Capt’s place for a while anyway as CO.


Mon, October 11, 1943

Got up at 6:30, shaved, & cleaned up and ate breakfast at the RC Club. Caught the 833 back to Braintree & took the post bus back here. The boys had the old trailer pulled out & the new one in place & were cleaning up our supply tent. Things began to look pretty good around here now. It’s been cold & foggy now for two days. The mail is sure the shits now. Got my film back from being processed & it’s not bad photography. It’s the roll I took the 4th of July when Byron & I & Bart & Bobbie all met & had a time. Run the film after supper & it looked pretty good. Was sure all tired out & went to bed early.

Tue, October 12, 1943

Got up at 7:00 this morn & about 9:30 was called to the phone. There was a mission on and a 10:15 briefing. Slate & Mandy were to go & I and Elliot went out to hook up the camera in the plane. Just as we finished Mandy & Slate came out & said London called & grounded all of us. We were to load all of our supplies & equipment in the old lab trailer and stand by for further orders. We started in & by noon was all packed except our equipment and our tent. I don’t know what’s cooking but whatever it is I’ll bet it’s not nice. Capt. Culver is our CO now & Major Titzlaff is going back to the states. I’m in charge here now at present. I finished Ronnie’s birthday pictures & will send them off soon. It’s about time I did. We are getting caught up on our bunk fatigue anyway.

Wed, October 13, 1943

Made a dash for our hot cakes this morning but arrived too late. Always our luck when hot cakes are on the menu. We did nothing all day but sleep, eat, sleep, read & work on some plexiglass. Lt Hynes called & it’s rumored we are going to be sent either to the Forts or the fighters. We just got back from the mess hall. It’s 10:30 and it was our fourth meal today. We ought to get fat just eating and laying around. The Lt said we wouldn’t be here long so take it easy. No mail today. Well here I go to bed. Not that I’m sleepy tho just nothing to do.


Thu, October 14, 1943

Black Thursday

Went to the mess & ate before going to bed last nite. So this morning wasn’t hungry & stayed in bed until 9:30. Went to the Crew Room for coffee & when I returned the Capt had called & all the boys but Slate and I  are going into London. We are to follow somewhere in a few days. The way it looks now our outfit is going to pieces fast. Slate drove them to Chemsford & at 8:30 tonite Lynch called & gave me the low down. We are supposed to go to a B-17 outfit & in a couple of days. Lt. Fitzgerald asked for a transfer and got it. Lt Flintsky is being transferred out too. Lt Hynes is going today & McGovern is getting his commission tomorrow.  Bart put in for a direct commission too. That leaves only Capt Culver now out of the 9 officers that left Culver City with us. Sgt Wood missing in action as Lt Edwards. Col Hill got a medical discharge. Merritt was transferred too. So 20 men & officers left out of 32 men and officers.


Fri, October 15, 1943

Slate and I are about to go nuts sitting around waiting for something to happen. This evening we went to Braintree & had several drinks. Then at 9:00 we decided we would make a go for London. Well, we took a bus to Chelmsford & the train was one and a half hours late & on top of that they had an air raid alarm. We did not get into London until 11:45 & too late for anything. We ate a snack at the RC Club & then shot the bull at HQ until 3:00 & caught the 4:30 train back. We had to walk 2 miles to camp and arrived back here at 7:15. Tired but at least a little refreshed.


Sat, October 16, 1943

We hit the sack all day today. Getting up just to eat. We straightened up our trailer after lunch & then back to bed. The Capt & Feldbaum, the clerk, pulled in after we came back from supper.  We are going to be sent to Bury St. Edwards and it is supposed to be a good field. The capt told me McGovern should be commissioned tomorrow & as soon as he is my orders will be cut making me a Tech Sgt. That will help a little. I suppose I’ll not be allowed to fly at the new base. If that is so I’ll sure try & be sent home.


Sun, October 17, 1943

The Capt came up this morning early & I had to drive him to Marks Hall to get all of our equipment turned in & the Capt to get his affairs settled before we left for another field. We had dinner at the Hall & the WACS were cooking & boy we had a steak & potatoes & gravy & did I eat.  After lunch we came back to Saling & the drivers were waiting to take our lab trailer away. After they had gone the Capt & Slate left for London. Slate is going to bring back another truck. After they had shoved off I went over to Braintree to the Wiseman’s & had tea with them & bid them good bye. I am invited down this weekend & if possible I’m going to get off & take them up. Their daughter Eva, who is in the WRENs, is coming home & they want me to meet her.


Mon, October 18, 1943

After breakfast this morning I waited and about noon Slate & Barker got in from London with the trucks & we loaded up what was left & shoved off at 2:00. When we got to New Market we run into Lt. Fitzgerald’s outfit & followed them about 2 miles out of New Market. A limey truck stopped suddenly for a gun that swerved out & one of the Lt.’s trucks hit it from behind. The truck Bobbie was driving hit it & we hit Bobbie’s. Lt. Fitzgerald was cut by the windshield & a hole in his leg from the dash. Bobbie’s truck was put out of action & our bumper was bent a little. We did not get into the field until 5:00 then we ate & got our barracks & got our beds made. In the morning we only have to unload 6 trucks. Capt Culver told me I was now a Tech eff. Sunday. Lt. McGovern had been.

Tue, October 19, 1943

Got up early this morning & started in, boy what a mess. But by noon we had some semblance of order & the shelving was started & the cabinets built. By 4:00 we had things all in our building & started in arranging our barracks & cleaning them out. This new field isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. But it isn’t bad. I received my air medal tonite & am going to send it home. Well I’m all pooped out & am going to turn in early.

Wed, October 20, 1943

Spent the day getting the trailers spotted & getting things straightened out. We had our big trailer operating by eve & done our first job in it. We asked the Capt if we could use a truck for a liberty run & he OKed it & 10 of us went into Bury St. Edwards to the dance. It was piss poor & we cam back about 11:00. We had a hell of a time cracking jokes until past midnite when we all finally got some sleep.


Thu, October 21, 1943

Got up at 7:45, ate & was back at our job at 9:30. We should of worn our gas mask from 9:00 to 9:30. So we cleaned up our barracks & wrote letters. We almost finished getting straightened up today. McGovern gave me his stripes & I sewed them on tonite after writing a couple of letters home. We had an air raid alert tonite.


Fri, October 22, 1943

Over slept this morning & had to rustle around to get out on time. We finished the outside work today & now have to start on the store rooms, straighten them up. Mullen, Slate & I went into Bury to the dance tonite. We had a rotten time & we are not going back anymore. Came to the conclusion that they don’t like yanks there. It was raining when we left town & rained most of the night.


Sat, October 23, 1943

Got up this morning & ate & started getting ready for my pass, 48 hrs. One of the boys took me to town at 9:30 & I caught the 10:10 for Braintree. I was invited over for the weekend to the Wiseman’s. I go there at 1:00 & about 2:00 their daughter came home. She’s in the service, the WRENS. We had tea & talked until supper time. After supper I took all of them to the show. Saw a good picture & came home at 10:30 & had tea & then we talked until 12:30, then I hit the hay.


Sun, October 24, 1943

Got up at 9:30 had tea in bed. Then breakfast of bacon & sausage. Fooled around until dinner time. We had roast beef, potatoes, gravy, beans, turnips and boy an apple pie. I ate all but two pieces. After dinner we played Gin Rummy until 3:30 the Eva got dressed & we had tea & I went with her to London. I was to meet Jean at 6:00 & didn’t get there till 7:00. I bid Eva goodbye at her tube & I took the other up town. I went to a family of Jean’s friends over in Surbition & spent the evening at a pub. Then returned & sang & played piano until 1:00.


Mon, October 25, 1943

Got up at 6:00 had tea & was at the train at 6:30 arrived London at 7:30 and got my coat & bag & caught the train at 8:23 for Bury St. Edmunds. Got in at 1:00 and called the field. They came after us and when we arrived things were cooking here. We’re getting ready to shoot a news reel of the history of the 8th AAF. Bobbie & 2 of the boys went out to shoot some scenes. We have to have the thing done in a week. Wrote 6 letters tonite then to bed. No letters from home yet. Beginning to worry.


Tue, October 26, 1943

Spent the day straightening up the camera room & building racks for our flying equipment. Most of us will be out for a couple of days on special assignment. After supper we went up to the beer parlor & had several beers. When we got back Capt. Culver told me that I & Bart & Gamble were to go up to Elveden Hall & shoot several scenes tomorrow. I wrote several letters & hit the bed early. Sid Rosenblatt went to the hospital this afternoon he had the flu.


Wed, October 27, 1943

Was up at 7:00 this morning & after breakfast loaded our equipment & left about 10:00. We arrived at the depot at 11:00 & after setting up our lights we went to chow. After chow we hooked up the lights & was all ready to go by 1:00. The sun came out & we went out & shot one exterior scene of the maintenance crews checking the bomb fuses & then we came back to the interior shot of 50 cal shells being loaded into clips & belted. We had two shots but the generator broke down & we had to wait until 3:30 to start. We were finished & back into camp at 5:30. We have two more shots tomorrow to finish there. I lost £2 tonite playing poker. No mail yet. Going to bed early.


Thu, October 28, 1943

Up at 7:45 and finished breakfast at 9:30. We loaded our truck and left for _____. It was so foggy we couldn’t shoot so we ate with the WACS at Elveden Hall. We went to the town of _____ after lunch to try and get a hair cut. Closed up. Tried to get a drink. Closed up. Drove back to Bury St. Edmond & tried to get a hair cut they’re closed up. Came back to the field & unloaded & Capt wanted me to rig up lights in the two trailers. Was almost finished by supper time. Mail call brought a letter from Rosemary telling me mother cut her hand bad. I’ll probably not sleep tonite for if I get upset, no sleep. I wrote 4 letters after supper, took a shower & was in bed by 11:00.

Fri, October 29, 1943

Went ot Elveden Hall again today & it was still foggy so we came back early & spent the rest of the day straightening up the store room. Went into New Market tonite & went to the town hall to dance. They only sold 200 tickets & we were late so we went pubbing & then came home.


Sat, October 30, 1943

Nothing happened today. We played 4 games of roller ball & then just fooled around until after lunch. Most of the day was taken up with bunk fatigue. Played poker tonite & won £2. Got in bed at 11:00.


Sun, October 31, 1943

Got up at 8:00 this morn & ate & then showered, shaved & got ready for church. We have been saving our oranges & so this morning took them to the sisters to dish out to the kids at the nursery. They were sure pleased to get them. Went to church at Bury St. Edmunds. We got paid this morning. I got shorted $90.00 but will get it tomorrow. Played poker again tonite. Won £1.


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