Wed, September 1, 1943

My furlough was to start today but there was a mission to Holland & Capt. Culver wanted me to stay & rig up the cameras for the mission. I was awakened at 4:30 and after getting all ready ate at 5:30. Briefing was at 6:00 and I waited until 10:00 before I found out it was washed up on account of weather. I then went to Marks Hall for the mail and back. The Capt. decided I should leave so after lunch I shoved off. I was in London at 4:30 and after we found out we could only get a train for Ireland at 4:30 the next afternoon we decided to go to Scotland first. So we left London at 10:00. The train was crowded & we sure put in some trip. The folks at home should never squawk about accommodations on trains there. They should ride them here. I had a qt. of scotch but couldn’t open it without a cork screw and just an hour before train time I found a British soldier who had one & boy did a big draw of  it taste good.


Thu, September 2, 1943

Arrived in Edinburgh, Scotland at 8:30 this morning. The RCross was filled up & we were until noon getting a place to stay. Frank is staying at the  home of Robert Louis Stevenson and I am at No 3 & his is No 8. We have very nice landlady’s and our room is swell. It’s 7 & 6 for Bed & Breakfast. We slept or rather Frank did this afternoon. While I went up town to trace my ancestors. I found out I was of the Clan of Neal & so tomorrow I’m going to get my tartar. I bought a Scottish tam today. Frank and I ate at a little side restaurant. After, we went to the Palace Royale Theater and had a box seat. It was a swell show, We went to the ARC & saw Bobbie & Beckie. We are all going to church in the morning. All Briton & Americans are offering up prayers tomorrow in honor of Briton’s 4 years of war. Going to take some movies tomorrow.

Fri, September 3, 1943

Was awakened this morning a 10:00 and Mrs. Carswell had a lovely breakfast for me. Went down after breakfast and got Frank Z and we headed for town. Went to church at 11:30 St. Mary’s. Went shopping and visited the pubs. At 1:30 we went up to the castle and had a swell time looking it over. Shot lots of pictures all morning. At 4:30 we were back at our room & went to the corner pub and visited there until 7:30. Then we went to the dance. I was sure surprised when they danced like we do in the the states. It’s 11:00 now and I’m ready to turn in. I think we will leave in the morning for Ireland. Kind of hate to leave here now. I heard the invasion of Italy has started. It’s hell knowing your going to have to go back to the ugly business of war.


Sat, September 4, 1943

Was up at 10:00 this morning. Was going to leave for Ireland today but met some very nice people so we are going to stay another day. This man I met has 10 children in the Navy. I’m invited out to see his family tomorrow at 1:00. I was lost in the blackout tonite and a Scott walked several blocks out of his way to see me home. Gee it makes me feel good for I was homesick anyway. I could be enjoying myself but try as I might it can’t be done. It’s 11:30 and I’m ready for bed.


Sun, September 5, 1943

Woke up at 10:00 had the only egg the landlady gets in a month for breakfast. Went to St. Mary’s Church to mass. After mass we walked around Edinburgh until 4:00 sight seeing. Frank met his girl friend then and we took in the Botanical Gardens. I got lots of good color pictures there & hope they’re good. We then went to the train. We left Edinburgh at 6:30 and went as far as Dumfries where changed to another train. It was a little after midnite when we left for Stranraer. We had to sit in the vestibule all the way. Talked to two English sailors & that helped pass the time.


Mon, September 6, 1943

We boarded the boat for Ireland at 5:00 PM and it pulled out at 8:00. Boy was it crowded. Frank & I were the only Yanks on it. It was a very rough crossing and I came near getting sick. We arrived at Larne at 10:30 & boarded train for Belfast. We got here in time for dinner and after eating at the Red Cross we then found us a place with a private family. The lady’s name is Anderson and they live at 48 Stranmillis Rd. We got a lovely room and after cleaning up laid and slept until 8:00. We went down town and ate & then back & visited then until  ?.


Tue, September 7, 1943

Was up at 9:30 this morning and ate at 10:00. Went down town and wrote letters & shopped around. After lunching at the RC we went out and purchased our tickets home. We leave by boat tomorrow at 7:30. We got a cabin and birth. Then we went up to the PX and got our rations. I am giving the candy to Mrs. Anderson’s little girl. We’re going to the RC to a show tonite & then take in a dance. Hope we have a good time.


Wed, September 8, 1943

Went to the show last nite and it was really good. We stopped in at the Ulster Hall & watched them dance. I danced one dance but the music was not to my liking so we took a Hanson Cab home. Got up this morning and ate then went over to the Botanical Gardens & took some pictures. We came back to our room at 1:00 and Mrs. Anderson fixed us tea. We visited the rest of the afternoon and then at 5:30 she gave us our dinner. We sure hated to leave there it was just like home. She got us 4 doz hankies at one of the stores. They were swell. Mr. Anderson got us 2 Irish linen table clothes. So we are all fixed up. We took the train to our boat and are now aboard in our cabins. They’re sure small but just the ticket. And am I tired. We are to be awakened at 6:00.


Thu, September 9, 1943

Got up at 6:00 and ate on the boat at 7:30. We disembarked & boarded the train. We had a very nice crossing and I enjoyed a good nights rest. We left Nachem, England at 9:15 and arrived in London at 3:00. Went straight to the office and upon arrival found out Lt. Edwards was lost in action that morning. I came back to the field that nite with Capt. Culver who was in London & Lt. Edwards was taking his place. It was quite a blow to me  for the Lt. was a very good friend of mine. Only 2 parachuted out of the plane. It was passed black out time when we arrived so I sorted out my clothes & hit the hay. I was all tuckered out & nervous.

Fri, September 10, 1943

Slept thru breakfast this morning & talked most of the day about our vacation. In the evening, we walked over to see the chaplain about our party for Ronnie Tue. I have to go up there tomorrow. In the evening we drove over to Marks Hall and I had a few beers at the PX with a WAC named O’Neal. She to was born in Pitt. We had quite a gab fest & was back into the field at midnite. It really poured down after we left and all night. Boy did I sleep. 


Sat, September 11, 1943

Slept in again today and did not get up until 9:30. Wrote some letters this morning & then at 1:00 we had a briefing. It was so foggy you could not see the runway. It was a power station at Rouen, France. The visibility was so poor our Capt. decided not to go so it was called off for us and I spent the afternoon bunk fatigue. They done all right tho for they just got back and they hit the target. I wrote several letters tonite & then am going to bed early. I want to go to early mass if I can in the morning. Mandy & Elliot are leaving on their furlough tonite or tomorrow.


Sun, September 12, 1943

Got up late but made breakfast. Went to 11:00 mass & then after dinner went over to the orphanage and arranged for Ronnie’s party. Chaplain Muller & RC Director Welsh went with me. The sisters were really enthused about it. I know we will have a good time. After I came back I drove over to Marks Hall for the mail and then back to eat. After supper we went up to the Red Cross & had cokes and read a while. It rained like hell during the nite & we almost got washed away. Went to bed at 9:30.


Mon, September 13, 1943

Slept in and missed our breakfast today. Drove the Capt. over to Marks Hall for laundry & business. The special service officer is getting me comedies & children’s films for a 1½  hour show for the kids tomorrow. Have to drive in early in the morning to London after them. The mess sgt. & cook baked me a cake 18 inches in dia & 4 in high chocolate covered icing for the kids. I have about 100 candy bars & gum & live savers. I also am giving them 10# sugar to make extra sweets for them. I also have games and a ball & a bat to take them. Cpl Lynch is going to run the projector & Sgt. Rosenblatt is going to take pictures of the party. The chaplain is also going to have 2 or 3 of the boys he knows to go along & put on an act. Director Welsh is also going along. Well must get in early for have a lot to do tomorrow.


Tue, September 14, 1943

Had to drive into London this morn at 8:00 and pick up the films for the kids. I got 4 reels of comedy & was back at the base at 1:00. At 1:45 we left for the home. The sisters had 7 boys all dressed up waiting for me. The chaplain & Red Cross & 3 other boys & Rosenblatt & Lynch from our outfit were there. We gave a show for all 60 of the boys and then after we had tea and watched the kids eat their cake & tea. The sisters made us each have a cup of tea & cake. I cut the cake & the sisters had seven candles on it. I gave each of the seven an American penny & a PFC stripe. We had over 100 candy bars, most of which I saved from my rations since I have been at the ETO. We also left some games for them. We had enough candy & cake for all 60 of the boys. The mess Sgt. & 1st cook baked the cake,  (choc) layer. We all left at 5:00 and the kids & sisters lined up & bid us good bye & there were tears in my eyes as we left. Ben R took about 6 pic of all of us in various poses.


Wed, September 15, 1943

We went to the show last nite & after the show, 10:30, went over to OP’s & checked for a mission. Capt had went to London. There was a briefing for 4:45 this morn & we were bounced out too late to eat. We finished briefing at 7:30 and went out to our plane. We were supposed to bomb an airfield at Rouen, France. We had no more than landed at the hard stand & was notified to come back to crew room. It was called off on account of bad weather. We were told to stand by and at 1:30 we had another call & this time they changed the target to Hazebrouck Air Dome, France. We took off at 4:30 and was just to the French coast & was called back by the fighters. Our formation was too scattered. There were 106 planes in it from 3 fields. We landed back at 6:30. Boy was sure tired. Then the Capt. woke me at 12 and told me there was a 4:00 brief. When 4 came he woke me & said it was called off. Oh boy what a life.


Thu, September 16, 1943

Got up at 7:30 this morn tireder than when I went to bed. Had two fresh eggs for breakfast. Then went to Marks Hall for the mail & got my flying time for only one month, should have been two. Those HQ guys are sure screwing up everything. At 1:15 we had a briefing and our target was Beaumont, La Rouge, France airdrome. We took off at 3:45 and was over the target at 5:30. I shot the Ackley out of the bottom camera hatch & boy what a splash. We sure put our bombs right in there. I got some good shots. The Capt is getting them ready to send in now. Lt. Swindle in 762-G was the pilot. He was a dandy. It was a very good trip, only saw saw a few fighters & very little flack. I am going to bed early tonite, Just as soon as I load all the cameras. Oh yeah the Chaplain has some thank you cards of the party & the PSO was here to get the story. It will be in the LA Times & perhaps the Stars & Stripes.

Fri, September 17, 1943

Was awoke at 4:00 this morning. Capt Culver & Ben Rosenblatt was to go to Rouen, France. We loaded them up and 8:15 they called it off then at 10:15 they had another briefing & this time they were to go to Lille, France. At noon it was called off on account of weather. After lunch I took my check to the bank to cash it & left my identification at home so no money. Went  to Marks Hall for the mail. No mail. It’s almost a week and a half & no mail from anyone at home. Oh me. Called London about the Aug flying pay they jipped me out of. Looks like I am not going to get it, goodbye $57.40. And me blowing my wad on a furlough. Fixed our tent up tonite & and hitting the hay early. Am going to London in the morn with film.


Sat, September 18, 1943

Left this morning after breakfast for London. Took the film in I shot over Beaumont-la-Ronce, France and got my flying time straightened out. Was there until 4:00 & then started back. As usual got lost & was 1 hour hour getting out of London. Got back to the field at 7:15 and ate and then went to Public Relations office to give them the dope on Ronnie’s birthday party. They are going to publish it in the L.A. papers. Made the kids a warrant last nite & did not get to bed until midnite.

Sun, September 19, 1943

Almost missed breakfast slept so late. Went to 11:00 mass and gave Father  a copy of the pictures we took at the party. We laid around until 2:15 when a mission was cooked up to bomb St. Ouen. We got them off, Sgt. Ben Rosenblatt & the Capt., & they got just to the channel & had to turn back, bad weather over the target. We went up to the Red Cross at 8:30 & had coffee & sat around and BS’d until after 9:00, then to bed

Mon, September 20, 1943

Over slept this morning. Was up all with the GI shits. Boy was I sick. I went to chow at noon & no could do. I came back & stopped by the hospital & got a shot of paregoric. It made me feel a little better. At least it stopped then. Ben Rosenblatt was grounded for a year. His eyes and the operator was the cause of it. At 1:45 we had a mission scheduled & I was to take Ben’s place. It was St. Omer again & just about 10 min before take off time they called it off. Fighters could not make it. The 323 and the 321st hit the target ½ hour before us so I guess it was too big a group to follow so quick. The fighters couldn’t take care so quick after. I just ran over to the Red Cross doughnut & coffee wagon & had lunch. Boy were they good. They get around every week. Slate & I are going early & take a shower, eat & go to the show tonite, Will probably have an early mission in the morning.

Tue, September 21, 1943

Was awakened at 4:15 this morning. We were to be briefed at 5:30 & break at 4:45. We took off at 8:00 for Beauvais Airdrome in France. I rode with the pilot & copilot & before we got to the French coast I had some swell formation shots. The first box was about 8 miles ahead of us and the 323rd was about 3 miles to our right. The fighters followed the first box in and left us high and dry as our flight leader turned back. The first box went on in & bombed the airdrome. The tail gunner on Jezebella ws killed instantly when a 20 mm shell entered his neck & exploded. Boy what a mess. One plane was shot down over the target of the 323rd & they had plenty of flack. Perhaps it was a good thing we turned back. When we landed a B-26 had piled up on the runway & its a lucky thing I had a roll of film left. Shot 100ft of it. The brakes locked. No one was hurt but one of the boys out of Photo Lab got a dilly of a black eye. Culver got credit for the mission but I got an abort. Slate & I will have to go in the morning again. Am going into Braintree tonite & have a few drinks & deliver some towels to a Staff Sgt. I met in Belfast who lives in Braintree.

Wed, September 22, 1943

Had to go over to the docs this morning with my thumb & the GI’s. He had to lance my thumb & after doctoring me with the GI’s sent me back and grounded me. The Capt. left this morning for London. After he left a mission was on so I sent Sgt. Slate up & Lynch & I went to Bassingbourn to see Bart & Bobbie & the boys. Gee it was good to visit them again. We got up there about 4:30 & stayed until 6:00. We arrived back here at 8:00 and Slate had aborted on account of weather, just got to the French coast. We went over to the RC & got coffee & sandwiches. Came back, built a fire in our stove & hit the hay. I still never received any mail today. Boy some mail better be getting here quick.


Thu, September 23, 1943

Well am still grounded and there is a mission going to Conches Airdrome, France. Sgt. Slate is going by his self. Capt. is in town and will be back tonite. Slate got back around 6:00 & when we came back from lunch he & Mandy & Elliot, both back from furloughs, came in. The doctor told me I could fly again so I’ll go up in the morning I suppose.

Fri, September 24, 1943

We got up too late for breakfast & so Slate and I went over to the crew room for our coffee. I went over to have my finger dressed & when I came back Capt said you’re going on your 48 tomorrow aren’t you & I said yes so he said I’ll fly then & I’ll send you & Slate in with the film. They were going to Beaumount Tille Airdrome & was to brief at noon. We got them off, Mandy & him, & then I began to burn. We he came back at 6:00 I jumped him & told him I had flown 2 aborts & should not have been taken off until I completed my mission. He had the excuse that he thought Slate & I wanted to fly together so that was the only way he could work it. He could not fool me tho he wanted to take it for he wants to get hrs in so he can get out & f__k us guys. We took the film into London. Slate & I and arrived there at 9:15. He sent us in a command car. As soon as we got rid of the film we hit out for the pubs & by closing time we felt rather good again. We put up at the Victory Red Cross for the nite & after shooting the bull with McGovern, Howell, Rosenblatt until 1:30 we hit the sack.

Sat, September 25, 1943

Got up this morning at 8:00 and never closed my eyes all night. Boy what beds. Wooden beds & wooden slats with a thin mattress on it. After cleaning up at the office went to breakfast & then had Ben drop me off at Kingston. I ate dinner at the RC there & then looked up Gaye the WAAF who was so nice to me at the RC dance one nite. I went out to her post & we took in a movie & dinner & after went to the dance in the Thames the Casino. She had to be in by 11:00 so we left at 10:30 & after bidding her good nite with a promise she would show me London on the marrow. I went over to Hurst Park where we were first sent & they put me up for the nite. They sure did like us boys there & always give us good treatment whenever we go back. Mandy & Culver went on another raid today, St. Omer Airdrome.

Sun, September 26, 1943

Got up at 7:30 & the boys really gave me a fine breakfast. 4 hot cakes right off the griddle & oat meal, coffee, bacon & plenty of syrup & butter. Boy I wish we were back there again. Do they feed. I met Gaye at 9:00 across the river & we went into London. We spent most of the morning going thru Madam Trousseau Museum of wax figures. Boy did I enjoy it. Gaye told me of her family & boy friend & I told her about America & my family. She’s going to write to Mary to tell her what a swell husband she has. Hope no complications set in out of this. We took pictures in the Square & then took in a movie & after the movie was over had dinner & then put Gaye on the train at 7:30. I went back to the office & we run off film until nearly 11:00 then we went to the RC & had a snack & then by 11:30 was in bed. Have to get up at 2:15 to catch the bus at 3:00 for the depot. My train leaves at 4:30, Had a very delightful weekend but would of had a perfect one if I had only gotten a letter. 2 weeks now & no mail.


Mon, September 27, 1943

Left London at 4:30 this morning and arrived Braintree at 6:30. I was lucky & caught a ride out to the field. I got here at 7:00 & the boys were out. Capt. & Slate were at briefing & the boys were putting the camera in the ship. They were going to Beaumont Tille Airdrome in France. They run into lots of flack & one of the 323 BG lost a plane & only one got out. One chute hung up in the tail & jerked the boy right out of it. Some of ships got shot up rather bad. I am up tomorrow & hope it’s not so rugged. Slept most of the afternoon and this evening. We sat around in our tent & swapped tales of fishing & hunting. We made the mess & got coffee & spam & bread & made us a pot of coffee & had spam & egg sand. It’s 10:30 now & to bed for me. Still no mail. I cannot take this much longer. Maybe better luck tomorrow. I don’t think anyone loves me.


Thu, September 28, 1943

We had quite a storm last nite & most of the day. I awoke several times & thought the tent was going to blow over. It rained like cats & dogs all night. We slept in this morning & I was the first to wake up. And that was 4:00. I made a pot of coffee & then after the Capt wanted me to fix him up a stool & desk in the lab trailer. I was most of the day doing this & this evening I finished up Ronnie’s pictures so I can get them off this week. It’s raining a little out now & it’s cold & dark & it gives me a touch of home sickness. I still am looking for mail. Going to hit the sack early.


Wed, September 29, 1943

Slept too late again for breakfast. But we cooked coffee & had toast in our own stove. The Capt drove to Marks Hall after dinner. I spent the morning cleaning up cameras and lenses & this afternoon finished the last of Ronnie’s pictures. I should have them finished by tonite to send. It was still bad weather today. No flights up here. The Capt is going into London for three days. I’ll have to look after things while he’s gone. I am growing a mustache & goatee. It looks pretty good so far. Only I’m afraid it’s going to be gray. We should be taking our flying physicals soon.

Thu, September 30, 1943

Missed breakfast again this morning. Capt. Culver left for London & will be back Sat eve. We just had a lot of bunk fatigue & ate * more bunk & reading. No mail today. The weather is bad, it rains & quits, rains & quits.


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