THE MISSION JOURNAL

OF

MSgt (RET.)   WILLIAM H. GRIDER
1944-1945
RACKHEATH, U.S. STATION, No. 145
LOCATED ON THE ESTATE OF SIR EDWARD STRACEY
NEAR NORWICH, ENGLAND

 

Map of RACKHEATH Area

Overview Map of all Missions

                     RAF Airbases (works with Google Earth)

 

RAF RACKHEATH SITE MAP

   

Pictures

Mission 1
Friday August 11, 1944

First mission into enemy territory.
Strasbourg, France - Marshalling Yards. P.F.F.
We had a very good day for bombing.  We came over the target and they started throwing the flak up at us. The flak was moderate. One piece of flak hit the nose turret but didn't make a hole. We made a direct hit on the target.  Gas load - 2500 Gal.,  Bomb load 12x500 -G.P.    We bombed from 20,000 ft. and were under oxygen 4 hours.  Length of mission was 6 1/2 hours.  We took off at 1110 and landed at 1740.

Mission 2
Saturday August 12, 1944

Reims, France - Airfield visual. Bomb load 12x500 G.P.   Gas load 2300 Gal. Length of mission 6 hrs 45 min.  Under oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 20,000 ft.  It was a very good day for bombing.  We  didn't see and flak until we got to the target but there weren't any close bursts.  We didn't get any holes in our ship. We made pretty fair hits on the target.  We didn't see any enemy fighters today. Not much excitement.

Mission 3
Sunday August 13, 1944

Le Landin, France - Road Junction.
Duclair, France - Steam Ferry visual.
Bomb load 48x100 G.P.  Gas load 2300 Gal. Length of mission 5 hrs 30 min. Under oxygen 3 hours.  Bombed from 17,400 ft.  We saw a lot of flak going over but didn't get into any until we got to the target.  There were a few bursts under our right wing.  Nelson our Co-pilot was about ready to get out and walk.  We had a pretty good day today though.

Mission 4
Tuesday August 15, 1944

Vechta, Germany - Airfield visual. Bomb load 4 x1000, 4x500 G.P.  Gas load 2300 Gal.  Length of mission 5hrs. 10 min.  Under oxygen 2 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 21,000 ft.  Hit hangers and runways, very good hits today.  Didn't see any flak, but were attacked by enemy fighters over Holland on our way home.  Lost 4 B-24's, shot down one ME-109.

 

Mission 5
Wednesday August 16, 1944

Magdeburg, Germany - Junkers Engine Factory visual. Bomb load 12x500 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 1/2 hours. Under oxygen 5 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  Had pretty good hits today.  We lost 3 ships today.  Hit by flak.  One blew up in mid-air.  Don got some good pictures of it as it was going down.

Mission 6 - Air Medal Mission      
Friday August 18, 1944

Woippy, France - Aircraft Engine Repair Plant about 8 miles from Metz.  Bomb load 48-100 INC.   Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 8 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 4 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 18,000 ft.   We didn't make such good hits today.  We didn't see any flak or fighters.  We had an 8 1/2 hour milk run.

Mission 7
Saturday August 26, 1944

Dulman, Germany - Oil Depot.  Bomb load 24x250 G.P.  Gas load 2300 Gal.  Length of mission 5 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 20,000 ft.  We didn't hit the target today either.  There was light flak and no fighters.  We had very good fighter cover.

Mission 8
Saturday September 9, 1944

Mayence, Germany - Marshalling yards. P.F.F  Bomb load 20x250 G.P.  Gas load 2700 Gal.  Length of mission 7 hours.  Under oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 24,000 ft.  Made fair hits.  Didn't see any enemy fighters.  Flak was intense but not very accurate.  Two 24's shot down by flak.

Mission 9
Sunday September 10, 1944

Ulm, Germany - Marshalling yards. P.F.F.  Bomb load 10x500 G.P. Gas load 2700 Gal.  Length of mission 8 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 20,000 ft. Target clouded over. Moderate flak, but accurate.  No enemy fighters. One bomb hung up in the bottom front station and the two above bounced off it and damaged the side of the ship.  I took a screw driver and went out on the catwalk and tripped the bomb.

Mission 10
Tuesday October 3, 1944

Gaggenau, Germany - Daimler Benz engine factory.  Bomb load 10xM17-INC.  Gas load 2700 Gal. Length of mission 7 hours 45 min.  Under oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 23,000 ft.  No enemy fighters and light flak.  Bomb hit in a wooded area - not far from target.

Mission 11
Friday October 6, 1944

Wenzendorf, Germany - Blom and Voss Jet Factory.  Bomb load 8xM17-INC.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 3 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 20,000 ft.  Didn't see any enemy fighters.  Flak was light but accurate and tracking.

Mission 12 - Air Medal Cluster Mission
Saturday October 7, 1944

Magdeburg, Germany - Krupp Works Manufacturing A-A Guns and Ammo.  Bomb load 6-1000 lb. G.P.'s.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 7 hours.  Under oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 23,000 ft.  Today we got our first flak holes.  Two in the nose turret, one hit "Don" in the shoulder but didn't hurt him.  Another came through the nose and just missed "Becker" and one came through the left waist window but didn't hurt anything.

Mission 13
Saturday October 14, 1944

Cologne, Germany - Marshalling yards.  Bomb load 16x250 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 4 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 24,000 ft.  Flak was moderate but accurate.  We got on e flak hole in the No. 3 engine, but didn't do any harm.

 

Mission 14
Thursday October 19, 1944

Mayence, Germany - Marshalling yards. P.F.F.  Bomb load 12x250 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 3 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 25,000 ft.  Flak was heavy and we got two holes close to the upper turret.  No one was hurt.  We had good fighter cover.  It was cold as hell today.

Mission 15
Sunday October 22, 1944

Hamm, Germany - Marshalling yards. P.F.F.  Bomb load 16x250 G.P. and 6xM-17.  Gas load 2300 Gal.  Length of mission 5 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 2 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 24,000 ft.  These were the largest Marshaling yards in Germany.  Flak was light and not accurate.  No fighters today.

Mission 16
Wednesday October 25, 1944

Neumunster, Germany - Barracks in an airfield.  Bomb load 6x500 G.P. 6xM-17.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 5 1/2 hours.  Under oxygen 3 hours.  Bombed from 21,000 ft.  Flak was meager.  No fighters.

Mission 17
Saturday November 4, 1944

Misburg, Germany - Near Hanover Oil Refinery and Storage Tanks.  Bomb load 12x500 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 5 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 3 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  Flak - moderate - three flak holes, one in the left wing and two in the bomb bay doors. Pilot passed out from lack of oxygen on bomb run - ditto engineer.  Tail gunner in group 6 died of the same.

Mission 18 - 2nd Cluster
Monday November 6, 1944

Minden, Germany - Mittelland Canal Embankment Locks and Aqueduct. P.F.F.  Bomb load 4x2000 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 5 hours.  Bombed from 18,000 ft.  Flak - moderate.  No holes. No fighters.

Mission 19
Saturday November 11, 1944

Bottrop, Germany - Near Wilheim Oil Refinery and Depot. P.F.F. Bomb load - 6 Nickle loads and 2x250 G.P.  Gas load 2300 Gal.  Length of mission 5 hours. Oxygen 3 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  Flak was intense at the target.  Damn near "Had It" on the way home close to the enemy coast at the zider zee.  Picked up six flak holes, but nothing to get excited about.

Mission 20
Tuesday November 21, 1944

Rhenania, Germany - Near Hamburg-Oil Refinery.  Bomb load 12x500 G.P.   Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 5 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  Flak intense at target, lot of virgin stuff.  Oxygen went out of nose and flight deck.  Had to breath from bottles.  Davis passed out again.  Hose pulled lose at regulator.  Picked up two flak holes in left stabilizer.

Mission 21
Friday November 27, 1944

Offenburg, Germany - R.R. Marshalling yard.  Bombed 10x500 G.P. and 2xM-17-INC.  Gas load 2600 Gal.  Length of mission 7 3/4 hours.  Oxygen 4 hours. Bombed from 27,000 ft. (43*)  Flak-moderate at target. No holes.

Mission 22
Wednesday November 29, 1944

Bielefeld, Germany - Railway Viaduct outside of City. P.F.F. Bomb load 8x1000 G.P. Gas load 2300 Gal.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 4 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 23,000 ft.  Flak at enemy coast meager.

Mission 23
Tuesday December 12, 1944

Hanau, Germany - Near Frankfurt-Marshalling yards visual.  Bomb load 12x500 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 7 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  Excellent hits today. Meager flak.  On the way home we saw a V-2 Rocket take off and climb out of sight.











      V-2 Rocket

Mission 24
Sunday December 24, 1944

Gerolstein, Germany - Railroad Junction visual. Bomb load 22x250 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.   Good hits on target. No flak. Largest raid of the 8th Air Force, Old Pete flew.  63 ships from our field.  Coming back over Channel we feathered No. 3 engine. Was the fourth ship to land.

Mission 25
Monday December 25, 1944

Musch, Germany - Railroad Junction visual.  Bomb load 6x500 G.P. and 6xM-17-INC.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 5 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  Moderate flak, very close 032 hit, knocked out No. 3 and 4 engines, landed in Belgium.  Fighters hit 10 ships in 288th Sqd. knocking down 4 ships.  An upper turret gunner knocked down an FW 190.  I didn't see any fighters myself.


 

 

 

 

FW-190

Mission 26
Saturday December 30, 1944

Neuwied, Germany - Railroad Bridge. P.F.F.  Bomb load 6x1000 G.P.   Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 5 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 3 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft.  No flak at all.  No fighters.

Mission 27
Monday January 1, 1945

Koblenz, Germany - Railroad Bridge on Mosel River visual.  Gas load 2300 Gal.  Bomb load 4x2000 G.P.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 3 hours.  Bombed from 22,000 ft. (-38*).  Flak was moderate and very accurate.  A ship in the low left Sqd. received a direct hit.  They really bore sighted on us today.

Mission 28
Sunday January 7, 1945

Rastatt, Germany - Near Karlsruhe, Tank Factory.  G-H.  Bomb load 20x250 G.P. and 2xM-17.  Gas load 2700 Gal.  Length of mission 7 1/2 hours.  Oxygen  5 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 22,500 ft. (-36*).  Flak was light and accurate about 50 miles before the I.P.   We got into some heavy soup and the group was split up.  Visibility was about 300 yards.  Had malfunction in the bomb racks and they dropped out right after we got past the I.P.

Mission 29
Saturday February 3, 1945

Magedburg, Germany - R.R. Marshalling yard in the city.   Bomb load 10x500 G.P.  Gas load 2700 topped off.  Length of mission 8 hours.  Oxygen 5 hours.  Bombed from 23,000 ft.  Flak-intense at the target coming home we got flak at the coast.  Our secondary target was Berlin.

Mission 30
Tuesday February 6, 1945

Magedburg, Germany - R.R. Marshalling yard P.F.F.  Bomb load 10x500 G.P.   Gas load 2700 Gal.  Length of mission 7 hours.  Oxygen 4 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 22,500 ft. (-41*).  Flak meager  to moderate at target.  We got 50 miles off course coming home and we got intense flak at Munster and Ossnobruk.  Also got flak at the coast.  Got two holes in deicer boot on the left wing.

Mission 31
Sunday February 11, 1945

Dulman, Germany - Gasoline Fuel Depot near Munster. G-H.  Bomb load 6x1000 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 24,400 ft. (-48*).  Flak meager to moderate but not very accurate.  Bomb Bay doors wouldn't close after Bombs away.

Mission 32
Friday February 16, 1945

Osnabruck, Germany - Marshalling yard. P.F.F.  Bomb load 12x500 G.P.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 4 hours.  Bombed from 23,000 ft.  Flak moderate, 5/10 cover over target.

Mission 33
Monday February 19, 1945

Mechede, Germany - Factory Making Casting for Jet Aircraft.  Near Munster. G-H.  Bomb load 6x500 G.P.  6xM-17.  Gas load 2500 Gal.  Length of mission 6 hours.  Oxygen 3 1/2 hours.  Bombed from 20,000 ft. (-32*).  Flak: None at target, meager on bomb run and moderate at bombline near "Koblenz"

Mission 34
Wednesday February 21, 1945

Nurnberg, Germany - R.R. Station and Marshalling yard in center of the city. P.F.F.  Bomb load 10x500 G.P.  Gas load 2700 Gal., topped off.  Length of mission 8 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 5 hours.  Bombed from 22,500 ft. (-37*).  Flak was moderate at the target and moderate at the bombline.  Picked up three holes.  One in the bomb bay door No. 3 engine cowling and one in the cockpit just over the co-pilots head.

Mission 35
Friday February 23, 1945

Gera, Germany - Marshalling yards. H2x  Bomb load 10x500 G.P.  Gas load 2700 Gal.  Length of mission 8 1/2 hours.  Oxygen 5 hours.  Bombed from 23,000 ft.  Flak meager on bomb run.  We were flying through 5/10 clouds and haze over the target.  The worst weather of any our missions.  Peeled off from the formation over the Channel and started our let-down at 15,000 ft.  There was 10/10 clouds from 14,000 ft. down to 300 ft.   Boy we really sweat her out too.  This one was the one to get over.