The following is the war diary of Richard Douglas, bombardier with the McAnelly and Whitney crews. The diary has been transcribed preserving the words and style of the author. See bottom of the page for a glossary of terms.

Richard's diary was submitted by his daughter, Robin.

Aircraft | Crews | Letters | Places | Strike


 

AUG 6 — #045, BERLIN (DAIMLER BENZ AERO ENGINE) Time – 8:00 FIRST MISSION RAID TO "Big B". EVERYONE SCARED WOULDN'T ADMIT IT. CAUGHT FLAK OVER HELIGOLAND. “BANDITS” IN AREA IN AND OUT. PFF SHIP TOOK OVER ON BOMB RUN — FAIR RESULTS. BARRAGE FLAK — INTENSE AND ACCURATE. FLAK CRACKED GLASS IN FRONT OF BOMBSIGHT. ANOTHER PIECE CAME IN ON THE LEFT SIDE — DEFLECTED AWAY BY A TOGGLE SWITCH BRACKET. AUG 14 — #061 MANNHEIM (SANDHOFEN AIRFIELD) Time – 8:00 486TH LEAD OF DIVISION THIS DAY. 2 MIN. BEFORE BOMB’S AWAY FLAK CAME UP TRACKING, INTENSE + ACCURATE. NAVIGATOR, NASON HIT IN ARM BY FLAK — THE PIECE ENTERED 6 INCHES FROM MY HEAD AND DEFLECTED BY RIBBING. GOOD RESULTS. DOCTORED NASON UP ON WAY HOME — ARM BROKEN. AUG 16 — #063 ROSITZ (OIL REFINERY) Time – 8:15 W.J. DOUGLAS AS NAVIGATOR. FLYING IN HIGH SQUADRON. NO BRIEFED FLAK. OVER TARGET, FLAK WAS LIGHT AND INEFFECTUAL. GOOD RESULTS. AUG 25 — #066 RECHLIN (LUFTWAFFE EXPERIMENTAL STATION) Time – 8:55 FIRST AS LEAD IN TRAINING. H. C. JOHNSON D.R. C. B. THOMPSON, P.P. ANOTHER LONG ONE. A LITTLE ACCURATE TRACKING FLAK. VERY GOOD RESULTS. AUG 27 — #068 BERLIN (GENZHAGEN ORDNANCE DEPOT) Time – 6:00 THIS MISSION SCRUBBED OVER DANISH PENINSULA BECAUSE OF CLOUDS UP TO 30,000 FT. FLACK SEEN FIRED AT SOME RETURNING GROUPS. CREDIT WAS GIVEN FOR THIS AS A MISSION. SEPT 5 — #072 BREST (GUN EMPLACEMENTS) Time – 6:50 DEPUTY LEAD OF LEAD SQUADRON. NO FLAK. GOOD BOMB RESULTS. TWO SHIPS COLLIDED OVER TARGET. ONE ESCAPE AND CREW BAILS OUT. SEPT 13 — #077 DARMSTADT (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 7:15 PRIMARY: STUTTGART. BECAUSE OF SMOKE SCREEN COMPLETELY COVERING THE CITY GROUP WENT ON TO SECONDARY. NO FLAK. FAIR RESULTS SEPT 17 —#078 SCHOUWEN PENINSULA (FLAK EMPLACEMENTS) Time – 4:00 PRE-HOLLAND INVASION BOMBING. I. P. WAS ORFORDNESS. BOMBED IN SIX SHIP FORMATIONS NO FLAK. FAIR RESULTS. SEPT. 19 — #079 COBLENZ (BRIDGE ON RHINE RIVER) 8:00 PRIMARY: OSNABRüCK MARSHALLING YARDS. ON EAST SIDE OF HAPPY VALLEY, RAN INTO FRONT AND FORCED TO TURN BACK. HIT LAST RESORT. FLAK — SOME BARRAGE, SOME TRACKING, AND FAIRLY ACCURATE. THIS WAS H. C. JOHNSON'S LAST MISSION.

OCT. 5 — #087 MüNSTER (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 7:15 C. B. THOMPSON TAKEN OFF CREW. W.J. DOUGLAS MADE D.R. + R.E. OLIVER P.P. HOWEVER; OLIVER IN LONDON BY UNFORTUNATE CIRCUMSTANCE AND PHILLIPS FLEW AS P.P. DEPUTY LEAD OF HIGH. FLAK, ACCURATE TRACKING. WHITNEY'S WINDSHIELD CRACKED BY SPENT FLAK. BOMB RESULTS FAIR. LOW SQUADRON HIT HARD. LEAD BOMBARDIER HIT. OCT. 7 — #089 LUTZKENDORFF (OIL REFINERY) Time – (not listed on file) OLIVER ALONG AS P.P. 1st WITH US. SMOKESCREEN OVER TARGET PREVENTS GOOD RESULTS. FLAK ACCURATE, TRACKING AFTER BOMBS AWAY. ENEMY FIGHTERS DRIVEN OFF BY 51’S. DOUGLAS MISSED BY FLAK 4 INCHES BEHIND HEAD. OCT. 14 — #091 COLOGNE (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 7:10 DEPUTY LEAD OF LEAD. PFF OVER TARGET. FLAK VERY LIGHT ALTHOUGH PLENTY WAS EXPECTED. RIGHT SOUTH OF HAPPY VALLEY. VEHLOW IN HOSPITAL — TRUCK ACCIDENT. KRASEMAN FLIES AS COPILOT. OCT. 25 —#097 HAMBURG (OIL REFINERY) Time – 8:00 FIRST MISSION AS LEAD BOMBARDIER. LEAD OF HIGH. PFF ALL THE WAY. FLAK INTENSE AND ACCURATE, BUT GOT LITTLE DAMAGE. DROPPED ON GROUP LEAD. OIL SMOKE BILLOWS RISING FROM TARGET THROUGH THE CLOUDS. NOV. 5 — #102 KAISERSLAUTERN (MARSHALING YARDS) Time – 7:00 FIRST MISSION WITH H. S. GAGE, MICKEY OPERATOR. STARTED OUT AS DEPUTY GROUP LEAD. TOOK LEAD OVER FRANCE. PRIMARY WAS LUDWIGSHAFEN. GROUP AHEAD TURNED TOWARD SECONDARY. WE FOLLOWED AND BOMBED. MISSION RATHER SNAFU. NO FLAK. BOMBED PFF. NOV. 16 — #106 LANGERWEHE (TROOP SUPPORT) Time – 7:00 LEAD OF GROUP. VEHLOW BACK AS C.P. TARGET ON ROAD BETWEEN AACHEN + DüREN. TARGET OBSCURED. — BOMBED MICRO H. RESULTS LATER SHOWN AS GOOD. ONE SHIP DROPPED FIFTEEN MILES BEHIND THE LINES. NO ONE HURT. BOMBED IN GROUP FORMATION. RESPONSIBILITY WAS GREAT — TICKLISH BUSINESS. FEW BURSTS OF ACCURATE FLAK. NO DAMAGE. NOV. 27 — #109 BINGEN (MARSHALING YARDS) Time – 6:25 LEADER OF LOW SQUADRON. BOMBED BY SQUADRON FORMATION, MICRO-H. FLAK, ACCURRATE, TRACKING BETWEEN I.P. + TARGET. NONE OVER TARGET. RESULTS BELIEVED GOOD.

DEC. 6 — #112 MERSEBURG (LEUNE OIL WORKS) Time – 7:45 FIRST MISSION WITH McANELLY AS WHITNEY MADE AIR LEADER. 486TH LEAD OF DIVISION. WE LED SIX CHAFF SHIPS TACKED ON TO HIGH SQUADRON. PLAN “A” POLITZ. PLAN “B” TO MERSEBURG. AT I.P. WE TOOK OFF DOING EVASIVE ACTION. TOSSING CHAFF LIKE MAD. IF VISUAL WOULD HAVE BOMBED FLAK INSTALLATIONS SOUTH OF LUTZKENDORFF ON WAY IN. AS IT WAS COMPLETE COVERAGE, LEVELED OUT AND MADE BOMB RUN ON LEUNA. NEEDLESS TO SAY, FLAK WAS INTENSE, ACCURATE, TRACKING AND BARRAGE. KEPT AWAY FROM IT PRETTY WELL. BELIEVED GOOD RESULTS. R.A.F. BOMBING AT NIGHT SAID FIRES VISIBLE. RIGHT WING MAN NEVER HEARD OF AGAIN [Miller Crew/POW] DEC. 10 — #113 COBLENZ (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 7:00 LEAD OF LOW SQUADRON. BOMBED PFF. LITTLE FLAK. WEATHER BAD ON RETURN TO BASE. BOMBED SQDN. FORMATION. DEC. 12 — #115 DARMSTADT (MARSHALING YARDS) Time – 8:55 LEAD OF HIGH SQUADRON. BOMBED VISUAL IN GROUP FORMATION. BECAUSE FIGHTERS REPORTED IN THE AREA. HIGH SQDN’S BOMBS HIT TARGET. LEAD MISSES COMPLETELY. NO FLAK. WJ DOUGLAS — DNIF. SEILFLEISCH AS D.R. DEC. 23 — #117 HOMBURG (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 6:45 GAGE’S LAST MISSION. LEAD OF CHAFF FLIGHT. CARRIED NO BOMBS. UNCHARTED FLAK CHASES US OVER BELGIUM. WE TOOK OFF AT I.P. AND DID EVASIVE ACTION TO TARGET. NO FLAK. BUT REST OF GROUP SHOT AT. 2 ME 109’S SHOT DOWN - ONE BY WARLICK, OLD BALL TURRET GUNNER. DEC 28 — #120 COBLENZ (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 6:45 LEAD OF GROUP. GEROLSTEIN M/Y WAS PRIMARY TO BE BOMBED VISUALLY ONLY. AS COMPLETELY 10/10 BOMBED COBLENZ IN GROUP FORMATION. NEGLIGIBLE FLAK BENEATH US. BELIEVED GOOD RESULTS. FIRST MISSION WITH R.L. GILKEY AS MICKEY OPERATOR. DEC. 30 — #122 MANNHEIM (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 8:10 LEAD OF HIGH SQUADRON. BOMBED IN SQDN. FORM. DEPUTY WING LEAD. BOMBED PFF. THROUGH THIN CLOUDS + HAZE. FLAK TRACKING, BUT GENERALLY ACCURATE (NOT WHAT EXPECTED). JAN. 13 — #131 MAINZ (BRIDGE ON THE RHINE RIVER) Time – 8:25 LEAD OF HIGH. BOMBED MICRO-H. CAT + MOUSE. FOTY AS M/O AS GILKEY NOT CHECKED OUT IN C+M. CPTN SKIPP AS D.R. — DOUGLAS AS P.P. RESULTS BELIEVED FAIR. FLAK LIGHT, FAIRLY ACCURATE.

JAN. 18 — #134 KAISERLAUTERN (MARSHALL YARDS) Time – 7:25 LEAD OF HIGH SQUADRON. DEPUTY LEAD OF 8TH A.F. BOMBED CAT + MOUSE WITH GILKEY. VEHLOW AND DOUGLAS IN HOSPITAL. BOYLE AS D.R. SGT. BURCH AS T.G. NO FLAK. RESULTS BELIEVED GOOD. [Jan. 28 – #137 – No notes. McAnnelly Crew on load list as aborted.] FEB. 1 — #139 WESEL (BRIDGE OVER RHINE R.) Time – 6:05 LEAD OF 3RD DIVISION. WJ DOUGLAS BACK FROM HOSPITAL. COL. OVERING AS COMMAND PILOT. HIGH WINDS MADE ASSEMBLY HARD JOB. EVERYTHING FAIRLY SMOOTH EXCEPT OFF COURSE SOMEWHAT. NAVIGATOR AND MICKEY HAVE A MISUNDERSTANDING BEFORE I.P. AS TO WHO HAD THE SHIP. WHEN M/O FINALLY REALIZED WHERE HE WAS, TOO LATE TO MAKE A RUN, WE DROPPED AT EMERGENCY BOMB RELEASE POINT. NO ONE PLEASED OVER MISSION. NO FLAK — SOME BEHIND. FEB. 6 — #141 CHEMNITZ (CENTER OF CITY) Time – 9:00 LEAD OF HIGH SQUADRON. VEHLOW BACK FROM HOPSITAL. PRIMARY — BöHLEN OIL REFINERY (VISUALLY ONLY). AS 10/10 WENT TO SECONDARY. NEW WITHDRAWAL ROUTE SENT BY 8TH AF. APPARENTLY LEAD OF DIVISION MISSED IT. TOOK US ALL OVER GERMANY SO THAT WE FINALLY COULD NOT GET BACK TO ENGLAND BECAUSE OF LOW GAS. LANDED AT A LAON COUVRON. STAYED AT ROMMEL’S H’QTRS IN LAON. CAME BACK TO BASE NEXT DAY. FOUND THAT NO MISSION WENT OUT BECAUSE THERE WERE SO MANY PLANES ON THE CONTINENT. NO FLAK OVER TARGET. GOT HOLE IN WING GOING THROUGH IMJUIDEN CORRIDOR. FEB. 9 — #142 WEIMAR (ARMAMENT AND MOTOR TRANSPORT PLANT) Time – 7:10 GROUP LEAD. MAJ. HOWELL — COMMAND. SMOOTH MISSION. BOHLEN AGAIN PRIMARY ENEMY FIGHTERS ENGAGED P 51’S OVER BATTLE LINE. JET PROPELLED ME 262’S SEEN MAKING PASSES THE GROUP BEHIND. NO ATTACKS PRESSED TO US. PRIMARY REPORTED 9/10. TURNED AND WENT TO SECONDARY. HALF WAY DOWN BOMB RUN, A HOLE APPEARED OVER TARGET. I TOOK OVER AND BOMBED VISUALLY — FOR THE FIRST TIME. RESULTS REPORTED VERY GOOD. NO FLAK OVER TARGET. FEB. 15 — #144 RHEINE, GERMANY (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 5:40 STARTED AS GROUP LEAD, ENDED UP LEADING HIGH SQUADRON. ELECTRICAL CURRENT TO BOMBARDIER'S PANEL SNAFU. BOMBSIGHT INOPERATIVE SO HAD TO GIVE OVER LEAD OF GROUP. DEPUTY LEAD OF SQUADRON ABORTED. SO NO ONE LEFT TO TAKE OVER LEAD OF OUR SQUADRON. SO WE BOMBED OFF THE LEAD GROUP. PRIMARY TARGET — BRIDGE AT WESEL. AS 10/10 HAD TO GO TO SECONDARY. NOT A BURST OF FLAK SEEN ON WHOLE MISSION, EXCEPT SOME FRIENDLY FLAK FROM ANTWERP. W.J. DOUGLAS FINISHED. CAPT. CUSACK FLEW AS PIN-POINT. FEB. 17 — #146 FRANKFURT, GERMANY (MARSHALLING YARDS) Time – 7:05 GROUP LEAD. TOLLSON AS NAVIGATOR, AND HIS LAST MISSION. OVER FRONT LINES AND HOLLAND THERE WAS FLAK TO RIGHT AND LEFT. FIGHTERS WERE SEEN OVER FRONT LINES ONE. ONE AN ME 262 (JET PROPELLED). COULD SEE P 51’S DROPPING BELLY TANKS FOR THE FRAY. FLAK. ACCURATE TRACKING OVER TARGET. BOMBS HIT WELL IN CITY. BOMBED PFF. H2X WENT OUT AT LAST MINUTE. HEAVY CONTRAILS. TURNING OFF TARGET, SAW A BOMBER GO DOWN IN A BIG BALL OF FIRE. HEAVY HAZE AT ALTITUDE. FEB. 21 — #148 NüRNBERG, GERMANY (MARSHALLING YARDS) Tiem – 8:45 GROUP LEAD. MY LAST MISSION. WORKED ALL NIGHT AS DUTY BOMBARDIER. PRETTY TIRED BY TAKE OFF. SNOOZED DURING ASSEMBLY. GOOD WEATHER. LOW CLOUDS WITH MANY BREAKS. NORTH OF FRANKFURT WE WERE CHASED BY A COUPLE OF BATTERIES, BUT FINALLY GOT AWAY. MADE A PFF RUN ON TARGET. COULD SEE SOME BOMBS HITTING THROUGH A LITTLE HOLE. FLAK, INTENSE, ACCURATE, TRACKING. CAME BACK WITH A HOLE IN #4 ENGINE. INTERCOOLER KNOCKED OUT. W.J. EARLEY, NAVIGATOR. MISSION SMOOTH. EVERYTHING WENT WELL. COL. OVERING — COMMAND PILOT — VERY PLEASED. ________________________________________

Glossary:

D.R. — Dead reckoning navigator. This navigator specialized in navigating by "time of flight" and techniques for determination of position.

P.P. — Pin point navigator. This navigator specialized in "pilotage" techniques. This technique involved identifying ground land marks, comparing them to charted landmarks for determination of position. This navigator was used by lead crews for improved navigation precision.

(C+M) — Cat and Mouse

Mickey Operator (M/O) — Navigator/Bombardier using airborne radar to identify landmarks and targets. The term is derived from the code word: Magic Eye. Radar equipment was either Micro-H, or H2X.

DNIF — Duty Not Involving Flying

Copyright © 1998-2016, by Robin Douglas and the 486th Bomb Group Association.