Telergma, Algeria, Jan 1943
12/19/42....Attempted trip to Oran, No. Africa. Weather bad. Trip
postponed. Still at St. Eval getting monotonous waiting.
12/20/42....Still waiting. Bunch of the 97th came in from Maydown
12/23/42....Took off in mass flight for Oran, No. Africa. I lost the
formation. Made the trip alone. Landed at Gibraltar. Getting late.
Lt. Green shot down by JU 88 Broadhead? (Green,
Earl T., O-659808, 95FS, KIA, Brodhead,
V. Jr., O-469339, 95FS, Plane #63,
Wheels up landing on beach following combat 1 JU-88 and 1 damaged JU-88
en-route to Africa, Clare, Ballyvaughan, Ireland, plane destroyed by
allies after salvage (Irish Military Archives report))
12/24/42....Took off from Gibraltar and landed at Tafaroui (Oran) after
two hours flying. Field muddy as hell !!
DECEMBER 1942 (CHRISTMAS EVE) WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air
Force):HQ 95th, 96th and 97th Fighter Squadrons, 82d Fighter Group with
P-38s is established at Tafaraoui, Algeria upon arrival from the UK. The
squadrons will enter combat tomorrow.
DECEMBER 1942 (CHRISTMAS DAY), WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air
Force): In Tunisia, P-40s bomb a troop concentration at Sfax while P-38s
sent to bomb a convoy off northern Tunisia fail to sight any ships.
12/25/42...."CHRISTMAS". Took off to ferry our ships (25)
to 1st Ftr. Grp. Major Vaughn lost. We returned to Oran after being
12/26/42....Took off again for Biskra and turned over (25) ships to
the 1st Fighter Group. Kinda pissed off because I had to give away
"2073" ( Lockheed P-38E Lightning c/n 222-5201/5315), a darn
JANUARY 1943, WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Twelfth Air Force) HQ 82d Fighter
Group is established at Telergma, Algeria upon arrival from Northern
Ireland. The subordinate squadrons, the 95th, 96th and 97th Fighter
Squadrons with P-38s, move from Tafaroui to Telergma, Algeria.
1/1/43....Took off from Blida. Landed at Tafaroui. Was glad to see all
the boys got in from Gibraltar and Casablanca
1/6/43.....Went on my first mission today. Escorted B-25's to
Target Kairouen. All ships returned. Mission a success.
1/7/43.....97th off. 96th escorted B-26's. Harril Helton did not come
back. Believed shot down
1/8/43.....95th mission. Lt. Murphy did not come back. 97th took
off. I was on Col. Loe's wing. Escorted B-26's. My right engine shot
up. Returned on one engine. Crashed on landing. Ship burned. Col. Loe
missing. One Fw190, one victory for the 97th. Pete, A.White, Lund,
and Rounds shot down the Fw190. A.White won the toss for the victory
1/10/43.....96th escorted B-26's. Lt. Veal of the 96th shot down.
One B-26 shot down by flak. Five of the crew bailed out
1/12/43.....Maj. Young, Rounds, McDaniel and myself took off to escort
one B-26 on a reconnaissance flight near Gabes. Jumped by P-40's but
they finally left. Ran into bad weather. Landed at CanRoberte. McDainel
returned after takeoff from base.
1/13/43.....Treated swell by Britishers. Good meals. Took off for
Telergma and landed without B-26. It wasn't gassed as yet. Received a
pkg. of food, etc. from the'Y' . Had a feast. Witt made C. O.
1/14/43.....Maj. Young now Group Executive in place of Col. Loe. We
escorted 6 B-26's on an anti-shipping mission. Didn't see any ships.
Came back right on the deck. Some of the boys did some strafing. All
ships returned. Had lost of fun. Prefer B-25's.
1/15/43.....My day of rest today. Received a sweater from Lee and
Leo. Wrote some letters. 96th escorted B-26's today. They lost Black
and Randall. They had a forced landing in our territory. Lt. Hawes
claimed two victories and one probable.
1/16/43.....Was awakened with a 'BANG' this morning. Lt. Kinsey
(95th) ran into a B-26 on takeoff. Blowing up the two bombs in it. Both
ships burned up. Kinsey got away with a few burns and scratches. No
mission for me today. Everything was quiet all day. Received some old
1/17/43.....97th day. I stayed home. Too many missions. Witt
got a Ju88, Pete a Ju52, Visscher a Ju52. Lund dipped a wing in the
water, climbed up but hasn't been seen since. A quiet day for me.
Wrote some letters. Received three.
1/18/43.....96th was scheduled for an important mission. Took off
but returned in a half an hour. B-26's came back. Reason unknown to us.
Still resting with not much to do. A quiet day. No Mail. No word
about Lund. Elliott from the 96th shot himself in the ankle
1/21/43.....A rough day today. Lost Lewis and Luddington.
A.White, Morgan, and Pratt each got a Me109. J.White and Atteberry each
got an Italian bomber. Boys felt quite low so most of them got drunk. I
didn't but I don't blame them. I stayed on the ground again.
1/22/43.....95th day. Mission completed. No loss of men. I stood on
the ground and glad of it, because Martha Raye, Kay Francis, Mitzi
Mayfair and Carol Landis were here and put on a swell show. Sure
surprised me, to see them here at the front.
1/23/43.....We went on an anti-shipping mission today. Swell day.
Sunk two ships and probably damaged two. Thompson got one Italian bomber
after a toss of the coin. Larson got back on one engine at another
field. Our flight escorted the one crippled bomber until she belly
landed on the water. Entire crew safe.
1/24/43.....96th day. Capt. Lynn while on the deck got too low and his
props hit the ground. He belly landed and got out OK. Don't know
when he will get back. A quiet day for me. I wrote a few letters. Got
1/26/43.....Still no missions today. Also no mail. Received word
that Capt. Lynn of the 96th was safe and sound with some French Forces. Wrote
a few letters. Air raid went off but no action. Thank God!! This happens
1/29/43.....Our day off. 95th and 96th went out. Bombers had a
wonderful anti-shipping day. Both 95th and 96th had one victory each.
A quiet day for me. Received a swell letter from Harriett
1/30/43.....We went out today anti-shipping. No victories, No
losses. 96th ran into a mess. Lost Capt. Smally, Lt. Winston, Lt.
Delahunt. Zubarik was thought lost but showed up in the late afternoon.
He was shot up (his ship) and crash landed in a dry lake about 30
minutes from here. Sure was glad to see Zubarik back. We ran into a
helva lot of flak all of a sudden. McDaniel was gone. I thought he was
gone for good but he returned home. Just got seven pilots from the
14th Fighter Group. All new boys. The Group got all new boys.
1/31/43.....We went out, escorted B-26's (Gabes). Bombers did a good
job. One flight got jumped by Me109's. Ace White got another victory. Pratt
and Knell are missing. Bomber gunner said he saw one P-38 belly land
in flames and pilot got out. I hope he's right. 95th went out and after
a bad scare they all got back. Three landed at Bone for gas.
2/1/43.....Eight of our boys escorted B-17's high altitude over Tunis.
Bombers did a swell job and all ships returned. Ace White gave us a
scare but he came in later after being lost. Just heard Decker is
missing. No one over at the 1st Fighter Group knows what happened. I
2/2/43.....A quiet day for me. Our Sqd. was off. 96th had a fairly
good day. They got 7 victories. Also lost one of our new boys from
the 14th. 95th went out and all came back, nothing sighted by them
or the bombers. Received a letter from Ess and Paul and also from Milt
2/3/43.....Our day today. Rough day for the morning flight. We
lost two new boys, Johnson and Wilson. McAuliffe and Visscher's
flights had running fights all the way. My mission this afternoon was
OK. Target bombed. No fighters sighted. All ships return safe. No mail
2/4/43.....My day off. Pete's and McD's flights went with the 95th.
No bombing. Overcast. No one knew what happened to the two missing
boys. (Grady & Doddridge). No one saw them attacked. No mail
today. Hope they show up.
2/7/43.....Got back home from Constanine 1 o'clock. 95th and 96th
went out today. believe they got 3 victories. Thought we lost Maj.
Vaughn but he came in 7 o'clock on one engine. A night landing. Got two
letters from Harriett. Answered them.
2/8/43.....Went out today escorting B-26's and B-25's. ?4 of us at
the target 6 returns. We lost Dunn but we got 8-Me109's and 2
damaged. Boy we had some Dog Fights!!! Never saw so many planes going
different directions in all my life. Didn't see the bombing. Was too
2/10/43.....96th went out today. Our day off The rest of the
outfit came in. Was sure glad to see them all for the first time since
Ireland. Began to snow today. Received a letter from Milt. Answered
2/13/43.....95th went out today. All returned without seeing any
enemy fighters. Report says they lost two B-26's. A bunch new
replacement pilots came in with new planes for us. No mail today.
2/14/43.....'12' of our boys went out on anti-shipping with the
1st FG. Saw nothing. All returned. I sat around all day. No mail.
2/15/43.....Four of us went out with the 96th escorting B-26's. Got
jumped but all returned safely. Ace White and Sloan claimed one
victory each. No mail today. Jackson came back on one engine. Got
hit between the right boom and the gondola. A hole as big as a football.
2/16/43.....95th went out on anti-shipping. Ran into bad weather and
returned. I was supposed to escort - Gen. Marshall but bad weather
stopped us. Nothing much doing today. Met an old buddy I played baseball
with at Mitchel Field, Dick Farr also met 'Spic' Cordover.
2/17/43.....95th and 96th went out to Sardinia. Kinsey got an
Italian bomber. B-25's and B-26's did the bombing. Osher's whole
flight missing. No mail today. Had dinner at the French Commandant's
house. Very nice people.
2/21/43.....Left for Casablanca today on C-47. Landed at Algiers.
Spent the night there. Heard that Towson and Washburn went into the
'drink' after getting an He177. Alert sirens went on in the middle
of the night here, but no bombing. Alert siren again about 0500 in the
morning, but still no bombing.
2/27/43.....Leading '16' ships. Landed in Algiers and spent the
night there. Heard that Leon Bass was killed.
2/28/43.....Took off leading them all to Telergma. All O.K. Boys
came back from a mission. J. White shot up quite a bit but returned. Ace
White showed up later. Heffington missing.
3/1/43.....Eight of us were supposed to go out with the 96th. Six of
us didn't go. Ships not gassed, radios, etc. Ceawford got two Me109s
and G. Rounds got one. I didn't do much today except answering the
mail I received from Harriett, Leo, Paul, and the Folks. Found out
Heffington bailed out in enemy territory.
3/3/43.....Escorted B-25s today. Pryor hit by flak but got back on
one engine. All ships returned. 96th escorted B-26s. Scott hit by
flak. Boys saw him go down. 8 of the 95th went with us. All O.K. Ace
White had to land at another field. Short on gas.
3/4/43.....Went on anti-shipping today off Tunis and Bizerti. Gasaway
got hit by Witt's belly tank. Went into the drink. Caputo and Morgan
returned on one engine. Morgan landed at Bone. 96th also out on
anti-shipping. Didn't see anything. Our bombers (B-26s) missed their
target by at least 300 yards. Piss Poor !!
3/7/43.....We went out on anti-shipping with the B-25s. Ran into a
big convoy escorted by Ju88s, Me109s, and Italian fighters etc, etc. Wittliff
got a Ju88 and an Italian fighter. Pete a Ju88, Walker got the seaplane
Cant 506. I shot at a Ju88, a Me109, and also a Cant. 506. "No
3/11/43.....Left Constantine after lunch today. Came back to find
eight of our boys went on a mission. Atteberry and Ace White each got
a Me110. No mail today.
3/13/43.....95th went out today. They saw nothing at all. We sat
around. Oh yes, we moved to different quarters. About 150 yards from our
old place. No mail today. Just heard officially that K.K. Lund was a
prisoner of war. Everybody happy. We thought he was gone for good.
3/15/43.....We went out with the 96th on a ground target, Airdrome
near Merzouva. We got jumped by 6 Me109s. Jackson of the 96th got
hit. He crashed landed in safe territory. McNaulty got one Me109.
3/20/43.....Eight of us went out with the 96th on an anti-shipping
mission escorting B-25s. 96th got 8-Me109s, 2-Ju88s, 1-seaplane. We
got separated chasing a plane. All planes returned safely to base. No
3/22/43.....Went out with the 95th today escorting B-26s. Met convoy
in Bay of Tunis. Also ran into a piss pot full of fighters. 95th got
victories and I got my first one (Me109). One B-26 was shot down.
Bombers claim 3 fighters and hits on 3 ships in convoy. Atteberry
& McDaniel missing. Hays of the 95th bailed out. McAnulty crash
landed at another field.
3/25/43.....Went out with the 95th escorting B-25s. 95th strafed the
one barge we saw. No bombing. 95th shot down 1-seaplane. Lt. Shearer
caught fire and went into the sea. No fighters sighted. Bombers got
lost on the way back so we left and went home. They wouldn't follow us. Ace
White still lost. Low on gas.
3/26/43.....Went out with the 96th escorting B-25s. Nothing sighted
on the sea. Capt McAuliffe got one Ju88. All ships safe. My ship
all painted up. Ace White injured somewhere. Now in a British
Algeria, 28 Mar 1943
MARCH 1943, WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN (Northwest African Air Force), HQ 82d
Fighter Group and it's 95th and 97th Fighter Squadrons with P-38's
transfer from Telergma, Algeria to Berteaux, Algeria.
3/28/43.....Our whole Group moved today. Now at Berteaux. 5 miles
from Telergma. Am quite tired of tearing down and putting up tents.
Big talk about giving us a rest.
3/29/43.....A bunch of us are going for a rest. Off operations as of
today. McAulliffe, Crawford, Pryor, Caputo, and McAnulty are the ones
staying. Moved our tents again about 300 yards
3/30/43.....Doing nothing all day. Waiting for our orders to go on
our rest. We got a couple of pilots and six planes for replacement.
Ace White got back today. Larson came back from his rest.
3/31/43.....Payday today. Took a hot bath at the springs. Still
waiting for orders to go to the rest camp at Agadir. No mail. Our
promotions are starting to come in.
APRIL 1943, The 96th Fighter Squadron, 82d Fighter Group with P-38's
transfers from Telergma, Algeria to Berteaux, Algeria.
4/12/43.....Took all G. Rounds negatives to the photo shop for prints.
Traveled on horseback. Spent the rest of the day reading, playing ping
pong and shooting the bull. Today we took Sousse and Kairouen. Swell !!!
4/13/43.....Visscher came back from Telergma. Boys have been getting a
lot of victories. But, lost Hieronymus, Kinsey, McAnulty, Lawrence,
Riddle, Rawson, V.White, and Hamric. And a couiple of new boys. Nothing
much doing all day. Got my photo.
4/14/43.....Schildt came here today. I got the pictures today. All
swell snap shots. Wrote letters and sent home my pictures to the family.
Played a lot of ping pong. Nothing else exciting.
4/20/43.....Went up to Casablanca today with Major Kirtley. Found
out we have to pack up and leave Agadir. Still don't know all the
dope about what's going on. Going up tomorrow.
4/21/43.....Got to Casablanca by transport. Saw Gen. Cannon and
found out we would be Instructors at a Fighter training School. Stayed
at the Souisse Hotel.
4/22/43.....Got here at Berrchid Field today. Found out all the
details. We are now back to living in tents again, etc. Planning to fly
up to Berteaux to pick up my belongs. Saw a show tonight, "Andy
Hardy" an old one.
4/24/43.....Test hopped a school ship. Took off for Telergma leading
2nd flight. Major Kirtley lead the 1st flight. Weather got bad so we
stayed overnight in Algiers/ (Maison Blanche)
4/25/43.....Took off from Maison Blanche and got all the boys in
O.K. at Telergma. 82 got all the new bous. Stayed in Berteaux in my own
bed for a change. Saw L.B. Thompson. Also saw a show.
4/26/43.....Took off from Berteaux 09:30 and landed at Berreched
01:30. Ran into a little bad weather. Witt., J.G. White, Walker, Yahne,
R.L. Hattendorf and Jones are going to be instructors at the F.T.C.
Clearing my trouble up.
5/4/43.....At last !! The transport took us to LaSenia. Met L.B.
Thompson there also Zubarik and Sloan. Got our ships and took off. I
lead 11 ships back. Saw a show at Berrechid this evening.
5/5/43.....Got my orders to return to the 82nd. Rode in to
Casablanca in the evening. Saw a show at the Red Cross. Mr.
"V" an excellant show.
5/6/43.....Spent the day here waiting for them to fix the ships I
was going to take up to the front. Saw a show in the evening. Met Seltz
again. He just got down from England again.
5/7/43.....Flew Back to Berteaux leading Morgan, Schildt and
Creighton. Was glad to see everybody. Heard about Powell and McArthur
running into a hill in bad weather. Also three new boys.
5/8/43.....Went out today escorting 6 B-26s. Saw one little boat.
They bombed it but no direct hits. No enemy aircraft sighted. All ships
return safe and sound. Heard that L.D. McDaniel is a prisoner of war.
5/9/43.....Went on the biggest raid today. Palermo in Sicily was the
target. And 'boy' it sure was hit. Flight lasted 6 hours. Was I tired.
All fighters return safe. Some bombers were hit by flak.
5/13/43.....Big show today. B-17s, B-25s, B-26s. Did a swell job on
Cagliari in Sardinia. Visscher and Zubarik each got an Me109. All
5/14/43.....No missions for our outfit. 95th and 96th lost a
total of three men. I did a little practice Dive Bombing. Easier
than I thought but no flak coming up.
5/18/43.....96th and us escorting B-25s and B-26s to Pantellaria
Island. Nice job of bombing. All ships back safe.
5/19/43.....We escorted 24, B-25s. Target, airport at Milas,
Sardinia. All ships back safe. Bombers did a pretty good job. Visscher
got one Me109.
5/21/43.....Escorted B-25s today. Target, Villacidro Airdrome,
Sardinia. Got jumped by a mess of fighters. I got one Me109, and a
probable. Caram and Shoemaker each got a victory. 96th got some.
Fair bombing. I got six letters this evening. All fighters back safe.
5/23/43.....Twelve of us went out on a sweep carrying 1000 lb.
bombs. A couple hit the docks. Some landed amongst the fishing
boats. Three near misses at the big boat. My bomb wouldn't come off. If
fell off on the way home. Where ???
5/24/43.....Escorted B-26s today. Target Aalgagro Airdrome,
Sardinia. Some good hits by our dive bombers. B-26s didn't do too bad. G.
Rounds and Reager each got one Me109. No mail today. Wrote some
letters. Chas Zubarik missing.
5/25/43.....Escorted B-25s. We had 12 dive bombers. Target Licata
Harbor, Sicily. Dive bombers got some nice hits. B-25s didn't do too
good. All ships back safe. Kinsey is a P.O.W.