May 7, 1944
The 44th Bomb Group dispatched 30 planes to Osnabruck, Germany. The target was Marshaling Yards and locomotive repair shops. Take off was 06:30 hours with no aborts. We carried 52 100 pound oil bombs, A total of 165 B-24's carrying 146 tons of bombs reached the target of which one was lost and 23 damaged. The 44th suffered no losses although the flak was heavy over the target and one German fighter did pass through the formation.
This was my second mission that was lead by a P.F.F. (Pathfinder ship carrying Mickey H2X radar). We never saw the target due to heavy cloud formation which blanketed the area. Bombing altitude was 24,000 feet and the temperature ranged at 42 degrees fahrenheit below zero.
We landed about 14:00 hours (2:00 p.m.) after 7 hours and 30 minutes in the air but the day was not over yet. Not only did we have to go through debriefing and critique but Jerry gave us a little scare that night. "Bed check Charlie," as we called the German night bomber, paid us a visit about the time we had settled in our barracks for much needed rest. I ran for the air raid shelter as did most everyone. We were tired after 4 missions in 7 days. Just this day alone in order to take off at 0630 hours, we had been awakened between 3:00 and 4:00 a.m. The orderly, who got us up, shone a flash light in our eyes when he shook us. I never did get used to it and certainly did not relish it. (The old story goes he also woke up anyone else if he had a smile on his face.)
The 8th Air Force also sent the 1st and 3rd Bomb Divisions to Berlin with about 600 B-17 Flying Fortresses. This force dropped 1344 tons of bombs on the Nazi capital losing only 8 planes to enemy action. It was the eighth raid by the 8th Air Force on Berlin.
All tolled, it was a good day for the 8th, sending out a grand total of 922 planes with 865 effective in deep penetration of the German homeland, losing only 9 planes (1%). This day was special in another way for the 8th Air Force. It was the first time that over 900 heavy bombers were dispatched in one day. For some reason, the Luftwaffe chose not to oppose us as only 9 enemy planes were sighted by all groups. 3500 planes of all types struck at the Nazi's from England and Africa inflicting severe punishment to the Axis.