What follows is an account of the war through the eyes of Milton Gordon. It combines the web pages of the 446th and my father’s flight log and diary. I find his eyewitness accounts vs. the official reports of the web page quite interesting. This is especially true for December 27, 1944.
I have edited out the personal parts of my Dad’s diary. He was a private man who was proud of the service he gave to his country.
My Dad did not speak to his three daughter’s about his experiences in England.
I did know that my Dad received the Distinguished Flying Cross and my curiosity as to why started my search. My twin sister has my Dad’s flight log and diary. What appears below is my labor of love to determine why he received this citation that he was very proud of. (Still don’t know why because his official military records were lost in a fire.) What I have learned is what my Dad experienced. While he would disagree (he would say that he was just doing his job) I know that he was a member of the “Greatest Generation”.
Milton Gordon (born in Montana in 1918) and Sylvia Gordon (born 1917) were married for 49 years. Milton passed away in 1991 and Sylvia in 1994. They leave behind their three daughters, three sons-in-law and six wonderful grandsons. They instilled in all of us a love of family and the moral fortitude to live happy, productive and modest lives.
Hedda Gordon Spector
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS – 446TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP –FLIXTON AIRFIELD—BUNGAY, ENGLAND
Key: FL= Flight Log, WP=446th Web Page Information, D= Diary
List of Mission Dates: Mission Location
1. October 26, 1944: Minden
2. October 30, 1944: Wesermunde
3. November 10, 1944: Hanau airfield
4. November 11, 1944: Bottrop
5. November 25, 1944: Bingen
6. November 30, 1944: Neunkirchen
7. December 2, 1944: Bingen
8. December 4, 1944: Koblenz
9. December 11, 1944: Karlsruhe
10. December 12, 1944: Hanau
11. December 24, 1944: Rheinbach
12. December 25, 1944: Murlenbach
13. February 19, 1945: Siegen
14. February 21, 1945: Nurnberg
15. February 22, 1945: Northheim
16. February 24, 1945: Hannover/Misburg
17. February 26, 1945: Berlin
18. March 1, 1945: Augsburg
19. March 3, 1945: Magdeburg
20. March 11, 1945: Kiel
21. March 15, 1945: Zossen
22. March 22, 1945: Kitzingen
23. March 23, 1945: Munster
24. March 31, 1945: Brunswick
25. April 4, 1945: Wesendorf Airfield
26. April 8, 1945: Roth Airfield
27. April 9, 1945: Landsberg
28. April 16, 1945: Landshut
29. April 18, 1945: Passau
30. April 21, 1945: mission scrubbed/flew with Grossman/turned out at I.P./ got sortie credit
FL: October 26, 1944: Minden "Big Drip" 4-2000 bombs flack light-2flack holes overcast--good navigation 7 hours
WP: October 26: Minden
In spite of a solid undercast, a canal was hit with very good results. Several miles of the canal dried up as a result.
FL: October 30, 1944: Big Drip 20-300-M31 bombs flack heavy inaccurate lead got lost--no one knows where we dropped bombs--target Hamburg. overcast. too much turning for navigation 7 hours no flak holes Elaine Lois 5:30PM (note: reference to my father’s first daughter being born.)
FL: November 10, 1944: "F" Fredie Miss Beau Haven 40-100GP bombs no flack-no fighters 3/10 to 90/10th overcast--no compass, no Gee D&M Tired-- Hanau airfields 6 hours 15 minutes
FL: November 11,1944: Bottrop--near Essen Q. Queenie Big Drip oil dump-flak medium two holes good navigation near hit 5 hours 5/03 to 10/10th overcast PFF 24-250 GP's
FL: November 25, 1944: Bingen-- Marshalling Yards Q Queeny Big Drip no flack-no trouble-Gee out 6 hrs 55 min 5/10 overcast (?)immer rusts' eng. finished 12 bombs all leaflets
FL: November 30,1944: Neunkirchen A. Able No flak, no fighters Bombs hung up--DeVeau kicked them out over the channel, came back alone Nav. good-radio-only me & (?)
10/10 over cast star dust 6:30 GH
The marshalling yards were bombed through solid cloud cover. An unnamed plane (42-51272) received a direct flak hit in its bomb bay, split in 2, and crashed. The pilot was blown free by the explosion and parachuted safely to the ground where he was taken prisoner, but the other 10 crewmen were killed. Another unnamed plane (42-51115) was severely damaged by debris from the explosion of the first. One crewman was killed by the debris, another bailed out but died later. The remaining 8 bailed out and landed safely in Allied occupied territory.
FL: December 2, 1944: Bingen Q Queeney Big Drip Leaflets No flak No fighters good mission no trouble 10 leaflets 2-500 GP 10/10 overcast see leaflet for particulars Gee--radio--good log GH 6hrs. 15 min
WP: December 2:
33 planes attacked the marshalling yards through clouds with unobserved results. 2 planes and crew were lost for unknown reason, the heavy clouds masking their troubles from other crews. "She's Mine" (42-95105) and "Tiger" (42-51100) carried a total of 21 men, all of whom were killed.
FL: December 4, 1944: Koblenz started in Q Queeny to runway- flew mission in t-tear-White LIghtening 10-500 GPs 2-incendary(?) Primary overcast kit(?) Secondary-PFF-flack medium to heavy not accurate--hit target good navigation 7:30
FL: December 11, 1944: Karlsruhe C-Charlie not bad, weather good-hard time finding formation, finally caught them over France Lost one engine on bomb run--lost--came home alone--tired--but happy little flack 7:35 no fighters-- good support
FL: December 12, 1944: Hanau 330-G-George Umbriago overcast take off- could not find formation flew with 389th and went over target with them 10/10th overcast until we hit Germany-then it became visual-good pilotage B24 blew up on bomb run-–flack heavy no damage--good navigation lost one engine after leaving Germany came back alone tired but felt good one plane ditched North Sea 6 dead & 4 unexpected to live 12-500 GP's salvoed hit target marshalling yards no fighters good support 7 hrs
FL: December 24, 1944: Rheinbach 524 Big Drip Q Queeney clear weather no clouds good pilotage compass out flack heavy not accurate Bob Theis(?) went down co-pilot flew with another squad 6:15 hrs. Log, medium-felt good
FL: December 25, 1944: Murlenbach 089-0-OBRE-Shady Sadie 20 GP's 250th & 2 incend. clear weather good navigation, no flack no fighter, tactical target support ground troops 4:30 a dozen complete
D: December 27, 1944: Briefing at 4:25 take off 7:25 Q Queeney-engine one would not start, starter out, trying to start it with an electric starter, something happened, it backfired HIt line chief Sgt. Fox on head, Mazurek (?) and I gave him first aid used my coat for a blanket took him to hospital in ambulance. Washed up and cleaned up best we could, and got ready to take off in Umbriago-G George 330- take off delayed one hour started off 8:45. got airborne, something went wrong crashed (Pilot killed.!) (Andrews, J.C.) co-pilot got out, without turning of switches. Help R.O. get up to turn off switches R.O. cut on head and broken arm taken to Deiss, Eng--cut on head probably skull fracture or concussion. Every one else got out o.k. one gunner slight cut on head. I have a sore foot x-rays taken, no results. Had to use both hands to pull foot out of wreckage. Came to dispensary. Sat around told our story, everyone else went to sleep. I went to Church and it sure made me feel better--Jewish Chaplain, visiting base Good sermon came back to Dispensary went to sleep got up 11PM had cake and such went back to sleep
WP: December 27:
18 planes hit a rail bridge with fair results and 7 more hit Enkenbach. 1 plane (42-50330) crashed on takeoff, killing the pilot. A second plane (42-50491) experienced multiple engine problems and ditched in the channel, killing 7 crewmen. The remaining 3 were rescued. A third plane (42-51312) was hit by flak and the crew was forced to bail out. 6 crewmen were taken prisoner, and 4 landed in allied occupied territory and returned to base. A fourth plane, "Shoo Shoo Baby" (42-52747), experienced severe engine damage and crashed in Belgium. All crewmen bailed out safely.
December 27: Kaiserslautern
This plane, piloted by 2/Lt Jerome Andrews, crashed while taking off in fog. Andrews was killed, 3 others were injured
39 planes hit the marshalling yards with unobserved results.
D: February 19, 1945: Flew mission Siegen First mission at group –- 13th all told –- no flack no fighters 10/10th coverage good mission P-Peter 624
D: February 21, 1945: flew mission, Nurnberg #14 2nd at group low left. came back safe and sound –- one flack hole otherwise easy mission
WP: February 22:
The roundhouse was blown to bits and the marshalling yard and railroad tracks were hit with excellent results. The 446th flew as part of a massive 6,000 plane force and bombed from just 8,000 feet.
D: February 22, 1945: High right (?) flew mission formed 12500. clouds on way in –- went down to 8500 for bombing clouds above good pilotage and good mission hit target tired
Both targets were hit through cloud cover with unobserved results.
D: February 24, 1945: flew mission briefing 4:00 –- take off 7:15 –- delayed 2 hrs took off 9:15 –- x-ray-933 Misburg Air Ref. East of Hannover 6 letter 3 Vali(?) wrote Sylvia & Elaine Easy mission 14 to go –- P77 –- deputy(?)lead
The group led a large force as 3,000 tons were dropped on the German capital with unobserved results.
D: February 26, 1945: flew mission –- briefing 5:45 –- Berlin –- got back 71/2 hrs screening(?) force –- told our promotions went into squad –F. Fredi-909-5th lead
9 planes bombed the Messerschmidt plant through cloud cover.
D: March 1, 1945: Grossman missing hope he landed in Belgium flew mission 8:45 hrs 6th lead
The final mission to Magdeburg ended successfully, as excellent results on the synthetic oil plant was reported. The group was met by intense flak and 4 ME 262 enemy fighter jets.
D: March 3, 1945: flew mission –- Magdeburg --7:30 1st(?) lead –- Bux came back –- Grossman came back
32 planes hit the submarine yards with unobserved results.
D: March 11, 1945; flew mission to Kiel
The German General Staff headquarters were bombed, but with poor results.
D: March 15, 1945: mission to Zossen 15 m. s. of Berlin G.A. Hdg 8hrs easy mission
9 to go
19 planes attacked the armament works with unknown results.
D: March 17, 1945: flew fearless(?) freddy –- 3 hrs
Excellent results in almost perfect weather were reported on this mission, to an airfield.
D: March 22, 1945: flew mission 10th at group Kitzingen 8:10 hrs 8 to go
20 planes bombed the marshalling yards with very good results reported.
D: March 23, 1945: flew mission to Munster flack accurate heavy -– one hole, Bux came back- – wing dead(?) 7 to go DeVeau flew as bombadier –- finished and was he happy D-Dog 579 6:00 11th at GP –- promotion came through as of March 21st
The armament works was bombed through heavy clouds.
D: March 31, 1945: Brunswick 6:30 not bad –- flack moderate inaccurate
gas leak sweated out return Pa__(?)__ finished. flew with Armantrout a good crew –- T-bar 6 to go 12 lead at Gp – wing Deputy(?) lead(?)
4: Wesendorf airfield
The airfield was bombed with good results. Colonel Troy Crawford, 446th CO, was flying in an RAF Mosquito as an observer. While trying to join with the group, 2 ME 262 fighter jets flew along side Colonel Crawford's plane. The RAF Mosquito, like a German ME 262, was a twin engine aircraft and, from a distance, they look a bit alike. When the crews saw what they thought were 3 ME 262's coming at them, they opened fire and did their job well, knocking the Mosquito out of the air. Colonel Crawford and his pilot parachuted to the ground and were taken prisoner. In just a week and a half, their POW camp would be liberated.
D: April 4, 1945: flew mission Briefed at 3am 8 hours attacked by fighters for 45 min. A mosquito with (?) Colnel Crawford shot down hope he got back safe. Plenty of flack. a rough mission. group lucky. all got back safe & sound. 5 more to go T-bar 707th low left Inlow(?) pilot group flew division lead
8: Roth airfield
1,000 pounders and incendiaries were dropped with good results.
D: April 8, 1945: flew with Fierro #2 to Roth A.F.
Numerous hits were reported on runways and planes at this airfield.
D and Fl: April 9, 1945: flew with Fierro –- 27 Landsberg saw a plane ditch in Channel no flack –- no fighters Landsberg A/F No flack No fighters __?__ lead 91% hit 2000 ft circle 355- L(?) Love - Maiden Head 8 hrs good lead 13th with Fierro good pilotage
Good results were reported as the group bombed a marshalling yard.
D and Fl: April 16, 1945: flew #28 Landshut –- Deputy Wing Lead –- fair flack to Augsgurg(?) long 9 hrs. Puk(?) finished Landshut M/Y(?) flack over Augsberg(?) 2 ships from 93rd went down D. lead –- wing took over bomb run 80% hit 2000 no fighter fair lead 579 to Dog Mass__?__ #2 Pilotage with Fierro 15th at group 9 hours
A marshalling yard was attacked with good results
D: April 18, 1945: flew –- Passau –- Capt Blower –- finished 29 in 1 to go happy but sweating Chas(?) good pilotage good hits 9:20 hrs