My father, Roger W. Trueblood, flew the P-38 Lightning in WWII. He was part of the 428th Squadron, in the 474th Fighter Group, 9th Air Force operating in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). He escorted bombers, flew over France on D-Day, supported the breakout from Normandy, blew up trains, shot down 3 FW-190s, and flew dangerous ground attack missions during the Battle of the Bulge.
After the war, he became one of the first operational jet pilots in the US, flying the P-80 Shooting Star, and in the 50s commanded an award-winning interceptor unit operating the F-86D “Saber Dog”. He retired as a Colonel in the 1970s, after 31 years of service. Here are two articles I’ve written about him:
Everybody’s Gotta be Somewhere
The kid, the codger and the Christmas of ’44
During the Summer of 1944 he wrote several pages on single-sheet stationary about his day-to-day life and flying combat missions over France.
They start on 18 June 44, about two weeks after D-Day. And the last one is from 1 Sep. They cover his missions in support of Allied operations in Normandy, many of which were “interdiction” attacks on railroads, truck convoys, bridges and other transportation targets in France. There were also bomber escort and armed reconnaissance missions.
In the Summer of 2017, our family found a second batch of diary pages, and I’ve added them to this record. It’s possible we may find more in his papers.
I have transcribed the hand-written pages, plugged in some maps and photos, and added corresponding entries from the 428th official mission logs. Follow the links below for a 1st-person view of a key point in history as Allied forces started their race across France.
18 Jun | 19-20 Jun | 21 Jun | 22-23 Jun | 24 Jun | 25-30 Jun
1-5 Jul | 6 Jul | 7 Jul | 8-11 Jul | 15-17 Jul | 18 Jul | 19 Jul | 20-21 Jul
22-23 Jul | 24-26 Jul | 27 Jul | 28-31 Jul |1-4 Aug | 5 Aug | 6-8 Aug
9-10 Aug | 11-13 Aug | 14 Aug | 15-16 Aug | 17 Aug | 18-20 Aug
21-22 Aug | 23 Aug | 24 Aug | 25 Aug | 26-27 Aug | 28-31 Aug