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P-38J ‘droopsnoot’ variant, with plexiglass nose to fit bombardier and Norden bombsite. See more info…

Thu Aug 24th (1st mission)
0800 takeoff. Same place as last night only 430th going to use the droop snoot on bridge from 18,000 ft – Our squadron off OK and waiting for rest as usual. 429th bogged a couple down in the mud and we circled for 1 hour exactly before they got off – Instruments thru three layers and down thru three, gas going fast, flights separated and lost.

We never did reach target – Droop couldn’t bomb cause of low ceiling and 429th dropped a few frags – Most “snafued” mission I’ve been on yet. Jettisoned our frags in channel and came on in disgusted.

MISSION No. 133 (Day’s First Mission)
OPFLASH NO. F-25     SITE NO. A-11        DATE: 24 Aug 44
TARGET: Grp bombing of lg M/T convoy & pontoon bridge.
GROUP NO. 474, SQDN. NO. 428, NO. A/C: 12 P-38
T/OFF: 0812     T/OVER TGT: Nil         T/DOWN: 1048
ATTACK DATA & RESULTS: Target area never reached due to bad weather. 11x2frag clusters jettisoned in Channel.
WEATHER: (1) OVER TARGET: (R-260977 & R-2998) 10/10 base
1500 to 2000, tops 15000, target area closed in.
(2) ELSEWHERE: 10/10 base 1500, intermittent rain.
Red                 Yellow          Blue
Nuckols          Scott            Hanson
Hagemeyer    Heckert      Trueblood
Smith, L.W.     Stone          Nelson*
Zierlen             Huser         Wenzel
*Aborted (prop trouble; landed w frag bombs)

2nd mission

2000 takeoff on our first Direct Tank Support mission, way south of Paris. failed to contact any armor and “Sweepstakes” [Fighter controller callsign] gave us an alternate target – our old friend, the “Jerry crossing” of last night – arrived about dusk and no sooner in general area than 88s started tracking us. Surrounding woods full as usual of flak – Capt Nuckols spotted bridge and all hell broke loose – I hate to go down on those damn targets (of course people at home think the war is practically over). I had to make two passes – got separated from flight. Caught another two on my wing and lit for home in the dark – picked up rest of squadron. Three single engine night landings – that’s sure a job for heavies!!! Wish they would just spray that ground with frag bombs. Damn those gunners.

MISSION No. 134 (Day’s Second Mission)
OPFLASH NO. F-25     SITE NO. A-11        DATE: 24 Aug 44
TARGET: Armed recce & direct support with a French tank column in area of Arpjon (R-9614).
GROUP NO. 474, SQDN. NO. 428, NO. A/C: 12 P-38
T/OFF: 1958     T/OVER TGT: 2050-2130         T/DOWN: 2207
ATTACK DATA & RESULTS: 12x2x500 GP (inst.) All flights bombed dam at R-283994 with 1 dir hit, 4 to 5 near misses, causing damage; rest of bombs in target area with unobserved results. Two large fires were observed as a result of an unknown number of bombs falling short in area at M-276006.
ENEMY FLAK        (1) OVER TARGET: Heavy and light intense accurate flak on both sides of river in area at R-283994.
VITAL INFORMATION: Dam across river at R-283994 used as M/T crossing; on W side/river, from isle to mainland on E side/river, pontoon bridges to get equipment to mainland.
WEATHER: TARGET/ELSEWHERE: Hvy ground haze with low scud.
Red                  Yellow        Blue
Nuckols           Scott          Hanson
Hagemeyer    Heckert     Trueblood
Smith, L.W.     Stone         Nelson
Zierlen             Huser        Wenzel

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