Fri Aug 25th
Visiting brass here to hand out a few DFCs [Distinguished Flying Crosses]. Charlie White, 3 Majors and Colonel.
Mission out – deep in, dive bomb 3 aerodromes. Mission back just after parade – 429th lost 3 and claimed 15 while later 4 of our boys back – claimed 7 – we all waited and waited till it was too late to hope – Austin, Stone, Capron, Packard, Koch, Jarvis, Spiker and Jerry Zierlein all MIA. Our worst blow yet, 8 out of 12 missing.
Gen. Vandenberg [9th AF Commander] gave Castel and Lane of 429th silver stars on the spot for each getting 3 – Guyon, Nuckols, Luther Smith DFCs on the spot – Gen says he’s plenty sore about the 9th not getting the publicity, credit and decorations that it should.
Gave us a pretty nice talk and claims we’re going thru even more than some of the ground forces – Well that’s a bit far-fetched, but I do wish 38s and the 9th AF would get a little credit – of course there are only 3 groups of 38s in the E.T.O. now. That 8th AF is using 51s.
Note: 25 Aug was the 474th’s “Black Friday”, when 23 aircraft from the 438th and 429th were bounced by a mixed group of 60+ Me-109s and FW-190s near Beauvais. Three aircraft from the 429th, and eight from the 428th were shot down in the melee.