Mon Aug 28th
Tue Aug 29th
Wed Aug 30th
Same old stuff – forward echelon set to move out
Thu Aug 31st
Morning closed in. Brief 1400 – Takeoff 1430. Fighter sweep to Beauvais pocket – No fighters, but squadron must have [hit] at least 100 vehicles – Seem to be in a very disorganized retreat – very little flak – little camouflage.
Note: Beauvais was the same area where the Black Friday fight occurred. Were they returning to get some payback? By the end of August, the 474th was already preparing to move to another more forward airstrip.
MISSION No. 139 (Day’s Only Mission)
OPFLASH NO. F-31 SITE NO. A-11 DATE: 31 Aug 44
TARGET: Armed recce & fighter sweep of Beauvais-Compiegne-Valenciennes-Arras area.
GROUP NO. 474, SQDN. NO. 428, NO. A/C: 12 P-38
T/OFF: 1639 T/OVER TGT: 1720-1820 T/DOWN: 1907
ATTACK DATA & RESULTS: No bombs or belly tanks. All flights arrived in target area on time with orders to clear skies of E/A & strafe rolling stock on roads. Capt. Scott kept his flight between 7000 & 10000 as top cover, while Red & Yellow flights went down and strafed rolling stock. After Red & Yellow Flights had made several strafing passes, Blue Flight then had time for only a couple of passes before W/D time. Capt. Nuckols’ flight strafed & destroyed 15 plus M/T, 15 plus trucks & horse drawn wagons; damaged 2 half-tracks; 7 damaged 2 tanks. Capt. McKittrick’s flight strafed and dest 15 plus M/T, 40 plus trucks & horse drawn wagons; damaged 4 half-tracks and 20 plus M/T; and damaged 15 plus 7 wagons. Capt. Scott’s flight strafed 7 destroyed 4 M/T, 2 staff cars, killing 4 personnel, & damaged 4 horse-drawn carts 7 wagons with equipment. Unknown number of German personnel killed & believe 30-plus horses killed. All this action took place 12-15 mi NE of Amiens on main & secondary roads leading out of between rd points at N-2778, N-2770, N-3980, N-3740.
ENEMY FLAK (1) OVER TARGET: Small arms fire & light M/G.
Weak light 40 mm. inaccurate.
(2) ELSEWHERE: Nil
VITAL INFORMATION: All main & secondary roads leading out of Amiens running NE & E were choked with Germans retreating on foot-tanks-M/T under power and half-tracks. All types of carts, wagons, cannons, & trucks being drawn by horses.
WEATHER: (1) OVER TARGET: CAVU
(2) ELSEWHERE: 2/10 broken, rain showers.
Red Yellow Blue
Nuckols McKittrick Scott
Holt Freeman Trueblood
Guyon Hancock Nelson
Carroll Rankin Wenzel
By August 31, the 428th Squadron had raised its claims of enemy aircraft to 20 destroyed, 7 probably destroyed and 12 damaged. Against ground targets, the 428th had to date piled up the following record: 208 military vehicles destroyed, 35 damaged, four armored vehicles destroyed, 21 damaged, 40 locomotives damaged, 378 railroad cars destroyed, 742 damaged, 8 gun emplacements destroyed, 25 damaged.
–From the The Geyser Gang