Sat Aug 5th
Early mission – Rail busting. Heavy, inaccurate flak – Lost 1 from 429th, but 429th also caught 4 FW-190s on deck and destroyed 2. Home by 1300 – Released for packing etc. Just started packing when in come Wade and Tom – They’ve been in a flak home [see note below] and just came up to see us before we left. That darn Tom got 3 more – 4 already – Rhodes bailed out over Germany. Chew the fat – have dinner and show on post and drag out the C-78 to bring them up to ????. Hear their rest home ????. Bob had a few hours copilot so he took off and landed – Not bad, just hop in and in 30 minutes we’re there. Save them a 4 or 5 hour ride! Back before dark and get a good start on packing before bed.
Note: There were several stately mansions requisitioned by the USAAF and used as R&R for aircrew with many missions, or those the Chaplain or Docs determined to need a rest. Operated by the Red Cross, they had organized fun and great food and mandatory civilian clothes, etc. – Thanks to my friend Peter Park for this info.
Here is some gun-camera footage from P-38s strafing trains in 1945. This isn’t from the 428th, but gives you an idea of what a “rail busting” mission was like. The small, dark indicator that shows at upper left shows when the guns are being fired.
Entry from official 428th mission log:
MISSION No. 108 (Day’s Only Mission)
OPFLASH NO. E-120 SITE NO. Sta. 454 DATE: 5 Aug 44
TARGET: Armed recce of R/R and rolling stock in Amiens-Compiegne-Laon-Mons area.
GROUP NO. 474, SQDN. NO. 428, NO. A/C: 12 P-38 plus 1 spare
1. ABORTIVES: 0 WEATHER: 0 PERSONNEL: 0 OTHER: 1 mech.
T/OFF: 0850 T/OVER TGT: 0955-1050 T/DOWN: 1156
ATTACK DATA & RESULTS: 13×500 GP (1/10 sec fusing). Red Flight (Hedlund, Greaves, White, Jarvis) bombed R/R at N-205215, 3 dir hits in M/Y on and among 25 plus oil cars. Sev were destroyed or damaged. Oil cars did not burn. 1 bomb overshot M/Y hitting factory near tracks, cutting tracks in several places; 1 loco destroyed by strafing in M/Y. Blue Flight (McKittrick, Koch, L.L.Smith, Guyon) bombed R/R (N-532125), dir hit cutting tracks, 2 near misses causing damage, 1 wide.
ENEMY FLAK: (1) OVER TARGET: Light flak cars on train at N-560175
(2) ELSEWHERE: Nil
VITAL INFORMATION: At N-525005 large supply dump observed from 7000; camouflaged as a grave yard. Large unidentified stores of supplies seen casting shadows thru netting.
WEATHER: (1) OVER TARGET: CAVU
(2) ELSEWHERE: CAVU
Red Yellow Blue Spare
Hedlund Scott McKittrick Wenzel
Greaves Trueblood Koch
White Ingledew Smith, L.L.
Jarvis* Huser Guyon
*Aborted 5 min after takeoff (engine trouble)