This diary was submitted by Beverly Brotherhood is the widow of Richard Brotherhood who was on Sardinia in 1944. Dick passed away in 1997. We are saddened by his loss. BWBeverly Brotherhood <email@example.com>
Sun June 25 Arrived Hunter Field 23:00. Hellava trip. Things start popping right off the bat.
Mon June 26 Processed and briefed. Should draw a plane tomorrow and leave Fri. Heard alot of bad things about the new "G". Rumored that we're going either to England or Italy.
Tues June 27 No plane today. They're here, but not ready. Showed movie today - they give a guy alot of crap to get killed in. All through now - just sit and wait for a plane. Probably won't leave till Sat at earliest.
Wed June 28 Nothing at all doing today - Hope I get a plane tomorrow. Got those letters. Doesn't take long to get here. Some of the boys left today. Having trouble with John. I think he has decided that he doesn't want to go over. Taking in a show tonight. Nothing to go in town for.
Thurs June 29 Got a plane today. #43-34261. Flew for 3 hours with ColA.S. and comp. Landed at 6:00pm, briefed at 7:00pm. We're leaving tomorrow at 8:00am. Going the southern route. (Hope it's Italy for us) First stop will be Morrison Field at West Palm Bch. Really is a nice ship - all shiny and new. I hope I don't loose her. We're all weighed in and loaded tonight. Gotta get up at 5:00am. WE'RE ON OUR WAY!!
Fri June 30 395mi 2hr 45min Took off 08:30 Arrived morrison Field at 11:00. We're really on our way. We take off Sunday morning for either Puerto Rico or Trinidad. Had my first letter censored today by a WAC private. Draw shortages (??Bev) tomorrow. Was briefed. Had a physical. Checked the plane. This is a swell place with a swimming pool right next door. Hope nothing goes wrong. Will be making the trip in 3 ship formation. The ship is in swell shape and handles beautifully. Sat July 1 Leaving tomorrow for Borinquen Fld, Puerto Rico. It's now rumored China for me. The only one so far. I hope so. More forms today and that's all. This first log is 1003mi and looks easy. We'll always be in sight of land and never more than 180mi from an airport. No fooling this time. Better hit the sack. Rise and shine at 04:00.
Sun July 2 1003mi 5hr 5min Arrived Puerto Rico at 12:30. Everything OK. It certainly is a beautiful place. We stayed at the WALDORF ASTORIA. Go to Atkinson, British Guiana tomorrow. Opened secret orders 1 hour out. Assigned 12thAF, Casablanca, Morrocco. We have 2 rooms and a bath here for 3 of us. Even has a refrigerator with ice water. Walked along the beach tonight - sure is a beautiful place. I'm glad I'm in the the 12th. Gotta go. Have to get up at 03:30. We must be back on the ground by 15:00 'cause the weather closes in then.
Mon July 3 1117mi 6hrs Arrived Atkinson Fld, Georgetown, British Guiana OK. Very uneventful flight. Leave for Belern (sp?) Brazil early in the morning. Sure is cool here in the tropics - much better than in Louisiana.. Funny to hear the blacks speaking something other than English. Accommodations are fair.. There is a 2 hour trip to town by boat.. We'll cross the equator tomorrow. Came down by island route, Trinidad etc. Flight is all over jungle tomorrow. Post here is chicken. We must wear class A with tie. Tues July 4 890mi 5hr 10min Uneventful trip to Belern, Brazil. Crossed the equator today. Field is cut out of the jungle but pretty nice. We're really leaving the states behind now. Came by way of Zanderey and Anipa.. We leave for Natal in the morning. Helluva place - have US coffee instead of Brazilian. Turned out to have a big big celebration here. Brazilian generals and all. Free beer and food. Wed July 5 840mi 4hrs 45min RON at Fortaleza. We didn't make it to Natal, weather. I bought some Brazilian boots too - only $6.25. Quite a field here, only 310 men. Here is the best town in South America, they say. We're still restricted. Came down by way of Sao Luiz. Went to a outdoor movie tonight. Can't get over the people. We have a hellava time getting something to eat. Thurs July 6 140mi 2 hours Made it to Natal today on instruments most of the time. Supposed to go out to "The Rock" tomorrow but the lead navigator was grounded. The rest of the boys caught up with us. We go from here to the Rock, then to Roberts Field, to Dakar etc. Leave the day after tomorrow.
Fri July 7 Nothing doing today. We leave for the Rock in the morning Sat July 8 1475mi 7hrs 30min 7 month Anniversary Made it!!! We sweated it out. Right engine cut out 40 min out but we had no trouble bringing it back in. Hit it right on the money. Nothing else unusual. We're married 7 months today. Sure doesn't seem that long. This is a hellava place - nothing but a mountain.
Sun July 9 1013mi 5 hrs 5 hours to Africa. Hit Roberts Field right on the button. I don't like it. It has rained since we arrived this morning. Looks as though we'll be weathered in tomorrow. Uneventful trip. That engine cut out again for a few minutes. Damn fuel transfer is screwed up. It happened right after take off at 1500ft on instruments. I thought we would have to go back to the Rock. Dakar tomorrow, maybe. Got a plague shot today.
Mon July 10 Weathered in today. This field is at the town of Marshall, Liberia. Firestone has a huge plantation here and takes care of all the natives. All speak good English. It rained all day so I stayed in the sack. According to the weather bureau we should get off to Dakar tomorrow.
Tues July 11 756mi 4 hrs Made Dakar today in 4 hrs. Nothing much here but lots of natives and I mean real natives. All they know is, "Hello, Joe. Got a cigarette?" Wed July 12 Had trouble with one of the ships today so we stayed here at Dakar. We went swimming in the ocean this PM. We had to go through a native village to get here. What a stench! Only the married women wear anything when they're at home. Everyone else goes absolutely naked.
Thurs July 13 1361mi 7hrs 15min We made it to Marakech today. We flew over the Sahara desert and some mountain ranges. There is some change in orders. We're going from here to Tunis instead of Casablanca. We're still going to the 12th in Italy though. We leave for Tunis in the morning. Hotter than hell here.
Fri July 14 1125mi 5hr 15min Made Tunis today. We went into town tonight. Not much there but it was interesting. The town was hardly touched but the field was knocked to hell. There are bomb craters in the runway, wreaked buildings and all. Not a window left in the place.
Sat July 15 195mi 1hr 10min Made Elmas, Sardinia today at Cagliaro. Just a short hop. We landed and then took off for a 20 mile trip to Decimomannu. We were assigned to the 319th Bomb Grp. 437th Squadron. There is a hellava swell bunch of fellows. We feel at home already. Good chow too. This is getting serious.
Sun July 16 Not a thing doing today. It will be several days before we get a mission. The boys are flying two a day. We pitched our tent. We'll spend tomorrow fixing the place up. I like the place better all the time. Johnnie Day still hasn'y arrived.
Mon July 17 Nothing again today. Slept almost till noon. Just loafed and waited the rest of the day. This is a hot outfit. They take off 6 planes abreast at one time and land the same way. I hope to hell that I am hot enough for them. I will ride a couple of missions as co-pilot first. Bob will be checked out as 1st pilot.
Tues July18 Bored with combat. Not a damn thing doing. Just sitting and waiting for something to happen. Layed in the sack all day. Probably be the same tomorrow.
Wed July19 Nothing at all doing today. No mail again as usual. I'm scheduled for my first mission tomorrow as co-pilot. Should have something to write about tomorrow.
Thurs July 20 Started on my first mission today. It was the bridge on the Poe River at Astiglio. We had 4 1000lb bombs. Got within three minutes of the Italian coast when we lost our left engine and had to come back. There was pretty rough flack back there. We lost three ships. I rode co-pilot and will get one more ride. One ship went out from flak. Two others tangled in formation. It's very tight here but very easy to fly. Not up for tomorrow.
Fri July 21 Not a thing doing today. Just layed around. I received the last half of a letter today - God, but it feels good to hear from Bev.
Sat July22 Flew 1:45 formation today. It was alot of fun, especially the 6 ship formation take off and landing. Received the other half of that letter and the first half of of another. Went to Calgliari this afternnon and walked all over town. Went through an old cathedral from 400BC. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. Took some pictures too. some paintings were by Michelangelo.
Sun July23 Nothing doing today. We practiced ditching for a few minutes this morning. Loafed the rest of the day. Mon July24 Flew a mission today as No 1. We dropped 1000# jobs on a bridge at Borgo S. Dallazzo in the Poe Valley, almost in France. Just a routine flight. No flak, no fighters. We had 8 Spits along just in case. I think I'll be going out 1st Pilot now, I hope.
Tues. July 25 Nothing doing today. Slept till noon. Ate and got a haircut. Took a shower and loafed. A new crew came in today, a boy I graduated with. Received two letters. That's all.
Wed July 26 Not a damn thing doing again today. Just loafed aroung in the sack and ate. Hell, if it takes 70 missions to get home, I'll never get back. No mail either.
Thurs July 27 Nothing doing again today. Not even any mail. I'm scheduled to go out as 1st pilot tomorrow. The Col says it's some kind of a record going out first pilot after only one mission and 1:30 practice formation.
Fri Jul 28 Nothing doing today. We were supposed to go on a mission but it was called off. However, the same mission is up for tomorrow PM. I'm still on as 1st pilot. I hope it's not scrubbed again.
Sat Jul 29 AGAIN - nothing.!!! Mission scrubbed. Up for tomorrow - hope we make it this time. I've sweated this one out long enough, no mail.
Sun July 30 Mission #2 Finally got that mission off today, But all target were clouded over and we brought our bombs back. I went as pilot and they say they were wll satisfied. I hope I did half as well as they say. From actions here, I'll bet #5 will be an invasion of Southern France inside of 2 weeks. If so, things will really get hot. No mail. Mon July 31 Nothing today. Got a hellava case of the GIs. Spent the day in the latrine. No mail.
Tues Aug 1 Out to the latrine every 1 1/2 hours all last night and oftener this morning. What a wreak I am! Up for a mission tomorrow, but I'm not going because of the GIs. No mail again today.
Wed Aug 2 Nothing doing but the GIs again today. Did get 5 1/2 letters from Bev. That made the whole day seem perfect.
Thurs Aug 3 Still got the GIs. Up all night again. Got 2 more letters from Bev and wrote one. Boy, am I weak. I can hardly hold my head up.
Fri Aug 4 Nothing but the GIs today. Got a letter from home. Heard about Bev's brother, Ward, being missing. I hope to God he is safe. That's about all - still grounded.
Sat Aug 5 Not a damn thing doing again today. Still grounded. But the GIs are almost gone now. Wrote a letter home.
Sun Aug 6 Well, I'm back on flying station again. Just sat around though. I'm not on a schedule yet. Nothing else doing. Got a letter though.
Mon Aug 7 Sat on my fat fanny again today. Received the pictures and a letter. Up for a mission tomorrow but it was cancelled a few minutes ago.
Tues Aug 8 #3 8 month anniversary Celebrated 8 months of married life with a mission. Dropped #1000 bombs on a bridge at Allesandria in the Poe Valley. Went 1st pilot again. Had no trouble. we really flattened that bridge too. Heard about Gordon's death today. (Gordon was a cousin. bjb)
Wed Aug 9 Nothing doing today. Just rested up from yesterday's mission. We lost our new tent mate today. The ship ran out of gas and all men were killed. He was here only 8 days. Hope that's all from this tent. He flew co-pilot with me yesterday.
Thurs Aug 10 Loafed again today. They had funeral services for the crew we lost yesterday. I didn't go. I don't like that sort of thing. They had presentation of Air Medals. DFC's and Purple Hearts this morning too.
Fri Aug 11 Stayed in all day. It rained most of the time and was swell. I received 14 pieces of mail, some from Lake Charles including one from Billy Moon. I answered it already. I'm so proud of myself.
Sat Aug 12 We flew spare on a mission this AM. No one dropped out so we didn't get in. Up for the regular mission tomorrow morning though. I'll be first pilot again. Had only one mission a co-pilot so far. I hope it keeps up. My plane is named O'Riley's Daughter.
Sun Aug 13 #4 This mission was on dual purpose guns at Toulon this AM. Saw my first flak and lots of it. The sky ahead of us was black. We were in the lead flight and thay missed us. The boys behind got some. We broke fast, 45 degree bank at 250 mph. We were about 15 sec ahead of the worst concentration. If we hadn't, we would have lost alot of ships. We came back with all ships and one man scratched.
Mon Aug 14 Not much doing today. Tomorrow will be plenty hot though. It's D Day for southern France. Landing will be made about 07:45. I'm not on the first wave, but am going over in the afternoon. Should be a great mission. We're really going to make history now.
Tues Aug 15 #5 Went out over the beachhead this afternoon. There sure are alot of boats up there, shelling hell out of the shore. Thousands of fighters. There was no opposition to speak of. We hit a bridge behind the lines at Sisteron. It was said to be the most important target of D Day. We flattened it.
Wed Aug 16 I thought I would celebrate Bev's birthday with another mission, but it was cancelled. So I loafed all day. Now have 5 missions. No mail today - service is getting bad.Thurs Aug 17 #6 Mission over Toulon Horbour this PM. Had a little flak. We picked up five holes in the plane about a foot behind my head. Everyone came out OK though.
Fri Aug 18 Nothing doing today. Just loafed and rested. Got another crew in tonight. One man to fill up one vacancy. One letter today.
Sat Aug 19 Flew spare on a mission on guns at Toulon. There was an opening but the other spare beat me to it, thank God. The flight I tried to get into lost #1 & #4 ships and wounded all the men in the wing ships. I didn't mind missing that at all. I should be up again tomorrow and I sure hope we don't get the same target. No mail.
Sun Aug 20 Nothing doing. Received four letters from home. I sure feel terrible about Ward. Hope it doesn't come any closer. One of the letters was from Bobby Statz.
Mon Aug 21 #7 Mission today was on a bridge north of Florence at Grizzana. We ran into flak just after we opened the bomb bays and caught it for 13 solid minutes. I fell behind on the break because of a slow ship and as a result was out in it alone. I had alot of fun doing evasive action and they didn't come close. All ships came back but we had to land at Borgo for gas and come home by night. Me with no lights. All OK though. No mail.
Tues Aug 22 Nothing doing today. Just rested up from yesterday. Read a little, that's all. No mail
Wed Aug 23 Flew co-pilot on a courier run today. Checked oput a new boy in the left seat. Went from here Elinas (?) to Borgo, Corsica, back to Elinas and then home. Not much else doing. No mail again.
Thurs Aug 24 Nothing doing today. Was supposed to go out on spare this PM but didn't get off. No mail. Wrote home.
Fri Aug 25 #8 Mission was on a bridge at Avignon, France. No flak. We blasted hell out of it. Had a very nice compliment from the C.O. in front of the entire squad. He said this was the second time I had flown on his wing, that he had watched me carefully and that I didn't know how to get even a single inch out of position. No mail.
Sat Aug 26 Nothing doing today. Just loafed and read. Received 2 old V-mails from the beginning of July and one letter from the early part of this month. Also got a haircut. Having a little jam session here in the tent now.
Sun Aug 27 Got out of bed only to eat today. I read all the rest of the time. Some of the boys are going home and I sure envy them. No mail
Mon Aug 28 Not a God damn thing doing today. I did get 7 letters from home. It sure was good after such a long lay off.
Tues Aug 29 Not on a mission again today. I slept late and went swimming in the creek and soaked up a little sun. That's all. I did get 2 letters from Bev though.
Wed Aug 30 Flew practice formatiom and bombing this AM. I started checking out in the #4 spot. They said I did OK. Test hopped a plane this PM. Got a letter from Bev and Willie Moore.. 6 day service this time. Up for a mission tomorrow.
Thurs Aug 31 #9 Our mission hit a bridge at Cavarere in the NE Poe Valley, about 30min SW of Venice, and I mean hit!! Stopped in at Rome on the way for gas. We had a little inaccurate flak, but nothing to bother us.. No mail today.
Fri Sept 1 Flew P.D.I. and practiced bombing mission this AM. We dropped some damn near perfect bombs.. More towards checking out in lead spot. Had a new co-pilot to check out and did I sweat. He came down and near stalled us out on the final approach. I had to take over and had to hack his wrists 'cause he froze on the controls. NO MAIL!!
Sat Sept 2 Got up bright and early for dinner. Flew P.D.I. formation and bombing this PM. #4 spot is mine. Nothing else doing. Got a letter from Bev
Sun Sept 3 Not much doing today - just read and loafed the whole day. Went to a show tonight. Up on a mission tomorrow. No mail
Mon Sept 4 #10 Mission today was on a brodge at Molere about 30mi west of Savona. No flak, no nothing. Flew co-pilot in lead ship. Think it's my spot now. Got lots of mail from home today.
Tues Sept 5 #11 Mission was on a bridge at Crema about 30mi SE of Milan. Flew co-pilot in #4 again today. It will be my spot as soon as one crew goes home which should be very soon. No mail today. Went to a show and saw Joe E. Brown tonight.
Wed Sept 6 Nothing doing at all. Just ate and slept. No mail
Thurs Sept 7 Nothing doing this AM. Flew 2 1/2 hrs practice formation this PM. We moved into our new shanty this evening. Pretty nice but the roof leaks. Got a letter, a paper and 2 comic books.
Fri Sept 8 9 month anniversary Not much doing today. Looks as if the rainy season is almost with us. We're going to move in about a week. We're going to Viterbo area about 40mi north of Rome. It should be pretty exciting running over the Gothic line. It's hot to say the least. No mail today. A hellava way to celebrate 9 months of married life.
Sat Sept 9 Nothing doing today. Just sat on my fat fanny. No mail
Sun Sept 10 Nothing doing this morning. Flew P.D.I. and dropped some practice bombs this PM. I started for the show tonight but it was called off. We are no longer allowed to send out any mail and won't be able to until after we have moved. No mail
Mon Sept 11 #12 Flew my first mission in #4 spot today. It was in support of ground movements north of Florence on the Gothic line. Light flak and very inaccurate. Our bombs really plastered the target (my three ships) That spot's mine permanently now. My first (Lt) will be along any day now and I am almost certain to be a Capt at least before I go home.
Tues Sept 12 Nothing doing this AM. WAtched the mission come in this noon and got pictures of a belly landing and also of a ship that came in minus one wheel. No one hurt in either ship. Took alot of shots around different planes this PM. Got one of me in my plane, O'Riley's Daughter
Wed Sept 13 #13 Flew mission today in #4 spot. A very ordinary mission, only a milk run. Was a RR bridge at Pontecurone, just about 40 mi north of Genoa. We got it. I am group alert officer tonight so will be up all night. No mail
Thurs Sept 14 I was up most of the night down at group. Slept most of the morning. It rained most of the afternoon. Got a letter from Bev and Warren. I kinda hope it will be a girl as the doc says. I don't know why, but now I think I'd like one.
Fri Sept 15 Nothing much doing today. Flew co-pilot to our new field this PM. I asked for it just for the ride. It won't be half bad at all. I don't think we'll be there long though. That's all. No mail
Sat Sept 16 #14 Mission went to Rimini today. There were only about a dozen bursts of flak all together. One of them wounded my bombardier, Roberts. There was only one hole. A piece came through the nose and bounced off beteween my legs just nicking my pants. The glass got Roberts in the face and scratched my co-pilots arm. We got out - but fast. Took care of the boys OK and they're all set to go again even if a little worse for wear No mail.
Sun Sept 17 Not much doing today. Read most of the time. Went to the show tonight. On a mission tomorrow. Got 3 letters from Bev tonight.
Mon Sept 18 #15 Mission on a RR/B at Revigo, 45mi SW of Venice. We got several near misses but didn't hit it. Moderate flak but no hits. We hit alot of bad weather coming back. Got separated from the formation but brought my eleven in OK on instruments. Our shanty damn near floated away in the rain. Everything is soaked. No mail Tues Sept 19 Nothing doing today. Just monkeyed around. No mail
Wed Sept 20 Nothing doing again today. I hung all my clothes on the line to air out. Read all PM.. May fly some boys to Corsica tomorrow. No mail
Thurs Sept 21 I flew the Col. to the new field this AM. I am moving tomorrow. The fiels is on the east coast of Corsica. It's not too comfortable, but we shouldn't be there too long. No mail
Fri Sept 22 It was a long day today. Up at 4:15. Flew a ship to Corsica and waited there to see if I was on a mission. Flew back to Sardinia and picked up my stuff and brought it up. That's all added later: Promotion Orders carry today's date
Sat Sept 23 Slept outside last night. Put up our tent this AM. Bob is still in the hosp. We sweated out a mission but when it didn't go, we took a ship to Sardinia for group. Took too long loading, so RON.
Sun Sept 24 Flew back to Corsica at 6:30 this AM. Climbed the sack. I slept on the floor last night. Took a bath in a mountain stream this PM, first one in days. Wrote home for a change.
Mon Sept 25 Not much doing today. I was supposed to be on a mission but it was cancelled because of rain. Am up again tomorrow AM but I don't think that one will go either. Just read all day.
Tues Sept 26 #16 Mission was on a bridge at Ostiglia in the Poe Valley. There was intense accurate flak. We picked up 7 holes and ripped up my left wing, knocking out my electrical system. All my men OK though. Two ships in the group are unaccounted for as yet. Up tomorrow again. No mail
Wed Sept 27 Up bright and early for dinner today. Back in the sack immediately afterward. Took a bath later on and wrote a letter. No mail
Thurs Sept 28 It rained all day today. Received 4 letters from home. We got some wine tonight and got just a little bit happy.
Fri Sept 29 More rain today. A big day, my promotion came through to 1st Lieut. As a result we had to get some more wine and get just a little bit happier than last night. No mail added later: Orders as flight leader dated today. Sat Sept 30 Not much doing today. It rained most of the day, so we just sat around and shot the bull. Got a few letters.
Sun Oct 1 #17 This mission was on a bridge across the Turbigo River at Galliate about 30 miles west of Milan. Missed it. Light inaccurate flak. I saw the Doc today and he said that from yesterday's letter, the baby should be here. Sure wish I knew.
Mon Oct 2 I was up again today but the mission didn't get off. So we just sat around again. I did get a haircut and a shave. No mail
Tues Oct 3 #18 Mission was on a bridge at Piazzola about 10 mi north of Padua and 30 mi west of Venice. We hit it! I was riding co-pilot to check out a new man in #4. Not much else doing. No mail. Went on orders as a flight leader today too.
Wed Oct 4 Not much of anything doing today. No mission. Read awhile and took a bath this afternoon. Wrote home. No mail. Up tomorrow
Thrurs Oct 5 Had a group meeting today. We were told that we will be changing to B-25s. Most of us aren't eager about it. Saw a U.S.O. show this afternoon and a movie tonight. No mail
Fri Oct 6 Not much doing todaay. It rained all day so we got a little wine to help pass the time. Went to the show this PM No mail
Sat Oct 7 Flew a little PDI and bombing this AM. We took a ride up into the mountains this PM. Received 1 letter. Nothing that told me anything. I'll write home tonight.
Sun Oct 8 Married 10 months today. I still don't know if I am a poppa or not yet. Flew a little co-pilot formation this AM. Saw a show this PM. No mail
Mon Oct 9 Mission didn't go again today. Flew PDI and bombing this AM. Made assistant operations officer this PM. Captaincy cinched now. Not much else doing. No mail
Tues Oct 10 Not much doing today. Got a B-25 in the squad this PM. So I went down and looked it over. No mail Wed Oct 11 #19 Mission was over Balongna today. We got the hell shot out of us. Picked up 10 holes. We didn't drop our bombs either. Too much haze. I got 3 letters today but they said nothing.
Thurs Oct 12 Not much on today.We were supposed to go back to Balongna and get shot at again today. We couldn't get to the target because of the weather. I have a cold and am having ear trouble in the air so I'm leaving my crew off the schedule for a couple of days. Got letters from Dick Gamble and Bev today.
Fri Oct 13 Not much doing today. I got grounded and spent most of the day in the sack. I am alert officer tonight. Received a package.
Sat Oct 14 Only got 2 hours sleep last night. I'm dead to the world. We had a B-25 class this AM anf PM. One more package from home. No letters. Still groundedSun Oct 15 Up at 04:30 this AM. Getting mission and xc's 0ff. Not too much doing the rest of the day. I am really getting a kick out of this operations job. Still grounded. No mail
Mon Oct 16 Not much today. Still grounded. I got a letter and some comic books today. The letter was very old and did not say much.
Tues Oct 17 I heard today that Bob was hurt in an accident at Naples. His left kneecap was torn off. One man was killed. Bob was co-pilot. Pilot overshot the field and ran off into a ditch at the end of the runway. That finishes him for combat.
Wed Oct 18 Not much doing today. I'm still grounded. Got a late letter today ( Oct 10 ). Baby is not here yet. Dammit. Still grounded.
Thurs Oct 19 Nothing doing again today. I got back on duty. I'm on tomorrow's mission. Had a B-25 class for pilots and co-pilots tonight. Nothing else.
Fri Oct 20 #20 Mission today was on a bridge at Mantua, about 20 miles south of Lake Garda. Fighters shot down 3 of our ships at the same place yesterday. No fighters today and just a little flak. We got the tatget. Had a B-25 class for engineers tonight.
Sat Oct 21 Not much doing today. I checked out in a B-25 today. It is really an easy ship to fly. It's just a toy compared to a B-26. One short letter. No baby yet.
Sun Oct 22 We flew to Tunis today to pick up a B-25. On the way back we saw a tanker under fire from a shore battery. It was all aflame and before we knew what was up, thedamn fools in the tanker threw up some flak at us. We got out, but fast. Something is wrong when you get shot at on a xic. No mail. Wrote home
Mon Oct 23 Flew a little PDI and formation this AM. Not much doing the rest of the day. Got a letter from home. Not a damn thing about Bev but plenty about her mother - just what I was afraid of. Right now I am interested in nothing or no one but Bev and yet I can't seem to get that across. Wish she'd realize that.
Tues Oct 24 Dropped a few practice bombs this AM. Took my laundry out and took a shower this afternnon. Saw a movie tonight. No mail
Wed Oct 25 Rained all day so I got out of the sack long enough to eat. No mail and since Bev wrote that she was having cramps, I'm really hungry for news. Hope it happens soon.
Thurs Oct 26 More rain again today so there was nothing at all doing. No mail again. There is something wrong with this mail set-up. I sure am sweating these letters out.
Fri Oct 27 Flew a little transition this AM but got rained out. Nothing doing the rest of the day. No Mail. Went to the show. (Added later) BABY DAY A baby boy, 8lb 10oz.
Sat Oct 28 Well, the baby was due yesterday but as the doc says, it should be here. I'm going crazy. flew practice this AM and PM. Got one old letter tonight. I'm going to write home.
Sun Oct 29 Flew practice bombing this AM and PM. No Mail. If I don't hear in the next week, I'm going to the Red Cross and have them find out for me.
Mon Oct 30 Flew a little PDI this PM. Got lots of mail, but it was all old and didn't say a thing. Not much else doing. Went to a show tonight.
Tues Oct 31 Flew a little formation this AM. Took a shower and got my laundry this PM. Went to the show tonight. No mail
Wed Nov 1 Up for a mission today but it did not go. Sat around and did nothing all day. No mail
Thurs Nov 2 Mission cancelled again today but I did get in a couple of hours of formation this AM,. I don't feel too well - stomach is upset. No mail
Fri Nov 3 GOT IT TODAY! A cable saying that it is a boy after all. It sure doesn't feel any different to be a father. Of course the drinks were on me as I was saving up my allowance. I Got just a little bit happy. Sure do wish I could have been there.
Sat Nov 4 #21 Mission today on a bridge north of Padua. We hit it! It was the first mission in the 25s. I got all the details of childbirth today. He sure must be a cute little guy. I want to get home more than ever now. It is a big relief to know that everything is OK.
Sun Nov 5 Not much doing today. I wasn't on the mission. Took a bath. No mail. Am going to write home.
Mon Nov 6 Stayed in bed until noon trying to sweat out this cold. I feel much better. Nothing else doing. Got some more old letters. Went to the show again tonight.
Tues Nov 7 #22 Well, finally a mission! to Peschiera. We hit a bridge at the southern end of Lake Garda. There's not much left of it now. Nothing else doing. No mail. Am going to write home
Wed Nov 8 #23 11month anniversary Mission was on a bridge at Latisana,northeast of Venice. We knocked hell out of it. Got one letter today. Went to the show tonight. Up for a mission again tomorrow
Thurs Nov 9 #24 Today the mission was a bridge at San Michele in the Brenner Pass at the north end of Lake Garda. Only 40 miles from the German border. Led a flight today. No fighters, light flak, no trouble.. We didn't drop because of extremely rough air and clouds. No mail
Fri Nov 10 #25 Today it was a bridge at Casalmaggiore, about 15 mi north of Parma. We really cabbaged it. Had a little trouble last night. The tent blew down. We had to put up a new home today. Got a couple of letters too. Up for another mission tomorrow.
Sat Nov 11 #26 Today our target was a bridge at Padua. No one hit it but we scared hell out of anyone standing on it. Saw a couple of bursts of flak but nothing close. No mail tonight.
Sun Nov 12 Not much doing. It rained all afternoon so there was no flying. No mail today. That's all
Mon Nov 13 Nothing doing this AM. I checked a couple of new boys out in the 25 this PM. Got one letter.
Tues Nov 14 Not very much doing this AM. Got a couple of hours with those same boys this PM. I guess they don't like me 'cause they keep trying to pile the plane up. No mail
Wed Nov 15 Not much again today. We dropped a few practice bombs this AM. I watched one of the boys pile my ship up at the end of the runway.. Now I have to look for another. Got a box of candy from Bella. No other mail Thurs Nov 16 #27 This mission was on a bridge at Piecenza about 30 mi SE of Milan. There was lots of flak, but only one hole. We cabbaged the bridge. No mail. Going to write home tonight.
Fri Nov 17 My birthday - age 22 #28 Celebrated my birthday with a mission on a flak battery at Peschiera at the SE corner of Lake Garda. I led my flight in ahead of the rest of the boys to fragment about 30 guns. We missed but scared hell out of them 'cause they didn't fire after we dropped. One of our ships was shot down by flak up in the Adriatic area. No mail
Sat Nov 18 Not on a mission for a change. I picked myself a new ship this AM. Went to town this PM and had a bath. I bought a pair of pants. I'm going to write home tonight. One letter from Mom.
Sun Nov 19 #29 This mission was on a bridge at Obedisce, SE of Zagrad and East of Sisak in Yugoslavia. Had to carry side (couldn't make this out, the word is 6 or 7 letters and ends in "ins") for the first time. No flak and we really hit it. No mail
Mon Nov 20 Nothing doing this AM. Went to town this PM. Nothing doing there. Went to the show tonight. No mail
Tues Nov 21 Dropped a few practice bombs this AM. Nothing doing the rest of the day. received three letters this PM. Am going to write home
Wed Nov 22 Not much doing all day. Just sat around all the time. No mail
Thurs Nov 23 #30 On the mission today we were supposed to drop frags in support of the troops at Faenza east of Bologna. The weather socked in and we couldn't drop. We were on solid instruments over target. we got snow, hail, sleet and rain. We picked up alot of ice. all came back OK. No mail.
Fri Nov 24 #31 Today we had the same target as yesterday. But this time we hit it. We had a little fairly accurate flak but nothing to worry about. No mail. Going to write home.
Sat Nov 25 Dropped a few practice bombs this AM and checked another man out in #4 this PM. No mail. Got orders to go to rest camp for a week. I hope I don't miss out on too many missions. I sure will miss out on mail though.
Sun Nov 26 Flew to Naples this AM. Then took a boat to Capri this PM. I'm staying at the Morgano Hotel. things are swell, a private room, a bath, room service and good food. Went to a stage show and dance this evening.
Mon Nov 27 I rolled out about 11:30 this AM and took a boat ride to the Blue Grotto this PM. It is really beautiful. Had a few drinks and took in a movie this evening
Tues Nov 28 It rained almost all day so I wrote a letter home. Not much else doing. Had a few drinks and took in a movie rhis evening.
Wed Nov 29 Not much doing this AM. I took a horse and buggy ride to San Michele this PM - was very disappointed. Had a few drinks and went to a dance this PM.
Thurs Nov 30 It rained most of theday. I went thru a 16th century monastery this Pm. It is still going strong. Not much else. Movie tonight.
Fri Dec 1 Nothing much doing. I played ping pong and took in a movie. I'm packing tonight - leaving tomorrow AM for Naples to spend a day or two there.
Sat Dec 2 Got up and caught the boat to Naples this AM. I bought a few things at the PX. Went to the Orange Club this PM.
Sun Dec 3 I'm back on Corsica this PM. Two letters waiting. Got grounded. I was awarded the Air Medal while I was away. Gonna hit the sack early
Mon Dec 4 Nothing at all doing today. No mail. Wrote home. Back on flying
Tues Dec 5 Up for a mission today but it was cancelled. Loafed all AM and worked on the tent a little this PM. Lots of packages came in but no mail for me. Up for tomorrow's mission.
Wed Dec 6 Mission was cancelled today but I'm up again tomorrow. Nothing doing this AM. Slept in the PM. I got a package of cookies from Bev. No other mail. Went to the show tonight.
Thurs Dec 7 Nothing again today. I took a bath this PM. Got one package and one letter. Wrote home. Now the movie
Fri Dec 8 Our anniversary, one year Married one year today. I sure hope that it's not long before I'm back with Bev again. We've been together only 6 mo of the first year. Nothing doing today - got one letter.
Sat Dec 9 Nothing doing today. Got another package this PM. No other mail Sun Dec 10 Nothing again. Not even any mail. Went to the show. Up for a mission tomorrow
Mon Dec 11 Nothing doing this AM. Flew 2 hours formation this PM. No mail. Wrote home.
Tues Dec 12 Mission cancelled again today. Flew formation this PM. No mail. No nuthin!!
Wed Dec 13 #32 We were supposed to go on Brenner again. I was leading the flak flight.. The weather wouldn't let us through though. Two letters from Bev today.
Thurs Dec 14 Mission cancelled again today.. Went to town this PM. Took some shoes to be repaired. Had ice cream at the Red Cross. No mail
Fri Dec 15 Mission canceled again. Loafed all day. Got 3 letters. Wrote home Sat Dec 16 Mission canceled once more. Flew formation this PM. Got several old letters. One from Billy and Betty
Sun Dec 17 Same old song, Mission canceled. Flew PDI and bombing this PM. Saw a USO show. No mail
Mon Dec 18 Mission canceled. Went to town this PM. Got the pictures today and a card from Mike Wolke
Tues Dec 19 Mission canceled. Loafed all day. Wrote 5 letters, Stobby, Billy and Betty, Gamble, Merrill and Bev. one of the boys got news of his baby so had a few drinks on him. Got one letter.
Wed Dec 20 Mission canceled. Rained all day so I got up only to eat. No mail Thurs Dec 21 Nothing doing. Bad weather all day again. No mail - no nuthin
Fri Dec 22 #33 Mission today was on a RR block at St. Ambrogia. The target was covered over so we bombed the alt. which was OK. I led the flak flight again. No mail
Sat Dec 23 Not much doing today. I was supposed to leave for another group to take a course on radio bombing but it was put off til after Xmas. Took a bath. had a haircut. No mail
Sun Dec 24 Rained again today. Wrote home. Had a swell turkey dinner and a party afterwards. I only had 1 1/2 glasses of wine. No mail
Mon Dec 25 No missions today. Just loafed as usual. Had a good steak supper. No mail. I am alert officer tonight. Tues Dec 26 Nothing doing this AM. Went to town this PM. Got 2 packages tonight. Nothing else
Wed Dec 27 #34 This mission was on a bridge at Chiusaforte due north of Udine and 11 miles from Austria. Up again tomorrow. Letter from Bev and Bob. Also three packages. That's all
Thurs Dec 28 #35 Same place as yesterday. Nothing exciting, just long. Up again tomorrow. Got 2 letters today. Will write home tomorrow
Fri Dec 29 #36 Mission today was st the same place, Chiusaforte. This time we really got it. It was second in importance to Brenner and they wanted to make certain that it was really out. Two letters. Wrote home
Sat Dec 30 Loafed today. I got 2 letters and 2 packages from Bev and one from her Pop. I'm up tomorrow.
Sun Dec 31 #37 Today we went to the same place. It was our LAST mission. I had the good fortune to lead the group today. We are going HOME!! I'm thru flying and we are leaving here next week. Hot Dog!!
Mon Jan 1 Nothing doing this AM. Flew 4 hrs this PM tp get flying time for this month. Got one letter.
Tues Jan 2 Nothing much all day. Just started packing. Swung 4 compasses this PM (???bjb) No mail
Wed Jan 3 Not much today. I just tried to get ready to go home. Mail has stopped coming and I have stopped writing. It still seems too good to be true.
Thurs Jan 4 I was presented the Air Medal in a parade this AM. I inspected enlisted men's luggage this Pm. We are supposed to fly to Naples on Sat. Finished packing.
Fri Jan 5 I checked enlisted men's bags all day. Read all evening.
Sat Jan 6 Checked EM bags all day again. We're leaving tomorrow if the weather is OK.
Sun Jan 7 Flew to Naples this AM. I am in the 7th Repl. Depot. There is nothing to do now until the boat leaves. No heat here. It's colder than Hell. I'm going to end the diary here. All that is left is a description of the voyage to Boston. He loaded onto the "Westpoint" formerly the cruise ship "America" on Jan 15 and arrived in Boston on Jan 25. Went by train to Bradley Field, Conn at Windsor Locks, was processed that night and left by train for home the next morning. On the following page are some notes from the back of the book #21 Orginal Crew Co-P R.D.Edmonson 2nd Lt X Bomb J.H.Bartells 2nd Lt - 1st Lt Eng. L.N.Kalwaytis Sgt - S/Sgt Rear Gun J.W.Israel Cpl - Sgt Gun J.E.Day Cpl X (Does the "X" mean killed?? bjb) Later Crew Co-P M.P.Turok 2nd Lt Bomb R.C. Roberts 1st Lt Eng L.N. Kalwaytis S/Sgt Rear Gun J.W. Israel S/Sgt Gun L.L. McDonald S/Sgt Route States to Combat Savannah, Ga - West Palm Bch, Fla - Borinquen Field, Puerto Rico - Georgetown, British Guiana - Belem, Brazil - Fortaleza, Brazil - Natal, Brazil - Ascension Island - Marshall, Liberia - Dakar, Senegal - Marrakech, French Morocco (9100mi) - Tunis, Tunisia - Elmas, Sardinia - Decimomannu, Sardinia. Total distance 10,318mi Total time 5 - 6:20 Note from BJB. As bad as Dick's handwriting was, he was aware of it and was very careful to print the names of the mission targets he was on. He was also careful to locate them with some reference to a well known town or area nearby.