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34th Bomb Group Training Flights in MAY 1944

Compiled by Gary L. Ferrell

 

An order dated 11 May 1944 laid out the schedule of flight training and ground school. (by Squadrons)

 

Flying (Morning and Afternoon) Ground training (0900 – 1200, 1300 – 1700)

May 12 & 16 7, 18, 391 4

May 13 & 17 18, 391, 4 7

May 14 & 18 391, 4, 7 18

May 15 & 19 4, 7, 18 391

 

The above only gives a probable schedule to be followed, circumstances permitting, but direct reference (to the pages below) will bear out the actual accomplishment of flight training and the types of flights flown by the above squadrons. Reference will show too how this flight training developed our crews from “back-in-the-states-fledglings” to “war-time-eagles.”

 

Training Missions as a B-24 Group in May 1944

 

May 12, 1944 Morning

Aircraft took off in order but made poor assembly. Lead Navigator made too many turns causing formation to fail miserably to gain proper formation. The descent spread out formation and on landing the peel out and landing were poor. Flight time was 4 hours 15 minutes.

Planes used are not recorded.

Blair – Trutanich (CA) Lead Squadron

Baker

Cliff

Erwin

Smith, O. E.

Eastman

Foster

Meyer

Culver

Daniels

Adams

Stewart

Bush – Jackson (CA) High Squadron

Alexander

Terry

Gardner, H.

Hardison

Hollowell

Avriett

Doell

Boshears

Smith, J. C.

Brown

McDermott

Ralls – Juris (CA) Low Squadron

Tuttle

Lynstrom

Laskin

Gipson

Kiley

Brain

Parrish

Dees

Blackburn

Paulnock

Harre

Anderson

 

May 12, 1944 Afternoon

Group formation. Assembly formation. Landing procedure. 24 aircraft took off and assembled in better formation than during the morning flight. Positions were maintained better during this low altitude flight. Flight time was 1 hours 30 minutes.

Avriett – Scherr (CA) High Squadron

Culver

Daniels

Brophy

Harre – Maddux (CA) Lead Squadron

McDermott

Brown

Swenson

Bower

Hollowell

Baker

Brain

Dean

Adams

Laskin

Meyer

Bush

Harris

Parrish

Blackburn

Tuttle

Kilby

Lindstrom

 

May 14, 1944 Morning

36 aircraft briefed on high altitude formation mission. Instrument take off procedure used. The Squadron assembly fair but there was a misunderstanding on correct buncher to use; some used one, others another. Group assembly was good and all squadrons met zero hour on time. Leader of High Squadron had to abort causing some confusion, but as a whole the formation was good. Two targets were camera bombed. The assembly at the rally point for second target not very good. Peel off above overcast was attempted with only fair results due to improper descending courses being flown. Flight time was 7 hours.

Israelson (P) Ackerman (N) Jones, S. T. (B) Garrett (CA) Lead Squadron, Camera bombed

Heath

Simpson

Timblin

Mackey

Ray (P) Wentz (N) Kinney (B) Brophy (CA) Low Squadron

Marks

Daniels

Armstrong

Meyer

Notman

Bower

Thrun

Baker

Wright

Cook

Pavlicek

McAllister (P) Baldea (N) Kinney (B) Kleinfall (?) Crabtree (CA) High Squadron. ABORTED.

Terry

Dean

Avriett

Brown

Doell

Erwin

Blair

Culver

Gardner

Hardison

Bush

Alexander

Hayes

Holmes

 

May 14, 1944 Afternoon

4 aircraft carrying lead crew bombardiers were dispatched at 1545 to practice bomb the Otmoor Range. Each carried twenty practice bombs. The weather briefing indicated five tenths coverage at medium altitude over the target. When the aircraft reached the target there was a ceiling running from eight tenths to overcast with base at 3800 feet. Aircraft returned to base and landed.

McDermott

Smith, O. E.

Runyon

Tuttle

 

May 15, 1944 Afternoon

No field order was received and all flying consisted of individual bombing, ferry trips and test hops. 8 aircraft dispatched on Gynsbok Range. All bombed at Medium altitude with good results. Few modification flights. Number of test hops scheduled by squadrons were flown in local area.

Hardison (P) Metz (N) Shore (B)

Bush (P) Jackson (N) Cook (B)

McAllister (P) Baldea (N) Kinney (B)

Ralls (P) Juris (N) Parenteau (B)

Ray (P) Wentz (N) Hohnstreiter (B)

Blair (P) Trutanich (N) Underwood (B)

Heath (P) Gellatti (N) Deering (B)

Israelson (P) Reed (N) Campbell (B)

 

Also one aircraft carried three skeleton crews to Honington. That aircraft remained there for modification and the crews brought back three of our aircraft that had been modified back to base. Three aircraft flew to Debach, picked up ten aircraft there and led them to Wharton. Our aircraft then carried the ten Debach crews back to base.

 

May 16, 1944 Morning

All pilots listed scheduled to take off and climb to 21,000 feet for a rendezvous at Splasher No. 6. Each ship was to simulate a group approach from different directions and form three ship elements, simulated Wing, at Splacher 6, three minutes apart. After formation of Wings, course was to Gynsbok Bombing Range. Due to extremely low visibility and practically instrument conditions up to 23,000 feet only nine pilots made the rendezvous as scheduled. No pilot was off more than 60 seconds at control point. Semi hazy overcast solid from 1500 – 23,000 feet.

Only those planes listing a bombardier were able bomb through holes in the undercast. Flight time was 7 hours.

* Mackey (P) Gallacher (N)

Hardison (P) Metz (N)

* Bush (P) Jackson (N)

Lindstrom (P) Robert (N)

Terry (P) Pacholski (N) Ritchie (B)

Laskin (P) Orr (N)

* Notman (P) Walcott (N) Nelson (B)

* Baker (P) Heland (N)

* Bower (P) Lemen (N)

Ralls (P) Juris (N)

* McAllister (P) Baldea (N) Kinney (B)

* Israelson (P) Kleinfall (N)

* Heath (P) Gellatti (N)

* Ray (P) Wentz (N)

Blair (P) Trutanich (N) Underwood (B)

* Only these pilots made the rendezvous as scheduled.

 

May 17, 1944 Morning

36 ships took off and formed into Squadron Formation over field at 1000 feet. Take off was delayed thirty minutes by local shower. Assembly at 1000 feet because of low scattered. Command Pilot decided ceiling too low to form Squadron into Group. Squadrons flew locally one hour then landed because of weather. Formation was excellent from assembly to landing. Flight time was 1 hour, 30 minutes.

Ralls (P) Juris (N) Boyd (CA) Lead Squadron

Laskin

Pedigo

Copeland

Dees

Blackburn

Kiley

Gardner, M.

Brain

Harris

Paulnock

Heath (P) Gelatti (N) High Squadron

Israelson

Armstrong

Notman

Marks

Timblin

Cook

Runyan

Pavlicek

Mackey

Dreher

Johanson

Blair (P) Trutanich (N) Low Squadron

Baker

Meyer

Erwin

Becker

Smith, O. E.

Ray

Daniels

Adams

Bower

Culver

Foster

Wright

Simpson

 

B-24H 41-29562 “Tommy Thumper” salvaged with non-battle damage. This plane had suffered a hard landing after a training flight. Pilot: Pedigo.

RTD Pedigo, William E. (P)                                 2Lt              4          O-686592

RTD Danielian, Leo (CP)                                     2Lt              4          O-760261

RTD McColl, Roderich H. (N)                            2Lt              4          O-704033

RTD Saxen, Robert (E)                                        Sgt              4          17071052

RTD Overholt, Charles N. (R)                            S/Sgt          4          32731413

RTD Poirier, Sidney L. (G)                                  Sgt              4          33551701

RTD Storer, Lester F. (G)                                    Sgt              4          35474257

RTD Wade, Francis A. (G)                                 Sgt              4          12077782

RTD Jones, William T. Jr. (G)                             Sgt              4          33616766

 

May 18, 1944 Morning

Flight cancelled due to weather.

 

May 18, 1944 Afternoon

Due to weather, 36 ships were flown beneath the overcast in 12 ship Squadron formations rather than being assembled into Group. Assemblies were good. Each Squadron being formed by two turns over the field. Formation of the Low (C) and Lead (B) was good throughout the period.

Formation of the High (C) Squadron was only fair, and the top element too far back, other elements too loose. Meyer, 42-94815 took off out of scheduled order due to twenty minutes delay while changing APU. McDermott, 41-28865 took off 1:15 late after taxing off hardstand into mud. Boshears, 42-94818, flew last thirty minutes of formation with No. 1 engine feathered, magneto shielding bared to rain made engine run rough. Peel offs too slow, landing pattern too large. No abortions.

Blair (P) Trutanich (N) Crabtree (CA) Lead Squadron

Meyer

Ray

Erwin

Brown

Foster

Daniels

Adams

Becker

Cliff

Baker

Culver

Terry (P) Adams (N) Brophy (CA) High Squadron

Tuttle

Priddy

Alexander

Smith, J. C.

Holmes

McDermott

Gardner

Boshears

Hayes

Mackey (P) Gallagher (N) Garrett (CA) Low Squadron

Wright

Heath

Cook

Swenson

Marks

Dreher

Thrun

Pavlicek

Dean

Simpson

Timblin

Doell

Avriett

 

May 19, 1944 Morning

No field order from Com Wing. A 36 ship group formation was briefed to fly a high altitude mission making a bombing attack on the Gynsbok Range. The 36 aircraft took off from 1045 to 1138 hours. In addition 2 aircraft took off five minutes later to act as spares and accompany the formation to 15,000 feet. Upon reaching 15,000 feet the two spares, if not used were to return to base. Take off was spiral assembly over buncher 19 at 10,000 feet. An overcast condition arose prior to take off and made type assembly unsuitable. It was suggested by Col. Gerheart at critique that the three types of assembly be called A, B, C so that last minute changes could be made in type to be used. Control point times were very close to estimated times of flight plan. On first bomb run Group Lead ship aborted after IP because of erratic A-5. No. 2 place took lead and three more passes made with Squadron in train. Turn from IP to target was only 19 degrees and not sufficient to cover properly. It should be 45 to 90. Decided at critique that 155 MPH too slow to fly back from target. 160 will be flown. Formation was brought through break in overcast to let down. Accomplished in good order. Landing was good except that pattern was a bit large and planes landed hot at close intervals. Following strike reports were received during mission. Ship 42-94799 attacked primary target, visual bombing, with fair results, bombs away at 1306. Ship No. 41-29548 attacked primary, visual bombing, with good results, bombs away at 1340. Flight time was 5 hours 30 minutes.

Ralls (P) Juris (N) Parenteau (B) Boyd (CA Lead Squadron

Lindstrom (P) Robert (N) Morris (B)

Harris

Parrish

Gardner

Kiley

Gipson

Blackburn

Harre

Hanson

Salveson

Dees

Laskin

Israelson (P) Kleinfall (N) Campbell (B) High Squadron

Mackey

Simpson

Timblin

Marks

Thrun

Notman

Dreher

Runyon

Heath

Hollowell

Wright

Cook

McAllister (P) Bladea (N) Kinney (B) Tavasti (CA) Low Squadron

Hardison

Doell

Smith, J. C.

Boshears

Swenson

Alexander

Gardner

Hayes

Tuttle

Brown

Avriett

 

May 20, 1944 Morning

Instrument take off made with 45 seconds between ships. Lead squadron took off 9 minutes and as Lead of High Squadron started take off the No. 4 engine cut out causing plane to run off runway to right. Since there was sufficient clearance for succeeding planes, No 2 took the lead. Three minutes were lost with the crew of the disabled ship going to spare aircraft and continuing the flight. Group assembly made at 10,000 feet at Buncher 19 and climb started to bombing altitude reaching control point No. 1 late, but with good formation. Control points reached approximately scheduled time. IP reached but due to high overcast scheduled altitude could not be attained. Low broken clouds partially obscured the target but camera bombing was accomplished by two squadrons. The High Squadron became separated from the group after passing through layer of clouds and returned to base at 1100. The remaining squadrons reached base at 1230 in fair formation, landing procedure was good. Flight time was 6 hours.

Terry (P) Adams (N) LeBaily (CA)Lead Squadron

Bush

Swenson

Smith, J. C.

Hollowell

Dean

Gardner, M.

Alexander

Holmes

Hayes

Avriett

Doell

Gipson (P) Pariseau (N) Eaton (CA) High Squadron

Hanson

Brain

Coupland

Salveson

Parrish

Paulnock

Pedigo

Harris

Kiley

Gardner, H.

Bower (P) Morrison (N) Fandel (CA) Low Squadron

Baker

Adams

Smith, O. E.

Culver

Blair

Daniels

Becker

Meyer

Stuart

Eastman

Blackburn

Foster

McDermott

Cliff

Laskin

 

May 22, 1944 Afternoon

39 aircraft dispatched between 1314 and 1342 to fly practice bombing mission as Lead Group of 93rd CBW in conjunction with 92nd CBW. Take off and assembly excellent. Mission proceeded according to schedule. No bombs dropped because of weather. One aircraft lost upon assembly and flew mission with 92nd (CBW). Formation good throughout mission. As result of mission, interval for squadron uncovering changed from 15 to 20 seconds. Squadron formations were good but group formation was loose on return flight. Landing good. Flight time was 5 hours.

Baker (P) Helland (N) Conly, LeBaily & Crabtree (CAs) Lead Squadron

Smith, O. E.

Dreher

Holmes

Foster

Culver

Cook

Brown

Blair

Cliff

Simpson

Gardner

Ray

Israelson (P) Kleinfall (N) Garrett (CA) High Squadron

Thrun

Boshears

Bower

Wright

Marks

Hayes

Stewart

Heath

Hardison (P) Mete (N) Tavasti (CA) Low Squadron

McDermott

Becker

Johanson

Doell

Dean

Eastman

Notman

McAllister

Meyer

Daniels

Timblin

Alexander

Runyon

Armstrong

Smith, J. C.

Tuttle