w

Mission Log Summary: Sargeant John Kolthoff Bombardier

Webmaster’s Note: I was very pleased to receive a copy of Sgt. Kolthoff’s mission log (see actual pages here). It is extra exciting because he served in the 344th Bomb Group 495th Bomb Squadron along with my father and at about the same time. I was able to compare what Kolthoff and Carrozza had to say about the same mission. This helps to insure the veracity of the information they included. In fact, Kolthoff often left the date out of his entries. I was able to retrieve a few by comparing the target and other data to my father’s entries. It may be interesting for you to compare the two. Find Carrozza’s Mission Log here.

.

I, Sergent Kolthoff took the Northern Route to the ETO: Labrador to Northern Ireland.

I took a train to Ireland and a boat to England.

I took a train to Paddington, England and joined the 92 BG 327th BS. This was a B-17 group.
The first mission was May 24, 1944 over Berlin. We encountered much flak and ME-109 fighters. The plane behind me got shot down.

Second B-17 mission was a milk run to Decamp, France against gun positions.
The third mission was to Strasburgh, Germany against an airfield. We didn’t drop bombs due to overcast skies.

The forth B-17 mission was D-Day, June 6, 1944. I was assigned as bombardier at the last minute.

We met little opposition on D-Day and had a fighter escort. Another bombardier screwed up and bombed our own troops by dropping 12- 500b bombs late in the channel.

The fifth B-17 mission was to Conches, France. Our navigator got lost and headed toward Spain. After correcting course we made it to the coast but with little fuel to cross the channel.

We made it across the English Channel without having to ditch the plane. We landed at a fighter base where we were treated well. My sixth raid was over Etampes Mondesir Aerodrome. We saw the planes hit by flak and enemy fighters.

My seventh B-17 mission was to a Hamburg, Germany oil refinery. The flak was intense and we lost an engine. The lead PFF ship was shot down. Due to clouds we needed to bomb with a Pathfinder (PFF)

Mission 8 was a milk run to Pas De Calais airfield.

.
Mission 9 was to Berlin. We met lots of accurate flak. I saw saw some parachutes but I didn’t see the planes go down.

Mission 9 contd: I saw two B-17s collide and saw three chutes total.

.
Mission 10 in a B-17 (provided little info)

.
Mission 11 (B-17) 6/24/44 I flew as bombardier with a new crew. The old crew was assigned to dropping propaganda leaflets. My old crew was pretty poor. We bombed Bremem, Germany and encountered much flak.

.

On July 22, 1944 I was sent from Paddington field to Bishop Stortford. Here I joined the 344th Bomb Group 495th Bomb Squadron to fly B-26 aircraft out of Stansted.

.
Mission 1: July 25, 1944 I bombed gun installations in St. Lo to support ground troops.

.

Mission 1 contd. Some of the planes in the group dropped bombs too soon and hit our troops. Flak was light but made a hole in the fuselage.We used 20-250lb bombs.

.
Mission 2: July 25, 1944 (as per Carrozza’s log). We bombed a Maintenow, France railroad bridge. Our P-38s chased som ME-109s. I dropped late and missed the target.

.

Mission 3: July 26, 1944 Senoches, France powder plant using 12- 500b bombs. I could tell we hit the target by the big flames in the surrounding woods.

.
Mission 4: July 28, 1944 Senoches, France fuel dump. Encountered no flak or fighters. We hit the target and could tell by the flames that could be seen far away.

.

Mission 5: July 28, 1944 was to Merey, France. Used 4- 1000b bombs on a railroad bridge. We met no resistance and had a P-47 escort.

.
Mission 6: August 3, 1944 Merey, France 4- 1000b bombs. We had P-51 escort. We didn’t drop due to visibility.

.

Mission 7: Aug 7, 1944 to Brest, France. The target was 2 ships the Germans were going to sink to block a narrow channel. I think we missed them. The flak was heavy and the rudder was severed. The captain announced a standby to bail out.

Mission 7 contd.: The Captain and crew repaired the rudder with arming wire and we were able to fly home. There was lots of flak. One piece hit a box of 50 caliber shells but none of them went off. I could see our soldiers fighting below and outside of the city. We used 4- 1000b bombs and had 4- P38s for escort.

.

August 5-6th 1944: I was in London on a pass. Ate and checked out a bed at the
Red Cross. Toured London on a Red Cross taxi. Went to bed late but was awakened at
5 am by a buzz bomb. which exploded six blocks away. I heard it come over and then
cut out. I really sweatit out when it cut out because it sounded right overhead. I didnt
go back to bed. The explosion broke a few windows.

While waiting for the train an alarm was sounded and one went off very close. Some
people went to the air raid shelter while others went about their business. I was quite
glad to get away from there.

.
Mission 8: 8/8/1944 Doullens, France. Encountered flak on the way back. In spite of evasive action, the plane next to
him had an engine on fireand Kolhoff’s plane lost an engine but got back just fine on one. Kolthoff was thankful for
his flak suit. The plane had many holes in it. They had to drop out of formation and when they returned to base they were met by a wrecker and ambulance.

.
Mission 9:The target was a bridge near Essigny, France. They were worned that there were 40 guns protecting the target.
The load was 2- 2000lb bombs. They didn’t get hit by the flak. One of the bombs got stuck at first but Kolthoff was able to salvo it right
away. Results were unknown.

.

Mission 10: Quevillon, France the target was a fuel dump. Returned before reaching the
target with 28- 100lb bombs because they had no escort and enemy fighters were in the
vicinity.

.
Mission 11: Auguest 11, 1944 again the ammo dump near Quevillon, France. Dropped 28- 100 lb bombs. Due to clubs, a Pathfinder was used. When the skies cleared for a time , moderate flak was encountered and they got hit by some. Due to clouds over the target, no flak was encountered there.

.
Mission 12: 8/12/1944 Rouen, France with 4- 1000 lb bombs. The target was a bridge
crossing the Seine. A Pathfinder was used due to clouds but it cleared up. The area was
protected by 40 guns. Kolthoff’s ship suffered slight hits, but the planes behind took
more damage. Planes were lost and men were injured.

.
Mission 13: Aug. 12, 1944 the target was a crossroads in Falaise, France using delayed
action bombs. Light but accurate flak shot down one plane and shop up otheres badly.

.
Mission 14: August 13, 1944 target was a crossroads near Lisieux, France loaded with
16- 250 lb bombs. We encountered no flak.

.
Mission 15: Aug 15, 1944 to Chantily, France fuel and ammo dump using 16- 250 lb
bombs. Encountered a lot of accurate flak but used good evasive actions. We still got
some holes in the ship. The planes behind us go hit worse. Over the channel an engine
went out. We landed on the one engine. The bad one had to be replaced

.
Mission 16: Aug 16, 1944 Ammo dump in Rouen, France. Loaded with 28- 100lb bombs.
Couldn’t drop due to overcast.

.
Mission 17: Aug. 25, 1944 Brest, France gun installations. They were loaded with
16- 250lb bombs. Flak was light and inaccurate.

.
Mission 17: August 25, 1944 Brest, France gun installations. We were loaded with 16- 250 lb bombs. Flak was light and inaccurate.

.
Mission 18: Sept 23, 1944 the target was a bridge in Venlo, Holland in support of airborne troops using 16- 250lb bombs. We couldn’t drop due to overcast and the flak was mild and inaccurate.

.
Mission 19: Sept 27, 1944 Foret De Parroy bombed enemy troops using 20- 250 lb
fragmentary bombs. Took little flak. The mission was in support of ground troops.
Located to a new base in France on Sept 30, 1944. Left old base at 4pm and arrived in
France at 5:20. We were almost the first to land and it was swell to see all those B-26
land after us. We were welcombed by the French people. We had to watch out for booby
traps but they seemed to be cleared up. Found lots of German things including 3 planes.
Later an underground plant for building ME- 109s was found. It was 5 miles long.

.
Mission 20: Oct 7, 1944: Bombed a bridge in Arnheim, Holland using 4- 1000lb bombs.
WQe caught a lot of flak from 66 guns over the target. We lost three ships. We had
P-38 and P-47 escort because they expected enermy fighters.

.
Mission 21: Metz, France used 2- 2000 lb bombs on troops in the forest.
We dropped just East of the river. Our troops were West of it.

Mission 22: A bridge in Bullay, Germany was the intended target for our 4- 1000lb
bombs. Dueto overcast over the target be bombed another bridge

.
Mission 23: ( No date) The same bridge in Bullay, Germany was the intended target for
our 4- 1000lb bombs. Encountered flak. Saw fighters but our flight was not attacked.

.
Mission 24:  (No date) Target was a bridge in Mayen, Germany with 4- 1000lb bombs.
Due to clouds over the target we diverted to another bridge. There was flak.

.
Mission 25:  11/2/1944 Target was the same bridge in Mayen, Germany with
4- 1000lb bombs. Using a Pathfinder we destroyed the bridge.

.
Mission 26: 11/5/1944 (This is webmasters correction of date in this journal)
Ordinance depot in Trier, Germany. Despite overcast, flak was heavy. Splaker and
Decker got hit. 4- 1000lb bombs. This was a rough mission.

.
Mission 27: Target enemy defenses on Aachen, Germany 16- 25lb bombs. Little flak.

.
Mission 28: (no date) Duran, Germany enemy defenses. Heavy flak took down some
ships. 30- 100lb bombs.

.
Mission 29: (could be Nov 26, 1944)Ordinance plant in Giessen, Germany. 4- 100 lb
bombs. Caught flak.

.
Mission 30: (could be Nov 26, 1944) Ordinance plant in Giessen, Germany. 16- 250 lb
bombs. Caught flak.

.
Mission 31: (Could be 11/30/44) Erp, Germany. Bombed the town with 16- 250lb
bombs. Flak cracked our plexiglass nose. We lost a few ships.

.
Mission 32: Putzohn, Germany near Echweiter.

.
Mission 33: Ensdorf, Germany near Luxenburg to bomb enemy troops. 16- 250lb
bombs. Pathfinder got hit as did the lead ship and had to salvo. Some planes dropped
off the lead ship and hit a vital place. They received a letter of commendation.

.
Mission 34: (could be Dec 6, 1944) Munstereifel, Germany to support ground troops
using 16- 250lb bombs.

.
Mission 35: Target: Baumholder to bomb enemy troops. It is my last mission and I was plenty
nervous.

Leave a Reply