27- Presidential Unit Citation awarded Group.
29-Group's 300th bombing mission against
9- Aircraft piloted by Lt. John Corley hit by flak and seen to crash. Six chutes
seen in air. Corley reported as prisoner, others reported killed. They were Lts. George
McLaughlin and Phillip Sachs, Sgts. Chester Green, Douglas Jackson, and
Mason M. Mandell. Lt.
Thomas Mattax does "impossible" by landing his B-26 on a narrow paved road in
France when he ran out of gas in a storm and could find no airdrome to land on, after
returning from a mission.
11- Armistice Day celebration at Tille.
12- Lt. Prestridge's plane, while on a night training flight, had a mysterious
explosion and crashed. He was somehow thrown clear of plane, parachute blown open, and
escaped with a compound fracture of the leg. All others aboard were killed. They were Lts.
Romeo Farese, Joseph Pfister and Charles Harris and Sgts. Robert Freiseis and Curtis
17- Lt. Alexander Cordes and crew inaugurate policy of sending fliers to front
lines to get a glimpse of battle on ground, while at same time front line fighters are
sent back to see combat from the air.
20- Squadron alerted as Battle of the Bulge becomes serious.
23- Bombers fight off attacking planes as they fly a double-header against the Nazis in
Belgian Bulge. S/Sgt. Kenneth Weihl credited with destroying a German ME 109. Sgts. Lee
Aronsohn and James Romine each credited with an enemy aircraft damaged.
25- Christmas party for French kids given in Enlisted Men's Club. Lt. Joe Moore sang
Christmas carols for children between two missions. Third Christmas in ETO. "Clarke's
Little Pill," veteran bomber in the ETO, piloted by Lt. Maurice Neher, lost to enemy
action on 156th mission. Crew bailed out and returned with the exception of Sgt. Wade
Ensminger, who was killed.
1- Lt. Paul Michael's plane received a direct hit by flak. No chutes seen. All
presumed lost. Crew: Lts. Michael, Vance McCormick, and Robert Weir, Sgts. Albert Hands,
A. W. Harriman, and James Rattan. (Lt. Michael narrowly escaped with his life and became a
prisoner of war.)
7- Col. Newcomer's plane iced up on training fight. Crew bailed out over Allied
territory. Lt. Seymour Mirell killed in escape from plane.
22- Lt. Joseph Moore crashed about seven miles from the base while forming for a
mission. He and Sgt. William Henderson were killed. Sgt. Carl Bosic suffered broken leg on
parachuting to the ground. The rest of crew escaped injury.
10- 451st crew lost when plane piloted by Lt. Col. D. D. Bentley, Group air
exec., received a flak hit in an engine. The co-pilot, Lt. William Skews, was killed when
his chute failed to open. The tail-gunner, Sgt. James Romine, was blown to German side of
the Ruhr river, while rest of the crew landed on west bank, held by Allies. (Romine became
a prisoner of war.)
28- Squadron repairs damaged runway in record time.
18- Great squadron tragedy. While forming for a mission, the No. 6 ship in Lt.
Alex Cordes' flight collided with Cordes' ship. The concussion knocked No. 3 ship out of
the sky. Lt. Cordes, the only man to survive in the three ships, was thrown clear of his
plane and opened his chute in time to land safely. The following officers and men were
killed: Capt. George Snokelburg, Lts. Lester Barton, Victor Kasten, Ernest Moffitt, Wesley
Myers, Ray Rice, John Regmund, James Shettles, and Lawrence Watson, Sgts. Thomas Colley,
Jack Callaway, Jack Fox, Thomas Lamb, James Jolley, Manuel Escamilla, Joe Pratt, Frank
Wittig, and John Templeton.