Lt. Warren H. Wright's Diary
Co-Pilot, 603rd Squadron
MISSIONS OVER ENEMY TERRITORY
First – May 19, ‘44
Last – August 30, ‘44
May 19, ‘44 – Berlin
Ship lost part of wing tip and peeled off. First “chill” of combat. Plenty of flack.
May 22, ‘44 - Kiel
Nothing very eventful.
May 23, ’44 - Saarbrucken
First time I flew over the target. All we had for breakfast was candy bars.
May 24, ’44 - Berlin
Lost Major Gray. Were hit by fighters almost immediately. Thought the world was coming to the end.
[Maj. Judson F. Gray was the 603rd Squadron commander on this mission. He was KIA when his B-17 exploded when fired upon head on by ememy fighters.]
May 29, ’44 - Poznen [Poznan], Poland
One of our longest ones. Made a 360 over the target. Saw all of the continent too.
May 30, ’44 - Dessau
Were hit by about 30 fighters (twin engine) and were knocked out of formation by prop wash.
June 3, ’44 - Boulogne
Short and very little flack. Saw what kind of formation the “24’s” fly. [B-24 bombers]
June 6, ’44 - “D-Day” Courseulles
First American Bomber form over enemy coast. No flack.
June 7, “44 - Lorient
Were shot at by flack boats. They were good too. Single ship ventured over target.
June 10, ’44 - Le Touquet
Nothing very eventful.
June 18, ’44 - Hamburg
One of our worst. Never wanted to see it again.
June 19, ’44 - Bordeaux
Had to abort because we got too far behind. Got credit for it anyway. Went to 30,000 ft.
June 20, ’44 - Hamburg
Everyone was scared stiff. Turned out easy for us.
June 21, ’44 - Berlin
Group hit in front of us by fighters. Were split up because of contrails.
June 24, ’44 - Fluerent [Fluery]
Brought our bombs back but got credit anyway.
June 25, ’44 - Toulouse
Couldn’t get out of bed for this one.
June 30, - July 9
Vacation [R&R – Flak Leave]
July 12, ’44 - Munich
Long but uneventful.
July 13, ’44 - Munich
Monotonous isn’t it. Lots of barrage flack.
July 16, ’44 - Munich
Were split up by contrails but were lucky to find formation as we came out of the clouds.
July 18, ’44 Peenemunde
Long but over the water. Did a very good job.
July 19, ’44 - Ulm
Didn’t drop on primary but bombed a marshalling yard with 100 lb. incendiaries.
July 20, ’44 - Dessau
Col. lead, beautiful formation. Fighters hit group to the right. Oodles of flack.
July 25, ’44 - St. Lo
Supported Troops. Got too near Jersey Island.
July 28, ’44 - Merseburg
The day we lost Dwyer & Claude [Pilot Wilber S. Dwyer and Co-Pilot Claude A. Williams]
. Target wasn’t bad. [All of the Dwyer crew bailed out after losing an engine. Two of the crew managed to return to base with the help of the Underground. Dwyer, Williams and the rest of the crew were captured and became POW’s.
July 31, ’44 - Munich
Still long but not bad.
August 4, ’44 - Peenemunde
One of our worst, Lost our right wing man. Didn’t do us any good either. Crawford [waist gunner] got hit with flack.
August 8, ’44 - Caen
This was going to be a “milk run”. Everyone went. I thought our number was up.
August 16, ’44 - Delitzsch
Bombed an airfield. Very little excitement.
August 24, ’44 - Coslar [airfield]
I rode with a new crew and I really sweat but it turned out uneventful.
August 25, ’44 - Neubrandenburg
Went around Peenemunde but picked an easy target. No flack.
August 30, ’44 - Kiel
We were too high for the flack and it turned out fine. Also our last [mission]but we didn’t realize it.
Sept. 1, ’44 - Ludwigshafen
Started on this one but it turned out to be a tour of France.
I also lost 1 pound but I’m happy.
Following were members of the Engel crew (names & ranks as of February 1944):
- Lt. William E. Engel, Pilot
- Lt. Warren H. Wright, Co-Pilot
- Lt. Ray W. Wilkins, Bombardier
- Lt. Charles K. Edick, Navigator
- S/Sgt. Lonnie D. Mason, Engineer / Top Turret
- S/Sgt. Eli Badovinac, Radio Operator
- Sgt. Lawrence R. McIver, Ball Turret Gunner
- Sgt. Henry B. Lee, Waist Gunner
- Sgt. P.F. Crawford, Waist Gunner
- Sgt. Daniel J. Naragon, Tail Gunner
- Engel's Crew - 603rd Squadron - February 1944
- Lt. Warren H. Wright was the Co-Pilot for the William E. Engel 603rd crew.
- The above electronic diary transcription was provided by Warren H. Wright's son, Leon.
- This transcription is a reproduction of the original. Spelling and punctuation changes have been made to improve readability. In some circumstances, material may not have been transcribed or was rewritten.
- Clarification of acronyms or special words or guesses of certain words are shown in brackets [ ].