Donald Macrae mission October 24, 1943

October 24, 1943 Awakened at 4:00am to go on a mission. Supposed to be grounded, but some Pilot who should have gone couldn't go. I was angry because they had grounded me on some good lazy missions. Made me miss the opportunity of becoming Flight Commander and a Captain and now they ungrounded me to go up as Co-Pilot on a long mission to Weiner-Neustad near Vienna. We flew at 9,000 ft. over Italy. Picked up B-12's, B-25's and P-38's cover. About 500 planes in all.  We were 2 groups of B-24’s, 376th and 98th Bomb Groups. Our group had 3 sections of 9 ships each, 376th and 98th Bomb Groups, Take off at daylight - 6:00am. Was pretty flying over Italy and the Adriatic. The weather was good but Cumulus c1ouds underneath. Had to fly with flaps to keep from stalling out behind B-17’s. Got to the target OK. It was 30 degrees below at 23,000 ft., but target closed in. Intense and well distributed ack-ack came through the c1ouds. Couldn't see the target so turned around and headed home, Some groups dropped bombs through the clouds.  We were short on gas so dropped our bombs in the Adriatic and headed for Sicily. The country over Yugoslavia is very pretty. Wooded, green hills and valleys, streams. Flew over the boot of Italy. Pretty country too. Farm lands and then hills and wooded mountain slopes. Then over Sicily and Messina the first time low since the raid in April with Flavelle. Went down the coast looking at the country and little towns. Landed at Gerbini Airfield. We used to bomb this place. Got refue1ed and headed across the mountains of Sicily. The country is rugged and covered with small farms, farm houses and towns.  Very barren looking but cultivated wherever possible. Passed a small lake and a stream. Out over the water and passed over Panteleria - Mussolini's stronghold that was. The sun set and we landed just at dusk. 12 hours. Had a good supper of American Roast beef. Now have to fly 50 missions but I have just about qualified the way they figure it. I have 50 missions. Wrote in diary and to bed 9:00pm.