Got up at 3:30 a.m. and took off at 6:00. 18 of 98th ships and 9 of ours went to Tripoli to help out the boys on the other end of this North African fracas _ we were lead by Col. Mickey. The flight was led by Gen'l Timberlake - on getting 30 min. from target we ran into weather and Gen'l turned back. Col. Mickey let our group down by turning back also - had we been led by Maj. _____. - navg. cap't - we'd have gone thru without doubt, or at least made a good effort, but our consistently gutless C.O. salvoed his bombs in the Med; - didn't even try to bomb a road convoy we knew we'd cross'; in crossing coast south of Bg" we were hit by five M.E. 109's - they attacked us for 45 minutes straight. Our gunners were very poor for not one left even smoking. Wilcox and Ebert with my old crew were hit and headed for Tobruk.. Got back to Obaidueon and learned they hit the "blue" (desert) 10 minutes after- _______ up. My boy, Fillipi, was hit in shoulder and neck - all were hauled in by Hudsons the next day. The entire formation felt supremely let down by Maguire - he refused to go down to 1,000 ft. for protection against fighters. In fact, he climbed to 11,000 ft. which WAS suicide for us. His Co-Pilot, Maj. Hall, an old pursuit pilot, tried to get him down; we begged him to get down, but he wanted to save gas - can't understand why inexperienced men must lead us - let them go along and get their D.F.C's, but why must they stick our necks out for us?