Went on mission to Naples flying with Crouchley, back about Feb. 8 Went with 9 of ours and 12 of 93rd. We followed in and got hit by Ak-A-k severely. Pursuit slipped up under diamond of last element (Brereton) and they went down in flames - was a hideous spectacle for the plane was afire from bomb bay to tail _ went down in control for a while and we started to follow it. but fire was too large and we'd have sacrificed our crew fruitlessly. Had there been any chance for extinguishing fire, weld have stuck, however painful. Plane went gradually down and then had explosion and tail flew off _ flat spin and not a man got out. Was finest bunch of lads we had - men in back were roasted alive; causes shudders to picture their futile efforts in struggling against flames and spin. After Brereton went down, pursuit slipped up under us and was 25 yards away, when Komurke saw him thru tunnel door; dived for gun and fired at point blank range (25 yds) and the M.E. never knew what hit him . Attack lasted for full 30 minute's and we were holed badly and had astral dome blown off by 20 m.m. explosive; holed in wing, fuselage and also caught empty cases which knocked out front window panes for navigator - poor Bill Joyner took a beating in nose. Maj. Hahn led us and damned if he didn't live up to his inexperience - throttled back to 155 for no reason at all and let pursuit maul us. Our tail gunner got another M.E. when he turned his belly up after attack from rear. Maj. Hahn, after snafuing on mission, didn't attend critique - made us furious.
Went on mission Feb. 12 to Palmero - Oglesby led ? and I took -Sibert's crew - fought very severe weather and was on instruments nearly all way. Formation would actually disappear in our faces. After bombing On E.T.A. we had Italian report that we sank transport and fired town. 93rd didn't reach target.
Lt. Tasequech pulled his usual, and turned back for no excuse at all (prop governors stuck at 2300 r.p.m.) about all of us have decided his color isn't red but --- Col. led a mission to Naples, and as usual, fiascoed ... he flew too slow and had all flight furious with him, and then in Critique blamed everyone else - Gad!! and he is our leader!! Col. turned back along with Tasequech again -Mayfield turned back-too, but he is full of guts, just tough luck. The first two had nothing wrong with their planes (Col. top turret); (Chief had cockpit confusion on generators). 93rd lost ship to Ak-Ak - chet Moore _ but he should be O.K. for plane was headed for land, under control - he is a good lad. These days are pretty black around here - losses are more than heavy - damn poor morale!!
Replacements have come in - 6 crews since Jan 21st - but has Mickey moved to send us home? Hell, no .. !! Christ, why do I hate the man so.