The Green's House

Mission 9

December 2, 1942,    (Tafaroui, Africa)

    Another hard day and I'm tired as hell. We were up at 4:30, breakfast at 5:00, briefing at 5:30, take off at 6:15. Our target was the airport at Bizerte and I don't think we will have to go back there for the same purpose. We were over the target at 10:04 and didn't see a single fighter and not but about 20 bursts of heavy flak, so there was really nothing to this mission but a long tiresome ride. We had to stop at Algiers again for gas but it was early enough for us to gas up and get back here before dark. We landed at 3:30 were interrogated, had our first meal for today and now I'm ready to hit the blankets and I ain't fooling.    While we were at Algiers a B26 (flying coffin) came in with his nose wheel up and made a crash landing on the end of the runway. No one was hurt.    I went through the H.E. 111 and managed to get away with a souvenir from it.

December 3, 1942    Tafaroui, Africa

    Not so much went on today. Didn't get up until 8 o'clock and we had bacon and tomato juice for breakfast then messed around all morning getting ready to got to Oran this afternoon. Just as we were ready to dress, orders came out to load bombs, so I cranked up six 500 lb. bombs instead. Now that our ship is already to go, we aren't going to go on the raid until tomorrow. The men wanted a rest and since we are one of the flight leaders, we decided to stay on the ground.

December 4, 1942

    While my squadron was over bombing Bizerte again and catching plenty of hell, I was in Oran sight-seeing and brother, that place is an eye-opener. I saw every type of uniform that has ever been worn in this theater, mostly Free French. I looked so long and hard that it gave me a terrible headache. Bought a few postcards and pictures for souvenirs and also took some of my own. I never saw so many people in one little place and almost every nationality and breed that you could think of. It is also the dirtiest and most stinking place I've seen yet.    I saw some beautiful little French girls and had a lot of fun with the clerks trying to make them understand what I wanted. The natives think the Americans are something sent from Heaven and do everything they can to please us and see that we are well taken care of. Of course, they like to see us spend our money freely too.    I changed a $5 bill into French money and bought everything I wanted and came home with half of it. Everything is dirt cheap.    There are very few signs of battle left. Now that I've seen it I don't care to go back.

December 6, 1942    Algiers, Africa

    Left Tafaroui yesterday at 1 P.M. and arrived here at 2:30 P.M. Upon arriving here, we loaded our plane with gas from 5 gallon cans. After doing that we had to move our plane and with 5,000 lbs. of bombs and 1700 gallons of gas, we hit a soft spot and almost buried the damn thing. Thoroughly disgusted, we left it there and waited for a truck to pick us up to take us to billeting places. Finally about dark it came and we ended up in a wine distillery. We have pretty good quarters but as usual no beds, the floor is tile instead of concrete and not a darn bit softer.    After getting settled, Fred and I started out in search of food and found hash. On our way back without a sign of a light, I fell in a hole about eight feet deep and damn near killed my fool self. Hurt my right knee and but a bad kink in my back that has been giving me hell all day.    This morning we got up, surprised at our surroundings after seeing it in daylight and it's not so bad after all, and rode five miles to breakfast for hash -- Oh brother, anybody that doesn't like the army is crazy.    After hash, we walked two miles to our plane and to find jacks under the wings to keep it from going down still further. When we took the jacks out to try to winch it out, it went down a foot further. Finally it came out with the aid of 25 men and a winch truck, two "cats" and a lot of shoveling. It was down so far the ball turrets had to be dug from under and number one and two engines props would hit the ground if they were turned.    Disgusted with having stew or hash at the mess hall, I got myself some canned rations and prepared my own lunch and dinner.    Found some straw and stuffed a mattress cover full for a softer bed and moved to a less crowded room with lights.

December 7, 1942    Algiers, Africa

This has been an easy day -- up at 9:30 and fooled around in general taking pictures of our little home, etc., and read until two o'clock when the planes started coming back from the mission. Then we went to see them come in. They were landing down wind with a strong tail wind, loaded with bombs. One came in and ground looped at the end of the runway to avoid killing a bunch of workers and hit Pete's plane parked close to the runway and chewed the tail end completely off and buckled the fuselage in several places. Now it is being used for tech supply. Right after that a Hurricane landed and hit a C 47 (Transport) and ruined them both. Incidentally, Colonel Walker is bunking with us tonight. He came in on the C-47 that was hit from Tafaroui and was thoroughly disgusted with the accidents and such.    The part of our squadron that is left up here (3) now is going back to Tafaroui tomorrow to join the rest of the squadron.

December 8, 1942   

     Moved again for a few days and am I glad because tonight I really had something to eat besides hash and a cup of coffee. Our three planes left Algiers about 12:30 and arrived here at 2:00 and as usual didn't get settled until after dark. Boy time sure does pass fast when you are constantly on the move.    We are all wondering what the score is and what in the world will happen next, because just our squadron and two or three planes from the others are the only one's here with the rest of the group at Algiers.    On our way down, we flew the coast line at almost sea level through rain storms and around thunder heads. At one time if I hadn't changed course and gone around a spot of rain, I would have flown into the side of a mountain because it was just on the other side of the rain storm.    It started raining just before we got here and was it muddy. My back is killing me from walking around in this sticky mud and rain.

December 9, 1942    Tafaroui, Africa

    Haven't done a darn thing all day but take it easy. Took a good hot bath and shaved this afternoon in the General's bath house and watched a very steep "red-dog" card game. The pot got up to as high as $500 several times and of course some of the boys got "tat-tood" as usual.    Thomas and I intended to go to Oran to see our radio operator that has been in the hospital for several days but it was raining and I didn't feel like doing very much walking.

December 10, 1942    Tafaroui, Africa

    Fred Crowell and I went to Oran this afternoon and went down to the docks and took some pictures and walked the streets the rest of the evening.    Some of our ground echelon arrived and three of the officers moved in with us. I have a Doctor sleeping right beside me now, so guess I'll be looked after for a while at least.

December 11, 1942    Tafaroui, Africa

    Calcote and I stayed in town all day and didn't do anything but buy a few souvenirs and drink a little wine and conyiac. As usual it was disgusting, but we did meet three pretty nice looking nurses and talked with them for quite a while and protected them from beggars until their "jeep" came to take them home.

December 12, 1942    Tafaroui, Africa

    Nine more shopping days till Christmas -- That cuts lots of ice with us. I have done absolutely nothing all day except walk out to the plane and watch the others wind up 1,000 pounders for a change and listen to blues-giving music the rest of the time.

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