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Officers of the 323rd BS, 91st BG, Lt Flemming 2nd from right, Lt Emery L Edwards 3rd from left
09/1944 (© 91st BG, USAAF, via Terry Flemming)
Lt Flemming, 323rd BS, 91st Bomb Group (H)

My Dad, Lt Thomas Flemming, was a member of the 323rd Bombardment Squadron, 91st BG at Bassingbourn from August 1944 to February 1945. He flew 35 combat missions, mostly as a co-pilot. He didn't talk too much about specific missions, mostly about how lucky he was to have made it through.
When he arrived at Bassingbourn in 1944 the requirement was 25 missions and then they could rotate back stateside. When Dad hit mission #23 or so, the Air Force increased the mission requirement to 35. This seems to be reflected in Dad's logbook where he has numbered each mission up to #25. After that he stopped numbering... it seems to reflect an attitude of "F**k!, what the hell am I numbering for... when I reach #35 they'll just up it to 45!" I can understand this attitude, looking at his log the 19th mission was a real punch-up...

"2 November 1944: we bombed Merseburg, Germany by PFF methods. Results were unobserved. Our Group experienced Heavy Fighter attacks from one ME-163, many FW-190's and ME-109's. This Group suffered its heaviest loss to date of 13 aircraft, 6 of which were from the 323rd Bomb Squadron."
Crews taking part in this mission were: Squadron Lead Capt. Boggs in Ship #630; #116, Lt. Corman and crew; Lt. Stevens and crew; #540, Lt. Mullins and crew; #625, Lt. Harris and crew; #061 (401st), Lt. O'Neil and crew; #083, Lt. Donohue and crew; #909, Lt. Kirkham and crew; #234, Lt. Liekhus and crew; #563, Lt. Snow and crew; #956, Lt. Rustand and crew; and #984, Lt. Faris and crew.

Crews lost in the 323rd Squadron on this mission were:
1. Lt. Faris and crew, 2. Lt. Rustand and crew, 3. Lt. Snow and crew, 4. Lt. Liekhus and crew,
5. Lt. Harris and crew, 6. Lt. Stevens and crew.

The above was excerpted from http://www.91stbombgroup.com/323rd1944.html

The report of the Stevens crew being downed is not correct, it was another crew, as Dad was flying in "Seattle Sleeper" as Steven's Co-Pilot.
Stevens crew went down on November 26th, 1944 after hitting Altenbecken. My Dad and another crewmember, Ray Barns, lucked out as they were pulled from this mission to make room for two trainees.

Dad's first mission was 14th August 1944 in the B-17 "Happy Valley Express" to bomb the airdrome at Metz in France. His last mission was in B-17 "Hi Ho Silver" in February 1945.

Attached are two photos of him. The impact of the missions on the human psyche can be seen easily in the eyes. The first photo is in September '44, Dad is the one wearing the garrison cap, the second photo is after a number of combat missions.

Cheers, Terry Flemming

 
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B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the 91st BG at Bassingbourn airfield:
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, OR:R, serial 42-31909, 'Nine O Nine' of the 323rd BS, 91st BG.
Showing 92 missions, this Fortress went on to fly over 125 including at least eight trips to Berlin.
1944-5 (© 91st BG, USAAF, via Terry Flemming)
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, 'Margie' of the 91st BG.
1944-5 (© 91st BG, USAAF, via Terry Flemming)
Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress, 'Ramblin Rebel' of the 323rd BS, 91st BG.
Close up of the nose art below
1944-5 (© 91st BG, USAAF, via Terry Flemming)
B-17G 'Ramblin Rebel'
1944
(© 91st BG, USAAF, via Jean Yavis Jones)
Northrop P-61 Black Widow nightfighter at Bassingbourn
1944-5 (© 91st BG, USAAF, via Terry Flemming)
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