Combat Diary: Lt. Herbert McNabb

Lt. Herbert “Gene” McNabb served as Bombardier with the Hoffman crew in the 710th Squadron between September and December 1944. This transcription of his diary was provided by Hal Kiena, son of the Hoffman crew ROG, Harold Kiena


No.1 14 Aug 1944 MANNHEIM Jet propelled aircraft factory. Hits very good. Some of the heaviest flak encountered by the group. 10-GP No.2 in High Squadron-Low Group Good weather. Lt. Martenson, pilot.
No.2 16 Aug 1944 ROZITZ Carbonization plant and oil refinery. 10-500# GP. Bombs very good. Light flak. No.3 High Squadron-Low Group. Good weather. Escort encountered bandits. Lt. Hyder, pilot.
No.3 26 Aug 1944 BREST Coastal gun installations. Did not drop bombs-overcast on two bomb runs. No flak or fighters. No.5 High Group-Lead Squadron. 38-100# brought back.
No.4  30 Aug 1944  BREMEN Foche-Wolf aircraft factory. Hits unobserved-PFF. Moderate flak. Came back on three engines. 40 100# incendiaries. No.2 High Squadron-Lead Group.
No.5  1 Sept 1944  MAINZ Tank factory near Frankfort. Cloud up to 20,000 feet. Recalled just inside Germany. Brought back 4 1000# GP No.6 Lead Squadron-High Group. PFF navigation.
No.6  3 Sept 1944  BREST Buildings, probably barracks. Made four runs over target-one at 11,000 feet, others at 8,000 feet. Hits very good, 99% in 1,000 feet. 38-100# Demo. No.2 Low Squadron-Low Group.
No.7  5 Sept 1944  BREST Troops and ground personnel. Hits were not too good-one run at 12,000 feet. 30-260# fragmentation bombs. No.2 Low Squadron-B Group. Very near a hospital.
No.8  8 Sept 1944  MAINZ Armament factory near Frankfort. Lead of the High Squadron-Lead Group. 10-500# GP. 80% in 2,000 feet. English fired at us on return.
No.9  12 Sept 1944  LEIPZIG Synthetic oil factory-small town south of the city. No.2 Low Squadron-High Group. 10-500# GP. Hits obscured by smoke from earlier groups.
No.10  13 Sept 1944  STUTTGART Aero engine factory. Did not make run on primary target. Brought back 12-500# incendiary clusters. No.5 Lead Squadron-Low Group.
No.11  17 Sept 1944  ARNHEM Anti-aircraft installations. 30-260# fragmentation bombs. No.3 Low Squadron-High Group. Bombed by squadrons.
No.12  19 Sept 1944  KOBLENZ Railroad marshalling yards. Good hits on targets of opportunity. 6-1,000# GP. No 3 Lead Squadron-Low Group. Primary target covered by weather.
No.13  25 Sept 1944  LUDWIGSHAVEN Chemical works. PFF bombing and navigation. No.3 Low Squadron-Lead Group. Piece of flak came through nose of airplane-flak suit stopped it. 6-1,000# GP
No.14  26 Sept 1944  BREMEN Foch-Wolf plant. Lead High Squadron-Lead Group. Bombed PFF. No flak holes but B Group hit with heavy flak. 5-1,000# GP.
No.15  27 Sept 1944  LUDWIGSHAVEN Chemical plant. 12-500# GP No.2 Low Squadron-Lead Group. I got hit in the face with plexiglas from 4″ hole in nose of airplane.
NO.16  3 Oct 1944  NURNBERG Airfield-experimental station for ME-262 jet-propelled planes. 10-500# Incendiary. No.2 High Squadron-Low Group. Visual run.
No.17  5 Oct 1944  MUNSTER Hangar installation at airfield. 6-500# Incendiary, 6-500# GP. Two bombs released late. No.2 Low Squadron-Low Group. Light inaccurate flak.
No.18  6 Oct 1944  BERLIN Tank factory. 5-1,000# GP. No.3 High Squadron-High Group. Flak all over the place. Released bombs late because of plane under us. Fighters attacked other wing.
No.19  7 Oct 1944 MERESBURG I.G. Farbin. Actually dropped bombs at Berlinfelt R.R. yards-target of last resort. Lead of Second Element of Lead Squadron-Low Group. Flak at primary-few holes in the plane. 10-500#GP.
No.20  9 Oct 1944  GUSTAVSBURG Tank factory near Mainz. Bombed PFF. Flak moderate and inaccurate. No.2 Lead Squadron-High Group. 5-1,000#GP. Weather pretty bad.
No.21  12 Oct 1944  BREMEN Tank and truck factory-visual bomb run. No. 2 Lead Squadron-Low Group. 12-500# Incendiary. Light flak.
No.22  14 Oct 1944  COLOGNE Railroad marshalling yards. 6-500# Incendiary. Bombed PFF. Lead Plane-High Squadron-Lead Group. Moderate flak. Entire 8th Air Force hit same town. Also 6-500# GP.
No.23  18 Oct 1944  KASSEL Tank factory was primary-we bombed railroad yards in the center of town PFF. Lead-Low Squadron-Deputy Lead.6-500# Incendiary 6-500# GP. Bad weather on return-some planes landed in Belgium. Light flak.
No.24  19 Oct 1944  MANHEIM Tank factory-bombed PFF. Very intense and accurate flak-another hole in the nose of the plane. 6-500# Incendiary and 6-500# GP. Lead Second Element-Lead Squadron. Bad weather.
No.25  22 Oct 1944  MUNSTER Primary was airfield southeast of town-bombed secondary PFF. Lead-Low Section-Lead Squadron. 6-500# Incendiary, 6-500# GP. Light inaccurate flak.
No.26  4 Nov 1944  HAMBURG Oil storage tanks and refineries-bombed PFF. No. 2 Low Element-Low Section-High Squadron. 12-500# GP. Heavy flak but inaccurate.
No.27  5 Nov 1944  LUDWIGSHAVEN I.G. Farbin chemical plant. Lead-Low Element-Low Section-Low Squadron. Flew with the 385th Bomb Group. 6-1,000# GP. Heavy accurate flak.
No.28  6 Nov 1944  NEUMUNSTER Aircraft factory was primary target. We bombed railroad yards in the center of town PFF. No.3 Lead Section-High Squadron. 20-250# GP. Target located east of Kiel. Only flak from Kiel.
No.29  9 Nov 1944  SAARBRUCKEN Railroad yards. Primary target was part of Segfried Line. Two runs over the target. 6-1,000# GP. Light and inaccurate flak. Lead Low Section-High Squadron.
No.30  16 Nov 1944  DUREN East of Achen-troop support. Bombed in group formation. Lead Low Section-High Squadron. 30-250# fragmentation bombs. Moderate flak. Landed at Welford Park because of weather-stayed two days.
No.31  21 Nov 1944  KOBLENZ Railroad marshalling yards. Primary target was Meresburg. Lead Low Section-Lead Squadron. 12-500# GP. Light accurate flak on the way in.
No.32  26 Nov 1944  HAMM Railroad yards. Lead Low Section-Low Squadron. 12-500# GP. Light accurate flak at the target.
No.33  27 Nov 1944  BINGEN Railroad marshalling yards. Bombed Micro-H. No.4 High Section. 2-500# Incendiary and 34-100# GP. No flak at target-light inaccurate flak at IP. Enlisted men finished on this one.
No.34  30 Nov 1944  MERESBURG Synthetic oil refinery-visual bombing. Lots and lots of flak. 20-250# GP. Lead Low Section-High Squadron. Last mission for Dutch [Hoffman, pilot].
No.35  4 Dec 1944  MAINZ Railroad marshalling yards. Moderate flak. No.2 High Element-Low Squadron. Flew with Lt. Meyers and crew and bombed with another bomb group. Jack [Wells, navigator] and I finished today. All of the boys were down to meet us. Dutch met us in a jeep – a swell crew!