One Tour – Three Views

David Wayrynen: Although my father’s personal records were lost in a flood some 35 years ago, I have been extremely fortunate to obtain the following personal documents from his crew. Co-pilot Herb Glasscock passed away in 1995, but his son Al provided me with his flying log. I have also met waist gunner Russ Kerr and radio operator Nor Knueppel, both of whom provided copies of their combat diaries. Presented here together, they provide a unique view of a combat tour in the E.T.O. during the summer of 1944.


Lt. Herbert Glasscock

Co-pilot, age: 22

from Joliet, Illinois

Flying log entries in BLACK

Sgt. Russell Kerr

Waist Gunner, age: 22

from Pleasant Valley, Iowa

Diary entries in BLUE

Sgt. Norbert Knueppel

Radio Operator, age: 22

from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Diary entries in RED

David Wayrynen’s personal observations in green


Mission No. Date Hours Location Target

June 29

#1. Kerr 6/29/44 9 hrs Leipzig, Germany. Pilot and myself.  Attacked oil refineries, flak light but accurate and no fighter opposition. At least 128 holes in ship and my oxygen system shot out.  All returned unhurt. Two ships lost out of our Sqd.
Kerr and Polansky flew an Orientation Mission with an unknown crew

July 6

#1 Glasscock 7/6/1944 4:20 North France Coast Guns
#1. Knueppel July 6th 6 hrs Calais, France Flying bomb sites
The 447th flew two missions this day. Herb flew one, Nor flew the other

July 7

#2 Glasscock 7/7/1944 8:00 Leipzig Oil
#2. Kerr 7/7/44 8 hrs Leipzig, Germany. Whole crew.  Attacked oil refineries — flak heavy but not very accurate.  No fighter opposition. Two holes in ship, no one hurt. One ship lost. Had to release 19 bombs by hand.
#2. Knueppel July 7th 10 hrs. Leipzig, Germany Oil refinery

July 8

#3 Glasscock 7/8/1944 4:40 N.W. Paris Buzz Bomb Ins.
#3. Kerr 7/8/44 4 hrs Paris, France.   Whole crew.  Target was a storage dump but T. of Opp landing strip.  Fighters did not attack our formation.  Flak rather heavy and accurate but our ship was not touched.  One ship lost out of our formation.  Bomb bay doors stuck.
#3. Knueppel July 8th 6 hrs   Paris, France Flying bomb sites

July 9

Glasscock 7/9/1944 1:30 Local Flight  

July 11

#4 Glasscock 7/11/1944 9:15 ( Munich ) Munchen Oil
#4 Kerr 7/11/44 4 1/2 hrs Munich, Germany. Whole crew. Jet propulsion plant was the target. The visibility was completely obscured by a dense layer of clouds so we hit the city itself. There was no fighter opposition, but the flak was very intense tho inaccurate because of the clouds. We picked up three holes and the bombardier was scratched by a piece of flak.  Two ships were missing out of our Sqd.
#4. Knueppel July 11th 10 hrs Munich, Germany ME-109 factory

July 13-15

Kerr 7/13 to 7/15   London, England : All the pubs, dance halls and women were the principal targets.  All came back happy but very tired and broke.

July 16

#5 Glasscock 7/16/1944 7:35 Stuttgart Oil
Russ and Nor did not fly this mission

July 17

Glasscock 7/17/1944 4:10 Local Flight  

July 18

Glasscock 7/18/1944 3:15 North Germany A.B.S. Ret.
Herb Glasscock flew as a replacement pilot on an Airborne Spare, and returned to base before reaching German coast
Glasscock 7/18/1944 1:40 Martelsham Heath Ret.

July 19

Glasscock 7/19/1944 6:15 Local Flight Slow time

July 20

#6 Glasscock 7/20/1944 7:45 Leipzig Oil
#5. Knueppel July 20th 10 hrs Leipzig, Germany Chemical and munitions factory
Russ Kerr did not fly this mission

July 21

#7 Glasscock 7/21/1944 8:35 Regansburg Oil
#5 Kerr 7/21/44 8 1/2 hrs Regensburg, Germany. Whole Crew.  The flak was very inaccurate and came back without a hole only after hitting the target on the nose. Two ships were lost out of B Sqd.
#6. Knueppel July 21st 10hrs Regensburg Oil refinery

July 22

Glasscock 7/22/1944 3:25 Local Flight  

July 24

#8 Glasscock 7/24/1944 5:40 (N.B.) Beach Head
#7. Knueppel July 24th 5 hrs St. Lo To bomb German troops
Russ Kerr did not fly this mission

July 25

#9 Glasscock 7/25/1944 5:15 St. Lo Beach Head
#6 Kerr 7/25/44 6 hrs St. Lo, France. Whole Crew.  Bombed the front lines of the Jerries from 12,000 ft.  The flak was light + inaccurate.  No holes were acquired and no ships lost.
#8. Knueppel July 25th 5 hrs St. Lo Bombed German troops

July 27

#10 Glasscock 7/27/1944 4:20 Ostend Plane Plant
#9. Knueppel July 27 4-1/2hrs. Ostend , Holland  
Russ Kerr did not fly this mission

August 2

#11 Glasscock 8/2/1944 5:05 Paris (Abort) Buzz Inst.
#7 Kerr 8/2/44 5 1/2 hrs French coast. Whole crew. Developed engine trouble and came back to the base with one prop feathered after flying about 50 miles into France. Dropped bombs in Channel from 150 ft.
#10. Knueppel Aug. 2nd 6 hrs Paris Flying bomb sites, abort

August 4

Glasscock 8/4/1944 1:55 Coast (scrubbed)

August 5

Glasscock 8/5/1944 4:30 Local Flight  

August 7

#12 Glasscock 8/7/1944 5:20 Anizy Bridge
#8 Kerr 8/7/44 5 1/2 hrs N.W. of Paris. Whole crew. We hit a storage dump. The flak was heavy but very inaccurate. No fighters encountered and no holes were picked up.
Nor Knueppel did not fly this mission

August 8

#9 Kerr 8/8/44 5 1/2 hrs French Coast  Whole crew less Herb.  We bombed behind the German front line aiding Montgomery in his break thru at Caen . We bombed from 11,000 ft and the flak was severe for our element. We were lucky to get but four holes.
#11. Knueppel Aug 8th 5hrs Falaise, France German troops encircled

August 14

#13 Glasscock 8/14/1944 7:20 Mannheim Buzz Parts
#10 Kerr 8/14/44 7 1/2 hrs Mannheim, Germany. Whole Crew.  A jet propulsion plant was the target in the center of the city, which we hit squarely. 150 heavy guns were encountered leaving us with 33 holes, all too close for comfort. Two ships were lost.
#12. Knueppel Aug. 14th 8hrs Mannheim Flying bomb storage depot
On this mission, Nor was unconscious for several minutes after his oxygen supply was hit by flak.  He and Russ did not mention the event for fear that Nor would be grounded by the doctors.

August 15

#14 Glasscock 8/15/1944 5:00 Munster Airfield
#11 Kerr 8/15/44 5 1/2 hrs Munster, Germany. Whole Crew.  An airfield was our target which we completely destroyed. Again the flak was intense – 91 guns at the target.  Our ship came thru with but three holes – Hope our luck holds out.
#13. Knueppel Aug. 15 6hrs Munster, Germany Airfield

August 16

#15 Glasscock 8/16/1944 8:05 Rositz Oil
#12 Kerr 8/16/44 9 hrs Near Leipzig, Germany.  We made a beautiful hit on an oil refinery. Smoke rose 10 to 15 thousand feet high. The flak was inaccurate, and altho fighters were around, they did not bother us. Three holes in our ship.
#14. Knueppel Aug. 14th 8hrs Leipzig, Germany Oil refinery 

August 18

#16 Glasscock 8/18/1944 7:40 St. Dizier Airfield
#13 Kerr 8/18/44 8 hrs.  St. Dizier, France.  The mission turned out to be one of the best as no flak was encountered and we made a perfect hit on an airfield.
#15. Knueppel Aug 18th 8hrs St. Dizier , France Airfield

August 24

#17 Glasscock 8/24/1944 7:55 Brux –  Flak Synthetic Oil
#14 Kerr 8/24/44 8 1/2 hrs. Brux, Germany. Seen most of the important cities of Germany. Berlin, Hamburg, Hanover, Bremenhaven. Saw several flak areas and hit intense flak at the target which was an oil refinery. Our luck is still holding out as we got only a few holes whereas several ships came back with dead and wounded.
#16. Knueppel Aug 24th 8hrs Brux , Germany Synthetic oil refinery

August 25

#18 Glasscock 8/25/1944 8:30 Muritz Lake Airfield
#15 Kerr 8/25/44 9 hrs. N. Berlin, Germany.   This mission is of particular interest as we entered Germany from the north over Denmark and the island of Als where I have relatives. Flak was very light in & out and over the airfield we hit.  One hole.
#17. Knueppel Aug 25th 9hrs Berlin, Germany Air field

August 28

#19 Glasscock 8/28/1944 6:20 Berlin Recall
#16 Kerr 8/27/44 6 1/2 hrs. Danish Coast. We were sweating out our first Berlin mission, but we aborted because of dense clouds. Several planes had near collisions because of the visibility.
#18. Knueppel Aug. 28th 5hrs Danish coast no bombs dropped

August 31

Glasscock 8/31/1944 4:40 Local Flight  

September 1

#20 Glasscock 9/1/1944 6:55 Mainz Recall
#17 Kerr 9/1/44 7 hrs. Mainz, France. Again we had to abort due to cloud formations.  We were lucky to get credit for the mission.
#19. Knueppel Sept. 1st 6hrs Mainz, Germany Flying bomb factory, recalled

September 3

#21 Glasscock 9/3/1944 7:05 Brest Pennisula – 8,000′ Anti-Pers. Fragmentation
#18 Kerr 9/3/44 7 hrs. Brest, France. We hit a small packet of German installations still holding out against the Yanks. No flak.
#20. Knueppel Sept. 3rd 7hrs Brest, France German troops and installations

September 5

#22 Glasscock 9/5/1944 6:30 Brest Pennisula – 12,000′ Anti-Pers. Fragmentation
#19 Kerr 9/5/44 7 hrs. Brest, France. Hit the same target.  No flak.
#21. Knueppel Sept. 5th 7hrs Brest, France German troops and installations

September 8

#23 Glasscock 9/8/1944 6:30 Mainz  
#20 Kerr 9/8/44 7 hrs. Mainz, France. Flying bomb ordnance depot was the target.  Flak was scattered and inaccurate.
#22. Knueppel Sept. 8th 7hrs Mainz Airplane

September 9

#24 Glasscock 9/9/1944 7:50 Lake Janeva Maquis R & D
#21 Kerr 9/9/44 7 1/2 hrs. Dole, France Dropped supplies to the Maquis from a few hundred ft.  The scenery was most beautiful.  No flak was encountered.
#23. Knueppel Sept. 9th 8hrs Dole, France Supplies for the French Maquis

September 10

#25 Glasscock 9/10/1944 7:35 Giestistadt J. P. Airfield
#22 Kerr 9/10/44 6 1/2 hrs. Near Frankfurt, Ger.   An airfield was the target.  Flak was scattered & inaccurate. Two ships were lost.
#24. Knueppel Sept. 10th 7hrs Frankfurt Jet-propelled air base

September 17-24

Kerr 9/17 – 9/24   Seven-day leave  

September 25

#26 Glasscock 9/25/1944 6:35 Ludwigshaven Chemical Plant
#23 Kerr 9/25/44 6 1/2 hrs. Ludwigshaven, Ger.   Chemical factories were hit by P.F.F. because of clouds.  Flak did not hit our Sqd.
#25. Knueppel Sept. 25th 7hrs Ludwigshaven Chemical factory

September 26

#27 Glasscock 9/26/1944 6:50 Bremen Focke-Wulfe Plant
#24 Kerr 9/26/44 6 hrs. Bremen, Ger. Aircraft factories. Picked up 4 holes.
#26. Knueppel Sept. 26th 6hrs Bremen FW-190 factory

September 27

#28 Glasscock 9/27/1944 6:10 Ludwighaven – Kovach hit Chemical Plant
#25 Kerr 9/27/44 6 hrs. Ludwigshaven, Ger.  Aircraft factories as last resort target. Flak heavy, 107 holes, Nav’s broken left arm was the result of one of them. John took care of Nav while I flew as Eng. Our pilot made a beautiful landing
#27. Knueppel Sept. 27th 7hrs Ludwigshaven Jet-propelled factory (Lt. Kovach, Nav. hit by flak)

September 28

#29 Glasscock 9/28/1944 7:45 Merseberg – Janowski hit Chemical Plant
Kerr       Our bombardier flew the 28th and got a chipped shoulder blade from flak
Russ Kerr did not fly this mission / Nor Knueppel did not fly this mission

October 2

#30 Glasscock 10/2/1944 7:15 Kassel Ordinance Depot
#26 Kerr 10/2/44 7 1/2 hrs. Kassel, Ger. Tiger tank ordnance factory as 2nd P.F.F. target. 6 holes in the waist, all too close for comfort. While coming back we were fired on by Yank 155mm guns and five huge holes in the radio room was the result. A good thing Nor was in the waist with me. Our identity was unknown to the Yanks.
#28. Knueppel Oct. 2nd 8hrs Kassal Tiger tank factory

October 3

#31 Glasscock 10/3/1944 7:45 Ulm 3rd Target
#27 Kerr 10/3/44 8 hrs. Nuremburg, Ger. Marshalling yards.  Flak was light.
#29. Knueppel Oct. 3rd 8hrs Nuremburg Marshalling yard

October 9

#32 Glasscock 10/9/1944 5:50 Mainz Tank Plant
#28 Kerr 10/9/44 7 hrs. Frankfurt, Ger. Tank factory. Two holes.
#30. Knueppel Oct. 9th 7hrs Frankfurt Tank factory

October 12

#33 Glasscock 10/12/1944  6:35 Bremen  
#29 Kerr 10/12/44 6 1/2 hrs. Bremen, Ger. Tank factory. Flak was heavy but missed our Sqd. Four holes, all small. One ship lost.
#31. Knueppel  Oct. 12th 6hrs Bremen Tank factory

October 14

#34 Glasscock 10/14/1944 6:20 to Lille; 1:30 to England Cologne Run away prop on #2 engine couldn’t feather, cowling flew off, caught fire twice. Vibration very bad. Landed near Lille, France. Removed prop. Stayed at Hotel Royal. Got 375 Gal. of fuel from Canadians. Took off & returned on 3 engines, rain bad 300′ ceiling. Radio Operator injured left knee – grounded.
#30 Kerr 10/14/44 ? hrs. Ruhr (Cologne), Ger.    Made a forced landing at Lille.  Everything was okay until we left the target when No. 2 ran away.  We were all ready to jump when fire broke out, but it was put out with CO2. From then the engine cowling flew every direction putting a huge hole in top turret.  We landed on an old heavily bombed Ger. fighter base. The Pilot made a wonderful landing. We spent the nite in a wonderful hotel (Hotel Royal) everyone treating us like kings. Using money in our escape kits we all proceeded to enjoy ourselves on champagne and cognac in the Strasbourg Taverne. After removing the bad prop, we mad a hazardous takeoff with two three engines on a short runway.  Even with all the ammo and flak suits out we used every inch of the runway. The rest of the trip was uneventful.
#32. Knueppel Oct. 14th   Cologne Marshalling yard (plane hit by flak, engine on fire, hurt knee in dive)
Flak damage to No. 2 engine destroyed oil line to prop governor, allowing prop to over-rev and prevented feathering (per J.T. Williams, Flt Engineer).

October 17

#35 Glasscock 10/17/1944 6:30 Cologne  
#31 Kerr 10/17/44 6 1/2 hrs. Ruhr (Cologne), Ger.  This was the pilot’s 35th and our last due to our experience on the previous one. Flak was heavy on all sides of us.  Only two holes were picked up, both against the armor plating above my head. Aside from that it was a good mission. All in all our tour in the E.T.O. was very exciting with no resulting serious injuries. Much credit is due to our pilot, John Polansky and co-pilot Herbert Glasscock.
“Finis” / The end of a terrible nightmare. / (Nor Knueppel did not fly the final mission on October 17.)


Seven of Nine the Polansky Crew on Oct 17 after their last mission.



John Polansky and Herb Glasscock flew their 35th mission on October 17, 1944. With that flight, all of the enlisted men on the crew had completed between 31 and 35 combat missions, and were released from the active flight duty roster.

Lou Kovach was hit by flak on September 27. The fragment passed through his upper left arm, shattering the bone. He was treated at the base hospital and later transferred to another medical unit for further treatment and recuperation before returning home.

Adam Janowski was struck by flak on the following day, and grounded for approximately one week. He flew two additional missions after the crew had finished its tour.

Nor Knueppel was thrown against the bomb bay bulkhead after the plane was hit on October 14, badly spraining his knee. He was grounded when the crew flew their last mission, and released shortly thereafter.

Russ Kerr, together with J.T. Williams, Art Wayrynen and Sam Larson left Rattlesden at the end of October, followed shortly by Nor Knueppel. They returned to the ZOI on the Queen Mary, arriving home in time for Thanksgiving, 1944. All were assigned as instructors until the war’s end. Polansky and Glasscock returned in December, both serving as flight instructors.