An Interview with a WWII POW PT6

An Interview with a WWII POW PT6

Today I read my Dad’s diary from his WWII POW experience. It was amazing. It is written in pencil in a small paper journal with graph lines. It is very hard to read.

After awhile I got in rhythm with his writing and could read it more easily. I’m still going to try and scan each page. I also talked to my wife about her typing it up as I read it to her.

An Interview with a WWII POW PT6

He gave a lot of details about his crew members, actually, both his crew members. His last day of flying with 2/Lt. Tattershall (from Oklahoma) was December 31, 1943. They barely survived that run. Here is what he wrote:

Page 5

Dec. 31, 1943 – Bordeaux-Merignac, Cognac-Chateaubernard and Landes Bussac Airfields – all grand pasting. (sp) A piece of flak pierced the fuselage and landed within three inches of me. I did not see it happen, but I heard and felt the thud. Immediately after the thud I called over the phone for Tat (pilot) to look around up front because I knew she had hit and hit hard somewhere.

Minutes later when I picked this piece up – Boy, I broke out in a cold feeling – Yes, Sir, Lady Luck rode with Milanso (sp). As this raid was nine hours long, the gasoline supply was getting low about 4:30 p.m. – As we cleared away from the Guernsey & Jersey Islands [The Channel Islands]  toward Southern England and home – Great masses of thunder heads were lingering about 2500 ft altitude. [did he mean 25,000 ft?]

I says to myself, “We will be lucky if we ever set her down.”

About 10 minutes to 5  – our formation split up due to a low ceiling pressure in the area – The copilot started looking for flares landing light, any thing. Finally after circling in the rain storms for 10 minutes – Gas running low – gunners with parachutes on – awaiting that dreaded order of “Bail Out.” – We didn’t bail –

Some .50 cal case (sp) had struck the windshield around the cockpit and our pilot couldn’t see anything. The copilot spotted a runway – God knows where – and we went in for an emergency landing – The wing tips missed a bomb storage dump four feet – Guess that is good as a mile.

When the wheels finally stopped rolling I rushed up front & promised the pilot & copilot a bottle of Scotch apiece for the fine job they did – That was the last day of 1943 – not a very happy remembrance.

Charles L. Whetstone, Sgt. U.S. AAF, 19 years of age

Diary Pg5

Diary Page 5

Diary Pg6

Diary Page 6

Diary Pg7

Diary Page 7

An Interview with a WWII POW PT6

The Interview today, Part 6, talks about Liberation Day, near the end, also being on a ship, back to the states, a 100 day furlough, and finally being discharged in San Antonio, TX. Enjoy.

 

 


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