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The Molesworth Pilot

2012 marks the 70th anniversary of the 303rd Bomb Group's arrival in Molesworth, England. The Ground Echelon began arriving in September 1942, and the Air Echelon followed shortly after. What follows is from the December edition of The Molesworth Pilot, the newsletter of the 303rd. It is reprinted with kind permission of Gary Moncur, editor. The group's webpage is located at www.303rdBG.com.

Journal of Ehle Reber
Daily Diary of an Original 303rd Bomb Group Pilot
Part 1 of 3

Reber

First Lieutenant Ehle H. Reber was one of the 35 original pilots in the 303rd Bomb Group and one of nine assigned to the 427th Bomb Squadron. We recently discovered his comprehensive daily diary, documenting his experiences from late in training until his crew was lost on January 23, 1943. This historic journal is a 100-page, handwritten account of events from August 29, 1942 to January 22, 1943. The entire journal will be published in three parts. Parts 2 and 3 will follow in the next two issues of The Molesworth Pilot.

The original journal was first transcribed to typewritten pages by Ehle's sister Cora, whom he mentions in the journal. She passed away in 2002. The journal and other Reber memorabilia were passed on to Cora's daughter, Carol Wright, and eventually to the Malin (Oregon) Historical Society. Sincere thanks to Ryan Bartholomew, president of the Malin Historical Society, for providing a copy of the transcription of the journal, along with some photographs, and allowing their publication. Also, thanks to Tim Conver, son of Milt Conver, for providing additional photographs and assistance. Milt Conver was the bombardier on Captain Billy Southworth’s crew and a close friend to Ehle Reber.

Property

The Ehle Reber daily journal begins as training at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas, is complete. The 303rd BG Air Echelon is preparing to depart to pick up their new B-17Fs, which they will fly to England to begin combat missions. Part 1 takes us up to their arrival at the new base in Molesworth, England.

August 29/42 Saturday
The Air echelon was split into the rail and air group. Both packed all set to shove off when plans were changed by 2nd A.F. May be here at Biggs for several more days—from the 1st burner. Lt. Quentin Hargrove is back from the hospital. Covered with bandages. We call him "Spook". Still miss Jimmie Hudson, Gene Rochester, Lee Shane, Bill Simno, Jim Van George, [Frank] Johnson and Sgt. Cato Myers, who were all killed in crash on Aug. 23, 1942 near Las Cruces near El Paso. Thunderstorm. Sgt. Knox and Lt. Hargrove, only survivors were thrown clear when plane broke in two. Lucky to have silk [parachutes] on. Quite a blow to 427th. Party evening.

Aug. 30/42 Sunday
Nothing new. Still waiting. Scheduled to go to San Antonio to pick up plane. Stockton and I scheduled. Plane out. Hurricane near San Antonio. Training practically nil except for some ground school. Beer evening.

Aug. 31/42 Monday
Same old thing. Flew about 30-inch formation with Calhoun of 359th. He feathered #2 after about 30 inches. Another 1:30 transition. Planes leave tomorrow. We are to leave by train soon. I hope. B-17E's transferred to 330th Group. What next? Lt. Krahl transferred to 358th. Lt. L. D. Sherwood takes his place on Broussard's crew.

Sept. 1/42 Tuesday
Still waiting. 3rd crew of 427th to leave to pick up new B-17F. Leave in about a week. Either Tulsa or Cheyenne. Called Dottie [Ehle's aunt] and talked for five or ten min. Drank beer. Passes are liberal now.

Sept. 2/42 Wednesday
Ground School in morning. Softball in afternoon with E.M.—11-0 our favor in 4 innings. I pitched. "Beer Bust" afterwards up the canyon. Stock and I killed a rattler (6 r, 1 button). I think Hagenbuch is getting married soon. Kidded hell out of him. Hagenbuch, Cole and Southworth become Captains tomorrow. Party in order. No flying, no ships.

Sept. 3/42 Thursday
Three new Captains in Squadrons L. R. Cole, G. E. Hagenbuch and B. B. Southworth, Jr. Still no flying. Broussard and crew flew a couple hours in 330 Group ship. Played 360 Squad. and won 6-1. Captains gave party in evening at Paso Del Norte Spanish Room. Bed late. Bryant and Soha out of this world. Some more too. Leave tomorrow, Hagenbuch marriage off. Sad.

Group photo
Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas - 2 Aug 1942
Bill Gotez, Milt Conver, Billy B. Southworth, Ehle Reber, Glenn Hagenbuch

Sept. 4/42 Friday
We leave today sometime by train. Called Cora [Ehle's sister] early this morning. Everyone fine. Confined to barracks prior to train embarkation. We are finally on our way. Boarded train at 20:30. Glad to leave El Paso and get on our way. Going to Battle Creek, Mich. Pullmans OK. We can at last sleep between something other than mattresses. Mother sent cakes and oranges. Big feed on train. Everyone in fine spirits. Plans were changed again and the whole 303rd left on same train other than Baldwin, former 427th man, and several other crews who flew to parts unknown. Meet them later.

Sept. 5/42 Saturday
Train pulled into Albuquerque, N. M. this morning for breakfast. Now 2200 o'clock. On train now for 26 hrs. Everyone in good SPIRITS. Breakfast in the A.M. at Kansas City. A little partying. One below me now. Bryant and I shifted bunks. I'm joining them now. Parteeee.

Sept. 6/42 Sunday
Still on train. Had breakfast in Kansas City at about 1200 noon. Got to see the Mississippi R. for the first time. Lot a corn in Iowa, WOW. ETA Chicago at 0100. Should be at destination sometime tomorrow. Train pretty wet and bumpy.

Pass

Sept. 7/42 Monday
Arrived at Kellogg Field about 0700. Nice field. Rather small but compact. Learned that we would receive planes soon and group should have full equip. by the 20th of Sept. We will fly to Tulsa or Cheyenne to pick up planes, when they are ready. We learned today that our ground echelon had left American soil bound for England. Rumors flying thick and fast, B-17Es in England with some of our boys that were with us at Boise are doing good work.

Sept. 8/42 Tuesday
Nothing new. Received booklets containing routes across North Atlantic which we will use one of these days. Are studying them everyday. Rumors heard of some leave being granted.

Sept. 9/42 Wednesday
Still waiting. Spent most of the time at operations as I was the O.D. [Officer of the Day] until 12:00 Thursday. To bed at 2:00 in the morning after checking nite passes.

Sept. 10/42 Thursday
Up at 1000. Stayed at operations all morning. Major Robinson made me group athletic officer. Off O.D. at 1200. Played softball at 5:00 until about 8:00. One new B-17F came in at about 12:30. Gave it the once over. It was assigned to Lt. Baldwin of 358th [#41-24577 Hell's Angels]. Ferried in more soon, I hope. Ferry Co. taking over instead of us.

Sept. 11/42 Friday
No more planes. Played softball all day. Still unbeaten. 427th seems to have the top team. 6 hr. pass. Called Dottie but did not make connections. Capt. Sheridan is now a Major. Lt. Hargrove, Spook, is back from a 5 day leave. He left us at El Paso. Capt. Hagenbuch finally got married. Lucky boy.

Sept. 12/42 Saturday
Wasted all day but one hour in Link trainer and 1-1/2 hours in ground school. Played some softball. Read and saw in Life Mag. of Lts. Andy Anderson and Ziesel, classmates, were interned in Turkey. B-24 ran out of gasoline. Pretty soft. Heard Geo. Mackin received his First Lts. today. Ours should be here soon. Denison now Capt.

Sept. 13/42 Sunday
Two more planes today. All to the 358th. They will leave 7 days after they have all their planes. All squadrons the same way. New route too. Non-stop flight. Played EM in softball and went down to a humiliating defeat 6-4. I lost. Squadron in pretty good shape. We will get 72 hour passes starting soon. I think I will go to Cincinnati, Ohio with Milt [Conver].

Sept. 14/42 Monday
Planes coming in fast now, 358th nearly full. We are 3rd Squadron to get full complement of ships. Long cross countries are on schedule as soon as ships are in. Robey got first ship for the 427th. One 24 hour pass. Had a big time at Sky Club and American Legion in Battle Creek. Home at 3:30. Wow!

Sept. 15/42 Tuesday
Nothing new today. Put in pay voucher for month of Sept. without flight certificate. No time yet this month, Swindle and I went to show at Custer.

Sept. 16/42 Wednesday
Lt. Robey's plane may be rejected as it is incomplete. First plane put out by Douglas [#42-2966]. Lt. Broussard's plane came in. Nancy Jennings stopped in from Washington, D.C. on way to Grand Rapids. Had party. No more 3 day passes. Woe is me.

Sept. 17/42 Thursday
Planes coming in fast. Show in evening, Lt. Robey's Douglas B-17F was rejected so he received a Boeing this evening.

Nose art  Nose art

Sept. 18/42 Friday
Lt. Goetz will probably get plane in the morning. We should all have them soon. Tough finding names for planes. Garbage, Miss Carriage, One O'Clock Jump, etc. are some names in other squadrons. Swindle and I went to show at Custer.

Sept. 19/42 Saturday
Should have had about 3 more for squadron but weather kept them from coming in. Lt. Robey had to land at Toledo because of weather. My plane should be here in the next day or so. After Goetz comes Stockton, Reber, Hayes, Southworth, Cole and Buck [Hagenbuch]. Capt. Southworth and father's picture appeared in Chicago Herald American paper sport section, Full page. His father is manager of St. Louis "Cardinals". He'll surely get the needle when he gets back. We put his picture up on the wall of group operations for all 427th to observe and initial compliance "OUR BOY SMILIN' JACK" was put above the picture. Some fun!

Sept, 20/42 Sunday
"BIG NEWS" Goetz, Stockton, Hargrove and I received promotions to 1st Lieutenants, AT last. Billy B, returned amid shouts of "the needle". Went on 24 hour. Wow. No planes today for our squadron. Should have a couple tomorrow, I hope.

Sept. 21/42 Monday
One Plane to 359th. Can't win a war this way. Getting my crew equipment shortages. Bostick back from infirmary where he had a bad cold in a joint which was out of place (puzzles me too). Went to show at Custer. Broussard and Robey making frequent flights to check fuel consumption etc.

Sept. 22/42 Tuesday
Checked out 45's, rifles and tommy-gun today. Inspection of arms tomorrow at 1500. Have to keep Douglas B-17F. Hope I don't get it. Still awaiting planes. Any day now.

Sept. 23/42 Wednesday
At last my plane came in #124607. Good ship and we started checking for shortages immediately. Out evening.

Sept. 24/42 Thursday
Continued checking plane. Lt. Snyder Opr. officer, is now a Captain. Oh yes several days ago Lt. Hayes became a father. First flight tomorrow to check all equipment. Maj. Sheridan said I could go to Eugene, Oregon for X-C, I hope it comes true.

Sept. 25/42 Friday
Drift sight on plane out. Cannot calibrate AS [air speed] or compass, Can't go West of Rockies other than March Field.

Sept. 26/42 Saturday
Plan to go to Patterson Field, Dayton, Ohio to get plane fixed up. After drift sight is fixed flights will be frequent for fuel consumption. Patterson trip off for today on account of weather. Maybe tomorrow.

Sept. 27/42 Sunday
Finally took off at 17:45 for Dayton and Patterson, via Cincinnati where we buzzed Milt's home. Landed at Dayton 1630. Arranged to have plane fixed. Went with Milt to town [Cincinnati] where we met his folks at the Biltmore Hotel. Went out to The Farm. [Paradise Farm was the country home of the Stephen Meyers family in Mason, OH.] Had a steak dinner and drank martinis and beer. To bed about 0230.

Sept. 28/42 Monday
Milt and I and Ziskin, Byrom and Goetz went back to Patterson, leaving Mitchell, Mc Dermott, Swindle at The Farm. Went in and checked the airplanes until about 1700 then out to The Farm. That nite we went into Cincinnati with Mr. & Mrs. [George] Conver Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Meyers, Mr. & Mrs. [Sam] Caldwell, Jean Conver [Milt's wife], (Milt's sister [Dorothy Conver]), Jeannette Caldwell, Milt, Mc Dermott, Swindle, Mitchell & Goetz. Had a wonderful time at The Beverley Hills Club over the border in Kentucky. Listened to Guy Lombardo's orchestra. Home late.

Sept. 29/42 Tuesday
Stayed at The Netherlands Plaza at Cincinnati last nite. Best in town and really nice. Up at 1130 and then Milt and I met Mr. Conver and went to couple of clubs. Milt and I went to the [Cuvier] Press Club where I called and talked to Major Sheridan in Cincinnati to pick up McDermott and Mitchell to fix WDAGO. Mitchell, McDermott and Swindle went back to Dayton. We, Goetz, Milt and I, stayed and went to a party. I took Jeannette C. Swell Time. Didn't sleep any.

Nose art

Sept. 30, 1942 Wednesday
No sleep. Caught bus at 0500 for Dayton where met rest of fellas. Took off about 1000. "Jerry Jinx" painted on plane. Landed at about 1130 at Battle Creek. Major Sheridan unhappy because we were not at ships when he came to Dayton to get Mac and Mitchell. We (Goetz and I) alternate O.D.'s for eight days with Goetz starting. No chance to get to the Coast. Flew in afternoon to swing compass and calibrate A.S.

October 1, 1942 Thursday
All six hours cancelled. Fired all guns on flight over Lake Michigan. Got paid base pay. Big news. 359th and 427th to move to Bangor, Maine about Saturday. 358th and 360th to stay here. Base here cannot take care of a whole Group. Getting closer. I was O.D. today.

Oct. 2/42 Friday
To leave soon now. Planes are being outfitted for trip to Bangor, Maine. Cole and Hayes in Dayton. To return tomorrow. Goetz took Hayes as copilot. Party.

Oct. 3/42 Saturday
Leaving tomorrow at 9:30. Hayes and Goetz back. Cole still at Dayton. Packed plane for take-off.

Oct. 4/42 Sunday
Took off for Bangor via Toledo, Buffalo, Port Brie, Albany and to Bangor at 11:45. Had rather a nasty trip as we went through a front. On instruments for 3 hours. Flew radio ranges to Albany on instruments and then broke into clear and flew contact to Bangor. Seven planes took off and seven planes arrived. Hayes didn't take off on time on account of fuel pressure trouble, but he showed up about an hour later. We landed at about 16:30. No trouble. Nice field and quite warm. Capt. Cole still in Dayton should arrive any day.

October 5, 1942 Monday
Made out shortage list for airplane and work to be done. This place is really on the ball. It is tops as far as getting things done is concerned. They were inspecting the engines before I had hardly cut them off. Milt and I made arrangements for "Bugs Bunny", the Squadron Insignia, to be made for jackets and also for painting on the planes. Capt. Cole not here yet.

October 6, 1942 Tuesday
Got up at 0630, had breakfast and conducted a code class at 0700. I am temporarily commander of "B" Flight. That is until Capt. Cole gets in. Should be soon. Should get a new assistant radio operator as mine doesn't show much initiative or what it takes. S/Sgt Gray, my radio operator, still in hospital at Kellogg Field with strep infection. May get replacement. Lt. Goodale was transferred out of Squadron and Lt. Illgen took his place on Hayes' crew. Had lecture for "B" flight at 1300 on confidential matters. Zipped out later on a deal with Captain Billy.

October 7, 42 Wednesday
Heard we may get per diem since leaving Battle Creek. Being confined to the Post here is rather rugged. We get kind of tired in the evening, About all there is to do is drink or go to bed. Officers' Club is pretty nice. Had party in evening.

October 8/42 Thursday
Capt. Cole and crew came in this afternoon. Sure good to see him and Ed and Driggs again and the rest of the boys. McCune and a new copilot came back with him for Lt. Hayes' crew. Rolfson is in the hospital with appendicitis or something at Battle Creek. He will follow the squadron soon. New co-pilot's name is Barker or something like that. Went skeet shooting with "B" flight. Did pretty well. Went to bed early.

Oct. 9 Friday
Nothing new. Checked airplane. Should be ready for flight in several days. Painted some names on plane. Had a talk on briefing by a Lt. Col. from Gander Lake. Trip across No. Atlantic seems like it ought to be OK. That"s all.

Oct. 10 Saturday
Same old thing. Waiting around. Major Sheridan took a trip to Presque Isle to get more info on crossing. Squadron had party in evening at Club. Haint. Sgt. Coomes may replace Sgt. Gray as operator.

Oct. 11 Sunday
Oct 16 Working on planes. Rest of Group left for Gander [Newfoundland] and Prestwick [Scotland]. Plane should be ready soon. Parties in evening at Officers' Club frequent.

October 17
Saturday Lts. Schueler, Bryant, Dieffenbach, and Soha received 1st Lts. Lt. Conver will be here soon. Lt. Illgen, navigator, reported to Squadron. Lts. Ziskin and Bostick relieved of duty with 427th. Some of the pilots flew missions over ocean tonight. Ship ready now.

October 18
Sunday Nothing new. Some planes are closer to getting ready. Lt. Conver now a 1st Lt. Mine will be ready tomorrow. Party at Nurses' quarters. 427th steak dinner at Officers' Mess. Enlisted men and all had a beer bust in conjunction.

Group
Walter Soha, Ed Bryant, Mark Mc Dermott

October 19 Monday
Took off at 1030 PM and flew to Isle of Bermuda off coast of Virginia, and back. Took 10 hours. Landed at 0800 next morning.

October 20 Tuesday
Slept all morning up until 1430 in afternoon, then signed for per diem pay for tomorrow morning. Firing early this morning cracked glass in cockpit. Repaired during 50 hour inspection in hangar. Leave soon for Gander and points overseas.

October 21 Wednesday
Got paid per diem this morning. It sure came in handy: Spent afternoon loading ship. Expect to leave in morning if weather permits. Wrote letters in evening.

October 22 Thursday
Plane already. Lt. Robey's ship will stay behind as it is not ready yet. Rest of planes all set. Waiting on weather.

October 23 Friday
Front has moved in with fog and rain. Still waiting clear weather. Officers' Club is the spot now. Shacking prev. Wrote letters to folks, Cora, etc.

October 24 Saturday
Weather change expected tomorrow. Scheduled to take-off at 0900 tomorrow. Plane all set.

October 25 Sunday
Off at 0900 headed for Gander in Newfoundland. Landing gear horn blowing on take-off rather disconcerting, but later on OK. Landed 4:30 later at Gander after weather rain and sleet enroute, 3 hours instruments. Little icing, but everything OK. Gander sure is the last outpost. It is quite desolate here. A few WAAC's here, but other than them, women are a premium. Oh! yes, Joan Blondell is here with USO troupe. She stays in our barracks. Shades of civilization. War atmosphere is getting more prevalent the closer we get to England. Not so very cold here yet. The "Newfies" (Newfoundlanders) all seem to have false teeth. Lack of fresh-milk, fruit and vegetables, they say. Lots of Canadians here. Have to get used to traffic driving on left hand side of street.

October 26 Monday
Rained almost all day today postponing our Atlantic hop. Saw "Across the Pacific" last nite. Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor. It was the second time I had seen it, but then I had never seen a picture show in Newfoundland. Typical American Army post theater - very nice. Maybe we leave tomorrow. We have had all our briefings. Now we are waiting on favorable weather.

October 27 Tuesday
Winds blowing from North. Field was closed all morning. Ceiling and visibility zero. It was really socked in. Cleared a little in late afternoon. Hop again called on weather. Food here not so bad. We had Gander Turkey for lunch today. Somewhat like chicken. There is a strong Westwind tonight maybe tomorrow nites the hop. Fellas played pool and ping pong all day. Very nice Club here. Two pool tables and two ping pong tables. Lots of books and magazines and of course a bar. Drinks are fair - beer isn't so hot. "Moontide" on tonite, but I had seen it so we just saw the Shorts prior to the main feature. Most of the fellas are buying parkas - look like ski troopers now rather than flyers.

October 28 Wednesday
It looked like we would leave today and Milt and I went over to the Canadian weather station and they said it looked pretty good. Later on word came that we couldn't be cleared on instruments so it looks like we may be here for some time. The weather gets worse as winter nears. It cleared up this afternoon and the sun was actually out. The sky was completely clear in the evening and I saw one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. The Northern Lights. They stretched clear across the sky and all the fellas spent about an hour with necks craned. It was the first time for many of us. There is a lot of flying tonite, but I guess the weather over the ocean is not too good. I won eight dollars playing blackjack, but lost it all again this evening. Saw "Powder Town" at the theater. 427th Operations starts scheduling tomorrow.

Pass
Milt Conver's Gander Lake Aircraft Access Pass, October 29, 1942 - "Bad Check" 41-24587

October 29 Thursday
Went on an 8 mile hike in the morning to Gander Lake and back. While there we had a trip on the Lake in an $18,000 cruiser. Coming back we stopped and operated some 3" anti-aircraft guns installed near the field. Ease and rapidity of operation was a surprise. Watched 40 mm. AA guns practice firing at sleeve towed by Westland Lysander, a slow Br. observation and sea rescue plane. Back at 1200. Meeting at 1400. Nothing new. May leave tomorrow. In evening saw "Saboteur" for second time. Oh! yes, won $10.00 playing blackjack in evening. Maybe tomorrow we leave. Women, who were first Haints, are now looking better. Fellas will probably be dating the Newfies soon. Haint, incidentally, is a girl who could jump over two parked cars and run up a thorn tree and never get a scratch. In other words a bag!

October 30 Friday
Had our usual briefing at 1400 o'clock and we will leave tonight. Went over the weather enroute and radio procedure and are ready. It is raining now, but the weather after leaving is good all the way with a 2000 ft. ceiling at Prestwick, Scotland. Went down to operations at 1945 for meeting. First plane take-off at 2030, a B-24. Take-off was postponed until 1200 due to R.A.F. pilot who was flying over the field trying to spot it to land. Finally landed and all. Planes were finally off by about 0100. Instrument take-offs were necessary. I sighted my plane down the runway in line with lights, zeroed by gyro and kept it straight by keeping gyro on zero. At 120 MPH I pulled ship off ground. My elevator trim tab was rolled back too far and my take-off was rather poor.

October 31, 1942 Saturday
Off at 0030. Flew through mist and fog for a good deal of the way. Past point of no return at 0430. No turn back after that. Flew at 15,000 feet for about 3 hours after out about six hours, Sighted Irish shore about 0930 in the morning flying at 12,000 feet. I was gradually letting down to 9,000 feet. No convoys were sighted on trip until we crossed the Bay going into Prestwick. It was very light when we approached Derrynacross in No. Ireland following beam. We arrived over Prestwick at 9,000 feet at approx. 1130 Sat, Morning. Planes arrived very close together. Truly a good hop for the whole squadron. The haze at Prestwick was very thick and landings were difficult as it was hard to see the field and runways. I landed and as I was coming in, heard the tower call Capt. Cole asking him if the field he had landed on had 3 runways or two. Cole answered three and the tower said that he had landed on the wrong field. He landed at Ayre which is about 3 miles south of Prestwick. The field at Ayre was very soft and Cole's plane sunk in up to struts. The rest of us at Prestwick were taken to operations for check in of maps, etc, and then rushed over to eat, back to operations for briefing and at 1500 o'clock we took off for Molesworth in Southern England, 60 miles north of England, near Cambridge, for our permanent operating station. Capt. Cole was left at Ayre, As we approached Liverpool, which was enroute, and dodging barrage balloons and restricted areas, the fog or haze became so thick that a landing was necessary at Hawarden Field, about 23 miles southeast of Liverpool. I was the first plane to get lined up with runways and land at Hawarden. It was a very fast trip with wind indicated of 200 most of the way. Eventually everyone landed and planes wore dispersed over the field. There were many Spitfires and a few Hurricanes, which had seen strenuous duty in the Battle of Britain and were too out of date for actual combat so were being, used as training planes. There was also a Wellington Bomber factory on the field which Lt. Goetz, Stockton, Lipe, Dieffenbach and myself went through in the afternoon. Accommodations were mot available for the officers at Hawarding, so we stayed at Sealand which is on the coast near Liverpool. It was an overseas distributing center for the Br. to Cairo and points East. We enjoyed our stay that evening at Sealand.

Nov. 1 Sunday
Reported to field at 1030 expecting clearance on to Molesworth but the weather was bad so we stayed at Sealand another nite.

Nov. 2/42 Monday
Reported at field at about 1000. Take-off expected at 1400, so Lt. Goetz, Stockton, Capt. Southworth, Lipe, Conver and myself went into Chestie which was the nearest city. Enjoyed very much the Quaint buildings and shops. Rode on two-decker bus back to field and took-off at 1500 for Molesworth. Landed there at about 1630. Haze again made landing rather difficult, but I was second in. Lt. Stockton, Robey and Broussard fell behind and tagged on to another squadron of B-17F, thinking it was us, and landed at Grafton Field about 10 miles from here. They should be here tomorrow. Dubell met us at ship. Sure a sight for sore eyes. My best friend Geo. Mackin was asleep as our arrival here was not expected. Spent rest of evening meeting old friends and getting settled in room. Capt. Cole and crew landed here about the same time we did, coming from Prestwick. I am rooming with Lts.'s Goetz and Stockton, due tomorrow. The field here is very well situated and extremely well organized. It is undoubtedly the best field we have been at yet. Weather very damp and cold. Field very muddy but a lot better than anything we've been to yet. So to bed in England with about 30 days of operational training and ground school before our first show over France or Germany. We expect Jerry to pop over to see us most anytime now........

The above was reprinted with kind permission of Gary Moncur, editor, The Molesworth Pilot. The group's webpage is located at www.303rdBG.com. Go there for the continuation of Reber's diary in the January 2012 edition.

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