This is the list of my Dads' (36) Combat missions, (he flew one additional mission as a Navigator was needed. His first and 2nd. to last missions were to Berlin) provided by the co-pilot, Wesley Vawter.
After completing these combat missions he volunteered with the ATC (Air Transport Command) and flew a number of clandestine missions into Sweden. Described here....
Bill pond is on the right...Westbrook is on his right. Photo taken by my Father in Stockholm in April 1945. They flew as civilians.
This is my Dad, taken at the same time in Stockholm. They were laid over due to weather. Had to avoid German radar equipped night fighters more than once. They had no guns or gunners so had to fly at wave top level. Came in to Sweden from the North sea. Dad Navigated , they flew only at night and were always solo flights. He said those missions were a bit hairy due to German Night Fighters, weather, wind and the crews total reliance on his navigation skills.
This is the "Mel Westbrook' crew (Crew #553) during combat tours. Westbrook is on upper left, Bill Pond is
Third from left, standing.
Photo of the main Stockholm train station. They used it to get around while "sightseeing" there. The War was still going but Sweden was a neutral country. That is why they flew as civilians in the unmarked, unarmed B-24's. Dad said they were painted all black for less visibility at night.
This is a photo of a black painted B-24. Possibly like the converted planes they flew into Sweden. Dad said their planes had no military markings on them though.
During the advance of the forces in Europe the B-24 crews had to haul gasoline into France, the "Gas Truckin" missions. The crews did not get credit for these flights as they were not combat missions. There were as dangerous (if not more dangerous) than the combat missions. "Jamaica" was shot down during one of those missions. Dad said he saw more than one of the planes crash on take off due to the over loading of the fuel containers they carried, The crews had no chance to get out on take off and always burned up with the plane. Pretty scary stuff. D.S.