Mission Diary of Anthony Cerelli
Wewak, New Giunea 10-21-44
We took off 11:15 loaded with 8x1000 bombs and our target was Jap personnel, ammo, and gas dumps. Arrived at the target at 1:15 and made a beautiful run dropping all bombs in the target area causing large fires and explosions. Ran into very light ack ack but no planes came our way. It was a very dull mission but at least we started out ok. We landed fine and had chow and headed for the sack.
Cotabato Mindanao Philippines Aug. 23, 1944
Took off at 2:10 loaded with 10x500 bombs with our target being Jap headquarters and power stations. We had an easy time up to the target and was over the target at 8:20 with eight out of ten direct hits. We caught them by surprise because they sent up no ack ack or fighters. After we turned off from the target there was a big explosion and fire all over the place. Another dull mission and we headed home and for our sacks.
Lehug Cebu Philippines Nov. 1, 1944
Took off at 2:20 with a fat load of frag bombs and our target was the large airdromes on Cebu. We had an easy time up until the target but when we got there they really let us have it. After we dropped our bombs we were hit in our #4 engine and it started to burn like a bastard. Then to top it all we were jumped by twelve Jap fighters but they were a little on the yellow side, all but one of them and he made a pass and came right under our wing. I was scared shitless but I opened up on him and poured about 100 rounds into him and he went down like a ball of fire. We were getting low on gas and to top it all we were last over the Pacific. After some time our radio man and navigator got together lead us to an island called Moratai where we were forced to land. We landed fine but we had to stay overnight and during the night we had an air raid. The Japs hit a gas dump which made a beautiful explosion and fire. The next day we hopped another plane and headed home and for our sack. Our plane was left behind for repairs.
Lehug-Cebu-Philippines Nov. 6, 1944
We were a little afraid of this mission on account of what happened on our last here. We had the same bomb load and the same target but took off at 5:30 instead of 2:20 and was over the target at 11:10. We had only fair coverage with our bombs and there was only scattered ack ack around us. We caught them completely by surprise and then headed home and our sacks. We had to land at Sansapor for more gas because our pilot wanted to play safe.
Sassa Mindanao P.I. Nov. 14, 1944
Took off at 5:05 with a load of 8x1000 bombs with our target being some Jap operational buildings and also the runways. We made a nice run over the target with three direct hits on the buildings. There was no ack ack but there was seven Jap fighters flying at a safe range and they made no passes at us and I was glad of that because we had no cover.. We turned around and headed for home and our sacks. A rather easy mission but it means another one chalked off the books.
Sassa Mindanao P.I. Nov. 16, 1944
The same target and the same bomb load and we took off at 5:50. We had an easy time up until the target and we dropped the bombs ringing the strips knocking the strips completely out of commision. They threw up plenty of ack ack and one of our planes was hit but got home OK. There was no other damage done to our side. We turned around and headed for our base and the sacks.
Libby Mindanao P.I. Nov. 19, 1944
Took off at 5:15 loaded with 8x1000 bombs with our target being hangers and runways in the Libby area. We had an easy time up until the target and after we dropped our bombs we were jumped by fifteen zekes and Toyos. They flew far above our formation and dropped about ten phosperus bombs. One bomb dropped directly on the nose of one of out planes and the plane exploded into a million pieces. Nobody even had a chance of getting out of that plane and I sure felt sorry for those boys. The ack ack was very heavy and several passes were made by the Japs. Eleven of our planes were hit and we really had the shit knocked out of us. As far as our bombs hit we had only 35% hits which is lousy. I sure was glad when this mission over because we were all scared out of our pants.
Sassa Mindanao P.I. Nov. 22, 1944
Took off at 4:45 loaded with out usual load of 8x1000 and today we had as out target the revertments and runways of the airdrames. We had an easy time up until the target and we were over the target at 11:05. We dropped bombs through heavy ack ack which bounced the hell out of us and we made about 50% on the target. No fighters came up to meet us and only one of our planes was hit. An easy mission so we turned around and headed for home and chow and sacks.
Matina Mindanao P.I. Nov. 25, 1944
Our take off time was 4:40 and we had a load of 10x500 bombs. Our target was planes parked in the revetment area and also the runway. No opposition up until the target and we made a beautiful run through a heavy and not accurate screen of ack ack. We scored 100% on the target destroying nine planes on the ground and really knocking the hell out of the runway. No fighters came out to meet us and no planes were hit by the ack ack. We turned and headed for home and the sack.
Daliao Mindanao P.I. Nov. 27, 1944
We took off at 4:50 loaded down with a load of frag bombs headed for the revetment and planes parked on the strip. Before we reached our target we were jumped by about 50 to 75 planes and that sure was quite a welcoming committee. They made passes at the first squadron and really let them have it. Phosphous bombs were dropping all over the sky and one exploded right above our left wing tip but we were lucky and got through it OK. We managed to score about 50% hits on the target but the Jap planes were all around us. I saw about five of the Japs go down and we lost three planes. After we landed they made count and the Japs really lost eleven planes in the air and ten on the ground. I sure was glad that this one was over and boy was I tired.
Matina Mindanao P.I. Nov. 29, 1944
Took off at 4:55 loaded with a load of one ton bombs and boy are those bombs big. We had the usual target of runways and revetments of airdrome. There was very little excitement on the way but we did go through a hell of a storm that bounced the plane like a rubber ball. We were over the target at 11:05 and dropped the bombs right on the target scoring 100% hits and three great big explosions. Very little ack ack came up but no damage done. Headed home for the usual chow and our sacks.
Sassa Mindanao P.I. Dec. 12, 1944
We took off at 5:40 and same bomb load as our last mission. Our target was an undergroud ammo dump and more revetments. We arrived ok at the target and they were really throwing up the ack ack. We scored about 80% hits and destroyed six planes on the ground. The plane on our right was hit but managed to make it home ok and nobody was hurt. There was five twin-engined Jap planes flying high above our formation but they didn’t make any passes. We headed for home in another storm but we made it ok.
Padada Mindanao P.I. Dec. 14, 1944
We took off at 6:40 and had our load of 15x100 bombs headed for more Jap planes parked in the revetments and also the runways and power plant. We had no trouble at all and made a nice run dropping all bombs in the target making 85% hits. There was five large fires on the runway and they sure looked nice from where I was. We had very little ack ack and no fighters came around to bother us. Turned and headed for home and our nice sacks plus the good stinking chow.
Padada Mindanao P.I. Dec. 16, 1944
We took off at 5:45 and had a nice load of frag bombs headed for more planes. We had an easy time up until the target although we ran though another one of those storms. When we reached the target it was closed in but we managed to find an open spot and dropped our bombs, we missed the target completely causing no damage at all. Very little flak came up and fighters came up and it was nothing to worry about. No fighters came up so we headed home and for our sacks. Another easy mission.
*********Dec. 20, 1944
We had a practice bombing and staffing mission which was a lot of fun but
Lincanan Mindanao P.I. Dec. 21, 1944
We took off at 6:00 and had our heaviest load of 30x100 bombs headed for more planes and power stations. Our takeoff was in a driving rain and we really had to sweat it out although I sweat them all out. We had no trouble getting to the target and dropped all our bombs in the target area starting five large fires. After we left the target we saw a hell of an explosion that sent smoke all the way up to about 8000 ft. There was some ack ack but none of it came near us and no fighters came up. Headed home and the sacks.
**** We went on rest leave to Sydney, Australia and arrived there on New Year’s Day of 1945. We stayed there for 20 days until the money ran out and then headed for our home base. We all had a swell time but I really wanted to get over with my missions and head for home.
Biak to Mindoro Jan. 26, 1945
We were being sent up to a new base and on the way up we had to pass over most of the Jap strongholds in the Philippines. We were pretty lucky because we had no ack ack and we had no fighters bother us. It was a nice trip and we got in ok and set up our new tents and sacks.
Cavite Luzo P.I. Jan. 28, 1945
Our first mission from Mindoro and we took off at 9:15 loaded with 8x1000 bombs headed for the naval base at Cavite. When we were about ten miles from the target we could see large fires coming from the docks which made it easier to spot it. This didn’t do us any good because we missed the target completely with all our bombs falling in the water killing a lot of fish. No ack ack came up and no fighters came so we headed home for our new sacks.
********Jan. 29, 1945
Another practice straffing and bombing mission with a lot of fun and shooting.
Corregidor Island P.I. Jan. 30, 1945
We took off at 9:30 and had a nice fat load of 8x1000 bombs headed for the dock area and the personell on the island. Had an easy time and dropped all our bombs in the target area. They threw up some white and colored ack ack but there was no damaged done. We headed home enjoying the scenery because there were no fighters to worry about.
******** Feb. 2, 1945
A practice bombing by radar mission which really was something to be on. We Hit the target 8 out of 10 times by radar. No straffing this time.
Toko Formosa Feb. 1, 1945
This is one mission that I won’t ever forget because I almost got it. We took off at 6:10 with 8x1000 and had a storm all the way up to the target and when we got there we couldn’t see anything on account of the clouds so we didn’t drop our bombs. The ack ack was the most that I had ever seen but on the second run they threw up more than before. How we ever got through that screen of flak I’ll never know. Anyway we were hit by a burst and it shook the hell out of our plane and I thought sure and hell we were going down. Our #4 engine was hit and burning like a bastard and I called up the skipper to tell him but I couldn’t get through to him. I didn’t know what was wrong so I checked over the box and when I looked to the floor there was a big hole right by my foot. That burst of ack ack had shot off my intercom set which was plugged into my throat mike and the wire was just hanging in air. I never knew that it was that close. Then the skipper feathered the #4 and we turned around and headed home. We lost one plane but every plane got hit. We had 45 holes in our plane alone. No fighters were around.
Corregidor Feb. 5, 1945
We took off at 9:15 with a load of 500 pounders headed for the coastal guns and emplacements. We had an easy time up and even over our target even though they threw up some ack ack which didn’t even come close to us. We had 100% hits on the target knocking the shit out of the place. There were no Jap fighters around so we had an easy mission for a change. Headed home once more.
Marivelles Bataan Feb. 8, 1945
We were bombing this spot in readiness for an invasion and had one ton bombs for our load. We took off at 9:45 and we really ran into some bad weather. When we arrived over the target the weather made a turn for the worse and we flew around looking for an open spot but we couldn’t find one so we had to salva our bombs in the ocean. This was the easiest mission that we were on. Turned around and headed home and the sacks.
Marivelles Bataan Feb. 8, 1945
The same mission as in the morning and the same bomb load. We took off at 14:40 and ten minutes after we took off we were called back to the base on account of the storm around us and we can’t land with a live bomb load so we had to salvo our bombs in the ocean once more. This day was really screwed up and we had 0%. We didn’t get any time or points on this mission and it really was a tiresome day although we didn’t do anything.
Bataan Airdrome Feb. 11, 1945
We took off at 7:15 with a load of frag bombs and we had nice weather for a change and had a nice time up until the target. There was no enemy action at all over the target, we must of caught them sleeping. The bombs hit right in the target area but we couldn’t see any fires or explosions so we were given 0% for the mission a very easy mission so we turned around and headed home and the sacks.
Convoy off China Feb. 14, 1945
We took off at 4:40 loaded with one ton armor piercing bombs headed for Jap warships and escort ships. We had bad weather all the way in and circled around for three hours but couldn’t find them. We were getting low on gas and had to turn around because we wanted to make it home and save our ass. We finally had to salvo our bombs in the ocean and headed home. Nothing exciting happened on this mission.
Corregidor Feb. 16, 1945
The invasion of Corregidor and boy we really did bomb the shit out of this island. We took off really early and had a load of frag bombs. As we came near the target the sun was just coming up and it really was a beautiful morning. Our target was rocket launching platforms and every bomb was on the target. After we were through the A20’s and P47’s came in and gave the island a going over. Then in came the para-troopers and it was a beautiful sight watching them bail out. We had to turn around and head for home and chow.
Troop Concentration Central Luzon Feb. 21, 1945
This was a ground support mission to help the doughboys. We took off at 7:15 with 8x1000 bombs headed for the hills and caves in Central Luzon where the Japs were holding out. We had an easy time up to the target and dropped all bombs in the target area. We had contact with the ground at all times and they told us that we had 85% coverage so we must have killed a lot of Japs. No ack ack of fighters and on the way home we passed over Manila which was still burning like hell. I took some pictures on the way home.
Tropp Concentration Central Luzon Feb. 21, 1945
Another mission on the same day and the same target with same bomb load. We took off at 3:15 and had a scare on the takeoff because the skipper had a little trouble getting the plane off the ground. He used the whole runway with inches to spare and we buzzed out over the waves ok. We had an easy time up until the target and dropped all in the target area with a 75% coverage. More Japs on the table which wasn’t bad for a day’s work. No ack ack on fighters and another milk run so we turned around and headed home.
Tokao Formosa Feb. 24,1945
We took off at 4:45 loaded with 15x500 G.P. bombs and 10 incendiery bombs with our target being the aluminum plant in Takao. We had bad weather all the way up and when we got over the target it was clear so we made a run over the target dropping bombs all in the town but we missed out special assignment. We hit almost all of the barracks area close to the edge of town causing large fires all over the place. There was heavy ack ack all around us and fighters but we had P38’s and P47’s cover and they had some nice dog fights all around us. We turned around and headed home.
Tokao Formosa Feb. 26, 1945
We took off at 9:15 headed for the same spot as our last mission and we had the same bomb load. The weather was worse than before and we had storms all the way up and over the target we couldn’t see a thing. We made a few runs and then finally dropped the bombs by radar with results unobserved on account of the weather. No ack ack or fighters bothered us so we headed home and out of the storm. We made it ok and had another milk run.
Troop Concentration Central Luzon Feb. 28,1945
Another milk run but one more checked off the list. We took off at 7:15 with a load of 40x100 frag bombs headed for Jap supply and ammo dump. We had a snap all the way and no trouble over the target with our bombs falling on 25% of the target. No flak or fighters bothered us and it was a pretty dull mission for a change. Turned around and headed home.
Kirun Harbor Formosa Mar. 3, 1945
We took off at 6:10 with 8x1000 bombs in our bomb bay headed for Jap shipping in the harbor area. We had lousy weather all the way up and when we arrived over the target we were all closed in so we had to climb up to 27000 ft. to get over the storm. We made a few runs and then dropped the bombs by radar with results unobserved. There was no ack ack or fighters but it was cold as a bastard because I didn’t have my heated suit and the temperature was 37 below. The back of my head felt as if it was a piece of ice even though I had on three hats and my helmet. On the way home we flew right over a Jap airfield and they really let us have it, eight planes were hit but we got through. Every plane in the formation were low on gas and three crews had to bail out because they ran out of gas altogether, out of 31 men only 11 were picked up ok. We had to land at Lingayeu Airfield for gas. We took off and headed home and the sacks because we where all shot, this was the longest mission we flew.
A photo recon after the mission revealed that we had sunk two 10000 ton tankers.
Antipolo Luzon Mar. 6, 1945
We took off at 7:10 with a load of 8x1000 bombs headed for Jap storage and ammo dumps along with the power plants. The weather was good for a change and swell flying weather. We had an easy time up to and over the target even though the Japs threw up some ack ack which didn’t even come close. No fighters were around and we scored 70% hits on the target with some small fires. We turned around and headed home.
********Mar. 5, 1945
Practice bombing mission over a small island and we all got some stick time on this one. We had lots of fun again.
Antipolo Luzon Mar. 6, 1945
The same target on the same day with the same bomb load. We took off at 12:50 and had a nice nap all the way up to the target and the Japs didn’t expect us because there wasn’t any ack ack at all and not one fighter was around. We scored 100% hits on the target and really knocked the hell out of the place. It was a very dull mission and we were all tired and I had a hell of a headache. We turned around and headed home.
Tokao Formosa Mar. 9, 1945
We took off at 8:30 with 8x1000 bombs headed for the dock area and railroad marshalling yards. We had a nice easy time all the way up to the target but when wo got over the target the Japs really let us have the ack ack . It was heavy, intense, and very accurate and six of the planes were hit but we were lucky and got through ok. No fighters came around because we had P38 cover and they went below and had fun straffing. We got out of there in a hurry and headed for home.
Points 2 and four fifths
Jitsugetsutan Formosa Mar. 13, 1945
We took off at 6:45 with a load of 8x1000 bombs headed for the biggest power plant on Formosa. We had lousy weather all the way up and when we arrived over the target there was some cloud cover but we managed to drop the bombs and scored 100% hits on the target. The ack ack was heavy and accurate because it rocked the hell out of our plane but didn’t hit us. There was no fighters around because we had cover which really is a break for us. Turned around and headed home.
Heito Drome Formosa Mar. 16, 1945
We took off at 6:50 with a load of 32x200 frag bombs headed for planes in the dispersal area of the drome. We had an easy time all the way up and on our run over the target we couldn’t drop our bombs because of a malfunction and bay was the flak heavy on the first run. Then we turned around and made another run and boy how they threw up the ack ack . We dropped bombs ok and scored 90% hits on the target and as we broke away from the target and as we were hit in the left rudder. The skipper had trouble in getting the plane in but we have one of the best pilots in the outfit and he got us home ok. Sixteen other planes were hit but none were lost and we destroyed 19 planes on the ground. We really sweated out this mission.
Toko Naval Base Formosa Mar. 18, 1945
We led the entire group for the first time and only the best crews get this honor. We took off at 6:45 loaded with 40x120 frag bombs and was over the target at exactly 12:00. There was no clouds in the sky and we had a perfect view of the target and they had a perfect view of our planes and they really threw up the flak. All the bombs hit the target causing three large fires and several large explosions with smoke coming up to about 5000 ft. We had bad luck again because we were hit between #3 and #4 engine but there wasn’t much damage although there was a big hole there. We turned around and headed home and we sure were glad to get out of that place. Nine other planes in the formation were hit but none were lost.
Legespi Luzon Mar. 23, 1945
We took off at 9:10 with a load of four one ton radar bombs which were set to explode at 150 ft. from any solid object. Our target was barracks, warehouses, and beach defenses and every bomb was on the target. We felt the concussion from our height of 12000 ft. There was only a few burst on ack ack and no fighters were around. It was a short and sweet mission and we turned around and headed home.
Legespi Luzon Mar. 26, 1945
The same as our last target but we had 8x1000 bombs. We had a little trouble taking off but we managed to get up ok. Over our target there was a couple burst of ack ack but none came near us and no fighters were around. We scored 100% hits and there was one large explosion and several large fires. We must have caused plenty of damage this time so we turned around and headed home.
Daraga Luzon Mar. 30, 1945
We took off at 7:45 with 4x2000 radar bombs headed for Jap ammo dumps and gun emplacements and a small power plant. We had it pretty easy all the way and even over the target it was easy because there wasn’t even one burst of ack ack or any fighters around. We scored 75% hits on the target with some small scattered fires and explosions. We turned around and headed home.
Kagi Drome Formosa April 3, 1945
We took off at 4:15 with a nice load of 40x100 lb. frag bombs headed for the revetment area in the drome. We had an easy time up until the target and before we were over the target we ran into very heavy flak. At bombs away the flak was heavier and even more accurate. We received a hit on our right rudder and luckely were able to continue. Six other planes were hit but all returned safely. All our bombs fell in the target area and 11 planes were destroyed. We had no fighters so we headed home and for the sacks.
Photo-Recco & Strike Canton China, Hong Kong China
We were out on our own this time and all of us were a little leery but we had to go. We took off at exactly 22:45 with 5x1000 lb. bombs and we also had a radar camera. We made four runs over Canton taking pictures and on each run we ran into some flak and also were caught in about seven lights. The flak wasn’t even close but the lights were right on us. After the last run three fighters tailed us but didn’t make any passes so we headed for our strike target. We made one run over Hong Kong and dropped our bombs on the Victoria docks causing a large explosion. We had some very light flak and also more lights which had us in the middle. The fighters who tailed us there jumped us but didn’t even come close with their shots. We pulled out of there in a hurry and sure were glad to arrive home.
Taihoku Formosa April 16, 1945
We took off at 6:45 loaded with 30x100 lb. frag bombs headed for planes parked on empty lots in the town area. We had an easy time up until the target but as usual they were waiting for us and really let us have it. The flak was the heaviest I’ve seen so far and eleven ships were hit, one ship had it’s rudder blown off but made it back ok. We had all our bombs in the target area causing five large fires and explosions which really did look nice from where we were. No fighters came our way so we turned around and headed home.
Tianan Formosa April 19, 1945
We took off at 7:45 loaded with 30x100 frag bombs with our target being some more Jap planes parked in the revetment areas. We had an easy time up until the target and even over the target. We dropped our bombs getting 70% hits and after we turned away from the target we ran into a barrage of flak and flew right through it without a ship being hit and boy were we lucky. We had the shit rocked out of us but made it ok and headed home. No fighters came around.
Saigon French Indo-China April 26, 1945
We took off at 7:00 with a load of 6x1000 lb. bombs headed for alcohol plants and warehouses. We had a very easy time up until the target and had a nice run and over the target we had some flak which didn’t even come close to any of us. All our bombs were in the target causing a large explosion and several fires. There were no fighters around so we turned around and headed for our home base and the sacks.
Saigon French Indo-China May 3, 1945
We took off at 5:00 loaded with 30x100 demolition bombs and our target was the Shell Oil Company. We had a very easy time up until the target and dropped our targets right in the middle of the tanks causing one of the largest explosions that I ever saw and boy oh boy all the target was burning with a nice black smoke coming up. The flak was really heavy and six of the ships were hit and we were hit under the bomb bays. There were several fighters around but we scared them off with a few bursts and we also had P-38 and P-47 cover but they were down below raising hell over the target. We turned around and headed for home and as we were coming in for our landing the #1 engine cut out and we almost cracked up but the skipper pulled us out of it ok.
Nha Trang French Indo-China May 8, 1945
This was our last mission and one of the easiest if not the easiest one we were on. We took off at 5:00 loaded with 6x1000 and our target was the important railway bridge of Nha Trang. Every plane made individual runs over the target and our plane had two hits out of six knocking the bridge out completely. There was no flak or no fighters and we cruised around for awhile just looking the scenery over. Then we turned around and headed home for the last time.
Missions completed on May 8, 1945
Total hours 417.40
Total points 102.74
Total missions 52
We were grounded on May 9, 1945 due to combat fatigue and our orders went in May 10, 1945.
We left for Manila June 1, 1945 to receive our air medals and returned on June 3, 1945. I took some pictures of the ruins in and around Manila.
Our orders returned on June 4, 1945 and left for the states on June 8, 1945 by a C-46.
Our first stop was Leyte and we stayed there from June 8 until June 12, 1945 and left that day by banana boat. We were to leave by C-54 but they screwed up our orders and changed them around. On the way home we had two sub alerts but they weren’t anxious to fight and left us alone. We finally arrived at San Francisco on July 4, 1945 and were sent to Angle Island where we stayed for three days and left on July 8 for Ft. Dix. We arrived at Ft. Dix on July 12, 1945 and stayed there until July 13, 1945 and left the same day with a 30 day furlough in my pocket. I arrived home at 3:30 on the same day and there waiting for me was the sweetest girl in the whole world with Ginny and also my brother Mike.
At long last Home Sweet Home
It sure was a wonderful feeling to be home, a feeling that I had never felt before in all my life. Tony
[Editors note: Cerelli, Anthony A.
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