1943 — Italy
T/Sgt Woodrow H Haley was a Radio/Gunner that flew Combat Missions in the B-25 Mitchells of the 321st Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Squadron.
Woodrow flew 50 Combat Missions and on one Mission was injured and awarded the Purple Heart; Next is one such dangerous Mission!
5 Jul 43 - 446th BS Mission Summary: (Ops Order 69/mission 68) Group Mission # 81: Groupmission 68, Sqdn 59 composed of 10 planes led by Capt. Griffith. The target was the Gerbini L/G #6, Sicily. 300 lb bombs were carried but only one corner of the field was hit. Flak was heavy and accurate, but there were no fighters. Lt. Bradley’s plane was hit by flak and he was forced to land it in the sea. S/Sgt. Sheldon received a broken leg and S/Sgt. Lovell received cuts on his face. The crew was picked up by a British ASR launch and taken to Malta. Capt. Griffith’s plane was also badly hit by flak and S/Sgt. Billy Dykes was injured by it.
A/C No. 42-64526
P; Griffith, Frank J. “Grif”, Capt
CP; Carlisle, Howard L., 1Lt
N; Caldwell, Herman B., Jr., 1LtBMarek, Joseph R., 2Lt
E; Mitchell, Lance M., S/Sgt
R; Haley, Woodrow H., T/Sgt
G; Dykes, Billy, S/Sgt
HQ 321st BG War Diary: Additional Narrative for August 1943: The first of August was a big day for the 321st Bombardment Group. The group was on that day one year old. The Group had come a long way in that year and had already dealt a number of heavy blows to the enemy. The aerial bombardment of Sicily and Italy was one of the deciding factors in convincing Italy that she might soon be wise to get out of the war.
Premier Mussolini had resigned and was replaced by Marshal Badoglio. The 321st Bombardment Group played an important part in the bombardment of military objectives on Italian soil. A program was held on this Sunday of August 1st, 1943, in the headquarters area. General Ridenour, 47th Wing Commander, and Captain Lund, Engineering Officer of the 47th Wing were guests at the festivities. Talks were given by Colonel Knapp and other staff officers of the group in addition to a talk by General Ridenour, guest on the program. Colonel Lowell presided as master of ceremonies and very ably so, keeping the program from becoming too serious a matter. General Ridenour commented on and praised highly the achievements of the 321st Bombardment Group and the enviable records that they had attained. Col. Knapp also presented Purple Hearts to the following named personnel who had been wounded in operational missions against the enemy: Major Bailey C. Cook, Captain Robert W. Manley, 1st Lt Ralph L. Axson Jr., 1st Lt. Vergil L. Seawell, 1st Lt. Charles M. VanArtsdalen, 2nd Lt. James M. Meehan, 2nd Lt. Walter G. McCone, 2nd Lt. Jack P. McLeod, 2nd Lt. William H. Shaw, 2nd Lt. Roy W., Tate, T/Sgts. Joseph E. Eagan, James A. Shields, S/Sgts. Billy Dykes, Ronald A. Grant, Aage E. Jensen, Curtis L. Lovell, Russell E. Murphy, Walter E., Porter, **** T/Sgt. Woodrow H. Haley *** and Pvt. Michael A., Poranda. The program closed with the singing of the “Star Spangled Banner” and the rest of the day was declared a holiday.
On August 1, 1943, Col. Knapp addressed the entire Group
At Souk-El-Arba, Algeria in celebration of Anniversary Day.