Re:Organization of planes during mission
Shawn, the easiest way to explain it is to show you the 83rd line up for that mission:
White 1 Gray 44-63279 HL-Z
White 2 Kirk 44-11557 HL-L
White 3 Klaassen 44-15575 HL-P
White 4 Hodge 44-15586 HL-I
Red 1 Beckley 44-63178 HL-B (scratched)
Red 2 Olson 44-15627 HL-Q
Red 3 Seeley 44-11669 HL-V
Red 4 Wade 44-15524 HL-K
Yellow 1 Gilbert 44-63216 HL-A
Yellow 2 O'Brien 44-11627 HL-J
Yellow 3 Hamilton 44-15650 HL-J
Yellow 4 Hobbie 44-11621 HL-S
Blue 1 Wise 44-63208 HL-U
Blue 2 Monteith 44-11625 HL-M
Blue 3 Eadline 44-15702 HL-X
Blue 4 Neiland 44-15721 HL-C
Black 1 Miller 44-11563 HL-N
Black 2 McDuffie 44-11573 HL-K
Black 3 Harrington 44-63285 HL-R
Black 4 Davis 42-106789 HL-T (early return - wing tank dropped off)
Cargo was the squadron callsign so your father would have been Cargo Yellow 3.
Each coloured section consisted of two elements of two planes. Number 1 was the section leader and number 3 was the second element leader. Numbers 2 and 4 were their respective wingmen.
Normally, each squadron put up four flights of four making a squadron strength of sixteen and a group strength of forty-eight. On this mission the 83rd put up an additional (Black) flight of four. The 82nd and 84th both put up their regular sixteen for the mission and these would have been Surtax and Shampoo White, Red, Yellow and Blue respectively.
Hope this helps explain things.