Mission count

Discussion in 'All Hands Club & Canteen Discussion Area' started by Cololab, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. Cololab

    Cololab Member

    IIRC, a recent posting somewhere on this forum made a reference that if a bomber crew volunteered for a combat mission, that flight did not count against the number of missions he was required to perform to complete a tour of duty. I can think of reasons that a group would not want various crew members volunteering when they felt like it. I know there were sustitition crew members from time to time in a squadron or group due to illness, injury, etc., but I don't know how "voluntary" those substitutions actually were.

    Can any of you more knowledgeable folks out there provide info about this?
  2. terveurn

    terveurn Active Member

    doubt very much if too many men volunteered for extra missions.

    As far as crew integrity, by the Autumn of 1943, men got placed where-ever and when-ever they were needed. Very rare did any crew fly together intact for too many missions.

    If you go through any stack of load-outs, men were shuffled all-around filling in as needed at times

    So pretty sure any missions flown, once they got into the combat zone, was considered a mission flown
  3. Lynn Dollar Jr

    Lynn Dollar Jr Active Member

    From reading Jay Stout's books, on the 303rd BG " Hells Angels " and his book " The Men Who Killed The Luftwaffe " , its a combination of volunteer and being assigned. Some men volunteered because they wanted to get their missions, whether 25 or 35 , done and get home. And especially if the mission was considered a milk run, like a lot of the missions over France or the sub pens.

    I've wondered bout this cause there were occasions when my dad flew back to back missions with different crews, it made me wonder if he was picked out to fly those extra missions, or he volunteered. He was shot down with 21 missions, and his regular crew only had like 17 missions.
  4. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Basically agree with terveurn, a mission flown was a mission flown. Exception being in cases where double credit was given under certain conditions, think in Italy. Jim Peters please jump in here and clarify this for us.

    Essentially a given crew or crewman flew whenever and with whom ever he was told to. Only situation I can conceive of where a volunteer would come into play would be when a crew assigned to fly a mission turned up short a man for illness or whatever reason and someone from a crew not scheduled that day might be able to volunteer to fill in. But even then I doubt than any individual crewman had much to say about it.

    By summer 1944 at least in the 8th AF, crews were pretty much flying most of their missions together. My father flew 32 missions in fall '44 and 28 were with the same crew. His crew did have a number of co-pilots cycle through but all the rest of the crew was pretty consistent
  5. Lynn Dollar Jr

    Lynn Dollar Jr Active Member

    As far as volunteering, in a strict sense, every mission was volunteer. Flying combat was on a volunteer basis and they could opt out , anytime. But peer pressure and sense of duty kept most flying. In Dad's co-pilot's memoir, who was a replacement , he comments that upon arrival at Rattlesden in mid March 44 , he was surprised at the number of men how had opted out. The group had been flying since late Dec.
  6. cody1947

    cody1947 Member

    In the 379thBG there was a full Squadron of Airmen that was known as the reserve crew section. These airmen were for the most part kept in Crews and not assigned to any particular aircraft but they could volunteer to replace a position in an assigned crew for a mission. This section was primarily used to fill-in on crews missing a man for a mission due to illness or injury or any other reason that Airman could not be ready for that mission. Many in this section also volunteered for as many openings as possible in order to get to the magic number quicker.

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