Wednesday 14 February 2024

1/Lt Walt Konantz 338th FS, 55th FG - archive photo scan #12


a few notes from 1/Lt Walt Konantz's logbook  (338th FS, 55th FG)

August 12, 1944;

- ground strafing and dive bombing in Nancy-Verdun area. Destroyed 15 ammunition rail cars and a city water tower. Aircraft badly damaged by flying debris from exploding ammo cars but made it back to base [..] knocked off propeller spinner ..

August 13;

-dive-bombing and strafing south of Paris. Hit a railroad station with my two 500 lb bombs and strafed a German staff car.

August 14;

-escort B-17s to Mannheim-Ludwigshaven area. Shot-up two locos on the way out.

August 15;

-escort B-17s to Venlo and Twente airfields. Flak hit one B-17 and he blew up with his bomb load.

August 25;

-escort B-17s to Politz synthetic oil refinery north-east of Berlin. Saw one B-17 go down in a vertical dive from flak over the target. Time logged 6 hrs 45

August 29;

- strafing in Germany just over the French border. Shot-up three trains, one of which was a long troop train. Train was moving fast when I raked it from the rear to the front and saw soldiers jumping out the windows. When it finally stopped I saw 50-60 people lying in the fields and ditches near the tracks.

September 11;

- escort B-17s to Ruhland. Just before we were due to rendez-vous with our bombers, our squadron of sixteen P-51s was bounced by about 60 Me 109s. They dove through our formation firing all the way. One passed right in front of me. I had been using the relief tube and had my shoulder harness, seat belt and chute leg straps undone. I chased after him at full throttle in a vertical power dive from 24,000 ft. I reached 600 mph on  the airspeed indicator. The Me 109 pulled out at 5,000 ft, ripped his right wing off and spun in and exploded. 

P-51D 44-72296 CL-P "Saturday Night " flown by 1/Lt Walt Konantz. Note heavily greyed out star and bars. Via 'Aces and Wingmen' author Danny Morris. Sadly, Danny passed away last October. Click on the image for full screen view