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Phillip D. Himmel
386 Bomb Group, 553 Bomb Squadron

XPhillip D. Himmel, 386 Bomb Group, 553 Bomb Squadron

Phillip D. Himmel, 386 Bomb Group, 553 Bomb Squadron

Phillip D. Himmel, 386 Bomb Group, 553 Bomb Squadron

Lt. Phillip D. Himmel Receives Distinguished Flying Cross
(Special to the Statesmen)

A US 9th Air Force A-20 Bomber Base in ETO - Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross to Lt. Phillip D. Himmel from Salem Oregon has been announced by headquarters by the 9th Air Force ETO USA.  Lt. Phillip D. Himmel is bombardier-navigator in a 9th Air Force A-20 Havoc light bombardment group commanded by Preston P. Pender of Hendersonville, North Carolina.

Lt. Phillip D. Himmel who has flown more than 60 missions in the ETO in B-26 Marauders and A-20 Havocs, was commended for "extra-ordinary achievement as bombardier-navigator of a B-26 airplane on 25 bombardment missions over enemy occupied continental Europe."

In all the 60-odd missions he has flown, Lt. Phillip D. Himmel reports his plane has never had to abort for personnel or mechanical failures - a tribute to the excellence of the pilots he has flown with and care in which ground crews have devoted to the planes.

The missions Lt. Phillip D. Himmel thinks he will remember longest was an early one - his sixth - on which his formation encountered intense, heavy flak.  Himmel's plane had an engine and the hydraulic system shot out and the pilot was wounded.  They made the flight back across the Channel on a single engine and unable to get the landing gear down belly landed at the home base.  For bringing the ship and its crew home safely despite his wounds, Himmel's pilot was awarded the Silver Star.

In addition to the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) Himmel himself wears the Air Medal with two silver clusters and the Purple Heart, awarded for wounds received when flak smashed through the Plexiglas nose of the A-20 Havoc in which he was flying as bombardier.

After the competition of his 50th mission, Lt. Himmel spent a month touring England in a B-26 Marauder as part of a combined USAAF and RAF flying circus.  Every single engine and twin engine plane used in operations in the European theater of operations was represented in the circus, which flew 10-15 shows a day for the purpose of training both civilian and military personnel in aircraft recognition.


Called at 0545.  Briefed at 0700 for another ski sight just North of Abbeville France.  Went in at 9000 feet today.  Some flak at Ault (France) on the Coast.  Carried 6-500 lbs.  Overcast over target area.  Had to bring them back.

Briefed at 0700 for ski sight in France.  Got all most to France Coast and our flight leader left the formation to go back and L.C. followed him.  By the time we told L.C. what he was doing it was to late to catch the formation so we lost a mission and came on home.

Called at 0500.  Briefed for ski sight in France.  Waited until 1100 and it was scrubbed.

Briefed for ski sight in France.  Made the wrong rendezvous and missed the 322nd.  Circled south end (of England, did not cross Channel) for 45 minutes and came home.  Opened my packages tonight sure had a swell time.  Love my honey.

Briefed at 1500 for NoBall 3 miles from St Omer France.  It looked rough.  We were Deputy Lead again so I had a bomb sight Lee as navigator. We carried 6-500 lbs and 2-600 lbs.  We missed the Noball so went on to our secondary target.  Coastal guns at Gravelines we hit them OK.  One ship came in on single engine.  We got quite a bit of flak not concentrated.  40 Missions today, 6th cluster


These Ninth Air Force Marauder medium bomber crewmen at a base in England are proud of their record of having been on more than 30 missions.  From left - Sgt. E. H. Willging, Peshastin, Washington; Sgt. Paul M. Thornton, Spokane, Washington; Sgt. Roger Lovelace, Portland, Oregon; Sgt. Charles M. Brill, Rudyard, Montana; Lieutenant Phillip D. Himmel, Salem Oregon (bombs painted on jacket) and 2nd Lieutenant Hale B. Bennett, Goldendale, Washington.


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