INTRODUCTION TO TAXI SHEETS

When I decided to include some “taxi sheets” in the original report, I had only a few and thought that I would put them in for illustrative purposes. Now, I believe that Dave Garnham and I have around 100, and we are including quite a few of them plus a list of all that we have showing donors. One might question whether it is appropriate to include so many, but they are not presented elsewhere, so why not here? Dave Garnham has done a magnificent job of typing them, adding mission notes, correcting typos, researching inconsistencies, etc. As the taxi sheets do not scan very well, each needs to be typed, which is very time-consuming. As I said, I had included some taxi sheets in the original printed report, and I must correct a gross error in the original report. Dave brought to my attention that what I had thought was the Clarion taxi sheet was actually the taxi sheet for Mission #265 on 22 Mar 45, so if you see a reference to the Clarion taxi sheet, I have overlooked it in error.

In looking at these new taxi sheets from Dave, I found a couple of things that completely confused me until Dave straightened me out. I noticed that there were many Captains and many of the pilots were not in my database. Fortunately, Dave was able to explain the situation to me. Apparently, when the 391st first began operations, a number of experienced pilots and crews (89 officers and 97 enlisted men from the 322nd, 323rd, 386th, and 387th) were assigned temporarily to fly with the group and help it get a good start in combat operations. This explanation undoubtedly accounts for the large number of Captains and the new names. I did not arrive until September, 1944, and so had no first-hand knowledge of this.

We should remember that there is a crew associated with each pilot and airplane on a taxi sheet. If pilot Jones flew a mission, his crew flew with him unless there was some very good reason for the crew or an individual not to do so. Having these taxi sheets included may help someone to reconstruct a crewman’s combat history.

Immediately following and before the first taxi sheet, there is a list of all of the taxi sheets that we have (not all are included yet), showing the donor of each taxi sheet. The mission date comes from the taxi sheet itself, but for the mission number and target, we are indebted to several sources, including Hugh Walker’s softback history.

The taxi sheets show the pilot (and usually the bombardier for lead aircraft), partial aircraft number and opcode, parking location, and formation position for the specified missions. The reader may ask, “Why are these called Taxi Sheets?” The proper takeoff and join-up of 36 or 54 aircraft demanded strict adherence to procedure. A pilot, knowing the procedure and knowing where the various airplanes were parked, could determine from the taxi sheet which airplane he must follow onto the taxiway and which airplane(s) he must let onto the taxiway ahead of his airplane in order to be in proper sequence for takeoff.

A taxi sheet shows the pilots’ names and the aircraft alignment by Box and Flight. A normal mission consisted of 36 aircraft arrayed in two Boxes of 18 aircraft each. A Box consisted of three flights of 6 ships each: a Lead Flight, a High Flight (on the right), and a Low Flight (on the left). Normally, a flight consisted of airplanes and crews from one squadron, but there were rare exceptions. You will note that the normal arrangement, before moving to France, was for each Box to be manned by one squadron; after moving to France, the arrangement was for one squadron to man the lead and high flights of the 1st Box; a second squadron manned the lead and high flights of the 2nd Box; and a third squadron manned the low flights of both boxes. Under the ops rotation scheme implemented in France (described earlier), one squadron was off ops at any time for two days, as was the 572nd on Dec 23, 1944, the day of the Ahrweiler mission.

A “Maximum Effort” mission included a third Box and thus numbered 54 aircraft.

A “Pathfinder” mission usually consisted of 30 aircraft, as the lead flights had only 3 aircraft each.

I have indicated the squadron for each flight by putting the squadron number after the lead pilot’s name.

I believe that the effects of the Ahrweiler mission were felt for months, with the three affected squadrons short of qualified crews and lead crews. As an example, refer to the taxi sheet for Mission 245 on 4 March 1945. Chatellier of the 572nd led the low flight of the 1st Box; the other five aircrews in the flight were from the 574th. Richmond, in the slot position, was a Major, but only recently arrived. Transition to the A-26 may have further complicated scheduling.

Unfortunately, some of the taxi sheets were very difficult to read in spots. For example, I was unable to identify the pilot flying No. 5 position in the 2nd box, High Flight, of the Bitburg mission, #206, on 25 Dec 44.

The taxi sheets prepared by Dave Garnham are somewhat different in appearance from mine. Dave’s taxi sheets begin with Mission No. 4, and continue through Mission No. 137. Because the taxi sheet file had become so large, I have broken it up into three files, 1st half of 1944, second half of 1944, and 1945.

I haven't been able to get the mission sketches to show in an .htm taxi file, so they are shown as separate picture files.

Some of the airplanes are "out of position," especially in the second half of 1944, and I have not been able to solve the problem. I started through the file, putting each airplane entry in a table, thinking that this would lock them in position. When I open the file with Microsoft Word, they are in position, but on the Internet, they must be opened by the browser and are not all in position. I am working on it! (ADDENDUM: This problem has been resolved on the new website !)

LIST OF AVAILABLE TAXI SHEETS AND DONORS
Mission number Station Date Target Type Country Taxi Sheet Website Donor
4016628 Apr 1944CreilMarshaling YardFranceXViewHolliday
-4116629 Apr 1944Mission not flownHolliday
431661 May 1944DouaiMarshaling YardFranceXViewMynn/Ethel Bush
441661 May 1944ValenciennesMarshaling YardXViewMynn/Ethel Bush
451662 May 1944ValenciennesMarshaling YardXViewHolliday
471667 May 1944Mezieres/CharlevilleMarshaling YardXViewHolliday
481667 May 1944Le MansA/C Repair PlantFranceXViewHolliday
5316610 May 1944MonsMarshaling YardBelgiumXViewHolliday
5416610 May 1944DouaiMarshaling YardFranceXViewHolliday
6016615 May 1944Evreux/FauvilleAirfieldXViewHolliday
6116619 May 1944FecampCoastal GunsFranceXViewHolliday
6516622 May 1944Beaumont-Le-RogerAirfieldFranceXViewHolliday
7016626 May 1944PoissyBridgeXViewHolliday
7116627 May 1944St. Pierre du VauvrayRR BridgeXViewHolliday
7216627 May 1944Maisons-LafitteBridgeXViewHolliday
7716630 May 1944Mantes-GassicourtBridgeXViewHolliday
7816631 May 1944Courcelles-Sur-SeineBridgeFranceXViewHolliday
811663 Jun 1944Mont FleuryCoastal GunsXViewHolliday
821664 Jun 1944GravelinesCoastal GunsXViewMynn/Ethel Bush
841666 Jun 1944Benerville, Saint-Pierre-du-Mont, and MaisyCoastal GunsFranceXViewHolliday
861667 Jun 1944AigremontCoastal GunsFranceXHolliday
871667 Jun 1944BriouzeRR SidingsFranceXViewHolliday
881668 Jun 1944ValognesRR JunctionXViewWalker
9016610 Jun 1944La Pernelle; Coastal Defense Battery and Radar Station at Aigremont.Nav. Beam StationFranceXViewHolliday
9216611 Jun 1944Nantes-GassicourtHighway BridgeXHolliday
9316612 Jun 1944GranvilleCoastal GunsFranceXViewHolliday
9616614 Jun 1944Gallardon's PontRR Junctn/SidngsXViewHolliday
-9916618 Jun 1944Mission not flownHolliday
9916618 Jun 1944Foret d'AndaineFuel & Ammo DumpXViewMynn/Ethel Bush
10016620 Jun 1944Predefin and La Belle HotesseV-1 BaseXViewWalker, Holliday
10116621 Jun 1944Le GrismontV-1 BaseXViewHolliday
10216621 Jun 1944Erny/St. JulienV-1 BaseXViewMynn/Ethel Bush
-10516623 Jun 1944No mission this dateMynn/Ethel Bush
1081665 Jul 1944SenonchesFuel & Ammo DumpFranceXViewMynn/Ethel Bush
1091666 Jul 1944MaintenonViaductXViewHolliday
12016623 Jul 1944Foret de ConchesFuel DumpXViewHolliday
12116624 Jul 1944LavalRR ViaductFranceXViewHolliday
12216625 Jul 1944St. LoClose SupportXViewHolliday
12316626 Jul 1944MarignyNA-WeatherXViewHolliday
12416628 Jul 1944Grosley-sur-RisleRR BridgeXViewHolliday
12716631 Jul 1944NantesRR BridgeFranceXViewHolliday
1281661 Aug 1944BourthRR BridgeFranceXViewHolliday
1311665 Aug 1944Le MansRR BridgeFranceXViewHolliday
1331666 Aug 1944CourtalainRR BridgeFranceXViewHolliday
1371668 Aug 1944Anizy Le ChateauRR BridgeFranceXViewHolliday
1381668 Aug 1944PerroneRR BridgeXHolliday
13916610 Aug 1944Anizy Le ChateauRR BridgeFranceXHolliday
14316613 Aug 1944LisieuxRoad JunctionXHolliday
14416613 Aug 1944CherisyRR BridgeFranceXHolliday
14516614 Aug 1944MezieresRR JunctionXHolliday
14916617 Aug 1944MassandresRoad BridgeXHolliday
15016618 Aug 1944ValentonFuel DumpXHolliday
15416627 Aug 1944Vucy les PierrpointFuel DumpXBischoff
15516630 Aug 1944Ile de CezembreTroop CenterXBischoff
1581663 Sep 1944BrestHarbor AreaFranceXHolliday
1591665 Sep 1944OstendLeaflet DropsBelgium & N. FranceXHolliday
1611666 Sep 1944BrestStrongpointsFranceXHolliday
1621666 Sep 1944BrestStrongpointsFranceXHolliday
-1631669 Sep 1944Mission not flown (Brest)Bischoff/Holliday
16316610 Sep 1944Custines & PompeyClose SupportFranceXViewHolliday
16416611 Sep 1944BrestCoastal GunsFranceXViewHolliday
16516612 Sep 1944ScheidSiegfried LineGermanyXBischoff
16616612 Sep 1944Chaligny, Foret de HayeGun PositionsFranceXBischoff
16716614 Sep 1944Brest, Camaret, CrozonStrongpointsFranceXViewHolliday
16816616 Sep 1944BathDike & Rail LineHollandXBischoff
170A-7323 Sep 1944Duren??GermanyXBischoff
171A-7327 Sep 1944Foret de Parroy??XViewHolliday
172A-7329 Sep 1944WebenheimSiegfried LineGermanyXBischoff
173A-732 Oct 1944UbachSiegfried LineGermanyXBischoff
-175A-736 Oct 1944Mission not flownHolliday
175A-737 Oct 1944EuskirchenSupply DepotGermanyXBischoff
177A-7312 Oct 1944GravenbeuchRR BridgeGermanyXHolliday
-179A-7314 Oct 1944No mission this date (note #1)Bischoff/Holliday
181A-732 Nov 1944BullayRR BridgeGermanyXHolliday
182A-733 Nov 1944MorschiedRR BridgeXViewBischoff
-183A-735 Nov 1944Mission not flownSink
185A-7311 Nov 1944EuskirchenRR BridgeGermanyXViewBischoff
188A-7319 Nov 1944SinzigRR BridgeXBischoff
192A-7329 Nov 1944Elsburg??XViewBischoff
196A-735 Dec 1944OberzierDefended VillageXBischoff
197A-739 Dec 1944BaumholderBarracksGermanyXBischoff
198A-7310 Dec 1944HuchemDefended VillageXBischoff
202A-7315 Dec 1944HarperscheidDefended VillageXBischoff
203A-7323 Dec 1944AhrweilerRR ViaductGermanyXViewWalker
204A-7323 Dec 1944NeuerburgDefended VillageXViewMazurk, Bischoff
205A-7324 Dec 1944Konz KarthausRR BridgeGermanyXBischoff
206A-7325 Dec 1944BitburgComm CenterGermanyXViewMain, Bischoff
207A-7325 Dec 1944TabenRR BridgeXViewMain
208A-7326 Dec 1944BadmunsterRR BridgeGermanyXBischoff
209A-731 Jan 1945Salm ChateauComm CenterBelgiumXViewMain
210A-7314 Jan 1945BullayBridgeGermanyXViewBischoff
212A-7322 Jan 1945GerolsteinSupply DepotXViewBischoff
214A-7328 Jan 1945EllerRR BridgeXViewMazurk
215A-7329 Jan 1945BlankenheimSupply & Comm. CenterGermanyXViewBischoff
219A-736 Feb 1945Near Borfink??XViewBischoff
223A-7310 Feb 1945Bergisch GladbachMotor DepotGermanyXViewMazurk
236A-7324 Feb 1945ZulpichComm CenterXBischoff
238A-7325 Feb 1945NiederscheidRR BridgeXBischoff
241A-732 Mar 1945SinnernRR BridgeXBischoff
243A-733 Mar 1945WiesbadenOrdnance DepotGermanyXViewBischoff
244A-733 Mar 1945SchwelmTransport CenterXBischoff
245A-734 Mar 1945Rechlinghausen??XViewMazurk
247A-736 Mar 1945SiegburgStorage DepotXViewCrumal
251A-7311 Mar 1945Ettingshausen (note #2)Luftwaffe AirfieldXViewBischoff
255A-7314 Mar 1945BabenhausenLuftwaffe AirfieldGermanyXViewMazurk, Crumal,
261A-7318 Mar 1945Bad DurkheimComm. CenterGermanyXViewBischoff
265A-7322 Mar 1945CoesfeldComm. CenterGermanyXViewBischoff, Crumal
-273A-7327 Mar 1945Mission not flown (Ruthen, Oil Storage)Bischoff
277A-733 Apr 1945HamelnMarshaling YardGermanyXBischoff
284A-7310 Apr 1945Probably Zwickau (note #2)RR Yard (A-26s)XBischoff
291Y-2924 Apr 1945LandauAirfieldGermanyXBischoff

NOTES:

#1 Taxi sheet lineup probably used for next day's mission to Konz Karthaus RR bridge.

#2 Taxi sheet says Worms marshalling yard.

#3 Not in history book (NB not annotated in original webpage !).