Muscatine County

Vincent Richard Ziegenhorn

 

 

 

ZIEGENHORN RECALLS HIS BIG THRILLS IN ACTION

Vincent Richard Ziegenhorn, chief yeoman, just back from service in the Central and Pacific areas, where he was on combat duty with airgroup No. 9, has an interesting record of experiences.

In a story released from the Thirteenth Naval district, Seattle, Wash., he is quoted as follows:

“About the greatest combat experience I’ve ever gone through was on the raid at Rabaul when the Japs gave us a run for our money, after our first attack on their bases and shipping. It was the first time I had ever been under attack and they came in so quick, even though no hits were sustained, that it seemed an almost “not possible” of being under attack by the enemy. I only saw a few enemy planes as I took cover and stayed put until the all clear was given. Then my happiest moment that day was when the air group commander (Commander Paul E. Emrick, U.S. Navy) came into our ready room and told us his rear seat gunner (Gordon Jenkins, AMM 1/c, U.S. Navy) had shot down two Japanese planes in the air.

“I find it not fun waiting for our flyers to come back as you can never tell what might happen. It’s a great feeling of satisfaction when the day sinks into night and all our flyers are aboard safely after a big strike or any kind of a strike on our enemy.”

Air Group Nine, of which Ziegenhorn was a member, is made up of three separate squadrons: fighting, bombing, and torpedo. During six months’ combat, Air Group Nine:

Participated in eight separate combat missions; raid on Marcus, raid on Wake, raid on Rabaul, the occupation of Gilbert Islands, raid on Kwajalein, the occupation of the Marshall Islands, raid on Truk, and raid on Saipan.

Flew a total of 2,543 combat sorties against the Japanese for a total of 8,206 combat hours.

Delivered for Uncle Sam: 1,146,360 pounds of bombs and some 610,000 rounds of machine-gun ammunition.

Shot down in the air 129 enemy planes plus about 40 probables, with many more damaged.

Destroyed on the ground over 170 enemy planes.

Sunk six enemy ships or an estimated 50,000 tons and damaged 40 more for some 350,000 tons.

Inflicted unestimated damage to the airfields and installations of the enemy.

Yeoman Ziegenhorn is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Ziegenhorn, of Muscatine.

Source: Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune, July 22, 1944 (photo included)