1943 - 1945 SUPER, ORIGINAL WWII MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A 22 YEAR OLD SOON TO BE CITED AND HONORED AERIAL GUNNER OF A B-17 SERVING OVER NORTH AFRICA AND THE EUROPEAN THEATER

By: S/SGT GILBERT R. ARGUELLES

Price: $4,455.99

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Good


On offer is a very rare combat diary from World War II. The leather-bound Five Year diary measures 5.5 inches by 4 inches and contains 365 pages. It is approximately 40% complete. The cover is in good condition and all pages are intact. The handwriting is clear and legible. A valuable addition to the diary are the many items tucked in between pages - photographs, newspaper clippings, memos, etc. The diary belonged to Gilbert R. Arguelles. Arguelles was a S/Sgt in the US Army Air Force. Born in December, 1922, he was 20 years old when he began this diary. His home was Fresno, CA. Arguelles passed away in March, 2016 at the age of 93. Arguelles was posted to the 301st Bombardment Group (H). The 301st Bombardment Group (H) was a highly decorated heavy bombardment group flying B-17 Flying Fortresses that served primarily in North Africa and Italy. It operated as part of Eighth, Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces. Although many of his entries indicate that Arguelles was part of ground crew, the announcement of his honourable discharge notes that he served as an aerial gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress. When he was discharged following WWII, he was 22 years old and had earned a Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, the American Defense ribbon and the ETO ribbon (European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal ) with 7 battle stars. Arguelles shipped out aboard the troop ship SS Uruguay on Aug 5th, 1942. His diary begins January, 1943 and continues through 1943, 1944 and parts of 1945. In November of 1943, the 301st was moved to North Africa and this is where Arguelles' first entries pick up: "Spent this New Years day 36 kilometers (kilo=5/8 mile 0 outside of Oran, North Africa."[Jan 1, 1943]. He spent time in Casablanca as evidenced by simple, one-word entries. On June 9th, he is promoted to Corporal. "... Red letter day. Made Corporal today. $19.0 a month more - Boy!! ..." [June 9, 1943]. Most entries note missions carried out and the results: "Early mission to Italy. It was a 7 1/2 hour mission with 500's. 60's (plane number 60) 67th mission; 419's 100th mission today - whew! ... " [June 28, 1943]. "Left St. Donat this morn. Got into Tunisia about 4 P.M. Passed fields of former battles and towns shot up. Got to Tunisia at 11:45 P.M. Went to sleep by truck at 1:30 A.M. Took about 20 hrs of driving". [Aug 8, 1943] "Early mission to N of Rome, Italy. #60 came back with many holes. Eng #2 shot to pieces. Lost 2 planes - 93 and 07. 07 was shot down - first ship lost with crew over target. No mail" [Aug 11, 1943]. On Dec 10th, 1943, he was moved to Italy where the 301st was relocated. From there, his diary records missions north into Germany and east into the Balkans. One entry recounts a particularly hazardous mission which earned his unit a Distinguished Unit Citation: "Disastrous mission today. 310 and 391 were shot down. 125's radioman shot in the head, plane shot up. 65's tail gunner had brains blown out. 14 Fortresses still missing. Target - Regensburg, Ger ..." [Feb 25, 1944]. It was a one of the raid of "Big Week", a sequence of raids by the United States Air Forces from 20 to 25 February 1944, as part of the European strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. The planners intended to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle by attacking the German aircraft industry. Most other entries for 1944 detail missions flown and results, including lost planes and dead crew members. These include bombing raids on the Ploesti oil fields - Operation Tidal Wave. There are few entries in 1945 and the last one sees him heading to Chicago for a medical appointment on May 19th, 1945. The diary contains photographs of Leonora whom he married and many newspaper clipping and stories. One news clipping recounts the survival of Sgt James Raley of Kansas who plummeted 19,000 feet after his bomber was destroyed - and lived!, Another clipping, dated Sept 25, 1944, and filed from Italy, quotes 21 year old S/Sgt Arguelles as saying: "I was about to enter the Fresno State College but entered the army instead. Now there's a girl, a nurse cadet ... She's 18. I wonder what mother will say." This is a simply outstanding war record of a young airman in WWII. His unit was a highly decorated unit that still serves today as a Reserve Air Force Unit. It is a goldmine of information for a military historian. It paints a picture of both a constant operational tempo and the day-to-day experiences of a young American at war. A reader will see both the war unfolding on his pages and the very human experiences he went through.

Title: 1943 - 1945 SUPER, ORIGINAL WWII MANUSCRIPT DIARY HANDWRITTEN BY A 22 YEAR OLD SOON TO BE CITED AND HONORED AERIAL GUNNER OF A B-17 SERVING OVER NORTH AFRICA AND THE EUROPEAN THEATER

Author Name: S/SGT GILBERT R. ARGUELLES

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Diary, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Ephemera,

Publisher: FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, 1943

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 24mo - over 5" - 5¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008132

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, GILBERT R. ARGUELLES; UNITED STATES, USSTAF, SECOND WORLD WAR, WW2, 1940s, US ARMY AIR FORCE; 301ST BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H); B-17 FLYING FORTRESS; EIGHTH AIR FORCE; TWELFTH AIR FORCE; FIFTEENTH AIR FORCE; BOMBING RAID ON REGENSBURG; PLOESTI OIL FIELDS; SS URUGUAY; FRESNO, CALIFORNIA, WW2 VETERANS FROM FRESNO, CA; NORTH AFRICAN CAMPAIGN; BIG WEEK, OPERATION ARGUMENT, OPERATION TIDAL WAVE, BOMBING RAIDS ON PLOESTI OIL FIELDS, AMERICAN AIR OPERATIONS IN ITALY IN THE WW2, AMERICAN BOMBERS IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR, AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL