may 1944

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April 1945      

 

No.58    05/01/44   NOBALL - RECALL

Briefing was at 0130 hours and the target was a Noball target (V-1) in France.  Take off started at 0419 hours but in the process of assembly the planes built up a vapor trail cloud.  Because of this, the Group had to increase their altitude to get into clear air.  After covering only 16 miles, the contrails were so thick that the mission was aborted.  Landing started at 1030 hours.

 

No.59    05/07/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0330 hours and the target was Berlin, Germany.  This was another mission where the main target was the Luftwaffe.  The planes were loaded with 53 tons of 100 pound incendiary bombs which are oil filled units.  Take off was at 0600 hours.  As the Group crossed the continent they reached their bombing altitude of 23,750 feet.  At the target in Berlin the flak was very heavy and accurate.  Fortunately there were no losses and landing started at 1445 hours.

 

No.60    05/08/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0330 hours and the target was again Berlin.  The aircraft were loaded with 45 tons of GP bombs and take off started at 0615 hours.  The "A" group assembled over the field at 10,000 feet and the "B" group (385th Bomb Group) assembled at 12,000 feet.  The "A" group and "B" group dropped their bombs on a 210 heading through the clouds.  Landing started at 1415 hours.

 

No.61    05/09/44   LAON/ATHIES A/D

Briefing was at 0330 hours and the target was an air depot at Laon/Athies, France.  The field was on the east side of the town of Laon, about 50 miles northeast of Paris.  The bombers were loaded with 1118 100 pond GP bombs with take off starting at 0600 hours.  The bombing altitude of 22,000 feet was reached as the Group crossed the French coast near Calais.  The mission was uneventful and the flak was light.  Bomb results were rated as "Good" and landing started at 1050 hours.

 

No.62    05/11/44   MALINES

Briefing was at 1230 hours and the target were railroad yards in eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France.  The planes were loaded with 1000 pound GP bombs and take off started at 1500 hours.  The formation was at bombing altitude of 18,700 feet as they crossed the Belgium coast.  Due to weather, the Group bombed a railroad junction at Malines, Belgium as a target of opportunity.  Flak was light and the bombing results were rated as "Fair".  Landing started at 2000 hours.

 

No.63    05/12/44   ZWICKAU

Briefing was at 0600 hours and the target was an aircraft repair depot at Zwickau, about 40 miles south of Liepzig. The aircraft were loaded with 500 pound GP bombs and the first plane started its take off at 0820 hours.  There were 700 enemy fighters in interceptor range following assembly.  The armada headed for Frankfurt which drew the Luftwaffe in that direction.  As the Third Division crossed the Rhine, there were only one of our fighter groups in escort.  130 enemy fighters attacked overwhelming out escort scoring heavily on the bombers.  Another of our fighter escort joined the fray and were able to get control.  Remnants of the Luftwaffe re-organized and struck the Third again, but our fighters were able to handle them.  The Third lost 30 B-17's.  The 447th dropped their bombs with "Good" results.  The following crews were lost: Lt. E.D. Wright, 708th, Major W.W. Brown and Captain W.B. Larson, 709th, Captain Van Every and Captain K.A. Johnson, 710th, Lt. M. Pettus and Lt. T.C. Mandrell, 711th.  Lt. Moses ditched in the North Sea on return, seven men were rescued.  Landing started at 1640 hours.

 

No.64    05/13/44   OSNABRUCK

Briefing was at 0730 hours and the target was the railroad yards at Osnabruck, 70 miles west southwest of Bremen.  The planes were loaded with 10 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 1000 hours.  As the formation crossed the Dutch coast west of the Zider Zee they reached their bombing altitude of 24,500 feet.  The flak was moderate but accurate over the target and bombing results were rated as "Good".  Lt. R.D. McClintock of the 711th Squadron began trailing smoke from the No. 3 engine before reaching the target.  As they left the target the plane burst into flames and went into a left hand turn. He was still under control when last seen with only one chute noticed to come from the ship.  This was the only loss of the mission.  Landing started at 1615 hours.

 

No.65    05/19/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0630 hours and the target was Berlin.  The planes were loaded with 500 pound incendiary bombs that were made up of clusters of 4 pound magnesium units.  Take off started at 0850 hours.  The 447th was ordered to fly in the low group position to the 94th.  The formation had to climb to find clear air and the bombing altitude of 25,000 feet was reached as they crossed the Danish coast.  A PFF run was made over Berlin as bombs were  dropped as far apart as possible.  The 447th started landing at 1815 hours with no losses.

 

No.66    05/20/44   LIEGE

Briefing was at 0530 hours and the target was the marshalling yards at Liege, Belgium.  The bombers were loaded with 500 pound GP bombs and take off was at 0700 hours.  About 10 minutes after the formation left the coast, at 20,000 feet, Lt. A.E. Town of the 710th Squadron was hit by stray bullets.  It is believed that a careless gunner from another Group was test firing his gun at the time.  Town pulled out of the formation dropping his bombs while his plane was on fire.  Ten men were seen leaving the plane as the plane broke up.  The Group continued their mission at 21,000 feet finding the target covered with clouds, so they turned around and headed home.  Flak was moderate but fairly accurate.  Lt. C.R. Mitchell of the 709th Squadron went down in the target area.  Landing started at 1200 hours.  At interrogation the crews learned that only Town and his co-pilot Robert Lewis survived the crash.

 

No.67    05/22/44   KIEL

Briefing was at 0630 hours and the target was the port area at Kiel.  The planes were loaded with 100 pound incendiary bombs and take off started at 0910 hours.  The formation flew north of the Netherlands and across the Danish Peninsula, Kiel is at the base of the Peninsula.  Bombing was done visually with "Good" results.  Landing started at 1610 hours with no losses.

 

No.68    05/23/44   TROYES

Briefing was at 0230 hours and the target was an airfield at Troyes, France.  The aircraft were loaded with GP bombs and take off started at 0505 hours.  Division assembly was made as the formation departed the south English coast at 0732 hours at 15,000 feet.  The bombers were not able to drop their bombs due to cloud cover over the target.  They also were not able to bomb their target of last resort because it was too close to a built up area.  Landing started at 1255 hours with no losses.

 

No.69    05/24/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0430 hours and the target was Berlin.  Two thirds of the weapons were GP bombs and the remainder were incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0645 hours.  After assembly the formation departed the English coast at Corner at 0900 hours at an altitude of 12,000 feet.  When the Group reached the Danish coast they were at 26,000 feet.  At about 1025 hours Lt. Ralph R. Simon got caught in prop wash and lost control of his plane going down on his back in a spin.  Over the target the flak was moderate an inaccurate.  The return flight was uneventful and landing started at 1500 hours.

 

No.70    05/25/44   BRUSSELS

Briefing was at 0300 hours and the target was marshalling yards in the southern part of Brussels. The planes were loaded with ten 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0530 hours.  Upon reaching the French coast, the Group had arrived at their bombing altitude of 21,500 feet.  Bombing results were rated as "Excellent" and the return flight was uneventful.  Landing started at 1115 hours with no losses.

 

No.71    05/27/44   KARLSRUHE

Briefing was at 0530 hours and the target was the marshalling yards at Karlsruhe, Germany.  The planes were loaded with 1000 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0815 hours.  The bombing altitude of 23,000 feet was reached as the formation crossed the French coast near the mouth of the Somme River heading southeast.  The bombers dropped their bombs with "Excellent" results and headed home.  Landing started at 1520 hours with no losses.

 

No.72    05/28/44   CLERMONT A/D

Briefing was at 0730 hours and the target was a oil depot at Konigsburg/Magdeburg.  The bombers were loaded with 100 pound incendiary bombs and take off started at 1010 hours.  The bombing altitude of 24,000 feet was reached as the formation crossed the coast of the continent.  Bombs were dropped successfully and the planes returned home without any losses.  Landing started at 1810 hours.

 

No.73    05/29/44   LIEPZIG

Briefing was at 0530 hours and the target was a Bf-109 (Me-109) aircraft plant in Liepzig.  The planes were loaded with 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0800 hours.  As the formation crossed the Dutch coast they were at their bombing altitude of 25,000 feet.  At the target the flak was very accurate and heavy.  Lt. B. Moran of the 710th Squadron was shot down.  The return trip was uneventful and landing started at 1530 hours.

 

No.74    05/30/44   ST. POL SIRACOURT

Briefing was at 0500 hours and the target was near St. Pol-Siracourt in the Pas de Calais, France.  The planes were loaded with six 1600 pound armor piercing bombs, a total load of 9600 pounds.  Take off started at 0725 hours and a clear weather assembly was made at 3000 feet.  As the formation departed the English coast they were at their bombing altitude of 25,000 feet.  The Group broke up into six plane squadrons for the bomb run.  The leader of one squadron was not able to drop his bombs because the bomb bay doors would not open.  He ended up returning to base, with his bombs on board, with the rest of the Group and landing started at 1135 hours. 

 

No.75    05/31/44   HAMM M/Y

Briefing was at 0430 hours and the targets were marshalling yards in Germany.  The Hamm marshalling yards were bombed as a target of opportunity.  The bombers were loaded with 1000 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0715 hours.  As the Group crossed the Dutch coast at the mouth of the Rhine they reached their bombing altitude of 25,000 feet.  Bombing results were rated as "Excellent" and the return trip was uneventful.  Landing started at 1410 hours.