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1st. Lt. Richard F. Lemanski Pilot
Completed 11 missions to Ludwigshaven, Brunswick, Wilhelmshaven, Frankfort, Rostock, Poznan, Belgium, French and Polish objectives. Shot down by ME 109s on the mission to Berlin on 8 March 1944 in B-17 #4231576. Spent 20th and 21st birthdays and fourteen months as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany. Was the youngest pilot / Squadron Leader in the 96th Bomb Group and probably in the 8th AF. Although some seriously injured, all crew members survived to return home safely. Crew was credited with many fighter kills.

Mission 252: The primary target is the ball bearing plant at Erkner, a suburb of Berlin; enemy opposition is fierce and 37 bombers and 16 fighters are lost; 320 of 414 B-17s and 150 of 209 B-24s dispatched hit the primary; 36 B-17s hit Wildau and targets of opportunity; 33 B-24s hit Berlin and targets of opportunity; the bombers claim 63-17-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 28 B-17s and 9 B-24s are lost, 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; casualties are 4 KIA, 14 WIA and 364 MIA. Escort is provided by 104 P-38s, 613 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 174 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; claims/losses are:
1. P-38s claim 9-2-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-38s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 4 MIA.
2. P-47s claim 49-6-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 P-47s are lost, 13 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 2 WIA and 10 MIA.
3. P-51s claim 29-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 4 MIA. An additional 8-4-7 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed on the ground.
#42-31576 - B-17G
Group Squadron Sq Code A/C Code
96BG 339BS
MIA 1944-03-08 - MACR #: 3426

Notes 42-31576 Delivered: Denver 20/11/43; Gt Falls 25/11/43; Kearney 22/12/43; Romulus 31/12/43; Presque Is 2/1/44; Assigned: 339BS/96BG [QJ-G] Snetterton 16/1/44; MIA Erkner 8/3/44 Pilot:...... 1st. Lt. Richard F. Lemanski,........ Co-Pilot: Jim Buttermore, Navigator: Leroy Chappell, Bombardier: Frank Sewell, Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Matt Mendys, Radio Operator: Dave Hohm, Ball Turret Gunner: Phil Kierstead, Waist Gunner: Jeff Roberts, Waist Gunner: Edgar Currie, Tail Gunner: Dean Shuck (10POW); Enemy aircraft, crashed between Wegenstedt & Calvorden, 13 miles NE of Helmstadt A/Fd, Germany. MACR 3426.
Source B-17 Master Log - Dave Osbourne

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  • Richard Lemanski

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot
    Completed 11 missions to Ludwigshaven, Brunswick, Wilhelmshaven, Frankfort, Rostock, Poznan, Belgium, French and Polish objectives. Shot down by ME 109s on the mission to Berlin on 8 March 1944 in B-17 #4231576. ...

Aircraft

  • 42-31576

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 20/11/43; Gt Falls 25/11/43; Kearney 22/12/43; Romulus 31/12/43; Presque Is 2/1/44; Assigned 339BS/96BG [QJ-G] Snetterton 16/1/44; Missing in Action Erkner 8/3/44 with Dick Lemanski, Co-pilot: Jim Buttermore, Navigator: Leroy Chappell,...

Missions

  • 8th Air Force 252

    8 March 1944
    The VKF ballbearing factory at Berlin/Erkner is the primary target for 623 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. Fighter opposition and anti-aircraft fire are intense. There are so many formation attacking that some divert to other...

Locations

  • Snetterton Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Intended to be an RAF bomber base, construction of Snetterton Heath started in Autumn 1942 but continued until mid-1943, because it was extended after allocation as an Eighth Air Force bomber base. It had eventually three concrete runways, 50...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 April 2017 11:26:48 Valerie Lemanski Holley Created entry with collection, caption, unit associations, person associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
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