B-26 Martin Marauder of the 557th B.S., 387th Bomb Group
Original Painting Copyright 2019 by Aviation Artist Randy Green www.randygreenart.com
The "SHIRLEY-D" pictured just moments before being shot-down and destroyed by flak on 23 December 1944. The mission was to knock out the Railroad Bridge in the small Eiffel Hills District town of Mayen, Germany. This would prove to be a black day for the 387th, losing many aircraft to enemy action prior to hitting the target. The 387th, undaunted by the loss of an entire squadron, pressed on and destroyed the target with commendation winning precision. 4 crewmembers lost their lives and 3 ended up as POW's on this mission, being caught by intense and very accurate flak just prior to the bomb-run. This aircraft was named by Karl L. Berry, the crew chief, after a young lady he had dated in Dallas, Texas before shipping out to Europe. The name was painted on by an enlisted man, Carl E. Rowden, of the 557th B.S. at Stoney Cross, England.
The 387th Bomb Group flew just under thirty missions with the Eighth Air Force before being transferred to the Ninth Air Force in October 1943. The Group remained at Chipping Ongar, Essex after being reassigned and continued to hit targets in France....
Assigned to 557BS, 387BG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to Hagen, Germany shot down by flak near Bastogne, Belgium, crashed, exploded. 4 x POW, 3 x KIA. MACR 10877.