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12 June 1944

Official description

Not yet known


Willie Hussong got his arm caught in the door of the lower ball turret. Palmer and Rollinger pried him out with a gun barrel. Bombed an airfield. Hussong hospitalized.

Mission details

1. Vitry-en-Artois,- 457th Bomb Group


Not yet known

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


Once again bad weather prevents priority targets in Germany from being attacked. Thus, 1,442, Bombers are despatched against airfields and landing grounds in NE France. Rail and road bridges on the Brest Peninsula are also hit.

1st Bomb Division is 91st Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group, 306th Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group.

3rd Bomb Division was made up of 34th Bomb Group, 94th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 38th 8Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Group, 487th Bomb Group, 490th Bomb Group, 493rd Bomb Group.

2nd Bomb Division is 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 489th Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group.

457th BG - MISSION NO. 65 - , FRANCE

12 JUNE, 1944

The Eighth Air Force put 1,500 bombers aloft for widespread attacks on French airfields and transportation centers. The 457th put up three 12-ship boxes to comprise all craft for the 94th A Combat Wing with the airfield at ViItry-en-Artois as the target. This field had been used by the RAF in 1939 and 1940, but more recently by the Luftwaffe for long range bombers as well as night fighters. Lt. Col. Henry B. Wilson was Air Commander and Lt. Vinton H. Mays was pilot. Captain Syptak led the high box and Major Spencer the low box.

En route to the target the formation encountered dense flak near Brussels. Fifteen planes were damaged by this concentration of flak. The lead craft of the low box, piloted by Major Spencer, was seriously hit, losing two engines; however, the aircraft successfully returned to the Base. The target was bombed with good results. On the return to England, while flying over Claxton at 4,500 feet, flak was encountered by one of the boxes.

The 12th of June also marked the promotion of Col. Luper, the Group Commander, to the rank of full Colonel. It was the impetus for a festive occasion on the Base.


  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3,103 T



Not yet known

Aircraft type

Not yet known


Not yet known


  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics



  • Robert Allison

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Flew 26 missions on 'Mission Bell', was wounded on 26th mission. Purple Heart, 4 Air Medals

  • Arthur Aull

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 446th Bomb Group

  • Virgil Brave

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 34th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 34th Bomb Group on 1 April 1944 in Blythe California. ...

  • Palmer Bryan

    Military | 446th Bomb Group

  • Robert Buck

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Tail Gunner | 448th Bomb Group
    B-24 'Squat 'N Droppit' #41-28710 shot down by flak and fighters, crashed near Bonnehain 12 June 1944. Evaded (EVD)

  • Robert Collins

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator; Statistics | 490th Bomb Group
    AWARDS: ...

  • Morgan Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group

  • Frank Deuerling

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew on 'Priority Girl' 42-97305 on June 18, 1944.

  • Nicholas Duncan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 388th Bomb Group

  • Lewis Funk

    Military | Master Sergeant | Photographic Chief | 34th Bomb Group
    Lew was born in Wattenberg, Colorado, on Jan 30, 1921, to John and Alta Funk. An Eagle Scout who served in the National Guard at Fort Logan, he attended photo school for the Army at Lowry Air Force base. He achieved the rank of Master Sergeant as the...

Show more


  • 42-102589

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/3/44; Gr Island 6/4/44; Dow Fd 28/4/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 30/4/44; On a local flight 9/7/44 with Doug McArthur, Co-pilot: Stamos Zades, Navigator: George Mille, Bombardier: Chas meyer, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-38013 "NEVADA AVENGER"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; New Castle 10/12/43; Presque Is 15/12/43; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-C] Grafton Underwood 21/1/44; sal battle damaged 27/4/44. NEVADA AVENGER. ...

  • 42-39932 Sweat 'er Out

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 12/10/43; Gr Island 5/11/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-H] Deenethorpe 2/1/44; 11 x missions; was set for mission to Bernburg 6/7/44 with Russ Lockhart, Co-pilot: Porter Ham, Navigator: Bob Grilley, Bombardier: John Jardine, Flight...

  • 42-39993 'Hells Angels Out Of Chute 13', 'Grossly Inadequate'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-C] Deenethorpe 1/1/44; 118m landing accident at base with Jim Nolan 7/5/45; sal 2 SAD Watton, Nfk 8/5/45. HELL’S ANGELS OUT OF CHUTE 13 aka GROSSLY INADEQUATE. ...

  • 42-97206 Woolf Pack

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/2/44; Gr Island 25/2/44; Presque Is 10/3/44; Assigned 452BG Deopham Green 16/3/44; damaged in taxi collision with 42-107225 at Hardwick Afd 7/6/44; Missing in Action Frankfurt 25/9/44 with Gaston Efird, Co-pilot: Bruce Merickle,...

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator


Date Contributor Update
24 January 2017 01:44:52 cmckeever Changes to description and person associations

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date Contributor Update
27 May 2015 11:29:37 general ira snapsorter Changes to event

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:06 AAM AAM ingest

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.