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301

13 April 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Not yet known

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. AUGSBURG (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. AUGSBURG (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

3rd Bomb Division was made up of 94th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group. German fighter attacks on 1st Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Group were the heaviest since 11-Jan-44. Just as envisioned by the Allied planners, the Luftwaffe was being drawn up to attack the bomber stream exposing the Luftwaffe to destruction by the fighters and bomber crews. All contributing to the goal of air superiority prior to D-Day. At this point in time the invasion was scheduled for 17-May-44.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 383T HE 152.4T IB

4. LAUFFERN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

5. LECHFELD (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group.

466th BG - Sortied 22 B-24's and dropped 52.0 tons of bombs

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division
  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 310.9T HE 162.1T IB

6. OBERPFAFFENHOFEN (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

7. SCHWEINFURT (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Another deep penetration into Germany to bomb the ball baring factories at Schweinfurt. 14 aircraft lost was 8.1% of the force despatched, still twice the acceptable level, but much lighter than previous missions to this target. 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group. The 40th Combat Bombardment Wing (92nd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group and 306th Bomb Group) abandoned the mission after major problems with assembly.

457th BG MISSION NO. 26 - SCHWEINFURT, GERMANY

13 APRIL, 1944

The target was the now-famous Schweinfurt Keigelfischer ball bearing works. A planned mission to Schweinfurt the previous day had been scrubbed after briefing, so this was no great surprise.

The 457th supplied eighteen aircraft. Major Leroy Watson was Air Commander of the Group and of the 94th Combat Wing, and Lt. Mark R. Belcher was pilot.

Approximately twenty minutes from the target, swarms of Me-109s and FW-190s attacked the wing ahead and the high and low groups of the 94th Combat Wing in head-on attacks. Going in, FW-190s attacked the 457th, in spite of a tight formation-pilots said that one could step from wing to wing of the different planes. Crewmen of the 457th observed ten to twelve B-17s in other groups go down in one of the most vicious air attacks the Group had observed. Returning to England, the Group was again attacked near the coast.

Bombing results were unobserved because the targets were covered with smoke and with explosions from bombs dropped by other units. Five aircraft sustained damage.

The Eighth lost 38 bombers on the operation.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division
  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    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 205T HE 141.3T IB

Service

People

  • Donald Ackerson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 April 1944 in B-17 #42-31433 'Rum Pot II' Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 3867 POW Camp: Dulag Luft Grosstychow Dulag 12 POW

  • Glen Alfter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 April 1944 during Schweinfurt raid in B-17 #42-37816 'Big Stupe. ' Wounded along with pilot and navigator before crash landing at Rambucourt, France. Captured and incarcerated at Stalag Luft XVII B. Liberated May 1945. Continued service in...

  • John Allen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 April 1944 in B-17 #42-97233. Prisoner of War (POW). Missing Air crew Report #3874. POW

  • Steve Andrychuk

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Top turret gunner/ flight engineer | 452nd Bomb Group

  • Robert Bechtel

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 April 1944 in B-17 #42-37816 'Big Stupe.' Evaded, E&E Report #845.

  • Joseph Bedsole

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 April 1944 in B-17 #4231433 'Rum Pot'. Killed in Action (KIA). Did not have parachute on, said he would never become Prisoner of War (POW). Last man to bail out saw him sitting in co-pilot seat. DFC; Air Medal with 3 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Joseph Booth

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group

  • James Braa

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball turret gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    James Braa served as a ball turret gunner with the 566th Bomb Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Hethel, England. He completed his tour of 30 missions between March and June 1944, flying his final two missions on D-Day.

  • Lowell Bruhns

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group

  • Sidney Bush

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 384th BG 545th BS on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #146 dated 17 November 1943, Joseph S. Laboda Crew. 17 combat missions. Shot down 13 April 1944 in B-17 #42-38112. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 3869

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Aircraft

  • 42-31433 RUM POT II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/11/43; Kearney 15/11/43; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-V] Grafton Underwood 8/1/44; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 13/4/44 with Clarry Stearns, Navigator: Bob Hock, Bombardier: Don Ackerson, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Dave...

  • 42-37816 BIG STUPE V

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 10/9/43; Gr Island 27/9/43; Assigned 545BS/384BG [JD-S] Grafton Underwood 18/10/43; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 13/4/44 with Francis Heffley, Navigator: Lou Carini, Radio Operator: Bill Shade, Waist gunner: Ralph Gatzman, Waist...

  • 42-52567

    B-24 Liberator

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 September 2017 17:22:18 WWII37 Changes to media associations
Sources

711th Bombardment Squadron (H), 447th Bombardment Group (H)
B-17-G #42-39882, “My Gal” Crew
Top Left to Right: August E. Herlth, Eugene G. D'Albero, Larry S. Hatfield, Martin J. Gruber
Bottom Left to Right: William M. Lindgren, Bailey E. Swadley, Raymond L. Hayes, William H. Stoyer, Rocco J. LoCarro, Louis L. Jenkins

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 14:52:30 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma26.html

Date Contributor Update
08 January 2015 02:28:28 466thHistorian Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
08 January 2015 02:21:40 466thHistorian Changes to event
Sources

466th BG Historian

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

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'.

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