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494

25 July 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Not yet known

Mission details

1.

Description

Not yet known

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Gen. Bayerlein continued, "The shock effect on the troops was indescribable. Several of my men went mad and rushed round in the open until they were cut down by splinters. Simultaneously with the storm from the air, innumerable guns of American artillery pounded drumfire into our positions." He continued, "over 70 percent of my soldiers were either dead, wounded, crazed or dazed." Because of the friendly-fire casualties, GEN Dwight Eisenhower forbids the use of heavy bombers in a tactical support role for ground troops for the remainder of the war.

Mission Statistics

2. MARGNY-SAINT-GILLES REGION

Description

Not yet known

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

For the second consecutive day the 8th Air Force sent its forces to a tactical target near St. Lo, France.
The 388th Bomb Group put up three Groups of 12 aircraft for the 45th A Combat wing. No aircraft aborted for the second day in a row. Formations were effected and the briefed route was followed to the target. Bombs were away at 1031 hours from 13,000 feet. Strike photos show a very tight pattern covering the target. Bombing was done from 3,000 feet lower than briefed because of clouds.
No enemy fighters were encountered. Flak in the target area was meager and inaccurate. One of our aircraft in the C Group had self inflicted damage caused by the premature exploding of a fragmentation bomb at bombs away. There were no casualties. Brigadier General Kissner, 3rd Air Division Chief of Staff, and members of his staff accompanied personnel on the mission.

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 1,647.60

3. MARGNY-SAINT-GILLES REGION

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

483 of 500 Fighters (mix of P-47s, P-38s and P-51s) from 8th AF also participate in the attack with strafing and bombing runs. German Lt. Gen. Fritz Bayerlein, commander of the Panzer Lehr Division commented in his memoirs that," the bombers came as if on a conveyor belt. Back and forth the carpets were laid, artillery positions were wiped out, tanks overturned and buried, infantry positions flattened and all roads and tracks destroyed. By midday the entire area resembled a Mondlandschaft (moonscape), with bomb craters touching rim to rim. All signal communications had been cut and no command was possible."

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 24.6 T

4. MARGNY-SAINT-GILLES REGION

Description

TROOP CONCENTRATION

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

All groups of the 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions participate except the 486th Bomb Group and 487th Bomb Group. Continuation of OPERATION COBRA - 11 B-26 and A-20 groups from 9th AF continue to bomb the rectangle adjacent to the Periers/St.Lo Road. 42 B-26s repeat the bombing errors of the pevious day and short-bomb the area again hitting the 30th Infantry Division. 9th AF fighters strafe German troop positions also. While killing many Germans these attacks tended to shroud the bombing zone with smoke and dust, thus, hampering the bombing barrage launched by 8th AF. Some of the 8th Air Force's bomb drops were short also. The result was another tragic friendly-fire incident. 111 American soliders were killed and another 490 were wounded. Among the KIA casualties was Lt. Gen, Leslie J. McNair, who was conduting observation along the front lines. He was the highest ranking officer to be killed in the European theater in WWII. Despite the American losses the ground attack proceeded at exactly 1100 hours and First Army made an 800 yard advance though the bombed out zone.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    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.

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    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.

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

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

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 1723.1 T

Service

People

  • Thomas Barton

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    newly assigned May 1944

  • Warren Callahan

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Warran Callahan served as a co-pilot with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.

  • Robert Collins

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

  • Lee Conner

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 448th Bomb Group
    Lee's original aircraft was named "Do Bunny", after his soon to be wife, Doris Christianson (Frank Christianson's sister). However; upon arrival at Wales, the aircraft they named was given to another crew.

  • Thomas Diamond

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Top Turret Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Thomas Diamond served as a top turret gunner with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.

  • Oscar Flores

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Oscar Flores served as a waist gunner with the 708th Bomb Squadron of the 447th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Rattlesden, England.

  • William Gaylor

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier - 1035 | 490th Bomb Group
    Member of Willis crew; Remained an Air Force officer until 1972, retired as Lt. Colonel; Was an Electronics Engineer for the Air Force; Did the same job as a civilian after retiring. Died February 1986.

  • Melvin Hedrick

    Military | Sergeant | flexible gunner/ Togglier | 384th Bomb Group

  • Michael Hoover

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Flew 30 missions, many on 'The Lemon' DFC/ Air Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ American Campaign Medal/ WW II Victory Medal/ Armed Forces Reserve Medal/ 2 Battle Stars

  • Bernard Kellenyi

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    After enlisting in the Army Air Force and earning his degree in Architecture from Catholic University he was accepted at Flight School. Flight training was completed at bases in Florida, Ohio and Arkansas. He received orders to pilot a B-17 across...

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Aircraft

  • 41-29439 Gallopin Ghost

    B-24 Liberator

  • 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. ...

  • 42-39993 Hells Angels Out Of Chute 13

    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,...

  • 43-37774

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/5/44; Kearney 1/6/44; Grenier 16/6/44; Assigned 708BS/447BG Rattlesden 20/6/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 5/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 7/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 42-94937 "Call Me Savage"

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24H #42-94937 "Call Me Savage" was first assigned to the 490th Bomb Group/849th Bomb Squadron at Eye. Transferred to the 493rd Bomb Group/862nd Bomb Squadron at Debach. 493rd BG Pilot Richard B. Lewis flew it on the 25 July 1944 support mission West...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 June 2015 17:50:10 Pete Changes to person associations
Sources

452nd Bomb Group Assoc.

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2015 12:42:49 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Information sent by Dick Read relating to Arthur M. Read and the 388th Bomb Group. (From 'The 388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger).

Date Contributor Update
09 March 2015 12:41:18 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Information sent by Dick Read relating to Arthur M. Read and the 388th Bomb Group. (From 'The 388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger).

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:07 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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