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817

3 February 1945

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. BAD ZWISCHENAHN

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. BERLIN/TEMPELHOF

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

457th BG MISSION NO. 182 : BERLIN, GERMANY : 3 FEBRUARY, 1945

The Eighth Air Force dispatched 2000 Heavies to the heart of the Third Reich, to attack communications, transportation, military and governmental targets. Now that the Andennes Offensive was crushed, it was the High Command's intent to carry the war directly into the heart of the Nazi war machine.

Col. Lewis E. Lyle, Commanding Officer of the 379th Bomb Group was the Air Commander of the mission. The 457th comprised the 94th A Combat Wing with Col. Rogner as Air Commander. The marshalling yards at Berlin was its assigned target. Aiming point was a bridge over the River Spree, near the Friedrichstrasse Railway Station.

Wing assembly was accomplished without difficulty. Division assembly line was flown as briefed, with the Group in seventh position in Division formation. The route to the IP was flown north of course in order to stay in Division formation. Prior to the last turn before the IP, the groups in Division formation were bunched up, and it was necessary for the 94th A Group to deviate to the left of course in order to gain more interval and avoid bunching at the IP. The Group was nine minutes late at the IP, because winds were not as briefed.

The turn was made at the approximate IP, and the Group headed down a long bomb run. The target area was clear, CAVU conditions existing, and bombing was done visually with squadrons in trail. The MPI was identified about twenty miles from the target. Bombs were dropped from 25,000 feet. Bomb results were observed to be very good, with some direct hits. Flak was moderate but accurate, with nine aircraft sustaining damage.

The aircraft piloted by Lt. Craig P. Greason crash landed near Ypres, Belgium, with no injury to the crew. Col. Lyle stated:
"There was a bomber stream three to five hundred miles long. Turning off the target and heading back to England, there were bombers heading for Berlin, practically all the way back to England. It was a very successful mission."

(Compiler Note: The Aiming Point was Peter the Great Statue.)

(Editor's comment: We were briefed to aim at a bridge over the River Spree, near the Friedrichsirasse railway station. Not far away, on Unter den Linden, is a statue of Frederick the Great, on horseback. The only Peter the Great I know about was Russian.) (Ed Note: For an account of the mission by Spleth's/ Welch's crew, see DEAD EWGINE KIDS.)

Units

  • 1st Air Division

    1st Air Division

    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

4. BROMSCHE

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

5. CUXHAVEN

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

6. FRIEDERSDORF

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Fighter-bomber mission

Mission Statistics

7. GATOW

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

8. LUNEBURG

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

9. MAGDEBURG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

10. MAGDEBURG/ROTHENSEE

Description

OIL REFINERY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

11. MOCKERN

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

12. SOGEL

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

13. WESERMUNDE

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

14. YECTA

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • Albert Aleksyn

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 603BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin; mid air collision near Lehmke in B-17 43-38697 Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12215 Awards: PH.

  • Robert Atkins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Robert Atkins served as a tail gunner with the 733rd Bomb Squadron of the 453rd Bomb Group, flying missions out of Old Buckenham, England.

  • Joseph Bancroft

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 398th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 603BS, 398BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Berlin; mid air collision near Lehmke in B-17 43-38697 Prisoner of War (POW). Sole survivor of crew. MACR 12215 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Paul Becker

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Navigator B-17 #42102547 'Rose of York' [62 mission veteran], on return from 63rd bombing mission [ Berlin ], A/C hit by concentrated and accurate AA fire, last contact indicated one engine out and another trailing gasoline, failed to return FTR,...

  • David Bridgers

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group

  • Keith Bryant

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 351st Bomb Group

  • Guy Byam (Corstiaens)

    Military | Royal Navy (Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve), BBC War correspondent
    Guy Byam Corstiaens (later known as just Guy Byam) had joined the Royal Navy and was among the 68 survivors of the 254 men on board HMS "Jervis Bay" which was sunk on 5 November 1940 in the North Atlantic. Byam had swum through oily waters before being...

  • Joseph Carbine

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Co-Pilot B-17 #42102547 'Rose of York' [62 mission veteran], on return from 63rd bombing mission [ Berlin ], A/C hit by concentrated and accurate AA fire, last contact indicated one engine out and another trailing gasoline, failed to return FTR, posted...

  • James Carter

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group

  • George Clark

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Radio Operator | 452nd Bomb Group
    B-17 #4338358 'Big Noise' landed in Sweden 3 February 1945. Interned. Died in 1946 as a result of injuries incurred from flak before landing in Sweden.

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Aircraft

  • 42-102501 The Challenger

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/3/44; Gr Island 11/4/44; Dowe Fd 28/4/44; Assigned 546BS/384BG [BK-H] Grafton Underwood 12/5/44; Missing in Action Berlin 3/2/45 with Robert Clax Long, Frederick Arnold Maki, Jack Coleman Cook (3 Killed in Action); Ralph John Vrana...

  • 42-102547 'Elizabeth' then 'The Princess' and finally 'Rose of York'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12/3/44; Gr Island 22/3/44; Dow Fd 3/4/44; Assigned 401BG Deenethorpe 2/5/44; transferred 367BS/306BG [GY-F] Thurleigh 5/5/44. Missing in Action 63M Berlin 3 February 1945 with Vernor F. Daley Jr, Co-pilot: Joseph J. Carbine,...

  • 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. ...

  • 42-97387 "Maude an' Maria"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Kearney 16/3/44; Dow Fd 6/4/44; Assigned 602BS/398BG [K8-H] Nuthampstead 28/4/44; (81m) Missing in Action Berlin 3/2/45 with John McCormick, Bombardier: Bill Logan (2 Prisoner of War); Co-pilot: Bill Feinstein, Navigator:...

  • 42-97678 The Birmingham Jewell

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 25/1/44; Kearney 15/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 526BS/379BG [LF-J] Kimbolton 11/4/44; 525BS; Missing in Action Chemnitz 127m 3/2/45 with Bill Webber, Ray Weatherbee, Carl McHenry, Bill Wells (4 Killed in Action); Jim Kiester, Tom...

  • 43-38697

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Patterson 5/9/44; Hunter 19/9/44; Dow Fd 25/9/44; Assigned 603BS/398BG [N7-M] Nuthampstead 4/11/44; (23m) Missing in Action Berlin 3/2/45 with Perry Powell, Co-pilot: Sam Walker, Navigator: Bruce Phelps, Bombardier: Marvin Luckie, Flight...

  • 44-6592 STARDUST

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 16/9/44; Grenier 2/10/44; Assigned to the 547th Bomb Squadron, 384th Bomb Group [SO-S] Grafton Underwood 28 October 1944; Missing in Action on a mission to Berlin, 3 February 1945 with George F. Ruckman, Fiorino A. Cinquanta, John O....

  • 44-8146

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 20/6/44; Langley 6/7/44; Dow Fd 7/9/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 9/9/44; Salvaged 9AF Germany 28/2/46; RetUS, 613 BU Phillips 29/4/46.

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2015 11:19:52 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:09 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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