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373

27 May 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

Tonnage dropped 15 T HE

2.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 7 T HE

3. FECAMP (Primary)

Description

GUN BATTERY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

3rd Bomb Division was made up of 96th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 102 T HE

4. KARLSRUHE (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

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, 452nd Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Group, 487th Bomb Group.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 239 T HE

5. KONS/KARTHUS (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 216 T HE

6. LACHEN/APEYERDORF (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 42.5 T HE

7. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

This is the largest bomber mission staged to date with 1,126 bombers participating. 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 03rd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group, 306th Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 398th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group.

By this date, the Luftwaffe is almost entirely decimated in France giving the Allies air superiority for the coming D-Day invasion.

457th BG - MISSION NO. 52 - LUDWIGSHAFEN, GERMANY

27 MAY, 1944

Six Combat Wings of the 1st Division were dispatched to the banks of the Rhine River to bomb the marshaling yards in the twin cities of Lu4wigshafen and Mannheim. The 457th, as lead of the 94th A Combat Wing, led the Eighth Air Force in the procession to these targets. The 457th supplied thirty-six craft to form the lead and the low boxes in the Wing. Col. James R. Luper led as Air Commander with Lt. Charles D. Brannan as pilot. Captain Jacob M. Dickinson led the low box with Lt. Malcolm E. Johnson as pilot.

En route to the target, the Group fell victim of a massive frontal attack by Me-109s. The craft piloted by Lt. Artie J. Whitlow was hit on the right wing; a part of the wing came off and the No. 3 engine caught on fire. The ship went into a tight spiral before developing a spin. It crashed into a wooded area and exploded. Lt. Whitlow did not survive.

The craft piloted by Lt. William E. Dee was hit, dropped out of formation and headed back towards the Channel. One crewman was killed, the others became prisoners of war. Lt. Thomas E. Lee received direct hits and his engineer was killed instantly.

Lt. Roger W. Birkman's and Lt. David K. Summerville's planes were knocked out of formation. With an engine on fire and losing altitude, Lt. Birkman left the formation and the crew bailed out. Five of the crew were captured and became prisoners of war. The others evaded capture and later returned to England after the invasion.

Lt. Summerville returned to the base after having fires in three of his craft's engines. Two engines were lost completely With the propeller breaking off of one engine, and the tins breaking off the other. He ultimately made a landing at Glatton with limited power in only one engine.

The Luftwaffe attack lasted twenty-five minutes before it was brought to an end. The Group continued to the primary target, bombing it with fair results. The Luftwaffe had succeeded in disrupting the formation, causing the low box to go in before the lead box. The lead box did a 360 degree turn and the second time around found the target covered with smoke that was rising thousands of feet in the air. Flak was heavy over the target area with thirteen aircraft receiving flak damage. To offset the losses, the 457th received credit for destroying one enemy aircraft and damaging five others.

Lt. Roy W. Allen came in to land only to discover one landing gear would not come down. Rather than attempt a belly landing, he chose to attempt a one wheel landing. He touched down, kept the wing up as long as possible, and concluded with a 180 degree ground loop. There were no injuries.

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 367.5 T HE

8. MANNHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 46 T HE

9. MANNHEIM (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 295.5 T HE

10. NEUNKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 164 T HE

11. SAARBRUCKEN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

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, 448th Bomb Group,453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 364 T HE

12. ST VALERY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 51 T HE

13. STARSBOURG/MEINAU (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 115.5 T HE

14. STRASBOURG (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 130 T HE

15. WOIPPY (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

3rd Bomb Division was made up of 34th Bomb Group, 399th Bomb Group.

Units

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 140 T HE

16. FECAMP

Description

FECAMP- Mission deemed unsatisfactory

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

A Tactical target, 10 aircraft from the 306th Bomb Group and two Pathfinders flew lead and low squadrons of the 40th Combat Bomb Wing to bomb a gun emplacement near Fecamp. The target was identified visually, but the bombing was conducted by Pathfinder, according to order and results were not satisfactory. Photos showed the main concentration of bombs in the water, 1 1/2 miles away from the target.

Units

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 12
Number of aircraft Effective 0

Service

People

  • 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

  • James Bates

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Roger Birkman

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 457th Bomb Group
    Shot down 27 May 1944 in B-17 #42-38055. Evaded with the help of Belgian citizens and Résistance members. Sheltered in various places in northern Belgium, lastly in Sint-Niklaas. Liberated there by Allied troops at the beginning of September 1944. Back...

  • 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.

  • William Brooks

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 466th Bomb Group
    St. Dizier, France 24 Mar 1944; Brunswick, Germany 8 April 1944; Hamm, Germany 22 April 1944; Leipheim, Germany 24 April 1944; Paderborn, Germany 26 April 1944; Siracourt, France 27 April 1944; Mimoyecque, France 28 April 1944; Liege, France 1 May 1944...

  • John Czmerda

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 27 May 1944 in B-17 #4297295. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Clinton Davison

    Military | Sergeant | Radio Operator | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 27 May 1944 in B-17 #4297295. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • 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

  • Charles Gordon

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Charles Gordon flew 17 missions as a navigator and 18 as a bombardier with the 44th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Shipdham, England. ...

Show more

Aircraft

  • 42-102475

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Hunter 9/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 338BS/96BG [BX- ] Snetterton 1/5/44; Missing in Action Karlsruhe 27/5/44 with Wilbur Brean, Navigator: Bob Egan, Bombardier: Bob Kleinder, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Albt Fancea...

  • 42-102485 Bare Essentials

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/3/44; Gr Island 2/4/44; Dow Fd 28/4/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 12/5/44; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Art Codding, Co-pilot: Roger Withers, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bob Berg, Radio Operator: Clyde Waite,...

  • 42-107062 Worry Bird/Miss Bea Haven

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Dow Fd 3/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25/4/44; no ops, transferred 562BS/388BG Knettishall 29/4/44 WORRY BIRD; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 29/11/45;...

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 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. ...

  • 42-5905 Just Ag

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/4/43; Sioux City 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 30/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/7/43; detailed Solignen, 30/11/43 with Paul Kelly, Co-pilot: John Corzette, Navigator: John Wiley, Bombardier: Marion Wiles, Flight...

  • 42-95202 Same Ole Crap

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-94952 Shack Rat

    B-24 Liberator
    Crash-landed and caught fire at Clastres, France, 22 Sep 44, while on loan to 458th BG for truckin' operations.

  • 44-40113 Gamblin' Lady

    B-24 Liberator

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 May 2015 09:58:10 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
02 April 2015 10:51:51 Emily Created event
Sources

369th Bomb Squadron, Combat Diary- courtesy of Wayne Tolmachoff

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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