401st Bomb Group, Mission No 1, 26 Nov 1943, Bremen, Germany.
0908 hours - Twenty aircraft off okay. Four of the briefed crews didn't manage to get off the ground. A 614th ship dropped off the perimeter track, and in doing so trapped the 615th Squadron Commander, Major Seawell, behind it. Then, as Lt. V.J. Kaminski neared the tail of Lt. Ralph Dempsey's ship and attempted to brake, he had a brake failure. In the ensuing collision the tail of 42-31091 was demolished by the props of 42-39873.
The primary target was obscured due to a 10/10's undercast, so bombing was done at 25,000 feet using PFF methods.
Aircraft 42-37833 "Fancy Nancy" as struck from below by a B-17 from another group, cutting off the ball turret and killing the ball turret gunner, Sgt. L. Baranik. The ship was able to return, but force-landed at RAF Detling in Kent, where it was declared damaged beyond repair and scrapped.Eight other aircraft from the 401st suffered minor flak damage.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No 2, 1 Dec 1943, Solingen, Germany.
The Group flew the low position in the 1st Combat Wing, and this was the third wing over the target. They encountered 25 to 35 FW-190's over the target itself, but the escorting fighters did a good job of protecting the bombers, and although the attack went on for about 30 minutes the Group suffered no losses. The target was bombed using PFF methods.
On this mission the Group received credit for bringing down its first enemy aircraft. It went to Sgt Percy W. Stengel, a ball turret gunner with the 612th crew of W. J. Kelly.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 6, 20 Dec 1943, Bremen, Germany.
Fifteen of the dispatched aircraft hit the primary target, with 14 of the Group's aircraft sustaining battle damage.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 8, 24 December 1943, Gorenflos, Germany.
For some time, through photographic reconnaisance and reports from the French underground, it had been known that the Germans were building concrete ramps near the French coast aimed a a number of points in the U.K. These were the famous V-1 rocket sites which were to rain terror on England.
No enemy opposition of any kind was encountered on this mission, and all ships and crews returned safely to base. Milk run.
401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 18, 30 Jan 1944, Brunswick, Germany.
All aircraft returned by 1547 except # 856, shot down over the target. Lt. Col. Rogner and the 401st led the Combat Wing on this mission, which culminated 72 hours of the greatest bombing assault ever staged over Europe. Over 800 U. S. heavy bombers were engaged the operation, and 1,800 tons of bombs were dropped. Aircraft "Fancy Nancy III" (42-37856)piloted by Lt. R. R. Rohner,was shot down over the target by an FW-190.
Delivered Cheyenne 14/9/43; Scott 22/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-D] Deenethorpe 8/11/43; on return from Merignac 31/12/43 with Capt Jere Maupin, Co-pilot: Earl Owens, Navigator: Capt Walt Eabererr, Bombardier: Capt Ron WEoodhouse, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Foster DeWees, Radio Operator: Jim Graham, Ball turret gunner: John Farmer, Waist gunner: ? Henderson, Waist gunner: Burton Markle,Tail gunner: Bill Smith (10 Returned to Duty), in poor weather conditions, crash landed Foxhole Hill, Potters Bar, Herts, UK, Salvaged. FOOL'S LUCK.
The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...
Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier, Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Don Currie crew. 38 x combat missions. ETD
Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star).
Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator; Bombardier | 401st Bomb Group
DFC/ AM w/ 5 Oak Leaf Cluster/ Unit Citation w/ Oak Leaf Cluster
Military | Captain | Co-Pilot / Fighter pilot | 401st Bomb Group
Assigned to 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x missions on B-17's as co-pilot to 1st Lt Fred D Grinham.
Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
26 November 1943
The industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the target for this massive mission (largest to date) of 505 B-17s which included 14 B-17 Pathfinders from 482BG spread among the B-17 formations - 13 of these completed the mission and 7 were damaged.
1 December 1943
This mission was directed at the industrial areas of Leverkusen and Solingen, Germany. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (27); 92BG (18); 303BG (17);...
20 December 1943
The port area of Bremen is the target for 546 heavy bombers. The total includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG. All 12 of these are effective on the target and 11 are damaged. The bomber gunners of this element claim 1-1-0 (this total included with...
24 December 1943
This mission is directed at V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. The attacks are made between 1330-1510hrs. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 277 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG ...
30 January 1944
This mission has the aviation industry at Brunswick, Germany as the primary target. The mission is composed of a combined force pf 777 heavy bomber aircraft despatched in three elements: 1st Bomb Division; 2nd Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Division. The...
Military site : airfield
Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...
Not yet known