UPL 27312


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1st. Lt. Richard F. Lemanski Pilot Completed 11 missions to Ludwigshaven, Brunswick, Wilhelmshaven, Frankfort, Rostock, Poznan, Belgium, French and Polish objectives. Shot down by ME 109s on the mission to Berlin on 8 March 1944 in B-17 #4231576. Spent 20th and 21st birthdays and fourteen months as a Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany. Was the youngest pilot / Squadron Leader in the 96th Bomb Group and probably in the 8th AF. Although some seriously injured, all crew members survived to return home safely. Crew was credited with many fighter kills. Mission 252: The primary target is the ball bearing plant at Erkner, a suburb of Berlin; enemy opposition is fierce and 37 bombers and 16 fighters are lost; 320 of 414 B-17s and 150 of 209 B-24s dispatched hit the primary; 36 B-17s hit Wildau and targets of opportunity; 33 B-24s hit Berlin and targets of opportunity; the bombers claim 63-17-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 28 B-17s and 9 B-24s are lost, 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; casualties are 4 KIA, 14 WIA and 364 MIA. Escort is provided by 104 P-38s, 613 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 174 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; claims/losses are: 1. P-38s claim 9-2-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-38s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 4 MIA. 2. P-47s claim 49-6-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 P-47s are lost, 13 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 2 WIA and 10 MIA. 3. P-51s claim 29-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 4 MIA. An additional 8-4-7 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed on the ground. #42-31576 - B-17G Group Squadron Sq Code A/C Code 96BG 339BS MIA 1944-03-08 - MACR #: 3426 Notes 42-31576 Delivered: Denver 20/11/43; Gt Falls 25/11/43; Kearney 22/12/43; Romulus 31/12/43; Presque Is 2/1/44; Assigned: 339BS/96BG [QJ-G] Snetterton 16/1/44; MIA Erkner 8/3/44 Pilot:...... 1st. Lt. Richard F. Lemanski,........ Co-Pilot: Jim Buttermore, Navigator: Leroy Chappell, Bombardier: Frank Sewell, Engineer / Top Turret Gunner: Matt Mendys, Radio Operator: Dave Hohm, Ball Turret Gunner: Phil Kierstead, Waist Gunner: Jeff Roberts, Waist Gunner: Edgar Currie, Tail Gunner: Dean Shuck (10POW); Enemy aircraft, crashed between Wegenstedt & Calvorden, 13 miles NE of Helmstadt A/Fd, Germany. MACR 3426. Source B-17 Master Log - Dave Osbourne


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The insignia of the 96th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 339th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-800904
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 339th Bomb Squadron




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