DOCUMENT 53512

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401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 242, 5 Apr 1945, Ingolstadt, Germany. Briefing times continued to be scheduled very early-- at 0215 hours this day. With three exceptions, all operational aircraft were airborne by 0652. One of the three unable to take off had a blowout on the perimeter track, which blocked the aircraft immediately behind from continuing to the runway. The third ship lost its turbocharger on takeoff and was forced to abort. Two spares returned early as well. he 401st again furnished the 94th Combat Wing "A" Group, made up of the usual three squadrons. On approaching the target the three Lead Bombardiers found the area covered by smoke from previous strikes. However, although the Lead Bombardiers were forced to use outside checkpoints instead of visually sighting the MPI, the Group's bombs hit the target with good results. While the Lead and Low Squadron bombs dropped a little short, the High Squadron blanketed the assigned target. While flak was not a problem on this mission, the Group encountered the Luftwaffe for the last time in the War. En route to the target, a formation of Me-262 jet fighters attacked the Group. Two jets first hit the High Squadron, and four other jets then struck the same squadron. B-17 No. 44-6113, piloted by Lt. Thurman M. Geren, was badly damaged in the attack, and his top turret gunner, Sgt. D. N. Lesher was killed. The crew were able to return as far as France but at that point were forced to abandon the ship and parachuted safely to earth. One squadron history remarks that, with briefing at the early time of 0215 hours, takeoff four and a half hours later, return from the mission at 1620 hours and debriefing after that, "it made for an incredibly long day". By 1620 hours all aircraft but one had returned from the mission.

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Units

A pathfinder B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 44-8258) of the 401st Bomb Group. Image by Robert Astrella. Written on slide casing: '48258 14 A, Mount Farm.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dynamite John
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Farmer's Daughter
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 614th Bomb Squadron 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: D-Day Dottie
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 613th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Baby Lu, Grin N Bear It
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Homesick Angel
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 613th Bomb Squadron

Locations

Mission

Revisions