373

27 May 1944

Object Number - UPL 55653 - Germany - A huge explosion reaches skyward from the area near the I.G. Farbendustrie chemical plant in the river front district at Ludwigshaven as...

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 15 T HE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 7 T HE

FECAMP (Primary)

Description: GUN BATTERY

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

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 102 T HE

KARLSRUHE (Primary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

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.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 239 T HE

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 216 T HE

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 42.5 T HE

LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

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.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 367.5 T HE

MANNHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 46 T HE

MANNHEIM (Primary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 295.5 T HE

NEUNKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 164 T HE

SAARBRUCKEN (Primary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

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.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 364 T HE

ST VALERY (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

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

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 51 T HE

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 115.5 T HE

STRASBOURG (Primary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 130 T HE

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

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

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 140 T HE

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.

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 12

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-735233
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator; Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 457th Bomb Group 748th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 784th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 305th Bomb Group Can Do 384th Bomb Group 422nd Bomb Squadron 546th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35733061
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball turret gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date27 May 2015 09:58:10
Sources

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

Date2 Apr 2015 10:51:51
ContributorEmily
Sources

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

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:06
ContributorAAM
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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