403

10 June 1944
Nine men in Air Force uniform posed in front of a Air Force bomber plane.  Four men standing in rear and five men kneeling in front UPL 65511 UPL 65511 Beard Crew 603, 856th BS, 492nd BG. Back row, left to right: Charles Beard, pilot; Kenneth Sousa, co-pilot; Thomas Woolsey, navigator; James Wolslager, bombardier; Front row, left to right: Robert Denney, radio operator; Tyler Posner, gunner; Israel Eiferman, gunner; Kenneth Brandt, gunner; Richard Paules, engineer. Not Pictured: Albert McFadden, gunner.
The Beard Crew was one of the original crews for the 492nd BG that trained in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Their ship was nicknamed, "BIG FAT MAMA." In April 1944, they flew their assigned aircraft, 44-40067, to North Pickenham, England, via the southern route. 2nd Lt James Ferguson, the squadron's Armament and Chemical Officier accompanied them, thus bumping Sgt. McFadden onto the Queen Elizabeth. The Crew transferred to the 801st/492 BG, 858th BS, when the Group disbanded. They completed their 30 mission tour there.
On

Object Number - UPL 65511 - Beard Crew 603, 856th BS, 492nd BG. Back row, left to right: Charles Beard, pilot; Kenneth Sousa, co-pilot; Thomas Woolsey, navigator; James...

Mission Details

BERCK (Primary)

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 51 T

BOULOGNE (Primary)

Description: RAILROAD JUNCTIONS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 41 T

BOULOGNE (Primary)

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 92 T

CHATEAUDUN (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division was made up of 14CBW is 44th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group; 96CBW is 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group. This is the second mission of the day fro 492nd Bomb Group.

A formation of B-24 Liberators of the 446th Bomb Group enroute to Europe. Printed caption on reverse: '71049 AC- A formation of Consolidated B-24 "Liberators" of the 2nd Bomb Division, roars over Europe en route to the target area. 24 November 1944. US Air Force photo.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 124 T

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 101T

DREUX (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 46 T

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Notes: Heavy bombers are sent on tactical missions to hit airfields and choke points. 1st Bomb Division was made up of 1CBW is 91st Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 398th Bomb Group; 41CBW is 303rd Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group 94CBW is 351st Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group. 3rd Bomb Division was made up of 45CBW is 96th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group; 13CBW is 95th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group.

Brigadier-General Frank Alton Armstrong Jr. during a visit to the 305th Bomb Group Official caption on image: "(GPR-83-9305) (18-6-43) (Brig. Gen. Armstrong..."
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Three B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 94th Bomb Group are attacked by a Nazi Fighter aircraft during a mission. Printed caption on reverse of print: 'A-62641 USAF: Nazi fighter plane attacking Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" during a bomb run over enemy installations somewhere in Europe, 10 September 1944. 100th[sic] Bomb Group, 3rd Bomb Division. U.S. Air Force Photo.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 48 T

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 165 T

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 457th BG - MISSION NO. 63 - GAEL, FRANCE 10 JUNE, 1944 After a lapse of one day, the invasion aerial offensive was renewed with the 457th providing the high box of the 94th Combat Wing assigned to bomb the Gael Airfield, located on the Brest Peninsula. Its location made it suitable for use by front line German Luftwaffe planes. The 1st Division dispatched only four Combat Wings. Major Theodore C. Hoffman was Air Commander and Lt. George C. MacDonald was pilot. The target was covered by a seven-tenths undercast and bombing was by instruments. The bomb results were not good There was no enemy fighter opposition and only meager flak. (Compilers Note: Practically all missions to the invasion area called for early morning takeoffs. During the summer months in this part of France, cumulus clouds build up in the day, preventing visual bombing except in the early morning hours. Even then it proved to be very difficult.)

Brigadier-General Frank Alton Armstrong Jr. during a visit to the 305th Bomb Group Official caption on image: "(GPR-83-9305) (18-6-43) (Brig. Gen. Armstrong..."
  • 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: 72 T

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 46 T

MERLIMONT PLAGE (Primary)

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 75 T

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 109 T

ORLEANS/BRICY (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 182 T

ST GABRIEL (Primary)

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 52 T

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 19 T

VANNES (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 117 T

WIMEREAUX (Primary)

Description: TRANSPORTATION TARGET

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division was made up of 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing is 389th Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group; 20CBW is 93rd Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group; 95CBW is 489th Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Group; 14CBW is 492nd Bomb Group;

A formation of B-24 Liberators of the 446th Bomb Group enroute to Europe. Printed caption on reverse: '71049 AC- A formation of Consolidated B-24 "Liberators" of the 2nd Bomb Division, roars over Europe en route to the target area. 24 November 1944. US Air Force photo.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 67 T

Connections

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People

1 LT Franklin D Abbott, Jr
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 492nd Bomb Group 856th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-663450
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 546th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35727131
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Aerial Gunner/Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33574325
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner / Flight Engineer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-813458
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 392nd Bomb Group 578th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Rough Riders
  • Unit: 458th Bomb Group 755th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 458th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group 755th Bomb Squadron 856th Bomb Squadron 857th Bomb Squadron 858th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Big Dick Hard To Hit
  • Unit: 458th Bomb Group 755th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dynamite John
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron

Related videos and documents

  • Media Type: Document
  • Object Number: Document 53156
  • Description: 401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 87, 10 Jun 1944, Gael, France/Caen, France

Revisions

Date
Changes
Sources

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

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
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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