492

24 July 1944

Object Number - UPL 23862 - Mission Map for 8th Air Force mission #492, St. Lo, on July 24, 1944, from Harold Motz, navigator on the Westrope crew, 708th Squadron, 447th bomb...

Description

Bombed enemy troop concentrations and thus assisted the Allied breakthrough at St. Lo. About 1500 planes of US went to St. Lo in Cherbourg. We came back with our bombs. Couldn't find the target.

Mission Details

Description: RAILROAD JUNCTIONS

Notes: Some of the bombs fall short and land on units of the 30th Infantry Division, killing 27 soldiers and wounding 131 others. A tragic 'friendly-fire" incident.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 68.4 T

PERIERS.ST LO

Description: TROOP CONCENTRATION

Notes: All groups of the 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions participate except the 486th Bomb Group and 487th Bomb Group. OPERATION COBRA - First use of heavy bombers in a tactitcal role. Plan is to bomb troop concentrations on the SW side of the straight road (107 degrees E) between Periers and St. Lo. The area is defined by a rectangle 1,500 yards wide by 3,500 yards long immediately parallel to the road. The weather is overcast and the target area is not readily visible. The bombers are to attack from 10,000 feet. It was assumed that the bombers would fly parallel to the road and bomb the length of the rectangle, however, because of the number of bombers in the formation it was decided by 8th Air Force representatives that the bombers would fly perpendicular to the rectangle. Units of the First Army were poised just 800 to 1200 yards NW of the road ready to pounce upon the dazed Germans once the strike was completed. Because of the heavy overcast, Air Chief Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory, who was responsible for coordinating Allied strategic bombing in Normandy issued a recall order to the bomber stream but too late to prevent 343 from dropping 685 tons of bombs. ___________________________________________________________________________ On the 24th of July the whole 8th Air Force was dispatched to a target West of St. Lo, France for saturation bombing to aid a break through of our Ground forces in that area. The 388th Bomb Group furnished three Groups, composing the 45th Combat Wing. 35 aircraft were airborne between 0910 and 0940 hours and there were no aborts. Formations were effected and the Wing proceeded to the target on the briefed course. Weather in the target was hazy with broken skies causing the Wing to make four bomb runs. Bombs were away at 1311 hours from 16,000 feet on a mag heading of 325 degrees. Meager accurate flak was encountered in the target area along with 10-12 rockets. We were the only Wing in the Division that dropped its bombs. In all the Groups of the 3rd Division the total battle damage was 21 minor and 1 major to the aircraft with no casualties. All of our aircraft returned to base by 1603 hours. (From 'The 388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger). __________________________________________________________________________

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation
Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 661.6 T

Description: HIGHWAY JUNCTIONS, RAIL JUNCTIONS and TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Notes: No friendly-fire incidents in this group.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 214.5 T

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36215923 / O-692248
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Master Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 571st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier, Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date25 Jan 2017 19:50:04
Contributorcmckeever
Sources

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date18 Mar 2015 10:41:36
Sources

Associated Bomb Groups of 1st Bomb Division.

Date9 Mar 2015 12:31:18
Sources

Information sent by Dick Read relating to Arthur M. Read and the 388th Bomb Group. (From 'The 388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger).

Date9 Mar 2015 12:28:57
Sources

Remove erroneous notes

Date9 Mar 2015 12:26:54
Sources

Information sent by Dick Read relating to Arthur M. Read and the 388th Bomb Group. (From 'The 388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger).

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:07
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'.

492: Gallery (1 items)