817

3 February 1945

Object Number - UPL 6521 - Crew #664 Elmo Maiden Crew 466th BG - 786th BS Standing Left to Right: Bernard M. Atkins (TG), Vernon R. Hayden (WG), William R. Hoopes (B),...

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

BAD ZWISCHENAHN

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

BERLIN/TEMPELHOF

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 457th BG MISSION NO. 182 : BERLIN, GERMANY : 3 FEBRUARY, 1945 The Eighth Air Force dispatched 2000 Heavies to the heart of the Third Reich, to attack communications, transportation, military and governmental targets. Now that the Andennes Offensive was crushed, it was the High Command's intent to carry the war directly into the heart of the Nazi war machine. Col. Lewis E. Lyle, Commanding Officer of the 379th Bomb Group was the Air Commander of the mission. The 457th comprised the 94th A Combat Wing with Col. Rogner as Air Commander. The marshalling yards at Berlin was its assigned target. Aiming point was a bridge over the River Spree, near the Friedrichstrasse Railway Station. Wing assembly was accomplished without difficulty. Division assembly line was flown as briefed, with the Group in seventh position in Division formation. The route to the IP was flown north of course in order to stay in Division formation. Prior to the last turn before the IP, the groups in Division formation were bunched up, and it was necessary for the 94th A Group to deviate to the left of course in order to gain more interval and avoid bunching at the IP. The Group was nine minutes late at the IP, because winds were not as briefed. The turn was made at the approximate IP, and the Group headed down a long bomb run. The target area was clear, CAVU conditions existing, and bombing was done visually with squadrons in trail. The MPI was identified about twenty miles from the target. Bombs were dropped from 25,000 feet. Bomb results were observed to be very good, with some direct hits. Flak was moderate but accurate, with nine aircraft sustaining damage. The aircraft piloted by Lt. Craig P. Greason crash landed near Ypres, Belgium, with no injury to the crew. Col. Lyle stated: "There was a bomber stream three to five hundred miles long. Turning off the target and heading back to England, there were bombers heading for Berlin, practically all the way back to England. It was a very successful mission." (Compiler Note: The Aiming Point was Peter the Great Statue.) (Editor's comment: We were briefed to aim at a bridge over the River Spree, near the Friedrichsirasse railway station. Not far away, on Unter den Linden, is a statue of Frederick the Great, on horseback. The only Peter the Great I know about was Russian.) (Ed Note: For an account of the mission by Spleth's/ Welch's crew, see DEAD EWGINE KIDS.)

Danish civillians inspect the wreckage of a crashed B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-107082) of the 379th Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'St Heddinge 13th May 1944 at 18:30 Hrs. 8th AAF, 1st Air Division, 41st Combat Wing, 379th Bombardment Group, Squadron?.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation
Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

BROMSCHE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

CUXHAVEN

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

FRIEDERSDORF

Description: AIRFIELD

Notes: Fighter-bomber mission

GATOW

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

LUNEBURG

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

MAGDEBURG

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

MAGDEBURG/ROTHENSEE

Description: OIL REFINERY

MOCKERN

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

SOGEL

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

WESERMUNDE

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Description: AIRFIELD

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 339th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: AF 34 725 400
  • Highest Rank: Chief Master Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Toglier in WWII; Aircraft Maintenance until 1967 retirement
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 398th Bomb Group 603rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15140333
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12077778
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator-Mechanic-Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Flight Officer
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

Revisions

Date29 Apr 2015 11:19:52
Sources

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

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:09
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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