401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 195, 13 Jan 1945, Maximiliansau, Germany.
Briefing took place at 0530 hours. Loading was six 1,000 pound bombs and 2,500 gallons of gas. Assembly at Kingscliffe, with the lead squadron at 10,000 feet. By 0928 all but one aircraft, which encountered a mechanical problem, were airborne. At 1017 one of the spare aircraft returned with Engine No. 1 propeller feathered. At 1000 hours Deenthorpe Flying Control was advised that, upon return from the mission, its aircraft would be diverted to Woodbridge. However, at 1606, one aircraft landed at Deenethorpe with a wounded crewman aboard, not having heard the diversion message. At 2000 hours, Flying Control was notified that all but three of the missing 401st aircraft had landed at Woodbridge.
On this mission to bomb the Rhine River railroad bridge at Maximiliansau, the 401st put up three squadrons comprising the 94th Combat Wing "B" Group. Good weather permitted visual bombing, which was carried out with excellent results--bomb strikes directly on the target. As a result, the squadrons led by Capt.P.E. Campbell and Capt. Harlan were commended by 94th Combat Wing Headquarters for their work. No enemy aircraft were encountered, but flak was intense. As a result, 12 aircraft suffered battle damage, and three crew members were wounded. They were T/Sgt. Robert R. Rowe, Cpl. John F. Collins, and S/Sgt. Leonard C. Stewart. Sadly, Lt. Louis Lawrence, Jr., who had ably taken over the lead from Major Maupin on the previous mission (Mission No. 195) was struck in the head by flak. While his crew landed his ship in France near a hospital, he died that night.