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373

27 May 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Not yet known

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 15 T HE

2.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 7 T HE

3. FECAMP (Primary)

Description

GUN BATTERY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

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

Units

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    Division
    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 102 T HE

4. KARLSRUHE (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

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.

Units

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    Division
    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 239 T HE

5. KONS/KARTHUS (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 216 T HE

6. LACHEN/APEYERDORF (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 42.5 T HE

7. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

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.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 367.5 T HE

8. MANNHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 46 T HE

9. MANNHEIM (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 295.5 T HE

10. NEUNKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 164 T HE

11. SAARBRUCKEN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

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.

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 364 T HE

12. ST VALERY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

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

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 51 T HE

13. STARSBOURG/MEINAU (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 115.5 T HE

14. STRASBOURG (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 130 T HE

15. WOIPPY (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

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

Units

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    Division
    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 140 T HE

16. 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.

Units

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 12
Number of aircraft Effective 0

Service

People

  • Marvin Abraham

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 20 x combat mission. McCord crew. Munich mission 16-Jul-44, A/C hit by flak causing a failure of the oxygen system to the nose compartment, died of anoxia along with bombardier Irwin Dobrow. Killed in Action (KIA) ...

  • Paul Akin

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 68

  • Robert Allison

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 94th Bomb Group
    Flew 26 missions on 'Mission Bell', was wounded on 26th mission. Purple Heart, 4 Air Medals

  • William Ameen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group

  • Donald Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator; Bombardier | 401st Bomb Group
    DFC/ AM w/ 5 Oak Leaf Cluster/ Unit Citation w/ Oak Leaf Cluster 1 Damaged

  • Robert Andrus

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 May 1944 in B-17 42-31034 'Bonnie Donnie. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • William Asbell

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Bill Trimble crew. Awards: DFC, WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star). Post war: Served in Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

  • Charles Atcher

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • Richard Autry

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 51

  • Errol Bailey

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 457th Bomb Group
    Shot down 27 May 1944 in B-17 #42-38055, Prisoner of War (POW). POW

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Aircraft

  • 42-102393 Diana Queen Of The Chase

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Hunter 22/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-R] Deenethorpe 16/4/44; 111m, Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal...

  • 42-102398 Dynamite John

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/2/44; Gr Island 22/3/44; Grenier 20/4/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-H] Deenethorpe 13/5/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 6/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 8/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in...

  • 42-102475

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Hunter 9/4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 338BS/96BG [BX- ] Snetterton 1/5/44; Missing in Action Karlsruhe 27/5/44 with Wilbur Brean, Navigator: Bob Egan, Bombardier: Bob Kleinder, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Albt Fancea...

  • 42-102485 Bare Essentials

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/3/44; Gr Island 2/4/44; Dow Fd 28/4/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 12/5/44; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Art Codding, Co-pilot: Roger Withers, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bob Berg, Radio Operator: Clyde Waite,...

  • 42-102581 Lonesome Polecat

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/3/44; Kearney 1/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-L] Deenethorpe 29/4/44; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Paul Scharff, Co-pilot: Chas Eckert, Bombardier: Bob Hoover, Waist gunner: Roscoe Tomlinson (4 Killed in...

  • 42-107047 The Doodle Bug

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 6/2/44; Grenier 3/3/44; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-M] Horham 17/3/44; with R.V. Mercer force landed Framlingham AFB 25/12/44 with engine failure; battle damaged Berlin 3/2/45 with H. Palmer; force landed Charleroi, Bel; 97m, repaired & ret...

  • 42-107062 Worry Bird/Miss Bea Haven

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Dow Fd 3/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25/4/44; no ops, transferred 562BS/388BG Knettishall 29/4/44 WORRY BIRD; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 29/11/45;...

  • 42-107113 'Miss Aldaflak' 'Section 8'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 24/2/44; Gr Island 7/3/44; Grenier 5/4/44; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-J] Deenethorpe 2/5/44; 612BS [SC-O]; Returned to the USA Bradley 6/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for...

  • 42-30595 "Olin's 69'ers" aka 'Gremlin Gus II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-31077 Pakawalup II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/9/43; Scott 21/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-A] Deenethorpe 26/10/43; transferred 615BS [IY-A]; Missing in Action Munster 30/9/44 with Tom Davis, Co-pilot: Alan Newcomb, Navigator: Herb Corwin, Bombardier: Henry Kaczorowski,...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 May 2015 09:58:10 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
02 April 2015 10:51:51 Emily Created event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:06 AAM AAM ingest
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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