351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #80

Credited Mission #74

DATE: 11 Feb 1944
Target: Deutsche Metal Works, Frankfurt, Germany
Outline for Briefing:
  1. Check to see that all Pilots know Assignment.
  2. Time Schedule:
     Lead Box ______ Box
    Stations – 0710 - NOTEStations - _____
    Start Engines – 0720Stations - _____
    Taxi - 0730Taxi - _____
    Take Off - 0750Take Off - _____
    Leave Deenethorpe - 0853Leave Base - ____
  3. Target – Frankfurt - Deutsche Metal Works - 4 miles north of Frankfurt
    Last Resort: Any A/D [Airdrome], City, or Industrial area identified as being in Germany and not disrupting fighter support.
  4. Bomb Loading: High Box – M-47's or M17 IB's [Incendiary Bombs] Lead Box – 12 - 500# Low Box - 12 - 500#
    Gasoline Loading – 700 gals. in Tokyo's, 1 Bomb Bay Tank in non-Tokyo A/C [Aircraft]
    Chaff – 40th C.B.W.[Combat Wing] and the Lead group of each other CBW will discharge chaff at the rate of one unit every two seconds 10 miles before Target and 10 miles after Target. Each A/C will carry 156 units of chaff.
    Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets]– _____
  5. Wing Formation – 94th C.B.W. – 4th in 1st Division.
    Lead Box – 351st. High Box – Composite –  Low Box – 401st
    Composite Box – Lead Sqdn. 401st High Sqdn. 401st Low Sqdn. – 351st
  6. Fighter Cover:
  7. 11 groups of P-47’s will cover route, the last two groups will cover from 07° 00’ E to range limit. 2 groups of P-38’s and one grp. of P-51’s will cover route from 07° 40’ E to target and out.
  8. 94th CBW will guide right on 41st CBW. CBW’s will depart English Coast in column of pairs abreast with 4 min. intervals between the Lead of the first pair and Lead of the second pair. This formation will be maintained to I.P., at this point CBW’s will pick up close interval in trail. After bombs away CBW’s will resume formation of pairs abreast. Group Assembly is: Buncher - Lead Box at 11,000 feet High Box at 13,000 feet
  9. Navigator - _____
  10. S-2 - ______
  11. Weather - ______
  12. Code Words –
    Visual Bombing -High Ball
    PFF I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] -Slay Ride
    Authenticator –Hot Dog
    Recall -______
  13. Special Instructions – Spares will fill in vacancies in any box. Alt. 25,000 ft. over target – on oxygen 5 hrs. Radio silence will be observed except where use is absolutely necessary by Combat Wing Leader. All pilots will be reminded that when VHF control light is off that they are on the air. Ships carrying delay fuses – F-845 – H-141 – D-987 (Great Help) (2nd Div. on X Bow at 1030 1½ hrs. before you hit Frankfurt)
  14. Lead Crews Report to Target Room.
  15. Dismiss all but Pilots and Co-Pilots.
  16. Call Signs:
    Call SignFlaresTail Letters
    351 A Ragweed RedRY [Red Yellow]J
    351 B J
    401 ARagweed WhiteR [Red]S
    CompositeRagweed PinkG [Green]J - S
    94th C.B.W.RagweedRY [Red Yellow]J S
    1st C.B.W.GoonchildRR [Red Red]A L
    40th C.B.W.BullpenYY [Yellow Yellow]B G H
    41st C.B.W.FatgalGG [Green Green]C K P
  17. Call SignChannel
    U.S. FightersDenver OneC (U.S.)
     BombersGoldsmith 1 – 4_____
     Grnd. ControlTackline______
    R.A.F. Fighters __________(R.A.F.)
     Grnd. Control__________
  18. Colors of the Day
    0700 – 1300R – RRBI
    1300 – 1900YYWJ
  19. Special Instructions –
    1. Ships to Monitor Channel "B" – Lead Box R-1714 – D-9987
    2. Ships to Monitor Channel "C" – (U.S.) F-7845 – H-3141
    3. Ships to Monitor Channel "C" – (R.A.F.) ______________
    4. Ships to Monitor Channel "D" – ____________________
      • Let Down on Splasher # 6
      • Let Down Headings – 351 A – 295 degrees mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
      • Let Down Headings – 351 B – ____ degrees mag.
      • Let Down Headings – 401 A – 280 degrees mag.
      • Let Down Headings – 401 B – _____ degrees mag.
      • Let Down Headings – 457 _____ degrees mag.
      • Let Down Headings Composite – 310 degrees mag.
    5. Tail gunners are reminded to flash squadron color at following A/C – Lead – Amber High – Green  Low – Red
  20. Taxi Plan –
  21. Any Questions?

Operations Narrative:
  1. General Narrative. Twenty-three (23) aircraft, including one PFF ship of the lead group took off at 0748 and formed at 11,000 feet on the Deenethorpe Buncher. Seven (7) aircraft of the low squadron of the composite (High) group took off at 0745, forming at 13,000 feet over the Deenethorpe Buncher. No aircraft failed to take off, and three (3) flying spares returned.  The Group and Combat Wing assemblies were accomplished as planned. The route over England was very close to the briefed route except for cutting off the second point to make up lost time. The coast was crossed at 1004 hours three (3) miles south of course. Considerable difficulty was encountered in identifying the other Combat Wings due to individual groups straggling across the departure point. However, assembly with the 41st Combat Wing was complete before reaching the enemy coast.  The route in was uneventful except for difficulty in maintaining a slow enough air speed to guide on the 41st. Continuous “S-ing” all the way to the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was necessary to remain abreast. At the IP, the turn was wide to gain interval behind the 41st Combat Wing for bombing, which was on PFF. Breaks in the cloud cover were insufficient for visual bombing.  After bombing in Combat Wing Formation, the rally was made very quickly by cutting off the next corner, which enabled the 94th Combat Wing to close up on the preceding wings and to fly the right rear position of the division. Fighter attacks on the route in were minor, three new types of FW-190’s being reported. Fighter cover was superb the entire route.  Flak was seen at Amiens, but was circumvented by the Wing leader. Twenty (20) to twenty-five (25) bursts, inaccurate for altitude and deflection were observed. On the bombing run, a ground fired rocket burst ahead of the formation at exactly bombing altitude into six (6) red parachute flares. It is believed to be fake PFF flares.  At intervals were two (2) B-17’s, believed German. Flew in close proximity to the formations, one peeling off after bombing and returning to the east. The second dropped out of one of the preceding wings at the coast in a steep, very fast dive. It was immediately trailed by twenty (20) – twenty-five (25) P-47’s to a point below the overcast and heading back toward the east.
  2. Aircraft Not Attacking, Lead Combat Box. Twenty-one (21) aircraft of the lead box plus the PFF ship and one (1) flying spare of the Composite Box took off and formed the twenty-three (23) ship formation shown on this attached diagram. Three (3) aircraft, 42-38032, 42-39760, and 42-31238 returned as planned from mid channel. They were not dispatched. Aircraft 42-39887 not dispatched, returned early because of an oxygen leak in the navigator’s compartment which had caused the pressure at all stations to drop. A/C 42-30499 which was dispatched and completed the mission with the rest of the formation, did not attack because it had to jettison its bombs before reaching the target due to battle damage sustained on the route in. Seventeen (17) aircraft of the Lead Box plus the PFF ship attacked the target as shown on the diagram of the formation over the target.  Aircraft Not Attacking, Composite Box. Eight (8) aircraft, including one (1) spare, were scheduled to fly in the low squadron of the composite (high) box. A/C 42-31238, the spare, returned before becoming dispatched. As was noted before, this ship flew in the lead box formation until it returned. A/C 42-38038, dispatched, returned early because of an oil leak in the #2 Engine which had been caused by flak hitting the engine oil line. Six (6) aircraft of the composite box attacked the target as indicated on the formation over the target diagram.
  3. One (1) aircraft, 42-29863, was apparently hit at the target by flak, which was heavy and accurate. Let down to 20,000 feet began immediately after bombing.
A/C Scheduled to Takeoff21829
A/C Taking Off21829
A/C Taking Off Less Unused Spares19726
A/C Dispatched [Leaving England]18725
A/C Attacking17623
A/C Lost (To Flak)101

[Signed:] Clinton F. Ball, Major, Air Corps, Operations Officer

Group Leader’s Narrative:
  1. We took off in PFF aircraft at 0748 and proceeded to affect normal Buncher assembly. The Wing formed enroute to the Division assembly line and the Division assembly was made without incident.
  2. The first enemy attack occurred approximately fifteen (15) minutes after crossing the enemy coast and consisted of one (1) pass by three (3) ME 109’s from approximately nine (9) o’clock level. No damage was inflicted and no attacks were made on this Group for the remainder of the trip, with the exception of one (1) straggler.
  3. PFF bombing was done due to the preponderance of overcast conditions and the entire Wing bombed on our own PFF ship. Results could not be accurately observed.
  4. Flak at the target was severe and accurate, which resulted in the loss of one aircraft from this Group. No further difficulty was encountered throughout the trip.
  5. Fighter support was excellent throughout and no doubt prevented numerous attacks by enemy fighters.
[Signed:] Robert W. Burns, Lt. Colonel, Air Corps, Group Leader

Bombardier’s Data:

GROUP: 351st
TARGET: Frankfurt
ALTITUDE: 24,700’
W/D [Wind Direction]: 30 [Degrees]
W/V [Wind Velocity]: 65K [Knots]
DIRECTION OF ATTACK: Mag. Heading 153°
REMARKS: The Combat Wing Commander ordered pathfinder bombing upon reaching the I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run].
Bombs were released on P.F.F. with no difficulty encountered. Results were observed to be very good.

[Signed:] Harvey H. Wallace, Jr., Captain, Air Corps, Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Bombardier - Capt. Wallace, Harvey H. Jr.  Pilot - 1st Lt. Nesmith, Joseph F. Navigator - 2nd Lt. Mahafey, James D
Aircraft # 42-37825  Take-off - 0750  Landed - 1525
Objective - Frankfurt, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI)[Mean Point of Impact] - Center of City
Initial Point - _____
Method of Attack - Wing
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 18    Composite Group - 6
No. A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: P.F.F.
Deflection and Range sighting, Group - _____   Composite Group - _____
Range Sighting only, Group - ______    Composite Group - ______
Bombs, Types and Sizes - M-43 500 lbs. G.P. [General Purpose]
Number of Bombs Loaded - 12    Released - _____
Fusing, Nose - 1/10    Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - On P.F.F.
Information at Release Point:

Altitude of Target - 24,700’Magnetic Heading Ordered 193° Actual 153°
True Altitude Above Target - 23,153'True Heading 153°
Indicated Altitude - 24,700Drift, Estimated _____ - Actual _____
Pressure Altitude of Target +306True Track ____
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range ____
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150 M.P.H.B.S. Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 219 M.P.H.Time of Release 1224
Ground Speed Est. 292 Actual 284Length of Bombing Run - 28 minutes
Wind Direction Metro - 30° Actual - 30°Intervalometer Setting - Minimum
Wind Velocity Metro 65 Actual 65 C-1 Pilot[Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 131.7  Trail - 56   ATF - 40.27A-5 Pilot - _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .67 Actual - P.F.F. Manual Pilot - _____

Type of Release - Train
Point of Impact If Seen - Target Area
Mean Temp. Metro -24 Actual -24
Winds - Altitude - 6,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 30° Actual 30°  Velocity - Metro 65 Actual 65  
Temp C. - Metro -47° C. Actual -44° C.

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The target was the middle of the city of Frankfurt, and bombing was done on PFF aircraft. Photo coverage was poor with clouds and haze obscuring most of the target area. Damage assessment is incomplete.
  2. Only one pattern of bombs can be seen. The pattern shows forty seven bursts and measures 3,376 feet by 2,321 feet. This is in an open region on the extreme NE edge of the city, approximately one and three quarter miles NE of the center of the city. There is a pattern in this section that resembles gardens but it is difficult to tell.
  3. There are several sticks of bombs shown in the air that will land in the congested city area near the wharves.
[Signed:] Thomas L. Cooper, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Group PI. [Photo Intelligence]

Intelligence S-2 Narrative:
  1. No leaflets were carried.
  2. Preliminary examination of photos indicates that the bombing was fair. PFF bombing was used. Partial visibility enabled some crews to observe smoke and fires in the target area from 25,000 feet. Cloud cover prevented full photo coverage.
  3. Enemy opposition for this Group flying a lead box and a low squadron of the high composite box was light. Approximately 25 ME 109’s and FW 190’s were seen at various places along the route, but no attacks were made until about 1200 hours near the IP and in the general target area. Attacks were primarily from level and below from the tail and the port side and were usually not persistent. Some ME 109’s flew through the formation in line abreast attacks, and a general tactic employed by both ME 109’s and FW 190’s was to simulate the friendly escort formation in order to enable them to close within attacking range. The excellent escort dictated that most attacks be of the sneak variety and out of contrail cover. It is believed that one of the newer inline engined FW 190’s was seen. Some of the E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were painted black and others wore P-47 markings. There is one claim for an E/A destroyed. No unusual armament was observed.
  4. Flak was first encountered over Nieuport [Nieuwpoort] at 1025; it was meager and inaccurate. Five miles North of Ghent at 1039, meager, accurate flak was encountered. At Koblenz at 1125, meager flak which was good for height at 25,000 feet but poor for deflection was observed. Flak at the target was moderate and very accurate. Meager, inaccurate flak was encountered at 2 or 3 points on the way out.
  5. Weather over the target was 4-5/10th clouds and visibility was reported hazy below and excellent above the clouds.
  6. At the enemy coast on return trip four crews reported seeing a B-17 turn back into enemy territory at great speed with an estimated 20 P-47’s following and shooting. One entire crew reports definitely the P-47’s were not giving support and believe it to be an enemy piloted B-17. Two crews reported an A/D [Airdrome] with a concentration of planes in the vicinity of 49°56’N - 04°00’E. Rockets were reported over the target area and described as both ground fired and parachute borne with multiple red balls in each burst.
  7. Fighter support was reported as the best experienced and was present at all times. A/C 863-Y, piloted by Lt. Carson, was seen ten minutes after target with a feathered prop, lagging behind. This A/C is missing. A/C 694-V, piloted by Lt. Turbyne, crash landed in England with the crew hospitalized; no further details are yet available.
[Signed:] Robert P. Ramsey, Captain, Air Corps, Group S-2 [Intelligence]

Track Chart and Combat Duplication Check Form:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Enemy Tactics Report:

Because of the light E/A opposition, no E/A tactics report is being submitted in addition to the information contained in the Narrative Teletype Report, paragraphs 3 and 7.

[Signed:] Charles A. Hillway, 1st Lt., Air Corps, E/A Tactics Officer

Flak Report – High Group:

Target - Frankfurt, Germany  Time Bombs Away: 1224½ hours
1. Route followed. - 2 mi. S of Nieuport [Nieuwpoort] - Huy - Mengerskirchen - Target - 2 mi. E. of Stockstadt - 1 mi. S. of Le Treport.
2. Visibility at Target. - 4-5/10 Cloud  Contrails - Dense, non-persistent
3. Position of Group in relation to other Groups: Lead: 351 High: Composite Low: 401
4. General Axis of attack (Lead A/C) - 153 Degrees Magnetic.
5. Length of Straight and Level Bomb Run: 1½ minutes
6. Evasive Action Taken? - Some S turns after bombs away.
7. Turn after Bombing. - Left turn to 210° magnetic
8. (a)Number of A/C Damaged By A/A [Antiaircraft] Gunfire: 18
 (b)Number of A/C Lost to A/A Gunfire: 0
9. Description of Flak, including type of Fire Control used:
 (a) Route out: Nieuport [Nieuwpoort] – 1025 – Meager, inaccurate.
5 mi. S of Ghent – 1039 – Meager, accurate.
Koblenz – 25,000 feet – 1125 – meager, height good, deflection poor.
 (b) Target: 1223-1225 – 24,500 feet, 27,000 feet – reports are divided about equally between moderate and intense, most crews agree that it was very accurate, probably continuous following. Very large black and white bursts, and 3 pink bursts, were observed.
 (c) Route back: Amiens – 20,000 feet – 1335 – meager, inaccurate.
Abbeville – 25,000 feet – 1345 – meager, fair for height and deflection.
Poix – 19,500 feet – 1347 – meager, inaccurate.
Le Treport – 20,000 feet – 1345 – 7 inaccurate bursts.
10. Comments, Phenomena: From 5 to 15 bursts like red flares at the end of white smoke trails coming up from the ground were observed in the target area.
11. No. of A/C Carrying "Window" [Chaff]: 20
Observed Results: None – flak was very accurate

Combat Crew Comments:

Following are the comments made by crew members during today’s interrogation:
508 Squadron
192-R [42-31192] 401st Bomb Group were on top of us; ships and bombs were mixed up at time of bombs away. What’s the matter with them? - Lt. Haynes.
849-V [42-29849] 401st A/C did not clear this Squadron before dropping bombs. – Whole Crew  This plane too slow for formation speed. – Lt. Blaisdell.
[858-G] [42-29858] Groups failed to uncover on bombing run. – Lt. Seaman.
509 Squadron
725-L [42-31725] Best fighter cover yet. – Lt. Lewis.
005-G [42-38005] If KP’s [Kitchen Police (Workers)] can have more than one egg at breakfast, why can’t we? Breakfast is too meager and cold. – T/Sgt. Stanford.  No water in showers. – S/Sgt. Surprise.  Poor ammunition. – S/Sgt. Denton.
510 Squadron
721-S [42-31721] Want food before mission. – Sgt. Butler.
857-J [42-30857] Breakfast for gunners was lousy, as usual; it makes you sick every morning. - All gunners.
511 Squadron
857-H [42-39857] 401st flew bad wing formation. – Lt. Wendt.
780-G [42-37780] Triangle “B” and Square “H” shooting red and yellow flares was confusing. - Lt. Hart.

[Signed:] Robert P. Ramsey, Captain, Air Corps, Group S-2 [Intelligence]

Mission Summary Report – Lead Box:
  1. Abortives:
    1. Airplane No. 42-38032, 509th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    2. Airplane No. 42-39760, 509th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    3. Airplane No. 42-39987, 511th Squadron, returned early due to an Oxygen leak in the Navigator’s compartment, causing the pressure at all stations to drop. Investigation revealed that the Astro-compass mount was resting on the oxygen line leading to the leaking pressure gauge. This mount had jumped around and imposed too great a stress on the line leading to the gauge, causing it to break. The Navigator had doubtless left it there after using the Astro-compass.
    1. Airplane No. 42-31711, 508th Squadron. Flak hole in right wing underside, near #4 Engine, damage to skin, corrugation and stringers. Small flak hole in left wing panel outer section, damage to skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank.
    2. Airplane No. 42-31192, 508th Squadron. Small flak hole in left horizontal stabilizer underside, damage to skin only. Flak hole in right wing near #4 Engine, skin and corrugation damaged.
    3. Airplane No. 42-38023, 508th Squadron. Small flak hole in skin of left wing behind #1 Engine nacelle, skin and corrugation damaged. Three small flak holes in outer wing panel of right wing, skin, corrugation and stringers damaged. One small flak hole in right wing underside inner panel near trailing edge of wing, skin and corrugation damaged.
    4. Airplane No. 42-39849, 508th Squadron. Small flak hole in left aileron, fabric and rib damaged. Small flak hole in leading edge of left wing near landing light. Flak hole in fuselage behind Pilot’s window, skin and hydraulic line damaged. Flak hole in right side of fuselage forward of waist window, skin damage only. Flak hole on top of #3 Engine cowling puncturing skin and hydraulic line. Flak hole in leading edge of right wing between #3 and #4 Engines, skin and oil cooler damaged. One small flak hole in Right wing underside near #4 Engine, skin and corrugation damaged.
    5. Airplane No. 42-37827, 508th Squadron. One .50 caliber hole in right horizontal stabilizer from right waist gun, damage to skin and stiffeners. Three small flak holes through right aileron, fabric and ribs damaged. Two small flak holes in Plexiglass nose section. One small flak hole in tail gunner’s compartment underside, skin damage only.
    6. Airplane No. 42-30499, 509th Squadron. Flak hole through left horizontal stabilizer, skin damage only. One .20 mm hole went into fuselage near left waist window, exploded and damaged two oxygen regulators, A.F.C.E. [Automatic Flight Control Equipment - Autopilot] wiring, and two vertical fin ribs. When shell exploded it made numerous small holes in right side of fuselage near waist window and in base of vertical fin.
    7. Airplane No. 42-37845, 509th Squadron. Flak hole through right wing near root, damage to skin, corrugation and internal ribs. One small tear in left wing inside of #2 nacelle made by spent shell casings. Two flak holes in right side of fuselage below the radio hatch, skin and longitudinal stiffeners damaged. Flak hole in right side of vertical stabilizer, near base of fin, skin damage only.
    8. Airplane No. 42-97492, 511th Squadron. Flak hole in right wing inner panel, skin and corrugation damaged. Small flak hole in fuselage skin just below the Co-pilot’s window. Small flak hole in left horizontal stabilizer, skin and stiffeners damaged.
    9. Airplane No. 42- 37780, 511th Squadron. Flak hole in wing behind #2 Engine nacelle, skin and stiffeners damaged. Small flak hole through Pilot’s window. Small flak hole in right life raft door. Flak hole through right elevator, fabric damage only. One .30 caliber hole through #2 Intercooler duct. Small flak hole through Co-pilot’s stationary window. One .30 caliber hole in tail gunner’s compartment, skin damage only. Pilot’s windshield shattered by flak.
    10. Airplane No. 42-31714, 511th Squadron. Small flak hole through fabric of right elevator. Small flak hole through left wing tip, damage to skin and corrugation.
    11. Airplane No. 42-37825, 511th Squadron. Small flak hole in skin of left wing outer panel, skin damage only. Hole in left wing inner panel, skin, corrugation and stiffeners damaged. Flak hole in right wing inner panel, skin and corrugation damaged. Two flak holes through left horizontal stabilizer, skin damage only.
    12. Airplane No. 42-39857, 511th Squadron. Small flak hole through left elevator, fabric damaged. Small flak hole in right elevator fabric. Small flak hole through right wing flap, skin damaged. Flak hole through right outer wing panel, skin, corrugation and Tokyo tanks damaged. Flak hole in #3 oil cooler. Flak hole in right wing outer panel, skin and corrugation damaged. Small flak hole in cowl flap of #1 Engine, no internal damage.
[Signed:] Otto R. Vasak, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Mission Summary Report – High Box:
  1. Abortives:
    1. Airplane No. 42-38038, 510th Squadron, returned early due to an oil leak in #2 Engine. This leak was caused by flak hitting the engine oil line. On returning to base the #3 Propeller ran away.
    2. Airplane No. 42-31238, 511th Squadron, returned early as planned.
  2. Battle Damage:
    1. Airplane No. 42-30857, 510th Squadron. Small flak hole in Plexiglass nose section. Small flak hole in leading edge of right horizontal stabilizer. Small flak hole in right wing outer panel, skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank damaged. Small flak hole in #2 Supercharger. Small flak hole in fairing of left wing near bomb bay doors.
    2. Airplane No. 42-38038, 510th Squadron. Numerous flak holes in top of #2 Engine. Damage to oil separator, vacuum line and air duct. Two small flak holes behind #1 Engine, damage to skin, corrugation and main spar. Small flak hole through center of vertical stabilizer. Flak hole under Co-pilot’s window, damage to skin and Co-pilot’s aileron control cables.
    3. Airplane No. 42-37714, 510th Squadron. Small flak hole in left horizontal stabilizer. Small flak hole in leading edge of left wing near landing light, skin damage only. Small flak hole on top of #1 engine cowling. Flak hole behind #4 Engine, damage to skin, corrugation, and stringers. Small flak hole in right side of navigator’s compartment, damage to electrical wiring.
    4. Airplane No. 42-31763, 510th Squadron. Small flak hole through left elevator. Small flak hole in right horizontal stabilizer, deicer boot damaged. Small flak hole in Plexi-glass nose section. Flak hole in leading edge of wing near #1 oil cooler. Small flak hole in leading edge of wing near left outer panel. Flak hole in left wing underside near #2 Feeder fuel plate. Right bomb bay door has four small flak holes in skin. Two small flak holes in skin of wing underside near #1 Engine. Small flak hole under Pilot’s window, skin damage only. Small flak hole in fuselage under right life raft door. Small flak hole in vertical stabilizer, right hand side, skin damage only.
[Signed:] Otto R. Vasak, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Armament Report:
  1. The following armament failures and malfunctions were reported upon completion of the mission of 11 February, 1944.
    1. A/C 42-38005 – Defective round of ammunition, bulged case. Fired out of battery position and caused third position stoppage. Fixed in the air.
    2. A/C 42-37780 – Ball Turret became inoperative in azimuth due to failure of Vickers Unit.
    3. A/C 42-31763 – Bombs were salvoed. Bombardier says bombs hung up on right rack and evasive action had to be taken to get rid of bombs. Ship had battle damage and electrical system will be checked when possible. Investigation of manual release shows no defect.
    4. A/C 42-37714 – Bombardier toggled twenty-four (24) bombs and salvoed eighteen (18) bombs. A-2 release on lower right outboard station would not release electrically.
    5. A/C 42-29858 – Bombardier reported intervalometer out. Investigation revealed intervalometer O.K. Left Bomb Bay rack selective switch burned out. Bombardier reported he could not salvo. Investigation shows salvo O.K., but works slightly hard. Bombardier reported bomb bay emergency release out. Investigation shows this release to be O.K. Pilot’s emergency release O.K. but required fairly hard pull.
    6. A/C 42-30499 – Salvoed purposely when hit by fighters.
  2. The necessary adjustments and repairs will be made.
[Signed:] Michael Steele, CWO, AUS, Group Armament Officer

Expenditure of Ammunition:

The Station Ordnance Officer has reported an expenditure of 27,780 rounds of Caliber .50 Ammunition for the Mission of 11 February, 1944. This includes 9,000 rounds each for A/C 42-29863 which failed to return and A/C 42-31694 which crash-landed and burned.
[Signed:] Robert B. Stratton, Captain, Air Corps, Statistical Officer

Disposition of Bombs:

1. The following data indicates the disposition of bombs on the Mission of this date:

Over TargetBombingNumberSizeTypeNose Tail
Main Bombfall1716180500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
(Frankfurt)1112500 lb.M-43Delayed
66231100 lb.M-47Inst. [Incendiary]
Total Bombs Dropped192500 lb.M-43
231100 lb.M-47-A1's
Bombs Brought Back24500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
Jettisoned over Germany12500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
21100 lb.M-47Inst. [Incendiary]
Jettisoned over Channel24500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
84100 lb.M-47Inst. [Incendiary]
336100 lb.M-47A1's

[Signed:] Robert B. Stratton, Captain, Air Corps, Statistical Officer

Disposition of Bombs – Low Combat Box:

1. The following data indicates the disposition of bombs on the Mission of this date:

Main BombfallOver TargetBombingNumberSizeTypeNose Tail
(Frankfurt)1717180500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
3330500 lb.M-43Delayed
Total Bombs Dropped210500 lb.M-43
Bombs Brought Back6500 lb.M-431/10 1/40

[Signed:] Robert B. Stratton, Captain, Air Corps, Statistical Officer

Pilots Explanation to Abort:

Spare - Not Disp.[Dispatched]
Aircraft No. M-42-39760 Squadron - 509 (Lead Box)   Pilot - Lt. Logan (SPARE SHIP)
Time of Abortive - 1023  Location when Aborted - Orfordness
Reason - 1 & 2 Superchargers ran away on take off & would not pull sufficient power at altitude – Left group over Deenethorpe to improve situation on way to Orfordness. Did not rendezvous with group – Waited until 1023 at departure point – Saw no groups at Orfordness. No improvement on engines.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed:] W. R. Logan, 1st Lt., AC [Air Corps]
Altitude When Aborted: 21,000’   Disposition of Bombs: Not Dropped

Spare - Not Dispatched
Aircraft No. P-8032 Squadron - 509 (Lead Box)   Pilot - Lt. Berardi
Time of Abortive - 1020  Location when Aborted - 12 mi. from Enemy Coast. [Scratched out & written in above: Mid-Channel (Maj. Ball)]
Reason - Became spare ship when cut out of formation – Couldn’t find hole in our formation – Nor others, Passed. Returned as instructed at briefing.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed:] Joseph R. Berardi
Altitude When Aborted: 21,000’  Disposition of Bombs: Returned with Load.

Abortive Sortie Disp. [Dispatched]
Aircraft No. R-42-38038 Squadron - 510 (Comp. Box)   Pilot - Lt. Eickhoff
Time of Abortive - 1041  Location when Aborted - 50°52’N - 03°10’E
Reason - No, 3 Prop. was uncontrollable except it would feather. Could not stay in formation with feathered engine.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - Accurate flak at coast – knocked No, 2 engine out.
[Signed:] John T. Eickhoff
Altitude When Aborted: 25,500’  Disposition of Bombs: Dropped in channel except for one which would not release. It later fell on bomb bay door and bomb bay doors were opened over open field in England.

Abortive Not Disp. [Dispatched]
Aircraft No. D-42-39987 Squadron - 511 (Lead Box)   Pilot - Lt. McCarthy
Time of Abortive - 0950  Location when Aborted - 52°23’N - 01°12’E
Reason - Oxygen system leak lost 200 lbs. by the time Spl.[Splasher] #7 was reached.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed:] Robert D. McCarthy
Altitude When Aborted: 18,000’  Disposition of Bombs: Jettisoned

Spare Disp. [Dispatched]
Aircraft No. A-31238 [42-31238]  Squadron: 511 – Low Sqdn. – Comp. Box   Pilot - Lt. Johnson
Time of Abortive - 1036  Location when Aborted - 50°48’N - 3°31’E
Reason - Interphone went out & could not get any results on Nos. 3 & 4 positions on command, just a shrill noise. When considerable alt. was lost interphone came into gradual use but it would go out for short intervals & then be perfectly good again.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed] Gosta Johnson, 1st Lt., Air Corps
Altitude When Aborted: 25,000’   Disposition of Bombs: Brought them back

“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th C.B.W. [Combat Wing] Lead Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 8023–R, 7827–J, 9849–V, 1711–F, 3141–H*, 9858–G*
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 9863–Y*, 0499–Q, 7832–N, 8055–G, 7845–F, 1725–L, 9760–M, 1384–T
    Sqdn 510th A/C: NONE
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 5824–S*, 1714–R, 7825–Q, 9857–H, 9987–D, 1694–J, 7492–R

    b. 94th C.B.W. [Combat Wing] Low Sqdn. High Composite Group
    Sqdn 510th A/C: 1509–J, 1721–S, 0857–J, 8038–R, 1763–A, 7714–T, 1612–B
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 1238–A,
    42-39987 - 42-37845 - 42-3141 - Long Delay Fuze - 30 minute
    * Indicates Non Tokio A/C
  2. Target: Visual - G2-2805;  PFF - GH-577
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 Call SignW/T LBA R/T DaisychainSquadron510 Call SignW/T RJH R/T Paramount
    Squadron509 Call SignW/T UFV R/T RidingwhipSquadron511 Call SignW/T MXA R/T Thickfrost
  4. Low Box: Taxi – 0730;     Take-Off – 0750;     E.T.D. Over Field – At Takeoff
  5. Time:Height:  Place of crossing English Coast OUT:
    100421,000 Ft Orfordness
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Recrossing Enemy Coast:
    133620,000 Ft 50°2'N - 1°23'E
  7. Time:Height:  Place of crossing English Coast IN:
    13599,000 Ft Beachy Head
  8. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return): 1457 Hours
  9. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  10. Bomb load of Each A/C: Lead Box
    508 Squadron: 12 x 500 pound G.P. [General Purpose], Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/40 Tail
    509 Squadron: 12 x 500 pound G.P., Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/40 Tail
    510 Squadron: 12 x 500 pound G.P., Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/40 Tail
    511 Squadron: 12 x 500 pound G.P., Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/40 Tail
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: Composite Sqdn.
    508 Squadron:
    509 Squadron:
    510 Squadron: Max. M-47A1 I.B.'s [Incendiary]
    511 Squadron: Max. M-47A1 I.B.'s [Incendiary]
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C:
    A/C with TOKIO TANKS: 2400 Gallons A/C without TOKIO TANKS: 2100 Gallons
  13. Group Leader:
    a. Lead box: Name: Robert W. Burns, Rank: L. Col. A/C: 3491-G, Sqdn. 812th (PFF)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)
    George C. Hozier Captain 511th 7825-Q 751st Sqdn. - 457th Group
    Edward M. Bender 1st Lt. 510th 0838-R 750th Sqdn. - 457th Group
    Jacob M Dickinson 1st Lt. 511th 1694-V 750th Sqdn. - 457th Group
    Mark R. Belcher  2nd Lt. 509th 8005-G 748th Sqdn. - 457th Group
  15. Actual Times Off and Return by Squadrons and A/C Letters:
  16. Lead Box
    SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.
    9849–V075415417832–N0758½RAF Chipping Ongar
    PFF3491–G0748½ 8032–P08261110
    1694–V0751½Crash Landed
  17. Low Squadron High Composite Box
    SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.

    Report Compiled By Rocky Civizzio, T/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
Lead Combat Box Formation Take–Off
511th Squadron
Burns – Paulsen
A/C # 42-3491 G PFF
A/C # 42-31714 R
A/C # 42-37825 Q
Wendt - Mears
A/C # 42-39857 H
A/C # 42-39987 D
A/C # 42-31694 V
509th Squadron508th Squadron
A/C # 42-29863 Y
A/C # 42-38023 P
A/C # 42-30499 Q
A/C # 42-37832 N
A/C # 42-37827 J
A/C # 42-39849 V
A/C # 42-38005 G
A/C # 42-31711 F
A/C # 42-37845 F
A/C # 42-38032 P
A/C # 42-31192 R
A/C # 42-29858 G
A/C # 42-39760 M (FS)
A/C # 42-37780 G
A/C # 42-31725 L (FS)
A/C # 42-97492 B (FS)

(FS) - Flying Spare

Lead Combat Box Formation Over–Target
511th Squadron
Burns – Paulsen
A/C # 42-3491 G PFF
A/C # 42-31714 R
A/C # 42-37825 Q
Wendt - Mears
A/C # 42-39857 H
A/C # 42-37780 G
A/C # 42-31694 V
A/C # 42-31763 A
509th Squadron508th Squadron
A/C # 42-29863 Y
A/C # 42-38023 P
A/C # 42-37845 F
A/C # 42-37832 N
A/C # 42-37827 J
A/C # 42-39849 V
A/C # 42-38005 G
A/C # 42-31711 F
A/C # 42-30499 Q
Litsinger (FS)
A/C # 42-97492 B
A/C # 42-31192 R
A/C # 42-29858 G

 [Lt Hopkins was scheduled to fly with the Low Squadron of High Composite Box.]

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 1000  Briefing: 0420  Stations: 0620  Start Engines: 0720  Taxi: 0730  Take-off: 0750  Leave Base: At Take Off [Breakfast: Enlisted Men 0245; Officers 0315]

Formation Chart:
High (Composite) Combat Box Formation Take–Off
Lead Squadron
509th SquadronHigh Squadron
A/C # 42-31509 V
A/C # 42-31721 S
A/C # 42-30857 J
A/C # 42-38038 R
A/C # 42-31763 A
A/C # 42-37714 T
A/C # 42-31612 B

High (Composite) Combat Box Formation Over–Target
Lead Squadron
509th SquadronHigh Squadron
A/C # 42-31509 V
A/C # 42-31721 S
A/C # 42-30857 J
A/C # 42-31612 B
A/C # 42-37714 T
A/C # 42-31725 L

 [Lt Lewis was flying spare from Lead Squadron.]

Description of the Mission printed in the book "The 351st Bomb Group in WWII" written by Ken Harbour & Peter Harris. Used with permission.

 The plane piloted by Captain Carson, 42-29863, was seen lagging behind the formation with one feathered propeller about 10 minutes after the target. Later he was heard calling for fighter support, but to no avail. Captain Carson was forced to land in occupied territory. The plane piloted by Lt. Turbyne, 42-31694, was forced to crash land at Southend where the ship caught fire and burned out. Unfortunately the bombardier, Lt. John A. McCall, was killed. The rest of the crew escaped with cuts and bruises.

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR):
  • A/C# 42-29863   RQ-Y  "Kentucky Babe"  Pilot: Capt. Carson  A/C's 43rd Mission   MACR # 2528

    Aircraft Loss Circumstances:

    One of the men who evaded capture by the Germans and returned gave this statement: The plane crashed approximately 1430, 11 February 1944, ten miles east of Abbeyville, France. Source stated #3 Engine was knocked out and throwing smoke; #2 engine was pretty well shot out and causing trouble, and #1 engine was acting up conciderably. The right aileron was shot away, the bomb bay doors were also shot away, and the wings had been pretty badly hit. Source stated he bailed out of the plane at approximately 2500 feet. Source stated the tail gunner was hit in the arm before the plane crashed. Source further stated he saw all the crew-members bail out and their chutes open with the exception of the ball turret gunner and the tail gunner. Source stated the plane exploded upon striking the ground and that he saw the top turret gunner alive and well after he had reached the ground.

    Upon his return to England, the Co-pilot, 2nd Lt., Merlyn I. Rutherford on 30 May 1944, gave this account: No. 1 engine wseless after running away; No. 3 engine useless, unable to feather; right aileron shot out; rudder shot out; right bomb bay door lever shot apart. Electrical system all out. He bailed out at 5,000 ft. Before the plane crashed one man was injured in hip; one injured in arm; we think one man was shot from the ground, while parachuting. The plane was burning before the crash an finished burning after crashing. He escaped capture along with the radio operator and photographer.

    Upon his return to the U.S. the Bombardier, William H. Spinning, stated: The top turret gunner was wounded through the neck while they were over the target, the tail gunner was wounded by cannon shell in his right arm. He also stated he was told by the French that one crew-member had been machine-gunned and killed while parachuting down, but they could not say who it was.

    An English transcription of German Records in the MACR:
    Date and Time: 11 February 1944; 1405
    Place of Crash: 1.5 km. south of Inval [Inval-Boiron], 20 km. north-west of Poix, [France]
    Kind of Capture: Fighter plane and anti-aircraft; caught fire after crash
    Whereabouts of crew:
    1. Captain Carson, John P., transfered to Interrogation Center on 12 February 1944
    2. S/Sgt. Riley, James, transferred to Air Corps Hospital Amiens
    3. Sgt Rishey, J.R., transferred to 3. Air Corps Hospital Amiens
    Probably at large are 7 crew-members.

    Individual Accounts of Crewmen Fates: Burial Records:

    The burial records below courtesy of the American Battle Monuments Commission. http://www.abmc.gov

    • Howard, Richard C., S/Sgt., From: New York, Buried: Plot J Row 22 Grave 28, Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France, Awards - Purple Heart, Air Medal

      Click on picture to enlarge.

Died from injuries during crash landing:
  • John A. McCall  Died on 11 Feb 1944 in crash landing of plane 42-31694 at Southend, England.
  • Buried: Cambridge American Cemetery, Cambridge, England, Plot C Row 6 Grave 15, Awards - Purple Heart, Air Medal.
    Click on picture to enlarge.

 [Killed in Action - 2]
 [Injured during Crash Landing - 9]
 [Evaded Capture & Returned - 6]

The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
Please contact us with your comments and corrections.