351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #84

Credited Mission #78

 
DATE: 24 Feb 1944
Target: Deutsche Star Machine Shop,
Schweinfurt, Germany
 
Outline for Briefing:

  1. Check to see that all Pilots know Assignment.
  2. Time Schedule:
     Lead Box ______ Box
    Stations – 0840Stations - _____
    Start Engines – 0850Stations - _____
    Taxi - 0900Taxi - _____
    Take Off - 0915Take Off - _____
    Leave Buncher - 1009Leave Base - ____
  3. Target – Schweinfurt, Germany - Secondary any military objective in Germany - without disrupting fighter support.
  4. Bomb Loading: High Box – ___ Lead Box – 12 - 500 lb - Tokyo [Planes with Tokyo Tanks]; 6 - Bomb bay [Planes without Tokyo Tanks carrying Aux. Fuel tank in half of the Bomb Bay.]
       Low Box - ___ Composite Box – ___
    Gasoline Loading – 800 gal. in Tokyo - 1 Bomb Bay [fuel tank] in non-Tokyo [planes].
    Chaff – I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] + 3 min. - one unit every 3 seconds for 4 minutes (Each ship has 80 units).
    Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets]– G-780
  5. Wing Formation – 94th C.B.W. – 5th in 1st Division.
    Lead Box – 351st High Box – 457th  Low Box – 401st
  6. Fighter Cover: See your Navigator for rendezvous. There will be 15 groups P-47 - 3 groups P-51, 2 groups P-38 - 8 squadrons Spitfires will furnish close support. P-47's with colored noses.
  7. Group Assembly is: Buncher - 15,500'
  8. Navigator - _____
  9. S-2 - _____
  10. Weather - _____
  11. Code Words –
    PFF Bombing –_____
    Visual Bombing -Big Light
    P.F.F. - I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] -City Dump
    Authenticator –Thunder Bird
    Recall -_____
  12. Special Instructions – Second Div. Gather – 3rd Div. Tutrow – pd and Poznan pal
  13. Lead Crews Report to Target Room.
  14. Dismiss all but Pilots and Co-Pilots.
  15. Call Signs:
    Call SignFlaresTail Letters
    351 ARagweed RedR Y[Red Yellow]J
    351 B
    401 ARagweed WhiteR [Red]S
    457thRagweed BlueG [Green]U
    Composite
    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
  16. Call SignChannel
    U.S. FightersSee Nav. for informationC (U.S.) Denver according to position.
     BombersGoldsmith 2 – 5[Stand by on Channels B & C Tell Ftrs. with respect to #ed pts.]
     Grnd. ControlTacklineGrunow 850-G & Anderson 994-T
    R.A.F. FightersGarlic Two ThreeC. (R.A.F.)
     BombersGoldsmith Two Five_____
     Grnd. ControlSpice Cake_____
  17. Colors of the Day
    TimeColorLetterChallenge
    0700 – 1300YYDO
    1300 – 1900R – RRVB
  18. Special Instructions -
    1. Ships To Monitor Channel "B"- 756-R - 711-F
    2. Ships To Monitor Channel "C"- (U.S.) 823-C - 925-L
      Ships To Monitor Channel "C"- (R.A.F.) 850-G - 994-T
      Ships To Monitor Channel "D"- ___
    3. Let-Down on Buncher # Deenethorpe
      Let-Down Heading 351 A - 015° mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
      Let-Down Heading 351 B
      Let-Down Heading 401 A - 360° mag.
      Let-Down Heading 457 - 030° mag.

    All Pilots will check their VHF control light and if it is not on, turn your VHF off.
    All ships will have G except spares and D-762, P-136, S-824.
    C.W. assemble on line from Deenethorpe to Peterborough. Climb starts at Point A.
    Ships V-509 and G-850 will carry one Skymarker Bomb.
    Spares fill in anywhere. Turn back at enemy coast if no holes.
    Drop tanks if necessary – save purging kits. If no purging kit, drop tank when empty.
    Any RED flare or combination there of means distress.
    GREEN flare – CBW leader – attack Primary.
    GREEN–YELLOW - Secondary.
    YELLOW-YELLOW - fighter identity.
  19. Flying Control. –
  20. Any Questions?
  21. Pilots pick up Formation Sheets.


Operations Narrative:
  1. General Narrative. Twenty aircraft of the 351st Group took off at 0915 and formed the lead box of the 94th Combat Wing at 15,500 feet. Some difficulty in assembly was encountered due to lack of time at the buncher. Practically all aircraft were unable to reach Deenethorpe at the proper altitude, but all ships were pulling in as the lead aircraft departed the buncher two minutes late, but on course to Peterborough, Point A.
     The high and low boxes fell in trail at this time and, by cutting off each turn, were able to keep the lead combat box in sight. The low box of the 401st Group drew in to tight combat wing formation near Peterborough en route to Newmarket, which was reached approximately one minute late. The high box was trailing the entire route over England, but had succeeded in closing to within one-fourth mile as we departed Great Yarmouth on time. The PFF aircraft which was to have been the lead aircraft was unable to land at Polebrook due to weather conditions; hence, arrangements had been made to pick him up at the group assembly over Deenethorpe. However, he failed to join the formation there. As a last resort, he proceeded to Great Yarmouth and waited for the 94th Combat Wing which departed that point exactly on time. But, again, he was unable to find the formation even though visibility was unlimited. The last contact established the fact that he had missed us and was hopelessly behind. He returned to his base.
     The Division assembly took place as planned, Point One (1), Splasher #6, being reached on time. Some indecision was caused by two or three combat wings of B-24’s which were departing simultaneously with the 1st Division. However, they were identified and disregarded. The 1st Combat Wing was in sight and directly ahead of us, although they departed two (2) minutes early, hence five (5) minutes before us. The first four Combat Wings in the first Division were in trail and preceding us the entire route, and visual contact could be maintained with all of them. The Liberators flew abreast, ahead, and behind at all altitudes from 18,000 feet to 22,000 feet.
     The enemy coast was reached at the briefed point, five (5) minutes early, and the route into the first turning point was exactly as briefed, except that additional time was gained on this easterly heading of 88° Mag [Magnetic Compass Heading]. The entire route was flown by pilotage and DR [Dead Reckoning], since the GEE Box and Radio Compass in the lead aircraft were inoperative. No difficulty in Navigation was encountered in this respect due to excellent visibility and the fact that there were no clouds in the sky.
     The only difficulty on the route to the target occurred when a complete combat wing of B-24’s, which were flying at our level and abreast on the right, made a turn directly into us when they branched out to bomb their target at Gotha. The low and high box leaders avoided this very skillfully and the wing was not broken up.
     Fighter attacks on the Combat Wing were concentrated on the low box, six or seven passes being attempted as we executed the turn at Point 5. The attacks were poor and not determined; also friendly fighters appeared shortly, dispersing the enemy.
     The IP [Initial Point of Bombing Run} was reached shortly after the 1st Combat Wing had broken up to bomb by groups. Apparently, excessive interval was taken by the groups in that wing, thus forcing us to displace our IP three (3) miles southeast of the briefed IP. This gave us a run of 262° Mag., instead of 240° as briefed. The bombing run of the lead box was very long and straight. Smoke from the twelve preceding groups clearly defined the target at a great distance. Bombing formation was good; however, only fourteen (14) aircraft attacked, and one of those carried a full load of “Nickels” [Propaganda Leaflets]. Photo coverage shows hits on the only unsmoked aiming point available.
     Low Box took excellent interval and was back in combat wing formation before we had completed the turn-away from bombing. The High Box had great difficulty in rallying due to breaking up on the bomb run. The only possible thing to do was to continue out on course at 145 MPH. The various aircraft of the high box filled in any available positions until their leader and deputy leader located each other, at which time the high box reformed with approximately fourteen (14) aircraft.
     Flak at the target was light and accurate for altitude and deflection. However, no flak seemed to be encountered until after bombs away and the turn was being made.
     The route out was exactly as briefed except for speed which was held as low as possible to aid stragglers of which we knew there were two. One of those returned to base after several running fights with ME-109’s. Friendly fighters drove them off at two different occasions.
     The enemy coast was crossed at 1506 hours; and the Combat Wing dispersed at Clacton [-on-Sea]. All aircraft of this box returned to base with the exception of two missing in action.
  2. Aircraft Not Attacking. Twenty aircraft took off and formed the lead combat box as indicated in the attached diagram. A/C 42-39760, not dispatched, returned early as planned from mid channel. A/C 42-5756, dispatched, returned when the Ball Turret Gunner lost consciousness from lack of oxygen. A/C 42-29762, dispatched, returned early because the #2 and #3 superchargers were out, according to the Pilot’s statement. A/C 42-29860, dispatched, returned early when the Pilot was unable to transfer fuel from the bomb bay tank to the main tank. Two aircraft, 42-3517 and 42-3136, did not attack the target, and are reported missing in action before the target was reached. A/C 42-37780 carried a full load of “Nickels” and is included in the fourteen which attacked the target.
  3. Aircraft Lost. A/C 42-3136 is reported to have aborted approximately one (1) hour inside enemy territory with one engine smoking. A/C 42-3517 was last seen with the formation in the vicinity of Gotha, one engine is reported to have failed, and a wind-milling propeller was observed. The reason for both of these losses are unknown.
STATISTICAL SUMMARYLow Box
A/C Taking Off20
Unused Spares1
No. of A/C Taking Off Less Unused Spares19
No. of A/C Dispatched19
No. of Sorties16
No. of A/C Not Attacking5
No. of A/C Lost to Undetermined Reasons2


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




Bombardier’s Data – High Combat Box:

Group - 351st Lead
Target - Schweinfurt, Germany
Method of Bombing - Group
Altitude - 22,000’
Wind Direction - 43°
Wind Velocity - 56 MPH
Direction of Attack, Mag. Heading - 262°
We reached our I.P. at 1435 and took a magnetic heading of 262° to the target area. The town was very thickly covered with smoke from bomb hits of previous Groups and the target assigned to the Group and its surrounding area was thickly covered with smoke to the extent that the area couldn’t be seen. However, the Deutsche Star Machine Shop was recognized from previous briefing and was chosen as the target of opportunity. The altitude was 600’ low on the bombing run and arbitrary corrections were made for same. “Bombs Away” took place at 1440.

[Signed:] Allen D. Behrendt, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Lead Bombardier



Combat Bombing Flight Record - High Group:

Bombardier - 1st Lt. Allen D. Behrendt   Pilot - Colonel Clinton F. Ball Navigator - Captain C. Maze
Aircraft # B-17-G 509-V  Take-off - 0915  Landed - 1605
Objective - Schweinfurt, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI)[Mean Point of Impact] - Deutsche Star, Machine Shop, Schweinfurt, Germany
Initial Point - Seelach
Method of Attack - Group
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 17   Composite Group -
Number A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: one Deflection and Range sighting, Group - 351st   Composite Group -
Range Sighting only, Group -    Composite Group -
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 11-500 lbs. G.P. AN-M43, 1 Smoke Bomb.
Number of Bombs Loaded - ___    Released - 12
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/100
Synchronization - On
Information at Release Point:

Altitude of Target - 710Magnetic Heading Ordered 247° Actual 262°
True Altitude Above Target - 20,354True Heading 257°
Indicated Altitude - 21,400Drift, Estimated 2°Left - Actual 7°Left
Pressure Altitude of Target - 310True Track 290°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 10,562'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150 M.P.H.B.S. Type - M-9 mercury
True Air Speed - 210 M.P.H.Time of Release 1340
Ground Speed Est. 250 Actual 272Length of Bombing Run - 60 seconds
Wind Direction Metro - 60° Actual - 45°Intervalometer Setting - Minimum
Wind Velocity Metro 75 Actual 56 C-1 Pilot[Autopilot] _____
D.S. - 140.4  Trail - 52   ATF - 37.9A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. - .71 Actual - .63 Manual Pilot - Yes

Type of Release - Train Salvo
Point of Impact If Seen - No
Mean Temp. Metro -16 Actual -14.5
Winds - Altitude - 21,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 60°  Actual 43°  Velocity - Metro 75  Actual 56
Temp C. - Metro -34° C. Actual -30° C.



Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The target was the Kugelfischer Works at Schweinfurt, Germany. Heavy smoke over the target completely obscured the assigned target, and an alternate target in the same area was bombed. Photo coverage was only fair, and smoke makes damage assessment difficult.
  2. The pattern is scattered and has two heavy concentrations. The first is in the vicinity of the Fichtel and Sachs A.G. and has three possible hits in the main machine shops, a direct hit on the electroplating plant, and five hits on unidentified buildings. The Deutsche Star G.M.B.H. has two possible hits and a near miss on a machine shop. A concentration of sixteen bursts cover the area of a small factory and surrounding buildings. Other bursts seem to be in residential districts.
  3. The pattern measures 3,684 feet by 1,284 feet. Photo scale is 1:36,684.
[Signed:] Thomas L. Cooper, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Group P.I. Officer


Intelligence S-2 Narrative:
  1. 50 bundles of leaflets, 9 No. 27s and 41 No. 26s were dropped in the target area.
  2. Due to a very heavy pallor of dark smoke caused by the bombing of previous combat wings this Group was forced to bomb the Deutsche Star works in the SW corner of the general target area. Although the pattern was somewhat scattered the results are considered generally good. A preliminary examination of the negatives indicates that there are hits on the Deutsche Star buildings. This target was the only part of the target area visible outside of the heavy smoke caused by previous bombing. Crews observed three large explosions, one blue, one red, one orange, at the target.
  3. This Group, flying as Lead Box of the CW, encountered about 25 single-engine E/A [Enemy Aircraft], of which about 15 were ME-109s and the rest FW-190s. E/A were first seen at 1300 hours just past the Belgian-German frontier, but no attacks of consequence were made before the I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] and target area. In the general target area attacks were from above and level from head-on, and from the tail level and low. Attacks were pressed in a line astern formation of three or four E/A, of which one or two peeled off for the attack. Attacks were generally not too persistent, principally because of the excellent friendly fighter cover. Some of the E/A simulated escort formation before attacking, some had belly tanks, some carried rockets; and general coloring were silver, gray, or with white markings similar to those of the friendly fighters. Attacks lasted until approximately 1400 hours to a point near Cologne. A few of the E/A were painted with sharks teeth markings. Claims are for one E/A damaged.
  4. Flak was first encountered at Kassel at 1302 at 22,000 feet, where it was moderate and accurate for height, but some distance to the right. At Bonn, 22,000 feet, 1350, a moderate barrage was observed several miles to the right. Meager, inaccurate flak was encountered at Liège, Brussels and Nieuport [Nieuwpoort]. At the target, at 1341, flak was moderate and accurate for both height and deflection; black bursts, high white bursts, and two red bursts were observed.
  5. 1/10ths cloud was encountered in the target area. Visibility was good, aiding visual bombing.
  6. Six or seven E/A were observed on an airfield near Hesepe - 52°27’ North, 07°58’ East. As reported previously, zig-zag fortifications were again observed along the Dutch coast at the Zuider Zee; it appeared to be adjoined by a large tunnel.
  7. Fighter support was excellent throughout the entire mission. One B-24 is reported to have exploded near the I.P. No other data could be obtained. A P-38 lost one engine about fifteen minutes after the target and was observed going down at approximately 1410. Four parachutes from a B-17 were observed near Maastricht; however the A/C was not seen going down. One man bailed out of a B-17 over France at approximately 1500 about eight minutes from the coast. The ship was shooting red red flares. Our A/C 136-P dropped out of formation with #2 engine smoking, losing altitude, west of Osnabruck at approximately 52°30’ North, 07°50’ East; another, our A/C 517-O, called for fighter support approximately sixty miles west of Osnabruck. Both A/C are missing.


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



AA Gunfire (Flak) Report:

1.Target: Assigned - Schweinfurt, Germany Bombed - Schweinfurt, Germany
2. Route as Flown. - As briefed, except that I.P. was overshot by about seven miles.
3. Weather Conditions - A. at Target. - Nil cloud  B. En route - Nil cloud
4. Were our A/C "Seen" or "Unseen" targets? (a) At Target - Seen (b) Enroute - Seen
Any Condensation Trails? - None
5. Description of Flak, including type of Fire Control: Most crews described flak at target as moderate, and all crews agreed that it was accurate for height and fairly accurate for deflection. It did not appear to be following, and may have been a predicted concentration. Black bursts, high white bursts, and two red bursts were observed.
6. Flak encountered or observed en route. (In the order experienced) -
Kassel, 22,000’, 1302, moderate, height good, deflection poor, some distance to right.
Bonn, 22,000’, 1350, moderate, apparently barrage several miles to right.
Liège, 22,000’, meager, height poor, deflection poor.
Brussels, 20,000’, 1449, meager, height poor, deflection poor.
Nieuport, meager, small bursts, height poor, deflection poor.
7. Was Chaff carried? - Yes How discharged? At target, as briefed.
8. Position of Group - Lead
9. Group – High A/C over enemy terr. – 16 A/C damaged – 7 A/C lost to flak – 0 Time over Target – 1340 Time of bombs away – 1340 Height – 21,400’ Axis of attack – 262-M Bomb run – 7 min.
10. Comments - Phenomena: 13 minutes before I.P. – large red explosion at approximately flight altitude, causing much black smoke, from which a long red column of flame floated slowly downward. – observed by Lt. Heller’s crew.



Combat Crew Comments:

1. Following are the comments made by combat crew members during the interrogation of today’s mission:
509th Squadron
A/C 499-Q: P-47’s should all have white noses – other colors are confusing. – Lt. Mc Lawhorn.
A/C 032-P: A/C 141 (Lt. Rohde) came across the formation and broke it up. Crossed in front of second element lead ship. Enemy A/C attacked him. – Lt. Redmond.
A/C 914-S: Navigation excellent. – Lt. Fedor.
Need more chow – two eggs – before taking off. – Whole crew.
510th Squadron
A/C 925-L: Very poor breakfast. – S/Sgts Lamb and Taylor. Abortives do not get food when returning. – S/Sgt. Hullender.
511th Squadron
A/C 780-G: Truck picking up crew is very dirty with coal dust and dirt; gets guns dirty. – Lt. Heller.
A/C 824-S: Nickels thrown out of ship ahead of us filled air-scoop of our #2 engine. Knocked it out of commission. – Lt. Nay.

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



Hot News Summary:
  1. Following is a summary of the Hot News reported by crews flying the mission of this date:
    A/C G-780, flying at an altitude of 20,000 feet, reported seeing, at 1505 hours, a convoy of about fifty (50) small ships of unidentified character just off the Belgian coast at a position of 51°6’North-2°38’East.
[Signed:] Robert P. Ramsey, Captain, Air Corps, Group S-2 [Intelligence]


Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives:
    1. Airplane No. 42-5756, 509th Squadron, returned early because the ball turret gunner passed out for lack of oxygen. Investigation revealed a small amount of condensation in the Oxygen regulator, possibly causing the regulator to freeze in a “closed” position.
    2. Airplane No. 42-39760, 509th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    3. Airplane No. 42-29850, 510th Squadron, returned early. The Pilot claimed that the fuel transfer pump was inoperative. The pump was investigated on the ground and found to be satisfactory.
    4. Airplane No. 42-29762, 510th Squadron, returned early. The Pilot claimed that #2 and #3 Superchargers lagged excessively. This aircraft was checked on the ground and taken to 22,000 feet and the supercharger checked out satisfactorily.
  2. Battle Damage:
    1. Airplane No. 42-3141, 508th Squadron. One small flak hole through fabric of right horizontal stabilizer. Fabric torn from mount of left horizontal stabilizer, this damage was caused by flak. Small flak hole in left wing inner panel near trailing edge behind #2 Engine nacelle - skin and corrugation and stiffeners damaged.
    2. Airplane No. 42-5823, 508th Squadron. Flak hole through the bottom of navigator’s compartment near escape hatch - Hydraulic line, skin and control cables damaged. Small flak hole in bottom of #3 Engine nacelle - skin damage only. Small flak hole through left horizontal stabilizer near elevator - skin damage only. Small flak hole through left horizontal stabilizer near tip of stabilizer.
    3. Airplane No. 42-31711, 508th Squadron. Large flak hole in top of left horizontal stabilizer - flak damaged top skin and ribs and just pierced the underside. Very small flak hole in bottom of tail gunner’s compartment - skin damage only. Small flak hole in left wing outer panel underside - damage to skin and corrugation.
    4. Airplane No. 42-39914, 509th Squadron. Small flak hole in left wing underside outer panel - skin and corrugation damaged.
    5. Airplane No. 42-5824, 511th Squadron. Flak hole in right wing outer panel - skin, corrugation and spar damaged.
    6. Airplane No. 42-29849, 511th Squadron. Flak hole in #2 Engine nacelle – skin, oil line and glycol line damaged. Small flak hole in leading edge of right wing between fuselage and #3 engine. Two small flak holes in right wing outer panel – skin and corrugation damaged.
    7. Airplane No. 42-37780, 511th Squadron. Small flak hole through right wing tip – skin and corrugation damaged. Flak hole in right wing outer panel – skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank damaged. Two small flak holes in right wing inner panel underside – skin, corrugation and fuel tank damaged. Small flak hole through left wing flap – skin damage only. Small flak hole in #2 nacelle, near #2 supercharger – skin damage only. Small flak hole in skin of fuselage underside forward of bomb bay doors.
    TOTAL A/C DAMAGEDMINOR DAMAGEDAMAGED BY FLAK
    777
[Signed:] Otto R. Vasak, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer


Bombing Results and Malfunction of Releases:
  1. The following information has been compiled from the Bombardier’s Narrative Report, Preliminary Damage Report of this Group, and the Armament Report.
  2. The briefed Aiming Point was the Kugelfischer Works at Schweinfurt, Germany, however, smoke from previous bomb hits of previous Groups obscured the target area and the Deutsche Star Machine Shop was sighted upon as a target of opportunity.
    (A) A/C 542-V, 1st position, 1st element, High Squadron, Lead Group, Pilot – Logan, and Bombardier – Gandrud had to have Pilot “salvo” bombs with a delayed release of four (4) seconds. Bombardier had to crank doors down and it’s possible doors were not fully open. Armament ground check reveals burned out bomb bay door motor.
  3. All ships were in fair formation on the bombing run and fair photo cover was obtained. The pattern measures 1,284’ X 3,684’ with good hits on buildings in target area.
  4. 500 lb. G.P. AN-M43 bombs were carried and the type of release was “salvo”.
[Signed:] William A. Winter, Captain, Air Corps, Group Bombardier


Armament Report:
  1. The following armament failures and malfunctions were reported upon completion of the mission of 24 February, 1944.
    1. A/C 42-3542 – Bomb bay doors could not be opened electrically. Doors were cranked open, and the bombardier said he could not salvo. Pilot used emergency release to dispose of bombs. The fuse in the Bomb bay door motor was found to be burned out upon investigation, but no defect in the racks was discovered. It is suggested that bombs may not have salvoed because the doors were not cranked fully open.
    2. A/C 42-30499 – Bomb bay doors would not retract electrically. Investigation revealed the solenoid was burned out.
[Signed:] Michael Steele, CWO, AUS, Group Armament Officer


Expenditure of Ammunition – High Group:

1. The Station Ordnance Officer has reported an expenditure of 30,170 rounds of Caliber .50 ammunition for the Mission of 24 February, 1944. This figure includes an expenditure of 9,000 rounds each by two aircraft (42-3136 and 42-3517) which are reported missing in action.


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


Disposition of Bombs – High Combat Box:

1. Following is the disposition of bombs on the Mission of 24 February, 1944.

AIRCRAFTBOMBS
Main BombfallOver TargetBombingNumberSizeTypeFusing
(Schweinfurt)1413126500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
Other Expenditures:
In A/C lost before Target18500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
Jettisoned over Channel12500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
Bombs Brought Back18500 lb.M-431/10 1/40
TOTAL BOMBS LOADED174500 lb.M-431/10 1/40

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


Pilots Explanation to Abort:

Aircraft No. 5756 Squadron - 509  Pilot - Lt. L. L. Lewis
Time of Abortive - 1155 Location when Aborted - 52°34’N-06°17’E [7 miles NE of Zwolle, Netherlands]
Reason - Ball Turret Oper. Unconscious. Unable to extract him from turret. Wrench for disengaging clutch missing.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed] Lloyd L. Lewis
Altitude When Aborted: 24,000  Disposition of Bombs: Brought Back

Aircraft No. 42-29850 Squadron - 510  Pilot - 1st Lt. A.E. Grunow
Time of Abortive - 1145  Location when Aborted - 52°36’N-04°38’E [Coast of Netherlands at Egmond-Binnen]
Reason - Fuel transfer system out. Unable to transfer from bomb bay to main.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed] A.E. Grunow, 1st Lt., AC
Altitude When Aborted: 20,000'  Disposition of Bombs: Returned
Remarks: OK’d by Capt. Wheeler. Called to 1st BD & 94 CBW – L.A.C.

Aircraft No.42-29762  Squadron - 510  Pilot - 2nd Lt. Walby
Time of Abortive - 1121 Location when Aborted - 5 miles from enemy coast – on briefed course
Reason - #2 and #3 Superchargers drew only 24” and 18” respectively at 21,000 ft.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - No
[Signed] Walby
Altitude When Aborted: 21,000'  Disposition of Bombs: Returned

Aircraft No. 42-39760 Squadron - 508  Pilot - 1st Lt. R.J. Roper
Time of Abortive - 1115 Location when Aborted - 10 or 15 miles off English coast
Reason - #2 Engine – oil pressure dropped – Tach [Tachometer] & MP [Manifold Pressure] gauges started to fluctuate considerably – oil was coming out of engine
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
[Signed] Richard J. Roper, 1st Lt.
Altitude When Aborted: 18,500’  Disposition of Bombs: Dropped in Channel



“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th C.B.W. [Combat Wing] 351st BG Lead Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 5823–C*, 1711–F, 0994–T (Flying Spares 3134–H*, 3517–O)
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 3542–V, 5756–R*, 1384–T, 9914–S, 8032–P, 0499–Q (Flying Spare 9760–M)
    Sqdn 510th A/C: 9762–D*, 1509–V, 9850–G*, 9925–L*
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 9849–U*, 3136–P*, 7780–G, 5824–S*
    PFF Sqdn: 812 A/C: 3483–A

  2. Target: GZ-2707
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 Call SignW/T SFF R/T DaisychainSquadron510 Call SignW/T USX R/T Paramount
    Squadron509 Call SignW/T MPN R/T RidingwhipSquadron511 Call SignW/T KVC R/T Thickfrost
  4. Lead Box: Taxi – 0900;     Take-Off – 0915;     E.T.D. Over Field – 0915
  5. Time:Height:  Place of crossing English Coast OUT:
    105716,000 Ft Great Yarmouth
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Recrossing Enemy Coast:
    152220,000 Ft 51°06'N - 02°38'E [Near De Panne, Belgium]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of crossing English Coast IN:
    154710,000 Ft Clacton
  8. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1612 Hours
  9. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  10. Bomb load of Each A/C: Lead Box
    508 Squadron: 12 x 500 lb. G.P.[General Purpose], Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/100 Tail
    509 Squadron: 12 x 500 lb. G.P.[General Purpose], Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/100 Tail
    510 Squadron: 12 x 500 lb. G.P.[General Purpose], Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/100 Tail
    511 Squadron: 12 x 500 lb. G.P.[General Purpose], Fuse - 1/10 Nose, 1/100 Tail
  11. Fuel Load of each A/C:
    A/C with TOKIO TANKS: 2500 Gallons A/C without TOKIO TANKS: 2100 Gallons
  12. Group Leader:
    a. Lead box: Name: Clinton F. Ball Rank: Lt. Col. A/C: 1509-V Sqdn. 510th
  13. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)
    None
  14. Actual Times Off and Return by Squadrons and A/C Letters:
  15. Lead Box
    SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.
    5085823–C092016075093542–V0920½1608½
    1711–F09371607½5756–R09211308
    0994–T0926½16011384–T0921½1609
    Flying Spare3141–H0923½16109914–S09251611
    Flying Spare3517–O09418032–P09231612
    0499–Q09221608
    Flying Spare9760–M09241202
    5109762–D091612235119849–U0924½1616
    1509–V091516053136–P0926
    9850–G0916½12457780–G0927½1610½
    9925–L093616065824–S09271612½
    PFF3483–A

    Report Compiled By John Maksimik, S/Sgt.

    Sqdn.A/C LetterDesignationBoxRemarks
    5109850–GAbortiveLeadFuel Transfer System Out.
    5109762–DAbortiveLead#2 & #3 Supercharger Out.
    5099760–MSpareLeadReturned as Planned.
    5095756–RAbortiveLeadBall Turret Gunner Passed Out.


Formation Chart:
Group Formation Take–Off
510th Squadron
Ball–Gibb
A/C 42-31509 V
Walby
A/C 42-29762 D
PFF A/C
A/C 42-3483 A
Grunow
A/C 42-29850 G
Chalmers
A/C 42-5823 C
Raser
A/C 42-29925 L
511th Squadron509th Squadron
Pryor-Richardson
A/C 42-29849 U
Logan
A/C 42-3542 V
LeClerc
A/C 42-3136 P
McCarthy
A/C 42-31711 F
Lewis
A/C 42-5756 R
Songer
A/C 42-31384 T
Anderson, P.G.
A/C 42-30994 T
Dowling
A/C 42-39914
Heller
A/C 42-37780 G
Nay
A/C 42-5824 S
Redmond
A/C 42-38032 P
McLawhorn
A/C 42-30499 Q
Rohde
A/C 42-3141 A Spare
Caughman
A/C 42-3517 O Spare
Roper, R.J.
A/C 42-39760 M Spare


Group Formation Over–Target
510th Squadron
Holsapple - Ball
A/C 42-31509 V
Chalmers
A/C 42-5823 C
Raser
A/C 42-29925 L
McCarthy
A/C 42-31711 F
511th Squadron509th Squadron
Pryor-Richardson
A/C 42-29849 U
Logan
A/C 42-3542 V
Rohde
A/C 42-3141 A
Heller
A/C 42-37780 G
Songer
A/C 42-31384 T
Anderson
A/C 42-30994 T
Dowling
A/C 42-39914
Nay
A/C 42-5824 S
Redmond
A/C 42-38032 P
McLawhorn
A/C 42-30499 Q

 A/C Returning Early: 42-3756, 42-29762, 42-29850. - 42-39760 returned early as planned - flying spare.
 A/C Missing In Action: 42-3136, 42-3517 both of these A/C were missing before target.
 Note: PFF A/C did not rendezvous with this Group as scheduled.

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour:Briefing: 0530  Stations: 0750  Start Engines: 0850  Taxi: 0900  Take-off: 0915  Leave Base: 0915 [Breakfast: 0430]



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

Two planes failed to return from this mission. 42-3136, piloted by Lt. LeClerc, fell out of formation west of Osnabruck with number two engine smoking. The ship crash-landed in Eastern Holland. Lt. Coughman’s ship, 42-3517, went down about 50 miles west of Osnabruck.



Missing Air Crew Report (MACR):
  • A/C# 42-3136   DS-P  "No Balls At All"  Pilot: LeClerc  A/C's 22nd Mission   MACR # 2772

    Aircraft Loss Circumstances:

    42-3136, piloted by Lt. LeClerc, fell out of formation west of Osnabruck with number two engine smoking. The ship crash-landed in Eastern Holland.

    Individual Accounts of Crewmen Fates:
    • Pilot - 2nd Lt. LeClerc, Walter B., from Kansas, POW at Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Co-pilot - 2nd Lt. Ellis, James W., from Texas, POW at Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Navigator - 2nd Lt. Kilduff, George T., from New York, POW at Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Bombardier - 2nd Lt. Starratt, Arthur W., from Massachusetts, POW at Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Top Turret Gunner -S/Sgt. Grooms, Ralph A., from Ohio, POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Radio Operator -S/Sgt. Stone, Bruce M., from Maryland, POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Left Waist Gunner -Sgt. Stinebaugh, Archie L., from Texas, POW camp not listed in National Archives Database, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Right Waist Gunner -Sgt. Taylor, John L., from Texas, POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Ball Turret Gunner -Sgt. Kramer, Howard W., from Maryland, POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Tail Gunner -Sgt. Hay, Harold H., from Colorado, POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.




  • A/C# 42-3517   YB-O   "Happy Warrior"   Pilot: Lt. Caughman A/C's 15th Mission   MACR #2773

     Aircraft Loss Circumstances:

    Place of crash - Vicinity of Grattepanche, France approx. 8 miles South of Amiens, France.

    Individual Accounts of Crewmen Fates:
    • Pilot - 1st Lt. Caughman, Richard B., Evaded capture by the Germans and was hidden by the Joe Balfe network in Amiens, France until liberated by the Canadians on 31 August 1944. See this web page for more information. -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    • Co-pilot - 2nd Lt. Boehm, John V., from Kansas, POW at Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) 49-11, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Navigator - 1st Lt. Avery, John B., Evaded and was hidden by the Joe Balfe network in Amiens, France. See this web page for more information about him evading capture -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    • Bombardier - 1st Lt. Perkins, Richard E S., from Massachusetts, Evaded and was hidden by the Joe Balfe network in Amiens, France for a couple of weeks but was captured. POW at Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) 49-11, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated. See this web page for more information about him evading capture. -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    • Top Turret Gunner - S/Sgt. Strassburger, Eugene C., Killed in Action
    • Radio Operator - T/Sgt. Mattila, John C., T/Sgt John C Mattila landed near St Sauflieu and broke his ankle. He was helped by Edouard Robin and soon joined Avery and McGinty. After being sheltered in Amiens by Michel Dubois until 8 April and then with Mme Vignon, he moved to stay with Mme Henri Binet at Berteaucourt-les-Dames (NW of Amiens) where he remained until the liberation. See this web page for more information. -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    • Left Waist Gunner - S/Sgt. Langer, Howard M., from New York, Evaded and was hidden by the Joe Balfe network in Amiens, France for a couple of weeks but was captured. POW at Stalag Luft 4 Gross-Tychow (formerly Heydekrug) Pomerania, Prussia (moved to Wobbelin Bei Ludwigslust) (To Usedom Bei Savenmunde) 54-16, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated. Go to this web page for more information about him evading capture -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    • Right Waist Gunner - S/Sgt. Colburn, Eugene A., from Alabama, Evaded capture by the Germans and returned.
    • Ball Turret Gunner - S/Sgt. Young, Paul B., Evaded capture by the Germans and was hidden by the Joe Balfe network in Amiens, France until liberated by the Canadians on 31 August 1944. See this web page for more information -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    • Tail Gunner - Sgt. McGinty, James W., Evaded capture by the Germans and was hidden by the Joe Balfe network in Amiens, France until liberated by the Canadians on 31 August 1944. See this web page for more information -
      http://www.conscript-heroes.com/escapelines/EEIE-Articles/Art-12-Balfe.htm
    Burial Records:
    • According to the Missing Air Crew Report, S/Sgt. Eugene C. Strassburger was killed when his parachute only partly deployed. The burial records below courtesy of the American Air Museum in Britain.
      http://www.americanairmuseum.com/person/61000
      The web site shows he was buried in Wisconsin.


     [Killed in Action - 1]
     [Evaded Capture - 8]
     [Prisoner of War - 11]

The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
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