351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #162

Credited Mission #156

 
DATE: 4 July 1944
Target: Bridge, Saumur, France
 
Briefing Outline:
  1. Airplane and Crew Assignment Check.

  2. Time Schedule:
     Both [A & B] Box
    Stations   –0355
    Start Engines –0405
    Taxi     –0415
    Take Off   –0430
    Last Take Off –[0540]

  3. Targets:
    Primary: Saumur Bridge [France]
    Secondary: Any A/D [Aerodrome], M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard], military objective & visual
    Last Resort: ____

  4. Loading:
    351 “A”: 2 x 2000
    351 “B”: 2 x 2000
    Composite:
    Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets] in Ship # - ____
    Chaff: 2 min. before IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] for 12 mins.

  5. Gasoline Loading: 2200 gallons
    Remarks: ____

  6. Wing Formation94th (A) CBW94th (B) CBWComp. GroupComp. CBW
    Lead401st457th
    Low401st457th
    High351st351st

  7. Division Formation:
    PositionCBW [Combat Wing]TargetDeparture Time at Coast
    Lead94 A
    2nd94 B
    3rd1 A
    4th1 B
    5th41GEE-H
    6th
    7th
    8th
    2nd DivisionGEE-HZero + 20
    3rd DivisionGEE-HZero
    Marauders
    RAF [Royal Air Force]

    Remarks: ____

  8. Fighter Cover:
    • [Force][Latitude & Longitude][Call Sign]
      _________ _______  ______ 

  9. Group Assembly:
    BoxAltitudePlace
    A20,000'Cottesmore 1215 [KC’s] 8A8
    B20,000'Glatton 1381 [KC’s] 9M9

  10. Navigator - _____
  11. S-2 - _____
  12. Weather - _____
  13. Special Instructions to Gunners, Bombardiers, and Radio Operators:
    Replace back plates on guns receivers.
    Stow turrets in proper manner – full right – guns 3° below level.

  14. Squadron Leaders and Group Deputy report to Target Room. All but Pilots Dismissed.

  15. (A) Code Words –
    PFF Bombing –____
    Visual Bombing -IP
    Authenticator –Blue Boy
    Recall -“A” - Boots & Saddle  “B” – Puddin-Head-Jones
    Weather Code -TABIV
    Release "CHAFF" -Tin Hat

    (B) Call Signs:
    Call SignFlaresRemarks
    351st AWoodcraft Able HighG [Green]
    351st BWoodcraft Baker HighG
    401st A
    401st B
    457th A
    457th B
    Composite
    1st C.B.W.
    40th C.B.W.
    41st C.B.W.
    Composite C.B.W.

    (C)
    U.S. FightersBalance Two
    R.A.F. Fighters
     BombersVinegrove Five
    U.S. Grnd. ControlColgate
    R.A.F. Grnd. Control

    Control Points:Fighter Reference Points:
    ___________
    ___________
    Remarks: ____

    (D)
    Colors of the Day
    TimeColorLetterChallenge
    0200 – 0800RGSP
    0800 – 1400RYBG
    1400 – 2000R - RRMC

    (E) Ships To Monitor [Radio Channels A, B, C & D]
    1. - ____
    2. - 949-G, 153-F
    3. - 077-D, 674-F [A/C 077-D changed to 42-37524-D]
    4. - ____

  16. Let-Down on ____, if overcast.
    351st A   Cottesmore 015° Mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
    351st B   Glatton 045° Mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
    401st A   ___° Mag.
    457th A   ___° Mag.

  17. Flying Control. –
    1. Taxi Plan.
    2. Emergency Fields.
    3. Landing Aids.

  18. Special Instructions:
    2 min. between C.B.W.
    Camera Ships – A-238 – Lt. Myl, G-949 – Lt. Muhleman, D-077 – Lt. Caughlan [changed to A/C 42-37524-D], F-674 – Lt. Dawson


Operational Narrative – High Boxes of 94th A & B CBW’s:
  1. General Narrative. Field Order No. 419, 4 July, 1944, called for the 351st Group to furnish two twelve ship boxes of the 94th “A” and “B” CBW’s. The 401st and 457th Groups were scheduled to furnish the lead and low boxes of the 94th “A” and “B” CBW’s respectively. The take-off of the 26 aircraft (including two flying spares) of the 351st Group was set for 0430. The 94th “A” and “B” CBW’s were scheduled to fly as first and second in the First Division formation and depart from the English Coast at Selsey Bill at 20,000 feet, enter enemy territory southwest of Trouville [sur-Mer] at 26,000 feet, attack the primary target at Saumur, France, leave enemy territory at Veulettes [sur-Mer], France at 26,000 feet and re-cross the English coast at Beachy Head at 15,000 feet.
     Take off of the two boxes was made at 0425 – 0517 hours. Two aircraft were unable to take off and so were replaced by two ground spares. [According to “B” Formation Chart, it was 3 A/C – pilots Caughlan, Downing, & Keller.]
     The High Box of the 94th “A” CBW assembled as briefed on the Cottesmore Buncher (Y) at 20,000 feet. The lead and low groups of the CBW remained to the north of the buncher during the assembly, and the High Box did not join up in wing formation until approximately the time of the departure, when it fell in trail on the lead groups left. Departure was made about seven minutes late and this time was mostly made up on the route to Selsey Bill.
     The departure from Selsey Bill was made one minute late at 22,500 feet, and the climb to 26,000 feet was started. The flying spare left the formation at the enemy coast. The course into the target was flown nearly as briefed, the enemy coast being reached at 26,500 feet at 0714. The course into the target was for the most part flown as planned with the exception of the early arrivals at control points. About thirty minutes before the target, the formation flew to the south of the briefed course for some distance and so reached the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] about 18 minutes late. The target was sighted through a break in the clouds but not long enough before the BRL was reached to make a run on it. All three groups of the “A” CBW were in trail in the proper order and made a very large 360° turn. The target could not be picked up on the second run.
     The rally was not immediately effected, and the course out was not flown as briefed, due to the Wing Leader having been lost from sight in the persistent vapor trails. The Wing Leader was sighted about fifteen minutes after the departure from the target and was followed out on the right.
     Departure from the enemy coast was made at a point slightly northeast of the point of entry and to the southwest of the briefed departure point 53 minutes late at 26,000 feet. The let-down was made by following SOP [Standard Operating Procedure] and the English coast was reached near the emergency landing field at the briefed altitude an hour and five minutes late.
     It was necessary for some of the aircraft to land at fields near the coast in order to refuel and some left the formation to return to base individually, though the course to the base was relatively direct and at a moderate rate of descent. Landings were made an hour and thirteen minutes later than the briefed ETR [Estimated Time of Return].
     Clouds were as briefed with few breaks. Vapor trails, on the route out, were persistent. Assembly of the High Group of the “B” Wing was made over the Glatton Buncher at 20,000 feet. The CBW formation was formed just as the formation left the buncher with the High Group a little in trail of the Lead Group. The High Group stayed slightly in trail just before the departure from the English coast and then moved up on the left side of the Lead Group. Departure from the English coast was made at 21,600 feet and one minute late. The enemy coast was crossed at the briefed point at 24,000 feet.
     The briefed route was followed until 47°00’N-01°30’E [Just NW of St. Martin-de-Lamps, France] was reached. The High and Low Groups took their positions behind the Lead Box at that point. The cloud cover over the continent was approximately ten tenths until the target was reached and a few breaks were seen. One was directly over the target. By the time the target was sighted, a little time was left to make a run and bomb. Because of this the Wing Leader called for a 360° turn. This was executed, but by the time it was completed, clouds had covered the target. No bombs were released and the High Group proceeded to close up and take its wing formation position.
     The briefed route was not followed on the route out, but turned short and departed from the French coast at the point of entry.
     Let down was made over the channel and the English coast was reached at Beachy Head at 15,000 feet. At that point the wing formation broke up and the High Group proceeded to base. Two ships landed at the Coast to refuel. The remaining aircraft returned to base and landed without further incident.
     No enemy fighters were seen during the mission. Flak in the target area was light and inaccurate. The friendly fighter support was very good. All aircraft landing to refuel have since returned to base.
     The High Box of the 94th “A” CBW had chosen an alternate aiming point on another bridge, but due to the indecision of the “A” CBW Leader could not attack this target.
  2. Aircraft Not Attacking. Because the target was overcast, bombs were returned to base. One aircraft jettisoned its bombs in the channel on the return route and one is reported to have bombed a target of opportunity in France. Both Flying Spares returned as planned.
  3. Aircraft Lost. No aircraft were lost on the Mission of 4 July, 1944.
  4. Group Leaders. Lt. Richard H. Brooks led the High Box of the 94th “A” CBW. Captain Donald E. Floden led the High Box of the 94th “B” CBW.
  5. PFF A/C: No PFF aircraft were used or supplied to other groups.
[Signed] Clinton F. Ball, Lt. Colonel, Air Corps, Operations Officer
Statistical Summary:
HIGH BOXHIGH BOX351st GROUP
94TH “A” CBW94TH “B” CBWTOTAL
No. of A/C Scheduled131326
No. of A/C Failed to Take Off000
No. of A/C Taking Off131326
No. of A/C Taking Off Less Unused Spares121224
No. of A/C Attacking011
No. of A/C Not Attacking121123
No. of Sorties121224
No. of A/C Attacking Target of Opportunity (France)011
No., Size & Type Of Bombs02 x 20002 x 2000
Bombs Brought Back:26 x 2000 GP22 x 2000 GP48 x 2000 GP
Bombs Jettisoned in Channel02 x 2000 GP2 x 2000 GP
Total Bombs Loaded52 x 2000 GP
No. of A/C Lost000


Bombardier’s Narrative:
  1. No bombs were dropped on mission of this date (Field Order #419) by this Group.
  2. The following reports will not be submitted:
    1. Combat Bombing Flight Record.
    2. Bombardier’s Narrative for Tactical Targets.


Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge



Combat Crew Comments:


    509th Squadron
A/C 696-Z: 130 MPH is too slow; forces me to ride prop-wash and spoils the formation. – Lt. Johnston.

    511th Squadron
A/C 238-A: Something should be done about everybody yapping over VHF. – Lt. Myl.

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



Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives and Flying Spares:
    1. Airplane No. 42-31560, 510th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    2. Airplane No. 44-6139, 511th Squadron, returned early as planned.
  2. Battle Damage: None
[Signed:] Carl A. Ekblad, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer


Deficiencies and Disabilities:

1. Following interrogation, a negative report is hereby submitted for operational mission of the above date.

[Signed:] Ernest J. Cater, Captain, Air Corps, Group Equipment Officer


Aircraft Returning Early:

Aircraft No. 44-6139 Squadron - 511   Pilot - Brackens
Time of Abortive - Spare 0705  Location when Aborted - Coast of France
Reason - Ordered to return.
Disposition of Bombs: Returned
Altitude At Time of Aborting: 25,000'
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
Remarks: ____
[Signed] Ralph S. Brackens, 2nd Lt., A/C



Aircraft No. 42-31560 Squadron - 510   Pilot - Keller
Time of Abortive - 0705  Location when Aborted - 49°45’N-00°19’W [Over English Channel 25 miles NW of Le Havre, France.]
Reason - F/S [Flying Spare]
Disposition of Bombs: B.B. [Brought Back]
Altitude At Time of Aborting: 23,000’
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
Remarks: ____
[Signed] John W. Keller



“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th "A" Combat Wing   High Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 2971–J, 7843–C, 7727–N, 7780–O
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 7216–U, 7926–X, 7676–L, 7674–F
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 7381–U, 2952–H, 8153–F, 1238–A, (6139–K Spare)
    P.F.F. Sqdn ___ A/C: ____

    b. 94th "B" Combat Wing   High Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 1879–Q, 7349–B, 7557–K, 2949–G
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 6156–R, 7696–Z, 1384–T, 7169–N
    Sqdn 510th A/C: (1560–A Spare), 6082–B, 7124–F, 8028–Q, 7077–D
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 7524–D, 7318–S
  2. Target: 32/B/39 ILL 49/D
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T PNS R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T KBA R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T MXR R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T MFW R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. a. "A" High Box: Taxi – 0415; Take-Off – 0430; E.T.D. Field – 0430
    b. "B" High Box: Taxi – 0425; Take-Off – 0440; E.T.D. Field – 0440
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    064020,000 Ft Selsey Bill
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    071526,000 Ft 49°19'N-00°02'W [Coast of France at Auberville]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    092226,000 Ft 49°51'N-00°35'E [Coast of France 11 miles NE of Fecamp, France]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    093715,000 Ft Beachy Head
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1014 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "N"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: 94th "A" High Box
    508 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]
    509 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]
    510 Squadron: None
    511 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]


    Bomb load of Each A/C: 94th "B" High Box
    508 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]
    509 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]
    510 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]
    511 Squadron: 2 x 2000 lb GP [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose - Instantaneous Tail [Fuses]
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2200 Gallons
  13. Group Leader:
    a. "A" High Box: Name: Richard H. Brooks Rank: 1st Lt. A/C: 7381-U  Sqdn. 511th
    b. "B" High Box: Name: Donald E. Floden Rank: Capt. A/C: 1879-Q Sqdn. 508
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)
    None

Report Compiled By Rocky Civizzio, T/Sgt.



Formation Chart:
94th "A" High Box Formation Take–Off
511th Squadron
Brooks
A/C 42-97381 U
Willard
A/C 42-38153 F
Crews
A/C 42-102952 H
Myl
A/C 42-31238 A
509th Squadron508th Squadron
Roehlk
A/C 42-97216 U
Leland
A/C 42-102971 J
McCall
A/C 43-37676 L
Underhill
A/C 42-97926 X
Taylor
A/C 43-37727 N
Kennedy
A/C 42-97843 C
Dawson
A/C 43-37674 F
Lord
A/C 43-37780 O
Brackens
A/C 44-6139 K Spare


94th "A" High Box Formation Over–Target
511th Squadron
Brooks
A/C 42-97381 U
Willard
A/C 42-38153 F
Crews
A/C 42-102952 H
Myl
A/C 42-31238 A
509th Squadron508th Squadron
Roehlk
A/C 42-97216 U
Leland
A/C 42-102971 J
McCall
A/C 43-37676 L
Underhill
A/C 42-97926 X
Taylor
A/C 43-37727 N
Kennedy
A/C 42-97843 C
Dawson
A/C 43-37674 F
Lord
A/C 43-37780 O


94th "B" High Box Formation Take–Off
508th Squadron
Floden
A/C 42-31879 Q
Edwards
A/C 43-37557 K
Crabb
A/C 42-97349 B
Muhleman
A/C 42-102949 G
510th Squadron509th Squadron
McIntyre
A/C 44-6082 B
Garcia
A/C 44-6156 R
Irwin
A/C 42-38028 Q
Hillebrand
A/C 42-107124 F
Sutton
A/C 42-31384 A
Johnston
A/C 43-37696 Z
Caughlan
A/C 43-37524 D
Downing
A/C 42-97318 S
Keller
A/C 42-31560 A Spare


94th "B" High Box Formation Over–Target
508th Squadron
Floden
A/C 42-31879 Q
Edwards
A/C 43-37557 K
Crabb
A/C 42-97349 B
Muhleman
A/C 42-102949 G
510th Squadron509th Squadron
McIntyre
A/C 44-6082 B
Garcia
A/C 44-6156 R
Irwin
A/C 42-38028 Q
Hillebrand
A/C 42-107124 F
Sutton
A/C 42-31384 A
Johnston
A/C 43-37696 Z
Caughlan
A/C 43-37524 D
Downing
A/C 42-97318 S


Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0630 DBST [Double British Standard Time]  Briefing: 0215  Stations: 0355  Start Engines: 0405  Taxi: 0415  Take-Off: 0430  Leave Base: 0430 [Breakfast: Gunners 0100, Officers 0115]

 [Wounded - 0]
The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
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