Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 392: 423 of 464 B-17s and 203 of 206 B-24s hit coastal defenses in the Le Havre, Caen, Boulogne and Cherbourg, France areas; 4 B-17s and 2 B-24s are lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 37 B-17s and 39 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 10 WIA and 47 MIA. Escorting are 127 P-47s and 245 P-51s; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair.
Mission 393: In France, 7 of 8 P-51 fighter-bomber attack a truck convoy near Lille; the 8th P-51 bombs Lille/Vendeville Airfield; no losses. In preparation for D-Day, 3 B-17s fly weather reconnaissance over the UK and the Atlantic Ocean.
During the night, 11 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions; 1 B-24 is lost over Belgium.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Russell J Byrne Jr, ASN# T-122081, Navigator; of Hasbroucks Heights, NJ: KIA - MACR 5393
Joseph A Caron , ASN# 11031480, Radio Operator; of Pascoag, RI: KIA - MACR 5393
Roy C Koons , ASN# 13135663, Engineer; of Franklin Cty, PA: KIA - MACR 5393
Carlo C Starkovich , ASN# T-121795, Bombardier; of Raton, NM: KIA - MACR 5393
Ralph Leindorf , ASN# 0-806997, Co-Pilot; of New York, NY: POW - MACR 5393
Ollie W Warren , ASN# 38060592, Tail Gunner; of Terry Cty,TX: POW - Stalag Luft IV (Gross-Tychow) - MACR 5393
Eldon E Radtke , ASN# 18192601, Tail Gunner; of Hakah, MN: WIA - does not return to Harrington
James A Wagner , ASN# 13091630, Tail Gunner; of McClure, PA: KIA - MACR 5393
source: The Carpetbaggers http://www.801492.org/
303BG Mission Report - Target: Gun Emplacements at Azeville, Lessay & Caen, France. Crews Dispatched: 38 (358BS - 11, 359th - 8, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 20 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. & 5 S.A.P. bombs. Altitude: 25,000 ft, 24,500 ft, 25,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.
Thirty-eight aircraft, including three spares, took off for the fifth time in June on a pre- invasion support mission. One PFF aircraft from the 305BG flew as the lead B-17 in the 303BG-A formation. The three spares returned when no regular aircraft returned early.
303BG-A (Lead): Ten B-17s dropped 143 500-lb. S.A.P. bombs. They flew with the 91BG and bombed its target at Azeville from 25,000 feet. The aircraft made three bomb runs using AFCE which worked satisfactorily. Results were not known.
303BG-B (Low): Twelve aircraft dropped 132 500-lb. G.P. and 12 500-lb. S.A.P. bombs on the Lessay landing ground as a target of opportunity after three bomb runs on the primary target. The bombs, dropped from 24,500 feet, hit short and left of the hangar buildings. The AFCE equipment did not operate correctly and caused violent turns.
303BG-C (High): Twelve aircraft dropped 132 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs on an airfield near Carentan. Four bomb runs were made and bombs were dropped left of the target area from 25,000 feet.
There were 4/10 to 6/10 clouds in the target area. Although visibility was good, the clouds interfered with the bombing. No enemy aircraft were seen and flak was meager and inaccurate. All aircraft returned undamaged with no casualties.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 126. Primary Target: Field Artillery - La Fosse, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
39 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 3
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th was to attack Coastal batteries in Northwestern France.
The 388th put up two Groups with 11 a/c plus 1 PFF a/c in each Group. All of our a/c took-off between 0610 and 0639 hours. The scheduled abortion a/c in the B Group returned to base, all others made the mission. The weather at the primary target prevented an attack. They went on to the secondary target where bombs were away at 1019 hours from 19,900 feet. Bombing results were poor. Flak was meager with two a/c receiving minor damage. All a/c returned to base by 1139 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
44BG Mission Report - A mission was scheduled early in the morning but it was later scrubbed. However a bit later, six PFF'ships from the 66th Squadron again participated in a mission, flying leads for the 95th Combat Wing. 1st Lt. Grow flew the lead of the 491st BG, along with Lt. Englehardt. Bombing results were excellent. The other 66th PFF planes flew leads of squadrons for both the 491st BG and the 489th BG. Bombing results were unobserved, but believed to be short. A/C #41-28690 B "Missouri Sue" piloted by Capt. Mazure was hit by flak and the pilot was killed instantly when a piece of flak pierced his head in the left temple. Lt. B. W. Bails Radar Navigator adds this: "I was guiding the formation (489thBG) via my radar 'Mickey' and turned the control over to the bombardier at the IP. As bombs away was called, nothing happened, due to faulty equipment, nor did the formation bomb as they were awaiting the signal from #690. Col. Leon Vance, Command Pilot from the 489th, immediately issued orders to circle and approach the target again amid the complaints of the crew. By now the German 88's were pretty much zeroed in on us and by the time we got on target again and let our bombs drop, we caught it. Almost immediately the plane was hit and started to fall. The Col. who was standing between the pilot and co-pilot, directly in front of me, looked down to see his foot hanging by a shred of skin. Our bomb bay doors were still open and I could see a couple of bombs still hung up. The co-pilot. Lt. Carper, cut all engines fearing the plane might catch fire and blow up, and turned the plane back across the Channel. I was relieved to learn then that no others had been seriously injured. As the plane neared the English coast still gliding without power and rapidly descending, I instructed the crew to prepare to bail out while I managed to get Col. Vance to sit in my seat as I took off my belt and wound it around his thigh to stop the blood from spurting. The crew all bailed out as we reached land except myself and the Col. I said we'd have to jump as there was no way to land that damaged plane, especially with those bombs hung up in the bay, armed and ready to go off. But the Colonel shook his head and said he wouldn't jump, and I knew that there was no way I could force him, so we quickly shook hands and I jumped." But somehow, the Col. managed to climb into the cockpit, turn the plane back out to sea and ditch it. The bombs exploded as expected, blowing Col. Vance completely out of the plane and luckily he was not killed and was quickly rescued. For this bravery Col. Vance was awarded the Medal of Honor (post-humously) as he was lost at sea on his trip back to the States. An inspection of Sites #1 & #3 was made by the Adjutant and 1st Sgt. Ryan - conditions good
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Calais, France
Enemy gun emplacements were bombed with good results. The second section reported direct hits on pillboxes.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0400 hours and the target was a military target in Northwest France. The planes were loaded with 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0620 hours. When the Group reached the Belgium coast they found clouds at 23,000 feet and were instructed to bomb at any point between N50-24E and N50-34"E. They bombed at Le Touquet, 10 miles south of Boulogne. Results were rated as "Good" and all crews returned to base safely with landing starting at 1105 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
source: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
466th BG Mission Report 1st and 2nd sqdns attacked with poor results. 2nd sqdn dropped bombs south of their PT but SAV shows a good concentration of hits on a defended locality at Merlimont-Plage. Used PFF; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 0; WIA = 0; MIA = 0
source: 466th BG: Mission List (Mark Brotherton Collection)
source: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - A/C 673 attacked with 381st Bomb Group. Landed at Kimbolton due to radio compass failure. A/C 030 flew with 389th Bomb Group, 3rd Div. which did not attack. Bombs brought back. A/C 982 flew with 381st Bomb Group but due to mechanical failure aborted, having jettisoned 8 x 500 GP bombs in channel and bringing 4 x 500 back. A/C 7027 started out with 381st but dropped out of formation due to failure of #4 supercharger. Salvoed 4 bombs in channel but continued alone in spite of loss of another engine to make an individual attack on an A/D south of Fecamp. Third engine feathered on way back, jettisoned all equipment and landed on one engine. All engine failures due to mechanical difficulties. A/C 292 attacked coastal target E. of Cherbourg with 384th Bomb Group. A/C 8027 attacked beach installation S. of Boulogne with 100th Bomb Group, 3rd Division. A/C 095 attacked primary target with a miscellaneous group. A/C 367 attacked primary with lead group. A/C 610 attacked primary with miscellaneous group. A/C 033 attacked primary with miscellaneous group. A/C527 attacked with 398th Group. Due to late takeoff over half of the A/C from this group flew with other groups. Results were unobserved to good. No damage or casualties.
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75403). Organization: 83FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Miller, Jack B. Notes: bailed out due to mid air collision. Location: Cambridge/ 5mi W England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/