351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #136

Credited Mission #130

DATE: 30 May 1944
Target: A.G.O. Flugzeugwerke A.G.,
Oschersleben, Germany
Briefing Outline:
  1. Airplane and Crew Assignment Check.

  2. Time Schedule:
     Low Box
    Stations   –0700
    Start Engines –0710
    Taxi     –0720
    Take Off   –0735
    Last Take Off –0820

    Cromer – 14,000’
  3. Targets:
    Primary: Oschersleben Factory and A/D [Airdrome] (FW 190’s)
    Secondary: Fallersleben Airframe, A/C [Aircraft] wings for JU-88 & armored cars
    Last Resort: Any military objective in Germany or any A/D in occupied countries not adjacent to built up areas which can be attacked without disrupting fighter support.

  4. Loading:
    351 “A”: 10 x 500 [Lb.] - 1/10 x 1/100 [Fuses]
    351 “B”:
    Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets] in Ship # - N-169 - Lt. Kysar.
    Chaff: 288 units
  5. Gasoline Loading: 2400 gallons
    Remarks: ____

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

  7. Division Formation:
    PositionCBW [Combat Wing]TargetDeparture Time at Coast
    Lead1st "A"Dessau0900
    2nd1st "B"Dessau0902
    4th41st "A"Halberstadt0906
    6th41st "B"Halberstadt0910
    2nd Division5 CBW'sRothenburg & Oldenburg A/D [Air Dromes]0922
    2nd Division2 CBW'sHandorf A/D0933
    3rd Division2 CBW'sNo Ball1000
    3rd Division1 CBW'sBrussels0950
    3rd Division1 CBW'sTroyes-Rheims M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard]0915

    Remarks: ____

  8. Fighter Cover:
    • [Force][Area][Call Sign]
      2 Grp’s P-47  
      6 Grp’s P-51’s Target   
      1 Wing RAF P-51’s Target   
      2 Grp’s P-38’s Withdrawal   
      4 Grp’s P-51’s Sweep Target area    
      1 Grp. P-47’s Withdrawal   

  9. Group Assembly:
    401st Lead9,500'Deenethorpe Buncher
    351st Low8,000'Deenethorpe Buncher
    457th High11,000'Deenethorpe Buncher

  10. Navigator - _____
  11. S-2 - _____
  12. Weather - _____
  13. Special Instructions to Navigators, Bombardiers and Radio Operators:
    Commence discharge of chaff 2 min. before I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] and continue for 12 min..
    Code word for discharge of extra chaff – “Tin Hat”
    Ground reports indicate activity in spite of previous damage.
  14. Squadron Leaders and Group Deputy report to Target Room. All but Pilots Dismissed.
  15. (A) Code Words –
    PFF Bombing –None
    Visual Bombing -I.P. – Pop Corn
    Authenticator –Do Tell
    Wing Recall -Run Sheep Run (VHF)
    Weather Code -BAITV
    Release "CHAFF" -Tin Hat
    CBW Weather A/C - Jabwock X
    (B) Call Signs:
    Call SignFlaresRemarks
    351st AWoodcraft RedR [Red]
    351st B
    401st AWoodcraft WhiteRY [Red Yellow]
    401st B
    457th AWoodcraft BlueG [Green]
    457th B
    1st C.B.W.Swordfish
    40th C.B.W.Fox Hole
    41st C.B.W.Cowboy
    Composite C.B.W.Smokestack (1st CBW “B”)

    U.S. FightersBalance 1
    R.A.F. Fighters
     BombersVinegrove 1-5
    U.S. Grnd. ControlColgate
    R.A.F. Grnd. Control

    Control Points:Fighter Reference Points:
    CP 0 – King’s Lynn - 0846G - Zwolle
    #1 – English Coast - 0900R – Dummer Lake
    #2 – Enemy Coast - 0941O - Bremen
    #3 - 52°18’-09°00’ - 1018V - Hamburg
    #4 - 52°37’-09°00’ - 1152E - Magdeburg
    _____L - Berlin
    _____T - Cambrai
    _____I - Beauvais
    _____P - Ghent
    Remarks: Reference Altitude – 18,000’

    Colors of the Day
    0200 - 0800GYCL
    0800 - 1400RGYX
    1400 - 2000GGJB

    (E) Ships To Monitor [Radio Channels A, B, C & D]
    1. - All except
    2. - F-153 (Lt. Willard) and Q-499 (Lt. Nay)
    3. - C-848 (Lt. Belote) and G-780 (Lt. Power)
    4. - Available to all for ASR [Air Sea Rescue]

  16. Let-Down on Deenethorpe Buncher, if overcast.
    351st A   360° Mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
    401st A   020° Mag.
    457th A   040° Mag.

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

  18. Special Instructions:
    G-499 Lt Nay, Z-202 Lt. Watkins, N-835 Lt Condon Leave formation at mid-channel and come home individually.
    Photo section will meet A/C [Aircraft] at end of runway to remove cameras.
    Will be a Mosquito A/C giving weather at target to CBW CBW Leader – call Maypole D on Channel “B”.
    Spares turn back at mid-channel.
    [Handwritten in at bottom]
    TG’s [Tail Gunner's] Log
    Leaders use Aldis lamp.

Operations Narrative:
  1. General Narrative. Eighteen aircraft were scheduled to fly as the Low Group of the 94th Combat Wing on the Mission of 30 May, 1944. Assembly of the Low Group was made over the Deenethorpe Buncher after the take-off from base at 0735 – 0740 hours. Plenty of time had been allowed for the assembly, and the only difficulty encountered was with the 41st Combat Wing, which passed through our area twice and both times disrupts the Combat Wing assembly. At the time of departure, however, the Low Group moved into a position in trail, cutting off the Lead Group at Point A.
     The Combat Wing was well formed at the Division Assembly Line, but in turning off a collision course with a wing of B-24’s it was strung out. At mid-channel, the 94th Combat Wing was once again formed and flying good formation.
     The route to the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was flown as briefed, with only slight variations as to time. An arbitrary IP was chosen by the Combat Wing Leader about four miles north of the briefed route because of the 41st Combat Wing flying on the right. The Low Group was forced to execute a 360° turn after the Lead Group passed between two groups of the 41st Combat Wing.
     The formation while bombing was good. Sixteen ships were over the target, as indicated on the attached diagram. Good results have been reported.
     The rally after bombing took longer because of the 360° turn made by the Low Group. During this time about fifteen FW 190’s attacked the Lead and Low Groups. One aircraft from the Low Group was lost.
     The fighter support during the mission was good and at the time of fighter attacks to the 94th Combat Wing, friendly fighters were engaged in a fight fifteen miles to the left of the formation.
     The route home was flown as briefed and without further incident. Landings were made at 1352 – 1421 hours.
  2. Aircraft Not Attacking. Eighteen aircraft were scheduled to fly as the Low Group of the 94th Combat Wing on the Mission of 30 May, 1944. Two aircraft returned early because of reported mechanical failures. Aircraft 42-38153, Pilot Lt. Willard, returned from just off the English Coast. The Pilot reported that the #4 Engine had started smoking badly, oil pressure rose, then fell and the engine was feathered. Bombs were jettisoned in the North Sea before turning back. Aircraft 42-39835, Pilot Lt. Condon, returned from 52°45’N-05°12’E [Andijk, Netherlands, 29 miles NNE of Amsterdam] with the report that the #2 engine was out and the #3 engine was running rough. The remaining sixteen aircraft continued on the mission to attack the primary target as indicated in the General Narrative. One of the sixteen attacked a target of opportunity fifty minutes after the primary was attacked due to rack malfunction.
  3. Aircraft Lost. Aircraft 42-31725, Pilot Lt. Hicks, was attacked by enemy aircraft in the target area and was last reported seen on the deck in the vicinity of Brunswick and escorted by friendly fighters.
  4. Group Leader. Captain Donald A. Gaylord, flying in aircraft 42-107005, was leader of the Low Group of the 94th Combat Bomb Wing.

No. of A/C Scheduled - 18
No. of A/C Taking Off - 18
No. of A/C Attacking16
No. of A/C Not Attacking - 2
No. of Sorties16
No. of A/C Lost to E/A [Enemy Aircraft]1

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

Bombardier’s Narrative:

Group: 351st
Target: Oschersleben, Germany
Method of Bombing: Visual
Altitude: 21,000’
Direction of Attack: 13° Mag. Heading
Wind Direction: 270°
Wind Velocity: 17 MPH
Bombardier’s Narrative: Made a 360° turn before the target to allow the Lead Box to bomb first. Bombs were away at 1112 on a magnetic heading of 270°. The run was long and clear and the M.P.I. [Mean Point of Impact] was easily picked up. Strike was good.

[Signed:] Joseph Loiacono, 2nd Lt., Air Corps, Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Bombardier - 2nd Lt. Loiacono, Joseph  Pilot - Capt. Gaylord, Donald A. Navigator - 1st Lt. Simmons, Max G.
Aircraft B-17G   005-Q  Take-off - 0735 Landed - 1414
Objective - Aircraft Plant – Oschersleben, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - Main Assembly Plant
Initial Point -As briefed
Method of Attack - Group
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 16   Composite Group - ____
Number A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: One
Deflection and Range Sighting, Group: _____   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - ____    Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 500 G.P.[General Purpose]
Number of Bombs Loaded - 10   Released - 10
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/100
Synchronization - On
Information at Release Point:

Altitude of Target - 273Magnetic Heading Ordered 22° Actual 13°
True Altitude Above Target - 21,725’True Heading 17°
Indicated Altitude - 21,000’Drift, Estimated 3° Right - Actual 3° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target +24True Track 170°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 12,143.67
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150 M.P.H.B.S. Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 204 M.P.H.Time of Release 1112
Ground Speed Est. 234 Actual 216Length of Bombing Run - 4 min.
Wind Direction Metro - 225° Actual - 270°Intervalometer Setting - Minimum
Wind Velocity Metro 23 Actual 17 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] X [Used]
D.S. - 138  Trail - 35   ATF - 38.65A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .36 Actual .35. Manual Pilot - ____

Type of Release - Train
Point of Impact If Seen - On briefed M.P.I.
Mean Temp. Metro +2 Actual +2
Winds - Altitude - 21,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 225°  Actual 270°  Velocity - Metro 32  Actual 17
Temp C. - Metro -20° C. Actual -20° C.

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The target for today was the A.G.O. Flugzeugwerke A.G., Oschersleben, Germany. Photo coverage was good.
  2. The main pattern of bombs fell in the target area. It is fairly compact, measuring approximately 1658 X 1816 feet. The actual MPI [Main Point of Impact] is a little to the left of briefed MPI, but the exact pattern size and distances between briefed and actual MPI’s are made difficult from smoke of previous bombing.
  3. There are some hits on the main machine shop and the power house has hits on and around it. There is a possible hit on the stores building, and hits on two long, narrow buildings just west of the main machine shop and on unidentified buildings north and south of the main machine shop. A large explosion occurs in one of these unidentified buildings adjacent to the north-east corner of the main machine shop.
[Signed:] Robert H. Van Beynum, Captain, Air Corps, Ass’t S-2 [Intelligence]

Intelligence S-2 Reports:
  1. Eight (8) bombs of G-43 leaflets were dropped.
  2. Preliminary examination of strike photos shows a good concentration about 100 feet to the left of the briefed MPI. Bombing results are considered very good.
  3. Between five and twenty-five minutes after the target approximately 25 FW 190’s and ME 109’s were in view of this Group. These E/A [Enemy Aircraft], painted silver in color, made one attack at the lead squadron of our Group from 11 o’clock level passing on down to the low squadron. This attack was made in the vicinity of 52°30’N-11°15’E [1.5 miles west of Solpke, Germany]. The pilots of the E/A appeared to be inexperienced and did not press home their attacks; however, they did try to simulate P-51 tactics. This Group claims one E/A damaged.
  4. Flak at Dummer Lake was moderate and inaccurate on the way in, but on the way back it increased in both intensity and accuracy, though it was still off in deflection. Moderate flak was observed over Osnabruck and intense flak over Hannover, well out of range of our formation. At the target flak was meager and inaccurate. There was moderate fairly accurate flak at Celle and in the vicinity of Vechta and Diepholz.
  5. Weather at the target was CAVU [Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited]. Patches of clouds were encountered along the route.
  6. At an approximate position of 52°38’N-06°00’E [3 miles West of Zwartsluis, Netherlands] a camouflaged A/F [Airfield] was observed. Smoke screens were observed around the town of Hildesheim and around a large dam located at 51°40’N-10°32’E [2 miles NE of Bad Lauterberg, Germany]. At 0945 hours, 52°40’N-05°10’E [Blokdijk, Netherlands 4 miles East of Hoorn], a convoy of six large ships, believed to be freighters, were observed headed in a northerly direction.
  7. PFF units were not employed. Fighter support was reported as excellent except for a period of approximately 20 minutes after the target. C-1 equipment was used and functioned well. A/C 725-L was attacked by E/A [Enemy Aircraft] in the target area and was last reported seen on the deck with wheels down and escorted by friendly fighters. From two to six chutes were reported to have emerged from this ship.

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

A.A. Gunfire (Flak) Report:

1. Target: Assigned - Oschersleben, Germany Bombed - Oschersleben, Germany
2. Route as Flown. - As briefed to two miles west of Nordhausen; a 360° turn was made between here and the target; target; Oebisfelde; Kaltendorf; 3 miles west of Celle; back as briefed.
3. Weather Conditions - A. at Target. - Clear  B. En route - Clear
4. Were our A/C "Seen" or "Unseen" targets? (a) At Target - Seen (b) Enroute - Seen
 Any Condensation Trails? - No
5. Description of Flak, including type of Fire Control: Meager, continuous following; inaccurate for both height and deflection.
6. Flak encountered or observed en route. (In the order experienced) -
 Osnabrück, 1019, 21,000’ – moderate, observed.
 Diepholz and Dummer Lake, 1025, 21,000’ – moderate, height good, deflection fair.
 Hannover, 1046, 21,000’ – intense, possibly barrage, observed.
 Celle, 1137, 21,000’ – moderate, height good, deflection poor.
 Dummer Lake and Diepholz, 1202, 21,000’ – intense, height good, deflection fair.
 Vechta, 1203, 21,000’ – moderate, height good, deflection fair.
7. Was Chaff carried? - Yes  How discharged? In target area
8. Position of Group - Low
9. Group – 351st  A/C over enemy terr. – 16, A/C damaged – 0, A/C lost to flak – 0, Time over Target – 1112, 
Time of bombs away – 1112, Height – 21,000’, Axis of attack – 13° Mag.  Bomb run – Three min.
10. Comments - Phenomena: None

Combat Crew Comments:

    508th Squadron
A/C 252-K: Poor leadership at the IP by Wing Leader; B-24’s came through us again at assembly. - Lt. Porter.
  Would like two Waist Gunners in ship. – Sgt. Wilt.
A/C 515-L: We need two Waist Gunners on missions such as these, especially with the Waist Guns staggered as they are in this ship. – Lt. Hales.
A/C 857-J: We want two Waist Gunners on trips into Germany; one man can’t concentrate at both windows. – Entire Crew.
  We want American candy again; chocolate bars preferably. – Entire Crew.
A/C 798-H: Why wait so long before turning away when meeting B-24’s on assembly? They don’t turn until last minute, and it’s getting too close. – Lt. Leewer.
  Let’s have tracers in our guns. – Lts. Roper and Leewer.

    509th Squadron
A/C 202-Z: Leader boosted airspeed too high after bombing. – Lt. Watkins.
  When are our officers going to get promotions; they really deserve them. – Enlisted Men.
A/C 169-N: Our 1st Sgt. tells us we are only going to get one six-hour pass every 6 days; we don’t like it. – All Enlisted men.

    511th Squadron
A/C 848-C: In assembling the Wing near Kings Lynn we almost ran into lots of B-24’s again. - Lt. Bland.
  Don’t like the rations; let’s get more cookies or Hershey bars. – Entire Crew.
A/C 381-U: 457th uses VHF to talk formation into shape on bombing run. – Lt. Hopkins.

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

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives:
    1. Airplane No. 42-39835, 510th Squadron returned early because of #2 Engine running rough, throwing oil and had to be feathered. Investigation revealed #2 Engine had failed internally.
    2. Airplane No. 42-38153, 511th Squadron aborted because #4 Engine was running rough and throwing oil and #2 and #3 Engines were vibrating badly. The Pilot stated that the oil pressure on #4 Engine suddenly rose and then fell off sharply, at that time the Engine was smoking and throwing oil. Aircraft landed away from home base making a thorough investigation at this time impossible.
  2. Battle Damage:
    1. Airplane No. 42-97202, 509th Squadron. Flak hole in leading edge of left wing outer panel – skin, corrugation and main spar damaged.

[Signed:] Otto R. Vasak, Captain, Air Corps, Station S-4 [Engineering] Officer

Armament Report:
  1. The following armament malfunctions were reported on the Mission of 30 May, 1944.
    1. A/C 42-97349 – (All Electrical) The left side of the bomb bay did not release in salvo as briefed, but was released with Intervalometer two seconds late.
    2. A/C 42-97798 – The bomb bay door up solenoid burned out just prior to take-off.
    3. A/C 42-97193 – (All Electrical) Doors failed to open fully. Much later, on the return from the target, doors were cranked down and bombs were jettisoned. When the door indicator light did not light on the Bombardier’s panel, the doors could have been cranked down and bombs released on time. The malfunction was that the limit switch was out of adjustment. It has been corrected.
  2. Four (4) all electrical aircraft participated in the Mission.
[Signed:] Michael Steele, CWO, USA, Group Armament Officer

Ammunition Expenditure:

1. The Station Ordnance Officer has reported the expenditure of 13,055 rounds of Caliber .50 ammunition on the Mission of 30 May, 1944. This figure includes 7,450 rounds lost in A/C 42-31725 which is missing in action.

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

Disposition of Bombs – Low Combat Box:

1. Following is the disposition of bombs loaded for the Low Combat Box of the Mission of 30 May, 1944.

Main BombfallOver TargetBombingNumberSizeTypeFusing: NoseTail
(Oschersleben)1615140500 lb.GP1/101/100
Target of Opportunity110500 lb.GP1/101/100
Total Bombs Dropped150500 lb.GP1/101/100
Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets]8G-43
Jettisoned in Channel by 2 Abortive A/C20500 lb.GP1/101/100
TOTAL BOMBS LOADED170500 lb.GP1/101/100
Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets]8G-43

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

Aircraft Returning Early:

Aircraft No. 38153 Squadron - 511   Pilot - Lt. Willard
Time of Abortive - 0855  Location when Aborted - English Coast
Reason - #4 Engine started smoking, then throwing oil badly. Oil pressure went up to 105# then dropped suddenly. When pressure dropped we feathered [the prop].
Disposition of Bombs: Dropped in North Sea.
Altitude At Time of Aborting: 12,000 ft.
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
Remarks: Co-Pilot says gauges were reading normal till just prior to the start of the smoke. After landing, restarted engine. Above 1100 R.P.M. it starts smoking and vibrating badly. Landed away from base because #3 Engine was also running rough.
[Signed] R. L. Willard, 1st Lt., A.C.

Aircraft No. 9835 Squadron - 508   Pilot - Lt. Condon
Time of Abortive - 0952  Location when Aborted - Zuider Zee, Netherlands
Reason - Lost #2 Engine – excessive loss of oil – runaway prop – no control over prop with prop-pitch – oil temp. read 80°, cyl. temp. 250° - on rich mixture – cowl flaps cracked [open] alt. at time feathered 21,000 feet - #3 also ran rough & lost oil.
Disposition of Bombs: In North Sea
Altitude At Time of Aborting: 21,000 feet
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
Remarks: At 2300 R.P.M. & 38” [of manifold pressure] - above 12,000 feet could only climb 100 – 200 feet per min. – Had to pull 40” – 43” & 2350 – 2400 R.P.M. to climb – Never did get in formation.
[Signed] Robert W. Condon, 2nd Lt., A.C. [Air Corps]

“J” Form:
  1. Call Letter and Last Four numbers of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th Combat Wing   Low Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 7998–H, 7049–B
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 0499–Q, 9914–S, 7193–P, 1384–T, 7125–L, 7169–N, 7202–Z
    Sqdn 510th A/C: 7515–L, 0857–J, 9835–N, 7252–K
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 7005–Q, 7381–U, 8153–F, 9848–C, 7780–G
    P.F.F. Sqdn ___ A/C: ____
  2. Target: GY-4801
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T JSX R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T SWL R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T LUC R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T PHR R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. a. Low Box: Taxi – 0720; Take-Off – 0735; E.T.D. Field – 0735
    b. ___ Box: Taxi – ____; Take-Off – ____; E.T.D. Field – ____
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    090814,000 Ft cROMER
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    094922,000 Ft 52°37'N-04°37'E [10 miles NE of Dunkirk, France]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    125222,000 Ft 52°37'N-04°37'E [10 miles NE of Dunkirk, France]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    13329,000 Ft Cromer
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1359 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: Low Box
    508 Squadron: 10 x 500 [Lb.] G.P. [General Purpose] - 1/10 x 1/100 [Fuses]
    509 Squadron: 10 x 500 [Lb.] G.P. [General Purpose] - 1/10 x 1/100 [Fuses]
    510 Squadron: 10 x 500 [Lb.] G.P. [General Purpose] - 1/10 x 1/100 [Fuses]
    511 Squadron: 10 x 500 [Lb.] G.P. [General Purpose] - 1/10 x 1/100 [Fuses]
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2400 Gallons
  13. Group Leader:
    a. Low Box: Name: Donald A. Gaylord Rank: Captain A/C: 7005-Q  Sqdn. 511th
    b. ___ Box: Name: ___ Rank: ___ A/C: ___ Sqdn. ___
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)
  15. Actual Times Off and Return by Squadrons and A/C Letters:
  16. Low 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:
Low Combat Box Formation at Take–Off
511th Squadron
A/C 42-107005 Q
A/C 42-38153 F
A/C 42-97381 U
A/C 42-30499 Q
A/C 42-39848 C
A/C 42-37780 G
509th Squadron508th Squadron
A/C 42-39914 S
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 42-97193 P
A/C 42-31384 T
A/C 42-97798 H
A/C 42-37515 L
A/C 42-31725 L
A/C 42-30857 J
A/C 42-97169 N
A/C 42-97202 Z
A/C 42-39835 N
A/C 42-97252 K

Low Combat Box Formation Over–Target
511th Squadron
A/C 42-107005 Q
A/C 42-39848 C
A/C 42-97831 U
A/C 42-30499 Q
A/C 42-37780 G
509th Squadron508th Squadron
A/C 42-39914 S
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 42-97193 P
A/C 42-31384 T
A/C 42-97798 H
A/C 42-37515 L
A/C 42-31725 L
A/C 42-30857 J
A/C 42-97169 N
A/C 42-97202 Z
A/C 42-97252 K

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0900  Briefing: 0430  Stations: 0700  Start Engines: 0710  Taxi: 0720  Take-off: 0735  Leave Base: 0735 [Breakfast: 0330]

Missing Air Crew Report (MACR):
  • A/C# 42-31725   RQ-L  "Li'L Ginny"  Pilot: Hicks     A/C's 34th Mission   MACR # 5236

    Aircraft Loss Circumstances:

    Eyewittness Account document included in the Missing Air Crew Report.
     I, Baltrus J. Jancaitis, Jr., O-749636, flying as bombardier of Aircraft #42-97349 on a mission to Oscherslaben, Germany on 30 May 1944, last sighted Lt. Crawford E Hicks on [a] heading [of] about 360° (for Sweden [sic]) while making turn around Hannover, Germany. About three of four minutes later I saw one parachute appear but it did not open up immediately. At about 10,000 feet it opened up half-way Five minutes later I saw a second parachute appear and it opened right away. Both the parachutes came from the waist. I last saw Lt. Hicks' aircraft flying straight and level with the four propellors turning over. This is all I saw.
    [Signed] Baltrus J. Jancaitis, 2nd Lt., Air Corps.

    2nd Eyewittness Account document included in the Missing Air Crew Report.
     I, George W. Hartz, 17069368, was flying as Tail Gunner on aircraft #42-31384 which was in the No. 3 position of the Lead Element of the Low Squadron, Low Group, on a mission to Oschersleben, Germany, on May 30, 1944. I saw Lt. Hicks who was flying No. 1 position of the second element of the Low Squadron attacked by fighters, a few minutes after bombs away. His No. 3 engine was hit and began burning badly. He feathered it and fell out of formation under control. He then descended toward the right and went out of sight. I did not see any parachutes come from his plane nor did I hear anything on VHF. I did see Allied fighters circle above him when he was going down.
    [Signed] George W. Hartz, S/Sgt., Air Corps.

    The whole crew, except the bombardier, parachuted from the plane. The bombardier, Lt. Lester L. Kunz, was hit in the chest with a 20 mm. shell. He was being attended to by Francis E. Young, the Top Turret Gunner/Engineer, and died shortly after being hit. The Tail Gunner, Kenneth E. Gelderman, broke his ankle when he landed after parachuting from the plane. He may have been the one that had a problem with his parachute fully opening, which was mentioned above in the eyewitness account.

    The plane crashed 300 m SW of Holzbalge, which is 5.25 miles NNW of Nienburg, Germany, on 30th May 1944, at 11:50. The plane was said to be 99 percent destroyed due to the crash and fire. According to a translated German document in the MACR Lowell A. Reid, the Right Waist Gunner, was captured at 1600 o'clock at the train station of Salzwedel 84 miles ENE of where the plane crashed. Marvin R. Allen, the Left Waist Gunner, was captured by police that same day at 19:00. Lester L. Kunz was initially buried in cemetery of Balge, District Nienburg, grave Location line #28, grave #24, Date of burial 5, June 1944, time 1145.

    Individual Accounts of Crewmen Fates:
    • Pilot - 2nd Lt Hicks, Crawford E., From Kentucky, POW at Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) 49-11, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Co-pilot - 2nd Lt Bianco, Eugene J., From New York, POW at Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) 49-11Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Navigator - 2nd Lt Mitchener, Hardy A., From Tennessee, POW in Germany, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
    • Bombardier - 2nd Lt Kunz, Lester L., Killed in Action.
    • Top Turret Gunner - S/Sgt Young, Francis E., From Michigan, POW in Germany, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
    • Radio Operator - S/Sgt Briggs, Ulis C., From California, POW in Germany, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated
    • Left Waist Gunner - Sgt Allen, Marvin R., From Oklahoma, 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.
    • Right Waist Gunner - Sgt Reid, Lowell A., From Texas, POW at Stalag Luft 3 Sagan-Silesia Bavaria (Moved to Nuremberg-Langwasser) 49-11, Returned to Military Control, Liberated or Repatriated.
    • Ball Turret Gunner - Sgt Vasilik, Stephen N., From New Jersey, 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 Gelderman, Kenneth E., From Washington, 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.
    Burial Records:

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

    • Lester L. Kunz, From Illinois, Buried: Plot D Row 24 Grave 9, Ardennes American Cemetery, Neupré, Belgium, Awards: Air Medal, Purple Heart

    Click on Photo to Enlarge

 [Killed in Action - 1]
 [Prisoner of War - 9]

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