Mission No. 54
10 May 1944
Station: 166
Target: Marshaling Yard at Douai, France
As a "Pre-invasion war of nerves" continued during the spring days, so the air war to knock out the German-held railway yards and rail repair facilities went on at an increased pace. The Group's target for the late afternoon of May 10 was the rail marshalling yard at Douai, France. This was not as successful as the morning mission due to bad weather.
The Group dispatched thirty-eight aircraft, each carrying fourteen 250-pound General Purpose bombs, at 1640 hours. The route out was from base to North Foreland to Furnes to 50 degrees, 32 minutes North, 02 degrees, 53 minutes east to the target. Here eighteen planes dropped two hundred fifty-two General Purpose bombs on the target and one flight of seven turned left and released ninety-five of its bombs on a secondary target at Tourcoing, another marshalling yard.
Summarizing first phase interpretation report of strike photos, the following conclusions are drawn:
The first flight of the first box had no photo coverage, but cloud forced the flight lower than the altitude calibration set on the lead bombsight, and the flight must have dropped short.
The second flight of this box bombed with excellent result, with direct hits on tracks and repair sheds. All bombs were in the target area. The third flight did not attack.
In the second box flight, two flights had poor results, one from poor visibility and one through a bombardier's accidental early release. The other did not attack.
At the target, the first box was split up into flights because of weather, and the second box left the enemy coast at Ostend. In all six ships were battle damaged by flak, but there were no casualties. Planes returned to Base at 1905 hours.
Note: The Post Loading list for this mission gives Capt. Erickson as 2nd Box Leader with Lt. Hanisch as bombardier and Lt. Brooks as navigator.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR THIS MISSION FROM THE GROUP MISSION RECORDS IS AVAILABLE IN THE "CREW LOADLING LIST" SECTION OF THIS WEBSITE here


Box #1 - Lead Flight
Loesch
574
873-U
32
Dauteuil
574
847-B
30
Metelsky
574
839-G
26
Hollis
574
927-N
33
Callison
574
865-D1
34
Wolfe
574
597-P
39
Box #1 - High Flight
Barger
574
853-F
39
Horridge
574
798-K
25
Evans
574
833-U
47
Alexander
574
843-J
45
Lowe
574
846-P
39
Watson
574
932-T
46
Box #1 - Low Flight
Salmon
574
248-V
30
Watkinson
574
818-L
25
Newman
574
671-L
40
Shofner
574
800-C
35
Garwick
574
841-S
29
Stanfield
574
840-R
29
Box #1 - Spare Flight
Spare Lead
575
950-A
46
Spare Ship
575
805-V
47

Box #2 - Lead Flight
Earll
572
803-K
7
Baehr
572
810-C
9
Hanlon
572
813-J
7
Schleicher
572
008-L
8
Blute
572
819-H
6
Barker
572
809-O
3
Box #2 - High Flight
Roeper
572
806-M
1
Mccarty
572
836-N
1
Alexander
572
811-G
6
Dickinson-Ringstrom
572
834-B
8
Reynolds
572
972-S
5
Walker
572
673-A
5
Box #2 - Low Flight
Jobe
572
822-O
23
Smith
572
823-N
21
Dewitt
572
828-L
24
Whitson
572
825-B
15
Crim
572
831-H
19
Jacobs
572
820-S
22
Holliday
572
850-R
24
Box #2 - Spare Flight
Spare Ship
573
634-J
17