Original Website Home Page








Mission No 108, 5 July 1944


Mission to Senonches, France


          A fuel and ammunition dump in the Senonches Forest, France, was the objective of the group on the morning of July 5, the first mission of the month because of poor weather during the first four days.  Thirty-six planes were dispatched with eleven of them dropping one hundred sixty-three 250-pound General Purpose bombs on the Foret De Dreux, mistaking it for the primary.  Two other flights of fifteen planes dropped two hundred fifty-three of the same size bombs on the railway siding at Auberville, when clouds obscured the primary target. Excellent results were reported from these concentrations.  Two planes were lost over enemy territory after sustaining flak damage near Dreux, their missing crews totalling twelve men.  Twenty-three of the other planes in the formation were flak battle-damaged.



Missing Crews and Planes


Plane 42-107811, O8-V type, B-26C-45-Mo,

Nicknamed “Lady Godiva”, 575th Squadron


Pilot                               1st Lt. Michael R. Petrich, 0-684039, from Long Beach, Calif.                                      P.O.W.

Co-Pilot                         2nd Lt. Robert B. Sullivan, 0-669809from Industry, Illinois                                      M.I.A.

Bombardier                  T/Sgt Edwin G. Insley, 33064534, from Baltimore, Md                                      K.I.A.

Engineer Gunner          T/Sgt Ernest Martel, 31150127, from Saco, Me.                                      K.I.A.

Radio Gunner               S/Sgt Bryan B. Ambrose 34240010 from Miami, Fla.                                      K.I.A.

Armorer Gunner          S/Sgt Robert R. Read, 32058677, from Poselle, N.J.                                      M.I.A.



Plane 42-107834, T6-F type, B-26C-45-Mo, 573rd Squadron


Pilot                               1st Lt. Louis E Hartman, 0-684328, from Andalusia, Pa.                                      K.I.A.

Co-Pilot                         2nd Lt. Kenneth L Arneson, 0-690884, from Faidale, N.D.                                      Ret’d to orgn 24 Sept.44

Bombardier                  1st Lt Donald E Collins, 0-669007from Biloxi, Miss.                                      P.O.W.

Engineer Gunner          S/Sgt Adolphe L Pavinski, 6995380, from Gryea, Pa.                                      K.I.A.

Radio Gunner               T/Sgt Donald R Shearer, 151180030, from Charlston, W.Va.                                      M.I.A.

Armorer Gunner          Pvt. Edward N. Grove  13200930 from Philadelphia, Pa.                                      K.I.A.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Thorn (573)

24  822-O

                                                                        Bjork                             Boylan

                                                                        24  830-R                      23  102-X


25  825-B

                                                                        Bollinger                       Sloss

                                                                        18  595-V                      19  831-H


                          Sellers (573)                          Logan (573)

                          19  801-G                                                                                                     22  978-Q

          Baxter                       Clark                                                                        Dearing          Cassiday

          17  634-J                  28  842-D                                                                  21  802-P          28  841-A

                          Snyder                          Armstrong

                          18  252-Z                                                                                                      21  820-P

          McCarty                   Reynolds                                                                  Hartman          Dillard

          14  836-N                  15  799-T                                                                  17  834-F          22  806-C


                        15  947-U


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Stalnaker  (575)

38  821-O

                                                                       Tucker                            Petrich

                                                                       38  844-D                        47  811-V


40  678-M

                                                                        Kiedinger                      Harlow

                                                                        41  615-A                      39  846-P


                          Jannsen (575)                          Wolfe-Olfson (575)

                          40  671-L                                                                                                      41  847-H

          Martin                      Ruble                                                                        Wilkinson          Fleck

          44  808-C                  39  853-F                                                                  45  855-R          45  843-J

                          Roeper                          Schirmer

                          14  806-M1                                                                                                   47  833-U

          Hanlon                     Baehr                                                                        Rutledge          Jacobi

          9  812-D1                  8  810-C1                                                                 44  268-K          46  932-T


                          6  819-H1

Spare Lead    6  811-G

Spare Ship   16  797-P

Spare Ship     7  813-J





Mission No 109, 6 July 1944


Mission to Maintenon, France


          Thirty-six planes were dispatched at 0719 to attack the viaduct at Maintenon, France, on the morning of July 6.  Bombing by flights, thirty-five of the planes attacked the primary with seventy 2000 pound General Purpose bombs.  According to the strike–attack photos, two of the flights had excellent results with at least seven direct hits on the Viaduct, and others cut the road beneath.  Two other flights had good results, one had gross, and one poor.  Two planes were flak damaged, but there were no losses or casualties.


          2nd Lt. Robert Holliday 0-683703 from Butler, Pa., crashlanded his plane, 41-34972 P2-S type: B-26C-15-MO Marauder, back at the base.  The plane’s history reads:  “A/C No 972 washed out on crash landing, completed 21 missions”.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Bird (574)

34  931-F

                                                                        Stanfield                        Garwick

                                                                        42  720-R                      29  818-L


36  815-W

                                                                        Metelsky                        Evans

                                                                        37  839-G                      32  597-P


                          Salmon (574)                          Hollis (574)

                          37  873-U                                                                                                      32  927-N

          Newman                   Lowe                                                                         Wolfe          Callison

          30  010-A                  35  838-B                                                                  31  866-X          31  851-M

                          Majka                          Alexander

                          34  865-D                                                                                                      23  823-N

          Boylan                      Carson                                                                      Talton          Horridge

          47  025-S                  35  800-C                                                                  47  833-U          45  855-R


                          44  5808 -C


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Schleicher (572)

6  5811-G

                                                                        Blute                              Barker

                                                                        6  819-H                        16  797-P


7  813-J

                                                                        Jacobs                           Reynolds

                                                                        13  719-F                       9  5834-B


                          Danforth (572)                          Dickinson (572)

                          19  801-G                                                                                                     8  673-A

          McCarty                   Koehl                                                                        Hanlon          Baehr

          14  836-N                  25  825-B                                                                  9  812-D          8  5810-C

                          Whitson                          Roeper

                          15  799-T                                                                                                      14  5806-M

          Crim                         Fry                                                                            Sloss          Holliday

          23  102-X                  28  830-R                                                                  15  947-U          5  972-S


                          22  7806-C

Spare Lead 40  671-L

Spare Ship 40  678-M




Mission No 110, 7 July 1944


Mission to Ussy, France


          An assignment to bomb German troops and equipment concentrated in the forest two and a half miles northwest of Ussy, France, was given to the group on the evening of July 7.  Of the thirty-six planes, thirty-five attacked with ninety-six 500- pound General Purpose bombs and two hundred 100- pound Fragmentation bombs, one failing to release because of mechanical failure.  Two flights bombed a crossroad, and three attacked a railway choke point, the last bombing a road junction when the primary target was obscured by clouds, haze and smoke.  There was no photo coverage due to the clouds and lack of light, but the crews reported good to excellent results. Two planes were battle-damaged by flak but there were no casualties or losses.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Williams (Hqs & 574)

7   803-K

                                                                        Wolfe                             Callison

                                                                        31  866-X                      42  835-T


32  597-P

                                                                        Majka                           Watkinson

                                                                        24  856-D                      29  818-L


                          Salmon (574)                          Bush (574)

                          30  248-V                                                                                                      36  7815-W

          Newman                   Carson                                                                      Metelsky          Talton

          31  010-A                  35  800-C                                                                  46  932-T          44  268-K1

                          Horridge                          Bird

                          45  843-J                                                                                                      34  931-F

          Lowder                     Lowe                                                                         Stanfield          Garwick

          39  846-P1                41  847-H                                                                 30  720-K          40  671-L1


                          17  634-J


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Erickson (572)

8  673-A

                                                                        Hanlon                          Baehr

                                                                        9  812-D                        8  810-C


9  5834-B

                                                                        Reynolds                       Walker

                                                                        14  5806-M                    6  819-H


                          Jobe (572)                          Roeper (572)

                          13  7808-X                                                                                                    6  811-G

          Jacobs                      Crim                                                                         McCarty          Alexander

          13  719-F                  23  823-N1                                                                14  836-N          16  797-P

                          Whitson                          Danforth

                          15  799-T                                                                                                      7  813-J

          Koehl                        Fry                                                                            Barker          Blute

          24  828-L                  25  825-B1                                                                16  5815-R          15  947-U


                          21  802-P

Spare Lead 37  873-U

Spare Ship 22  102-X


Author’s note:  Lt. Erickson and Lt. McCarty didn’t fly on this mission.





Mission No 114, 12 July 1944


Mission to Cinq Mars, France


          Thirty-seven of the Group’s planes were dispatched to bomb the railway bridge at Cinq Mars, France, on the evening of July 12.  Twenty-four planes of the formations dropped forty-eight 2000-pound bombs on the primary target, and twelve dropped twenty-three 2000-pound bombs on the target of opportunity when the bombardier failed to identify the primary target in time for the bomb run.  Two flights had excellent results on the Cinq Mars Bridge, and the other four flights had results classified as “good”.  One plane failed to bomb for mechanical reasons, but all returned safely without casualties or damage.

          Photo recon after the mission revealed that the east bridge was damaged midstream.  Approximately 30 feet of the bridge was destroyed.  West Bridge was slightly damaged at east end.  Damage was done to the rails at both ends of East Bridge by hits and near misses.  Approach to the West Bridge cut off by one hit.  First span of West bridge approach severely damaged, but still standing, with half the span blasted away.  Severe damage to second span from east approach.  Slight damage at several points.   Many craters seen in area.  Bridge does not appear serviceable.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Samuel (Hqs & 575

7   803-K

                                                                        Mitchell                         Martin

                                                                        47  025-S                       48  964-G


38  844-D

                                                                        Rutledge                        Cude

                                                                        41  615-A                      22  806-C


                          Schleicher (572)                          Kelley (575)

                          8  811-G                                                                                                       40  671-L

          Barker                      Jacobs                                                                      Schreiber          Ekstrom

          9  834-B                    13  719-F                                                                  46  843-J          44  808-C

                          Danforth                          Wilkinson

                          7  813-J                                                                                                        45  855-R

          Crim                         Blute                                                                         Lakin          Tavenor

          9  812-D                    14  806-M                                                                 46  837-N          39  853-F


                          22  978-Q


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Hollis (574)

32  927-N

                                                                        Callison                         Morris

                                                                        39  846-P                       30  248-V


36  815-W

                                                                        Dietschler                      Carson

                                                                        37  839-G                      35  800-C


                          Majka (574)                          Bird (574)

                          32  597-P                                                                                                      37  873-U

          Lowe                         Newman                                                                   Stanfield          Garwick

          15  797-P                  31  010-A                                                                  40  678-M          29  841-S

                          Horridge                          Alexander

                          8  810-C                                                                                                        35  838-B

          Baxter                       Cassidy                                                                     Threadgill          Lowder

          15  799-T                  28  841-A                                                                  31  866-X          25  830-R


                          23  102-X

Spare Lead  8  673-A

Spare Ship 21  820-S

Spare Ship 24  822-O



Mission No 119, 19 July 1944


Mission to Mantes - Gassicourt, France


          The Railroad bridge over the Seine at Mantes-Gassicourt, a previous target for the 391st, again was the Group’s objective on the evening of July 19.  Thirty-six planes were dispatched, each carrying four 1000-pound bombs.  The results were good, and were accomplished after three bombing runs made before the release, due to poor visibility.  Hits were scored on the railway bridge embankment north of the target.  Three planes were flak battle damaged, but there were no losses or casualties.


          The Commanding General of the 99th Bomb Wing teletyped the following communication:  “Your bombing of the Mante-Gassicourt railroad bridge near Mantes, France, on the evening of 19th July, is a perfect example of excellent leadership, sound judgement, prior planning, and steadfastness.   In the face of almost impossible bombing conditions, you severely damaged the target area and have blocked one of the few remaining enemy rail lines leading to the front.

          I congratulate the Group wholeheartedly on its success”.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Williams (Hqs & 573)

7   803-K

                                                                        Boone                            Boylan

                                                                        9  831-H                        9  812-D


9  834-B

                                                                        Bjork                             Sloss

                                                                        14  806-M                      22  806-C


                          Dooley–Harris (573)                          Dickinson (572)

                          13  808-X                                                                                                      6  811-G

          Clark                        Baxter                                                                       Hanlon          Baehr

          13  719-F                  28  841-A                                                                  14  836-N          16  797-P

                          Armstrong                          Roeper

                          18  747-T                                                                                                      7  813-J

          Youse                        Colsch                                                                       Koehl          Walker

          15  947-U                  17  595-V                                                                  5  313-Z          16  815-R


                          46  620-B


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Loesch (575)

34  931-F

                                                                        Evans                            Lakin

                                                                        32  597-P                       38  844-D


30  248-V

                                                                        Stanfield                        Garwick

                                                                        42  720-R                      29  841-S


                          Majka (574)                          Bush (574)

                          34  865-D                                                                                                      36  815-W

          Wolfe                        Callison                                                                    Metelsky          Lowder

          31  866-X                  28  842-D                                                                  37  839-G          29  818-L

                          Hollis                          Alexander

                          36  807-J                                                                                                      44  268-K

          Keidinger                 Harlow                                                                     Watson          Morris

          22  978-Q                 17  634-J                                                                  32  873-U          46  932-T


Spare Lead 24  822-O

Spare Ship 45  843-J

Spare Ship 31  010-A

Spare Ship 35  800-C





Mission No 120, 23 July 1944


Mission to Foret de Conches, France


          A German fuel dump in the Foret de Conches was the target assigned to the Group on the evening of July 23.  Thirty-four planes were dispatched at 1715 hours, and thirty-one of these dropped eight 500-pound and eight hundred sixty 100-pound General Purpose bombs and one leaflet bomb on the target.  The objective was completely covered by cloud and was located by the Pathfinder, blind bombing technique.  One mechanical and two personnel failures caused three of the planes to return to base with their bombs, but there were no losses, casualties, or battle damage on the mission.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box



Ljunggren  (575)

41  847-H

                                                                        Schirmer                       Schreiber

                                                                        44  808-C                      38  576-V


                          Mitchell (575)                          Kelley (575)

                          40  671-L                                                                                                      40  678-M

          Tucker                      Kiedinger                                                                 Ruble          Rutledge

          38  844-D                  41  615-A                                                                  39  846-P          35  838-B1

                          Harlow                          Jannsen

                          47  025-S                                                                                                      46  620-B

          Wilkinson                 Lakin                                                                        Jacobi          Lowder

          46  843-J                  29  818-L2                                                                46  932-T          15  947-U


                          13  719-F


                   2nd Box



Thorn (573)

22  822-O

                                                                        Holliday                        Bjork

                                                                        19  831-H                      24  828-L


                          Alexander (574)                          Rutledge (573)

                          32  927-N                                                                                                      19  801-G

          Metelsky                   Evans                                                                       Baxter          Colsch

          25  830-M                 28  842-D                                                                  18  747-T          22  978-Q

                          Watkinson                          Armstrong

                          8  673-A                                                                                                        21  820-S

          Wolfe                        Callison                                                                    Bollinger          Youse

          8  5810-C                  7  813-J                                                                    17  595-V          23  102-X


                        14  836-N

Spare Lead:  36  815-W

Spare Ship:  22  806-C

Spare Ship:  17  634-J




Mission No 121, 24 July 1944


Mission to Laval, France


          A railway embankment and viaduct at Laval, France, was the group’s target on the evening of July 24.  Thirty-six planes were dispatched at 1812 hours and dropped one hundred forty-three 1000-pound bombs on the target area, with strike photo interpretation ratings from “Excellent” to “Gross” credited to them.  There were

no losses, casualties, or battle damage, and the planes returned to base without further incident.



                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Sellers (573)

19  801-G

                                                                        Baxter                           Bjork

                                                                        18  747-T                       15  799-T


21  820-S

                                                                        Bollinger                       Holliday

                                                                        7  813-J                         23  823-N


                          Bush (573)                          Logan (573)

                          32  597-P                                                                                                      24  822-O

          Metelsky                   Evans                                                                       Clark          Daffern

          37  839-G                 35  800-C                                                                  28  842-D          19  831-H

                          Hollis                          Colsch

                          32  927-N                                                                                                      22  978-Q

          Wolfe                        Callison                                                                    Cassiday          Youse

          31  866-X                  31  010-A                                                                  28  844-A          23  102-X


                          16  815-R


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Kelley (575)

41  847-H

                                                                        Wilkinson                      Rutledge

                                                                        45  855-R                      44  268-K


39  853-F

                                                                        Tucker                           Harlow

                                                                        36  807-J                       44  808-C


                          Jannsen (575)                          Roeper (572)

                          46  620-B                                                                                                      40  671-L

          Jacobi (575)             Kiedinger (575)                                                        Schirmer (575)          Lakin (575)

          25  830-M                 22  806-C                                                                  17  634-J          17  595-V

                          Hanlon (572)                          Martin (575)

                          9  812-D                                                                                                        39  846-P

          Koehl (572)              Baehr (572)                                                              Schreiber (575) Lowder (574)

          9  834-B                    8  810-C                                                                    30  835-T          36  815-W


                        6  748-Q

Spare Lead:  13  808-X

Spare Ship:  15  947-U

Spare Ship:  13  719-F




Mission No 122, 25 July 1944


Mission to St Lo, France


          An assignment to strike in close support of the American ground troops in the Eastern sector of the Normandy front was given to the Group of the morning of July 25.  Thirty-six were dispatched at 1040 hrs to

La Chappelle en Jager, a German-defended area near St. Lo, and thirty-five completed the attack, one failing for mechanical reasons.  Six hundred eighty-nine 250-pound fragmentation bombs and one leaflet bomb were dropped. The bombing was done by boxes of eighteen, the first box putting a majority of the bombs inside the target area while the second box bombed mainly outside the area, across a main roadway and in open fields.  There were no losses, casualties, or battle damage to the formation.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Rutledge (573)

19  801-G

                                                                        Baxter                           Colsch

                                                                        18  747-T                       22  978-Q


21  820-S

                                                                        Bollinger                       Holliday

                                                                        17  595-V                      45  932-T


                          Hollis (574)                          Thorn (573)

                          34  931-F                                                                                                      24  822-O

          Callison                    Wolfe                                                                        Clark          Bjork

          35  838-B                  34  865-D                                                                  28  842-D          41  615-A

                          Horridge                          Boone

                          32  873-U                                                                                                      21  802-P

          Metelsky                   Watkinson                                                                Youse          Cassiday

          30  248-V                  29  818-L                                                                  23  102-X          28  841-A


                          47  833-U


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Erickson (572)

8  673-A

                                                                        Hanlon                          Baehr

                                                                        9  812-D                        8  810-C


14  806-M

                                                                        Alexander                     McCarty

                                                                        16  797-P                       14  836-N


                          Dickinson (572)                          Schleicher (572)

                          13  808-X                                                                                                      6  811-G

          Jacobs                      Koehl                                                                        Barker          Blute

          13  719-F                  15  799-T                                                                  16  815-R          6  748-O

                          Danforth                          Smith

                          7  813-J                                                                                                        9  834-B

          Lowder                     DeWitt                                                                      Reynolds          Walker

          37  839-G                 15  947-U                                                                  5  313-Z          22  806-C


                          47  025-S

Spare Lead:  40  678-M

Spare Ship:  39  846-P

Spare Ship:  41  847-H




Mission No 123, 26 July 1944


Mission to Marigny, France


          Planes took off at 0631 Hrs to bomb troop concentration at Marigny.  No attack due to weather.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Miller (572)

                                                                        ????????        Top of taxi sheet missing

                                                                        ????????                      ???????

                                                                        ??????                          9  812-D


9  834-B

                                                                        Walker                          Reynolds

                                                                        21  820-S                       25  811-G


                          Jobe (572)                           Roeper (572)

                          13  808-X                                                                                                      6  811-G

          Jacobs                      Blute                                                                         McCarty          Alexander

          13  719-F                  6  748-O                                                                   23  102-X1          16  797-P

                          Danforth                          Smith

                          7  813-J                                                                                                        14  806-M

          Wilkinson                 Holliday                                                                   Koehl          Barker

          28  841-A1                29  818-L                                                                  15  799-T          16  815-R

                          Spare: Jacobi

                          46  932-T1


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Bush (574)

36  815-W

                                                                        Metelsky                        Lowder

                                                                        31  010-A                      44  808-C


45  843-J

                                                                        Evans                            Newman

                                                                        32  597-P                       39  853-F


                          Bird (574)                          Salmon (574)

                          30  835-T                                                                                                      40  671-L

          Watson                     Garwick                                                                   Morris          Callison

          6  740-V                    28  842-D                                                                  17  634-J1          44  268-K

                          Wolfe                          Alexander

                          5  313-Z                                                                                                        46  620-B

          Lakin                        Keidinger                                                                 Lowe          McClurkin

          28  841-A                  41  615-A                                                                  23  823-N          22  978-Q

                          Spare:  Schirmer

                          47  833-U

For 1st Box

Spare Lead:  34  931-F

Spare Ship:  17  595-V

Spare Ship:  22  806-C


For 2nd Box

Spare Lead:  41  847-H

Spare Ship:  35  838-H




Mission No 124, 28 July 1944


Mission to Grosley-sur-Risle, France


          Thirty-two planes were dispatched at 1835 hrs on the evening of July 28 to attack the railroad bridge and embankment at Grosley-sur-Risle, France.  The bombing was conducted by Pathfinder method, and thirty-one of the planes dropped one hundred-twelve 1000 pound and eight 500-pound General Purpose bombs and one leaflet bomb on the bridge, with fair to good results.  The plane which failed to bomb was shot down by flak in the

Thury-Harcourt area before the target was reached.  Twenty other planes were flak battle damaged, but there were no further casualties than the six missing combat crewmembers.


Missing Plane and Crew

          Plane 42-95842, T6-D type B-26B-50-MA, Nicknamed “Hitch Hiker”,  573rd Squadron.


          Pilot                        1st Lt. Robert H. Clark, 0-26154, from Philadelphia, Miss.          P.O.W

          Co-Pilot                  1st Lt. George L. Parker, 0-669809, from Gainsville, Texas          Retd 19 Sept.

          Bombardier           1st Lt. Robert F. Lemmon, 0-666687, from Goose Creek, Texas          K.I.A

          Engineer Gunner   S/Sgt John R. Culshaw, 33429297, from Duquesne, Pa.          K.I.A

          Radio Gunner       T/Sgt William S Rollings, 33499791, from Wisconisco, Pa.          K.I.A

          Armour Gunner    S/Sgt John W. Sweren 39197686 from Long View, Wash.          P.O.W


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box



Thorn (573)

19  801-G

                                                                        Colsch                           Bjork

                                                                        22  978-Q                      13  719-F


                          Danforth (572)                          Rutledge (573)

                          7  813-J                                                                                                        13  808-X

          Barker                      Blute                                                                         Clark          Daffern

          15  947-U                  6  748-Q                                                                   28  842-D          25  830-M

                          Smith                          Boone

                          9  812-D                                                                                                        21  820-S

          Crim                         DeWitt                                                                      Holliday          Bollinger

          14  806-M                 15  799-T                                                                  14  836-N          17  595-V


                          32  873-U



                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box



Olfson (575)

34  931-F

                                                                        Schreiber                       Ekstrom

                                                                        39  853-F                       45  843-J


                          Mitchell (575)                          Kelley (575)

                          30  835-T                                                                                                      32  927-N

          Rutledge                   Jannsen                                                                    Wilkinson          O’Hare

          44  268-K                 46  620-B                                                                  31  010-A          46  932-T

                          Martin                          Wolfe

                          42  720-R                                                                                                      40  678-M

          Newman                   Morris                                                                      Harlow          Adamson

          29  818-L                  34  865-D                                                                  37  839-G          35  838-B


                          32  597-P


Spare Lead:  36  815-W

Spare Ship:  31  866-X

Spare Ship:  30  248-V




Mission No 127, 31 July 1944


Mission to Nantes, France


          Another railroad bridge, the North span at Nantes, was the last target attacked by the 391st during July. Thirty-six planes took part in this mission, dropping a total of one hundred thirty-four General Purpose bombs and one leaflet bomb on the primary.  Two flights had excellent bombing results with strikes on and across the South end of the bridge.  Two others had good results, but the bombs of one were lost on the riverbank.  Seventeen of the planes were flak battle-damaged, and three crewmen were wounded, but there were no losses.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Williams (Hqs & 575)

7   803-K

                                                                        Lakin                            Schreiber

                                                                        14  836-N                      32  597-P


40  671-L

                                                                        Fleck                              Shannon

                                                                        45  843-J                       28  841-A


                          Jannsen (575)                          Ljunggren (575)

                          32  927-N                                                                                                      18  808-X

          O’Hare                     Harlow                                                                     Olfson          Rutledge

          15  799-T                  47  025-S                                                                  41  847-H          37  818-L

                          Martin                          Wolfe

                          47  833-U                                                                                                      34  931-F

          Morris                      Keidinger                                                                 Hanish          Tucker

          30  248-V                  41  615-A                                                                  46  932-T          38  844-G


                          9  812-O


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Rutledge (573)

19  801-G

                                                                        Snyder                           Bollinger

                                                                        6  748-Q                        21  802-P


22  978-Q

                                                                        Baxter                           Daffern

                                                                        18  747-T                       25  830-M


                          Bird (574)                          Thorn (573)

                          30  835-T                                                                                                      24  822-O

          Stanfield                   Garwick                                                                   Bjork          Youse

          42  720-R                  36  815-W                                                                 24  828-L          23  102-X

                          Carson                          Boone

                          35  800-C                                                                                                      21  820-S

          Watson                     Newman                                                                   Dillard          Holliday

          34  865-D                  31  010-A                                                                  19  831-H          16  797-P


                          35  838-B

Spare Lead  8  673-A

Spare Ship  8  810-C




Mission No 128, 1 Aug 1944


Mission to Bourth, France


          An assignment to bomb the railroad bridge and embankment at Bourth, 25 miles east of Dreux, France, was the 391st Group’s first for the month of August, the planes leaving base during the mid afternoon and returning at 1852 Hours.  The target was a link for the German Ground Forces to Paris and the East.  Thirty-six planes were dispatched, and of these, five flights of six planes each, attacked the primary with varying results.  A late photo reconnaissance report on the same day revealed the following effects of the bombing through 7/10 cloud cover: “although this bridge remains undamaged, through traffic has been rendered impossible by a large crater on tracks East of the bridge.  Approximately 30 craters are visible in the target area”  One flight bombardier failed to identify the primary on two runs and attacked a railroad junction in the vicinity.  He reported excellent results accomplished with his flight’s forty-eight 500-pound bombs.  There was no enemy opposition to the mission, and all the planes returned without damage or casualties.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Kelley (575)

32  927-N

                                                                        Kiedinger                      Goodwin

                                                                        41  615-A                      47  833-U


45  843-J

                                                                        Martin                           Ekstrom

                                                                        48  964-G                      39  853-F


                          Wolfe (575)                          Harkins (575)

                          40  678-M                                                                                                     13  808-X

          Schreiber                  Olfson                                                                       Harlow          Adamson

          15  799-T                  16  797-P                                                                  47  025-S          38  844-D

                          Rutledge                          Wilkinson

                          6  748-Q                                                                                                       14  806-M

          Carson                      Watson                                                                     Lakin          Saunders

          35  800-C                  36  807-J                                                                  39  837-N          9  812-D


                          35  838-B


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Sellers (573)

19  801-G

                                                                        Baxter                           Boylan

                                                                        18  747-T                       17  634-J


21  802-P

                                                                        Bollinger                       Youse

                                                                        25  830-M                      23  102-X


                          Armstrong (573)                          Shaffner (573)

                          21  820-S                                                                                                      25  825-B

          Dillard                      Bjork                                                                        Holliday          Daffern

          22  806-C                  24  828-L                                                                  28  841-A          19  831-H

                          Colsch                          Snyder

                          37  815-U                                                                                                      16  815-R

          Spangler                   Garwick                                                                   May          Boyd

          22  978-Q                 37  839-G                                                                 13  719-F          14  836-N


                          5  313-Z

Spare Lead:  6  811-G

Spare Ship:  38  576-V

Spare Ship:  37  818-L




Mission No 131 & 132, 5 Aug 1944


Mission to Le Mans, France



          The Railroad Bridge at Le Mans, France, occupied the Group to the extent of two missions, one attack, and excellent results on August 5.  Thirty-six B-26s were dispatched at 1043 hours to attack the target but were recalled from France when fighters could not accomplish a rendezvous and carry out escort duties.  Crews returned to base and sweated out the next take off which came at 1821 hours for the same target.  Bombing was accomplished by flights of six from an altitude of 6,700 to 8,700 feet.  Thirty-four of the planes dropped sixty-four 2000-pound bombs on the target, two failing to get their bombs away for mechanical reasons.  Four of the six flights scored excellent results with strikes on the bridge and on approaches to the span.  Planes returned to base at 2200 hours without loss, casualties or battle damage


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Thorn (573)

24  822-O

                                                                        Baxter                           Boylan

                                                                        18  747-T                       17  634-J


23  823-N

                                                                        Holliday                        Youse

                                                                        25  810-W                     23  102-X


                          Boone (573)                          Dooley (573)

                          13  719-F                                                                                                      19  801-G

          Dillard                      Bjork                                                                        Colsch          Daffern

          22  806-C                  24  828-L                                                                  22  978-Q          28  841-A

                          Sloss                          Rutledge

                          19  831-H                                                                                                     21  820-S 

          Hanlon                     Baehr                                                                        May          Boyd

          7  813-J                    8  810-C1                                                                  46  932-T          21  802-P


                          16  797-P


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Ljunggren (575)

41  847-H

                                                                        Kiedinger                      Lakin

                                                                        41  615-A                      45  855-R


31  010-A1

                                                                        Schirmer                       Kirschke

                                                                        47  833-U                      35  800-C


                          Mitchell (575)                          Jannsen (575)

                          38  844-D                                                                                                      40  671-L

          Ruble                        Harlow                                                                     Schreiber          Goodwin

          39  853-F                  47  025-S                                                                  38  576-V          37  818-L

                          Rutledge                          Martin

                          44  268-K                                                                                                     36  807-J

          Jacobi                       Fleck                                                                         Hanish          Saunders

          37  839-G                 45  843-J                                                                  31  866-X          35  838-B


                          14  836-N

Spare Lead 32 927-N

Spare Ship 15  799-T





Mission No 133, 6 Aug 1944


Mission to Courtalain, France



          Thirty-six of the Group’s planes attacked the railroad bridge at Courtalain, France, at twenty-two minutes past noon on the August 6, and left the span chopped up sufficiently that no traffic could pass.  Two hundred eighty-eight 500-pound General Purpose bombs were dropped on the objective, the bombing conducted by flights.  Three of the flights had excellent results, one “good, and the other “fair”.  Planes returned to base at 1417 hours without losses, casualties, or battle damage.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Williams (Hqs & 573)

7  803-K

                                                                        Baxter                           Sloss

                                                                        21  820-S                       19  831-H


22  978-Q

                                                                        Holliday                        May

                                                                        28  830-M                      23  823-N


                          Thorn (573)                          Dooley (573)

                          24  822-O                                                                                                     25  825-B

          Youse                        Clapham                                                                  Bjork          Dillard

          23  102-X                  15  947-U                                                                  24  828-L          22  806-C

                          Boone                          Boylan

                          9  834-B1                                                                                                      17  634-J

          Hanlon                     Boyd                                                                         Rice          Dunn

          38  844-D                  16  815-R                                                                  17  595-V          28  841-A


                          16  797-P


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Mitchell (575)

40  671-L

                                                                        Ruble                             Fleck

                                                                        47  833-U                      45 843-J


45  855-R

                                                                        Schreiber                       Goodwin

                                                                        38  576-V                      44  268-K


                          Olfson (575)                          Jannsen (575)

                          32  927-N1                                                                                                    41  847-H

          Jacobi                       Schirmer                                                                   Harlow          Kelley

          31  866-X                  32  597-P                                                                  47  025-S          46  295-O

                          Martin                          Lakin

                          48  964-G                                                                                                     39  837-N

          Saunders                  Willis                                                                        Baehr          Kiedinger

          35  838-B                  42  720-R1                                                                8  810-C          41  615-A


                          14  836-N

Spare Lead:  8  673-A

Spare Ship:  35  800-C




Mission No 137, 8 Aug 1944


Mission to Anizy le Chateau, France



          A railroad bridge at Anizy le Chateau, France, was on the receiving end of an attack by the Group on the afternoon of August 8.  Thirty-seven planes were dispatched at 1022 hours, with 23 dropping twenty-two 2000-pound bombs and ten 1100-pound General Purpose bombs on the target.  Seven of the planes failed to bomb, one of them being shot down by anti-aircraft fire, falling near Gamaches, France.  Bombing ranged from fair to excellent, as far as concentration near the target was concerned, but photo reconnaissance reports later in the day revealed that the bridge remained intact, and that the rail line appeared still serviceable, the crater concentration being in the woods to the West of the bridge.  Fifteen of the planes were flak battle-damaged, but there were no additional casualties to those listed as missing in the ship which went down. 




Missing Crew and Plane


Plane:  42-107673, P2-A type, B-26C-45-MO, 572nd Squadron.


Pilot.                       Capt. William G Erickson, 0-792568, Stottville, N.Y.                      Ret’d 14 Sept.

Co-Pilot                  2nd Lt. Nick C Wallen, 0-2045185, Banner, Ky.                             Ret’d 14 Sept.

Navigator               1st Lt. William C. Brooks, 0-669002, Minneapolis, Minn.                               P.O.W.

G-Navigator          1st Lt. Dale G. Durkes, 0-669258, Converse, Ind.                            Ret’d 14 Sept.

Bombardier           1st Lt. Leon G. Hanisch, 0-666661, La Grange, Texas                    Ret’d 14 Sept.

Engineer Gunner   T/Sgt. Robert M.Popek, 32276096, Garfield, N.J.                           Ret’d 14 Sept.

Radio Gunner       T/Sgt. Milford R. Baker, 1098350, Turner Falls, Mass.                   Ret’d 14 Sept.

Armorer Gunner   S/Sgt. George E. Cochran, 36441881, Decatur, Ill.                                P.O.W.


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

Hollis (574)

34  931-F

                                                                        Wolfe                             Garwick

                                                                        31  866-X                      36  807-J


29  818-L

                                                                        Evans                            Morris

                                                                        44  808-C                      38  844-D


                          Carson (574)                          Majka (574)

                          7  803-K                                                                                                       41  847-H

          Ryan                         Newman                                                                   Stanfield          Watkinson

          31  010-A                  37  873-U                                                                  39  837-N          47  833-U

                          Watson                          Bush

                          25  825-B                                                                                                      36  815-W

          Boyd                         Willis                                                                        Hillier          Spangler

          34  865-D                  47  025-S                                                                  42  720-R          45  855-R


                          41  615-A


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Erickson (572)

8  673-A

                                                                        Walker                          Smith

                                                                        7  813-J                         16  797-P


9  812-D

                                                                        DeWitt                           Reynolds

                                                                        15  947-U                      14  836-N


                          Whitson (572)                          Roeper (572)

                          15  799-T                                                                                                      6  811-G

          Bollinger (573)         Fry (572)                                                                  Alexander          Koehl

          17  634-J                  19  831-H                                                                 23  823-N          21  820-S

                          Sloss (573)                          Dickinson

                          19  801-G                                                                                                     9  834-B

          Bjork (573)               Holliday (573)                                                          Chatellier          Blute

          46  932-T                  22  806-C                                                                  5  313-Z          6  748-Q


                        44  268-K

Spare Lead:  40  671-L

Spare Ship:  46  295-O




William G. Erickson, 0-792568, Captain, Air Corps, United States Army.

For wounds received as a result of enemy action on the 8 August 1944, while serving as Pilot on a B-26 airplane.  Entered military service from Stottville, New York.


Leon G. Hanisch, 0-666661, First Lieutenant Air Corps, United States Army.

For wounds received as a result of enemy action on the 8 August 1944, while serving as Bombardier-Navigator on a B-26 airplane.  Entered military service from La Grange, Texas.


Dale G. Durkes, 0-669258, First Lieutenant Air Corps, United States Army.

For wounds received as a result of enemy action on the 8 August 1944, while serving as Bombardier-Navigator on a B-26 airplane.  Entered military service from Converse, Ind.


Distinguished Flying Cross


Woodrow W. Fry, 0-748173, First Lieutenant, 572nd Bombardment Squadron, 391st Bombardment Group (M).  For heroic and outstanding achievement while participating in aerial flight in the European Theatre of Operation on 8 August 1944.  On that date Lt Fry piloted a B-26 type aircraft on a mission to bomb a vital and heavily defended enemy railroad bridge in occupied territory.  Shortly after reaching the French coast, the formation encountered a heavy barrage of accurate ground fire, which damaged the right propeller, main fuel tank, aileron controls and main hydraulic system.  Despite the extreme difficulty to maintaining the plane in level flight, Lt Fry courageously determined to remain with the formation.  After releasing the bombs on the target with telling effect Lt Fry demonstrated superior flying ability and aggressive perseverance in guiding the crippled plane back to an emergency landing field in single engine flight, making a successful crash landing with no further damage to the aircraft or injury to the crew.  The aggressive tenacity and superb technical skill exhibited by Lt. Fry on this occasion are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Army Air Force.  Entered military service from Long Island, New York.


Award of Oak Leaf Cluster to the Distinguished Flying Cross


William G. Erickson, Jr, 0-792568, Captain, 391st Bombardment Group (M).  For extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight against the enemy as a pilot of a B-26 type aircraft on 8 August 1944.  En-route to attack a vital enemy installation Captain Erikson’s aircraft was badly damaged by enemy anti-aircraft fire.  Displaying superb airmanship, Captain Erickson struggled to maintain the plane in level flight while he gave the order to salvo the bombs and for the crew to abandon the aircraft.  Only after the last man left the disabled aircraft did Captain Erickson leave the controls and jump through the open bomb bay door.  Captain Erickson’s courage, heroic determination, and superior flying skills made possible the escape of his entire crew and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of the United States.  Entered Military service from New York.


By command of Major General Vandenberg.






MISSION #203, 23 Dec 1944

Target, Ahrweiler, German railroad viaduct, Results good



                                                                                                                                                     1st Box


Jannsen-Garside (575)

7  743-N

                                                                        Hoar                              Kirton

                                                                        14 620-B                        2 855-R


                        Mickelson-Mezzel(574)                        Breesman-Kelly (575)

                        46-43-34309-4l-C                      847-E

          Gray                         Haynes                                                                     Sharp          Heslep

          44 67826-4L-C         42 95798 4L-E                                                         43 3440 08-Q          418-E

                        Stevenson-Schwarz                        Gatlin-Adair

                        42 95838-4L-B                                                                                               42-107671-08-L

          Ryan                         Woods                                                                      Kloepfer          Tavener

          42 95818-4L-L         720-R                                                                        42 95944-08-D          42 95932-08-T


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box



Boylan-Smith (573)

42 95825-T-6-B

                                                                        Abraham                      Dillard

                                                                        42 107747-T-6-T           806-C


                          Chism-Del’Oliver(574)                          May-Solomon (573)

                          927-R                          451-D

          Donnelly                   Detjens                                                                      Baker          Rice

          42 95841 4L-S          41 35010 4L-A                                                         620-S          854-J

                          Brown-Estrom                          Dent-Allen

                          42 95865 4L-D                                                                                                319-R

          Matus                       Lesmeister                                                                Schaffron          Edwards

          43 34361 4L-M        42 102597 4L-P                                                           822-D               447-E


Spare:  Putnam





MISSION #204, 23 Dec 1944


Target:  Neuerburg, German defended village & communications center


(Second Mission)


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box



59 425-A

                                                                        Chatham        Timbers

                                                                        58 156-J                        59 427-B


50 811-G

                                                                        Kloepfer                        Sharp

                                                                        65 806-M                       57 008-L


                          Hillier-Hesse(574)                          Lakin-Vargo*(575)

                          25-248-N                                                                                                      67 808-X

          Gray                         Haynes                                                                     Martin          Cambier

          PL 819-H                  22 252-Z                                                                   63 740-V          60 815-R

                          Stevenson-Schwarz                          Willis-Demeester

                          82 041-A                                                                                                       69 947-U

          Henage                     Young                                                                      Horstman          Leavitt

          30 144-V                   68 429-Y                                                                   68 337-P          66 337-P

                        Spare:  Bolton


                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

250 lbs


3 843-J

                                                                        Shoemaker                    Putnam

                                                                        4 268-K                         15 295-O


12 678-M

                                                                        Edwards                        Abraham

                                                                        9 418-X                         18 833-J


                          Bischoff-Batty(574)                          Lloyd-Stallings (573)

                               RW 454-H                                                                                               17 441-Q

          Stevens                     Crowe                                                                       Larson          Clark

          RW 886-X                48 807-J

                          Reynolds-Kyser                          Mosher-Miller

                          RW 927-N

          Woods                      Ryan                                                                         Shanks          Printz


Spare:  BAKER

Spare Lead:  39-810-W

*The reference to Vargo probably should be to Vurguropolos, who flew regularly with Lakin.

This taxi sheet apparently was prepared hurriedly and before the first mission returned.  My good

friend, Clayton Abraham, was one who did not return from the morning mission.  Martin Mazurk reports that Leavitt actually flew on Bischoff’s wing.




                                                                                                                                                     1st Box

MISSION #206, 25 Dec 1944

Target, Bitburg, German communications center, Results varied



Earll-Goldschlager (572)

67  50?-X

                                                                        Kunberger                    Peterson

                                                                        63  74 -V                       60  811-G


68    429-Y

                                                                        Brown                           Pancoast

                                                                        66  337-P                       58  820-S


60  313-Z


                          Bischoff-Batty(574)                         Crumal-Gresham (572)

                               RW  454-H                                                                                              62  836-N

          Proctor                     Spangler                                                                   Main          Bonde

          RW 856-X                RW  877-G                                                               65  815-R          69  947-D

                          Chism-Del’Oliver                          Lantz-???????

                          RW  927-N                                                                                                   59  427-B

          Henage                     Sherwood                                                                 Young          Thiedeman

          RW  819-T               48  807-J                                                                  58  165-J          60  748-Q

                          Daniels                          Detwiler

                          65  806-M                                                                                                     PL  750-S


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               2nd Box


Williams-Woods (HQS)

42 95825-T-6-B

                                                                        Kirton                           Hoar (575)

                                                                        1  808-G                        I4  620-B


12  578-V

                                                                        Timbers                         Chatman

                                                                        8  678-M                        9  416-X


                          Cassidy-Schweizer(573)                          Lakin-Vurga (575)

                          39  810-W                                                                                                     17  441-Q

          Edwards                   Shoemaker                                                               Cambier          Bass

          33  634-J                  32  841-A                                                                  4  268-K          11  025-S

                          Baker-Morse                          Lippincott-Banks

                          ??  319-A                                                                                                          ? 943-G

          Shanks                     Prince                                                                       Horstman          ??????????

          80  144-V                  23  808-C                                                                  15  295-O          18  833-U

                          Larsen                          Lipschultz (572)

                          25  243-H                                                                                                     PL  008-L


Sp Lead  59  425-A

Sp Ship   24  820-S




MISSION #207, 25 Dec 1944

Target, Taben, German rail bridge, Results excellent


                                                                                                                                                     1st Box


Morris-Czerniak (572)

59  425-A

                                                                        Penneman                     Gates

                                                            65  806-M                      65  815-R


60  811-G

                                                                        Lipschultz                     White

                                                                        PL  319-E                      59  427-B


                          Hillier-Hesse(574)                          Crumal-Gresham(572)

                          RW  927-N                                                                                                   82  836-N

          Proctor                     Woods                                                                      Main          Bonde

          RW  866-X               RW  877-G                                                               80  313-Z          69  947-U

                          Flannagan-McCord                          Allen-Darnell

                          RW  454-H                                                                                                   68  437-?

          Henage                     Sherwood                                                                 Chapin          Young

          RW  819-T               40  807-J                                                                  60  74?-Q          66  337-P



                                                                                                                                                     2nd Box

Harkins-Barnes (575)

12 576-V

                                                                        Kirton                           Hoar

                                                                        9  418-X                        14  620-?


17  441-Q

                                                                        Timbers                         Chatham

                                                                        8  373-M                        1  ?0?-O


                          Cassidy-Schweizer(574?)                          Hanish-Rauschenberger(575)

                          39  810-W                                                                                                     3  843-J

          Printz                        Shanks                                                                     Cambier          Bass?

          30  144-V                  24  820-S                                                                  63  740-V          31  319-R

                          Baker?-M??se                          Lippincot-Banks

                          25  248-N                                                                                                      2  964-G

          Larson                      Edwards                                                                   Horstman          Thompson

          32  841-A                  33  806-C