9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 175 -- December 24, 1944, Sunday PM

Zulpich, Germany

Communications Center



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 102-681
OpRep #            : 265
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,000 - 12,200 feet
Take-off Time      : 1352
Time Over Target   : 1538 - 1552
Landing Time       : 1729
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:37

Place of Take-Off  : A-55 Melun/Villaroche, France
A/C Dispatched     : 43 Total -- 8 A-20's, 35 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: F-237327
Secondary Target   : Suitable Alternate Authorized
Summary of Results : Flight results - one Unsatisfactory, one Undertermined, two Superor, two Excellet, one No Attack - Mechanical failure of bomb release system on flight leader ship.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 50.68886,6.65680 (50° 41' 20" N, 6° 39' 24" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wF237327)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 175 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 265       Fuel Use

If nothing happens on Click, check to see if the PDF file was automatically saved to your computer. Depending on Internet speed, the display or download may be slow.
These Public Domain, Declassified Mission documents were graciously provided to the 416th BG Archive by the dedicated staff of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA).
An on-line index of records held by AFHRA up to 2001 is available at Air Force History Index.org.
Most of these PDF files are unaltered originals provided by the AFHRA, a few have been re-organized.
Pages may be out of sequence; files may contain scanned blank pages and/or pages scanned upside-down; some pages may be included in more than one file.
The "Mission Folder" usually contains the majority of documents for a Mission, including Field Orders, Status Reports, Pilot Interrogations, Photos (if available), etc.

Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I

Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II
(Note:  Extra Flight Added on This Mission)

Missing Air Crew Reports, Aircraft Accident Reports, and other incidents

         Date          Report

Serial #
Location Personnel (Status when available)
Dec 24, 1944

175 669 8 To 10 Miles West Of Zulpich Robertson, Reece B. (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)
Cheney, Marine W. (MIA, POW, DED)

To view more information regarding an Incident/Report, click on the Report hyperlink.
( = Entries having actual Reports available for review.   = Entries having additional Images or Photos.)
To view an individual's Memorial page, click on the "Name" hyperlink.

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 175 -- December 24, 1944, Sunday PM
Zulpich, Germany -- Communications Center

Included are Box, Flight and Position; Bomb Squadron; Aircraft Serial Number, Fuselage Code and Model; and Crew Members
transcribed from individual mission Loading List documents by Chris and Mary Adams and Carl Sgamboti.
Some information, such as Squadron, Serial Number, etc. has been expanded from other documents.

Box I -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  44-614  F6-A  A-20K
  Maj Dunn, L.F.
  Lt Maltby, A.H.
  S/Sgt Majewski, S.J.
  S/Sgt Teran, A.
  2  670th                   
  41-39227  F6-F  A-26B
  Lt Musgrove, W.
  S/Sgt Licker, M.
  3  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Capt Gruetzemacher, R.O.
  Cpl Kubjalko, A.
  F/O Green, J.A.
  4  670th                   
  43-22296  F6-D  A-26B
  Lt Grunig, D.B.
  Sgt Nowosielski, H.J.
  5  670th                   
  41-39212  F6-K  A-26B
  Lt Bishop, E.G.
  Sgt Harris, M.C.
  6  670th                   
  41-39217  F6-I  A-26B
  Lt Errotabere, M.
  Cpl Lynch, P.R.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  44-108  5H-M  A-20K
  Lt Andersen, C.J.
  Lt Babbage, W.
  S/Sgt Euga, P.G.
  S/Sgt Schafer, E.L.
  2  668th                   
  43-22317  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Svenson, R.R.
  S/Sgt Fild, P.G.
  3  668th                   
  43-22290  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  S/Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  4  668th                   
  41-39213  5H-A  A-26B
  Lt Kreh, E.B.
  S/Sgt Clark, C.J.
  5  668th                   
  41-39219  5H-E  A-26B
  Lt Harris, F.W.
  Sgt Williford, C.W.
  6  668th                   
  41-39214  5H-B  A-26B
  Lt Carver, J.H.
  Sgt Stewart, A.B.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  44-081  5H-P  A-20K
  Lt Evans, H.M.
  Lt McCartney, T.M.
  Sgt Merritt, O.N.
  Pfc Stindt, G.S.
  [Stindt (4th CCU)]
  2  668th                   
  43-22302  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Roberts, W.H.
  Sgt Hood, A.R.
  3  668th                   
  41-39218  5H-C  A-26B
  Lt Buchanan, R.C.
  Sgt Calabrese, C.L.
  4  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Parker, P.E.
  Sgt Kochan, S.
  5  671st                   
  41-39210  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Annin, W.W.
  Cpl Edenburn, J.C.
  6  671st                   
  41-39249  5C-F  A-26B
  Lt Russell, R.A.
  S/Sgt Bentzler, D.H.

Box I
  SPARE  671st               
  41-39250  5C-A  A-26B
  Lt Cannon, L.E.
  Sgt Robinson, J.W.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  44-173  F6-W  A-20K
  Lt Monroe, H.A.
  Lt Kirk, R.L.
  S/Sgt Kidd, W.L.
  Cpl Carney, H.O.
  2  670th                   
  44-076  F6-Q  A-20K
  Capt Jackson, C.R.
  Lt McNutt, M.C.
  Cpl Willever, E.J.
  S/Sgt Burns, D.E.
  3  670th                   
  41-39235  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Murphy, T.A.
  S/Sgt Ricketson, J.J.
  4  670th                   
  43-22307  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Johnson, E.L.
  T/Sgt Goggin, J.F.
  Lt Turman, A.R.
  5  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt Ottaviano, J.O.
  6  670th                   
  43-22334  F6-G  A-26B
  Lt Popeney, H.
  S/Sgt Candler, H.C.S.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  44-085  2A-T  A-20K
  Lt Miller, E.L.
  Lt Conner, J.K.
  S/Sgt Malloy, J.F.
  Pfc Rapacz, H.S.
  [Rapacz (4th CCU)]
  2  669th                   
  43-22344  2A-C  A-26B
  Lt Greene, W.J.
  S/Sgt Stephens, D.W.
  3  669th                   
  43-22300  2A-P  A-26B
  Lt Kehoe, J.W.
  Cpl Graham, R.F.
  4  669th                   
  41-39232  2A-A  A-26B
  Capt Peck, W.A.
  Lt Britt, J.W.
  S/Sgt Sharp, R.P.
  5  669th                   
  41-39241  2A-F  A-26B
  Lt Hackley, R.H.
  S/Sgt Holloway, R.G.
  6  669th                   
  41-39229  2A-B  A-26B
  Lt Smith, D.E.
  Cpl DeStefano, R.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  44-075  2A-J  A-20K
  Lt Cornell, R.H.
  Lt Enman, R.E.
  S/Sgt Carter, A.
  Sgt Reid, K.A.
  2  669th                   
  41-39242  2A-Q  A-26B
  Lt Robertson, R.B.
  S/Sgt Cheney, M.W.
  3  669th                   
  41-39238  2A-M  A-26B
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  S/Sgt Walters, J.H.
  4  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Sorrels, D.W.
  S/Sgt Triber, H.I.
  5  669th                   
  41-39244  2A-I  A-26B
  Lt Willard, J.A.
  Cpl Hinker, C.V.
  [Not Airborne Induction Vibration]
  6  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Clark, H.B.
  S/Sgt Sabadosh, J.W.

Box II
  SPARE  670th               
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  Sgt Belcas, J.O.

Box II -- Flight EXTRA
  1  671st                   
  44-089  5C-R  A-20K
  Capt Marzolf, L.A.
  Lt Beck, J.T.
  S/Sgt Marion, H.A.
  S/Sgt Jones, R.J.
  2  671st                   
  41-39284  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt VanNoorden, H.M.
  S/Sgt Steffey, R.I.
  3  671st                   
  41-39211  5C-K  A-26B
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  S/Sgt Skelton, T.W.
  4  671st                   
  41-39209  5C-M  A-26B
  Lt Zubon, M.
  S/Sgt DiMartino, A.E.
  5  671st                   
  41-39237  5C-D  A-26B
  Capt Sears, A.C.
  Pvt Rose, J.W.
  6  671st                   
  41-39265  5C-V  A-26B
  Lt Winn, A.J.P.
  Sgt Davis, W.G.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 175 -- December 24, 1944, Sunday PM
Zulpich, Germany -- Communications Center

"416th Bombardment Group (L) - Group History 1944"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

The next afternoon, a communications center at Zulpich was attacked, again in direct support of our defensive stand. This time 379 x 250 pound bombs were dropped with excellent results. Moderate, accurate flak at the target knocked down one plane and caused category "A" damage to 7 plane and category "AC" damage to four planes. Lt Reece B. Robertson's plane was hit in the right engine on the bomb run. He stayed with the formation and dropped his bombs even though his right engine was on fire. He peeled off from the formation after the target and started downward in a glide. One chute came out of the plane, which later crashed in a small town just on the German side of the bombline. Lt Robertson's gunner was Staff Sergeant Marine W. Cheney. Both are listed as MIA. The crews reported seeing Me 109s, FW 190s, and jet fighters in the distance, but they reported no attacks on the formation.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 181

Mission #175 - 24 December - Zulpich, Germany. Christmas Eve, but the mission has to be run. Forty-three aircraft took off early afternoon to hit this important military target. Flights were led by Lts. Anderson and Babbage, BN, - Captain Marzolf and Lt. Beck, BN, and Lt. Evans with McCartney, BN. Heavy flak was thrown up at the target site. One A-26, piloted by Lt. Reece B. Robertson with Staff Sgt. M. W. Cheney, took a direct hit on the bomb run, but he continued on and dropped their bombs, after which it went down. Bombing scores were rated three excellents, two superior, one no attack and one unsatisfactory. Captain Marzolf was on his last (65th) mission. Christmas Eve back at the base meant guard duty for many, but the usual Midnight Mass was held with many Catholics as well as Non-Catholics attending.

"669th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

On the 24th, a communications center at Zulpich was attacked. Lieutenant Cornell, Lieutenant Enman, B-N, leading a flight scored a "Superior", doing a fine job of bombing. Lieutenant Miller, Lieutenant Jack Conner, B-N, also lead a flight, but, due to their violent evasive action, there were no photographs of their bombing. Crew members rated their work as excellent. One plane, flown by Lieutenant Reece B. Robertson with Sergeant Cheney as gunner, was hit while on the bomb run. Despite the serious injury to his plane, Lieutenant Robertson continued on over the target with his flight. On the turn-off, his plane began to burn. The plane broke awar from the formation in a glide and was seen to crash just over the bomb-line. Crews reported one chute emerging from the plane. Both Lieutenant Robertson and Sergeant Cheney are listed as MIA.

"670th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

The following day, December 24th, the communications center of Zulpich was attacked. Twelve of our crews took part in the attack, which scored excellent results.

"671st Bomb Squadron (L) Unit History"
Gordon Russell and Jim Kerns

December 24th, 1944

Captain Lavern Marzolf and his bombardier, Lt. Beck, gave the 416th Bomb Group their last excellent as a team on the afternoon of December 24th, 1944 when the Invaders struck at the Communication center at Zulpich. It was only right that Lt. Beck should make his going away present to his boss-man one that would go down in the books. And it did go down on the books for "Gus", flying his 65th mission with the 671st, scored a superior rating on his bomb pattern, which blanketed the DMPI. All bombs were within 1000 feet and the center of the bursts was on the main point of impact. Several hits were made on the railroad tracks. So ends the partnership of Marzolf and Beck who have led flights and boxes over the target many times for the 416th Bomb Group and have chalked up a record comparable to any other pilot/bombardier teams in the outfit. Lt. Beck hit the fifty mark on this mission and is now being groomed to finish his tour with Captain Tutt.

S/Sgt.Herbert A. Marion flew with Captain Marzolf and completed his tour with Number 51. Marion had a tour in the South Pacific before he joined the 416th back in Lake Charles. S/Sgt. Marion was assigned to Lt. Pair when the outfit went on operational status and was with Pair when e crashed landed in March of 1944. Marion was back on flying status before his pilot. He racked up a number of missions with Major Dunn and a few other pilots, but joined Lt. Pair again when he returned to the Squadron in July.

Three other flights besides Captain Marzolf's received excellent and superior ratings on the target, which proved to be a rather hot one. One aircraft was knocked down and eleven were flak damaged, but all crews of the 46th returned.

[December 24, 1944], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, December 24, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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