9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 197 -- February 2, 1945, Friday AM

Euskirchen, Germany

Supply Center



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 149-730
OpRep #            : 305
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 12,500 feet
Take-off Time      : 0944
Time Over Target   : 1114 - 1121
Landing Time       : 1314
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:30

Place of Take-Off  : A-55 Melun/Villaroche, France
A/C Dispatched     : 41 Total -- 11 A-20's, 29 A-26's, 1 B-26 (PFF)
Modified British System Reference: F-330295
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : Three Window A-20's, Three flights Excellent, two Undetermined.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 50.66121,6.78905 (50° 39' 40" N, 6° 47' 21" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wF330295)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 197 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 305       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.


Route Map

Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I

Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II with Three Additional Window Mission Aircraft

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

         Date          Report

Serial #
Location Personnel (Status when available)
Feb 2, 1945
No_Report   43-22024
197 669 AAF Station A-78, Florennes/Juzaine, Belgium Smith, Daniel E. (Not Injured)
DeStefano, Richard (KIA)
Abriola, Daniel R. (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)

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 # 197 -- February 2, 1945, Friday AM
Euskirchen, Germany -- Supply 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  668th                   
  43-9444  5H-J  A-20J
  Maj Price, R.F.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  S/Sgt Fetko, C.
  S/Sgt Heitell, S.L.
  2  668th                   
  43-22063  5H-A  A-20J
  Lt Mish, C.C.
  Lt Shaft, R.E.
  S/Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  S/Sgt Euga, P.G.
  3  668th                   
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Russell, R.A.
  S/Sgt Sylva, H.J.
  4  668th                   
  41-39335  5H-W  A-26B
  Lt Wright, J.W.
  Sgt VanGalder, D.W.
  5  668th                   
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Prucha, L.J.
  T/Sgt Wilson, G.C.
  6  668th                   
  43-22321  5H-T  A-26B
  Lt Blevins, J.W.
  Sgt Gentry, F.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  44-178  2A-L  A-20K
  Capt Shea, D.F.
  Lt Koch, O.R.
  T/Sgt Goggin, J.F.
  S/Sgt Teran, A.
  2  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Bishop, E.G.
  Sgt Harris, M.C.
  3  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Capt Gruetzemacher, R.O.
  S/Sgt Ricketson, J.J.
  4  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Warren, J.R.
  S/Sgt Turpin, S.J.
  5  670th                   
  43-22337  F6-O  A-26B
  Lt Cook, J.A.
  Sgt Langley, T.R.
  6  670th                   
  43-22330  F6-P  A-26B
  Lt Sewell, J.C.
  S/Sgt Hummer, J.A.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Lt Rooney, R.J.
  Lt Kirk, R.L.
  Sgt Caudell, S.R.
  Sgt Raccio, V.B.
  [Not Airborne]
  2  670th                   
  44-073  F6-J  A-20K
  Lt Grunig, D.B.
  Lt Morris, B.C.
  S/Sgt Dias, M.E.
  Sgt Nowosielski, H.J.
  3  671st                   
  41-39239  5C-N  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  Sgt Sienkiewicz, J.
  4  670th                   
  43-22307  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  S/Sgt Burger, L.C.
  5  670th                   
  41-39286  F6-D  A-26B
  Lt Musgrove, W.
  S/Sgt Licker, M.
  6  670th                   
  41-39321  F6-V  A-26B
  F/O Green, J.A.
  Sgt Kubjalko, A.

Box I
  SPARE  671st               
  43-22326  5C-W  A-26B
  Lt Wallman, M.
  Sgt Helt, A.
  [Landed at A-69 Fire in Cockpit]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  44-081  5H-P  A-20K
  Capt McNulty, G.M.
  Lt Forma, W.
  S/Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.
  S/Sgt Lagerman, K.G.
  2  668th                   
  43-22026  5H-M  A-20J
  Lt Stanley, C.S.
  F/O Blount, J.H.
  S/Sgt Collier, C.B.
  Sgt Edenburn, J.C.
  3  668th                   
  41-39259  5H-H  A-26B
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  Sgt Hood, A.R.
  4  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  S/Sgt Felkel, J.W.
  5  668th                   
  43-22290  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  S/Sgt Bentzler, D.H.
  6  668th                   
  41-39305  5H-U  A-26B
  Lt Harris, F.W.
  Sgt Williford, C.W.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  44-085  2A-T  A-20K
  Lt Col Napier, J.G.
  Lt Moore, D.L.
  Sgt West, N.D.
  Sgt Tranchina, C.E.
  2  669th                   
  43-22354  2A-S  A-26B
  Lt Jordan, C.S.
  S/Sgt Jensen, K.F.
  3  669th                   
  41-39229  2A-B  A-26B
  Lt Turner, D.O., Jr.
  S/Sgt Reyes, M.R.
  4  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Sorrels, D.W.
  S/Sgt Triber, H.I.
  5  669th                   
  43-22344  2A-C  A-26B
  Lt Hackley, R.H.
  Sgt Hawk, O.T.
  6  669th                   
  41-39241  2A-F  A-26B
  Lt Farley, J.J.
  Sgt Hardesty, E.R.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  44-185  5C-G  A-20K
  Lt Brown, C.J.
  Lt Kerns, J.E.
  S/Sgt Sunderland, H.E.
  S/Sgt Rio, D.J.
  2  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt VanNoorden, H.M.
  S/Sgt Steffey, R.I.
  3  671st                   
  43-22313  5C-B  A-26B
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  S/Sgt DiOrio, F.
  4  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Merchant, W.A.
  Sgt Berkes, E.F.
  5  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Hlivko, A.E.
  Sgt Graub, R.E.
  6  671st                   
  41-39208  5C-L  A-26B
  Lt Milhorn, G.L.
  Sgt Chest, D.

Box II
  SPARE  669th               
  43-22306  2A-X  A-26B
  Lt Anderson, C.M.
  Sgt Deatherage, J.H.

Box II -- Flight WINDOW
  1  671st                   
  43-21710  5C-Y  A-20J
  Lt Brewster, F.S.
  Lt Dennis, L.W.
  S/Sgt Clark, W.O.
  Sgt Kimball, A.H.
  2  671st                   
  43-22023  5C-X  A-20J
  Lt Henderson, F.W.
  S/Sgt Brown, R.J.
  S/Sgt Fessler, H.S.
  3  669th                   
  43-22024  2A-E  A-20J
  Lt Smith, D.E.
  Sgt DeStefano, R.
  S/Sgt Abriola, D.R.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 197 -- February 2, 1945, Friday AM
Euskirchen, Germany -- Supply Center

"416th Bombardment Group (L) - Group History 1945"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

The mission on the 2nd was the opposite of the "milk run" on the 1st. The target, the Euskirchen supply center, was attacked visually. The range of results ran from good to excellent with hits scored on buildings which blocked the roads, and on the roads themselves. (Ex #8-Feb '45.) It had been used as an active supply and housing center for troops enroute to the front. Ground defenses started firing at the formation from the moment it crossed the bombline until it came out of enemy territory. It varied from moderate to intense, but all of it was accurate. Twenty-two of the aircraft suffered battle damage; nineteen, category "A," and three, category "AC." Lieutenant D.E. Smith was flying a window plane. On the return trip he heard an explosion in the rear compartment of the plane. He called his gunners, but neither of them answered. He landed the plane safely at A-78. In the gunners compartment, he found Sergeant R. DeStafono dead. His body was badly broken. Only one small hole was visible in the plane, but the bulkhead had been sprung by the force of the unexplainable explosion. The other gunner, Staff Sergeant D.R. Abriola, was seen to bail out after the explosion near Bolbark, in enemy territory, and is listed as MIA. The [two] boxes, led by Major Price, Lt Hand, B-n and Captain McNulty, Lt Forma, B-n, scored good results.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 204 - 205

Mission #197 - 2 February - Euskirchen Communication Center. Captain Price with Lt. Hand, BN plus Captain McNulty and Lt. Forma, BN led boxes. Lts. Brown and Kerns, BN led a flight. They made two runs at the target, placing their bombs squarely on the aiming point, scoring an excellent rating. As soon as the formation crossed the bomb line, intense, accurate flak greeted our planes. Twenty-two planes suffered damage. Window planes preceeded the group dropping aluminum strips but the flak came through the window strips. Bombing was registered as two excellents and two others as good. One plane piloted by Lt. D. E. Smith, while flying window, suffered a loud explosion in the rear of the plane. He tried to contact his gunners but got no response. He landed the plane safely at A-76 airfield and found one gunner S/Sgt. D. R. Abriola, must have bailed out over enemy territory and the other, Sergeant R. DeStafano, dead on the floor of the compartment. There was only a relatively small hole in the side of the plane, but the bulkhead must have buckled in from the force of an unexplained explosion, hitting the gunner, his body badly broken up.

One other plane was reported as having a wing shot off and the plane spun in without parachutes having been seen. Names of the crew are not available

"Operational History 668th Bomb Squadron (416th Bomb Group (L)) WWII"
Wayne Williams, et.al.

Today we made up our lack of crews yesterday. In the mid-morning GP Mission # 197 took to the air, with Sq. "A" crews leading the way. Leading the formation in the first box, fist flight, was Price & Hand, with Gunners Fetko & ----. Right behind them, leading the second box was McNulty & Forma, with Gunners Fuehrer & Lagerman. The rest of our crews formed the flights led by these B/N Teams. The bomb load this time was 250 lb. GP’s.

The enemy Communications Center at Euskirchen, Germany was the recipient of the bomb load. This time it was no "milk run", as intense accurate heavy flak greeted the formation at the target. Two aircraft from other squadrons went down. One of the plans had a wing shot off, and was last seen spinning in about five thousand feet off the ground. The other plane suffered heavy damage, and the crew was forced to bail out. Fortunately, our crews were safe, suffering much flak damage however.

The bombing was done by flight group lead from about 12,500 feet. With the target free from cloud cover; visual observation gave promise to good results. Upon return to the base after a 3:30 journey, photos were printed giving testimony to the results. Needless to say, all the ships were flak damaged, but luckily none of the crews injured.

Results of the mission tabulated from the photos gave the formation 4 – excellent and 2—undetermined. These were "undetermined" because pictures were not taken due to evasive action taken by the aircraft. Both of the flights comprised of our crews brought back "excellent" results. The laurels go to the B/N’s Lt’s Hand & Forma. Both of these bombardiers have over 50 missions to their credit now.

Our move to the next field is certain now, and we expect to be gone within the next week. Our destination --- ????????????????????.

"668th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

In the outstanding missions of the month, personnel and aircraft of the 668th played an important role. On 2 February the team of Major Price and Lt., Hand led one box, while Captain McNulty and Lt., Forma led another in an attack on the Communications center of Euskirchen. Both boxes scored "Excellent."

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

The second day of February found misfortune once more plaguing the 669th. In an attack on the Euskirken Supply Center, which served as a processing and billeting area for enemy troops enroute to the front, the aircraft piloted by Lt. D. E. Smith was hit by enemy anti-aircraft fire. An explosion occured in the gunners compartment of the airplane. Sgt. Richard De Stefano, the top turret gunner, was killed outright. The engineer gunner, S/Sgt. D. F. Abriola, bailed out. When last seen, S/Sgt. Abriola was drifting down to a landing behind enemy lines. (It should be added that the aircraft was an A20K.) Lt. Smith was obliged to crash land the airplane at AAF Sta. A-78. Fortunately, he escaped injury. Despite the unfortunate loss mentioned above, the flight comprised of aircraft of this squadron, led by Lt. Col. Napier and his B/N Lt. Moore, achieved excellent results.

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

The next day the Euskirchen communications center was bombed with excellent results. This village was being used by the enemy as a supply and housing center for troops enroute to the front. Twelve 670th crews took part in disrupting this vital communications point.

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

With clearing skies over Germany the 416th Invaders dropped tons of fragmentation bombs on the town of Euskirchen with devastating results on the morning of February 2nd, 1945. Four flights received excellent ratings with tight bomb patterns in the center of town, while the two remaining flights were believed to have done equally as well, but due to violent evasive action, photos were not taken.

Lt. Brown and Lt. Kerns led the 671st flight. Though flak was intense they made two runs on the target and scored excellent results. However, they could not receive a rating as the one photo taken was from the oblique.

Intense flak was encountered in the target area and followed through the turn off. Twenty-two of the aircraft were battle damaged. A window ship of the 669th Squadron received the brunt of the damage. One gunner was killed, the other bailed out over enemy territory and the pilot crash-landed the plane in friendly territory.

[February 2, 1945], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, February 2, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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