9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 239 -- March 18, 1945, Sunday AM

Worms, Germany

Communications Center

 

WWII-Medal

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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 210-801
OpRep #            : 349
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,200 - 12,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 0832
Time Over Target   : 1026
Landing Time       : 1148
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:16
 

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 41 Total -- 41 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: M-448160
Secondary Target   : Meckenheim (R-360895)
Summary of Results : Box 1 - Good, Box 2 - Flight 1 Unsatisfactory, Flight 2 Undertermined, Flight 3 Unsatisfactory. 3 a/c dropped Window.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.64230,8.35799 (49° 38' 32" N, 8° 21' 29" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wM448160)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)


USAAF 9th Air Force Attack Against Worms, Germany
by Carl Sgamboti (PDF file)
Based on 416th Bomb Group Veteran interviews and additional research


Missing Air Crew Reports
Report A/C Serial # Crew
MACR 13152 41-39361 Kenny, James P.; Sittarich, John J.
MACR 13153 43-22521 Cornell, Ross H. Jr.; Enman, Roland E.; Carter, Ashton
MACR 13154 41-39237 Jokinen, William R.; Creeden, Edward J.
MACR 13155 41-39213 Vars, Clifford J.; Griffith, John J. Jr.


Route Map
Route Map


Loading List 1
Loading List 1, Box I


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


mission 239
Mission 239 Bomb Run Photo



Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 239 -- March 18, 1945, Sunday AM
Worms, 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  668th                   
  43-22523  5H-N  A-26C
  Capt Evans, H.M.
  Lt McCartney, T.M.
  Lt Freed, D.R.
  S/Sgt Skeens, C.L.
  2  671st                   
  43-22490  5C-X  A-26C
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Lt Muir, R.C.
  S/Sgt Connery, T.
 
  3  668th                   
  41-39361  5H-M  A-26B
  Lt Kenny, J.P.
  S/Sgt Sittarich, J.J.
  [Blew up in Mid Air]
 
 
  4  668th                   
  41-39259  5H-H  A-26B
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  S/Sgt Singleton, L.E.
 
 
  5  668th                   
  41-39213  5H-A  A-26B
  Lt Vars, C.J.
  Sgt Griffith, J.J.
  [MIA]
 
 
  6  668th                   
  43-22378  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Parkhurst, G.J.
  Sgt Newman, F.
 
 

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Grunig, D.B.
  Lt Morris, B.C.
  S/Sgt Nowosielski, H.J.
 
  2  670th                   
  41-39215  F6-R  A-26B
  Lt Chitty, W.D.
  Sgt Raccio, V.B.
 
 
  3  670th                   
  43-22307  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Turman, A.R.
  Sgt Harmon, C.D.
 
 
  4  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  S/Sgt Belcas, J.O.
 
 
  5  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Capt Borman, H.W.
  Sgt Perujo, R.J.
 
 
  6  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  Lt Wallace, J.F.
  Sgt Krantz, J.G.
 
 

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-22469  F6-A  A-26C
  Lt Brewster, F.S.
  Lt Dennis, L.W.
  S/Sgt Clark, W.O.
 
  2  670th                   
  41-39315  F6-F  A-26B
  Lt Stankowski, J.F.
  Sgt Kimball, A.H.
 
 
  3  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Lt Ford, R.
  Sgt Thompson, C.J.
 
 
  4  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Bower, R.S.
  Sgt Puskas, N.A.
 
 
  5  668th                   
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Henson, A.G.
  Cpl Homler, R.K.
 
 
  6  670th                   
  43-22320  F6-S  A-26B
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Sgt Corey, F.E.
  Sgt Richards, D.B.
 

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-22385  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Nathanson, A.S.
  Sgt Hicks, C.M.
 
 
                                                           


Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-22505  5H-Y  A-26C
  Capt Andersen, C.J.
  Lt Babbage, W.
  Lt Roman, L.J.
  S/Sgt Profita, P.J.
  2  669th                   
  43-22521  2A-N  A-26C
  Lt Cornell, R.H.
  Lt Enman, R.E.
  S/Sgt Carter, A.
  [MIA Last seen on single engine over friendly territory below formation]
 
  3  668th                   
  43-22495  5H-G  A-26C
  Lt Carver, J.H.
  S/Sgt Graham, N.M.
 
 
  4  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Prucha, L.J.
  S/Sgt Ferguson, L.C.
 
 
  5  668th                   
  43-22389  5H-X  A-26B
  Lt Blevins, J.W.
  Sgt Gentry, F.
 
 
  6  668th                   
  41-39325  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Long, R.H.
  Sgt McCarthy, C.J.
 
 

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-22304  2A-T  A-26C
  Capt Stebbins, B.D.
  Lt Calloway, A.S.
  S/Sgt Brown, W.J.
 
  2  669th                   
  43-22351  2A-F  A-26B
  Lt Weinert, C.E.
  Sgt Francis, R.D.
 
 
  3  669th                   
  41-39314  2A-H  A-26B
  Lt Martin, E.C.
  Lt Britt, J.W.
  S/Sgt Draft, L.B.
 
  4  669th                   
  43-22487  2A-J  A-26C
  Lt Turner, D.O., Jr.
  Lt McGivern, P.J.
  S/Sgt Reyes, M.R.
 
  5  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Dunn, F.G.
  Sgt Stein, L.C.
 
 
  6  669th                   
  43-22381  2A-Q  A-26B
  Lt Depner, A.W.
  Sgt Gillespie, R.H.
  S/Sgt Kruger, C.J.
 

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22499  5C-G  A-26C
  Lt Buskirk, J.A.
  Lt Hanna, R.C.
  S/Sgt Fessler, H.S.
 
  2  671st                   
  43-22497  5C-E  A-26C
  Capt Sutton, L.J.
  Lt Reed, J.V.
  S/Sgt Brown, R.J.
 
  3  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt VanNoorden, H.M.
  S/Sgt Steffey, R.I.
 
 
  4  671st                   
  43-22313  5C-B  A-26B
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  S/Sgt Miguez, J.H.
 
 
  5  671st                   
  41-39237  5C-D  A-26B
  Lt Jokinen, W.R.
  Sgt Creeden, E.J.
  [Plane seen to explode on back]
 
 
  6  671st                   
  43-22419  5C-Z  A-26B
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  S/Sgt Skelton, T.W.
 
 

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39305  5H-U  A-26B
  Lt Tank, F.R.
  Sgt Harmon, F.B.
 
 
                                                           

Box II -- Flight WINDOW
  1  668th                   
  43-22508  5H-Z  A-26C
  Lt Popeney, H.
  Lt Fry, C.F.
  S/Sgt Arnett, W.E.
  S/Sgt Candler, H.C.S.
  2  671st                   
  41-39249  5C-F  A-26B
  Lt Miller, J.H.
  Sgt Gurkin, C.W.
  Sgt Gross, V.F.
 
  3  671st                   
  41-39297  5C-T  A-26B
  Lt Winn, A.J.P.
  Sgt Davis, W.G.
  S/Sgt Stephenson, G.G.
 



Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 239 -- March 18, 1945, Sunday AM
Worms, Germany -- Communications Center


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

Throughout the pages of our History, two words have stood out, "Bloody Sunday." The 18th was one of our bloodiest Sundays. Two PPF planes led our two boxes in to attack on the Worms communications center. Up to the Rhine, a solid cloud cover hung over the ground. It cleared at the Rhine. The PPF planes began their long bomb run. At the same time, intense, accurate flak was shot up. The leader of the first box called the PPF plane, saying that he was going to attempt a visual run, but asked him to stay in the lead in case a visual run was not possible. The first box dropped visually, as did the PPF plane. The leader of the second box decided on a visual attack from visual I.P. They turned left before the target and went to the visual I.P. west of the target. Peeling off, they bombed visually by flights.

The intense accurate flak at the PPF I.P. continued to the target, except for a momentary break. When the second box turned off for its visual I.P., they passed out of the flak area. But going into the target, they experienced moderate flak up to the target.

Four planes were presumed to be lost to flak when they failed to return to base. The planes went down in the vicinity of the PPF IP, northeast of the town of Bingen. Two planes went down in the vicinity of the target. Twenty-three other planes suffered battle damage; 17, category "A", and six, category "AC." Only one returning crew member was injured, Lt W.D. Chitty Jr. He counted over 80 holes in his plane, 20 in one engine and yet the engine ran. Flak cracked both his windshields and glass grazed his wrist. An 88 mm shell crashed through the cockpit of Lt Carver's plane and exploded over his head. He was uninjured.

No chutes were seen to emerge from any of the planes that were lost. The crews are all listed as MIA.

#261 received direct hits in the left engine between the PPF I.P. and the target. It was last seen disintegrating and in flames, going down at a undetermined point. Lt J.P. Kenny and S/Sgt J.J. Sittarich were the crew.

#213 was seen by two crews to leave the formation in the target area with a fire in the cockpit after a direct hit in the left engine on the bomb run. Its crew was Lt C.J. Vars and S/Sgt J.J. Griffith.

#521 received a direct hit on the turn off the target. Both engines were smoking and it was losing altitude but apparently under control. It might have been the plane seen to hit the ground near Johannisberg. After flames broke out in the right engine nacelle, the right wing broke off about 3,000 feet above the ground. The crew included Lt R.H. Cornell, Lt R.E. Enman, and S/Sgt A. Carter.

#237 received a direct hit in the right wing and was seen to hit the ground in flames near Bingen. The crew was Lt W.B. Jokinen and Sgt E.J. Creeden.

The bombs of the first box fell in two patterns in the town, causing extensive damage to buildings, roads, and railroad tracks. Box two scored hits in the marshalling yards and a highway overpass. All in all, many tracks were cut, ten cars destroyed, four warehouses damaged, 85 buildings damaged, roads and streets cut, and the overpass probably destroyed.

The box leaders were Capt Evans, Lts McCartney and Freed, B&N, and Capt Anderson, Lts Babbage and Roman, B&N.


"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 228 - 232

Mission #239 - 18 March - Worms Communication Center. Box leaders were Captain Evans with Lts. McCartney and Freed BNs on Box I. Captain Anderson with Lts. Babbage and Roman, BNs on Box II. Flight leaders were Lts. Buskirk and Hanna, BN, - Lts. Lackovich and Muir BN, - Captain Sutton and Reed, BN. This was a mission of Big Hurts and classified as another Bloody Sunday, one of the worst. PFF was planned for this mission, but as they neared the target area, clouds cleared, the lead bombardier dropped visually. Bombs of the first box fell in two patterns in the town, causing extensive damage to buildings, roads and railroad tracks. Box two scored hits in the marshalling yards and a highway overpass. The PFF planes started an unusually long bomb run and the lead bombardier visually sighted the target and dropped. The second box also decided to bomb visually and went to the Initial Point to start their bomb run. Moderate flak met them on the way to the target. The anti aircraft gunners could now see the formation through the cloud break and let loose with everything they had. Four planes were lost near the town of Bingen. Two went down near the target. Twenty three other planes suffered flak damage and as the saying goes, "they must have had their first sergeants manning the guns." They did a good job. The crews that went down presumably did not have a chance to parachute out, although that did not prove to be the fact. The plane piloted by Lt. J. P. Kinney with gunner S/Sgt. J. J. Sittarich received a direct hit in the left engine. It was last seen disintegrating and in flames, going down. Lt. Ross H. Cornell with BN Lt. R. E. Enman, and gunner S/Sgt. A. Carter took a direct hit on the turn off the target. Both engines were smoking and it was going down fast, but apparently under control. After flames broke out in the right engine nacelle, the right wing broke off about 3000 feet above the ground. They were all listed as MIA, but Cornell was returned to Military Command from having been a POW. Enman was lost. Another plane piloted by Lt. W. B. Jokinen and Sgt. E. J. Creeden also received a direct hit and was seen to hit the ground in flames. Their story and that of Lt. Chitty should be related.

This is the first person story of Lt. Chitty:

On the 18th of March we bombed the town of Worms. I was flying No. 2 position of the second flight, first box. This was a PFF mission but as we crossed the bomb line the weather was CAVU. We reached the IP flying at 11,000 feet and 200 MPH, made a right turn and leveled off for the bomb run. My gunner, Sgt. Raccio called several flak bursts at 6:00 o'clock. At the same time there was a bad explosion and the left engine quit. I advanced full throttle and RPM to my good engine and stayed with the formation. About ten seconds later another burst directly in front of me knocked three holes in my windshield and one in my canopy, spraying me with powdered glass. We opened bomb doors and feathered my left engine with no results. About one minute later Sgt. Raccio called and said there were several pieces of small metal from the top of the bomb bay lying in his compartment. Also he saw several holes in the tail and wings. I released my bombs when the leader dropped his. I knew I couldn't stay in formation during evasive action, so pulled away from the formation and crossed the bomb line alone. I noticed my pressure on the left engine showed fuel down. I switched to full booster and the left engine sputtered a few times and caught up although the fuel pressure was still around ten pounds. As the formation reached the RP, I rejoined my flight and set course for the base. Ten minutes later, Sgt Raccio called that smoke was coming into his compartment. I told him to locate the fire and put it out. He then called back and said it was gasoline vapor coming in pretty thick. I called him up to the pilot's compartment. I called in for an emergency landing at our base and went in, cutting off the fuel line. The fire fighters were at the end of the runway, when we got out and ran.

The report of Lt. W. B. Jokinen and Sgt. E. J. Creeden is not detailed, but they were reported to have gone down and crashed, exploding. Lt. Jokinen was on his 17th mission and Sgt. Creeden was on his 10th. The story related in the history of the 671 squadron, put together by Gordon Russell, and assembled by Lt. Jim Kerns requires repeating:

It Happened at the Front

A story which might have originated with "Believe it or Not Ripley" broke here at A-69 when Lt. John B. Cooke and his two gunners, S/Sgt. MacCartney and Sgt. Redding returned from their trip to the front on 28 March. It had to with Lt. Jokinen and Sgt. Creeden and their plane ... and it definitely was "good news." Here's the way it happened:

Sgt. MacCartney and Redding were putting in some Jeep Time near the town of Gemunden which the Third Army had just taken. The boys spotted a crashed plane in the distance and took the Jeep cross country to take a look at it. As they got closer they noticed it was a familiar A-26 Invader, their interest rising. The boys got quite a start when they got close enough to see the black rudder markings, the number and letter for it was their own ship, No. 237-D. The ship had bellied in on the flat surface on top of a hill outside town. The pair made a thorough search of the plane and the area. Both hatches were lying on the ground beside the plane, evidence that Lt. Jokinen and Sgt. Creeden had gotten out of the plane but the plane was not torn up badly. There was no sign of blood in either section of the ship. MacCartney found the flak jackets a short distance from the plane. The nose guns had been removed, probably by the Germans for their use.

The ground troops which had gathered around the plane were very skeptical when the two gunners exclaimed that it was their own plane and one in which they had flown several missions. MacCartney answered their "Oh Yeahs" by turning his back to them saying, "Take a look at the number and letter on the A-26 and the back of my jacket!" And sure enough, there was old No. 237 D on the jacket.

They told Lt. Cooke of their find and he returned with them to the plane. It seemed apparent to Lt. Cooke that the pilot and gunner climbed out of the plane themselves and were taken prisoner by the Jerris who occupied the territory when they went down. The three agreed that Jokinen had made a perfect crash landing, although at the time and until they returned to A-69 they did not know who was flying the ship.

Lt. Jokinen's plane received several flak bursts in the engines over the target - Worms. With the oil system in both engines leaking, he made a vain attempt to get back across the bomb line, but apparently the engines burned out and he was forced to set it down. It was a story of so close and yet so far, for he was just six miles from the Fourth Armored Division.

The squadron is now anxiously awaiting further word about Lt. Jokinen, and it is hoped that he and Sgt. Creeden may be freed in the Allied drive into Germany.

The sequel to that story is that on April 7, Squadron D Operations received a call from Lt. William R. Jokinen that he had escaped from the Germans and was at USTAFF Hdqs in Paris. Jokinen returned to the squadron on April 13th, telling that when he found he could not make it to friendly lines, he sought a crash landing spot and went in. He and Sgt. Creeden jumped out of the plane and threw a grenade into it, but it was a dud. It did not explode. He returned to the plane to retrieve a few things, when the Germans arrived and took them in as prisoners. They separated the pilot from the gunner and started a long march which resulted in foot blisters from the long treks. They marched at night for two weeks. When they got to the destination three other prisoners and Lt. Jokinen made their escape. During their long night marches, they only received black bread and water. Aside of the hikes and poor food, they were not mistreated. After the break-out, the four crept, crawled, hid and ran until they reached the Seventh Army and were then taken back to Paris.


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

Though the war went strongly against the German, his ground defenses were by no means thereby diminished, and he continued fiercely to defend himself, as the unit's combat losses in the month of March clearly attest.

On 18 March two of our aircraft were shot down over the Reich. First Lieutenant James P. Kenny, Staff Sergeant John J. Sittarich, Second Lieutenant Clifford J. Vars, and Sergeant John J. Griffith Jr. were reported Missing in Action.


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

Misfortune reached out to the 669th once more on the 18th of the month. In making an attack on the Worms Communications Center, the aircraft piloted by Lt. Cornell was hit by heavy anti-aircraft artillery fire. The aircraft was seen to be descending, under control, with the right engine afire. The right wing was seen to break off, and the aircraft was believed to have crashed near Johennesburg. Beside Lt. Cornell, Lt. Enman and S/Sgt. Carter were reported missing in action. Capt. Stebbins and Lt. Calloway led the second flight of the second box in the attack. Excellent results were obtained despite the intensive enemy defenses. Lt. Col. Napier, with Lts. Moore and Mulgrew, led the formation on the afternoon mission of the same day. Capt. Miller flew in the lead position of box II. He had Lt. Conner and Flight Officer Wrubelle flying with him to bomb and navigate. The target was the Kreutzel Marshalling Yard. Blind bombing technique had to be employed because of the cloud cover.


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

Excellent results were achieved on the attack in the morning of 18 March when the Worms Communication Center was the target. Intense accurate flak was met. Thirteen of our crews participated, in this attack, and all returned safely, although the group lost a total of four aircraft. Lt Chitty's airplane was hit by flak on the bomb run. His account of the incident follows: "On the 18th of March we bombed the town of Worms, Germany. I was flying number two position of the second flight, first box. This was a PFF mission, but as we crossed the bomb line the weather was C.A.V.U. We reached the I.P. flying at 11,500 feet and 200 MPH, made a right turn and leveled off for the bomb run. My gunner, Sgt Raccio, called several flak bursts level at 6 o'clock. At the same time, there was a loud explosion and the left engine quit. I advanced full throttle and RPM to my good engine and stayed in formation. About ten seconds later another burst directly in front of me knocked three holes in my wind shield and one in the canopy, spraying me with powdered glass. We opened bomb doors and I made several attempts to feather my left engine with no results. I left my prop control if full decrease RPM to cut down drag. About one minute before bombs away I heard two other explosions and Sgt Raccio called and said there were several small pieces of metal from the top of the bomb bay lying in his compartment. Also he saw several holes in the tail and wings. Just as I saw my flight leaders bombs go away I pressed my release button. Sgt Raccio called bombs away. I knew I couldn't stay in formation during evasive action I peeled out of formation and came back across the bomb line alone. As soon as I was across the bomb line I began checking my instruments and noticed the fuel pressure on my left engine was down. I advanced RPM and throttle and switched on high boost. The left engine sputtered a few times and caught up although the fuel pressure was still only 10 pounds. The formation was circling at the RP so I rejoined my flight and we set course to our base. Approximately ten minutes after setting course, Sgt Raccio called that he could see smoke coming into his compartment. I told him to locate the fire and try putting it out. A couple of minutes later he called again and told me that it was apparently gasoline vapor burning out of holes in the top of the bomb bay tank. He also said the smoke in his compartment was getting pretty thick, so I told him to come up to the pilot's compartment, which he did. I tried to contact my leader but could not do so. Then I tried all emergency channels without success. Sgt Raccio then used the fire extinguisher in the pilot's compartment on the fire but could do no more than slow it down temporarily. As the bomb bay tank was full of gas I didn't think there was to much danger of an explosion from the vapor, so I decided to stay with the flight back to our base or until I saw a field. After about thirty minutes I saw our field so I peeled off and called in for an emergency landing. I could hear boatdeck control very faintly but could understand them. As soon as I was sure of making the runway I cut all switches and cut my gas off. As soon as the wheels touched, Sgt Raccio opened the hatch. I let the plane roll on at the end of the runway, clear of other planes and we climbed out. The fire department was at the plane as soon as it stopped rolling.

I believe that the bomb bay tank being full of gasoline is all that prevented an explosion as the vapor escaping from flak holes in the top of the tank was burning. The gas vapor apparently caught from electrical wiring inside the bombay, that had been severed by pieces of flak."


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

The 416th Bomb Group encountered another "Bloody Sunday" on March 18th with the loss of four ships and crews over the target area…the Worms Communication Center. The A-26s were dispatched in the morning with a Pathfinder lead, but the skies were clear over the target and bombing was done visually as the flak gunners threw up everything but the kitchen sink. The Group made their second run of the day in the afternoon against the Kreutzal Marshalling Yard, bombing this time by Pathfinder with the protection of a cloud cover.

The 671st Bomb Squadron suffered on the morning mission when Lt. William R. Jokinen and his gunner, S/Sgt.Edward J. Creeden, were shot down over the target. No chutes were seen and the ship was followed to the ground where it exploded. This was Lt. Jokinen’s 17th mission and Creeden’s 10th. The pair joined the Squadron on October 1st, 1944. Captain Cornell, Lt. Vars and Lt. Kinney and their crews were also lost.

Attacking in anticipation of a possible enemy withdrawal from the "Saarbrucken squeeze" of the U.S. Third and Seventh Armies, the 416th and five other Ninth Bomb Division Groups hit at Worms on the west bank of the Rhine River. Despite the treacherous flak, the 416th turned in a good job of bombing. Box I received a good with bombs dropping in the center of the town. Bombs of the first flight in the second box hit in the marshalling yard and on an overpass. Due to evasive action no photos were available on the second flight, but visual observation reports state excellent results.

The bomb pattern for the final flight could not be picked up on the strike photos. Besides the four ships shot down, 23 planes were battle damaged.


"671tst Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

In March clear weather favored the Allies and again the expert B/N - Pilot teams of the Group kept the bombing average well up toward the top of the Bomb Division. These successful missions were not completed without cost to the 671st Bomb Squadron, however. On 18 March 1945 the Group attacked the Marshalling Yards at Worms, Germany as a part of the air plan to pave the way for General Patton's Third Army. Apparently all the punch had not yet been knocked out of the enemy in this area, for as the 671st flight turned off the target a burst of flak knocked out the aircraft flown by Lieutenant Jokinen. Although immediate news at to the chances of the crew being safe were discouraging, more optimistic reports were brought back from the front by Lieutenant Cocke who found the airplane in good shape after a crash landing.



See also:
5-minute video of Jack Sittarich reading a letter he wrote to Jimmy Kenny's mother after the war.
Taped during the September, 2010 416th BG Reunion at Branson, MO by Wayne Sayles.

John J. (Jack) Sittarich - POW
42-minute interview detailing the events of this mission
leading to the capture and imprisonment of Ssgt Sittarich and the death of Lt. Jimmy Kenny.
Taped during the September, 2009 416th BG Reunion at Branson, MO by Wayne Sayles.


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