9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 285 -- May 3, 1945, Thursday AM

Stod, Czechoslovakia

Ammunition Dump



Previous Mission # 284            Mission List

Return to Table of Contents

Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 277-880
OpRep #            : 33.0
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 13,300 - 13,700 feet
Take-off Time      : 0900
Time Over Target   : 1118 - 1134
Landing Time       : 1406
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 5:06

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 38 Total -- 36 A-26's, 2 B-26's (PFF)
Modified British System Reference: WP-864260
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : Unobserved - 7-10/10's cloud cover.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.61034,13.09239 (49° 36' 37" N, 13° 5' 33" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wP864260)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 285 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 33       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

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

         Date          Report

Serial #
Location Personnel (Status when available)
May 3, 1945
No_Report   41-39328
285 671 Trier airfield Fero, Donald A. (Not Injured)
Rojas, Andrew A. (Not Injured)

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 # 285 -- May 3, 1945, Thursday AM
Stod, Czechoslovakia -- Ammunition Dump

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  669th                   
  43-22609  2A-N  A-26C
  Maj Shaefer, R.F.
  Lt Anderson, C.M.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  S/Sgt McClain, H.B.
  Lt Dant, N.B.
  2  669th                   
  43-22354  2A-S  A-26B
  Lt Hackley, R.H.
  S/Sgt Hawk, O.T.
  [Returned Early]
  3  669th                   
  41-39319  2A-A  A-26B
  Lt VanRope, R.W.
  S/Sgt Klingman, W.H.
  4  669th                   
  41-39338  2A-O  A-26B
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  S/Sgt Griffin, D.L.
  5  669th                   
  43-22383  2A-V  A-26B
  Lt Poundstone, L.E.
  Sgt Sumner, W.R.
  6  669th                   
  41-39263  2A-G  A-26B
  Lt Dunn, F.G.
  Sgt Pikel, J.M.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-22497  5C-E  A-26C
  Capt Sutton, L.J.
  Lt Reed, J.V.
  S/Sgt Gilliam, D.C.
  2  671st                   
  43-22313  5C-B  A-26B
  Lt Hlivko, A.E.
  Sgt Farmer, L.J.
  3  671st                   
  41-39328  5C-D  A-26B
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  S/Sgt Rojas, A.A.
  [Landed away from]
  4  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Gary, J.C.
  Sgt Schoen, A.E.
  5  671st                   
  41-39297  5C-T  A-26B
  Lt Wright, J.R.
  S/Sgt Simon, D.O.
  6  671st                   
  41-39300  5C-K  A-26B
  Lt Wallman, M.
  Sgt Hardin, M.F.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22655  5C-H  A-26C
  Capt Pair, H.F.
  Lt Corum, J.L.
  S/Sgt Swank, O.E.
  2  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt Milhorn, G.L.
  S/Sgt Chest, D.
  3  671st                   
  43-22419  5C-Z  A-26B
  Lt Spires, J.W.
  S/Sgt Messinger, R.W.
  4  671st                   
  41-39265  5C-V  A-26B
  Capt Sears, A.C.
  S/Sgt Rose, J.W.
  Sgt Mowell, R.F.
  [Returned Early Engine Cutting Out]
  5  671st                   
  41-39250  5C-A  A-26B
  Lt Edstrom, L.W.
  S/Sgt Pompa, P.A.
  [Returned Early]
  6  671st                   
  41-39249  5C-F  A-26B
  Lt Price, D.L.
  S/Sgt Barber, F.E.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-22385  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Drum, E.B.
  Sgt Schwartzkopf, J.R.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-22492  2A-E  A-26C
  Capt Blomgren, J.E.
  Lt Johnson, G.G.
  S/Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  2  669th                   
  43-22351  2A-F  A-26B
  Lt Willard, J.A.
  S/Sgt Hinker, C.V.
  3  669th                   
  43-22381  2A-Q  A-26B
  F/O Swap, F.W.
  S/Sgt Pemberton, J.M.
  4  669th                   
  43-22487  2A-J  A-26C
  Capt Shapard, J.M.
  Lt Morley, B.J.
  S/Sgt Donnelly, W.W.
  5  669th                   
  41-39362  2A-Y  A-26B
  Lt Smith, B.A.
  S/Sgt Reid, K.A.
  6  669th                   
  41-39393  2A-M  A-26B
  Lt Wills, P.W.
  S/Sgt Moskowitz, L.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Popeney, H.
  Lt Fry, C.F.
  S/Sgt Candler, H.C.S.
  2  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Maj Conant, H.F.
  S/Sgt Friday, L.R.
  3  670th                   
  41-39286  F6-D  A-26B
  Lt Wallace, J.F.
  Sgt Plant, R.
  4  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Bishop, E.G.
  S/Sgt Perujo, R.J.
  S/Sgt Richards, D.B.
  5  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  F/O Boerner, S.B.
  Sgt Eddy, K.A.
  6  670th                   
  43-22334  F6-G  A-26B
  Lt Balch, W.M.
  Sgt Brennan, J.D.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-22508  5H-Z  A-26C
  Lt Annin, W.W.
  Lt Martin, R.L.
  S/Sgt Pauker, J.L.
  2  668th                   
  41-39310  5H-A  A-26B
  Lt Cannon, L.E.
  S/Sgt Mohr, C.M.
  3  668th                   
  43-22321  5H-T  A-26B
  Lt Carver, J.H.
  S/Sgt Stewart, A.B.
  4  668th                   
  41-39305  5H-U  A-26B
  Lt Harris, F.W.
  S/Sgt Pettinicchi, A.
  5  668th                   
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Parkhurst, G.J.
  S/Sgt Newman, F.
  6  668th                   
  41-39352  5H-J  A-26B
  Lt Nathanson, A.S.
  S/Sgt Hicks, C.M.
  [Returned Early]

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39188  5H-R  A-26B
  Lt Evarts, A.V.
  Sgt Youlios, D.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 285 -- May 3, 1945, Thursday AM
Stod, Czechoslovakia -- Ammunition Dump

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

Two days later, on the 3rd, our planes went back to Czechoslovakia to attack the Stod ammunition dump again. Two boxes of aircraft made the attack behind two planes employing Shoran equipment. The results were unobserved through a 10/10-cloud cover. The boxes were led by Major Shaefer (Capt Hand and Lt Dant, B&N) and Captain Blomgren, Lt Johnson, B-N. This mission, No. 285, was the last mission flown by the Group before the final capitulation of the enemy on V-E Day, 8 May '45.

The break-up of Germany came fast. On the first of May, it was reported that Hitler had died. The report and no official confirmation, however. On the second, at 1200 GMT, German troops in Italy and western Austria surrendered unconditionally to Field Marshall Sir Harold Alexander. Russia also announced the fall of Berlin to Red Army troops.

Three days later, effective 0800 hours on the 5th, all German forces in Holland, Denmark, NW Germany, Helogoland, the Frisian Islands surrendered to Field Marshall Sir Bernard L. Montgomery. Also a premature announcement that the remainder of German troops had surrendered brought a joyous celebration on the Base. War news the next morning saddened the hearts of many for the report had been false.

Finally, the real news broke. At 0241 hours on the morning of the seventh, German officers signed the unconditional surrender presented by the Western Allies and Soviet Russia about 35 miles from our base at Reims. The official announcement of the surrender was made simultaneously in Washington, London, and Moscow, at 1500 hours on the 8th, which was officially designed as V-E Day. All hostilities were to cease as of 0001 hours on the 9th.

Messages of Congratulations poured into the Message Center. Their themes were fundamentally the same, thanking all of us who had brought about the victory.

On V-E Day, Colonel Aylesworth addressed a gathering of all personnel at a hardstand in the 671st area. He emphasized the wonderful record made by the Group and also the task still to be performed. He also expanded on the "point system" which had been set up to govern the discharge of men not vitally needed for the continuance of the war in the Pacific.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 258

Mission #285 - 3 May - Stodt Ammunition Dump. Czechoslovakia. The Shoran system was again attempted on this mission, evidently with success, at least the bombs were dropped. Results were scored between good and excellent. Major Shaefer led Box I with Captain Hand and Lt. Dant BNs plus Captain Blomgren with Lt. Johnson, BN. Flight leaders were Captain Pair and Lt. Corum BN and Captain Sutton and Lt. Reed BN

The Last Mission for the Glorious 416th Bombardment Group

Historical Data, April 1945

Easter Day, April 1945 with its religious service and significance, ushered in one of the strangest months in the history of World War II. No longer did we think that the bombs we dropped were as a pebble on a beach, lost among the others. Instead, as the month slipped by each ton of bombs dropped seemed to show a definite reaction and bring about a new change in the bomb line. The Germans were on the run and we now knew that it was only a matter of time before an unconditional surrender would be made.

The question in the minds of most of us, now, seemed not to be, when will V-E Day come, but what will the terms of surrender be, so that we will not have to fight again in another decade or two? The Yalta conference, held some months ago, had decided on some of the terms to be demanded. The San Francisco conference to begin in April 25, attended by delegates from the Allied Nations. was to decide on the terms of final settlement. Our champion at these conferences was our President Franklin D. Roosevelt. His astuteness, understanding of the problems, and diplomacy had won him the confidence of the whole world. Then a wall fell on us. The news reached us on the morning of the l3th that President Roosevelt had died at his summer home at Hot Springs, Georgia, on the 12th. The average American soldier knew that with his passing, had gone one of our greatest assurance of ajust and lasting peace. A period of 30 days of mourning was proclaimed by the new President, Harry S. Truman. A memorial service was held on the 670th Bomb Squadron's athletic field on the 15th. Chaplains Penticoff and Doyle conducted the service, attended by all available personnel from all units on the base.

The events of the following few days were watched closely to see what changes in policy would be made by the new President. Mr. Truman issued a statement that he would continue to carry out the policies of the late President and would make no immediate chanses in the cabinet.

April might easily be called Inspection Month. On the 3rd and 4th, the Office of the Inspector General of the 9th Bombardment Division made a complete administrative inspection of the Group and Station. The Group and Station received a Superior rating. This was the second consecutive Superior rating given to the Group in an administrative inspection by that office.

On the 9th, Colonel Stramney, a reclassification specialist from ETOUSA, arrived to spend a few days on the base. He flew on a couple of missions so that he might understand the conditions under which our combat crewmen worked and lived and thereby make any needed recornmendations for improvements.

A Bombardment Division Personnel survey, audit, and inspection team arrived on the 28th to make a 10 day inspection of personnel records, checking them for accuracy and agreement. The team of an officer and three enlisted men was under the supervision of Captain James M. Lynch, Jr.

Throughout the month, there were changes in personnel and assignment, Major William P. Thomas, Intelligence Officer for the Group since its activation in February, 1943, was transferred to the headquarters of the European Civil Affairs Division on 6 April. He was succeeded by Captain H. B. Sheridan, who had been I.O. of the 670th Bomb Sq. since the Group's inception. Captain H. W. Anderson and Lt. L. H. Perkins were appointed Top Secret control officer and assistant control officer. Lt. Col. Napier returned to the U.S. after completing his tour of duty. Major Shaefer became commanding officer of the 669th Squadron. Captain R. V. Wheeler was appointed Assistant Group Operations officer on the 22nd. Strength of the Group on the last day of April was:

668th Squadron 48 Officers 275 Enlisted Men
669th '' 56 Officers 272 Enlisted Men
670th '' 61 Officers 269 Enlisted Men
671st '' 54 Officers 269 Enlisted Men
Hq. 416th 33 Officers 56 Enlisted Men
Totals 252 Officers 1141 Enlisted Men

Among those who had completed their tours of duty and had returned to the Zone of the Interior were Lt. Col. J. G. Napier, - First Lieutenants F. W. Henderson, - A. E. Herman, W. A. Merchant, F. H. Miller, - A. F. Maltby, - E. R. Hayter - R.J. Basnett - R. J. McQuade, - J. K. Colquitt, - H. J. Montrose, - J. J. Lackovich, - D. L. Withington III, - Staff Sergeants E. P. Brzesinski, - R. J. Brown, - R. W. Carstene, - H. E. Fessler, - C. Fetko, Jr., - C. F. Floyd, - H. J. Nowoskieiski, - H. J. Roberts, - J. W. Robinson, - R. P. Sharp Jr., - S. Kochan Jr., - J. A. Hummer, - D. E. Burns, - M. Bookach, - F. P. Basford, - H. R. Davis, - T. Connery Jr., - A. H. Vinson Jr., - L. McElhattan, - C. F. Huss, - M. Hall, A. A. Cianciose, and H. G. Wiggins.

On the 6th, an old familiar face returned to pay a short visit. It was Brigadier General Harold L. Mace, who had been Commanding Officer of the Group when it arrived overseas. His familiar "Hi Boys!" greeted everyone at Colonel Aylesworth's staff meeting. General Mace now commands the 98 Combat Wing. During the month, a Soldier's Medal was awarded to S/Sgt. C. V. Hinker for having promptly and courageously defusing a 1000 pound bomb when it had fallen on the bomb bay doors, forcing them partly open. Wind blowing on the arming vane, had started to arm, the bomb. His courage saved himself, his pilot and the plane from sure destruction. Staff Sergeant Harold G. Wiggins, a gunner in the 670th squadron devised a gadget which would enable a gunner to release any bombs hung up on its shackles. The main escape hatch for gunners was down through the open bomb bay doors. A switch in the gunner's compartment opened the bomb bay doors and salvoed the bombs. A hung up bomb, however, might block the passage of the escaping gunner. The design was passed on to higher quarters for possible inclusion on other planes.

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

On May 2nd we were again briefed, but this time our target was "scrubbed", but on May 3rd we were alerted by Field Order Number 277-880 for the last mission that we would fly in the European Theatre of Operations and once again our target was the STOD AMMO PLANT in AUSTRIA. Squadron "A" dispatched 7 ships to make up a Group Total of 34 ships. This time conditions were more favorable, and the target was attacked by using "equipment" bombing technique with undetermined results. Our last mission in the ETO was the way our crews liked them, a "milk run" with no one suffering battle damages or any "near" misses. So ends our operational status after 14 months of combat against the enemy, attacking all types of military targets, and from altitudes far above that of medium altitude to straffing missions on the deck. Mission number 285 closed our files under Operational Missions.

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

Two days later, on the 3 May, Major Richard Shaefer led the group back to the Stod Ammunition Dump. Captain Hand (of the 668th Bombardment Squadron) and Lieutenant Dant acted as Major Shaefer's Bombardier and Navigator, respectively. Captain Blomgren, with Lieutenant Johnson acting as his Bombardier-Navigator, led the second box of the formation. The bombs were dropped with excellent results. This was mission number 285 for the Group and the last operational mission to be flown by our Squadron in the European Theatre of Operations.

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

On 2 May notice was received of the promotion of 1st Lts. Rozell B. Hall and Peter C. Royalty to Captain and 2nd Lt. Stanley H. Sheley to 1st Lt, with effective date of promotion 23 Apr 45. No mission was flown on this date.

36 aircraft flew on mission No. 285 on 3 May 1945, 6 crews of this squadron participating in the attack on the Stod Ammunition Plant. Bombing was done by boxes on shoran at 13,300 to 13,700 ft. The results were undetermined due to cloud cover but were believed to be good to excellent.

No missions were flown on the 4th, 5th and 6th of May. During the evening of 6 May there was an announcement over the radio that the war had ended. While it had been possible, for days, to see that the end was near, the announcement of it eased the tension under which everyone had been working since this group came overseas. Even though it was learned that the announcement was unofficial and that the official notification would be made on the 8th of May the joy of knowing that the war in this theatre was finished was not diminished. In approximately 14 months of operations, this group had flown 285 missions in A-20 and A-26 type aircraft.

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

May 3rd, 1945

On May 3rd 1945, the 416th went on what proved to be their last combat mission in the E.T.O. The war folded up on May 8th 1945 officially with the final and complete surrender of the German Army, Navy and Air Force. The Invaders struck by Shoran equipment at the Stod Ammo Plant in Czechoslovakia with probable good to excellent results This was Group Mission No. 285, compiled in 14 months of combat operations.

Captain Horace F. Pair, the veteran 671st pilot who came overseas with the Squadron, squeezed in his final mission on May 3rd . Captain Pair was on the hospital list for several months after he made a crash landing on the English coast after his second mission, on March 19th, 1944. Pair rejoined the Group on June 15th, his fractured leg having completely healed. After a refresher transition course the Atlanta Cracker went back on operations. His leading ability was quickly recognized and Capt. Pair was made flight leader in mid-September. He teamed up with Lt. John L. Corum and the team was promoted to box leader in short order. Pair and Shorty Corum annexed many excellents and superiors in their bombing tour and did not falter from the "hot" bracket in group lead teams.

Captain Pair will leave the Squadron with 63 actual missions and ten leads which give him a total of 65 sorties. He is awaiting his shipping orders to the States now.

Lt. Fero had a close call on this final mission. Coming off the target his engine was cutting out. He feathered the prop finally after pulling out of formation and called for an emergency landing field. He set the ship down at the Trier airfield with no damage to the aircraft or injury to his gunner or himself.

[May 3, 1945], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, May 3, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

Previous Mission # 284            Mission List

Return to Table of Contents