9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 50 -- May 20, 1944, Saturday AM

Beauvais/Tille, France

Airdrome (S.804)



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 44-319
OpRep #            : 50
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,000 - 11,500 feet
Take-off Time      : 1010
Time Over Target   : 1200
Landing Time       : 1357
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:47

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 38 Total -- 32 A-20G's, 6 A-20J's
Target Number      : Z 154
Illustration       : S 804/4
Illustration Ref   : 022058
Summary of Results : Box 1 - Attacking wrong target dropped on Montdidier Airdrome with Poor results. Good concentration of bursts in fields and on roads 2000 feet southeast of southeast dispersal area. Box 2 - Attacking wrong target dropped on Montdidier Airdrome with Excellent results. Bombs fell in good concentration on select MPI. Hits were scored on 3 dispersal points.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.45450,2.11084 (49° 27' 16" N, 2° 6' 39" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on Google Maps, Selected Airport near Town center - Beauvais/Tille, France)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 50 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 50       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 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9840
50 669 MacManus, Patrick F. E. Jr. (WIA)
Rogers, John L. Jr. (Not Injured)
Fleischman, Glenn I. (Not Injured)
May 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9189
50 669 Boukamp, Tonnis NMI (Not Injured)
Colosimo, Russell J. (Not Injured)
Wing, Jeong Shew (WIA)
May 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9227
50 670 Wethersfield/Sta 170 Brown, Neil Gates (Not Injured)
Burns, Donald E. (WIA)
Maziasz, Chester W. (Not Injured)
May 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9363
50 671 Cole, Hilary P. (Not Injured)
Fandre, Benjamin G. (WIA)
Chvatal, Franklin R. (Not Injured)
May 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9714
50 671 England Henderson, Floyd W. (Not Injured)
Griswold, Richard M. (Not Injured)
Coulombe, Phillippe E. (Not Injured)
May 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9379
50 668 Hill, Luther E. (WIA)
Burch, Robert W. (Not Injured)
Yost, Clarence H. Jr. (Not Injured)
May 20, 1944
50 668 Montdidier, France Bradford, Blair Hodgson (MIA, KIA)
Gray, Clarence M. (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)
Molver, Vern Edward (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)
May 20, 1944
50 668 Londiniers, France Kleopfel, Michael Edward Jr. (MIA, KIA)
Bankston, Ray NMI Jr. (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)
Shaw, LeRoy Richard (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)
May 20, 1944
No_Report   43-9225
50 671 Merchant, William A. (WIA)
Harp, Clifford J. (Not Injured)
Brown, Kenneth P. (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 # 50 -- May 20, 1944, Saturday AM
Beauvais/Tille, France -- Airdrome (S.804)

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  671st                   
  43-9914  5C-X  A-20J
  Maj Willetts, D.L.
  Lt Royalty, P.G.
  T/Sgt Larronde, F.H.
  S/Sgt Lempka, H.A.
  2  669th                   
  43-9442  2A-D  A-20J
  Lt Sommers, H.L.
  Lt McQuade, R.J.
  S/Sgt Kasper, J.F.
  S/Sgt Boyer, H.E.
  3  671st                   
  43-9220  5C-E  A-20G
  Lt Zubon, M.
  T/Sgt Tanner, J.R.L.
  S/Sgt Russell, W.C.
  4  671st                   
  43-9221  5C-F  A-20G
  Lt Wheeler, R.V.
  S/Sgt Corrin, E.
  S/Sgt Brower, J.S.
  5  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Smith, R.H.
  S/Sgt Stockham, A.A.
  Sgt Mahoney, R.J.
  6  671st                   
  43-9711  5C-M  A-20G
  Lt Adams, J.D.
  S/Sgt Clearman, P.L.
  Sgt Zeikus, A.J.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-10135  2A-T  A-20J
  Capt Huff, M.J.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  S/Sgt Thompson, J.B.
  S/Sgt Hatch, H.F.
  2  669th                   
  43-9181  2A-A  A-20G
  Lt Land, W.H.
  S/Sgt Bergeron, A.E.
  S/Sgt Ballinger, R.L.
  3  669th                   
  43-9390  2A-G  A-20G
  Lt Dontas, P.
  S/Sgt Nielsen, A.L.
  S/Sgt Fields, W.E.
  4  669th                   
  43-9840  2A-V  A-20G
  Lt MacManus, P.F.E.
  S/Sgt Rogers, J.L., Jr.
  S/Sgt Fleischman, G.I.
  5  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Siggs, W.C.
  S/Sgt Radlich, N.
  Sgt Nicks, R.W.
  6  669th                   
  43-9189  2A-P  A-20G
  Lt Boukamp, T.
  S/Sgt Colosimo, R.J.
  S/Sgt Wing, J.S.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-9978  F6-S  A-20G
  Lt Rudisill, R.S.
  S/Sgt Riley, R.K.
  Sgt Blackford, D.S.
  2  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Johnson, E.L.
  S/Sgt Donahue, W.J.
  Sgt Johnson, J.L.
  3  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt Monroe, H.A.
  S/Sgt Kidd, W.L.
  S/Sgt Risko, S.
  4  670th                   
  43-9750  F6-M  A-20G
  Lt Greene, W.J.
  S/Sgt Ochaba, J.A.
  S/Sgt Colbert, W.F.
  5  670th                   
  43-9227  F6-F  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  Sgt Burns, D.E.
  Sgt Maziasz, C.W.
  6  670th                   
  43-9892  F6-L  A-20G
  Lt Gruetzemacher, R.O.
  S/Sgt Griffin, E.L.
  Sgt Burger, L.C.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-9684  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Nordstrom, A.W.
  S/Sgt Gossett, J.D.
  S/Sgt Miller, R.L.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  671st                   
  43-9645  5C-R  A-20J
  Capt Dunn, L.F.
  Lt Arrington, H.T.
  S/Sgt Marion, H.A.
  S/Sgt Adams, V.P.
  2  670th                   
  43-9455  F6-T  A-20J
  Capt Jackson, C.R.
  Lt Maltby, A.H.
  S/Sgt Stobert, R.F.
  S/Sgt Glynn, F.P.
  3  671st                   
  43-9219  5C-D  A-20G
  Lt York, R.W.
  S/Sgt Wilds, H.J.
  Sgt Ashton, L.A.
  4  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt Cole, H.P.
  S/Sgt Fandre, B.G.
  S/Sgt Chvatal, F.R.
  5  669th                   
  43-9717  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
  6  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Henderson, F.W.
  Sgt Griswold, R.M.
  Sgt Coulombe, P.E.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-10194  5H-A  A-20G
  Lt Shaefer, R.F.
  S/Sgt Fejes, J.A.
  S/Sgt Judd, E.R.
  2  668th                   
  43-10176  5H-T  A-20G
  Lt Poindexter, R.D.
  T/Sgt Robbins, L.G.
  S/Sgt Simpson, D.H.
  3  668th                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Siracusa, L.J.
  S/Sgt Brown, F.E.
  S/Sgt Hume, J.N.
  4  668th                   
  43-9963  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Peede, L.G.
  S/Sgt Sieg, B.C.
  S/Sgt Hibbs, C.L.
  5  668th                   
  43-10203  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  S/Sgt Dickenson, E.S.
  Sgt Hornbeck, K.E.
  6  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Bartmus, G.F.
  Sgt Shelton, E.
  S/Sgt Schenck, D.R.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-9640  5H-Z  A-20J
  Capt Prentiss, R.B.
  Lt Lytle, W.M.
  S/Sgt Orr, J.R.
  S/Sgt Flacks, F.L.
  2  668th                   
  43-9182  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt Cruze, R.K.
  S/Sgt Anderson, E.A.
  S/Sgt Newkirk, A.W.
  3  668th                   
  43-9379  5H-G  A-20G
  Lt Hill, L.E.
  S/Sgt Burch, R.W.
  S/Sgt Yost, C.H.
  4  668th                   
  43-9935  5H-F  A-20G
  Lt Meagher, J.F.
  Sgt Hantske, D.
  S/Sgt Damico, E.A.
  5  668th                   
  43-9216  5H-E  A-20G
  Lt Bradford, B.H.
  S/Sgt Gray, C.M.
  S/Sgt Molver, V.E.
  6  669th                   
  43-9211  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Kleopfel, M.E.
  S/Sgt Bankston, R.
  Sgt Shaw, L.R.

Box II
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9225  5C-G  A-20G
  Lt Merchant, W.A.
  S/Sgt Harp, C.J.
  S/Sgt Brown, K.P.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 50 -- May 20, 1944, Saturday AM
Beauvais/Tille, France -- Airdrome (S.804)

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

Mission number 50 was completed in the afternoon on the 20th. It was a costly one for us. Thirty-eight planes took off. Two planes were lost over enemy territory, one plane crash-landed in the U.K., destroyed, twenty-six planes returned with battle damage. Poor visibility caused the Monteidier Airfield to be mistaken for the correct target, the airfield at Beauvais-Tille. From the planes that were lost, three chutes came from one, and two chutes from the other. The crews of the planes were Lt Blair H. Bradford, S/Sgt Clarence M. Gray, S/Sgt Vern E. Molver, Lt Michael E. Kleopfel, S/Sgt Ray Bankston, and S/Sgt LeRoy R. Shaw. It was Lt Henderson who had to crash land in the U.K. Neither he nor his gunners were injured. The boxes were led by Major Willetts and Captain Dunn, with Lts Royalty and Arrington as Bombardier-Navigators.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 78

Mission #50 - 20 May AM - Beauvais-Tolle Airdrome. This was a costly mission for the group, with 38 planes taking off, 26 returned with heavy damage. Major Willetts and Captain Dunn with BNs Lt. Royalty and Arrington led boxes. The target area was known to be heavily defended. The lead navigator became confused and became lost. He wound up bombing the airfield at Montidier, which wasn't such a bad deal after all. The major problem was the loss of three planes, and of course, their crews. Lt. Bradford with gunners S/Sgt Vern E. McIver [Molver] and S/Sgt Clarence Gray, and Lt. Mitchell E. Keopfel (who was promoted to 1st Lt. today), with his gunners S/Sgt. Ray Bankston and Leroy R. Shaw, all went down in France. A total of only three chutes were seen to come down. Lt. F. W. Henderson with gunners Sgts. P. E. Colombe and R. M. Griswold crash landed in England. Neither he nor his gunners were injured. Lt. Joseph Meager with gunners Damico and Hantake brought their badly damaged ship back to England and another crash landing without injury. Lt. Merchant came back on single engine. He had received cuts about the face when his instrument panel was shot out. Lt. York and Wipperman landed in some open fields, with damage to their gas tanks.

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

During May the Squadron also suffered its first combat losses. On 20 May two combat crews were missing in action, including the following personnel:

                    1st Lt  Blair H. Bradford  (Pilot) 
                    S Sgt   Clarence M. Gray   (Mechanic-Gunner) 
                    S Sgt   Verne E. Molver    (Armorer-Gunner) 

1st Lt Michael E. Kleopfel (Pilot) S Sgt Ray Bankston Jr. (Mechanic-Gunner) S Sgt Leroy R. Shaw (Armorer-Gunner)

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

The necessities of war gave scant pause for death, and the next day, 20 May, seven crews took part in the first mission which was another attack on the Beauvais-Tille airdrome. The late mission of the day was an attack on the Cormeilles-en-Vixen airdrome. Excellent results were achieved on the mission on which twelve of our crews participated. Sgt Burns received the Purple Heart for his wounds sustained over the Tille airdrome.

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

Faulty navigation was responsible for the 416th Bomb Group missing its scheduled target on the morning of May 20th , 1944...the airdrome at Beauvois-Fille, but the airfield at Montidier, looking quite similar to the former target, was hit instead and the mission did not go as a complete failure. Several dispersal areas were hit.

Two crews from the 668th Bomb Squadron went down near the target, but five parachutes were seen to have opened. Lt. Bradford and Lt. Kleopfel piloted the two ships. Lt. Merchant returned on a single engine, making a force landing in a wheat field adjoining Great Sailing. Lt. Merchant received cuts about the face when a flak burst smashed his windshield. (The farmers of Essex have put a price on the "Feathers" head because this was the second field he has plowed up in a weeks time. Remember the cub?)

Lt. Wipperman and Lt. York landed at nearby fields due to flak damage to their gas tanks.

With both boxes dropping their bombs on dispersal areas and buildings, the 416th rained havoc on the airfield at Corneille Eu Vexin late in the afternoon. Results were classified as excellent, Major Campbell and Captain Clark led the formation. Flak was mild and all the ships returned.

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