9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 68 -- June 6, 1944, Tuesday PM

Serqueux, France

Marshalling Yards (S.1689)

 

WWII-Medal

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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 56-351
OpRep #            : 67a
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 3,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 2007
Time Over Target   : 2125
Landing Time       : 2301
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:54
 

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 39 Total -- 32 A-20G's, 7 A-20J's
Target Number      : Z 439
Illustration       : S 1689/4
Illustration Ref   : 036042 - 1st Box, 039051 - 2nd Box, 040060 - 3rd Box
Summary of Results : All three boxes scored Good, based on crew observations.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.63157,1.53924 (49° 37' 54" N, 1° 32' 21" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on Google Maps, Selected RR near Town center - Serqueux, France)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)


Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I



Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II



Loading List 3

Loading List 3, Box III




Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 68 -- June 6, 1944, Tuesday PM
Serqueux, France -- Marshalling Yards (S.1689)

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                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Maj Meng, W.J.
  Lt Powell, V.H.
  S/Sgt Glynn, F.P.
  S/Sgt Stobert, R.F.
  2  671st                   
  43-9914  5C-X  A-20J
  Capt McNulty, G.M.
  Lt Bursiel, F.H.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  3  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt Col Ford, T.R.
  S/Sgt Colosimo, R.J.
  S/Sgt Radlich, N.
 
  4  670th                   
  43-9750  F6-M  A-20G
  Lt Ostrander, W.B.
  S/Sgt Wilson, J.E.
  S/Sgt Binney, I.
 
  5  670th                   
  43-9207  F6-B  A-20G
  Lt Harrold, F.J.
  S/Sgt Griffin, E.L.
  Sgt Maziasz, C.W.
 
  6  670th                   
  43-9892  F6-L  A-20G
  Lt Gruetzemacher, R.O.
  Sgt Zaklikiewicz, S.R.
  Sgt Johnson, J.L.
 

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Rudisill, R.S.
  S/Sgt Riley, R.K.
  S/Sgt Bonamo, A.J.
 
  2  670th                   
  43-9680  F6-R  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  Lt Lindsay, G.E.
 
  3  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  S/Sgt Glynn, P.F.
 

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-21717  5H-P  A-20J
  Lt Shaefer, R.F.
  Lt Burg, J.J.
  S/Sgt Fejes, J.A.
  S/Sgt Judd, E.R.
  2  668th                   
  43-10154  5H-W  A-20G
  Lt Mish, C.C.
  S/Sgt Clark, C.J.
  Sgt Chustz, R.F.
 
  3  668th                   
  43-10226  5H-E  A-20G
  Lt Meredith, R.G.
  S/Sgt Hill, A.A.
  S/Sgt MacDonald, R.W.
 

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-9745  5H-I  A-20G
  Lt Lesher, R.D.
  S/Sgt Hedrick, H.R.
  S/Sgt Antanaitis, A.J.
 
                                                           


Box II -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-21468  2A-J  A-20J
  Maj Campbell, M.W.
  Lt Palin, W.H.
  S/Sgt Thompson, J.B.
  S/Sgt Hatch, H.F.
  2  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.
  3  669th                   
  43-9717  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Shainberg, N.V.
  Sgt Rice, R.W.
  Sgt Young, C.E.
 
  4  669th                   
  43-9390  2A-G  A-20G
  Lt DeMun, E.E.
  S/Sgt Rosenstein, M.
  S/Sgt Carney, H.O.
 
  5  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Clark, H.B.
  Sgt Sabadosh, J.W.
  Sgt Floyd, C.F.
 
  6  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Behlmer, R.L.
  T/Sgt Kelly, E.E.
  S/Sgt Ferguson, W.G.
 

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-10147  2A-K  A-20G
  Lt Morton, R.J.
  S/Sgt Rogers, J.L., Jr.
  S/Sgt Fleischman, G.I.
 
  2  669th                   
  43-9181  2A-A  A-20G
  Lt Land, W.H.
  S/Sgt Alden, S.F.
  S/Sgt Ballinger, R.L.
 
  3  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Dontas, P.
  S/Sgt Nielsen, A.L.
  S/Sgt Fields, W.E.
 

Box II -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Peck, W.A.
  S/Sgt Bergeron, A.E.
  S/Sgt Kelton, H.E.
 
  2  669th                   
  43-9943  2A-F  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
 
  3  669th                   
  43-10148  2A-H  A-20G
  Lt Church, C.
  S/Sgt Shatzer, H.E.
  S/Sgt Maciulewicz, P.P.
 

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  43-10210  5H-Q  A-20G
  Lt Bartmus, G.F.
  S/Sgt Orr, J.R.
  Sgt Hantske, D.
 
                                                           


Box III -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-9442  2A-D  A-20J
  Maj Clark, R.A.
  Lt Jones, C.W.
  Sgt Scott, J.O.
  S/Sgt Mallory, D.F.
  2  668th                   
  43-21553  5H-X  A-20J
  Capt Prentiss, R.B.
  Lt Lytle, W.M.
  S/Sgt McCreery, J.E.
  S/Sgt Sylva, H.J.
  3  669th                   
  43-9189  2A-P  A-20G
  Lt Connor, J.S.
  Sgt Rodgers, H.C.
  Sgt VanDuyne, J.E.
 
  4  670th                   
  43-9217  F6-D  A-20G
  Lt Leonard, T.J.
  S/Sgt Evans, O.D.
  S/Sgt Palmer, T.A.
 
  5  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Sommers, D.T.
  S/Sgt Donahue, W.J.
  S/Sgt Brayn, M.R.
 
  6  670th                   
  43-10157  F6-P  A-20G
  Lt Sewell, J.C.
  Sgt Paules, E.F.
  Sgt Martinez, L.
 

Box III -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt DeMand, F.W.
  Sgt Troyer, R.J.
  S/Sgt Middleton, C.W.
 
  2  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt Adams, J.D.
  S/Sgt Clearman, P.L.
  S/Sgt Zeikus, A.J.
 
  3  671st                   
  43-9220  5C-E  A-20G
  Lt Perkins, R.D.
  S/Sgt Sherry, V.N.
  S/Sgt Linneman, R.H.
 

Box III -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Hixon, S.M.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
 
  2  671st                   
  43-9219  5C-D  A-20G
  Lt Andrews, H.D.
  S/Sgt Cook, G.M.
  S/Sgt Werley, E.R.
 
  3  671st                   
  43-10164  5C-I  A-20G
  Lt Wipperman, R.A.
  S/Sgt Ahrens, H.S.
  Sgt Mazza, L.C.
 

Box III
  SPARE  668th               
  43-9963  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Peede, L.G.
  S/Sgt Daugherty, L.M.
  S/Sgt Hibbs, C.L.
 
                                                           



Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 68 -- June 6, 1944, Tuesday PM
Serqueux, France -- Marshalling Yards (S.1689)


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

Going back again in the late afternoon mission, our crews flew through some of the most terrifying flak fire ever thrown up by the Germans. The target was a marshalling yard at Serqueux. Even now the crews talk about the superior evasive action taken by the three box leaders, Maj. Meng, Maj. Campbell, and Maj. Clark. Forced down to three thousand feet by clouds, the formation had to fly through continuous fire from small arms, light AA guns, and heavy guns. Two box leader's planes, Maj. Meng's and Maj. Campbell's, were hit even before they reached the target. By displaying skill and courage far above the ordinary, they led their boxes over the tagget to lay a good concentration of bombs in the target area. Only then did they begin to appraise their own damage and drop out of formation. Maj. Meng nursed his badly damaged plane, with one engine ablaze, back to the Base, but Maj. Campbell was unable to make it. As the crews reported it, he kept his plane under control and appeared to make a normal landing in an open field in France. With him were Lt. William H. Palin, S/Sgt. Harold R. Hatch, and S/Sgt. James B. Thompson. Two other planes were lost at the same time. Lt. R.A. Wipperman's plane crashed, but three chutes were seen to come out of it and open. His two gunners were S/Sgt. H.S. Ahrens and Sgt. L.C. Mazza. The third plane, piloted by Lt. Charles Church, was last seen leaving the target area in trouble. Several crews reported seeing a big explosion in the woods nearby that might have been his plane. His gunners were S/Sgt. H.E. Shatzer and S/Sgt. P.P. Maciulewicz. D-Day was over---we had paid heavily for our successes. We could all hope but one thing---that those men who had been lost were lost to make ours a winning cause.


"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 93 - 94

Mission #68 - 6 June - Late PM - Serquex Marshalling Yard. Again, 39 aircraft took off at 2007 with Major Meng, and Lt. Powell, BN leading the formation. Captain McNulty and Lt. Burseil BN were deputy. Available records are not available to identify all the other box leaders, but Major Campbell and Lt. Palin, BN, were probably Box II leaders. The Mission Summary states that only 34 planes dropped their bombs, 164 x 500 General Purpose bombs on the primary target. Two aircraft failed to drop; one, a leader, because of personnel error and the other because leader did not drop. Three aircraft landed away from base unaccounted for.

Three aircraft and 10 crew members are missing, presumably due to enemy action. 25 ships sustained flak battle damage and 2 crew members are wounded. Bombing was by twelves from 3000 to 3500 feet. Three boxes were dispatched.

One story has to be told, regarding the heroics of Major Meng. As he, the leader of the formation, neared the target, a flak burst knocked out his left engine and it started to burn. With the possibility of the engine blowing up momentarily, he continued on the bomb run. Intense, heavy flak was experienced, knocking three planes out of the air. Major Meng, turned away from the target, heading toward base, when he dropped out of the lead position, trying to douse the engine fire. He managed to bring the plane back to base on one engine. The entire formation suffered some damage, some worse than others.

Major Campbell of the 669th squadron was shot down. Lt. R. A. Wipperman with gunners Sgt. L. C. Mazza and S/Sgt. H. S. Ahrens went down over the target. All three were listed as MIA, but made POWs. Major Campbell was also made a POW but all returned for repatriation.


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

On the evening of the 6th of June the Squadron received its most hazardous assignment. The Marshaling Yard at Serqueux was in use by three Panzer Divisions who were being hastily transported to the front in an effort to stem the rising tide of Allied Invasion. It was vitally necessary that the Yard be destroyed, and A-20's of our Group were given the job. With a 10/10 cloud cover over the target and most of Normandy, low-altitude flying was a necessity. Bombing from three-thousand feet, the formation successfully attacked the target. Severe and accurate German anti-aircraft was encountered during virtually the entire sortie over enemy-held territory. Our aircraft suffered 100% battle damage. Unable to reach Home Station, Second Lieutenant Charles C. Mish crash-landed his battered aircraft on the Southern English coast. Faced with a similar situation, Captain Richard B. Prentiss was forced to land at an RAF field on a runway where Mosquito bombers were taking off on a mission.


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

In the late afternoon, three boxes of fourteen planes went in to attack the marshalling yards at Serqueux. Maj. Campbell and Maj. Clark, with Lts. Palin and Jones, B-N, let the second and third boxes. From the moment that the planes hit the enemy coast, and until they left it, they were caught in a terrifying cross-fire from light and heavy guns. The attack was made from 3,000 feet. Only the superb evasive action of the leaders enabled the planes to get back home with as few losses as we did sustain. Maj. Campbell's plane was hit before it even reached the target. By displaying skill and courage that was an inspiration to the men he led, he guided the planes over the target to help lay a good concentration of bombs in the target area. Unable to stay in formation, he broke away and was forced down. As the crews reported it, he kept his plane under control and appeared to make a normal landing in an open field in France. Two other planes were hit at the same time and were lost--one of which was flown by Lt. Church of our Squadron. He was last seen leaving the target area in trouble. Several crews reported seeing a big explosion in a woods nearby that might have been his plane. Thirteen of our crews flew on this mission. Two of our gunners, S/Sgt R J Colosimo and S/Sgt N Radlich, flew with Lt Col T R Ford.

         BOX II-------Flight I 


1. Major M.J. Campbell 4. Lt H.E. Clark Lt Wm. H. Palin Sgt J.W. Sabadosh S/Sgt J.B. Thompson Sgt C.F. Floyd S/Sgt H.L. Hatch

2. Lt N.V. Shainberg 5. Lt R.L. Bahlmer Sgt R.W. Rice T/Sgt W.E. Kelly Sgt C.E. Young S/Sgt W.G. Ferguson

3. Lt E.E. DeMun S/Sgt M. J. Rosenstein S/Sgt H.O. Carney

Flight II

1. Lt R.J. Morton 2. Lt W.H. Land S/Sgt J.L. Rogers S/Sgt S.F. Alden S/Sgt G.L. Fleischmann S/Sgt R.L. Ballinger

3. Lt Peter Dontas S/Sgt A.L. Nielsen S/Sgt W.E. Fields

Flight III

1. Lt Wm. A. Peck 2. Lt J.F. Smith S/Sgt A.E. Bergeron Sgt C. Vafiadis S/Sgt H.E. Kelton Sgt R.C. Hoffman

3. Lt C. Church S/Sgt H.E. Shatzer S/Sgt P.P. Maciulewicz

Box III-------Flight I

1. Major Robert A. Clark 2. Lt J.S. Connor Lt C.W. Jones Sgt H.C. Rodgers Sgt J.C. Scott Sgt J.E. Van Duyne S/Sgt D.F. Mallory


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

During a stand down on 5 June, all our airplanes were painted the battle color of the day - the black and white "zebra" stripes which they were to wear into the affair we knew was coming soon.

D-Day arrived on June 6th. After listening a good part of the previous night to the roar of fleets of airplanes going over, we awoke to the full realization that the long awaited day had arrived. Lt Geffinger and Lt Gruetzemacher had served as alert officers in Group Operations during the night, which was truly something to be remembered in the way of administrative activity. The tempo of work on D-day was speeded up. There was added zest as the men went to their work in high spirits.

The first mission on D-Day was a fifty-six ship attack on a highway intersection at Argantan. The second mission was another fifty-six ship attack. This time the target was the Serqueux marshalling yards. It was a late evening attack and probably the roughest mission yet flown. Major Meng led the group, which included eleven crews from the 670th squadron. Because of unfavorable weather and the lateness of the mission it was necessary for Major Meng to lead the attack in at low level. Approaching the target, the left engine of Major Meng's aircraft was hit and started to burn. However, with a flaming engine which could blow up at any moment, he stayed on course and led the formation into the bomb run. A hail of intense cross-fire of light and heavy flak greeted the planes as they made the bomb run at 3,000 feet. Three airplanes were shot down. The bombs dropped on the target area, starting wide-spread fires and explosions of nazi equipment destined for the coasts of France to be used in opposing the allied forces. Major Meng then turned off the target and started his formation homeward before he dropped out of formation and extinguished the blazing engine. On one engine he returned to the base and landed. The formation returned to its home base with almost 100% battle damage. Lts Atkinson, Harrold and Ostrander displayed skill in bringing their ships in for landings with flat tires and shot-out hydraulic systems, which caused all three planes to swerve off the runway on to the soft ground. The work of our gunners and bombardiers on this mission was outstanding. It is believed that S/Sgt Stobert of Major Meng's crew knocked out a German machine gun emplacement which was shooting at them. The other gunner of the crew, S/Sgt Glynn, recorded excellent scenes of D-Day activities with the planes camera. Major Meng and Sgt Swafford were awarded the Purple Heart for flak wounds sustained on this mission.


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

Shortly after June 1st the white markings of Allied aircraft was painted on all the ships. There was some speculation as to the purpose of the markings but since our aircraft had been marked and remarked so many times previously no one thought seriously that this was the final preparation for the invasion. On June 6th however, the combat crews assembled for an early morning mission were given the entire plan by Colonel H. L. Mace. Our part in the first phase of the attack was to destroy lines of transportation immediately behind the beach-head. On the morning of the first day we attacked road junctions and marshalling yards at Argentan and Ecouche, attacking for the first time from an altitude of 3000 feet. Later in the day crews of the squadron attacked the heavily defended Marshalling Yards at Sergveux. Both missions were successful, although the aircraft flown by Lt. R. A. Wipperman was lost due to enemy flak. S/Sgt. H. S. Ahrens and S/Sgt. L. C. Mazza were also missing.



See also:
View video interview with Dave Andrews by Wayne Sayles
Relating the ordeal of Lt. William H. Palin on this mission.


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