9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 87 -- June 29, 1944, Thursday PM

St. Hilaire to Vitre, France




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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 105-401
OpRep #            : 90
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 3,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1727
Time Over Target   : 1935 - 1942
Landing Time       : 2134
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 4:07

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 36 Total -- 30 A-20G's, 6 A-20J's
Illustration Ref   : Y-396769, Y-386646, Y-378615, Y-336569, 4802W/59 - 089072, 4802W/15 - 022030
Summary of Results : Bombing results by flight ranged from Unknown to Excellent.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 48.19932,-1.19058 (48° 11' 58" N, 1° 11' 26" W)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (LZ1) vY378615)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 87 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 90       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)
Jun 29, 1944
No_Report   43-21750
87 668 Shaefer, Richard F. (WIA)
Lytle, William M. (Not Injured)
Fejes, John Andrew Jr. (WIA)
Judd, Earl R. Jr. (WIA)
Jun 29, 1944
87 668 NE St Lo, Fr. Baxter, Bruce Edward (MIA, KIA)
Potter, Harold A. (MIA, POW, RTD)
Ernstrom, Reed Ludvig (MIA, KIA)
Jun 29, 1944
No_Report   43-9900
87 669 Elliott, Donald W. (Not Injured)
McGuire, John J. (WIA)
Mani, Jack (WIA)

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 # 87 -- June 29, 1944, Thursday PM
St. Hilaire to Vitre, France -- Railroad

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  671st                   
  43-9221  5C-F  A-20G
  Lt Merchant, W.A.
  S/Sgt Harp, C.J.
  S/Sgt Brown, K.P.
  3  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Col Ford, T.R.
  S/Sgt Sylva, H.J.
  Sgt Elliott, F.W.
  4  671st                   
  43-9393  5C-K  A-20G
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
  5  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Miller, J.H.
  S/Sgt Schrom, R.G.
  S/Sgt Galender, J.
  6  671st                   
  43-9711  5C-M  A-20G
  Lt Morehouse, R.C.
  S/Sgt Zygiel, L.A.
  S/Sgt Burgess, A.J.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-21711  5C-S  A-20J
  Lt Cole, H.P.
  Lt Beck, J.T.
  S/Sgt Fandre, B.G.
  S/Sgt Chvatal, F.R.
  2  671st                   
  43-10165  5C-H  A-20G
  Lt Zubon, M.
  T/Sgt Tanner, J.R.L.
  S/Sgt Russell, W.C.
  3  671st                   
  43-9220  5C-E  A-20G
  Lt Perkins, R.D.
  S/Sgt Sherry, V.N.
  S/Sgt Linneman, R.H.
  4  671st                   
  43-9925  5C-G  A-20G
  Lt Platter, E.T.
  S/Sgt Johnson, K.L.
  S/Sgt Czech, J.L.
  5  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt Adams, J.D.
  S/Sgt Zeikus, A.J.
  S/Sgt Clearman, P.L.
  6  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt York, R.W.
  S/Sgt Ashton, L.A.
  S/Sgt Wilds, H.J.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-21750  5H-S  A-20J
  Lt Shaefer, R.F.
  Lt Lytle, W.M.
  S/Sgt Fejes, J.A.
  S/Sgt Judd, E.R.
  2  668th                   
  43-9745  5H-I  A-20G
  Lt Peede, L.G.
  Sgt Fetko, C.
  Sgt Brown, D.M.
  3  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Capt Conant, H.F.
  Sgt Wright, R.E.
  Sgt Novak, S.G.
  4  668th                   
  43-9194  5H-C  A-20G
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  S/Sgt Dickenson, E.S.
  S/Sgt Hornbeck, K.E.
  5  668th                   
  43-9684  5H-K  A-20G
  F/O Baxter, B.E.
  Sgt Ernstrom, R.L.
  Sgt Potter, H.A.
  6  668th                   
  43-10226  5H-E  A-20G
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  Sgt Giesy, S.H.
  Sgt Cherry, F.E.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-9935  5H-F  A-20G
  Lt Bartmus, G.F.
  S/Sgt Orr, J.R.
  S/Sgt Simpson, D.H.
  [No Sortie Returned Early as Briefed]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  43-9452  F6-Q  A-20J
  Capt Hulse, D.A.
  Lt Conte, R.
  S/Sgt Allred, F.D.
  S/Sgt Stephens, D.W.
  2  670th                   
  43-9209  F6-K  A-20G
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  Sgt Blackford, D.S.
  Sgt Burger, L.C.
  3  670th                   
  43-9217  F6-D  A-20G
  Lt Leonard, T.J.
  Sgt Dias, M.E.
  Sgt Nowosielski, H.J.
  4  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt Monroe, H.A.
  S/Sgt Kidd, W.L.
  S/Sgt Risko, S.
  5  670th                   
  43-9680  F6-R  A-20G
  Lt Hillerman, J.P.
  Sgt Paules, E.F.
  Sgt Martinez, L.
  6  670th                   
  43-9387  F6-H  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  S/Sgt Driskill, P.B.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Lt Rudisill, R.S.
  Lt Joost, R.H.
  S/Sgt Riley, R.K.
  Lt Lindsay, G.E.
  [Lindsay (4th CCU)]
  2  670th                   
  43-9892  F6-L  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  3  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt McBride, L.R.
  S/Sgt McKee, J.
  S/Sgt Eutsler, R.
  4  670th                   
  43-9750  F6-M  A-20G
  Lt Ostrander, W.B.
  S/Sgt Wilson, J.E.
  S/Sgt Binney, I.
  5  670th                   
  43-9200  F6-A  A-20G
  Lt Singletary, R.B.
  Sgt Cianciosi, A.A.
  Sgt Wiggins, H.G.
  6  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Johnson, E.L.
  S/Sgt Donahue, W.J.
  S/Sgt Brayn, M.R.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  43-9450  2A-S  A-20J
  Lt DeMun, E.E.
  Lt Smith, W.L.
  S/Sgt Rosenstein, M.
  S/Sgt Carney, H.O.
  2  669th                   
  43-9943  2A-F  A-20G
  Lt Tripp, W.F.
  S/Sgt Scott, J.O.
  S/Sgt Mallory, D.F.
  3  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Renth, E.J.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  S/Sgt Wing, J.S.
  4  669th                   
  43-9376  2A-O  A-20G
  Lt Connor, J.S.
  S/Sgt Rodgers, H.C.
  S/Sgt VanDuyne, J.E.
  5  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Elliott, D.W.
  Sgt McGuire, J.J.
  Sgt Mani, J.
  6  669th                   
  43-9840  2A-V  A-20G
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Sgt Bookach, M.
  Sgt Fleming, L.R.

Box II
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9937  5C-B  A-20G
  Lt Durante, A.R.
  S/Sgt Best, H.T.
  S/Sgt DeGiusti, I.R.
  [No Sortie Returned Early as Briefed]

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 87 -- June 29, 1944, Thursday PM
St. Hilaire to Vitre, France -- Railroad

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

Dropping down to 3,000 feet for the first time since the 15th, Major Willetts and Captain Hulse led two boxes in an attack on targets on the railroad from St. Hilaire to Vitre. Bombing in flights of sixes, there were six separate targets. The bridge at St. Hilaire received direct hits and near misses with probable destruction or severe damage resulting. Hits were scored on a highway and on a 9-span bridge, possibly breaching the bridge or causing severe damage to it. One aircraft was hit by enemy fire at St. Lo and was seen to crash northeast of that city. The pilot was Flight Officer Bruce E. Baxter. His two gunners were Sgt. R.L. Ernstrom and Sgt. H.A. Potter. One chute was seen to emerge from the falling plane. All are listed as "Missing in Action." It had been F/O Baxter's first operational mission.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 102

Mission #87 - 29 June - St. Hillaire-Vitre Railroad Junction. - Major Willetts and Lt. Royalty, BN led this mission. Lts. Shaefer and Burg, BN led Box II. Lts. Cole and Beck, BN and Captain Hulse and Lt. Conte, BN led flights. Each box of six flights had separate targets to zero in on, with excellent results. The ack-ack gunners cut their fuses and aimed for one particular box and that contained a first mission pilot, F/O Baxter, who had with him gunners Enstrom and Potter, both on their second mission. Flak burst amid ships, bursting in flame. No one saw chutes open, although Potter did turn up as an escapee from a POW camp. Engstrom and Baxter were not accounted for. Other heavy damage occurred to Lts. Shaefer and Downing, both of whom had to return to the English coast with forced landings. Captain Conant's plane was severely damaged, but he managed to coax it back to base.

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

On 29 June, Flight Officer Bruce E. Baxter, T-2090 and his gunners, Sergeant Reed L. Ernstrom, 19 171 760, and Sergeant Harold A. Potter, 16 119 390, were reported Missing in Action after a mission against St. Hilaire - Vitre Railroad. All recent arrivals in the combat zone, Flight Officer Baxter was on his first mission, while both gunners were flying their second.

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

Rainy weather grounded the planes again on the 26th, 27th and 28th. On the 28th the squadron gained two more pilots, 2nd Lts Barausky and Sparling, giving us a total of 26 pilots.

Flying was resumed on June 29th when 12 of our crews participated in a late evening attack on the railroad between St Hilaire and Vitre.

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

June 26th July 6th , 1944

Typical English weather, complete with clouds, rain and mist, confined the 416th Bomb Group to just five missions during this period. Formations went over France once on the 29th of June, the 30th of June and the 4th of July; and finally twice on July 6th . The two June missions were cake runs, but the ships ran into a little trouble in the last three. On July 4th Captain Jackman of the 670th Squadron made a single engine hop back across the channel. He was carrying a cameraman from the 4th Combat Camera Unit assigned to this Group, and, upon reaching England, Captain Jackman ordered the man to jump, which he did. However, for some reason which will never be known, the chute fail to open until it reached the ground, enough said.

[June 29, 1944], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, June 29, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

"The 9th Air Force in World War Two"

Kenn Rust
Page 89

Excerpt from Kenn Rust book

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