9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 115 -- August 6, 1944, Sunday AM

Oissel, France

Bridge

 

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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 163-470
OpRep #            : 128
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : No Attack
Take-off Time      : 1010
Time Over Target   : No Attack
Landing Time       : 1237
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:27

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 41 Total -- 34 A-20G's, 7 A-20J's
Target Number      : 4901E/B/22 and 23
Illustration       : 4901E/44
Illustration Ref   : 031077, 033065 - 3 Flights Each
Secondary Target   : Suitable Alternate Authorized
Summary of Results : No Attack. Did not reach target area. Returned early from vicinity of Beauchamps due to weather.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.33871,1.10203 (49° 20' 19" N, 1° 6' 7" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on Google Maps, Visual match to Target Illustration)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)



Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I
(Note:  Nine Aircraft and Crews also designated Window Mission)




Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II
(Note:  Six Aircraft and Crews also Designated Window Mission)



Loading List 3

Loading List 3, Window Mission






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

         Date          Report

A/C
Serial #
Type
Mis-
sion
#
Bomb
Sq
Location Personnel (Status when available)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
MACR
7657
43-21770
A-20G
115 668 Oissel Bridge, France Welsh, Arthur J. (MIA, POW, RMC, EUS)
Novak, Stanley G. (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)
Wright, Raymond E. (MIA, POW, RMC, RTD)


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 # 115 -- August 6, 1944, Sunday AM
Oissel, France -- Bridge

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                   
  43-9640  5H-Z  A-20J
  Lt Osborne, A.E.
  Lt Forma, W.
  S/Sgt Kelly, E.E.
  S/Sgt Mayhew, A.E.
  2  668th                   
  43-9935  5H-F  A-20G
  Lt Parker, P.E.
  Sgt Galloway, A.F.
  Sgt Kochan, S.
 
  3  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Andersen, C.J.
  Sgt Euga, P.G.
  Sgt Shafer, E.L.
 
  4  668th                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Meredith, R.G.
  S/Sgt Hill, A.A.
  S/Sgt MacDonald, R.W.
  [Window]
 
  5  668th                   
  43-10150  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  Sgt Felkel, J.W.
  [Window]
 
  6  668th                   
  43-21770  5H-I  A-20G
  Lt Welsh, A.J.
  Sgt Wright, R.E.
  Sgt Novak, S.G.
  [Window]
 

Box I -- Flight II
  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                   
  43-9387  F6-H  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  S/Sgt Driskill, P.B.
 
  3  670th                   
  43-21759  F6-G  A-20G
  Lt Nordstrom, A.W.
  Sgt Hummer, J.A.
  Sgt Sampson, D.A.
 
  4  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Greene, W.J.
  S/Sgt Ochaba, J.A.
  S/Sgt Colbert, W.F.
  [Window]
 
  5  670th                   
  43-9750  F6-M  A-20G
  F/O Byrne, R.T.
  Sgt Cummings, W.D.
  Sgt Paules, E.F.
  [Window]
 
  6  670th                   
  43-9978  F6-S  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  [Window]
 

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Capt Jackson, C.R.
  Lt Maltby, A.H.
  Sgt Burns, D.E.
  Sgt Daniel, W.J.
  2  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Leonard, T.J.
  S/Sgt Evans, O.D.
  T/Sgt Goggin, J.F.
 
  3  670th                   
  43-9200  F6-A  A-20G
  Lt McBride, L.R.
  S/Sgt McKee, J.
  S/Sgt Eutsler, R.
 
  4  670th                   
  43-9209  F6-K  A-20G
  Lt Harrold, F.J.
  S/Sgt Griffin, E.L.
  S/Sgt Maziasz, C.W.
  [Window]
 
  5  670th                   
  43-9674  F6-R  A-20G
  Lt Sommers, D.T.
  Sgt Zaklikiewicz, S.R.
  Sgt Johnson, J.L.
  [Window]
 
  6  670th                   
  43-9227  F6-F  A-20G
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  Sgt Wilson, B.R.
  [Window]
 

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-21480  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.
  Sgt Fetko, C.
 
                                                           


Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-10125  5H-M  A-20J
  Maj Napier, J.G.
  Lt Madenfort, J.
  Pvt Perkins, H.W.
  S/Sgt Lowe, R.R.
  2  669th                   
  43-10147  2A-K  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  S/Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  S/Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
 
  3  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Hayter, E.R.
  S/Sgt Melchoir, F.E.
  S/Sgt Holloway, R.G.
 
  4  669th                   
  43-9390  2A-G  A-20G
  Lt Boukamp, T.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  S/Sgt Wing, J.S.
  [Window]
 
  5  669th                   
  43-9943  2A-F  A-20G
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Sgt Bookach, M.
  Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  [Window]
 
  6  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Allen, J.F., Jr.
  Sgt Getgen, L.R.
  Sgt Veazey, C.W.
  [Window]
 

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-10135  2A-T  A-20J
  Capt Huff, M.J.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  Sgt Clark, R.A.
  Sgt Basford, F.P.
  2  669th                   
  43-9181  2A-A  A-20G
  Lt Land, W.H.
  S/Sgt Alden, S.F.
  S/Sgt Ballinger, R.L.
 
  3  669th                   
  43-9961  2A-E  A-20G
  Lt Street, M.S.
  S/Sgt Prindle, C.A.
  S/Sgt Epps, E.T.
 
  4  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Behlmer, R.L.
  T/Sgt Kelly, W.J.
  S/Sgt Ferguson, W.G.
  [Window]
 
  5  669th                   
  43-9717  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Robertson, R.B.
  Sgt Hay, J.E.
  Sgt Buskirk, J.A.
  [Window]
 
  6  669th                   
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Elliott, D.W.
  Sgt McGuire, J.J.
  Sgt Mani, J.
  [Window]
 

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-21711  5C-S  A-20J
  Lt Marzolf, L.A.
  Lt Beck, J.T.
  S/Sgt Johnson, K.L.
  S/Sgt Czech, J.L.
  2  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Henderson, F.W.
  S/Sgt Griswold, R.M.
  S/Sgt Coulombe, P.E.
 
  3  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Smith, R.H.
  S/Sgt Brower, J.S.
  S/Sgt Mahoney, R.J.
 
  4  671st                   
  43-9719  5C-J  A-20G
  Lt Pair, H.F.
  S/Sgt Marion, H.A.
  S/Sgt Adams, V.P.
 
  5  671st                   
  43-9925  5C-G  A-20G
  Lt Herman, A.E.
  S/Sgt Young, J.O.
  S/Sgt Garrett, A.D.
 
  6  671st                   
  43-9956  5C-Z  A-20G
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Sgt Connery, T.
  Sgt Barry, R.M.
 

Box II
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9219  5C-D  A-20G
  Lt Ames, W.H.
  Sgt Fessler, H.S.
  S/Sgt Brown, R.J.
 
                                                           


Box III -- Flight I (WINDOW)
  1  669th                   
  43-9450  2A-S  A-20J
  Lt DeMun, E.E.
  Lt McQuade, R.J.
  S/Sgt Rosenstein, M.
  S/Sgt Carney, H.O.
  2  671st                   
  43-9393  5C-K  A-20G
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
 
  3  668th                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Ebenstein, G.
  Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  S/Sgt Lagerman, K.G.
 



Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 115 -- August 6, 1944, Sunday AM
Oissel, France -- Bridge


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

The sixth was another two-mission day. In the morning the target was the Oisell bridge across the Seine--the last bridge remaining across the river. When the two boxes, [led by Lt. Osborne,] Lt. Forma, B-N, and Major Napier, Lt. Madenfort, B-N approached [the] target, they had to turn back without attacking it because of bad weather.

The bridge had to be knocked out, however, so we were sent out after it again in the afternoon. Our Group had been especially chosen to do the job by Major General Anderson. It proved to be the most costly mission we had had since 15 July when two planes were lost. On that day, Lt. Raymond K. Cruse was forced to ditch in the Channel. Although it [was not] certain that he had drowned, his body was never recovered and he is listed as MIA. One gunner, Sergeant F.E. Cherry, was killed in action; the other gunner Sergeant S. W. Giesy, was seriously wounded in action --- he was recovered by rescue craft. The other plane, piloted by Lt. Robert J. Rooney, was also hit by flak but it managed to make it back to England where Lt. Rooney crash landed it. Lt. Rooney was badly injured by flak which came up through the seat in the cockpit. One gunner, Staff Sergeant Herbert M. McCleary, suffered a fractured [right arm, the other] gunner, Staff Sergeant Sebastian F. DiNaplei, suffered minor [injuries].

But even that damage and those losses were small compared to the number damaged and lost on this afternoon attack on the Oissel bridge. These were our losses:

Missing in Action:
Lt. Col. W.W. Farmer, Sgt. J.E. Hay, Sgt. J.A. Buskirk--Last seen heading away from the target toward our lines, plane smoking.
Lt. T.W. McManus, Sgt. G.A. Hart, Sgt. J.H. LaPionte--plane seen to crash in the target area.
Lt. A.J. Welch, Sgt. R.E. Wright, Sgt. S.G. Novak--last seen going down in the target area.

Killed in Action:
Killed when they were forced to crash land in Normandy with their plane badly damaged by flak were Lt. D.T. Sommers, Sgt. S.R. Zakliskiewicz, and Sgt. J.L. Johnson.

Lt. Osborne's right engine was shot out so that he was forced to crash land in Normandy. The plane was washed out, but the crew was uninjured. Severe battle damage forced Lt. J.E. [Blomgren] to crash land at Tanguere -- none of the crew was injured. Lt. J.[P. Smith also] crash landed at Tanguere due to flak damage. His brakes were [shot out, and, when] his plane nosed in at the end of the runway with no brakes, it was washed out -- none of the crew was injured. On a second bomb run over the target, Major Napier's Bombardier-Navigator, Lt. J. Madenfort, was hit in the face by flak so that his flight was unable to bomb. Besides the damage already noted, 23 other planes suffered varying degrees of battle damage. The 416th had done the job, however, that it had set out to do. The main weight of the attack fell across the rail line on the island and on its approaches. Supports at the south end of a new span that had been erected were also damaged. The line was now unserviceable. The pictures taken during the attack reveal the accuracy of the bombing. Captain Osborne and Major Napier led the two boxes. Exhibit #33. A word of commendation on the job done was received from General Anderson, and from General Backus. Exhibit # 33-A.

A day of rest followed that costly mission which gave the ground crews a chance to repair the badly damaged planes.


"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 122 - 124

Oissel Bridge Operation

Mission #115 - 6 August - Oissel Bridge. This mission was one of the most important for the group to fly. The 409th Bomb Group of A-20s had attacked this bridge this morning but did not knock it out. The Commanding General of the IX Bomber Command, Brigadier General Anderson specifically asked the 416th to destroy this bridge.

The official record on this mission states that this is a double track bridge in two sections over the Seine River. Each bridge had three spans of steel girders and was 620 feet long. Beginning on 10 May 44, these two bridges have been attacked, repaired in part and reattacked with varying degrees of damage. About June 1st, a single track diversion bridge was completed immediately to the East of the south bridge (30' away from the original bridge), was knocked out and rebuilt several times. On August 3rd, in 48 hours, this diversion bridge was again rebuilt and connects with the regular tracks at the North end of the island. A light foot bridge spans the river between the diversion bridge and the original bridge, probably used by repair crews.

The new diversion bridge is of light steel or heavy timber construction. This is the only complete railroad bridge across the Seine River.

One, and possibly three German Divisions are moving by the route to the battle area.

The 410th was dispatched yesterday but did not attack due to 10/10 cloud cover.

The reason the target is so important is that it was the last remaining bridge over the Seine River used to transport German forces trapped in the Falaise Gap, numbering around 200,000 troops, being pushed ahead by General Patton in his easterly charge from the Cherbourg area. With this bridge out of commission, the Germans had no place to make their get-away from the envelope they were caught in. Four Nazi Panzer Divisions were ready to cross the bridge. The importance of this bridge was also realized by the anti-aircraft gunners, protecting it for miles around and in front of it by the Germans.

Our group took off in the morning at 1000, with 40 planes, including three window dropping aircraft. When we reached the target area, clouds had completely enveloped it, requiring the group to return to base after a four and a half hour of flight. Back at the base, the weather cleared, and the planes were gassed up again, and the crews took off at 1800.


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

On 6 August the 416th was chosen by General Anderson to attack one of the most difficult and important targets ever assigned to the IX Bomber Command. A rail bridge at Oissel was the only remaining route open to the German Army endeavoring to cross the river in order to stop the Allied advance toward Paris. Heavily defended by all the antiaircraft the Nazis had been able to muster, the Germans had successfully defeated former attempts by B-25's to destroy the vital line. Information received through intelligence indicated that at least four Panzer Divisions were making hasty preparations to cross the bridge before another aerial attack could be made. The mission was led by First Lieutenant Arthur E. Osborne Jr., Assistant Squadron Operations Officer, whose bombardier was 1st Lt. Warren Forma. Over the target, intense accurate and uninterrupted German ground fire was encountered for a period of four minutes. Lt. Osborne's ship suffered a direct hit which severely damaged one engine, but in spite of this, he held his place at the head of the formation for the duration of the bombing-run. All but one flight dropped their bombs, and as the strike photographs clearly show, the bombing was as nearly perfect as anything which has been seen in the Theater. Direct hits were made on both spans, and the bridge utterly destroyed. Second Lieutenant Arthur J. Welsh and his crew, consisting of Sergeant Stanley G. Novak and Sergeant Raymond E. Wright, all newcomers to the Squadron, were lost over the target and reported missing in action. Lt. Col. Walter W. Farmer, Group Deputy Commander, was also lost on this encounter. Lt. Osborne and his crew were forced to land on a Normandy flight strip, and remained overnight on the beach head. They returned bearing trophies of war, including an oversized swastika banner.


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

The sixth was another two-mission day. In the morning, Major Napier led the second box of a formation attacking the last remaining bridge across the Seine river at Oissel. Capt. Huff was a flight leader. Lt. DeMun, Lt. McQuade, led the window flight. Bad weather forced the formation to return from the target area. The same crews returned in the afternoon to attack the same target. On the bomb run, Lt. Madenfort was hit in the face by flak so that Major Napier's flight did not bomb. Capt. Huff's flight, however, scored an excellent. The flak was intense and four planes were lost. Severe battle damage forced Lt. Blomgren to crash land at Tangmere -- none of the crew was injured. Lt. Jack F. Smith also crash landed at Tangmere due to flak damage. His brakes were shot out, and, when his plane nosed in at the end of the runway, it was washed out. None of the crew was injured. Exhibits #50 and 51.


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

Heaviest enemy resistance since D-Day was met on August 6th, when the group made two attacks on the Oissel Bridge across the Seine River. No attack was made on the target the first time because of cloud cover. The second attack was highly successful and the target destroyed. Two ships and their crews from this squadron were lost. Lt Douglas T. Sommers, pilot, and his gunners, Sgts John L. Johnson, and Stanley R. Zakliekewicz were killed, when, after the plane had been severely hit by flak, the pilot tried unsuccessfully to crash land on emergency strip A-13 in France. Lt Thomas W. McManus and his crew, Sgts John H. LaPointe and Gerald E. Hart, were listed as missing in action. Coming off the target after completing the bomb run, the ship was hit by flak and the left engine burst into flames. Lt McManus' ship went into a spin and was last seen to crash and explode west of Louviers. One parachute was observed leaving the plane before the crash. The record of having no pilots lost in five months of combat was broken.

Flak damage from this mission was extremely heavy. Lt McGlohn and Capt Jackson again demonstrated their skill by bringing back badly battered craft. S/Sgt Evans and Sgt Burns received wounds for which they were awarded the Purple Heart.

The 416th Bomb Group was sent to attack the target at Oissel upon the request of the Commanding Officer of IX Bomber Command since three other attacks by other groups had failed to destroy the bridge. One third of all retreating transportation used this bridge and it was an extremely important target. After the completion of the mission and the results determined, the group received a TWX of commendation from General Anderson, Commanding General of the IX Bomber Command, and General Backus, Commanding General of the 97th Wing. (See Exhibit # 31 attached). The 670th had eleven crews on each of these missions.




[August 6, 1944], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, August 6, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress


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