9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 134 -- September 1, 1944, Friday AM

Brest and St. Marc, France

Anti-Aircraft Battery



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 199-522
OpRep #            : 152
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : No Attack
Bombing Altitude   : 12,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 0719
Time Over Target   : 0930
Landing Time       : 1114
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:55

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 39 Total -- 29 A-20G's, 10 A-20J's
Target Number      : 4805W/J/241 and 4805W/J/247
Illustration       : 4805W/54 and 4805W/57
Illustration Ref   : 087042, 059066
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : No attack due to weather.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 48.40417,-4.45897 (48° 24' 15" N, 4° 27' 32" W)
(Latitude/Longitude based on Google Maps, Visual match to Strike Photo)
(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 Missions)

Loading List 2

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

Loading List 3

Loading List 3, Box III

(NARA photo)

On orders from General Eisenhower himself, the bombing of Brest began on September 1, 1944.

Over a six day period, the 416th conducted six consecutive missions against this target,

effectively neutralizing an enemy stronghold and contributing to the surrender of the city.

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 134 -- September 1, 1944, Friday AM
Brest and St. Marc, France -- Anti-Aircraft Battery

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                   
  43-22063  F6-A  A-20J
  Maj Dunn, L.F.
  Lt Powell, V.H.
  S/Sgt Stobert, R.F.
  S/Sgt Glynn, F.P.
  2  670th                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  Lt Ackerson, D.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  S/Sgt Martinez, L.
  3  670th                   
  43-21810  F6-P  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  4  670th                   
  43-9905  F6-K  A-20G
  Lt Hillerman, J.P.
  S/Sgt Paules, E.F.
  S/Sgt Binney, I.
  5  670th                   
  43-9720  F6-F  A-20G
  F/O Warren, J.R.
  Sgt Stroup, C.C.
  Sgt Turpin, S.J.
  6  670th                   
  43-9217  F6-D  A-20G
  Lt Musgrove, W.
  Sgt Seighman, H.O.
  Sgt Licker, M.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-21717  5H-P  A-20J
  Capt Osborne, A.E.
  Lt Forma, W.
  Sgt Newell, S.P.
  S/Sgt Lagerman, K.G.
  2  668th                   
  43-21764  5H-X  A-20G
  Lt Peede, L.G.
  Sgt Brown, D.M.
  S/Sgt Daugherty, L.M.
  3  668th                   
  43-21480  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  Sgt Lemonds, W.E.
  Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.
  4  668th                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Ebenstein, G.
  S/Sgt Adair, F.L.
  S/Sgt Love, C.F.
  5  668th                   
  43-21760  5H-Z  A-20G
  Lt Stanley, C.S.
  Sgt Holterfield, C.C.
  Cpl Collier, C.B.
  6  668th                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Evans, H.M.
  Sgt Skeens, C.L.
  Sgt Merritt, O.N.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-9444  5H-J  A-20J
  Capt McNulty, G.M.
  Lt Bursiel, F.H.
  S/Sgt Fejes, J.A.
  S/Sgt Judd, E.R.
  2  668th                   
  43-21719  5H-V  A-20J
  Lt Bartmus, G.F.
  Lt Hardy, J.F.
  S/Sgt Orr, J.R.
  S/Sgt Flacks, F.L.
  3  668th                   
  43-10210  5H-Q  A-20G
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  Sgt Bentzler, D.H.
  4  668th                   
  43-10150  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Mish, C.C.
  S/Sgt Clark, C.J.
  S/Sgt Chustz, R.F.
  [Window Landed at Farrant Rushton Hyde Lineaout]
  5  668th                   
  43-9195  5H-D  A-20G
  Lt Harris, F.W.
  S/Sgt Hantske, D.
  S/Sgt Damico, E.A.
  6  668th                   
  43-10176  5H-T  A-20G
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  Sgt Felkel, J.W.

Box I
  SPARE  669th               
  43-9692  2A-M  A-20G
  Lt Poundstone, L.E.
  Sgt Burland, A.J.
  Sgt Heath, K.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Capt Rudisill, R.S.
  Lt Joost, R.H.
  S/Sgt Riley, R.K.
  S/Sgt Bonamo, A.J.
  2  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Singletary, R.B.
  Sgt Wiggins, H.G.
  Sgt Cianciosi, A.A.
  3  670th                   
  43-9452  F6-Q  A-20J
  Lt Harrold, F.J.
  Lt Brewer, W.E.
  S/Sgt Griffin, E.L.
  S/Sgt Maziasz, C.W.
  4  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  S/Sgt Driskill, P.B.
  5  670th                   
  43-21759  F6-G  A-20G
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  Sgt Wilson, B.R.
  6  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Sparling, J.R.
  Sgt Arnett, W.E.
  Sgt Leahigh, L.L.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-9645  5C-R  A-20J
  Lt Cole, H.P.
  Lt Basnett, R.J.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
  Cpl Gurkin, C.W.
  2  671st                   
  43-9221  5C-F  A-20G
  Lt Merchant, W.A.
  S/Sgt Brown, K.P.
  S/Sgt Harp, C.J.
  3  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Sgt Connery, T.
  Sgt Barry, R.M.
  4  671st                   
  43-10214  5C-C  A-20G
  Lt Morehouse, R.C.
  S/Sgt Burgess, A.J.
  S/Sgt Zygiel, L.A.
  5  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Eastman, D.M.
  Cpl Johnson, R.J.
  Cpl Eaton, A.B.
  6  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt Gary, J.C.
  Sgt Cheuvront, R.W.
  Sgt Schoen, A.E.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  43-9442  2A-D  A-20J
  Maj Napier, J.G.
  Lt Jones, C.W.
  Pvt Perkins, H.W.
  S/Sgt Hodgson, A.T.
  2  669th                   
  43-21961  2A-P  A-20G
  Lt Boukamp, T.
  S/Sgt Colosimo, R.J.
  S/Sgt Wing, J.S.
  3  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Connor, J.S.
  S/Sgt VanDuyne, J.E.
  S/Sgt Rodgers, H.C.
  4  669th                   
  43-10190  2A-I  A-20G
  Lt Hall, E.P.
  Sgt Carstens, R.W.
  Sgt Sharp, R.P.
  5  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Robertson, R.B.
  S/Sgt Cheney, M.W.
  Sgt Reiter, G.E.
  6  669th                   
  43-21767  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Tripp, W.F.
  S/Sgt Scott, J.O.
  S/Sgt Mallory, D.F.

Box II
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9711  5C-M  A-20G
  Lt Murray, T.J.
  S/Sgt Jones, R.J.
  S/Sgt DeBower, D.H.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Box III -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-10135  2A-T  A-20J
  Lt Peck, W.A.
  Lt Madenfort, J.
  S/Sgt Bergeron, A.E.
  S/Sgt Kelton, H.E.
  2  671st                   
  43-9393  5C-K  A-20G
  Lt Lesher, R.D.
  S/Sgt Hedrick, H.R.
  Sgt Heitell, S.L.
  3  669th                   
  43-9181  2A-A  A-20G
  Lt MacManus, P.F.E.
  S/Sgt Rogers, J.L., Jr.
  S/Sgt Fleischman, G.I.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 134 -- September 1, 1944, Friday AM
Brest and St. Marc, France -- Anti-Aircraft Battery

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

Bad weather greatly hampered our operations against the enemy in September. Although we managed to fly 16 missions during the month, on several occasions the bombs were brought back when the target was obscured by haze or clouds. In these 16 missions, the Bombardier-Navigators continued the fine work they had put forth in August.

Mission No. 134, the first mission flown in September, was an attack on the Brest, St Marc, Recouvrance gun positions on the first. The planes reached the target area, but clouds prevent any attack.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 139 - 140

Mission #134 - 1 September - Brest stronghold. Wake up call was at 0400 with take off at 0730 with flights led by Captain Hulse and Lt. Conte, BN, - Major Napier and Lt. Jones, BN, - Captain Cole and Lt. Basnett, BN, - Lts. Osborne and Forma, BN, and Captain McNulty and Lt. Burseil, BN. After a two hour flight to Brest, they found a complete cloud cover, so no bombing took place. No flak or fighters bothered the group. After our group left the target area, four B-26 groups reached Brest and were able to drop their bombs with great results. These were not enough, since more flights were to be made there, we were told.

Another mission took off later that day, but were recalled when weather informed that clouds had still hidden the tarset of Brest.

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

The month of September began with a series of concentrated attacks upon Brest, heavily garrisonned Nazi stronghold at the tip of the Brittanny peninsula. Heavy overcast spelled failure for several missions, but we finally succeeded in hitting the target in a number of close support attacks which aided materially in the eventual capture of this vital port.

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

The first mission, No 134, was flown on the first day of the month. Major Napier, Lt. Jones, B-N, was a flight leader in this attack on gun positions at Brest. Bad weather forced the bombers to bring their bombs back.

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

The month of September opened with a series of concentrated attacks on the Port of Brest, France, by light and medium bombers, in which this Group and Squadron played a important part. With the Nazis tenaciously holding on to the Port of Brest, General Eisenhower called for an all out effort. Six missions were flown by our squadron in the first six days of the month. Twelve crews participated on a mission on Sept 1st, 20 crews on two missions on Sept 3rd, six crews on Sept 5th, and 18 crews on Sept 6th on two missions.

Lt Byrne was transferred on Sept 2nd. English money was converted to francs on this day and work started on embarkation rosters in preparation for a move to France. On this date, two officers received notice of their promotions, Lt Gruetzemacher to Captain, and 2d Lt Tollett to First Lieutenant.

The A-20's of our Group were part of a formation of 300 different types of planes that attacked Brest at 06:10, 6th Sept. Three assaults were made on the Port, when Marauders and Havocs dropped more that 500 tons of bombs in order to force a passage way for US troops beseiging the city. Also on this date, a TWX was received delaying our transfer to France, causing a great deal of disappointment to every member of the squadron.

Four "Buzz Bomb" alerts turned the night of September 5th into a sleepless one. One Robot was shot down which was visible from our field, and the explosion of another shook the huts of our area.

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

As the Allies drove on into France their supply lines became more extended. Finally to alleviate this situation General Eisenhower ordered the Air Forces to attack Brest until it was captured. It first it appeared that the flight to Brest was beyond our range so arrangements were made for the Group to attack the target and land at St. Mawgin to refuel. Although extended almost to the limit, some of the planes were able to make it back to the base without refueling. However Brest was often protected by a heavy layer of clouds making it necessary for the Group to return several times before dropping their bombs. This was much to the liking of the men in the Squadron for Brest proved to be a "Cake Run" on most occasions. When flights to Brest were getting monotonous boys of the 671st did their part to add a bit of color and excitement to the affair. While over the target one of the engines of Lt. Merchant's plane caught fire. "Feather" immediately ordered his gunners to bail out while he nursed the plane along on one engine till he reached a landing strip at Morlaix. The gunners S Sgt C. J. Harp and S Sgt K. P. Brown returned the next day on a C-47 but for some reason Feather was not to be found, although his airplane was known to have landed safely. Three days later Feather ended the search and killed his MIA report in the personnel basket when he phoned the Operations Officer from Southern England asking for transportation back to the base.

[September 1, 1944], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, September 1, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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