9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 135 -- September 3, 1944, Sunday AM

Brest, France

Strong Point



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 201-526
OpRep #            : 154
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : No Attack
Take-off Time      : 0610
Time Over Target   : 0823
Landing Time       : 1019
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 4:09

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 36 Total -- 25 A-20G's, 11 A-20J's
Target Number      : 4805W/J/90
Illustration       : 4805W/54
Illustration Ref   : 047050
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : No attack due to cloud cover.

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

Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II

(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 # 135 -- September 3, 1944, Sunday AM
Brest, France -- Strong Point

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                   
  43-22065  5C-E  A-20J
  Maj Willetts, D.L.
  Lt Royalty, P.G.
  S/Sgt Lempka, H.A.
  S/Sgt Russell, W.C.
  2  671st                   
  43-9645  5C-R  A-20J
  Lt DeMand, F.W.
  Lt Burns, A.C.
  S/Sgt Troyer, R.J.
  S/Sgt Middleton, C.W.
  3  671st                   
  43-9937  5C-B  A-20G
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Sgt Barry, R.M.
  Sgt Connery, T.
  4  671st                   
  43-10214  5C-C  A-20G
  Lt Morehouse, R.C.
  S/Sgt Zygiel, L.A.
  S/Sgt Burgess, A.J.
  5  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Henderson, F.W.
  S/Sgt Griswold, R.M.
  S/Sgt Coulombe, P.E.
  6  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt York, R.W.
  S/Sgt Wilds, H.J.
  S/Sgt Ashton, L.A.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Lt Monroe, H.A.
  Lt Kirk, R.L.
  S/Sgt Kidd, W.L.
  S/Sgt Miller, R.L.
  2  670th                   
  43-9452  F6-Q  A-20J
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  Lt Ackerson, D.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  3  670th                   
  43-22063  F6-A  A-20J
  Lt Harrold, F.J.
  Lt Brewer, W.E.
  S/Sgt Griffin, E.L.
  S/Sgt Maziasz, C.W.
  4  670th                   
  43-9720  F6-F  A-20G
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  S/Sgt Blackford, D.S.
  S/Sgt Burger, L.C.
  5  670th                   
  43-9892  F6-L  A-20G
  Capt Conant, H.F.
  Sgt Wiggins, H.G.
  Sgt Cianciosi, A.A.
  6  670th                   
  43-9217  F6-D  A-20G
  Lt Sparling, J.R.
  Sgt Sienkiewicz, J.
  Sgt Leahigh, L.L.

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                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Kreh, E.B.
  S/Sgt Shelton, E.
  S/Sgt Schenck, D.R.
  4  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Lesher, R.D.
  S/Sgt Hedrick, H.R.
  Sgt Heitell, S.L.
  5  668th                   
  43-9194  5H-C  A-20G
  Lt Parker, P.E.
  Sgt Galloway, A.F.
  Sgt Kochan, S.
  6  668th                   
  43-21480  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt Wright, J.W.
  Sgt Profita, P.J.
  Sgt Simmonds, J.R.

Box I
  SPARE  670th               
  43-21759  F6-G  A-20G
  Lt Musgrove, W.
  Sgt Seighman, H.O.
  Sgt Licker, M.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Maj Meng, W.J.
  Lt Powell, V.H.
  S/Sgt Stobert, R.F.
  S/Sgt Glynn, F.P.
  2  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Miller, J.H.
  S/Sgt Galender, J.
  S/Sgt Schrom, R.G.
  3  671st                   
  43-9711  5C-M  A-20G
  Lt Murray, T.J.
  S/Sgt Jones, R.J.
  S/Sgt DeBower, D.H.
  4  671st                   
  43-9393  5C-K  A-20G
  Lt Perkins, R.D.
  S/Sgt Sherry, V.N.
  S/Sgt Linneman, R.H.
  5  671st                   
  43-9719  5C-J  A-20G
  Lt Eastman, D.M.
  Cpl Johnson, R.J.
  Cpl Eaton, A.B.
  6  671st                   
  43-10165  5C-H  A-20G
  Lt Gary, J.C.
  Sgt Cheuvront, R.W.
  Sgt Schoen, A.E.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-10135  2A-T  A-20J
  Capt Huff, M.J.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  S/Sgt Basford, F.P.
  Sgt Clark, R.A.
  2  669th                   
  43-9442  2A-D  A-20J
  Lt Greene, W.J.
  Lt Nichols, J.R.
  S/Sgt Ochaba, J.A.
  S/Sgt Colbert, W.F.
  3  669th                   
  43-10190  2A-I  A-20G
  Lt Street, M.S.
  S/Sgt Prindle, C.A.
  S/Sgt Epps, E.T.
  [Not Airborne Right Oil Temperature High]
  4  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Siggs, W.C.
  S/Sgt Nicks, R.W.
  S/Sgt Radlich, N.
  5  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Poundstone, L.E.
  Sgt Burland, A.J.
  S/Sgt Heath, K.
  [Returned Early [unreadable]]
  6  669th                   
  43-9692  2A-M  A-20G
  Lt Miller, E.L.
  Cpl Malloy, J.F.
  Cpl Pemberton, J.M.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  43-21469  2A-J  A-20J
  Capt Hulse, D.A.
  Lt Conte, R.
  S/Sgt Allred, F.D.
  S/Sgt Stephens, D.W.
  2  669th                   
  43-21961  2A-P  A-20G
  Lt Boukamp, T.
  S/Sgt Colosimo, R.J.
  Sgt Donnelly, W.W.
  3  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Renth, E.J.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  Cpl Moskowitz, L.
  4  668th                   
  43-9195  5H-D  A-20G
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  S/Sgt Bookach, M.
  Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  5  669th                   
  43-21767  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  Cpl Griffin, D.L.
  Cpl Walters, J.H.
  6  669th                   
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Hall, E.P.
  Sgt Sharp, R.P.
  Sgt Carstens, R.W.

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  43-21760  5H-Z  A-20G
  Lt Kenny, J.P.
  Sgt Metzler, L.V.
  Sgt Sittarich, J.J.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 135 -- September 3, 1944, Sunday AM
Brest, France -- Strong Point

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

Two days later the planes took off to attack a strongpoint in Brest again. The following information was received by Intelligence on the target: "Target requested by ground forces. General Eisenhower has not been too well pleased with progress made in capturing the port of Brest. He has taken personal charge of operations until it falls. We can expect targets there for the next few days or until the port is taken. Today, there will be 300 heavies from the 8th A.F. operating on that area from 0930 to 1130, three groups from the 98th Wing from 1140 until 1200, 15 Groups from 9th T.A.C. and 19th T.A.C. all during the day. Our troops will be from 2,000 to 2,500 yards from the target area--which has been shelled by artillery for the last five days." Despite this urgent request, weather had again to be reckoned with. The planes got over the target, but were forced to return their bombs without an attack.

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

Mission #135 - 3 September - AM - Brest Stronghold. Another early wake up call, with the group taking off at 0600 in total darkness. Major Willets and Lt. Royalty, BN led the formation. Captain Huff and Lt. Kupits, BN, - Captain Hulse and Lt. Conte, BN, - Captain McNulty and Lt. Burseil, BN, and Lts. DeMand and Burn BN, led flights. Lts. Bartmus and Hardy flew deputy. Again, clouds moved in as the 416th neared Brest, so they turned back without dropping. A few hours later, six IX Bomber Command groups were able to bomb the target with the clouds rolling away. They succeeded to practically demolish their aiming points.

"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

Again in the morning of the 3rd, the bombers failed to bomb because of weather. The target was Brest. Capt. Huff and Capt. Hulse were flight leaders. That afternoon only 12 planes could drop on another attack on Brest. Capt. Peck, Lt. Madenfort, B-N, led one of the flights that bombed with fair results.

"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 3, 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 3, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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