9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 136 -- September 3, 1944, Sunday PM

Brest, France

Strong Point



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 202-527
OpRep #            : 154a
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1355
Time Over Target   : 1613
Landing Time       : 1830
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 4:35

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 : Flights 1, 2, 3 and 4 did not attack - 8/10 clouds over target. Flights 5 and 6 results Gross.

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 # 136 -- September 3, 1944, Sunday PM
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  668th                   
  43-9444  5H-J  A-20J
  Maj Price, R.F.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  S/Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  S/Sgt Naifeh, F.
  2  668th                   
  43-9195  5H-D  A-20G
  Lt Svenson, R.R.
  S/Sgt Fild, P.G.
  S/Sgt Pfenning, G.H.
  3  668th                   
  43-21764  5H-X  A-20G
  Lt Harris, F.W.
  S/Sgt Hantske, D.
  S/Sgt Damico, E.A.
  4  668th                   
  43-10210  5H-Q  A-20G
  Lt Miracle, R.V.
  S/Sgt Sieg, B.C.
  S/Sgt Burkhalter, J.C.
  5  668th                   
  43-21760  5H-Z  A-20G
  Lt Stanley, C.S.
  Sgt Holterfield, C.C.
  Lt Mazanec, F.
  6  668th                   
  43-9194  5H-C  A-20G
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  Sgt Lemonds, W.E.
  Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.

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.
  T/Sgt Goggin, J.F.
  2  670th                   
  43-22063  F6-A  A-20J
  Lt Shea, D.F.
  Lt Koch, O.R.
  Sgt Burns, D.E.
  S/Sgt Daniel, W.J.
  3  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Singletary, R.B.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  Sgt Cianciosi, A.A.
  4  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Hillerman, J.P.
  S/Sgt Paules, E.F.
  S/Sgt Martinez, L.
  5  670th                   
  43-9207  F6-B  A-20G
  Lt Merritt, T.S.
  Sgt Majewski, S.J.
  Sgt Teran, A.
  6  670th                   
  43-21759  F6-G  A-20G
  Lt Warren, J.R.
  Sgt Stroup, C.C.
  Sgt Turpin, S.J.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  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.
  2  670th                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  Lt Ackerson, D.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  Capt Sheridan, M.B.
  3  670th                   
  43-9217  F6-D  A-20G
  Lt Nordstrom, A.W.
  S/Sgt Gossett, J.D.
  S/Sgt Miller, R.L.
  4  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  S/Sgt Driskill, P.B.
  5  670th                   
  43-21810  F6-P  A-20G
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  Sgt Wilson, B.R.
  6  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Sewell, J.C.
  Sgt Hummer, J.A.
  S/Sgt Binney, I.

Box I
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9393  5C-K  A-20G
  Lt Withington, D.L.
  Sgt Huss, C.F.
  Sgt McElhattan, L.D.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-10125  5H-M  A-20J
  Capt McNulty, G.M.
  Lt Bursiel, F.H.
  S/Sgt Fejes, J.A.
  S/Sgt Judd, E.R.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]
  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.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]
  3  668th                   
  43-21480  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  Sgt Felkel, J.W.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]
  4  668th                   
  43-9379  5H-G  A-20G
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  S/Sgt Dickenson, E.S.
  S/Sgt Hornbeck, K.E.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]
  5  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Saidla, J.B.
  Cpl Cavanagh, A.F.
  Cpl Harris, J.M.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]
  6  668th                   
  43-10150  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  Sgt Bentzler, D.H.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-9442  2A-D  A-20J
  Lt Peck, W.A.
  Lt Madenfort, J.
  S/Sgt Bergeron, A.E.
  S/Sgt Kelton, H.E.
  [Landed at Chilbolton]
  2  669th                   
  43-21767  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Street, M.S.
  S/Sgt Prindle, C.A.
  S/Sgt Epps, E.T.
  [Landed at Holnesley South]
  3  668th                   
  43-10176  5H-T  A-20G
  Lt Poundstone, L.E.
  Sgt Burland, A.J.
  S/Sgt Heath, K.
  [Landed at Chilbolton]
  4  668th                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Siggs, W.C.
  S/Sgt Nicks, R.W.
  S/Sgt Radlich, N.
  [Landed at Chilbolton]
  5  669th                   
  43-21961  2A-P  A-20G
  Lt Miller, E.L.
  Cpl Malloy, J.F.
  Sgt Pemberton, J.M.
  [Landed at Chilbolton]
  6  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  Cpl Griffin, D.L.
  Cpl Walters, J.H.
  [Landed at Chilbolton]

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-9645  5C-R  A-20J
  Lt Adams, J.D.
  Lt Hanlon, R.J.
  S/Sgt Zeikus, A.J.
  S/Sgt Clearman, P.L.
  [Landed at Hurn]
  2  671st                   
  43-22065  5C-E  A-20J
  Lt DeMand, F.W.
  Lt Burns, A.C.
  S/Sgt Troyer, R.J.
  S/Sgt Middleton, C.W.
  3  671st                   
  43-9914  5C-X  A-20J
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  Lt Mitchell, R.H.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
  Cpl Gurkin, C.W.
  4  671st                   
  43-10165  5C-H  A-20G
  Lt Zubon, M.
  T/Sgt Tanner, J.R.L.
  S/Sgt Russell, W.C.
  [Landed at Chilbolton]
  5  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  Cpl Skelton, T.W.
  Cpl Rojas, A.A.
  [Landed at Hurn]
  6  671st                   
  43-9219  5C-D  A-20G
  Lt Andrews, H.D.
  S/Sgt Swank, O.E.
  S/Sgt Werley, E.R.

Box II
  SPARE  669th               
  43-9692  2A-M  A-20G
  Lt Renth, E.J.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  Cpl Moskowitz, L.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 136 -- September 3, 1944, Sunday PM
Brest, France -- Strong Point

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

That afternoon, as we had been forewarned, Brest was again the target, but weather still hung over the objective. Yet 12 planes managed to pick up the strongpoint and although the bomb runs were short, fair results were achieved. Major Price and Captain McNulty led the two boxes.

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

Mission #136 - 3 September - PM - Brest Stronghold. Major Price and Lt. Hand, BN, and Captain McNulty and Lt. Burseil, BN led Boxes. Captain Peck and Lt. Madenfort, BN, - Lts. Greenley and Mitchell, BN and Lts. Adams and Hanlon, led flights. Trying to bomb by flights, only two flights were able to release their bombs, with only fair results due to poor visibility. The other flights returned with their bombs. It was surprising that such an important target did not call for heavy anti-aircraft guns. No damage was encountered by our planes. One full flight had to land in the south of England to refuel before getting back to Wethersfield.

Our targets in France were getting too far away from Wethersfield, so the move to the continent had to come pretty soon.

"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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