9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 138 -- September 6, 1944, Wednesday AM

Brest, France

Strong Points



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 204-532
OpRep #            : 157
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 9,500 - 10,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 0657
Time Over Target   : 0909
Landing Time       : 1109
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 4:12

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 36 Total -- 27 A-20G's, 9 A-20J's
Modified British System Reference: BREST: COOR. V-939989 COORD V-914986
Illustration       : 4805W/56
Illustration Ref   : 078041
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : One flight Unknown results, reamaining Excellent.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 48.38409,-4.50414 (48° 23' 3" N, 4° 30' 15" W)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (LZ1) vV939989)
(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 # 138 -- September 6, 1944, Wednesday AM
Brest, France -- Strong Points

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 Donahue, W.J.
  T/Sgt Goggin, J.F.
  2  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Lt Shea, D.F.
  Lt Koch, O.R.
  S/Sgt Lee, R.E.
  Lt Lindsay, G.E.
  3  670th                   
  43-21810  F6-P  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  4  670th                   
  43-9720  F6-F  A-20G
  Lt Hillerman, J.P.
  S/Sgt Paules, E.F.
  S/Sgt Martinez, L.
  5  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Murphy, T.A.
  Sgt Ricketson, J.J.
  Sgt O'Connell, L.W.
  6  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Popeney, H.
  Sgt Arnett, W.E.
  Sgt Candler, H.C.S.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-21717  5H-P  A-20J
  Capt McNulty, G.M.
  Lt Bursiel, F.H.
  S/Sgt Fejes, J.A.
  S/Sgt Judd, E.R.
  2  668th                   
  43-10210  5H-Q  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                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  S/Sgt Dickenson, E.S.
  S/Sgt Hornbeck, K.E.
  5  668th                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Stanley, C.S.
  Sgt Holterfield, C.C.
  Cpl Collier, C.B.
  6  668th                   
  43-21760  5H-Z  A-20G
  Lt Wright, J.W.
  Sgt Profita, P.J.
  Sgt Simmonds, J.R.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-9444  5H-J  A-20J
  Maj Price, R.F.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  S/Sgt Naifeh, F.
  Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  2  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  Sgt Felkel, J.W.
  3  668th                   
  43-10176  5H-T  A-20G
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  Sgt Bentzler, D.H.
  4  668th                   
  43-9194  5H-C  A-20G
  Lt Peede, L.G.
  Sgt Brown, D.M.
  S/Sgt Daugherty, L.M.
  5  668th                   
  43-10150  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Saidla, J.B.
  Cpl Cavanagh, A.F.
  Cpl Harris, J.M.
  6  668th                   
  43-21480  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt Evans, H.M.
  Sgt Skeens, C.L.
  Sgt Merritt, O.N.

Box I
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9221  5C-F  A-20G
  Lt Eastman, D.M.
  Cpl Johnson, R.J.
  Cpl Eaton, A.B.
  [Returned Early]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  43-9452  F6-Q  A-20J
  Lt Jackson, C.R.
  Lt Maltby, A.H.
  Sgt Burns, D.E.
  S/Sgt Falk, F.G.
  2  670th                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  Lt Ackerson, D.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  S/Sgt Glynn, P.F.
  3  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Nordstrom, A.W.
  Cpl Friday, L.R.
  S/Sgt Miller, R.L.
  4  670th                   
  43-9892  F6-L  A-20G
  Lt Leonard, T.J.
  S/Sgt Evans, O.D.
  S/Sgt Palmer, T.A.
  5  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  S/Sgt Driskill, P.B.
  6  670th                   
  43-9207  F6-B  A-20G
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  Sgt Wilson, B.R.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-21469  2A-J  A-20J
  Capt Morton, R.J.
  Lt Moore, D.L.
  S/Sgt Webb, C.L.
  S/Sgt Citty, F.M.
  2  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Hayter, E.R.
  S/Sgt Melchoir, F.E.
  S/Sgt Holloway, R.G.
  3  669th                   
  43-9692  2A-M  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  S/Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  S/Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
  4  669th                   
  43-21767  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Street, M.S.
  S/Sgt Prindle, C.A.
  S/Sgt Epps, E.T.
  5  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  Cpl Griffin, D.L.
  Cpl Walters, J.H.
  6  669th                   
  43-10190  2A-I  A-20G
  Lt Hall, E.P.
  Sgt Carstens, R.W.
  Sgt Sharp, R.P.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-21711  5C-S  A-20J
  Lt Adams, J.D.
  Lt Hanlon, R.J.
  S/Sgt Clearman, P.L.
  S/Sgt Zeikus, A.J.
  2  671st                   
  43-9914  5C-X  A-20J
  Lt DeMand, F.W.
  Lt Burns, A.C.
  S/Sgt Middleton, C.W.
  S/Sgt Troyer, R.J.
  3  671st                   
  43-9711  5C-M  A-20G
  Lt Murray, T.J.
  S/Sgt Jones, R.J.
  S/Sgt DeBower, D.H.
  4  671st                   
  43-9719  5C-J  A-20G
  Lt Pair, H.F.
  S/Sgt Marion, H.A.
  S/Sgt Adams, V.P.
  5  671st                   
  43-9219  5C-D  A-20G
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  Cpl Skelton, T.W.
  Cpl Rojas, A.A.
  6  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt VanNoorden, H.M.
  Cpl Steffey, R.I.
  Sgt Thompson, G.

Box II
  SPARE  669th               
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Clark, H.B.
  S/Sgt Sabadosh, J.W.
  S/Sgt Floyd, C.F.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 138 -- September 6, 1944, Wednesday AM
Brest, France -- Strong Points

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

Hitting our top form in bombing on the morning of the 6th, Major Dunn and Captain Jackson led two boxes in another smashing attack on Brest. The bombs hit their mark and five of the six flights were credited with excellents. Although there was no photo coverage on the other flight, crewmen reported the results as excellent. The damage to the target was inestimable, known only to the ground troops who were fighting bitterly down there.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 141

Mission #138 - 6 September - AM - Brest Stronghold. Another 0630 take-off for this group to be part of over 300 other planes to attack this place. Out of six flights of the 416th, five scored excellents, the only Ninth Bomber Command to score that well. Among the flight leaders were Captain Morton and Lt. Moore, BN, - Captain McNulty and Lt. Burseil, BN, - Major Price and Lt. Hand, BN, - Lts. DeMand and Burns, BN, and Lts. Adams and Hanlon, BN. Clear weather gave our bomb aimers a good read on the target and they showed their expertise.

"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

On the morning of the 6th, Brest was again attacked. Capt. Morton, Lt. Moore, B-N, scored one of the five excellents, that were earned by the Group. That afternoon the weather closed in as the formation again approached a target at Brest. Only three flights were able to bomb although they dropped down to as low as 4,500 feet. Capt. Huff, leading a flight, made six bomb runs but was unable to drop because of the poor visibility. Lt. Greene, Lt. Nichols, B-N, scored a "good" in their first mission as a flight leader.

"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 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, September 6, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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