9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 237 -- March 17, 1945, Saturday AM

Altenkirchen, Germany

Road Junction



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 208-798
OpRep #            : 348
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,700 - 12,500 feet
Take-off Time      : 0959
Time Over Target   : 1128
Landing Time       : 1251
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:52

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 42 Total -- 41 A-26's, 1 B-26 (PFF)
Modified British System Reference: F-934319
Secondary Target   : Westerburg
Summary of Results : Unobserved due to cloud cover. Three Window A-26's.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 50.68655,7.64376 (50° 41' 12" N, 7° 38' 38" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wF934319)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Route Map

Route Map

Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I

Loading List 2

Loading List 2,  Box II
With Three Additional Window Mission Aircraft

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 237 -- March 17, 1945, Saturday AM
Altenkirchen, Germany -- Road Junction

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                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Rooney, R.J.
  Lt Kirk, R.L.
  Lt Moore, D.L.
  Sgt Kamischke, R.J.
  2  669th                   
  43-22487  2A-J  A-26C
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Lt Johnson, G.G.
  S/Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  3  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  Lt Chitty, W.D.
  Sgt Riggs, P.H.
  4  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  S/Sgt Hall, M.
  5  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Capt Borman, H.W.
  Pfc Finnell, D.O.
  6  670th                   
  43-22320  F6-S  A-26B
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Sgt Wright, H.T.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-22505  5H-Y  A-26C
  Capt Stanley, C.S.
  F/O Blount, J.H.
  S/Sgt Collier, C.B.
  2  668th                   
  41-39305  5H-U  A-26B
  Lt Harris, F.W.
  S/Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.
  S/Sgt Williford, C.W.
  3  669th                   
  43-22354  2A-S  A-26B
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  S/Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  4  668th                   
  43-22389  5H-X  A-26B
  Lt Cannon, L.E.
  S/Sgt Brzezinski, E.P.
  5  668th                   
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Nathanson, A.S.
  Sgt Kaminski, C.J.
  6  668th                   
  43-22495  5H-G  A-26C
  Lt Phillips, J.P.
  Sgt Miller, W.A.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-22523  5H-N  A-26C
  Capt Evans, H.M.
  Lt McCartney, T.M.
  Lt Freed, D.R.
  S/Sgt Merritt, O.N.
  Maj Lewis, E.R.
  [Lewis (95th Div)]
  2  668th                   
  41-39259  5H-H  A-26B
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  S/Sgt Mohr, C.M.
  3  668th                   
  43-22321  5H-T  A-26B
  Lt Kenny, J.P.
  S/Sgt Metzler, L.V.
  4  668th                   
  41-39213  5H-A  A-26B
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  S/Sgt Lemonds, W.E.
  5  668th                   
  41-39325  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Drum, E.B.
  S/Sgt Euga, P.G.
  6  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Lackner, R.J.
  Sgt Musarra, A.J.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Turman, A.R.
  S/Sgt Leahigh, L.L.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  670th                   
  43-22528  F6-T  A-26C
  Maj Ferris, C.H.
  Lt Royalty, P.G.
  Lt Koch, O.R.
  S/Sgt Majewski, S.J.
  2  671st                   
  43-22490  5C-X  A-26C
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Lt Muir, R.C.
  S/Sgt Connery, T.
  3  671st                   
  41-39237  5C-D  A-26B
  Lt Musgrove, W.
  S/Sgt Licker, M.
  4  670th                   
  41-39315  F6-F  A-26B
  Lt Errotabere, M.
  Sgt Lynch, P.R.
  5  670th                   
  41-39215  F6-R  A-26B
  Lt Stankowski, J.F.
  Sgt Vellinga, J.R.
  6  670th                   
  43-22307  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Wallace, J.F.
  Sgt Krantz, J.G.
  Sgt Richards, D.B.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-22492  2A-E  A-26C
  Lt Cornell, R.H.
  Lt Enman, R.E.
  Sgt Reid, K.A.
  2  669th                   
  43-22381  2A-Q  A-26B
  F/O Swap, F.W.
  Sgt Meliniotis, N.
  3  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Allen, J.F., Jr.
  S/Sgt Veazey, C.W.
  4  669th                   
  43-22304  2A-T  A-26C
  Lt Jordan, C.S.
  Lt Mulgrew, R.P.
  S/Sgt Jensen, K.F.
  5  669th                   
  41-39263  2A-G  A-26B
  Lt Haskell, R.W.
  Sgt Martin, G.A.
  6  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Dunn, F.G.
  Sgt Pikel, J.M.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22499  5C-G  A-26C
  Capt Pair, H.F.
  Lt Corum, J.L.
  S/Sgt Fessler, H.S.
  Capt Chidley, H.W.
  2  671st                   
  43-22497  5C-E  A-26C
  Capt Sutton, L.J.
  Lt Reed, J.V.
  S/Sgt Gilliam, D.C.
  3  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  S/Sgt Rojas, A.A.
  4  671st                   
  41-39239  5C-N  A-26B
  Lt Henderson, F.W.
  S/Sgt Johnson, R.J.
  5  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Jokinen, W.R.
  Sgt McNellis, D.E.
  6  671st                   
  43-22419  5C-Z  A-26B
  Lt Wright, J.R.
  Sgt Simon, D.O.

Box II
  SPARE  670th               
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  S/Sgt Sienkiewicz, J.

Box II -- Flight WINDOW
  1  668th                   
  43-22508  5H-Z  A-26C
  Lt Jacobsen, O.F.
  F/O Harvest, R.W.
  Lt Martin, R.L.
  S/Sgt Gooch, H.I.
  S/Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  2  670th                   
  43-22334  F6-G  A-26B
  Lt Depner, A.W.
  S/Sgt Gillespie, R.H.
  S/Sgt Fair, V.F.
  3  668th                   
  41-39361  5H-M  A-26B
  Lt Kreh, E.B.
  Sgt Stewart, A.B.
  S/Sgt Graham, N.M.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 237 -- March 17, 1945, Saturday AM
Altenkirchen, Germany -- Road Junction

"416th Bombardment Group (L) - Group History 1945"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

A day of rest followed this mission, but on the next day, the 17th, the attack was continued with even more vigor. Two more missions were flown. The first target was a road junction at Altenkirchen. An almost solid cloud cover hung over the target and there was no flak. PPF equipment failed so Gee equipment was used. Results were unobserved. Lt Rooney, Lts Kirk and Moore, B&N, and Major Ferris, Lts Royalty and Koch, B&N, led our boxes.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 227

Mission #237 - 17 March - Alten Kirchen Road Junction. Lts. Rooney with Lts. Kirk and Moore, BNs led Box I. Major Ferris and Lts. Royalty and Koon, BNs on Box II. A solid cloud moved in over the target, PFF was used. No enemy action was experienced.

On March 17 Major General Anderson from Ninth Bomber Command sent this message to the 416th Bomb Group.

Please inform all crews that examination of approximately 25 Reconnaissance sorties flown on 14 and 15 March reveals that the large number of PFF missions flown by the 9th Bomb Division (M) during February and March were extremely effective. Approximately 90 percent of targets attacked were hit. Damage ranged from moderate to severe. Patterns on the ground reveal that a majority of formations were excellent and that groups did an excellent job of bombing on PFF lead. This is extremely gratifying to me and a source of great credit to all concerned in view of the adverse weather conditions under which most of these missions were flown and difficulties encountered with PFF signals. I realize the adverse effect of bombing blind with no knowledge of how much you are hurting the enemy. I hope the knowledge that on these blind missions you hurt him plenty will be the same shot in the arm that the sight of a bridge you have put in the water is. Anyway, the results are grand and I'm proud of you all.

There are four men from the front lines living with the group now, to learn what mission flying is all about. They feel the experience is spectacular.

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

No mission was flown on the 16th of the month, but on the morning of the 17th, the Altenkirken Road Junction was the target for the attack. Almost complete cloud cover necessitated the use of blind bombing technique. Lt. Blomgren, with Lt. Johnson, flew in the deputy formation leader's position. The second flight of the second box was lead by Lts. Cornell and Enman.

The Bad Homburg Marshalling Yards were the targets for attack in the afternoon of the same day. Cloud cover caused the formation to scatter, with the result that Montabear was bombed instead of the primary target. Lt. Col. Napier led the second flight of box I, while Capt. Miller was in the lead position of the third flight of the same box.

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

Two attacks were made on 17th March, one on the Altenkirchen Communication Center and one on the Bad Homburg Marshalling yards. Both of these missions were led by pathfinder aircraft and results were unobserved. Twelve of our crews were on the first mission and eight on the second.

"671st Bomb Squadron (L) Unit History"
Gordon Russell and Jim Kerns

March 17th, 1945

Dense clouds covered up the battlefronts on March 17th and the 416th went back to their Pathfinder bombing, hammering the Altenkirchen Communication Center in the morning and the Bad Homburg Marshalling Yard in the afternoon. Both targets are located in the Ruhr. In each instance the formations dropped on the Pathfinders' Gee equipment. Bad weather snafued the afternoon mission however. The formation was late on the bomb run and the ground station signaled the PFF to hold its bombs. The group scattered so the first flight went to the briefed secondary and dropped with the PFF ship. The second and third flights of this box proceeded to another briefed secondary and dropped on Gee there. Meanwhile the second box seeing the Pathfinder fail to bomb proceeded to Wailburg. Two flights and two ships of the third flight dropped on Gee at that target, while the other four airplanes became entirely lost and dropped at four different targets. There were no losses, casualties or battle damage.

[March 17, 1945], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, March 17, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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