9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 96 -- July 11, 1944, Tuesday PM

Bourth, France

Railroad Embankment



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 121-421
OpRep #            : 102
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 12,500 - 13,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1510
Time Over Target   : 1716 - 1718
Landing Time       : 1807
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:57

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 32 Total -- 26 A-20G's, 4 A-20J's, 2 B-26's (PFF)
Target Number      : 4800/B/2
Illustration       : 4800/9
Illustration Ref   : 052026
Summary of Results : Unobserved.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 48.76851,0.79621 (48° 46' 7" N, 0° 47' 46" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on Google Maps, Visual match to Strike Photo from Mission 98)
(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

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 96 -- July 11, 1944, Tuesday PM
Bourth, France -- Railroad Embankment

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                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Maj Meng, W.J.
  Lt Powell, V.H.
  S/Sgt Stobert, R.F.
  S/Sgt Glynn, F.P.
  2  669th                   
  43-21712  2A-H  A-20J
  Maj Napier, J.G.
  Lt Madenfort, J.
  S/Sgt Nicks, R.W.
  S/Sgt Radlich, N.
  3  668th                   
  43-9701  5H-H  A-20G
  Lt Col Aylesworth, T.R.
  Sgt Elliott, F.W.
  Lt Lindsay, G.E.
  [Lt Geo Lindsay (4th Combat Camera Unit)]

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Ostrander, W.B.
  S/Sgt Wilson, J.E.
  S/Sgt Binney, I.
  2  670th                   
  43-9978  F6-S  A-20G
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Sgt Wilson, B.R.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  3  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Calkins, C.R.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  4  670th                   
  43-9387  F6-H  A-20G
  Lt Gruetzemacher, R.O.
  Sgt Leahigh, L.L.
  Sgt Shaw, C.L.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-10214  5C-C  A-20G
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
  [Returned Early No Sortie Unable to locate formation]
  2  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Miller, J.H.
  S/Sgt Schrom, R.G.
  S/Sgt Galender, J.
  [Returned Early No Sortie Unable to locate formation]
  3  671st                   
  43-10165  5C-H  A-20G
  Lt Estes, C.L.
  S/Sgt Orvold, C.R.
  Sgt DiMartino, A.E.
  [Returned Early]
  4  671st                   
  43-9956  5C-Z  A-20G
  Lt Smith, R.H.
  S/Sgt Stockham, A.A.
  S/Sgt Mahoney, R.J.
  [Returned Early]

Box I -- Flight IV
  1  669th                   
  43-10147  2A-K  A-20G
  Lt Morton, R.J.
  S/Sgt Webb, C.L.
  S/Sgt Citty, F.M.
  2  669th                   
  43-9961  2A-E  A-20G
  Lt Street, M.S.
  S/Sgt Prindle, C.A.
  S/Sgt Epps, E.T.
  3  669th                   
  43-9717  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Hayter, E.R.
  S/Sgt Melchoir, F.E.
  S/Sgt Holloway, R.G.
  4  669th                   
  43-9673  2A-I  A-20G
  Lt Dontas, P.
  S/Sgt Nielsen, A.L.
  S/Sgt Fields, W.E.

Box I
  SPARE  670th               
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Johnson, E.L.
  S/Sgt Donahue, W.J.
  S/Sgt Brayn, M.R.
  [Flew in Position 3rd Ship, Flt. IV, Box II]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-9640  5H-Z  A-20J
  Lt Osborne, A.E.
  Lt Forma, W.
  S/Sgt Sylva, H.J.
  S/Sgt McCreery, J.E.
  2  668th                   
  43-21717  5H-P  A-20J
  Lt Meagher, J.F.
  Lt Burg, J.J.
  S/Sgt Simpson, D.H.
  S/Sgt Robbins, L.G.
  3  668th                   
  43-21764  5H-X  A-20G
  Lt Hill, L.E.
  S/Sgt Yost, C.H.
  S/Sgt Burch, R.W.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-9362  5H-L  A-20G
  Lt Peede, L.G.
  S/Sgt Daugherty, L.M.
  S/Sgt Hibbs, C.L.
  2  668th                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Lt Clausen, T.
  Sgt Fetko, C.
  Sgt Brown, D.M.
  3  668th                   
  43-9195  5H-D  A-20G
  Lt Andersen, C.J.
  Sgt Euga, P.G.
  Sgt Schafer, E.L.
  4  668th                   
  43-9745  5H-I  A-20G
  Lt Meredith, R.G.
  S/Sgt MacDonald, R.W.
  Sgt Wright, R.E.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-10176  5H-T  A-20G
  Lt Bartmus, G.F.
  S/Sgt Flacks, F.L.
  Sgt Spadoni, J.K.
  2  668th                   
  43-10210  5H-Q  A-20G
  Lt Miracle, R.V.
  S/Sgt Sieg, B.C.
  S/Sgt Burkhalter, J.C.
  3  668th                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Mish, C.C.
  S/Sgt Clark, C.J.
  S/Sgt Chustz, R.F.
  4  668th                   
  43-9975  5H-W  A-20G
  Lt Cruze, R.K.
  S/Sgt Love, C.F.
  S/Sgt Adair, F.L.

Box II -- Flight IV
  1  669th                   
  43-9390  2A-G  A-20G
  Lt Shainberg, N.V.
  Sgt Bookach, M.
  Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  2  669th                   
  43-9840  2A-V  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  S/Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  S/Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
  3  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Clark, H.B.
  S/Sgt Sabadosh, J.W.
  S/Sgt Floyd, C.F.
  [Not Airborne]
  4  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Connor, J.S.
  S/Sgt Rodgers, H.C.
  S/Sgt VanDuyne, J.E.

Box II
  SPARE  669th               
  43-9943  2A-F  A-20G
  Lt Elliott, D.W.
  Sgt McGuire, J.J.
  Sgt Mani, J.
  [Not Airborne]

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 96 -- July 11, 1944, Tuesday PM
Bourth, France -- Railroad Embankment

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

After having flown seven missions in five days, we hit some bad weather.

We reverted to PFF bombing on the 11th, and bombed the Bourth railroad bridge through 10/10 clouds. The results were unobserved. Major Meng and Lt Osborne led both boxes.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 108

Mission #96 - 11 July - Bourth Railway Bridge. The leader of the first box on this mission is not chronicled and the only information available on the mission is related by Chet Wysocki who gives the best information. Weather was threatening in the morning, but things cleared up in the afternoon and the boys took off. When we are told B-26 Pathfinders would lead us in, we knew clouds would hide the target . The second box was led by Lts. Osborne and Forma, BN with Lt. Meagher and Lt. Burg, BN as deputy. The formation was again a queer one with only four planes to a flight and four flights to a box. What were the brass experimenting with? When 16 planes drop bombs from one box leader, it would seem that the odds of hitting are not too good if the leader ran into trouble. If the leader went far off the target, and that does happen, nobody gets to put their bombs where they are supposed to go. It would seem that the best attack would be to have flights of six bomb, increasing the possibility of success by many-fold. In any event, on this mission, with PFF techniques utilized, bombing results were not recorded due to the cloud cover. No flak or fighters interferred with the formation, so all returned safely.

Today, 36 enlisted men were pinned with the Good Conduct Medals.

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

Once again misfortune tagged at our heels. On the 11th, while flying in a routine formation training flight, Lt. Walter L. Pentilla was killed. At 1,000 feet, one engine cut out. The plane dove into the ground. He died while being taken to the Hospital. Although he had been with the Squadron only a short time, those of us who had met him soon learned to like the stocky, blond-headed Pilot. He was our only loss during the month.

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

After a busy five days of missions activity was at a standstill until July 11th when six of our crews were part of an attack against the Bourth railway bridge on a "pathfinder" mission. Also on this date thirty-three enlisted men received the Good Conduct Medal per General Order No 8, Hq 416th Bomb Group, dated 11 July 1944. ( See exhibit # 26 attached)

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

July 7th July 16th , 1944

During the period from the Seventh of July through the 16th of July, the Group ran only six missions. The main reason for the slackening up has been the bad weather. The missions which were run were led by B-26 Pathfinders and the "bomb through cloud" technique was put into use. Many times during this period the crews went out to the ships, but were called back when the mission was delayed and then usually scrubbed. However, every now and then the group was able to sneak in a mission before it could be called off. That alone accounts for the six sorties in the last ten days... rather six missions.

No planes were downed by enemy action during this time and no crews were injured by flak. Quite a bit of flak was met on a few missions and some of the planes were shot up, although none serious.

Odds and Ends

On July 8th , 1944 Lt. Pair went on his third mission, the first in nearly three months. Lt. Ames and Lt. Withington are now regularly seen on the loading lists. These two pilots joined the Squadron a short time ago and have been doing pretty well for the length of time, with the Group S.O.P.s that each has had to contend with. Lt. Lackovich, a recent addition, is sweating out his first mission and is scheduled to go on the morning mission of July 18th ... after having completed a refresher transition course as put forth by Group Operations.

Just recently all of the older pilots -those who have been with the Squadron prior to coming overseas -have completed, or are preparing to do so their seven day operational leave. The regular 48-hour passes are still in affect. London has not been a very favorable spot to vacation lately as the Jerries have been putting up quite a few flying bombs. The boys complain about lack of sleep, although it is believed that there is a more underlying train of thought behind this lack of sleep excuse.

[July 11, 1944], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, July 11, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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