January 1945

January, '45

The New Year was celebrated with a party in the Enlisted men's club and an open house in the Officer's club. The group received the "B" Pennant for the best bombing results in the 20th Combat Wing. Thirty Distinguished Flying Crosses were awarded, as were other medals. Steady snow led to many scrubs and stand downs, and the bitter cold led to another failure of the water delivery system. With much of Europe back in Allied hands, planes in distress were landing with increasing frequency on the continent, rather than risk the flight home. Enlisted men under 31 years of age received physicals to test their qualification for possible transfer to the infantry as reinforcements. Buzz bombs became less frequent.

Click on a date for details

Jan 1st Andernach
Jan 3rd Neunkirchen
Jan 5th Pirmasens
Jan 7th Rastatt
Jan 8th Clervaux
Jan 13th Worms
Jan 14th Hallendorf
Jan 15th Reutlingen
Jan 16th Ruhland
Jan 21st Heilbron
Jan 29th Munster
Jan 31st Brunswick

Mission Details

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January 1: Andernech
After scrubbing the primary target, the bridge at Remagen, Andernach was hit with unobserved results. 1 plane, "The Big Drip" (41-29524), crashed during take-off, killing all 10 crewmen. Photos

January 3: Neunkirchen
The marshalling yards were bombed through heavy clouds with good results.

January 5: Pirmasens
6 marshalling yards and a railhead were bombed with good results, in spite of severe damage to the lead plane. The pilot, Major Kyle, continued to lead the group to the target with no hydraulics or rudder control. He was recommended for an Oak Leaf Cluster to his DFC for his actions. 1 crewman in another plane died of anoxia. It was his first mission. Photo

January 7: Rastatt
The marshalling yards were hit with unobserved results. Photo

January 8: Clervaux
16 planes bombed a road junction with unobserved results. The planes were fired upon by British anti-aircraft as they returned, with no damage.

January 13: Worms
30 planes bombed a rail bridge with very good results.

January 14: Hallendorf
27 planes met intense flak over a benzine plant. Resuls were excellent.

January 15: Reutlingen
34 planes hit the marshalling yards with good results.

January 16: Ruhland
The Lauta aluminum plant was bombed with good results. The lead plane was hit by flak, but continued. It later landed on the continent. Most of the planes landed in Yorkshire on their return.

January 21: Heilbronn
High clouds made it impossible to form and the mission was scrubbed.

January 29: Munster
38 planes attacked the marshalling yards through heavy clouds.

January 31: Brunswick
This mission was recalled.

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