March 1944

March, '44

The group's commander, Colonel Jacob Brogger, recieved a Distinguished Flying Cross for leading a mission to Berlin. The 705th received a citation for their streak of 25 consecutive missions without the loss of a plane or crew. 1/Lt Donald Ryerson became the first crewman to fly 25 missions. Dances were held at the base, as were swing band and classical concerts.

Click on a date for details

Date
Target
Mar 2nd Frankfurt
Mar 3rd Germandorf
Mar 5th Mont de Marson, France
Mar 6th Genshagen/Berlin
Mar 8th Erkner
Mar 9th Brandenburg
Mar 11th Noball target; Wizernes, France
Mar 13th Noball target; Siracourt, France
Mar 16th Friedrichshaven
Mar 18th Friedrichshaven
Mar 20th Frankfurt
Mar 22nd Berlin
Mar 23rd Handorf
Mar 24th Nancy, France
Mar 29th Noball target; Watten

Mission Details

Clicking Photos in any mission below will bring you photos for that mission in a new browser window. Simply close that window to return here. Click here for all photos for March 1944.


March 2: Frankfurt
The Alfred Teves aircraft plant was targeted, along with Frankfurt's rail marshalling yards, but heavy overcast prevented the group from dropping any bombs. 2 men suffered frostbite.

March 3: Germandorf
Foul weather again caused a recall of planes without the mission being completed.

March 5: Mont de Marson, France
An advanced RTU base near the Pyrenees mountains was the intended target, but dense cloud cover caused a change in plans. Instead, an airfield at Bergerac and Landes de Bussac with good results.

March 6: Genshagen/Berlin
The first large attack on the German capital by the 8th Air Force, the Zehlendorf area of Berlin was set afire. Flak was so intense that 38 planes suffered damage. One plane, "Major Hoopo" (42-100288), ditched in the English Channel after repeated attacks by enemy fighters, killing 7 of the 10 crewmen on board. The plane broke in 2 on ditching, and the men were able to get into a dinghy. While a P-47 circled overhead, a rescue craft slowly made it's way to them and brought them home. Photos

March 8: Erkner
The VKF ball bearing works was hit and great damage was inflicted. Intense flak took it's biggest toll so far, with 3 planes going down. Among the three planes (41-29292, 42-100231, and "Shif Lus Skunk, 42-7595), a total of 26 crewmen died and 4 more taken prisoner. Photo

March 9: Brandenburg
The planes could not bomb the intended target, an airframe factory, so targets of opportunity were bombed instead with unknown results.

March 11: Noball target; Wizernes, France
The target was bombed through heavy clouds. Only one plane received minor battle damage.

March 13: Noball target; Siracourt, France
Heavy cloud cover prevented the planes from locating the target and all returned with their bomb loads.

March 16: Friedrichshafen
The Dornier works was bombed through clouds and a smoke screen created by boats on Lake Constance. Results were not considered good.

March 18: Friedrichshafen
A return trip saw better results, but still not what was expected. Flak was intense and accurate, causing one plane (42-7625) to land in Switzerland. All crewmen were interned by Swiss authorities, though one later escaped and returned to England. Photo

March 20: Frankfurt
The mission was abandoned in enemy territory due to bad weather.

March 22: Berlin
The crews made a return trip to Berlin with unknown results. "War Goddess" (42-100306) was forced to land in Sweden after suffering engine failure. It's crew was interned. Another plane, "Joker" (41-29151) , crashed. 9 of it's crew were taken prisoner, and one died in the crash. Photos

March 23: Handorf Airfield
Bombs were dropped on runways and hangars with fair results. S/Sgt Mitchell Sok received credit for shooting down an ME 109.

March 24: Nancy Aiirfield, France
The airfield was bombed, but poor results were reported. Both the lead and deputy lead planes were damaged before reaching the target and had to turn back. The 446th had to drop with the 448th.

March 29: Noball target; Watten
Three PFF planes failed to bomb due to equipment or personal failure and, as a result, the mission was recalled.

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