and so does the softball season as 3 leagues begin play on the base.
Spring also means planting season as a beautification program gets under
way. New personel arrive steadily to replace combat losses and those
lucky enough to have earned a trip home. Combat crews were given furloughs
to Scotland, and ground crews also were given time off.
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here for all photos for April 1944.
The group commander chose to abandon the mission when bad weather set
in. Another group did not follow his example, and mistakenly bombed
a town in Switzerland, causing an international incident.
6: Noball target; Watten
Only 3 planes were sent to the target, which was bombed through cloud
The target was a bomber components factory, but the group missed and
hit various other places in the general area. 2 planes were lost to
the intense and accurrate flak, "The Beast" (42-7679) and
The Princess (42-7620) (odd coincidence). 4 men were killed and 16 were
taken prisoner. One of the men was believed shot to death by German
civilians on the ground. Photos
The airfield, with a long runway, was bombed with good results as was
a hangar area. There was a great deal of enemy fighter opposition, but
crews believed they were inexperienced pilots due to the manner of their
10: Bourges airfield, France
The group bombed a factory, a barracks, a hangar, and destroyed an MPI.
All 28 planes dropped and there was no enemy opposition. The crews called
this a "perfect mission".
11: Bernburg airfield
The flight hangar was hit, and other bombs fell near a factory and hit
runways. 2 planes were lost due to flak hits, "Werewolf/Princess
O'Rourke" (42-7572), and "Brown Noser" (42-99942). All
10 on the first were taken prisoner as was 1 man from the second; the
remaining 9 from the second were killed. A crewman in another plane,
1/Lt Homer Gentry, was killed by a flak burst. The pilot of Werewolf/Princess
O'Rourke, 1/Lt Sterling Tuck, has authored accounts of his experiences
which can be found in the Stories
and POW sections of this website.
988 bombs were dropped on the airfield, hangars and planes with good
results. Fighter support was "the best we've had".
Heavy clouds caused the group to abandon the original target, an aircraft
component factory, and they instead bombed a chemical plant near Dobermitz.
870 100lb bombs were dropped.
18: Noball target; Watten
4 planes made a return trip to this target, but dropped south and to
19: Gutersloh airfield
26 planes hit the airfield and within 400 feet of the hangar, which
was the MPI.
20: Noball target; Siracourt
Crews reported that some bombs hit the center of the site. A total of
144 500 lb bombs were dropped.
25 planes attacked the marshalling yards with good results. On the return
trip, 12 enemy planes followed the crews back to England and attacked
them while they tried to land. Many of the planes were forced to land
at other bases. "Rubber Check" (42-95294) was severely damage.
The pilot, 2Lt Frank Baker, managed to nurse the crippled craft back
to base, only to find it under enemy attack. At an alternate base, he
narrowly avoided collission with another plane, and was finally able
to land at a third base. He received an Oak Leaf Cluster to his DFC.
100 incendiary bombs did heavy damage to the airpark, striking the MPI
The mission to the marshalling yards was recalled due to heavy clouds.
26: Paderborn airfield
The mission was abandoned due to heavy cloud cover.
27: Noball target; Wizernes
16 planes dropped 128 1,000 lb bombs on the target with good results.
One plane, "Satan's Sister" (42-7610) crashed in England before
reaching the coast, killing 2 crewmen. It had suffered severe engine
failure and jettisoned it's bomb load before landing. One bomb exploded
and damaged the tail. The plane crash-landed in a field after the pilot
narrowly avoided hitting buildings. Photos
An MPI and a roadhouse in the marshalling yards were destroyed by 13
planes. One plane (42-50306) crashed on take off, killing all 10 aboard
and 2 RAF men in a radar shack. Another plane (41-29543) suffered 2
failed engines and exploded while returning to base. It crashed in England,
killing 8 of 10 aboard. Photos
22 planes dropped 1,144 bombs on the German capital city. One plane,
"Luck and Stuff" (42-100360), was shot down after experiencing
engine problems. 3 men were killed and 7 taken prisoner. Photo
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