April 1944

April, '44

Spring arrives 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.

Click on a date for details

Apr 1st Ludwigshaven
Apr 6th Noball target; Watten
Apr 8th Brunswick
Apr 9th Totow
Apr 10th Bourges, France
Apr 11th Bernburg
Apr 13th Oberpfaffenhofen
Apr 18th Rathenow
Apr 18th Noball target; Waffen
Apr 19th Guttersloh
Apr 20th Noball target; Siracourt
Apr 22nd Hamm
Apr 24th Gablingen
Apr 25th Mannheim
Apr 26th Paderborn
Apr 27th Noball target; Wizernes
Apr 27th Blainville, France
Apr 29th Berlin

Mission Details

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

April 1: Ludwigshaven
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.

April 6: Noball target; Watten
Only 3 planes were sent to the target, which was bombed through cloud cover.

April 8: Brunswick
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

April 9: Totow
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 attack.

April 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".

April 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. Photos

April 13: Oberpfaffenhofen
988 bombs were dropped on the airfield, hangars and planes with good results. Fighter support was "the best we've had".

April 18: Rathenow
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.

April 18: Noball target; Watten
4 planes made a return trip to this target, but dropped south and to the west.

April 19: Gutersloh airfield
26 planes hit the airfield and within 400 feet of the hangar, which was the MPI.

April 20: Noball target; Siracourt
Crews reported that some bombs hit the center of the site. A total of 144 500 lb bombs were dropped.

April 22: Hamm
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. Photo

April 24: Gablingen
100 incendiary bombs did heavy damage to the airpark, striking the MPI and hangars.

April 25: Mannheim
The mission to the marshalling yards was recalled due to heavy clouds.

April 26: Paderborn airfield
The mission was abandoned due to heavy cloud cover.

April 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

April 27: Blainville
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

April 29: Berlin
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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