May 1944

May, '44

The crews flew missions to marshalling yards, airfields, and synthetic oil plants in preparation for D-day. Many of the original crews satisfied their mission requirements and were reassigned, which made for an almost complete turnover of combat personnel on base. Many of these men stayed on base and were given ground jobs. Ground defense was strengthened, with machine gun positions now manned, planes guarded at night, and personnel restricted to base.

Click on a date for details

May 1st Noball target; Ailly-le-haut-Clocher, France
May 1st Brussels, Belgium
May 6th Noball targets, France
May 7th Munster
May 8th Brunswick
May 9th Liege, Belgium
May 11th Mulhouse, France
May 12th Bohlen
May 13th Tutow
May 19th Brunswick
May 20th Reims, France
May 23rd Orleans, France
May 24th Orly A/F, Paris, France
May 25th Mulhouse, France
May 27th Konz Karthaus
May 27th Fecamp, France
May 28th Merseburg-Zeitz
May 29th Tutow
May 30th Rothenburg
May 31st Longuy, France

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 May 1944.

May 1: Noball target; Ailly-le-haut-Clocher, France
The mission was abandoned due to heavy cloud cover over the target.

May 1: Brussels, Belgium
A late afternoon mission saw bombs hit on the marshalling yards of the Belgian capital with fair results.

May 6: Noball targets, france
4 Crossbow targets were bombed by 14 groups from the first and second air divisions, with unobserved results. It is believed they missed the target.

May 7: Munster
The city was bombed by 29 planes. 2 crewmen suffered frostbite. The primary targets, Handorf airfield and the Hamm marshalling yards, were not hit due to cloud cover.

May 8: Brunswick
360 incendiaries and 120 500-pounders were dropped on the city. Enemy fighter attacks were strong, but kept in check by "little buddies".

May 9: Liege, Belgium
The marshalling yards were severely damaged and the roundhouse totally destroyed by 21 planes. One plane caught fire and exploded before take-off, but not before all crewmen could escape unharmed. The pilot, 2/Lt Andy Lipsky, was awarded the Soldiers Medal for ensuring his crew was safely out of the burning, heavily armed plane before escaping himself. Photo

May 11: Mulhouse, France
The marshalling yards were hit with good results. S/Sgt James Forrest shot down an ME 109.

May 12: Bohlen
Very good results were obtained against an oil refinery, which was set ablaze. This refinery generated about 5% of Germany's synthetic oil. S/Sgt Frank Romano shot down an ME 410.

May 13: Tutow
21 planes bombed the airfield with incendiaries and 500 pounders.

May 19: Brunswick
Up to 200 enemy planes and intense flak made this one of the toughest missions to date. The marshalling yards and an airfield were both bombed. All 446th planes returned safely to base, but one, without use of hydraulics, crashed into an ambulance upon landing. There were no injuries reported.

May 20: Reims, France
22 planes bombed the airfield with good results.

May 23: Orleans airfield
The airfield was bombed with good results. One plane, "Wee Willie" (42-7583), was lost when it appeared the bombs were dropped through the closed bomb-bay doors. A piece of the damaged door struck and damaged the plane's tail, causing a spin from which the pilot could not recover. All 10 on board were killed. Photo

May 24: Orly airfield, France
34 planes dropped 237 thousand-pounders on Orly airfield outside of Paris. The target was severely damaged. Crews observed P-51 and P-47 fighters destroying a train.

May 25: Mulhouse
32 planes bombed the marshalling yards with excellent results. One plane, "Banger" (41-29140), lost an engine and turned back before reaching the target. On it's return, it suffered heavy flak damage and the crew had to bail out. 5 crewmen were taken prisoner and 5 evaded capture and returned to England. Photos

May 27: Konz Karthaus
25 planes bombed the marshalling yards. The primary target area was hit as was the MPI.

May 27: Fecamp, France
18 planes attacked a medium gun battery

May 28: Merseburg-Zeitz
24 planes attacked 2 synthetic oil plants and 2 airfields. There was intense flak but all planes returned.

May 29: Tutow
The third mission to this airfield was successful, as good results were reported by the 28 planes involved.

May 30: Rothenburg airfield
The airfield was bombed with very good results. A hangar was seen exploding and smoke reached 30,000 feet. There was almost no opposition.

May 31: Longuy, France
Bad weather forced this mission to be recalled. One plane crashed shortly after take-off; all men aboard parachuted to safety.

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