9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 116 -- August 6, 1944, Sunday PM

Oissel, France

Bridge

 

WWII-Medal

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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 164-471
OpRep #            : 128a
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,300 - 12,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1806
Time Over Target   : 1956
Landing Time       : 2149
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:43
 

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 39 Total -- 32 A-20G's, 7 A-20J's
Target Number      : 4901E/B/22 and 23
Illustration       : 4901E/44
Illustration Ref   : 031077, 033065 - 3 Flights Each
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : One flight scored Good, four flights scored Excellent, one flight did not attack - lead bombardier hit by flak in last minute of bomb run.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.33871,1.10203 (49° 20' 19" N, 1° 6' 7" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on Google Maps, Visual match to Target Illustration)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)



route map

Mission 116 Route Map

Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I



Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II
(Note:  Six Aircraft and Crews also Designated Window Missions)



Loading List 3

Loading List 3, Box III







Missing Air Crew Reports, Aircraft Accident Reports, and other incidents

         Date          Report

A/C
Serial #
Type
Mis-
sion
#
Bomb
Sq
Location Personnel (Status when available)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-9640
A-20J
116 668 Normandy Osborne, Arthur E. Jr. (WIA)
Forma, Warren NMI (WIA)
Kelly, Earnest E. (Not Injured)
Lagerman, K. G. (Not Injured)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
MACR
7872
43-9978
A-20G
116 670 Oissel Bridge, France McManus, Thomas William Jr. (MIA, KIA)
LaPointe, John H. (MIA, KIA)
Hart, Gerald Edward (MIA, RTD)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-21467
A-20J
116 670 Jackson, Chester Ronald (Not Injured)
Maltby, Alfred H. (Not Injured)
Burns, Donald E. (WIA)
Daniel, William John Sr. (Not Injured)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-9380
A-20G
116 670 Leonard, Thomas J. (Not Injured)
Evans, O. D. (WIA)
Goggin, Joseph P. (Not Injured)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-9200
A-20G
116 670 Emergency strip A-13, Normandy, France Sommers, Douglas T. (MIA, KIA)
Zaklikiewicz, Stanley Robert (KIA)
Johnson, John Lennart (KIA)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-21712
A-20J
116 669 Wethersfield/Sta 170 Napier, John G. (Not Injured)
Madenfort, James NMI (WIA)
Perkins, Homer W. (Not Injured)
Lowe, R. R. (Not Injured)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-10147
A-20G
116 669 Tangmere Smith, Jack Fleming Jr. (Not Injured)
Vafiadis, Constantine (Not Injured)
Hoffman, Ralph C. (Not Injured)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
MACR
7850
43-9717
A-20G
116 Hq Taiberville, France Farmer, Walter Woodrow (KIA)
Buskirk, Joseph A. (MIA, RMC, RTD)
Hay, Jamie E. (MIA, RMC, RTD)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-9943
A-20G
116 669 Tangmere Blomgren, John E. (Not Injured)
Bookach, Michael NMI (Not Injured)
Fleming, Leonard R. (Not Injured)
Aug 6, 1944
Sunday
No_Report   43-9743
A-20G
116 669 Allen, Julian F. Jr. (Not Injured)
Getgen, Leo R. (Not Injured)
Veazey, Charles W. (WIA)


To view more information regarding an Incident/Report, click on the Report hyperlink.
( = Entries having actual Reports available for review.   = Entries having additional Images or Photos.)
To view an individual's Memorial page, click on the "Name" hyperlink.



Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 116 -- August 6, 1944, Sunday PM
Oissel, France -- Bridge

Included are Box, Flight and Position; Bomb Squadron; Aircraft Serial Number, Fuselage Code and Model; and Crew Members
transcribed from individual mission Loading List documents by Chris and Mary Adams and Carl Sgamboti.
Some information, such as Squadron, Serial Number, etc. has been expanded from other documents.

Box I -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-9640  5H-Z  A-20J
  Lt Osborne, A.E.
  Lt Forma, W.
  S/Sgt Kelly, E.E.
  S/Sgt Lagerman, K.G.
  2  668th                   
  43-9935  5H-F  A-20G
  Lt Parker, P.E.
  Sgt Galloway, A.F.
  Sgt Kochan, S.
 
  3  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Andersen, C.J.
  Sgt Euga, P.G.
  Sgt Shafer, E.L.
 
  4  668th                   
  43-21819  5H-K  A-20G
  Capt Prentiss, R.B.
  S/Sgt McCreery, J.E.
  S/Sgt Sylva, H.J.
 
  5  668th                   
  43-10150  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  Sgt Felkel, J.W.
 
  6  668th                   
  43-21770  5H-I  A-20G
  Lt Welsh, A.J.
  Sgt Wright, R.E.
  Sgt Novak, S.G.
 

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-9452  F6-Q  A-20J
  Capt Hulse, D.A.
  Lt Conte, R.
  S/Sgt Allred, F.D.
  S/Sgt Glynn, F.P.
  2  670th                   
  43-9387  F6-H  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
 
  3  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt Nordstrom, A.W.
  Sgt Hummer, J.A.
  S/Sgt Sampson, D.A.
 
  4  670th                   
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Greene, W.J.
  S/Sgt Ochaba, J.A.
  S/Sgt Colbert, W.F.
 
  5  670th                   
  43-9750  F6-M  A-20G
  Lt Byrne, R.T.
  Sgt Cummings, W.D.
  Sgt Paules, E.F.
 
  6  670th                   
  43-9978  F6-S  A-20G
  Lt McManus, T.W.
  Sgt Hart, G.E.
  Sgt LaPointe, J.H.
  [Position 7, A/C 874, Z - Col Backus (Wing C.O. in Wing Ship)]
 

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Capt Jackson, C.R.
  Lt Maltby, A.H.
  Sgt Burns, D.E.
  Sgt Daniel, W.J.
  2  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Leonard, T.J.
  S/Sgt Evans, O.D.
  T/Sgt Goggin, J.F.
 
  3  670th                   
  43-9200  F6-A  A-20G
  Lt Sommers, D.T.
  Sgt Zaklikiewicz, S.R.
  Sgt Johnson, J.L.
 
  4  670th                   
  43-9209  F6-K  A-20G
  Lt McGlohn, C.L.
  S/Sgt Moran, J.W.
  S/Sgt Driskill, P.B.
 
  5  670th                   
  43-9674  F6-R  A-20G
  Lt Sparling, J.R.
  Sgt Shaw, C.L.
  Sgt Leahigh, L.L.
 
  6  670th                   
  43-9227  F6-F  A-20G
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Sgt Hall, M.
  Sgt Wilson, B.R.
 

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-21480  5H-B  A-20G
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.
  Sgt Fetko, C.
 
                                                           


Box II -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-21712  2A-H  A-20J
  Maj Napier, J.G.
  Lt Madenfort, J.
  Pvt Perkins, H.W.
  S/Sgt Lowe, R.R.
  2  669th                   
  43-10147  2A-K  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  S/Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  S/Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
  [Crash Landed at Langmere. Crew OK]
 
  3  669th                   
  43-9717  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Col Farmer, W.W.
  Sgt Hay, J.E.
  Sgt Buskirk, J.A.
  [Missing]
 
  4  669th                   
  43-9390  2A-G  A-20G
  Lt Boukamp, T.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  S/Sgt Wing, J.S.
  [Window]
 
  5  669th                   
  43-9943  2A-F  A-20G
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Sgt Bookach, M.
  Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  [Window Landed Langmere]
 
  6  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Allen, J.F., Jr.
  Sgt Getgen, L.R.
  Sgt Veazey, C.W.
  [Window]
 

Box II -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-21711  5C-S  A-20J
  Lt Marzolf, L.A.
  Lt Beck, J.T.
  S/Sgt Johnson, K.L.
  S/Sgt Czech, J.L.
  2  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Zubon, M.
  T/Sgt Tanner, J.R.L.
  S/Sgt Russell, W.C.
 
  3  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Miller, J.H.
  S/Sgt Schrom, R.G.
  S/Sgt Galender, J.
 
  4  671st                   
  43-9719  5C-J  A-20G
  Lt Pair, H.F.
  S/Sgt Marion, H.A.
  S/Sgt Adams, V.P.
 
  5  671st                   
  43-9925  5C-G  A-20G
  Lt Durante, A.R.
  S/Sgt Best, H.T.
  S/Sgt DeGiusti, I.R.
 
  6  671st                   
  43-9956  5C-Z  A-20G
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Sgt Connery, T.
  Sgt Barry, R.M.
 

Box II -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  43-10135  2A-T  A-20J
  Capt Huff, M.J.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  Sgt Clark, R.A.
  Sgt Basford, F.P.
  2  669th                   
  43-9181  2A-A  A-20G
  Lt Land, W.H.
  S/Sgt Alden, S.F.
  S/Sgt Ballinger, R.L.
 
  3  669th                   
  43-9961  2A-E  A-20G
  Lt Street, M.S.
  S/Sgt Prindle, C.A.
  S/Sgt Epps, E.T.
 
  4  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Behlmer, R.L.
  T/Sgt Kelly, W.J.
  S/Sgt Ferguson, W.G.
  [Window]
 
  5  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Hayter, E.R.
  S/Sgt Melchoir, F.E.
  S/Sgt Holloway, R.G.
  [Window]
 
  6  669th                   
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Elliott, D.W.
  Sgt McGuire, J.J.
  Sgt Mani, J.
  [Window]
 

Box II
  SPARE  671st               
  43-9219  5C-D  A-20G
  Lt Ames, W.H.
  Sgt Fessler, H.S.
  S/Sgt Brown, R.J.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]
 
                                                           


Box III
  1  669th                   
  43-9450  2A-S  A-20J
  Lt DeMun, E.E.
  Lt McQuade, R.J.
  S/Sgt Rosenstein, M.
  S/Sgt Carney, H.O.
  2  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
 
  3  668th                   
  43-21764  5H-X  A-20G
  Lt Ebenstein, G.
  Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  Sgt Newell, S.P.
 



Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 116 -- August 6, 1944, Sunday PM
Oissel, France -- Bridge


"416th Bombardment Group (L) - Group History 1944"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

The sixth was another two-mission day. In the morning the target was the Oisell bridge across the Seine--the last bridge remaining across the river. When the two boxes, [led by Lt. Osborne,] Lt. Forma, B-N, and Major Napier, Lt. Madenfort, B-N approached [the] target, they had to turn back without attacking it because of bad weather.

The bridge had to be knocked out, however, so we were sent out after it again in the afternoon. Our Group had been especially chosen to do the job by Major General Anderson. It proved to be the most costly mission we had had since 15 July when two planes were lost. On that day, Lt. Raymond K. Cruse was forced to ditch in the Channel. Although it [was not] certain that he had drowned, his body was never recovered and he is listed as MIA. One gunner, Sergeant F.E. Cherry, was killed in action; the other gunner Sergeant S. W. Giesy, was seriously wounded in action --- he was recovered by rescue craft. The other plane, piloted by Lt. Robert J. Rooney, was also hit by flak but it managed to make it back to England where Lt. Rooney crash landed it. Lt. Rooney was badly injured by flak which came up through the seat in the cockpit. One gunner, Staff Sergeant Herbert M. McCleary, suffered a fractured [right arm, the other] gunner, Staff Sergeant Sebastian F. DiNaplei, suffered minor [injuries].

But even that damage and those losses were small compared to the number damaged and lost on this afternoon attack on the Oissel bridge. These were our losses:

Missing in Action:
Lt. Col. W.W. Farmer, Sgt. J.E. Hay, Sgt. J.A. Buskirk--Last seen heading away from the target toward our lines, plane smoking.
Lt. T.W. McManus, Sgt. G.A. Hart, Sgt. J.H. LaPionte--plane seen to crash in the target area.
Lt. A.J. Welch, Sgt. R.E. Wright, Sgt. S.G. Novak--last seen going down in the target area.

Killed in Action:
Killed when they were forced to crash land in Normandy with their plane badly damaged by flak were Lt. D.T. Sommers, Sgt. S.R. Zakliskiewicz, and Sgt. J.L. Johnson.

Lt. Osborne's right engine was shot out so that he was forced to crash land in Normandy. The plane was washed out, but the crew was uninjured. Severe battle damage forced Lt. J.E. [Blomgren] to crash land at Tanguere -- none of the crew was injured. Lt. J.[P. Smith also] crash landed at Tanguere due to flak damage. His brakes were [shot out, and, when] his plane nosed in at the end of the runway with no brakes, it was washed out -- none of the crew was injured. On a second bomb run over the target, Major Napier's Bombardier-Navigator, Lt. J. Madenfort, was hit in the face by flak so that his flight was unable to bomb. Besides the damage already noted, 23 other planes suffered varying degrees of battle damage. The 416th had done the job, however, that it had set out to do. The main weight of the attack fell across the rail line on the island and on its approaches. Supports at the south end of a new span that had been erected were also damaged. The line was now unserviceable. The pictures taken during the attack reveal the accuracy of the bombing. Captain Osborne and Major Napier led the two boxes. Exhibit #33. A word of commendation on the job done was received from General Anderson, and from General Backus. Exhibit # 33-A.

A day of rest followed that costly mission which gave the ground crews a chance to repair the badly damaged planes.


"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 124 - 128

Mission #116 - 6 August - Oissel Bridge. Again, 41 planes took off with Lts. Osborne and Forma, BN leading. Major Napier and Lt. Madenfort BN on the second box. Captain Hulse and Lt. Conte BN led flight #2 to the first flight. The German gunners having seen us this morning, were now quite ready to see us again. They must have readjusted their sights and fuses. The bombing was to be done in flights of six, and a four minute bomb run was started. This is an unusually long bomb run for such a well defended target, but the importance of wiping out the target was more important than anything. All flights, except one, were able to zero in on the aiming points, there being two spans required to be put out of service. The one flight with BN Lt. Madenfort riding with Major Napier did not drop because the bombardier received a severe flak hit and could not very well operate his bombsight.

Four planes were lost on the bomb run, including Lt. Douglas T. Sommers with Sgts. John L. Johnson and Stanley R. Zakliskewicz and Lt. Thomas W. McManus with gunners Sgt. John H. LaPorte and Gerald A. Hart. Lt. Sommers tried to crash land on an emergency airstrip but was unsuccessful. All his crew were reported as MIA. Lt. McManus and his crew are also listed as MIA. Lt Colonel Farmer, Group Operations Officer with Sgts. J. E. Hay and J. A. Buskirk and Lt. A. J. Welsh with gunners Sgts. R. E. Wright and S. G. Novack are all listed as Missing In Action. Lt. Osborne, leading the formation had to leave his position due to flak damage, making an emergency landing at the Normandy beachhead. His gunner S/Sgt. E. E. Kelly was injured.

Other flight leaders included Captain Jackson and Lt. Maltby, BN, - Major Napier with Lt. Madenfort BN, - Lts. Marzolf and Beck, BN, and Captain Huff with Lt. Kupits, BN. Every plane on the mission was damaged, but the objective was accomplished. The bridge was wiped out. Of the six flights bombing, four scored excellent, one good, and one did not bomb due to the bombardier being injured. Many of the planes landed on emergency airfield due to the damage they received.

When Lt. Osborne, leading the mission went down, Captain Hulse and Lt. Conte assumed the lead to navigate the group back to base, without further incident.

Colonel Backus, CO of the 97th Bomb Wing flew with the 416th Group in the Second Flight of the First Box.

The mission was termed a complete success and earned a commendation from the Commanding General of the IX Bomber Command, who was reported to have remarked, "It wasn't good bombing, it wasn't excellent bombing, it was perfect bombing."

The group received the Distinguished Unit Citation for this mission.

FROM 97TH COMBAT BOMB WING TO; CO 416TH BOMB GROUP (L)

PRIORITY CONFIDENTIAL

FOLLOWING MESSAGE RECEIVED FROM COMMANDING GENERAL IX BOMBER COMMAND, QUOTE, MY REQUEST THAT YOU ASSIGN THE 416TH BOMB GROUP OF YOUR COMMAND TO ATTACK THE OISSEL BRIDGE WAS PROMPTED BY MY GREAT CONFIDENCE IN THE GROUP'S ABILITY AND COURAGE. THE BOMBING OF THE BRIDGE ON 6 AUGUST FULLY JUSTIFIED MY CONFIDENCE. IN SPITE OF INTENSE OPPOSITION AT THE TARGET, THE ACCURACY OF THE BOMBING WOULD REFLECT CREDIT ON A GROUP BOMBING ON A PRACTICE RANGE. AS A RESULT A TROUBLESOME AND IMPORTANT TARGET WHICH HAD ALREADY COST IX BOMBER COMMAND FOUR PLANES LOST AND MANY DAMAGED WAS ALMOST CERTAINLY DESTROYED. PLEASE INFORM THE GROUP OF MY ADMIRATION FOR THE COURAGE AND BOMBING ACCURACY DISPLAYED. OISSEL WAS AN IMPORTANT AND DIFFICULT ASSIGNMENT SUPERBLY ACCOMPLISHED. ANDERSON QUOTE.

TO THIS COMMENDATION, I WISH TO ADD THAT I AM INDEED PROUD TO BE THE COMMANDING OFFICER OF THE WING IN WHICH THE 416TH BOMB GROUP (L) IS SUCH AN EFFICIENT AND OUTSTANDING NUMBER.

DEEPLY REGRET THE LOSSES IN YESTERDAY AFTERNOON'S MISSION, BUT AT THE SAME TIME, I WISH TO COMMEND YOU HIGHLY FOR THE SUPERB BOMBING ATTACKS CARRIED OUT AGAINST YESTERDAY'S TARGET. THE OISSEL BRIDGES AND UPON THE COMPEIGNE MARIGNY MARSHALLING YARDS ON 5 JULY 1944 YOUR DESTRUCTION OF THESE TARGETS WAS OF GREAT MILITARY VALUE AND IMPORTANCE.

SIGNED BACKUS

A Certified True copy

/s/ Harold L. Sommers HAROLD L. SOMMERS Captain, Air Corps Operations Officer

669th Bombardment Group (L) 416th Bombardment Group (L)

This was transmitted personally, and typed originally for Lt. Ralph Conte

On August 7, Lt. Ronald Perkins and his two gunners, S/Sgts. Sherry and Linneman who made a forced landing at Normandy Beach of 5 August, returned to the 416th. He went down on the 5th when one engine was knocked out and a hole was blown in a gas tank. He completely washed out the ship. His landing must have appeared spectacular to on-lookers, since he came down on one engine and one wheel, the other wheel having been knocked out of service. He said they spun around several times and when it stopped , they exited it fast, with surprisingly no injuries. The next day, the crew went on the August 8th PM mission.


"669th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

The sixth was another two-mission day. In the morning, Major Napier led the second box of a formation attacking the last remaining bridge across the Seine river at Oissel. Capt. Huff was a flight leader. Lt. DeMun, Lt. McQuade, led the window flight. Bad weather forced the formation to return from the target area. The same crews returned in the afternoon to attack the same target. On the bomb run, Lt. Madenfort was hit in the face by flak so that Major Napier's flight did not bomb. Capt. Huff's flight, however, scored an excellent. The flak was intense and four planes were lost. Severe battle damage forced Lt. Blomgren to crash land at Tangmere -- none of the crew was injured. Lt. Jack F. Smith also crash landed at Tangmere due to flak damage. His brakes were shot out, and, when his plane nosed in at the end of the runway, it was washed out. None of the crew was injured. Exhibits #50 and 51.


"670th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

Heaviest enemy resistance since D-Day was met on August 6th, when the group made two attacks on the Oissel Bridge across the Seine River. No attack was made on the target the first time because of cloud cover. The second attack was highly successful and the target destroyed. Two ships and their crews from this squadron were lost. Lt Douglas T. Sommers, pilot, and his gunners, Sgts John L. Johnson, and Stanley R. Zakliekewicz were killed, when, after the plane had been severely hit by flak, the pilot tried unsuccessfully to crash land on emergency strip A-13 in France. Lt Thomas W. McManus and his crew, Sgts John H. LaPointe and Gerald E. Hart, were listed as missing in action. Coming off the target after completing the bomb run, the ship was hit by flak and the left engine burst into flames. Lt McManus' ship went into a spin and was last seen to crash and explode west of Louviers. One parachute was observed leaving the plane before the crash. The record of having no pilots lost in five months of combat was broken.

Flak damage from this mission was extremely heavy. Lt McGlohn and Capt Jackson again demonstrated their skill by bringing back badly battered craft. S/Sgt Evans and Sgt Burns received wounds for which they were awarded the Purple Heart.

The 416th Bomb Group was sent to attack the target at Oissel upon the request of the Commanding Officer of IX Bomber Command since three other attacks by other groups had failed to destroy the bridge. One third of all retreating transportation used this bridge and it was an extremely important target. After the completion of the mission and the results determined, the group received a TWX of commendation from General Anderson, Commanding General of the IX Bomber Command, and General Backus, Commanding General of the 97th Wing. (See Exhibit # 31 attached). The 670th had eleven crews on each of these missions.

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