9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 137 -- September 5, 1944, Tuesday PM

Brest, France

Strong Points



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 203-530
OpRep #            : 156
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,700 - 12,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1609
Time Over Target   : 1840 - 1842
Landing Time       : 2037
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 4:28

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 36 Total -- 26 A-20G's, 10 A-20J's
Modified British System Reference: BREST: COORD. V-939989 COORD. V-914986
Illustration       : 4805W/56
Illustration Ref   : 078041
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : Three flights scored Excellent, remaining Fair, Poor and Gross.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 48.38409,-4.50414 (48° 23' 3" N, 4° 30' 15" W)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (LZ1) vV939989)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 137 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 156       Fuel Use

If nothing happens on Click, check to see if the PDF file was automatically saved to your computer. Depending on Internet speed, the display or download may be slow.
These Public Domain, Declassified Mission documents were graciously provided to the 416th BG Archive by the dedicated staff of the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA).
An on-line index of records held by AFHRA up to 2001 is available at Air Force History Index.org.
Most of these PDF files are unaltered originals provided by the AFHRA, a few have been re-organized.
Pages may be out of sequence; files may contain scanned blank pages and/or pages scanned upside-down; some pages may be included in more than one file.
The "Mission Folder" usually contains the majority of documents for a Mission, including Field Orders, Status Reports, Pilot Interrogations, Photos (if available), etc.

Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I

Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II

(NARA photo)

On orders from General Eisenhower himself, the bombing of Brest began on September 1, 1944.

Over a six day period, the 416th conducted six consecutive missions against this target,

effectively neutralizing an enemy stronghold and contributing to the surrender of the city.

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 137 -- September 5, 1944, Tuesday PM
Brest, France -- Strong Points

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  669th                   
  43-10135  2A-T  A-20J
  Capt Huff, M.J.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  Sgt Clark, R.A.
  Sgt Basford, F.P.
  2  669th                   
  43-9376  2A-O  A-20G
  Lt Tripp, W.F.
  S/Sgt Scott, J.O.
  S/Sgt Kemper, L.B.
  3  668th                   
  43-21717  5H-P  A-20J
  Lt Greene, W.J.
  Lt Nichols, J.R.
  S/Sgt Ochaba, J.A.
  S/Sgt Colbert, W.F.
  4  669th                   
  43-10190  2A-I  A-20G
  Lt Hall, E.P.
  Sgt Carstens, R.W.
  Sgt Sharp, R.P.
  5  669th                   
  43-9900  2A-Q  A-20G
  Lt Robertson, R.B.
  S/Sgt Cheney, M.W.
  Sgt Reiter, G.E.
  6  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt Miller, E.L.
  Cpl Malloy, J.F.
  Sgt Pemberton, J.M.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22063  F6-A  A-20J
  Capt Jackson, C.R.
  Lt Maltby, A.H.
  Sgt Burns, D.E.
  Cpl Basile, A.C.
  2  670th                   
  43-21467  F6-W  A-20J
  Lt Shea, D.F.
  Lt Koch, O.R.
  S/Sgt Evans, O.D.
  S/Sgt Palmer, T.A.
  3  670th                   
  43-9452  F6-Q  A-20J
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  Lt Ackerson, D.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  S/Sgt Glynn, P.F.
  4  670th                   
  43-9217  F6-D  A-20G
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  S/Sgt Blackford, D.S.
  S/Sgt Burger, L.C.
  5  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt Merritt, T.S.
  Sgt Hummer, J.A.
  S/Sgt Gatti, R.J.
  6  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Grunig, D.B.
  Cpl Collier, J.L.
  Sgt Dias, M.E.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-9444  5H-J  A-20J
  Maj Price, R.F.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  S/Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  S/Sgt Naifeh, F.
  2  668th                   
  43-10176  5H-T  A-20G
  Lt Kreh, E.B.
  Sgt Shelton, E.
  S/Sgt Schenck, D.R.
  3  668th                   
  43-10210  5H-Q  A-20G
  Lt Meredith, R.G.
  S/Sgt Hill, A.A.
  S/Sgt MacDonald, R.W.
  4  668th                   
  43-9194  5H-C  A-20G
  Lt Lesher, R.D.
  S/Sgt Hedrick, H.R.
  Sgt Heitell, S.L.
  5  668th                   
  43-21764  5H-X  A-20G
  Lt Evans, H.M.
  Sgt Skeens, C.L.
  Sgt Merritt, O.N.
  6  668th                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Andersen, C.J.
  Sgt Euga, P.G.
  Sgt Schafer, E.L.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  43-21760  5H-Z  A-20G
  Lt Kenny, J.P.
  Sgt Metzler, L.V.
  Sgt Sittarich, J.J.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Box II -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-21469  2A-J  A-20J
  Capt Hulse, D.A.
  Lt Conte, R.
  S/Sgt Allred, F.D.
  S/Sgt Stephens, D.W.
  2  670th                   
  43-9689  F6-I  A-20G
  Lt Renth, E.J.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  Sgt Wolber, R.A.
  3  669th                   
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Sgt Fleming, L.R.
  S/Sgt Bookach, M.
  4  669th                   
  43-21961  2A-P  A-20G
  Lt Boukamp, T.
  S/Sgt Abriola, D.R.
  Sgt Donnelly, W.W.
  5  669th                   
  43-9692  2A-M  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  S/Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  S/Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
  6  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Allen, J.F., Jr.
  Sgt Getgen, L.R.
  Sgt Veazey, C.W.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-21711  5C-S  A-20J
  Capt Marzolf, L.A.
  Lt Beck, J.T.
  S/Sgt Wellin, H.E.
  Lt Sampson, T.W.
  2  671st                   
  43-9914  5C-X  A-20J
  Lt DeMand, F.W.
  Lt Burns, A.C.
  S/Sgt Troyer, R.J.
  S/Sgt Middleton, C.W.
  3  671st                   
  43-9956  5C-Z  A-20G
  Lt York, R.W.
  S/Sgt Wilds, H.J.
  S/Sgt Ashton, L.A.
  4  671st                   
  43-10214  5C-C  A-20G
  Lt Morehouse, R.C.
  S/Sgt Zygiel, L.A.
  S/Sgt Burgess, A.J.
  5  671st                   
  43-9221  5C-F  A-20G
  Lt Herman, A.E.
  S/Sgt Garrett, A.D.
  S/Sgt Young, J.O.
  6  671st                   
  43-9937  5C-B  A-20G
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Sgt Barry, R.M.
  Sgt Connery, T.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22065  5C-E  A-20J
  Lt Cole, H.P.
  Lt Basnett, R.J.
  S/Sgt Chvatal, F.R.
  S/Sgt Fandre, B.G.
  2  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Withington, D.L.
  Sgt Huss, C.F.
  Sgt McElhattan, L.D.
  3  671st                   
  43-9719  5C-J  A-20G
  Lt Ames, W.H.
  Sgt Fessler, H.S.
  Sgt Brown, R.J.
  4  671st                   
  43-9393  5C-K  A-20G
  Lt Perkins, R.D.
  S/Sgt Sherry, V.N.
  S/Sgt Linneman, R.H.
  5  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Eastman, D.M.
  Cpl Johnson, R.J.
  Cpl Eaton, A.B.
  6  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  Cpl Miguez, J.H.
  Cpl DiOrio, F.

Box II
  SPARE  670th               
  43-10211  F6-O  A-20G
  Lt Popeney, H.
  Sgt Arnett, W.E.
  Sgt Candler, H.C.S.
  [Returned Early as Briefed]

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 137 -- September 5, 1944, Tuesday PM
Brest, France -- Strong Points

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

After a day of more bad weather, our planes made another attempt to wipe out Brest on the 5th. The weather at the target did clear up. With this break, the planes flew in and scored hits which ranged from fair to excellent. Captain Huff and Captain Hulse led this first successful mission of the month. Severe damage was inflicted on the strongpoint and several buildings were destroyed.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 141

Mission #137 - 5 September - Brest Stronghold. Captain Hulse and Lt. Conte, BN and Captain Huff and Lt. Kupits, BN led boxes. Major Price and Lt. Hand, BN, - Captain Cole and Lt. Basnett, BN, - Captain Marzolf and Lt. Beck, BN, and Lts. Hand and Burns BN, led flights. The box leaders scored excellent bombing with their bombs destroying the building and causing severe damage to the strongpoint. The 416th Group were the first in over the target this day, followed by so many other groups, that one pilot quipped that they had to take numbers and get in line to bomb. A group of heavies came over the target right behind our group. Devastation was the word of the day for this target. Evidently all groups took "Ike" at his word to bomb until the Brest Port gave in. They're getting close to doing just that! Our flights scored either excellents or goods.

"668th Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcription from USAF Archives

The month of September began with a series of concentrated attacks upon Brest, heavily garrisonned Nazi stronghold at the tip of the Brittanny peninsula. Heavy overcast spelled failure for several missions, but we finally succeeded in hitting the target in a number of close support attacks which aided materially in the eventual capture of this vital port.

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

An All-669th show on the 5th provided the best bombing of the month to date. Capt. Huff and Capt. Hulse were the successful box leaders. Their bombs probably destroyed the buildings and caused severe damage to the strongpoint.

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

The month of September opened with a series of concentrated attacks on the Port of Brest, France, by light and medium bombers, in which this Group and Squadron played a important part. With the Nazis tenaciously holding on to the Port of Brest, General Eisenhower called for an all out effort. Six missions were flown by our squadron in the first six days of the month. Twelve crews participated on a mission on Sept 1st, 20 crews on two missions on Sept 3rd, six crews on Sept 5th, and 18 crews on Sept 6th on two missions.

Lt Byrne was transferred on Sept 2nd. English money was converted to francs on this day and work started on embarkation rosters in preparation for a move to France. On this date, two officers received notice of their promotions, Lt Gruetzemacher to Captain, and 2d Lt Tollett to First Lieutenant.

The A-20's of our Group were part of a formation of 300 different types of planes that attacked Brest at 06:10, 6th Sept. Three assaults were made on the Port, when Marauders and Havocs dropped more that 500 tons of bombs in order to force a passage way for US troops beseiging the city. Also on this date, a TWX was received delaying our transfer to France, causing a great deal of disappointment to every member of the squadron.

Four "Buzz Bomb" alerts turned the night of September 5th into a sleepless one. One Robot was shot down which was visible from our field, and the explosion of another shook the huts of our area.

"671st Bomb Squadron (L) Unit History"
Gordon Russell and Jim Kerns

Bomber Command meant business when it set out to "bomb Brest until it surrendered". The 416th and the rest of the Ninth Bomber Command went out in successive waves against the port on September 5th and 6th, dropping over 1500 tons of explosives on the installations. The Weathersfield based Havocs flew one mission on the 5th and two on the 6th.

Bombing only a short distance ahead of American ground troops, the 416th tacked up three excellents on their evening mission on September 5th . Captain Marzolf and Lt. Beck did it again with hits on buildings and strong-points. Crews reported severe damage. One pilot commented that there were so many planes over the city, that they practically had to queue up to drop their bombs.

Eleven light and medium bomb groups participated in an early morning assault on the harbor September 6th with excellent results. Good visibility offered the bombardiers a chance to show their skill. Each of the Groups scored at least one excellent and the 416th make off with the best record in the Command with five excellents and a probable sixth. There was a malfunction of the camera in the latter flight, but the Group bombardier reported an excellent by visual observation. Lt. Adams and his bombardier, Lt. Hanlon, leading the third flight in the second box released their bombs on the MPI causing severe damage. This was the second excellent turned in by this pair, who have been leading flights for just a short period. No losses, casualties or battle damage resulted on these two missions.

"671tst Bombardment Squadron (L) History"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

As the Allies drove on into France their supply lines became more extended. Finally to alleviate this situation General Eisenhower ordered the Air Forces to attack Brest until it was captured. It first it appeared that the flight to Brest was beyond our range so arrangements were made for the Group to attack the target and land at St. Mawgin to refuel. Although extended almost to the limit, some of the planes were able to make it back to the base without refueling. However Brest was often protected by a heavy layer of clouds making it necessary for the Group to return several times before dropping their bombs. This was much to the liking of the men in the Squadron for Brest proved to be a "Cake Run" on most occasions. When flights to Brest were getting monotonous boys of the 671st did their part to add a bit of color and excitement to the affair. While over the target one of the engines of Lt. Merchant's plane caught fire. "Feather" immediately ordered his gunners to bail out while he nursed the plane along on one engine till he reached a landing strip at Morlaix. The gunners S Sgt C. J. Harp and S Sgt K. P. Brown returned the next day on a C-47 but for some reason Feather was not to be found, although his airplane was known to have landed safely. Three days later Feather ended the search and killed his MIA report in the personnel basket when he phoned the Operations Officer from Southern England asking for transportation back to the base.

[September 5, 1944], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, September 5, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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