9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 145 -- September 16, 1944, Saturday PM

Bergen Op Zoom, Holland

Viaduct, Railroad and Road



Previous Mission # 144            Mission List            Next Mission # 146

Return to Table of Contents

Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 216-554
OpRep #            : 166
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,000 - 12,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1704
Time Over Target   : 1809 - 1811
Landing Time       : 1935
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:31

Place of Take-Off  : AAF-170 Wethersfield RAF Station, England
A/C Dispatched     : 39 Total -- 32 A-20G's, 7 A-20J's
Modified British System Reference: D-566202
Secondary Target   : No Alternate Targets Authorized
Summary of Results : One flight scored Excellent, two Good, one Fair, one Gross and one No attack - Lead bombardier had to alter course to avoid colliding with another flight and could not correct course in time to make bomb run.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 51.42971,4.23533 (51° 25' 47" N, 4° 14' 7" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) qD566202)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 145 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 166       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
(Note:  Nine Aircraft and Crews also Designated Window Missions
 as well as Three
Aircraft and Crews designated Window Mission only)

Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Box II

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

         Date          Report

Serial #
Location Personnel (Status when available)
Sep 16, 1944
No_Report   43-21821
145 670 near Caen Clark, Hiram Bovee (Not Injured)
Sabadosh, John Walter (Not Injured)
Floyd, Claredon F. (Not Injured)
Sep 16, 1944
145 669 Southeast corner of Bay of Oostershilde, North Sea, near enemy coast Vleghels, Andre Joseph (MIA, KIA)
Rice, Roger W. (MIA, KIA)
Young, Clay Eugene (MIA, KIA)

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 # 145 -- September 16, 1944, Saturday PM
Bergen Op Zoom, Holland -- Viaduct, Railroad and Road

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.
  S/Sgt Basford, F.P.
  Sgt Clark, R.A.
  2  669th                   
  43-9692  2A-M  A-20G
  Lt Smith, J.F.
  S/Sgt Vafiadis, C.
  S/Sgt Hoffman, R.C.
  3  669th                   
  43-21821  2A-Z  A-20G
  Lt Clark, H.B.
  S/Sgt Sabadosh, J.W.
  S/Sgt Floyd, C.F.
  [Plane went down off eastern end of Walcheren Island. 2 chutes emerged from ship]
  4  669th                   
  43-10190  2A-I  A-20G
  Lt Hall, E.P.
  Sgt Carstens, R.W.
  Sgt Sharp, R.P.
  5  669th                   
  43-9743  2A-W  A-20G
  Lt Renth, E.J.
  S/Sgt LaNave, O.D.
  Sgt Moskowitz, L.
  6  669th                   
  43-9181  2A-A  A-20G
  Lt Land, W.H.
  S/Sgt Abriola, D.R.
  Sgt Fair, V.F.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-9439  F6-J  A-20J
  Lt Atkinson, P.G.
  Lt Ackerson, D.G.
  S/Sgt Swafford, J.O.
  S/Sgt Glynn, P.F.
  2  670th                   
  43-9380  F6-N  A-20G
  Lt Johnson, E.L.
  S/Sgt Donahue, W.J.
  Sgt Friday, L.R.
  3  670th                   
  43-9750  F6-M  A-20G
  Lt Brown, N.G.
  S/Sgt White, H.E.
  S/Sgt Addleman, R.F.
  4  670th                   
  43-9224  F6-E  A-20G
  Lt Ostrander, W.B.
  S/Sgt Stobert, R.F.
  S/Sgt Binney, I.
  5  670th                   
  43-9207  F6-B  A-20G
  Lt McBride, L.R.
  S/Sgt Eutsler, R.
  S/Sgt McKee, J.
  6  668th                   
  43-10150  5H-N  A-20G
  Lt Sparling, J.R.
  Sgt Harmon, C.D.
  S/Sgt Leahigh, L.L.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-21717  5H-P  A-20J
  Lt Meagher, J.F.
  Lt Burg, J.J.
  S/Sgt Naifeh, F.
  Sgt Roberts, J.H.
  2  668th                   
  43-10226  5H-E  A-20G
  Lt Kreh, E.B.
  S/Sgt Brown, D.M.
  Sgt Fetko, C.
  3  668th                   
  43-21760  5H-Z  A-20G
  Lt Kenny, J.P.
  Sgt Sittarich, J.J.
  Sgt Profita, P.J.
  4  668th                   
  43-9907  5H-O  A-20G
  Lt Ebenstein, G.
  Sgt Robinson, J.W.
  Sgt Brzezinski, E.P.
  5  668th                   
  43-9894  5H-R  A-20G
  Lt Evans, H.M.
  Sgt Skeens, C.L.
  Sgt Merritt, O.N.
  6  668th                   
  43-9195  5H-D  A-20G
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  Sgt Bentzler, D.H.

Box I
  SPARE  670th               
  43-9892  F6-L  A-20G
  Lt Warren, J.R.
  Sgt Stroup, C.C.
  Sgt Turpin, S.J.
  [Returned Early as Briefed No Sortie]

Box I -- Flight WINDOW
  1  671st                   
  43-9645  5C-R  A-20J
  Lt Adams, J.D.
  Lt Hanlon, R.J.
  S/Sgt Johnson, K.L.
  S/Sgt Czech, J.L.
  2  668th                   
  43-9362  5H-L  A-20G
  Lt Mish, C.C.
  Sgt Collier, C.B.
  Sgt Halterfield, C.C.
  3  670th                   
  43-9720  F6-F  A-20G
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  S/Sgt Blackford, D.S.
  S/Sgt Teran, A.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-9442  2A-D  A-20J
  Capt Morton, R.J.
  Lt Moore, D.L.
  S/Sgt Citty, F.M.
  S/Sgt Webb, C.L.
  2  669th                   
  43-9376  2A-O  A-20G
  Lt Robertson, R.B.
  Sgt Reiter, G.E.
  S/Sgt Cheney, M.W.
  3  669th                   
  43-9929  2A-C  A-20G
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  Sgt Griffin, D.L.
  Sgt Walters, J.H.
  4  669th                   
  43-10197  2A-F  A-20G
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Sgt West, N.D.
  Sgt Tranchina, C.E.
  5  669th                   
  43-21767  2A-N  A-20G
  Lt Vleghels, A.J.
  S/Sgt Rice, R.W.
  S/Sgt Young, C.E.
  6  669th                   
  43-9202  2A-B  A-20G
  Lt Tripp, W.F.
  S/Sgt Scott, J.O.
  S/Sgt Mallory, D.F.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-22065  5C-E  A-20J
  Lt Greenley, R.E.
  Lt Mitchell, R.H.
  S/Sgt Worden, H.C.
  S/Sgt Rzepka, J.J.
  2  671st                   
  43-9937  5C-B  A-20G
  Lt Estes, C.L.
  S/Sgt Orvold, C.R.
  S/Sgt DiMartino, A.E.
  3  671st                   
  43-9711  5C-M  A-20G
  Lt Murray, T.J.
  S/Sgt Jones, R.J.
  S/Sgt DeBower, D.H.
  4  671st                   
  43-9493  5C-V  A-20G
  Lt Smith, R.H.
  S/Sgt Mahoney, R.J.
  S/Sgt Davis, H.R.
  5  671st                   
  43-10165  5C-H  A-20G
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  S/Sgt Clearman, P.L.
  T/Sgt Tanner, J.R.L.
  6  671st                   
  43-9951  5C-P  A-20G
  Lt Miller, J.H.
  S/Sgt Schrom, R.G.
  S/Sgt Galender, J.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-21711  5C-S  A-20J
  Lt DeMand, F.W.
  Lt Burns, A.C.
  S/Sgt Troyer, R.J.
  S/Sgt Middleton, C.W.
  2  671st                   
  43-9363  5C-L  A-20G
  Lt York, R.W.
  S/Sgt Ashton, L.A.
  S/Sgt Wilds, H.J.
  3  671st                   
  43-9714  5C-N  A-20G
  Lt Henderson, F.W.
  S/Sgt Griswold, R.M.
  S/Sgt Coulombe, P.E.
  4  671st                   
  43-9956  5C-Z  A-20G
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Sgt Barry, R.M.
  Sgt Connery, T.
  5  671st                   
  43-9925  5C-G  A-20G
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  S/Sgt Best, H.T.
  S/Sgt DeGiusti, I.R.
  6  671st                   
  43-10200  5C-F  A-20G
  Lt Eastman, D.M.
  S/Sgt Harp, C.J.
  S/Sgt Brown, K.P.

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  43-10210  5H-Q  A-20G
  Lt Saidla, J.B.
  Sgt Cavanagh, A.F.
  Sgt Harris, J.M.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 145 -- September 16, 1944, Saturday PM
Bergen Op Zoom, Holland -- Viaduct, Railroad and Road

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

On the 17th of September, the greatest airborne assault in history was made by the Americans and British near the mouth of the Rhine or Wall in Holland. As part of the vast preparations for the attack, and to strengthen Allied positions northwest of Antwerp and eliminate a German avenue, our planes went out on the 16th to attack the long viaduct, railroad, and road over Bergen op Zoom in Holland. Four of the five flights that bombed scored excellents. Their patterns extended across the viaduct, the east-west highway, and road. Moderate to intense flak was encountered at the target. The plane piloted by Lt Andre J. Vleghels was hit on the bomb run. One engine was burning badly. The plane is thought to have gone down in the southeast corner of Oosterschelde Bay. Two parachutes were seen drifting toward land. His two gunners were Staff Sergeants Roger W. Rice and Clay E. Young. The plane piloted by Lt Hiram B. Clark was hit in the propellor dome, causing oil to leak out. The pilot left the formation, feathered the prop, and later, as a precaution, instructed his gunners, Staff Sergeants John W. Sabadosh and Claredon F. Floyd, to bail out. When an attempt to land at an emergency airdrome was made, the hydraulic system was discovered to have been shot out. After flying single engine for one and one half hours, through flak concentrated on his single plane, he crashlanded near Caen. The ship was washed out, but the pilot was uninjured. His two gunners who bailed out near Antwerp were back with their squadron on the following evening. Captain Huff and Captain Morton led the two boxes.

That mission, No. 145 for the Group, was the last mission flown from the Base at Wethersfield, England. Bad weather interferred with operations until it was time to move to the new Base.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 148 - 149

Mission #145 - 16 September - Bergen op Zoom, Holland. This mission would help Allied troops block avenues of escape for German Forces, and we were called upon to bomb out a viaduct, a railroad, and a road over Bergen op Zoom. The Germans seemed to work to establish a fortress at Walcheren Island which would guard the entrance to Antwerp Harbor. Four other IX Airforce groups and the 416th were called upon to prevent this from happening. A B-26 Group and the 410th, A-20 Group went in first to bomb the dike at Arnemuiden which connected the Walcheren and the Zuid Beveland Isthmus. Our target was the Bath dike which connected the mainland and the isthmus.

It was a relatively short flight, but not without extreme danger, since, as we found out, barges and land guns protected these areas, with efficiency. The first box led by Captain Huff and Lt. Kupits, BN seemed to have been the center of attention of the anti-craft gunners, since they knocked out two of the six planes in that first flight of the first box, all 669th squadron planes. One plane went down over the target and one crash landed in France. Captain Morton led Box II with Lts. Greenley and Mitchell, BN, Lts. Adams and Hanlon, BN, and Lts. DeMand and Burns, leading flights.

Lt. Vleghels took a direct hit on the bomb run. His gunners, S/Sgts. Rice and Young parachuted out and were seen dropping toward the shore line. Vleghel evidently drowned, as was determined from records uncovered by his step-daughter, Deborah Smith. When Vleghels did not return, his wife married, and Debby is the result of that marriage. Debby did an extensive research on the accident which took Lt. Vleghel, even obtaining a picture of his bier, and burying place. Debby contacted members of the 669th squadron and attended two re-unions the 416th group held in Kinston, NC and Hot Springs, AR to talk to members of the 669th and to learn as much as she could about missions, and the history of the squadron and the group. She is writing a book about this mission and other information about her mother's first husband, Vleghel.

Sgt Rice was listed as KIA and Sgt. Young listed as MIA.

The second ship of the 669th which was hit, piloted by Lt. Clark had an engine knocked out. He ordered his gunners to bail out, which they did succesfully, and he continued flying the plane southerly, crash landing near Caen, with no injury to himself.

The second box of this formation did not attract the attention of the flak gunners, so no damage became them. The bombing was successful, with Lt. Mitchell hitting the assigned target area, hitting a bridge and cutting a major highway.

This was the last mission flown from Wethersfield by the 416th. All the remaining troops in Wethersfield boarded trucks, then boats, and crews flew their planes to Melun, thankfully, all without mishap. Crews flew over the City of Paris, and right over and close to the Eiffel Tower. One gunner riding at the bottom open hatch of the A-20 tried to grab the flag which flew on top of the Tower as their plane flew over it at too close a range.

The move took place from 16 September, when the advance echelon left Wethersfield. and the rear echelons and air crews left on 23 September. The last echelon left Wethersfield on 27 September.

At Melun, all the squadrons were assigned areas of occupancy at the new airfield, and were given the chores of getting everything in ship-shape, as soon as possible. Ten men tents were erected by the occupants, with officers in tents at one end and enlisted personnel at the other end of the squadron sections. Alongside each tent, the occupants were required to dig and reinforce bomb shelters for obvious reasons. As time went on, each tent became more home like, with wooden platform floors, if entrepreneurs were able to scrounge enough material together. A big pot belly stove sat in the center of the tent, with the guys whose cots were close to center always were too hot, and those at the ends of the tent, wanted more heat, too cold to be comfortable. Who was going to guarantee anybody they were going to be comfortable in a war?

One main addition to the 669th squadron area was a hot shower installation. You cannot imagine what this meant to the squadron personnel and what a job it was to keep other squadron guys away from this luxury, with plenty of water, and hot at that! One pilot, Lt. Leo Poundstone, evidently had construction experience and he was able to round up an old bathtub, and lots of pipe to carry water, connecting up to a water supply, and found lots of wood to fire up for the water. The tub was mounted about eight feet overhead, and shower heads, and pull strings made things the best they could be under the circumstances. He had to rig up a safe and reliable fire place to heat the water overhead, and that didn't seem to be a problem. Mixing valves and controls made things just dandy!

Other parts of the abandoned base were explored as time permitted, being ever watchful for booby traps, land mines, or even live ammunition. One man found a cache of parachute bombs, with frag explosives at the leading edge. He thought he would retrieve the silk from the parachute section and send the goods to his wife to make silk blouses. He started to disassemble the bomb, but incorrectly, started taking the live ammunition end apart first, when he was suddenluy stopped and reminded what he was getting close to, like hitting the striking pin of the bomb. Everything was delayed until better judgment abounded, and the silk was eventually retrieved without further incident. WHEW!

The airfield in itself was massive, requiring hours to make a car tour of the entire area. It enveloped a few towns. The Lufftwafte left many of their bombs at the plane revetments, and Nazi propaganda leaflets were everywhere.

All personnel were occupied putting up temporary buildings with whatever scrap lumber could be found, even taking down something that looked like a building, and reassembling it to house an operation of some kind, pup tents gave way to larger quarters, also tents, but ten men units. The remains of the Germans were cleared out little by little and the base became honorable.

September 26 saw the first mission from A-55 briefed, but it didn't get off due to inclement weather.

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

The last mission flown by the Group from its base in England was flown on the 16th. The target was the viaduct, railroad, and road over Bergen op Zoom in Holland. The attack was launched to strengthen Allied positions northwest of Antwerp, to eliminate a German avenue of escape, and to soften the area for the great airborne attack to follow on the next day. Capt. Huff and Capt. Morton led the two boxes. Capt. Huff's flight scored an excellent on a perfect bomb run despite intense, accurate heavy flak fire at the target. Capt. Morton chose to hold his bombs when he was forced to alter his course to avoid a collision with another flight rather than release them on too short a bomb run and miss the trarget [target]. Lt. A.J. Vleghels' plane was hit on the bomb run and was thought to have gone down in the southeastern corner of Oosterschelde Bay. One engine was burning badly. Two chutes weres [were] seen drifting toward land. His gunners were S/Sgt. Roger W. Rice and S/Sgt. Clay E. Young. Lt. H.B. Clark's plane was hit on the propeller dome causing oil to leak out. The pilot left the formation, feathered the prop, and continued on through flak centered on his plane which was losing altitude on its single engine. When he neared Antwerp, he instructed his gunners to bail out. They did so successfully and returned to the base a day later. Lt. Clark, expecting the plane's one engine to fail soon headed toward the beachhead. When he attempted to land, he discovered that his hydraulic system was out. He crash-landed the plane near Caen, escaping unscathed himself.

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

Thirty nine A-20's attacked the Bergen Op Zoom viaduct on September 16th. Of this total, 29 aircraft successfully bombed the target, among which were the seven crews from this squadron. Lts Atkinson, Flight Leader, and Lt Ackerson, bombardier-navigator, on their first bombing mission, leading a flight, scored an excellent rating. Bombing third, an excellent was achieved, with bursts on the railroad and highway. On this mission, Lt Hall sighted a barge which was throwing flak at our planes, and, diving down to strafe it, left it in flames. He received slight damage to his own plane.

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

September 16th, 1944

In a prelude to the invasion of Holland, the 416th Bomb Group and four other IX Bomber outfits hopped the channel on the late afternoon of the 16th to stymie attempts by the Germans to establish Walcheren Island as a fortress guarding the entrance to Antwerp harbor. The 410th Bomb Group and a B-26 formation struck first at the Arnemuiden dike, the only link between Walcheren Island and the Zuid Beveland isthmus, and then the 416th, a Marauder group and a flight of A-26s hit the Bath dike connecting the isthmus with the mainland.

This was of the shortest missions the 416th has pulled, but not by far the easiest. Flak guns, mounted on both land and sea barges, and sent a steady

stream of hail into the formation. The first box caught nearly all of it, two ships going down from the 669th Squadron. One went down over the target area, while the other crash-landed in France. The crew of this ship is safe, but the other has been listed as missing in action. Luck was with the 671st as its two flights were in the second box, and were not touched by the flak.

Lt. Greenley and Lt. Mitchell did a good job of cutting up a railroad and highway. The bombs fell 900 feet West of the MPI, but their bombs blanketed the railway, causing as much damage as if the MPI was hit on the button. Lt. De Mand and Lt. Burns led the third flight, but their bombs fell short of the target due to an error in judgement of the bomb run.

The next day hundreds of gliders covered the English skies, all bound for Holland in another phase of the invasion.

[September 16, 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 16, 1944
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

Previous Mission # 144            Mission List            Next Mission # 146

Return to Table of Contents