9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 208 -- February 21, 1945, Wednesday PM

Geldern, Germany

Road Bridges



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 173-755
OpRep #            : 324
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,000 - 11,300 feet
Take-off Time      : 1230
Time Over Target   : 1415 - 1416
Landing Time       : 1511
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:41

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 13 Total -- 13 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: A-019253
Secondary Target   : Selected in accordance with IX Bomb Div Cipher F-576-E (9-2-45)
Summary of Results : PNB - 6 A-26's attacked Gelden Road Bridges, 7 attacked Nisukerk (Casual).

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 51.51813,6.32358 (51° 31' 5" N, 6° 19' 25" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) rA019253)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 208 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 324       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.

Route Map

Route Map

Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I

Stars And Stripes article

"Stars And Stripes" article, February 22, 1945, Paris Edition

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 208 -- February 21, 1945, Wednesday PM
Geldern, Germany -- Road Bridges

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                   
  43-22508  5H-Z  A-26C
  Capt Stanley, C.S.
  F/O Blount, J.H.
  Lt Babbage, W.
  S/Sgt Felkel, J.W.
  Pvt Cossin, A.R.
  [Cossin (Infantry)]
  2  668th                   
  43-22505  5H-Y  A-26C
  Lt Jacobsen, O.F.
  F/O Harvest, R.W.
  S/Sgt Gooch, H.I.
  3  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  S/Sgt Jordan, D.W.
  Capt Dieser, G.F.
  [Disser (Infantry)]
  4  668th                   
  41-39213  5H-A  A-26B
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  Sgt Hood, A.R.
  Capt Stewart, R.P.
  [Stewart (Infantry)]
  5  668th                   
  43-22378  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Carver, J.H.
  Sgt Graham, N.M.
  6  668th                   
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Long, R.H.
  Sgt McCarthy, C.J.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Singletary, R.B.
  Lt Rosenquist, A.E.
  S/Sgt Cianciosi, A.A.
  2  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Bower, R.S.
  Sgt Puskas, N.A.
  3  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  F/O Green, J.A.
  Sgt Kubjalko, A.
  4  670th                   
  41-39286  F6-D  A-26B
  Lt Barausky, P.P.
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Pvt Wilson, B.R.
  5  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Chitty, W.D.
  Sgt Riggs, P.H.
  6  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Capt Borman, H.W.
  Pfc Finnell, D.O.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39305  5H-U  A-26B
  Lt Kenny, J.P.
  Sgt Sittarich, J.J.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 208 -- February 21, 1945, Wednesday PM
Geldern, Germany -- Road Bridges

"416th Bombardment Group (L) - Group History 1945"
Transcribed from USAF Archives

Two missions were flown on the 21st. In the morning, road bridges at Geldern were the targets, with only two flights taking off. The first flight, led by Capt Stebbins, F/O Blount B-N, made two runs on the target and was unable to synchronize. On the third run, he used fixed angle bomb and hit southwest of the aiming point. The second flight, led by Lt Singletary, Lt Rosenquist, B-N, was unable to synchronize on two runs over the target and chose as a casual target the town of Nieukerk. A cloud cover over the target caused added difficulty.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 210

Mision #208 - 21 February - AM - Geldern Communication Center. The mission report from the 668th squadron states that one half of our mission group would assemble with one half of the formation from the 410th Bomb Group and the other half would form up with the other half of the 410th Bomb Group. No mention is made of which group led the boxes. Captain Stebbins and F/O Blount led one flight of the 416th as did Lts. Singletary and Rosenquist. Stebbins made two runs at the target but the BN did not synchronize. The same thing happened to the other BN after two runs. They both then chose a casual target in Nieukerk. A cloud cover over the target may have been the cause of not being able to zero in.

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

In the morning of 21 February the communications center at Gelder was attacked with satisfactory results. Six of our crews were on the loading list.

Only one of our crews participated in the afternoon mission which was an attack on the Lage Bielsfeld railway bridge. One aircraft piloted by Lt R.K. Johnson of the 669th Squadron had an engine shot out over the target and came back to the base on a single engine. He was coming in for a landing too high and turned into his dead engine. He couldn't control the plane and stalled, crashing into our squadron officer's area. Some of the officers saw the plane coming but couldn't warn anyone before it crashed into one of the wooden buildings. Lt John Cook, Lt Merritt and Lt Sheley were hit. Lt Cook died of a fractured skull, hips and legs before he could be taken from the scene of the accident. Lt Merritt and Lt Sheley were seriously injured and rushed to the hospital. The pilot was trapped in the plane for almost an hour before the wreckage could be cut away to get him out. He had a broken collar bone and was cut about the face. The gunner escaped uninjured. It took three days to remove the mangled aircraft from our area.

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

February 21st, 1945

In the deepest penetration into Germany made by the Ninth Bombardíment Division, the 416th Bomb Group bombed the railroad bridge at Lage in Northern Germany on February 21st . With Colonel Willetts and Capt. Pair leading both boxes the formation made the haul through scattered clouds and amidst flak barrages at several points enroute. Results of the bombing were undetermined due to a camera malfunction and a sharp turn off the target, but good results were expected.

All the ships returned to A-69, but a weird tragedy took place before all the ships had landed. Lt.Johnston of the 669th Squadron brought his plane home on a single engine. He started to land, but pulled up, apparently thinking he was going to overshoot the runway. Upon pulling up he lost power and made the turn into the dead engine. The ship could not hold its altitude and crashed in the 670th area. Several pilots from the 670th were standing by a shack watching the planes land and were just a few feet from where the plane crashed. The pilot was dragged out with a broken collarbone and other injuries. The gunner was able to crawl out of the mass of wreckage by himself, but was hurt in several places. All of the personnel standing by the shack were injured...three severely. Lt.Cooke was the most seriously injured and died the next day. All the others including the pilot lived but will require a long period of hospitalization.

[February 21, 1945], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, February 21, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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