9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 248 -- March 22, 1945, Thursday PM

Borken, Germany

Built Up Area

 

WWII-Medal

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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 219-809
OpRep #            : 353a
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,500 - 12,000 feet
Take-off Time      : 1421
Time Over Target   : 1618 - 1619
Landing Time       : 1806
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:45
 

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 45 Total -- 45 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: A-396612
Secondary Target   : Ahaus (A-500870)
Summary of Results : Unobserved due to smoke and haze.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 51.84591,6.86076 (51° 50' 45" N, 6° 51' 39" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) rA396612)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)



Route Map

Route Map


Loading List 1

Loading List 1, Box I



Loading List 2

Loading List 2, Boxes II and III


(Mission photo courtesy of Phil Stanley)








Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 248 -- March 22, 1945, Thursday PM
Borken, Germany -- Built Up Area

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                   
  43-22505  5H-Y  A-26C
  Maj Shaefer, R.F.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  Lt Reeves, F.A.
  S/Sgt Merritt, O.N.
  Brig Gen Backus, E.N.
  2  668th                   
  43-22378  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Lackner, R.J.
  Sgt Musarra, A.J.
 
 
  3  668th                   
  43-22385  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Wright, J.W.
  S/Sgt VanGalder, D.W.
 
 
  4  668th                   
  41-39259  5H-H  A-26B
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  S/Sgt Mohr, C.M.
 
 
  5  668th                   
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Prucha, L.J.
  S/Sgt Wilson, G.C.
 
 
  6  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Phillips, J.P.
  Sgt Miller, W.A.
 
 

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22469  F6-A  A-26C
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  F/O Goss, T.L.
  S/Sgt VanWert, G.R.
 
  2  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Bishop, E.G.
  Sgt Harris, M.C.
 
 
  3  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  S/Sgt Sienkiewicz, J.
 
 
  4  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  Lt Singletary, R.B.
  S/Sgt Cianciosi, A.A.
  S/Sgt Elliott, F.W.
 
  5  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  F/O Boerner, S.B.
  S/Sgt Basile, A.C.
 
 
  6  670th                   
  43-22307  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Balch, W.M.
  Sgt Langley, T.R.
 
 

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Brewster, F.S.
  Lt Dennis, L.W.
  S/Sgt Clark, W.O.
 
  2  670th                   
  43-22320  F6-S  A-26B
  Lt Stankowski, J.F.
  Sgt Kimball, A.H.
 
 
  3  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Wallace, J.F.
  Sgt Krantz, J.G.
 
 
  4  670th                   
  41-39564  F6-V  A-26B
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  S/Sgt Hummer, J.A.
 
 
  5  670th                   
  43-22330  F6-P  A-26B
  Capt Borman, H.W.
  Sgt Perujo, R.J.
 
 
  6  669th                   
  43-22383  2A-V  A-26B
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Sgt Corey, F.E.
 
 


Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-22481  5H-P  A-26C
  Capt Stanley, C.S.
  F/O Blount, J.H.
  Lt Schlefer, M.P.
  S/Sgt Edenburn, J.C.
  2  668th                   
  43-22495  5H-G  A-26C
  Lt Long, R.H.
  S/Sgt McCarthy, C.J.
 
 
  3  668th                   
  41-39325  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  S/Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  Lt Reamsy, S.
  [Reamsy (Inf)]
 
  4  668th                   
  41-39335  5H-W  A-26B
  Lt Laseter, W.H.
  Sgt Cross, R.M.
 
 
  5  668th                   
  43-22321  5H-T  A-26B
  Lt Tank, F.R.
  Sgt Harmon, F.B.
 
 
  6  668th                   
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Blevins, J.W.
  Sgt Gentry, F.
 
 

Box II -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22503  F6-N  A-26C
  Lt Blomgren, J.E.
  Lt Johnson, G.G.
  S/Sgt Fleming, L.R.
 
  2  669th                   
  43-22381  2A-Q  A-26B
  Lt Hayter, E.R.
  S/Sgt Dalton, A.A.
 
 
  3  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Allen, J.F., Jr.
  S/Sgt Veazey, C.W.
 
 
  4  669th                   
  41-39338  2A-O  A-26B
  Lt Sorrels, D.W.
  Lt Wills, P.W.
  S/Sgt Triber, H.I.
 
  5  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Dunn, F.G.
  Sgt Stein, L.C.
 
 
  6  669th                   
  41-39328  2A-U  A-26B
  Lt Haskell, R.W.
  Sgt Lea, E.W.
 
 

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22499  5C-G  A-26C
  Lt Buskirk, J.A.
  Lt Hanna, R.C.
  S/Sgt Corbitt, C.H.
 
  2  671st                   
  43-22326  5C-W  A-26B
  Lt Hlivko, A.E.
  Sgt Graub, R.E.
 
 
  3  671st                   
  41-39360  5C-L  A-26B
  Lt Gary, J.C.
  Cpl Schoen, A.E.
 
 
  4  671st                   
  43-22313  5C-B  A-26B
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  S/Sgt Miguez, J.H.
 
 
  5  671st                   
  41-39209  5C-M  A-26B
  Capt Moore, Z.R.
  S/Sgt Davis, H.R.
 
 
  6  669th                   
  41-39229  2A-B  A-26B
  Lt Graeber, T.E.
  Sgt Miller, A.H.
  S/Sgt Jordan, D.W.
 


Box III -- Flight I
  1  671st                   
  43-22498  5C-R  A-26C
  Capt Tutt, R.J.
  Lt Orr, L.A.
  Sgt Schwartzapel, D.
 
  2  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Spires, J.W.
  Sgt Davis, L.E.
 
 
  3  671st                   
  41-39297  5C-T  A-26B
  Lt Winn, A.J.P.
  Sgt Davis, W.G.
 
 
  4  671st                   
  41-39250  5C-A  A-26B
  Capt Hixon, S.M.
  S/Sgt Hinson, A.H.
 
 
  5  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt Milhorn, G.L.
  S/Sgt Chest, D.
 
 
  6  669th                   
  41-39314  2A-H  A-26B
  Lt Edstrom, L.W.
  Sgt Pompa, P.A.
 
 

Box III -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-22304  2A-T  A-26C
  Lt Turner, D.O., Jr.
  Lt McGivern, P.J.
  S/Sgt Reyes, M.R.
 
  2  669th                   
  41-39362  2A-Y  A-26B
  Lt Smith, D.E.
  S/Sgt Kirik, S.J.
 
 
  3  669th                   
  41-39244  2A-I  A-26B
  Lt VanRope, R.W.
  Capt Shapard, J.M.
  S/Sgt Klingman, W.H.
 



Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 248 -- March 22, 1945, Thursday PM
Borken, Germany -- Built Up Area


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

Going back after the same town in the afternoon, smoke from the morning's bombing almost completely obscured the target. Unable to see the target on the first run, the formation dropped on Gee equipment on the second run. There was no flak. One gunner reported a single engine fighter plane approaching the formation form below at seven o'clock. Making a pass from one o'clock and firing tracers, it closed in to 800 yards. The gunner did not return his fire and made no claims. The P-47 escort steered the fighter away. Major Shaefer, Lts. Hand and Reeves, B&N, and Captain Stanley, F/O Blount and Lt. M.P. Schlefer, B&N, were the box leaders. Brigadier General Backus, commanding the 97th Combat Wing, rode as an observer with Major Shaefer.


"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 238 - 239

Mission #248 - 22 March - PM - Berken Communication Center. Again. Major Shaefer, Lts. Hand and Reeves, BNs with Captain Stanley and F/O Blount and Lt. Schlefer, BNs led Boxes. Brigadier General Backus Commander of the 9th Bomber Wing, rode with Captain Shaefer as an observer. Flights were led by Lts. Buskirk and Hanna BN, - Captain Tutt with Lt. Orr BN. the target was still smoking from the morning raids making aiming difficult, so GEE equipment was used to drop the loads of incendiaries on the second run. An enemy fighter made a pass at the formation, firing tracers, with no results. No return fire was made from our gunners. Our P-47 escort turned the enemy away. No flak was received on this mission.

The Ninth Bomb Division handed out a release regarding recent bombing missions we ran. The release said:

Communications inside seventeen German towns north of the Ruhr had been battered out of usefullness and smoke still covered entire town areas late Thursday, after some 1400 separate attacks by Ninth Bombardment Divison Marauders, Invaders and Havocs. These attacks have been aimed at sealing off the entire road and rail system in the northern sector of the Rhine. Since the air offensive opened in mid-morning Wednesday, nearly 2700 tons of high explosives and incendiaries have been rained on main road junctions, supply depot and other military installations, in the key German towns. Located in a 50 mile arc running mid-way between Munster and the Rhine, each town is a key in the enemy's chain of communications north of the Ruhr. Object of the current program is to cut off all road and rail facilities leading east from the northern sector of the Rhine, thereby sealing off the battle area north the Ruhr Valley.


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

Two missions were flown again on the 22nd of the month. In the morning, the built up area of Borken was attacked. Lt. Mulgrew, flying with Lt. Jordan, bombed with unsatisfactory results. A malfunction in the release system was responsible. However, the results of Flight Officer Cardinale's bombing were believed to have been very good. A number of hits were seen in the town. Capt. Dufault was the pilot of the aircraft.

The second mission of the day was flown against the same target area. Smoke and haze obscured the target, which necessitated the use of "gee" equipment for bombing. Lt. Blomgren and Lt. Johnson led the second flight of the second box, while Lts. Turner and McGivern led the second flight of the third box.


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

The all out pounding to soften up the Munster area, north of the Ruhr continued on March 22nd, 1945 with the whole Ninth Bombardment Division concentrating its blows on communications centers in this area. The 416th Group went out twice to hit the town of Berken and returned without loss, although Lt. "Fearless" Fero crash landed his ship at Venlo, near the German border, on the morning mission.

In the morning, eight flights attacked the town with fair to superior results. Major Dunn and Lt. Brewer, leading the formation, scored an excellent with hits on buildings and roads. Lt. Brown and Lt. Kerns misidentified the primary due to smoke and hit the nearby town of Sudlohn with excellent results. Counting the quarters assessed for leads, this was Major Dunnís 65th mission, but the Major does not plan to quit. Leading formations for well over a year and scoring just about the best bombing records in the Group, Major Dunn surely deserves a trip to the States, but as he puts it: "With the was still on, I might as well stick it out".

Lt. Fero had a harrowing experience on this mission. He received several hits in the left engine coming in to the target. At the same time his right engine began to leak oil. He salvoed his bombs close to the target and headed for friendly territory. He had all he could do to keep the plane in the air and finally spotted the airfield at Venlo. After dropping his bombs his bomb-bay doors would not close so he had to pump them up by hand. He racked it back and dropped the plane in on an open field just beyond the airstrip. Making a brilliant crash-landing, neither he nor his gunner, S/Sgt.Rojas, were injured.

When the formation returned to the same target in the afternoon with incendiaries, the crews found the area covered with smoke and haze, and had to bomb on Gee with undetermined results. No flak was encountered and all crews returned safely.

The tactical significance of these recent operations was given in a 9th Bomb Division release, which follows:

Communications inside seventeen German towns north of the Ruhr had been battered out of usefulness and smoke still covered the entire town areas late Thursday, after some 1400 separate attacks by Ninth Bombardment Division Marauders, Invaders and Havocs. These attacks have been aimed at sealing off the entire road and rail system in the northern sector of the Rhine.

Since the air offensive opened in mid-morning Wednesday, nearly 2700 tons of high explosives and incendiaries have been rained on main road junctions, supply depots and other military installations, in the key German towns.

Located in a 50-mile arc running mid-way between Munster and the Rhine, each town is a key in the enemyís chain of communications north of the Ruhr.

Object of the current program is to cut off all road and rail facilities leading east from the northern sector of the Rhine, thereby sealing off the battle area north of the Ruhr Valley.




[March 22, 1945], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, March 22, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress


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