9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 249 -- March 23, 1945, Friday AM

Dinslaken, Germany

Factory Area



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 220-811
OpRep #            : 354
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 10,500 - 12,200 feet
Take-off Time      : 0835
Time Over Target   : 0948 - 1005
Landing Time       : 1128
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 2:53

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 42 Total -- 42 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: A-315297
Secondary Target   : Borken (A-396612)
Summary of Results : Flight scored ranged from Undetermined to Superior.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 51.56192,6.74923 (51° 33' 43" N, 6° 44' 57" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) rA315297)
(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, Box II and Extra Flight

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

         Date          Report

Serial #
Location Personnel (Status when available)
Mar 23, 1945
249 670 Between Dinslaken, Germany And Rhine River Ford, Russell (MIA, RTD)
Tharp, Freeland Madison (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 # 249 -- March 23, 1945, Friday AM
Dinslaken, Germany -- Factory 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  669th                   
  43-22492  2A-E  A-26C
  Capt Miller, E.L.
  Lt Conner, J.K.
  Lt Johnson, G.G.
  S/Sgt Floyd, C.F.
  2  669th                   
  43-22351  2A-F  A-26B
  Lt Willard, J.A.
  S/Sgt Hinker, C.V.
  3  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Anderson, C.M.
  S/Sgt Deatherage, J.H.
  4  669th                   
  41-39338  2A-O  A-26B
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  S/Sgt Griffin, D.L.
  5  669th                   
  41-39362  2A-Y  A-26B
  Lt Smith, B.A.
  Sgt Wilson, R.P.
  6  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Harper, R.B.
  Cpl Black, R.M.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  671st                   
  43-22490  5C-X  A-26C
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Lt Muir, R.C.
  Cpl Barry, R.M.
  Col Aylesworth, T.R.
  2  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt VanNoorden, H.M.
  S/Sgt Steffey, R.I.
  Lt Sampson, T.W.
  [Sampson (Intel)]
  3  671st                   
  41-39360  5C-L  A-26B
  Lt Withington, D.L.
  S/Sgt McElhattan, L.D.
  4  671st                   
  41-39297  5C-T  A-26B
  Capt Nielsen, L.C.
  S/Sgt Barber, F.E.
  5  671st                   
  41-39209  5C-M  A-26B
  Capt Moore, Z.R.
  S/Sgt Davis, H.R.
  6  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Hlivko, A.E.
  Sgt Farmer, L.J.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22498  5C-R  A-26C
  Capt Sutton, L.J.
  Lt Reed, J.V.
  S/Sgt Gilliam, D.C.
  Lt Col Willetts, D.L.
  2  671st                   
  43-22313  5C-B  A-26B
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  S/Sgt Miguez, J.H.
  3  671st                   
  41-39249  5C-F  A-26B
  Lt Gary, J.C.
  Cpl Schoen, A.E.
  4  671st                   
  41-39250  5C-A  A-26B
  Capt Hixon, S.M.
  Sgt Schmidt, K.W.
  5  671st                   
  43-22326  5C-W  A-26B
  Lt Spires, J.W.
  Sgt Davis, L.E.
  6  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Milhorn, G.L.
  S/Sgt Chest, D.
  Sgt Williford, C.W.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  669th                   
  43-22609  2A-N  A-26C
  Lt Col Napier, J.G.
  Lt Moore, D.L.
  F/O Wrubelle, W.M.
  S/Sgt McClain, H.B.
  2  669th                   
  43-22496  2A-L  A-26C
  Lt Depner, A.W.
  Sgt Gillespie, R.H.
  3  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Hayter, E.R.
  S/Sgt Basford, F.P.
  4  669th                   
  41-39229  2A-B  A-26B
  Capt Sommers, H.L.
  S/Sgt Reiter, G.E.
  5  669th                   
  41-39314  2A-H  A-26B
  Lt Martin, E.C.
  Lt Britt, J.W.
  S/Sgt Draft, L.B.
  6  669th                   
  41-39244  2A-I  A-26B
  Lt Housley, C.H.
  Cpl Block, P.J.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  43-22469  F6-A  A-26C
  Lt Grunig, D.B.
  Lt Morris, B.C.
  S/Sgt Nowosielski, H.J.
  2  670th                   
  43-22528  F6-T  A-26C
  Lt Warren, J.R.
  Lt Forbes, T.M.
  S/Sgt Stroup, C.C.
  3  670th                   
  43-22307  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Ford, R.
  S/Sgt Tharp, F.M.
  [Crash Landed at A-130092. Slightly wounded - Gunner bailed out]
  4  670th                   
  43-22330  F6-P  A-26B
  Lt Musgrove, W.
  S/Sgt Seighman, H.O.
  5  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Capt Borman, H.W.
  Pfc Finnell, D.O.
  6  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Henson, A.G.
  Cpl Homler, R.K.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  668th                   
  43-22505  5H-Y  A-26C
  Lt Jacobsen, O.F.
  F/O Harvest, R.W.
  Lt Martin, R.L.
  Sgt Pettinicchi, A.
  2  668th                   
  41-39325  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Roberts, W.H.
  S/Sgt Windisch, R.P.
  3  668th                   
  43-22385  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  S/Sgt Robinson, J.W.
  4  668th                   
  43-22495  5H-G  A-26C
  Lt McCready, T.D.
  Cpl Hawk, D.W.
  5  668th                   
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Nathanson, A.S.
  Sgt Kaminski, C.J.
  6  668th                   
  41-39305  5H-U  A-26B
  Lt Evarts, A.V.
  S/Sgt Roberts, J.H.

Box II -- Flight EXTRA
  1  668th                   
  43-22508  5H-Z  A-26C
  Capt Stanley, C.S.
  F/O Blount, J.H.
  Lt Schlefer, M.P.
  S/Sgt Collier, C.B.
  2  668th                   
  41-39259  5H-H  A-26B
  Lt Parkhurst, G.J.
  Sgt Newman, F.
  3  668th                   
  41-39335  5H-W  A-26B
  Lt Russell, R.A.
  Sgt Spence, J.I.
  4  668th                   
  43-22321  5H-T  A-26B
  Lt Carver, J.H.
  S/Sgt Graham, N.M.
  5  668th                   
  43-22378  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Zeimet, L.R.
  S/Sgt Brzezinski, E.P.
  6  668th                   
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  F/O Gunkel, H.G.
  Sgt Grzona, L.J.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 249 -- March 23, 1945, Friday AM
Dinslaken, Germany -- Factory Area

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

The Dinslaken factory area was attacked by a maximum effort on the morning of the 23rd. Excellent results were scored, destroying a large portion of the factory area and nearby roads and buildings. The one general observation concerned the amount of smoke in the target area and along the west bank of the Rhine. The bombing of the Allied Air Forces in the past few days had turned the German towns and villages into huge bonfires. On our side of the river, however, with a move anticipated, mile after mile of the riverbank was concealed behind a continuous smoke screen. As yet, on crossing of the river was reported.

There was weak but very accurate flak in the target area and five planes suffered category "A" battle damage. Lt Ford's plane was hit by flak on the first run over the target. He broke away from the formation and headed for friendly territory, still carrying his 1,000-pound bombs on single engine, escorted by P-47's. At about 4,000 feet, his other engine stopped. With his bomb bays full of bombs and without any power, he glided his plane to the ground for a crash landing. He was only slightly injured in the landing. His gunner, Staff Sergeant Freeland W. Tharp, bailed out without an order form the pilot over enemy territory and is now MIA. The box leaders were Capt. Miller, Lts. Connor and Johnson, B&N, and Lt. Col. Napier, Lt. Moore and F/O Wrubelle, B&N.

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

Mission #249 - 23 March - AM - Dinslaken Factory Area. Captain Miller, Lts. Conner and Johnson, BNs with Lt. Col. Napier with Lt. Moore and F/O Wrubelle, BNs leading boxes. Lts. Lackovich and Muir, BN, - Captain Sutton with Lt. Reed, BN, led flights. Excellent results were reported destroying a large portion of the factory and adjoining roads and buildings. Allied bombing seems to have rendered most German towns and areas reduced to piles of rubble, smoke and haze. Smoke seems to obscure most everything in the area, The Rhine River has yet to be crossed by enemy forces, with all the bombing allies are doing. There was weak but accurate flak in the area, with five planes suffering damage. Lt. Ford's plane took a hit on the first run toward the target. He broke away from the formation and headed toward friendly territory, still carrying his 1,000 pound bombs, flying on single engine. He was escorted by P-47s. At about 4000 feet, his other engine quit. With his bomb bay full of bombs and no power he managed to glide down for a crash landing, which he did with a slight injury to himself on the landing' His gunner, S/Sgt. Freeland W. Tharp had bailed out over German territory and was listed as MIA. He had not been given the order to bail out.

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

To keep up with the terrific pace established by the ground forces, this squadron was called upon to fly two missions on the next day. The Dinslaken Factory Area was attacked with excellent results. Box I was led by Capt. Miller, with Lts. Conner and Johnson. Their bombing was considered good. The second box, which was led by Lt. Col. Napier, Lt. Moore and Flight Officer Wrubelle achieved superior results.

Mission # 250, flown on the afternoon of this day, was against the Town of Dinslaken. The third flight of box II was led by Lt. Jordan and Lt. Mulgrew. Capt. Dufault, with Flight Officer Cardinale, flew in the lead position of the second flight of the third box. Excellent results were obtained. Counter battery fire by our atrillery, against enemy flak positions, kept the amount of anti-aircraft artillery fire to a minimum.

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

Two missions were run on the 23rd against the Dinslaken Factory. In the morning superior results were achieved with 1000 pound bombs and again in the afternoon another superior was scored using 500 pound incendiary bombs. A total of 17 of our crews took part in these two missions.

On the morning mission Lt Ford was shot down and landed within our lines. His interesting account of the incident is as follows: "The boxes proceeded to the target on time, and peeled off at the proper interval from the I.P. No flak was experienced on the run, although we were in enemy territory two and one-half minutes before the target. As we closed the bomb doors, preparing for a second run, however, one burst exploded beneath and to the rear of my right nacelle. The left fuel pressure dropped off to zero, immediately; I tried all gas combinations, but with no success, so I feathered the left propeller. My airspeed had fallen to 150 MPH and I was losing altitude which caused me to recheck my fuel pressure. By that time I had rolled out on a reciprocal heading of 223 degrees (our emergency heading). My right fuel pressure was fluctuating and as I completed my first call to Parade, it, too, dropped to zero. In an effort to keep at least one engine running, I pushed the blowers back into low, and tried to start the left engine once more. When nothing happened I pulled the controls back into high blower and made one more attempt.

"As soon as I had taken up the emergency heading I had not only called Parade, (since "C" channel was jammed) but also notified my gunner, Sgt Tharp, to prepare to bail out. We had dropped to approximately 9,000 feet indicated in the turn, and it was then that I checked the time in order to ascertain when I would cross the Rhine River, for we could not see the bomb Line due to the smoke blowing from Germany. The time allowance was three and one-half minutes.

"I was descending at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute which I figured to bring me safely over the bomb line about 3,500 feet indicated. At 6,800 feet, approximately, the gunner tried to salvo the bombs without success. Again I called Parade for a fix, and once more was told to fly a heading of 180 degrees and call in 3 minutes. (Fortunately I ignored the heading given and continued on 223 degrees). Then I hit my own salvo switch. Nothing happened, so I opened the bomb doors in the normal manner and attempted to punch the bombs out; this time the arming switch was in neutral. By that time we were at about 3,500 feet indicated and my rate of descent had decreased to 1,600 feet per minute. The gunner tried unsuccessfully to get the bombs out with the doors open. As a last resort he had to jettison his escape hatch and at 3,800 feet indicated I ordered him out. His acknowledgement were the last words I heard from him. At 3,300 feet indicated I felt something hit the tail; whether it was he, I could not say.

"After that I rehooked my flak suit and safety harness since I realized that I had little chance of getting out. I could not reach my flak helmet, however. Afterwards I made certain all bombing switches were off, and at 2,000 feet indicated I started calling off the altitude to the gunner in case he was still with me.

"A town was on my left with two fields west of it - a road with telephone lines paralleling it separating them. About 200 feet above the ground I dumped full flaps and out all my switches. I made my turn into the field still maintaining 150 mph with the props feathered. The flare out showed no signs of a stall, and even when my airspeed dropped off to 130 mph I had control of the craft. I was forced to alter my plan to land in the first field when I saw a team of horses in line with me. The aircraft still handled smoothly, permitting me to bank to the left and pass under the telephone lines. I misjudged slightly, though, and cut one of the wires. Unfortunately a ditch in the middle of the second field caused me to push the plane into the ground early in order to escape stalling out in the ditch. The 1,000 pounders stayed in the bomb bay!!"

Lt Ford suffered a nine inch laceration of the scalp when the airplane crashed and was hospitalized in Liege. Sgt Tharp is carried missing in action.

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