9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 256 -- March 28, 1945, Wednesday AM

Ebrach, Germany

Oil Storage Depot



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 229-823
OpRep #            : 359
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 11,600 - 15,900 feet
Take-off Time      : 0759
Time Over Target   : 0959 - 1020
Landing Time       : 1151
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:52

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 40 Total -- 38 A-26's, 2 B-26's (PFF)
Modified British System Reference: O-001420
Secondary Target   : Walldurn (N-180115)
Summary of Results : Unobserved due to weather. 29 a/c attacked Primary, 4 attacked Casual at N-540220, 2 Wurzberg (N-590370) Casual, 1 Walldurn (N-108115) Secondary.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.84461,10.52205 (49° 50' 41" N, 10° 31' 19" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wO001420)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 256 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 359       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

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)
Mar 28, 1945
256 668 Ebrach, Germany Gunkel, Harry Gerhard (MIA, KIA)
Grzona, LeRoy J. (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 # 256 -- March 28, 1945, Wednesday AM
Ebrach, Germany -- Oil Storage Depot

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
  Maj Shaefer, R.F.
  Lt Hand, A.R.
  Lt Reeves, F.A.
  S/Sgt Fuehrer, W.F.
  2  669th                   
  43-22304  2A-T  A-26C
  Lt Jordan, C.S.
  Lt Mulgrew, R.P.
  S/Sgt Jensen, K.F.
  3  668th                   
  41-39335  5H-W  A-26B
  Lt Wright, J.W.
  S/Sgt VanGalder, D.W.
  4  668th                   
  43-22385  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  S/Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  5  668th                   
  41-39325  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Tank, F.R.
  Sgt Harmon, F.B.
  6  668th                   
  43-22378  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Zeimet, L.R.
  Sgt Sereno, F.L.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  670th                   
  41-39398  F6-Q  A-26B
  Lt Hall, R.B.
  F/O Goss, T.L.
  S/Sgt Jackson, W.S.
  2  670th                   
  43-22330  F6-P  A-26B
  Lt Stankowski, J.F.
  Sgt Vellinga, J.R.
  3  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Lt Turman, A.R.
  S/Sgt Harmon, C.D.
  4  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Bishop, E.G.
  S/Sgt Torres, I.
  S/Sgt Ottaviano, J.O.
  5  670th                   
  41-39315  F6-F  A-26B
  Lt Balch, W.M.
  Cpl Brennan, J.D.
  6  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Sgt Corey, F.E.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-22469  F6-A  A-26C
  Lt Heinke, W.R.
  Lt Rosenquist, A.E.
  S/Sgt Kidd, W.L.
  2  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  Maj Conant, H.F.
  S/Sgt Hummer, J.A.
  3  670th                   
  41-39564  F6-V  A-26B
  Lt Chitty, W.D.
  S/Sgt Burns, D.E.
  4  670th                   
  41-39232  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  Sgt Neal, D.E.
  5  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Curtis, J.C.
  Sgt Mathews, J.M.
  6  670th                   
  41-39212  F6-K  A-26B
  Capt Borman, H.W.
  Sgt Perujo, R.J.

Box I
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Prucha, L.J.
  S/Sgt Kochan, S.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  668th                   
  43-22505  5H-Y  A-26C
  Capt Evans, H.M.
  Lt McCartney, T.M.
  Lt Myrold, H.E.
  S/Sgt Merritt, O.N.
  2  671st                   
  43-22498  5C-R  A-26C
  Capt Tutt, R.J.
  Lt Orr, L.A.
  Sgt Wood, W.
  3  668th                   
  43-22495  5H-G  A-26C
  F/O Gunkel, H.G.
  Sgt Grzona, L.J.
  [M.I.A. Last seen on bomb run as formation entered overcast]
  4  671st                   
  41-39297  5C-T  A-26B
  Lt Colquitt, J.K.
  S/Sgt Lemonds, W.E.
  5  668th                   
  41-39188  5H-R  A-26B
  Lt Long, R.H.
  S/Sgt Pauker, J.L.
  6  668th                   
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Lackner, R.J.
  Sgt Fidler, W.H.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-22492  2A-E  A-26C
  Capt Sommers, H.L.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  S/Sgt Heath, K.
  2  669th                   
  43-22381  2A-Q  A-26B
  Lt Martin, E.C.
  Sgt Sumner, W.R.
  3  669th                   
  43-22496  2A-L  A-26C
  Lt Depner, A.W.
  Sgt Fair, V.F.
  4  669th                   
  41-39338  2A-O  A-26B
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  S/Sgt Griffin, D.L.
  5  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Lt Wills, P.W.
  S/Sgt Bookach, M.
  6  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Housley, C.H.
  Sgt Block, P.J.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  671st                   
  43-22490  5C-X  A-26C
  Lt Lackovich, J.J.
  Lt Muir, R.C.
  S/Sgt Connery, T.
  2  671st                   
  43-22499  5C-G  A-26C
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  F/O Langsam, R.L.
  S/Sgt Skelton, T.W.
  3  671st                   
  41-39360  5C-L  A-26B
  Lt Withington, D.L.
  S/Sgt McElhattan, L.D.
  4  671st                   
  41-39239  5C-N  A-26B
  Capt Hixon, S.M.
  S/Sgt Hinson, A.H.
  5  671st                   
  41-39250  5C-A  A-26B
  Lt Edstrom, L.W.
  Sgt Pompa, P.A.
  6  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Wright, J.R.
  Sgt Ruskiewich, J.J.

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Blevins, J.W.
  Sgt Gentry, F.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 256 -- March 28, 1945, Wednesday AM
Ebrach, Germany -- Oil Storage Depot

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

The fine weather began to cloud up and on the 27th, no mission took off. However, on the 28th, one mission was run even though the weather was extremely bad. Thirty-eight planes attempted to bomb the oil storage depot at Ebrach. Trying to get through the overcast, the formation split up. Two PPF planes were leading the two boxes. Twenty-nine planes dropped on the PPF plane. Gee fixes indicated poor results with the bombs hitting far east of the target. Four planes attacked a railroad and autobahn crossing on Gee equipment when they became separated from the formation. Two planes bombed near Wurzburg. One plane dropped near Waalchern; one, over enemy territory, but the location was not determined. One plane, with a crew of F/O H.G. Gunkel and Sergeant L.J. Grzona, disappeared from the formation and is unaccounted for. The crew is listed as MIA. It was last seen going through the overcast at the start of the bomb run. Major Shaefer, Lts. Hand and Reeves, B&N, and Capt. Evans, with Lts. McCartney and Myrold, B&N, led the two boxes.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 242

Mission #256 - 28 March - Ebrach Fuel Depot. Complete cloud cover caused 38 planes to become separated climbing through the overcast. PFF planes led the boxes. Twenty-nine planes bombed on PFF signal, with bombs falling east of the target. Four planes attacked a railroad and an autobahn crossing. Two planes dropped their bombs near Wurzburg. F/O H. G. Gunkel and gunner Sgt. L. J. Grzpna went down, unaccounted for. Their plane was last seen going down through the overcast at the start of the bomb run. They are listed as MIA. Major Shaefer, Lts. Hand and Reeves, BNs with Captain Evans and Lts McCartney and Myrold BNs led boxes. Captain Tutt, Lt. Orr BN, and Lt. Fero and F/O Langsan BN led flights. There were no battle damages to the formation.

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

On 28 March, Flight Officer Harry G. Gunkel and his gunner Sgt LeRoy J. Grzona became lost from the formation while returning from a combat mission through heavy clouds, and were not again seen. Both men were reported Mission in Action.

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

Bad weather on the 28th of the month required that PPF aircraft be used to lead on the bomb run. The assigned target was an oil storage depot at Erbach [Ebrach]. The flight led by Capt. Sommers and Lt. Kupits became separated, in the overcast, from the rest of the formation. This flight bombed a railroad and "autobahn" crossing with the use of "gee" equipment.

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

An oil storage depot at Erbach [Ebrach], Germany, was hit on the 28th of March. The results of this mission were unobserved due to bad weather. Twelve of our crews took part.

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

Oil storage depots ahead of the American offensive were hit by Ninth Bomb Division on March 28 1945. The 416th dropped their one hundred-pound bombs on the depot at Ebrach with unobserved results. The mission was run by Pathfinder, through rough weather. F/O Gunkel of the 668th Squadron spun in coming out of the overcast and is missing. Box I bombed on ETA and Box II on Gee. There was no flak or battle damage.

[March 28, 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 28, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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