9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 259 -- March 31, 1945, Saturday PM

Marienburg, Germany

Storage Area



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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 233-828
OpRep #            : 362a
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 12,200 - 13,300 feet
Take-off Time      : 1510
Time Over Target   : 1700 - 1702
Landing Time       : 1847
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 3:37

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 38 Total -- 38 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: N-562355
Secondary Target   : Ebenhausen Oil Storage Depot
Summary of Results : Unobserved.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 49.79915,9.90886 (49° 47' 57" N, 9° 54' 32" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wN562355)
(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

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 259 -- March 31, 1945, Saturday PM
Marienburg, Germany -- Storage 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  671st                   
  43-22497  5C-E  A-26C
  Lt Brown, C.J.
  Lt Kerns, J.E.
  Lt Brewer, W.E.
  S/Sgt Sunderland, H.E.
  Maj Dunn, L.F.
  2  671st                   
  43-22498  5C-R  A-26C
  Lt VanNoorden, H.M.
  F/O Brandt, C.W.
  S/Sgt Steffey, R.I.
  3  671st                   
  41-39297  5C-T  A-26B
  Lt Winn, A.J.P.
  S/Sgt Stephenson, G.G.
  4  671st                   
  41-39249  5C-F  A-26B
  Lt Ames, W.H.
  Lt Simpson, R.L.
  S/Sgt Huss, C.F.
  5  671st                   
  41-39300  5C-K  A-26B
  Lt Wallman, M.
  Sgt Hardin, M.F.
  6  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt Milhorn, G.L.
  S/Sgt Chest, D.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  669th                   
  43-22609  2A-N  A-26C
  Capt Sommers, H.L.
  Lt Kupits, J.
  S/Sgt Burland, A.J.
  2  668th                   
  41-39274  5H-S  A-26B
  Lt Willard, J.A.
  S/Sgt Hinker, C.V.
  3  669th                   
  43-22381  2A-Q  A-26B
  F/O Swap, F.W.
  Sgt Santandrea, M.
  4  669th                   
  41-39338  2A-O  A-26B
  Lt DuBose, M.W.
  S/Sgt Walters, J.H.
  5  669th                   
  41-39263  2A-G  A-26B
  Lt Haskell, R.W.
  Sgt Martin, G.A.
  6  669th                   
  41-39314  2A-H  A-26B
  Lt Smith, D.E.
  S/Sgt Kirik, S.J.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  669th                   
  43-22304  2A-T  A-26C
  Lt Turner, D.O., Jr.
  Lt McGivern, P.J.
  S/Sgt Reyes, M.R.
  2  669th                   
  43-22354  2A-S  A-26B
  Lt Hackley, R.H.
  S/Sgt Basford, F.P.
  3  669th                   
  41-39244  2A-I  A-26B
  Lt Martin, E.C.
  Sgt Sumner, W.R.
  4  669th                   
  41-39252  2A-D  A-26B
  Lt Allen, J.F., Jr.
  S/Sgt Veazey, C.W.
  5  669th                   
  41-39271  2A-R  A-26B
  Capt Shapard, J.M.
  S/Sgt McGuire, J.J.
  6  669th                   
  41-39229  2A-B  A-26B
  Lt Wills, P.W.
  S/Sgt Reid, K.A.

Box I
  SPARE  670th               
  41-39232  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Turman, A.R.
  S/Sgt Harmon, C.D.

Box II -- Flight I
  1  671st                   
  43-22490  5C-X  A-26C
  Lt Buskirk, J.A.
  Lt Hanna, R.C.
  S/Sgt Corbitt, C.H.
  2  671st                   
  43-22313  5C-B  A-26B
  Lt Remiszewski, A.
  S/Sgt Miguez, J.H.
  3  671st                   
  41-39209  5C-M  A-26B
  Lt Spires, J.W.
  Sgt Messinger, R.W.
  4  671st                   
  41-39360  5C-L  A-26B
  Lt Gary, J.C.
  S/Sgt McElhattan, L.D.
  5  671st                   
  41-39328  5C-D  A-26B
  Lt Cocke, J.B.
  S/Sgt MacCartney, W.A.
  6  671st                   
  43-22352  5C-J  A-26B
  Lt Graeber, T.E.
  S/Sgt Connery, T.

Box II -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-22484  5H-C  A-26C
  Lt Parker, P.E.
  Lt Shaft, R.E.
  S/Sgt Kochan, S.
  2  668th                   
  43-22321  5H-T  A-26B
  Lt Carver, J.H.
  S/Sgt Geyer, J.F.
  3  670th                   
  41-39212  F6-K  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                   
  41-39233  5H-F  A-26B
  Lt Nathanson, A.S.
  Sgt Hicks, C.M.
  6  668th                   
  43-22378  5H-O  A-26B
  Lt Phillips, J.P.
  Cpl Young, J.B.

Box II -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Heinke, W.R.
  Lt Rosenquist, A.E.
  S/Sgt Hummer, J.A.
  2  670th                   
  43-22469  F6-A  A-26C
  Lt Popeney, H.
  Lt Fry, C.F.
  S/Sgt Arnett, W.E.
  3  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  Lt Henson, A.G.
  Cpl Homler, R.K.
  4  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  S/Sgt Belcas, J.O.
  5  670th                   
  41-39286  F6-D  A-26B
  Lt Sheley, S.H.
  S/Sgt Paladino, D.V.
  S/Sgt Richards, D.B.
  6  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Sgt Wright, H.T.

Box II
  SPARE  668th               
  41-39264  5H-I  A-26B
  Lt Tank, F.R.
  Cpl Hawk, D.W.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 259 -- March 31, 1945, Saturday PM
Marienburg, Germany -- Storage Area

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

Mission # 259, the forty-second mission of the month, took off in the afternoon. It was an uneventful PPF attack on the Marienburg storage area, just south of Wurzburg. A few crews reported hits in the target area. The first box leader was Lt. Brown, Lts. Kerns and Brewer, B&N; Lt. Buskirk, Lt. Hanna, B-N, led the second box. It was the last mission of the month of March.

In our first full year of operations, ending 2 March 1945, our Group flew 219 missions, including 7,486 individual sorties, dropping 6394 1/2 tons of bombs. However, during the month of March 1945, our Group flew 1615 sorties on 42 missions and dropped a total of 2565 3/4 tons of bombs, a bit more than 40% of the total tonnage dropped during the first year of operations, although we had flown only one-fifth as many missions. During that first year of operations 72 aircraft were lost, either over enemy or friendly territory, due to enemy action, or .96% of the total number of sorties flown.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Page 243

Mission #259 - 31 March - PM - Marianburg Storage Area. This mission was determined to be an uneventful attack, with PFF Pathfinders leading the formation in. A few crews reported hits on the target area. Box I reported excellent results. Lt. Brown and Lts Kerns and Brewer, BNs with Lt. Buskirk and Hanna BN, led boxes. Lt. Van Noorden with F/O Brandt BN and Lt. Ames with Lt. Simpson BN led flights.

The 416th flew 42 missions in March, dropping 2565 tons of bombs, a bit more than 40 percent of the total tonnage dropped during the first year of operation, although we had flown only one-fifth as many missions. This increase in tonnage is certainly attributable to the heavier bomb load carried by the A-26s as compared to that amount the A-20s would carry. In the first full year of operation, to March 2, 1945, our Group flew 219 missions, including 7486 individual sorties, dropping 6394 tons of bombs. During March 1945 our group flew 1615 sorties. During the first year of operation, 72 aircraft were lost either over enemy territory or friendly area, due to enemy action, or 0.9 percent of the total number of sorties flown. The 416th were a major influence in assisting ground forces in their advances toward German forces and encampments, destroying bridges and marshalling yards, plus ammo depots. We were called upon often for support of our allied forces. It was a rewarding experience, with most of the flights being conducted by other than the original crews which came over in January 1944. The newer crews were eminently successful.

Ninth Bomb Division Has Record Month

Commended by Lieutenant General Omar F. Bradley for its sustained offensive, the 9th Bomb Division turned out a record month of operations during which its medium and light bombers flew 15,000 sorties and dropped 24,000 tons of bombs.

The March figures set an all time high for Major General Samuel E. Anderson's bomber forces, eclipsing the previous record of 10,538 sorties and 15,226 tons established in June 1944.

Operational 28 days, including 19 straight days from March 8 through March 26, the division's B-26s, A-20s and A-26s ranged over a 250 mile front from Munster Bay south to the Main Scarplanes to disrupt road and rail communications and deny the Germans facilities for moving reinforcements equipment and supplies to meet current Allied offensives.

Two-thirds of the division's record assault was directed against communications centers, marshalling yards, and bridges on routes feeding battle areas with supplies and reinforcements. Sweeping advances by ground forces over the entire western front testify to the bombers' success in blocking German attempts to strengthen defense lines. Successfully completed campaigns to isolate battle areas, including the Ruhr and Remagen bridgehead, resulted in wide-spread destruction to German transportation facilities. Nine major railroad bridges on main lines were destroyed or left unserviceable, four railroad overpasses damaged and at least 33 marshalling yards severely damaged. Bomber attacks cut all lines in 20 rail yards and left only one line open in eight others. A total of 584 rail cuts were made.

Rail facilities destroyed or damaged included 1,769 cars, nine roundhouses, 12 locomotives and 26 workshops. Sharing top priority with rail targets in the bombers' March offensive were 81 communications centers, equally important to Germans' defense in the west. Attacking the towns with 8,000 tons of incendiaries and high explosives, the medium and light bombers blocked roads with craters and debris, cut rail lines and leveled warehouses, factories and buildings that would offer protection for house-to-house fighting.

Destroyed or damaged in the bombers' assault on communications centers were 7,851 buildings, 79 factories and 99 warehouses. Main and secondary roads running through the town were cut in 887 places, two highway overpasses destroyed and six highway bridges damaged.

A four day offensive against gun positions, roads and rail lines in and around 21 towns in the area north of the Ruhr where the 21st Army Group now is expanding its Rhine River bridgehead highlighted the bombers attacks on communications centers.

While main weight of their attacks were aimed at road and rail facilities, the bombers backed up their assault to immobilize the German Army by striking at seven fuel and ammunition dumps and 10 ordnance and motor vehicle repair depots.

Twenty-three bombers were lost to flak and enemy fighters during the month, against claims of nine enemy fighters destroyed, three probably destroyed and five damaged.

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

To end an extremely busy month, two more operational missions were flown on the 31st. The Wurzburg Storage Depot was attacked by the use of PPF equipment by the first box. The second box made a visual run and obtained very good results. Capt. Miller, with Lt. Conner and Flight Officer Wrubelle led the first box. Lt. Col. Napier, and his B/N Lt. Moore led the second box.

Mission # 259 was the last mission flown during the month. The Marienburg Storage Area was bombed. PPF aircraft led the formation on the bombing run. Cloud cover made a visual run impossible. Capt. Sommers with Lt. Kupits flew in the lead position of the second flight of the first box. Lt. Turner with his B/N, Lt. McGivern, was the flight leader of the third flight of the first box. Bombs were seen to hit the target area.

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

Two missions were run on the 31st of March. One was against the Wurzburg Storage Depot and the other against the Marionburg Storage area. Again bad weather made observation of results impossible. A total of fourteen crews took part in these two missions.

[March 31, 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 31, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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