9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Mission # 266 -- April 10, 1945, Tuesday PM

Eger, Czechoslovakia




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Summary of Operations

Field Order        : 246-843
OpRep #            : 10.0
Nature of Mission  : Bombing
Mission Status     : Attacked
Bombing Altitude   : 8,500 - 9,500 feet
Take-off Time      : 1225
Time Over Target   : 1447 - 1456
Landing Time       : 1703
Duration (Hrs:Min) : 4:38

Place of Take-Off  : A-69 Laon/Athies, France
A/C Dispatched     : 25 Total -- 25 A-26's
Modified British System Reference: WP-322753
Secondary Target   : Selb (P-139837)
Summary of Results : Flight scores one Superior, three Excellent.

Primary Target Latitude/Longitude: 50.08526,12.38536 (50° 5' 7" N, 12° 23' 7" E)
(Latitude/Longitude based on The "Coordinates Translator", (NGZ) wP322753)
(See Latitude/Longitude Coordinates and Target Identifiers for more information.)

Scanned original Mission 266 documents (multipage PDF files)

Mission Folder       Reports Folder       OpRep # 10       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
Note:  Brig. Gen. Backus Also Flew On This Mission

Mission Photo

Mission Photo
(Courtesy Of Phil Stanley)

Bomb Run Photo

Bomb Run Photo
(Lt. Robert S. Bower Combat Journal)

Area Map

Mission Results collage

Stars And Stripes article

"Stars And Stripes" article, April 11, 1945, Paris Edition

Mission Loading Lists Transcription

Mission # 266 -- April 10, 1945, Tuesday PM
Eger, Czechoslovakia -- Viaduct

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  670th                   
  43-22528  F6-T  A-26C
  Maj Ferris, C.H.
  Lt Kirk, R.L.
  Lt McNutt, M.C.
  S/Sgt Rio, D.J.
  Brig Gen Backus, E.N.
  2  670th                   
  41-39223  F6-B  A-26B
  Lt Bower, R.S.
  Sgt Puskas, N.A.
  3  670th                   
  41-39564  F6-V  A-26B
  Lt Chitty, W.D.
  Sgt Riggs, P.H.
  4  670th                   
  41-39224  F6-E  A-26B
  Lt Turner, E.O.
  S/Sgt Belcas, J.O.
  5  670th                   
  43-22334  F6-G  A-26B
  Lt Henson, A.G.
  S/Sgt Hall, M.
  6  670th                   
  41-39286  F6-D  A-26B
  Lt Wallace, J.F.
  Sgt Plant, R.

Box I -- Flight II
  1  668th                   
  43-22508  5H-Z  A-26C
  Capt Stanley, C.S.
  Lt Blount, J.H.
  S/Sgt Collier, C.B.
  Lt Col Radetsky, H.A.
  2  668th                   
  41-39335  5H-W  A-26B
  Lt Cannon, L.E.
  S/Sgt Metzler, L.V.
  3  668th                   
  41-39325  5H-L  A-26B
  Lt Hale, W.L.
  S/Sgt Bentzler, D.H.
  4  668th                   
  43-22385  5H-D  A-26B
  Lt Montrose, J.H.
  S/Sgt Gandy, R.S.
  5  668th                   
  41-39188  5H-R  A-26B
  Lt Tank, F.R.
  Sgt Spence, J.I.
  6  668th                   
  41-39352  5H-J  A-26B
  Lt Zeimet, L.R.
  Sgt Ray, R.K.

Box I -- Flight III
  1  670th                   
  43-22501  F6-W  A-26C
  Lt Brewster, F.S.
  Lt Dennis, L.W.
  F/O Conley, F.J.
  S/Sgt Gatti, R.J.
  2  670th                   
  41-39398  F6-Q  A-26B
  Maj Conant, H.F.
  Lt Page, L.J.
  S/Sgt Burns, D.E.
  3  670th                   
  41-39205  F6-M  A-26B
  Lt Bishop, E.G.
  S/Sgt Harris, M.C.
  4  670th                   
  43-22315  F6-L  A-26B
  Lt Downing, W.E.
  Sgt Neal, D.E.
  5  670th                   
  41-39232  F6-N  A-26B
  Lt Turman, A.R.
  S/Sgt Leahigh, L.L.
  6  670th                   
  41-39416  F6-O  A-26B
  Lt O'Brien, J.V.
  Sgt Wright, H.T.

Box I -- Flight IV
  1  671st                   
  43-22498  5C-R  A-26C
  Capt Pair, H.F.
  Lt Corum, J.L.
  S/Sgt Swank, O.E.
  S/Sgt Miller, H.K.
  2  671st                   
  43-22490  5C-X  A-26C
  Lt Fero, D.A.
  F/O Langsam, R.L.
  S/Sgt Rojas, A.A.
  3  671st                   
  43-22356  5C-C  A-26B
  Lt Milhorn, G.L.
  S/Sgt Chest, D.
  4  671st                   
  41-39360  5C-L  A-26B
  Lt Withington, D.L.
  S/Sgt Johnson, R.J.
  Col Stromme, J.L.
  [Stromme (ETOUSA Reclassification Specialist)]
  5  671st                   
  41-39328  5C-D  A-26B
  Lt Platter, E.T.
  Capt Fontaine, R.A.
  Col Brett
  [Brett (Division Flak Officer)]
  6  671st                   
  41-39239  5C-N  A-26B
  Lt Simpson, R.L.
  Sgt Stypenski, V.S.

Box I
  SPARE  669th               
  41-39338  2A-O  A-26B
  Lt Smith, B.A.
  Lt Britt, J.W.
  Sgt Wilson, R.P.

Group and Unit Histories

Mission # 266 -- April 10, 1945, Tuesday PM
Eger, Czechoslovakia -- Viaduct

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

Not even a week ago would we have dreamed of attacking a target in Czechoslovakia because of the great distances involved. Yet the progress of the war had been so rapid that an attack on a giant viaduct at Eger was necessary to stop German troops in the north from escaping to the Redoubt area of the south. The mission, flown by 25 planes, was an extremely long one--over 800--miles--and yet, as Major Ferris put it, "It was a perfect mission. The weather was ideal; navigation was excellent and bombing was superior." Crews reported that the bombs severed the viaduct. Some bombs also extended across a dam and nearby factory area. Reconnaissance showed the viaduct cut in two places, the dam severely damaged, and two large factory-type buildings destroyed by the 1,000 pounders that were dropped. Our Group had the honor of being the first bomber unit of the Ninth Air Force to attack a target in Czechoslovakia. Among those who flew on this mission were Brig Gen Backus, Col Brett (Division Flak Officer) and Col Strammey, a reclassification specialist from ETOUSA who was visiting the base for a few days. Flying as B&N with Major Ferris were Lts Kirk and McNutt. There was no flak anywhere along the route.

"Attack Bombers, We Need You! A History of the 416th Bomb Group"
Ralph Conte
Pages 250 - 251

Mission #266 - 10 April - AM - Eger Railroad Viaduct. A first for A-26 Invader planes, a target in Czechoslovakia, now called Sudeten Germany. This was a 1344 foot long viaduct which the Germans were using to escape northern Germany and trying to get to the Redoubt in the south. This was an extremely long trip for our group, well over 800 miles. We only had one box with 25 planes on this mission, but Major Ferris called it the perfect mission, citing ideal weather, excellent navigation, and superior bombing. Our bombardiers sliced the viaduct in half with bombs hitting smack in the center, also knocking down buildings and cratering holes in roads. Aside from our important crews, other dignitaries included General Backus of the 97 Bomb Wing, Colonel Britt, the Division Flak Officer and Colonel Stramney, the reclassification officer from ETOUSA. Major Ferris led this mission with Lts. Kirk and McNutt as BNs. Leading flights were Captain Pair and Lt. Corum BN, and Lt. Fero and Langsam BN. This was the first mission for Lt. Kirk the BN who was fortunate enough to escape from the two plane crash which killed Captain Rooney and his gunner Sgt. Kamische. The bombing was rated superior.

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

Again, on the tenth of April, two missions were run. For the first time, aircraft of this squadron flew to Czechoslovakia. This mission was perfect. Weather conditions were ideal, the navigation was flawless, and the bombing was superior. The Eger Viaduct was attacked by the formation.

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

Two missions were flown on the 10th of April but we participated with 12 crews on the morning mission only which was Eger (Railway Viaduct). Major Ferris, Lt. Kirk and Lt. McNutt leading the formation, this was the first mission for Lt. Kirk since the accident in which Capt. Rooney, Capt. Slaughter, and Sgt. Kamische were killed. Also it was the first mission in which Major Ferris and Lt. Kirk flew as a team. Results for the group were excellent to superior, but Major Ferris' flight achieving superior results. This was the first time for aircraft from this division to attack targets in Czechoslovakia. The first bombs released by Lt. Kirk scored direct hits on the bridge, cutting it. The afternoon mission against Stassfurt-Loepoldshall POL Depot was attacked by 416th and 409th Bomb Groups with the 416th having 22 aircraft in the first box and the 409th having 18 aircraft in the second box.

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

April 10th, 1945

The 416th chalked up two missions on April 10th 1945, dispatching four flights on each mission with just an hour interval between the two. Both took off in the afternoon and returned as darkness approached. For the first time Invaders hit a target in Czechoslavakia now called Sudeten Germany. The target was the Eger Railroad Viaduct...1344 feet long. When the 416th and two other outfits had dropped their thousand pounders on the span, it was knocked down and buildings and roads in the area were blown to bits. Three excellents and a superior were annexed by the 416th Group. Captain Pair and Lt. Corum snagging one of the excellents. His bombs fell in an excellent pattern on the bridge. The bombing of this viaduct was part of a plan to cut Germany in two from West to East by severing communications, as U.S. Armies drive toward a link-up with Russian Forces from the East.

On the second mission the 416th linked up with the 409th to bomb the Strassfurt-Shall Oil Storage Depot, 47 miles southeast of Erfurt. The attack was directed against storage and loading facilities, including the mine entrance, pipeĦlines and underground tanks. Returning crews reported the installation severely impaired with explosions and fires. Lt. Brown and Lt. Kerns led the formation and bombed with excellent results. Their bombs destroyed three large buildings and started large fires. This outfit made three out of four excellents, while the 409th scored a superior out of two flights.Flak was not encountered on either missions and everyone returned:

[April 10, 1945], HQ Twelfth Army Group situation map

Map showing Western Allies and Axis troop position details in Western Europe
as of approximately 1200 hours, April 10, 1945
World War II Military Situation Maps Collection
Library of Congress

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