The following is a narrative report of Mission 201 on September 28, 1944.
AAF STATION NO. 106
Office of the Intelligence Officer
28 September, 1944
SUBJECT: Narrative for Lead, High, and Low Sections, 41st. “C” Combat Bombardment Wing on Mission Flown 28 September, 1944.
TO: Commanding Officer, AAF Station No. 106, A.P.O. 557.
The following is a combined Narrative and Report by Lt. W.V. HENDERSON, Deputy Wing Commander, Capt. JOHNSON, High Section Leader, and Capt. M.A. BOOSKA, Low Section Leader. Due to battle damage received at the target, Major H.E. FRINK, 41st “C” Wing Air Commander was forced to land away at BRUSSELS, Belgium. All navigational data is taken from the High Section Navigator.
1. Twelve (12) aircraft (without spares) of the Lead Section, twelve (12) aircraft plus one (1) Spare of the High Section, and twelve (12) aircraft (without spares) of the Low Section took off between 0730 and 0818 hours to attack the Steel Works at MAGDEBURG, Germany.
a. Number of A/C taking off (including spares): 37
Number of A/C taking off (less unused spares): 36
Number of A/C attacking (any target): 36
Number of A/C not attacking: 0
Number of A/C returned to Base: 33q
Number of A/C presumed landed in allied-occupied terr: 1
Number of A/C unaccounted for: 2
Number of A/C known missing: 2
Number of Sorties Flown: 36
b. Spare A/C 7703 (Lt. Rice, pilot) turned back as briefed.
c. Due to severe mechanical trouble, A/C 2106 (Lt. Wismer, pilot) was forced to drop his bombs on a Target of Opportunity at 50°45’N.-09°25’E. He then turned back at 50°50’N.-09°30’E., 1130 hours and landed at this Base at 1438 hours.
2. Two (2) of our aircraft are known missing.
Two (2) aircraft of the High Section, A/C 337-822 (Lt. Buslee, pilot) and A/C 1222 (Lt. Brodie, pilot) collided over the target and both ships were observed going down on fire and out of control. No chutes were observed.
3. Assembly of the Group and Wing was accomplished fifteen (15) minutes before departure time from our Base at 0823 hours, 7,000 feet without difficulty. We were ahead of “Cowboy-Baker” but we swung wide on the first control point and got in our correct slot in the Division at 0920 hours over Cambridge, 7,000 feet. We left the coast of England on course and on time at 0937 hours, Clacton, 9,000 feet. Speeds were S. O. P.
4. The route to the Belgian Coast was without incident and we crossed it at 1001-1/2 hours, 50°10’N.-02°44’E., 13,000 feet. From this point into the I.P. the mission was flown as briefed and without difficulty. No flak was encountered prior to the target and no enemy fighter attacks were made on our Wing for the entire mission. [Wallace Storey notes that this information is incorrect and that ten (10) planes were lost by the 303rd Group of the 41st Combat Wing on this mission. Storey references the books “Mighty Eighth” and “Mighty Eighth War Diaries.”]
5. At the I.P., we were notified by Buckeye-Red that target weather would be approximately 8/10th’s which was accurate. We made our bomb run from the I.P. to the target in Wing formation on PFF. When we approached the target, there was another Section making a run 90° to us on the same target. They passed over the target at the same time we did directly underneath us and we were unable to drop because we would have dropped on them. We therefore made a turn and started a second run in Wing formation. Bombs were away on PFF at 1211 hours from 26,000 feet. However, in the opinion of Capt. Booska, Low Section Leader, it is possible that today’s may have been visual as there was a break in the clouds directly over the target one (1) minute before bombs were away. As it is presumed that the Lead Wing Bombardier landed in Belgium, our reports will state that PFF bombing was accomplished. Magnetic heading of bombs away was 265 degrees. Some crews observed the results through breaks in the clouds and they state that the bombs hit in the target area. Flak at the target was moderate and accurate.
6. After we dropped our bombs, and swung off the target, the Wing Leader informed the Deputy to take over as the former had been hit by flak. At this point, the entire Lead Section started to break up. We were on a collision course at the same time with another unidentified Wing and the Low and High Sections became separated from the Lead Section. The High and Low reassembled and flew alone until we finally picked up the Lead Section ten (10) miles ahead of us. I called the Deputy Leader to slow down, which he did, and we assembled back into Combat Wing formation. After this, we had no other difficulties and the rest of the mission was flown as briefed and without incident. We departed the Belgian Coast at 1437 hours, 10,500 feet and recrossed the English Coast at 1508 hours, 1,000 feet.
7. Fighter escort was excellent on the entire mission and close support was given at all times. Contact was made with Buckeye-Red and the information received was accurate.
8. There are no further comments or suggestions.
W. E. DOLAN,
Major, Air Corps,
Station S-2 Officer
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2013