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Back to Mission 25 Mission 26 Wednesday, 14 June 44 Emmerich Forward to Mission 27
Mission 26
Initially the Group dispatched 24 planes from the 857th and 859th to the raid the oil refineries at Emmerich, Germany. A last minute change in plan tried to include more planes from the other two squadrons. Only one of them, the Frantz Crew 803 was able to link up with the formation and bring the total to 25. This raiding force was led by the J Harris Crew 707.
The Emmerich armada consisted 61 planes, 36 from the 392nd and 25 from the 492nd. The 44th wasn't in on this job.
Mission Numbering
The Group participated in two missions on this day. According to official records, this raid on Emmerich, Germany, is listed as mission 26 and the attack on Chateaudun, France, is number 27. Some post-war records list these in the opposite order. We are sticking with the original records until a compelling reason to do otherwise surfaces. For more details and further explanation, see the "Mission Numbering Controversy" link to the right.
Fighter Protection
We haven't found anything that says how many fighter escorts accompanied the 14th Wing to Emmerich. But whatever they had was plenty. No one from the 492nd or 392nd which led the Wing reported seeing anything of the Luftwaffe flying about.
Enemy Resistance
It's all a matter of being lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Individual accounts within the 492nd said the flak encountered was light, inaccurate and demonstrated poor shooting. While the 392nd on the otherhand said that the flak was accurate enough to damage 4 of their planes.
All 61 planes were credited for attacking the target, but individual accounts differ. Sgt Heath of the Prytulak Crew 907 said they missed. Capt Smith, pilot of Crew 906 said they had problems releasing and his Radio Operator had to kick the 12 bombs out one at a time. Sgt Beasley of Harris Crew 707 indicated that the partially cloudy sky made it difficult to see. But all stories recalled that the other crews did an excellent job hitting the refinery.
The 392nd reported that one of their squadrons swung wide and hit a field. Their other squadron ended up making 4 passes before they could get a good shot off. They nailed the refinery. The bombing results were graded as excellent because the target was completely destroyed. All 61 ships of the Emmerich force returned with no losses or casualties.
Due to bad weather over Germany, this was the only mission made into Germany. Even then, it was barely across the border making the run about as short as the milk runs into France. But it was an important objective. After the war, the German generals would say that the strategic bombing of oil centers did more to hurt them than any other one thing.
Mission Data
Mission: 26
Date: 14 Jun 44
City: Emmerich, Germany
Target: Oil Refinery
Bomb Load
Tons: 69
Type: 250 lb GPs
Result: Excellent
Enemy Action
Flak: Light
GAF: 0
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Essay on the
perplexing mission
numbering puzzle
Prytulak Crew 907
O'Sullivan Crew 713
Prytulak Crew 907
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