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Back to Mission 44 Mission 45 Thursday, 06 Jul 44 Kiel Forward to Mission 46
Mission 45
While most of the Mighty 8th was assigned to milk runs, the 2nd Air Division was ordered to Germany to hit a shipyard at Kiel. Due to cloudy skies, the mission was led by Pathfinders.
The Group dispatched 34 planes under the command of Col Snavely. During assembly, 3 of the ships had to abort due to engine problems.
Fighter Protection
In terms of numbers, the bombers outnumbered their escorts. Perhaps the 8th Air Force had good intelligence on the German Luftwaffe since no enemy fighters were encountered.
Enemy Resistance
The city was well fortified with anti-aircraft batteries. A heavy barrage was laid out for the 2nd Air Division, costing them 3 Liberators and an escort. Over one hundred B-24s were damaged.
Each group within the 2nd Air Division had its own target in Kiel. Some of the groups were able to see their target while others couldn't. We don't know if the 492nd had a visual or not, nor do we know the graded results. What is reported is that one of the attacking 31 ships wasn't able to drop because they were hit by flak.
Just as the Group was releasing their bombs, the Munson Crew 814 (now flying with the 856th) was hit by flak. The damage caused their plane, Boulder Buff 44-40195, to drop undrerneath the rest of the Group and into their hail of raining bombs. Somehow the Crew got through it, but their ship was severely crippled.
The pilots of Crew 814 found that they could control the plane if they both stood up and put their weight on the right rudder. Returning to England was not an option. It took about 45 long minutes for them to reach Malmo, Sweden. To add insult to injury, the 11-man crew was met by fighters from the Swedish Air Force who took some token shots at them before they landed.
Perhaps the Abernethy Crew R-14 should had followed them. They, too, had substained heavy flak damage, but decided to try returning to England. They didn't make it and were forced to ditch in the North Sea. Two of their crewmen were never found. The other men were rescued and returned to duty.
By the numbers, it was a light casualty day for the Mighty 8th. But, two of the three bombers it had lost were from the 492nd. Once again, the 492nd drew the bad luck.
But things could had been worse. Of the two planes lost by the Group, only two men were killed. Compare that to their sister group, the 392nd, who had lost the Mighty 8th's other plane, which also ditched into the North Sea. However, there were no survivors of its 9-man crew.
Mission Data
Mission: 45
Date: 06 Jul 44
City: Kiel, Germany
Target: Shipyard
Bomb Load
Tons: 90
Type: n/a
Result: n/a
Enemy Action
Flak: Heavy
GAF: None
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Perry Crew R-21
O'Sullivan Crew 713
Graham/Powers Crew 614
Munson Crew 814
11 INT, Sweden
Abernethy Crew R-14
2 KIA, sea ditch
Munson Crew 814
Abernethy Crew R-14
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