U S Army Air Force/8th Air Force/2nd Air Division/14th Bomb Wing/492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
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Back to Mission 55 Mission 56 Monday, 24 Jul 44 St Lo area Forward to Mission 57
Mission 56
Operation Cobra began. This operation was drawn up to do what mission 52 (18 July 44) had failed to do crush the Wehrmacht defenses in the hedgerows of Normandy. All bomber groups were given targets just west of St Lo, France.
The Group dispatched 36 crews for the effort under the command of Lt Col Turnbull, the Group Operations Officer. He flew with the Velarde Crew 615. None of the planes aborted.
Fighter Protection
The 8th and 9th Air Forces combined their fighter strength to escort and cover the entire mission. The Luftwaffe did put a few planes up to gauge and report the bombers' altitude and such. However, the Group didn't see any of them.
Enemy Resistance
Flak over the target area was reported by the 8th Air Force as being moderate, yet they still lost 3 bombers and 4 fighters. The faster flying B-24s were scheduled to go in first. The German batteries weren't firing as accurately at the 492nd as they were later at the other groups flying through.
Bombsight
The undercast skies over the target forced the Group to abort the mission. The target area was extremely close to the Allied positions and chances could not be taken.
Epilogue
Not all groups aborted that day, but most of them did. There were some cases of bombs dropping on US troops. See "The Bigger Picture."
This day ended up being a dress rehearsal for the following mission.
Mission Data
Mission: 56
Date: 24 Jul 44
City: St Lo area, France
Target: Tactical
Aircraft
DIS:
36
Abort:
0
ATT:
0
RTB:
36
Lost:
0
PFF:
0
Bomb Load
Tons: 0
Type: 100 lb GPs
100 lb Demos
Result: Aborted
Enemy Action
Flak: Fair
GAF: None
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
KIA:
0
WIA:
0
POW:
0
INT:
0
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Prytulak Crew 907
O'Sullivan Crew 713
Prytulak Crew 907
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Page last modified Thursday, May 11, 2017.