U S Army Air Force/8th Air Force/2nd Air Division/14th Bomb Wing/492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
 492ndBombGroup.com home
follow the 492nd
Back to Mission 56 Mission 57 Tuesday, 25 Jul 44 St Lo area Forward to Mission 58
Mission 57
The skies over Normandy were very clear. It was a near-perfect day to re-launch Operation Cobra. The Group dispatched 34 planes under the command of Major Mahoney, the 859th Squadron Commander. He flew with the Johnson Crew 903. One of the crews had to abort during assembly due to an oil leak.
Fighter Protection
Just like yesterday's mission, there was plenty of fighter protection. The 8th and 9th Air Forces coordinated a combined escort and cover. The Luftwaffe put a few more planes up to shadow the bomber's activities. None were seen by the 492nd.
Enemy Resistance
Flak was thicker and a little more accurate than yesterday. Even the 14th Wing, which led the entire 8th Air Force, got some flak damage. We don't know if any of the 492nd got hit, but do know that none of their planes were lost.
The target was easily identified. Most of the Group's planes were able to drop, but 4 of them couldn't, as the 392nd BG crossed in front of them. Those 4 returned to base with their bombs.
The mission was a big-time success, although US troops were hit during the bombing run. We don't know what group missed their area, but we are sure that it wasn't the 492nd. For the overall mission summary and details read "The Bigger Picture."
This mission became particularly important to the Group. Not only did it break the back of the German defenses in Normandy, it played a big role in the eventual disbandment of the 492nd.
Within the next couple of days, the Allies in Normandy would smash through the German forces and General Patton would begin sweeping across France. The Battle of Normandy would become the Battle of France. It was quite obvious to the Allies that the Germans were soon going to lose France.
During the next week, the powers-that-be would start planning to downsize the 8th Air Force. They would start penciling to decide which groups should be redeployed to the Pacific and which ones should be trained on B-29s. While all of these plans were flying around, one question without an easy answer kept popping up, "What do we do with the crippled 492nd?"
Sad to say, but with the success of Operation Cobra the Group just wasn't needed anymore.
Mission Data
Mission: 57
Date: 25 Jul 44
City: St Lo area, France
Target: Tactical
Bomb Load
Tons: 74
Type: 100 lb GPs
100 lb Demos
Result: Excellent
Enemy Action
Flak: Moderate
GAF: None
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Prytulak Crew 907
O'Sullivan Crew 713
Prytulak Crew 907
492ndBombGroup.com — an Arnett Institute project
Page last modified Thursday, May 11, 2017.