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Back to Mission 59 Mission 60 Tuesday, 1 Aug 44 Anizy Forward to Mission 61
Mission 60
The Group was ordered to destroy a railroad bridge at Anizy, France. They put up 36 ships under the command of Major Mahoney, the 859th Squadron Commander. He flew with the Johnson crew 903. None of the planes aborted.
Fighter Protection
Although their assigned escort force was small, French airspace was dominated by the Allied air forces. So, protection was good.
Enemy Resistance
Flak was encountered over German positions in northern France, especially the closer one got to Paris. The 492nd took some damage, but didn't lose any planes or crewmen. Sgt Cosgriff of the Pease Crew R-38 was lightly wounded by flak.
The bad weather over the target forced the Group to abort. On the way back they couldn't find a target of opportunity so they returned full.
Back on 2 March 44, Lt General Doolittle, the commander of the 8th Air Force, had suggested all units engaged in Carpetbagger, H2X (blind-bombing), night leaflet dropping and weather missions be put under a centralized control. Finally it had been approved. On 30 July 44, an order was issued regularizing under the VIII Air Force Composite Command certain special and provisional units carrying out special tactical activities. Translated into civilian terms, this meant that all of these types of missions were to be designated to one bomber group.
The 8th Air Force Composite Command, the 492nd's old 858th Squadron Command Staff, was in charge of the leaflet dropping and would be merging with the 801st Provisional to form this new group. The 801st Provisional had been doing the "cloak and dagger" carpetbagger missions and would be the nucleus of the new group. Other special squadrons serving elsewhere would be brought in, as well.
This new order, coupled with other factors, would play a big part in the disbandment of the 492nd. This new special operations group being formed would need a Bomb Group designation, and neither the 801st Provisional nor the 8th Air Force Composite Command had Bomb Group status. It would be decided to transfer the 492nd's group designation and its four squadron designations to the new group.
Why take the 492nd's designation? The Group had been unlucky. They had become the runt of the litter. They had suffered extremely high casualties, their airfield was needed by another group and the 2nd Air Division needed to reduce its size. Besides that, part of its old 858th Squadron would be in the new group. Disbanding the group wasn't a simple or cold decision, but it was logical.
Mission Data
Mission: 60
Date: 1 Aug 44
City: Anizy, France
Target: Railroad Bridge
Bomb Load
Tons: 0
Type: n/a
Result: Aborted
Enemy Action
Flak: Moderate
GAF: None
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Perry Crew R-21
Graham/Powers Crew 614
Pease Crew R-38
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