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Back to Mission 65 Mission 66 Monday, 7 Aug 44 Ostend Wrap around to Mission 01
Mission 66
The Mighty 8th put all of its forces on targets in France and Belgium to help support the ground offensive. The 492nd drew an oil storage facility at Ostend, Belgium. They dispatched 12 crews for the job under the command of Col Adams, the Group Deputy Commander. None of the ships aborted. Adams flew with the Velarde Crew 615.
When the Group first arrived to North Pickenham, Velarde was the only non-commissioned officer piloting a plane. He had the rank of Flight Officer, the Air Force's version of Warrant Officer. During the past 3 months he rode the fast track train of promotions. By this day, he was a already a Captain and flying as lead ship for the Group.
Fighter Protection
Although the Group had fighter escorts, it was hardly nesessary since their target was barely across the Channel on the west coast. No enemy planes were seen.
Enemy Resistance
No flak was encountered. It was the sweetest and fastest mission ever flown by the 492nd.
Heavy clouds obscured the Group from finding their target. They even went back out over the Channel and came in again. Still they couldn't find anything. They returned to base fully loaded.
Before the Group left on this mission, they knew it was the last one. Most of the crews still didn't know where their next assignment would be. They really wanted to bomb the target so that they could go out on top, but perhaps this final mission was as it should be... with no losses. The mission ended up being a free one, kind of like a parting gift. And for one of the crews it was.
Hamilton Crew 604 completed their 30-mission tour with this one. They became the sixth and final crew to do it while with the 492nd Bomb Group at North Pickenham.
Over the next few days the crews would get their transfers. Roughly speaking, the crews in the 856th Squadron stayed with the 492nd as it transferred out to Cheddington for Carpetbagger missions. The 859th Squadron went lock-stock-and-barrel to the 467th Bomb Group and became the 788th Squadron. The 857th Squadron was split up as it's crews went to different groups in a shotgun fashion. There were some crews and personnel that went elsewhere, even to the 15th Air Force.
Emotions felt after the disbandment were varied. Some people found their new assignments as a welcomed change. Others felt that their next group was treating them like a new replacement crew. For some, the bad luck followed them as they were killed, captured or wounded.
Mission Data
Mission: 66
Date: 7 Aug 44
City: Ostend, Belgium
Target: Oil Dump
Bomb Load
Tons: 0
Type: n/a
Result: Aborted
Enemy Action
Flak: None
GAF: None
Counter Action
Kills: 0
492nd Casualties
More Info
This mission's impact
on the overall war
Graham/Powers Crew 614
Hamilton Crew 604
30th Mission
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Page last modified Thursday, May 11, 2017.