392nd Bomb Group

Target: Ludwigshafen - 7 January 1944 - Mission #24

The target for this day was Ludwigshafen. The Intelligence Annex to Field Order #178 said it "is one of the largest, if not the largest, chemical plants in Germany. It produces all types of chemicals including synthetics, plastics, chemicals for high explosives and poisonous gases. … information from other sources indicate that synthetic rubber is produced here as well. This conclusion is borne out by the fact that one of their largest synthetic rubber plants which was destroyed has not been rebuilt. This is one of the largest plants operated by the company owning it. Because of the fact that Germany lacks many raw materials which she cannot secure at this time this company is extremely important in that it produces probably the greatest quantity of their ersatz (substitute) materials such as leather, rubber, textile fibres, drugs, and even certain foodstuffs. There is no concrete evidence that this target was severely damaged in the last raid and even if every bomb dropped in the target area there would still be enough to warrant returning to it. Production seems to be continuing as it was previous to the last raid. This is definitely an important target."

The 576th Squadron was the lead squadron with 1/Lt George J. Jackson the lead bombardier. The bomb load was 12 ANM-50 500-pound incendiary bomb clusters. Bombs were dropped on PFF flares through 10/10 cloud cover with results unobservable.

Eighteen ships from the 392nd BG took off at 0830 hours. During assembly, two planes (42-7480 and 42-7478) joined the 44th Group and one joined the 446th Group by mistake. When these Groups abandoned the mission over Holland due to insufficient strength for defensive formation, these three planes turned back as well. They were given sortie credit.

A 392nd plane (41-29127) aborted due to mechanical reasons and 42-7497 turned back just before the target, also for mechanical reasons. #497 bombed a target of opportunity so it received mission credit.

No aircraft or crew members were lost on this mission though ten FW-190 and ten ME-109 single engine fighters were encountered. US fighter support was deemed excellent. Enemy aircraft attacks were only from 5 to 7 o'clock, low to level, avoided US fighter cover, and dived down into clouds below when chased. Twelve aircraft were damaged by flak with two airmen wounded by flak. The last 392nd BG plane landed at 1539 hours.

Aircrews also spotted a suspicious B-17 Flying Fortress or FW-200 that followed the formation from the I.P. to an hour after the target, where he fired what appeared to be a white flare before turning back east. The aircraft was painted with U.S. style camouflage, but was described as being faster than a normal B-17. All engines were running and observing crews were sure it was not a straggler.

Aircraft 42-7596 crash landed at Wendling upon return from the mission. It landed too fast and too far down the runway and failed to stop. It ran off the runway and through a ditch, causing the right gear to collapse. The airplane had to be salvaged. The crew was taken to the hospital before they were interrogated about the mission. S/Sgt Nixon got credited with a probable for an FW190 at 1200 hours (23,000 ft) and S/Sgt Kimball got credited with a probable for an ME109 at 1328 hours (18,000 ft).


7 Jan 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 560
P Hebron, W.T. 2nd Lt.
CP McGowan, R.L. 2nd Lt.
N McDonald, L. 2nd Lt.
B Thomas, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Decker, C.D. T/Sgt.
R. Martin, E.M. T/Sgt.
AE Halsne, M.O. S/Sgt.
AR Youst, K.E. S/Sgt.
AG Longchamps, A.L. S/Sgt.
G DeVoe, C.N. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 435
P Ford, J.H. 2nd Lt.
CP Bunting, D.W. 2nd Lt.
N Duncan, R.H. 2nd Lt.
B Thompson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
E Lewis, G.F. S/Sgt.
R Kramer, A.W. S/Sgt.
AE Roberson, L.P. S/Sgt.
AR Saucedo, J.A. S/Sgt.
AG Overholt, H.R. S/Sgt.
G Harvison, W.P. Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 511
Gray, C.T. Maj.
P Clover, D.K. 1st Lt.
CP Berger, R.M. 2nd Lt.
N McMillan, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B McDonald, P.R. 2nd Lt.
E Losey, J.C. T/Sgt.
R Galler, I. T/Sgt.
AE Williams, A.L. S/Sgt.
AR Bell, R.W. S/Sgt.
AG Royal, C.K. S/Sgt.
G Breck, J.H. 2nd Lt.
7 Jan 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 129
P Johns, M.T. 1st Lt.
CP Henderson, M.A. 2nd Lt.
N Silvasy, F.A. 2nd Lt.
B Sriver, E.R. 2nd Lt.
E Indahl, J.M. T/Sgt.
R Gressler, E.J. T/Sgt.
AE Przeniczny, W. S/Sgt.
AR Kenyon, C.L. S/Sgt.
AG Zerangue, F.A. S/Sgt.
G Sanchez, I.V. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 576th Sqdn.
A/C 492
CA Gilbert, L.G. Maj.
P Barnes, L.J. 1st Lt.
CP Shelton, W.L. 2nd Lt.
N Stankan, P.C. 1st Lt.
B Jackson, G.J. 1st Lt.
E Lewis, E.L. Jr. T/Sgt.
R Jenkins, W.B. T/Sgt.
AE Choromanski, J.E. S/Sgt.
AR Koch, C.H. Capt.
AG Crowley, C.J. S/Sgt.
G Riley, A.J. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 497
P Tiefenthal, D.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Clifford, R.R. 2nd Lt.
N Chichetto, A.F. 2nd Lt.
B Gordon, A.M. 2nd Lt.
E Wright, A. S/Sgt.
R DiCroce, J.A. S/Sgt.
AE Harwick, M.G. Sgt.
AR Sopchak, J. Sgt.
AG Schulz, W.G. Sgt.
G Potasiewicz, J.F. Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 577th Sqdn.
A/C 546
P Ambrose, D.N. 2nd Lt.
CP Dorrell, W. 2nd Lt.
N Lindberg, V.A. 2nd Lt.
B Tierney, J.F. 2nd Lt.
E Cunnings, W.L. T/Sgt.
R Sawyer, G.H. T/Sgt.
AE Davis, J.A. S/Sgt.
AR Hall, E.A. S/Sgt.
AG Wagner, F.J. S/Sgt.
G Dunham, H.D. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 518
P Peterson, C.L. 2nd Lt.
CP McCarthy, C.G. 2nd Lt.
N Fremstad, C.L. 2nd Lt.
B Brown, E.J. 2nd Lt.
E Hinshaw, H.M. S/Sgt.
R Rosko, E.M. S/Sgt.
AE Harrell, O.L. Sgt.
AR Hancock, L.G. T/Sgt.
AG Masters, E.E. S/Sgt.
G Byrd, J.C. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 480
P Sooy, B.L. 2nd Lt.
CP Mardis, K.A. 2nd Lt.
N Jones, O.R. 2nd Lt.
B Schwartz, E.S. 2nd Lt.
E Serafine, J.M. S/Sgt.
R Krek, B.R. S/Sgt.
AE Davis, R.W. Sgt.
AR McBrayer, H.G. Jr. Sgt.
AG Gyure, F. Sgt.
G Rankin, J.H. Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 478
P Smith, R.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Schilling, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Metz, L. 2nd Lt.
B Hopple, H.G. 2nd Lt.
E Wooton, W.J. S/Sgt.
R Sokol, A.R. S/Sgt.
AE Godfrey, L.S. Cpl.
AR Heaslet, W.W. S/Sgt.
AG Bertsch, P.J. Sgt.
G Norton, W.J. Jr. Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 624
P Schildknecht, H.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Long, J.D. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Hersh, A. 2nd Lt.
B Wasowicz, M.V. 2nd Lt.
E Sadler, R.S. S/Sgt.
R Begley, J.F. S/Sgt.
AE Reed, B.P. S/Sgt.
AR Reid, H.A. S/Sgt.
AG Reade, G.J. S/Sgt.
G Gegere, G.P. Cpl.
7 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 466
P George, F.A. 1st Lt.
CP Stephens, L.M. 2nd Lt.
N Sweeney, P.J. 2nd Lt.
B Kelly, F.B. 2nd Lt.
E Parker, J.D. T/Sgt.
R Sweeney, L.F. T/Sgt.
AE Ellingson, H.E. S/Sgt.
AR Sheppard, W.B. S/Sgt.
AG Goodall, W.J. S/Sgt.
G Theodore, R.N. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 578th Sqdn.
A/C 596
P Johnson, R.L. 1st Lt.
CP Raschke, W.C. 2nd Lt.
N Johnson, D.C. 2nd Lt.
B Hunter, R.M. 1st Lt.
E Stancik, M. T/Sgt.
R Wohlstrom, T.C. Jr. T/Sgt.
AE Reynolds, H.D. S/Sgt.
AR Milliken, E.W. S/Sgt.
AG Kimball, R.A. S/Sgt.
G Nixon, A.D. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 127
(abort, no sortie credit)
P Detrick, J.W. 1st Lt.
CP Schneider, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Connolly, J.D. 1st Lt.
B Hall, H.P. 1st Lt.
E Owen, E.D. T/Sgt.
R Castle, O.D. S/Sgt.
AE Ross, J.R. S/Sgt.
AR --
AG Dill, W.F. S/Sgt.
G Bacon, G.W. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 529
P Higgins, J.A. 1st Lt.
CP Wharton, P. 2nd Lt.
N Casey, H.W. 2nd Lt.
B Broyles, C. Jr. 2nd Lt.
E Boerschinger, M.F. T/Sgt.
R Cauble, W.R. T/Sgt.
AE Bookout, R.J. S/Sgt.
AR Sumlin, T.E. S/Sgt.
AG York, D.L. S/Sgt.
G Piper, C.A. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 473
P Stukus, J. 1st Lt.
CP Moffat, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Lindlow, R.R. 2nd Lt.
B Gentry, L.F. 2nd Lt.
E Mattson, W.R. T/Sgt.
R Dykes, J.R. T/Sgt.
AE Paolantonio, A.L. S/Sgt.
AR Rosati, L.P. S/Sgt.
AG McCrary, J.E. S/Sgt.
G McGinley, W.C. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 484
P Cassell, H.S. 1st Lt.
CP Colvin, J.A. Jr. 2nd Lt.
N Bevan, K.S. 1st Lt.
B Cetin, W.F. 1st Lt.
E Heuser, W.M. T/Sgt.
R Tribbett, L.L. T/Sgt.
AE Whitaker, J.W. Sgt.
AR Geary, N.W. S/Sgt.
AG Rothrock, C.T. S/Sgt.
G Yarbrough, W.L. S/Sgt.
7 Jan 1944 579th Sqdn.
A/C 472
P Peyton, J.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Rueffer, A.P. 2nd Lt.
N Richards, D.U. 2nd Lt.
B DeMontier, H.E. 2nd Lt.
E Smith, O.L. T/Sgt.
R Connor, D. Jr. T/Sgt.
AE Pyecroft, E.J. S/Sgt.
AR LaVick, K.C. S/Sgt.
AG Maylander, N. Sgt.
G Rebiejo, F. Sgt.