392nd Bomb Group

Target: Magdeburg - 3 March 1945 - Mission #250

25 Feb 45 box
B-24 #42-51958, with the 579th Sqdn's 1/Lt Roy L. Miller's crew aboard,
departs from Magdeburg after the mission of 3 March 1945
Click to see full photo

The 392nd BG was ordered to return to Magdeburg. Per the main briefing, they had "soundly smacked" the same target the day before but it was anticipated that bombing it again would "finish the job completely." Loaded with ten 500 pound General Purpose bombs each, 20 planes began take-offs at 6:20a.m.

The target was the synthetic oil plant 4½ miles northeast of the city, "one of the last remaining fuel plants supplying the German war machine."

2AD's Intelligence Annex to the mission directive noted, "Enemy capabilities in target area will permit him to have 300 single engine enemy aircraft airborne in opposition to bombers... Harassing attacks by Me-262s can be expected in target area, on route in, and on withdrawal, operating in elements of two to four."

Per the Photo Interpreter, the lead squadron-the 577th-laid down "a very scattered pattern that started in the target and went on to the dock area along the river" with 36 percent of bursts within 1,000 feet of the target and 54 percent of their bombs within 2,000 feet.

"Observed were bursts in the oil storage area, liquid air plant, distillation plant, and in the heavily damaged area to the southwest. Fires started in the storage tanks after the Group left. Some bombs [were released late and] hit among the docks and on-roads and railroad spurs. One hit is seen on a nearby marshalling yard.

"Next came the 576th high squadron. Due to some unknown causes they dropped a bit too soon and a very compact pattern is observed 3,800 feet short and right of the MPI. These are all in open fields causing no damage to the target."

It was a momentous day for a 392nd BG gunner.

Target Victory was a report "of, by and for combat flying personnel" in the 2nd Air Division. Its 28 March 1945 issue included an article headlined First Jet Falls to 392nd Gunner: "S/Sgt John P. Malley, Philadelphia, Pa., became the first gunner in 2AD to shoot down a jet-propelled fighter. The 392nd Group nose gunner destroyed the 'squirt' on a mission to Magdeburg.

"The engineer called out that two bombers were going down," Malley related. "There was no flak then, so I figured it must have been enemy fighters, but I could not see any. I watched the two bombers fall and while doing that I saw a fighter following them down. I could identify it was an Me-262-a twin-engine job with a single fin.

"He broke away from the two bombers and came up to attack our formation. He was coming so fast it was hard to track him. I opened up at 2,000 yards and he began firing a few seconds later. My tracers went into one of his jets. Smoke and flames shot out, and he broke away. Our navigator saw him break up and go down."

576th tail gunner S/Sgt Joseph F. Berry was on 1/Lt John G. Daley's crew. About this mission, he wrote, "…Hit oil refinery visually, one of Germany's biggest ones left. Plastered target, left big smoke columns, fires. Flak heavy, accurate. Bandits seen. Jet Me-262s. Had heavy contrails. Saw several scrambles. Also P-51 shot down and B-24s collided. Almost had collision in own formation. Found out later at base jet was coming in on our contrails. He was going for us as we were lead ship. Ship behind, nose gun [undoubtedly Malley], saw him and shot him down. Probably saved our lives. Couldn't see him because of contrails. That night e/a came home with RAF, shot up truck near base, killed driver [Cpl Edward E. Ferrell, who was driving a truck back to Wendling as part of that evening's liberty run]. Was rough mission-flak, fighters."

The two B-24s that collided belonged to the 448th BG. A survivor later stated that "eight miles from the target, the plane ahead and to the right was hit by a jet-propelled fighter and immediately went out of control and jumped straight into the air and landed on my plane." Just two other men from the Libs were able to bail out.

The 392nd's Mission Teletype reported that "three to six jet-propelled a/c, probably Me-262s, observed in dog fight with fighter-support, P-51s. One e/a attacked our Group and is claimed as destroyed."

Flak was moderately heavy and accurate which caused extensive battle damage to ten returning bombers. Fortunately none were lost with all safely landing around 1320 hours.


3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 916
P Raczko, W. 2nd Lt.
CP McGill, C.L. 2nd Lt.
N Cline, A.P. F/O
B Holland, J.R. S/Sgt.
R VanDeven, J.K. S/Sgt.
E Reynolds, J.R. S/Sgt.
RW Parker, R.J. S/Sgt.
LW Kracker, E.A. S/Sgt.
TG Adkins, J.E. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 659
P Smith, W.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Malmborg, F.L. 2nd Lt.
N Purvis, C.G. 2nd Lt.
B Linderman, W.T. S/Sgt.
R Kroll, M.E. Sgt.
E Lyon, H.H. S/Sgt.
RW Devish, M.G. Sgt.
LW Werner, W.T. Sgt.
TG Farley, R.L. Pfc.
3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 409
P Sommers, O.L. 1st Lt.
CP Perkins, G.A. 2nd Lt.
N Judd, G.G. 1st Lt.
B Sparks, R.L. 1st Lt.
R Fender, J.F. T/Sgt.
E Drummond, W.D. T/Sgt.
RW O'Kane, R.P. S/Sgt.
LW McNeill, C.E. S/Sgt.
TG Luciano, S. S/Sgt.
NG Streicher, H.P. 1st Lt.
3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 299
P Frazier, L.J. 2nd Lt.
CP Linder, E.P. F/O
N Robinson, R.L. 2nd Lt.
B Hazard, A.R. 2nd Lt.
R Latour, H.E. Cpl.
E McGrath, L.R. Cpl.
RW Penders, D.P. Cpl.
LW Leach, R.H. Cpl.
TG Rohde, R.E. Cpl.
3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 340
P Jones, T.A. 1st Lt.
CP McFarland, J.D. 1st Lt.
N Vealey, S.L. F/O
B Malley, J.P. S/Sgt.
R Isebrands, T.E. T/Sgt.
E Glover, B.E. T/Sgt.
RW Coffman, J.G. S/Sgt.
LW Wall, D.L. S/Sgt.
TG Woerth, J.B. S/Sgt.
RCM Harvie, W.M. T/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 901
P Hummel, J.R. 2nd Lt.
CP Reynolds, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Knudson, B.L. 2nd Lt.
B Chadwick, R.H. 2nd Lt.
R Deaton, J.A. Cpl.
E Keagle, P.E. Cpl.
RW Finney, H.H. Cpl.
LW Milchak, E.A. Cpl.
TG Powell, H. Cpl.
3 Mar 1945 576th Sqdn.
A/C 194
P Markuson, C.O. 1st Lt.
CP Hutchcroft, H.W. 2nd Lt.
N Maceyra, E. 2nd Lt.
B Hunter, E.R. S/Sgt.
R Burke, J.E. T/Sgt.
E Cain, P.L. T/Sgt.
RW Monaghan, T.D. S/Sgt.
LW Howard, J.B. S/Sgt.
TG Horn, J.E. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 875
P Jackson, C.J. 1st Lt.
CP Parrish, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Pillsbury, A.A. 2nd Lt.
B Wolfe, P.G. S/Sgt.
R Berger, S. S/Sgt.
E Jenkins, J.H. Sgt.
RW Korb, L.J. S/Sgt.
LW Webb, J.H. S/Sgt.
TG Roe, W.L. Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 906
P Majesky, A.E. 2nd Lt.
CP Wanner, G.L. 2nd Lt.
N Vought, E.I. F/O
B Zuckert, J.S. 2nd Lt.
R Ivey, M.A. T/Sgt.
E Patton, F.M. T/Sgt.
RW Esenwein, E.R. S/Sgt.
LW Stout, J. Sgt.
TG Martin, J.F. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 390
P Grabarkiewicz, L. F/O
CP Phillips, C.E. 2nd Lt.
N Hickson, D. Jr. 1st Lt.
B Axvig, W.E. S/Sgt.
R Quagliano, F.A. T/Sgt.
E Duggan, J.J. T/Sgt.
RW Baker, E.R. S/Sgt.
LW Cooper, J.T. Cpl.
TG Moskowicz, S. S/Sgt.
S-27 Bernhards, H.F. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 079
P Popek, E. 2nd Lt.
CP Henry, H.E. 2nd Lt.
N Tucker, R.A. 1st Lt.
B Dilley, P.E. S/Sgt.
R Yuhas, G. T/Sgt.
E Bombardier, W.J. T/Sgt.
RW Trofnoff, F. S/Sgt.
LW Thompson, J.R. S/Sgt.
TG Swee, F.A. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 898
P Gates, H.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Day, J.G. 2nd Lt.
N Siwy, W.J. 2nd Lt.
B Harrison, W.F. Sgt.
R Frigo, H.M. Sgt.
E Baker, R.E. Sgt.
RW Lamkin, R.B. Sgt.
LW Talcott, W.J. Sgt.
TG Ryan, W.M. Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 577th Sqdn.
A/C 792
P Jordan, E.B. 2nd Lt.
CP Garrett, A.W. 2nd Lt.
N Mercer, E.A. 2nd Lt.
B Lehr, E.L. Sgt.
R Leahy, W.E. Sgt.
E Thompson, R.H. T/Sgt.
RW Cobb, C.E. Sgt.
LW Girulat, R.M. Sgt.
TG Larmee, W.H. Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 838
P Vaden, J.C. 2nd Lt.
CP Tichenor, N.K. 2nd Lt.
N Vrable, E.G. 2nd Lt.
B Sieg, R.J. 2nd Lt.
R Crockett, J.G. S/Sgt.
E Perry, C.E.O. S/Sgt.
RW Wojtowicz, C.T. S/Sgt.
LW Beaton, S.O. S/Sgt.
TG Smith, C.W. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 511
P Hoover, J.A. 2nd Lt.
CP Douglass, G.E. 2nd Lt.
N Fetter, G.R. F/O
B Janak, E.G. S/Sgt.
R Affinito, L.J. S/Sgt.
E Marlowe, J.D. T/Sgt.
RW Fitzgerald, T.R. S/Sgt.
LW Gayda, F.M. S/Sgt.
TG Jones, L.A. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 249
P Tokarsky, A. 2nd Lt.
CP Moore, M.R. F/O
N King, F.S. F/O
B Ross, W. S/Sgt.
R Vivero, D.L. S/Sgt.
E Dowling, R.L. S/Sgt.
RW Ridge, B.E. S/Sgt.
LW Granzow, L.J. S/Sgt.
TG Weissbeck, E.A. S/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 313
P Warner, C.W. 2nd Lt.
CP Smith, J.E. 2nd Lt.
N Peppard, J.M. F/O
B Kight, D.A. S/Sgt.
R Hathaway, E.O. S/Sgt.
E McGee, O.W. S/Sgt.
RW Brooks, E.J. S/Sgt.
LW Neel, L.E. S/Sgt.
TG Richmond, T.C. S/Sgt.
RCM Hill, T.J. Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 578th Sqdn.
A/C 205
P Ardinger, J. 2nd Lt.
CP Grandmontagne, E.T. 2nd Lt.
N Wagner, H.W. F/O
B Faulstich, A.F. S/Sgt.
R Huitt, G.E. T/Sgt.
E Wiedekehr, R.W. S/Sgt.
RW Gorback, B.S. S/Sgt.
LW Jones, J.K. S/Sgt.
TG White, A. S/Sgt.
S-27 Steffen, N.W. T/Sgt.
3 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 459
P Daley, J.C. Capt.
CP Stebner, O.G. 1st Lt.
N Thomas, C.P. 1st Lt.
B Cunningham, V.J. 1st Lt.
R Firquain, O.S. T/Sgt.
E Minster, G.E. T/Sgt.
RW Bevill, B.T. S/Sgt.
LW Cole, R.A. S/Sgt.
TG Berry, J.F. S/Sgt.
MN Levin, W. 1st Lt.
NV Bailey, D.C. 2nd Lt.
3 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 958
P Miller, R.L. 1st Lt.
CP Jones, G.B. 1st Lt.
N Cummings, F.L. 1st Lt.
B Fletcher, A.S. 1st Lt.
R Tribbett, L.L. S/Sgt.
E Reid, H.A. T/Sgt.
RW Fritz, G.G. S/Sgt.
LW Grimm, R.H. S/Sgt.
TG Oatman, H.W. S/Sgt.
NV Conrad, J.B. 1st Lt.
PN Wilfahrt, D.W. 1st Lt.
3 Mar 1945 579th Sqdn.
A/C 385
CA Sather, H. Maj.
P Miller, W.L. Capt.
CP Cassity, J.J. 1st Lt.
N Mohr, J. 1st Lt.
B Mackelfresh, T.H. 1st Lt.
R Hagopian, H.A. T/Sgt.
E Prach, F.T. T/Sgt.
RW Hedges, N.E. S/Sgt.
LW Moles, W.F. S/Sgt.
TG Walters, L. S/Sgt.
PN Niman, H. 1st Lt.
NV Sprowls, R.W. 1st Lt.