457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 44
748th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 748th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:06

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 44
Date - May 12, 1944
Target - Lutzkendorf
This was the start of an assault on the German oil facilities and this was the largest raid by the 8th to date.The group was led by Major Fred Spencer. The weather was perfect but the target was obscured by smoke and haze by the time the 457th arrived at the refinery target. No fighters were encountered and flak was moderate but accurate. Eleven planes sustained damage and the 8th Air Force had a total loss of 42 aircraft. On the way home, one of the planes, s/n 42-31607, named "Rose Olive," lost two engines, possibly from mechanical failure and the plane fell far behind the formation. The crew bailed out over Germany and all were made POW's.
This plane 42-31607, named "Rose Olive," was piloted by Lt John Akers. After dropping bombs on the target at Lutzkendorf, the plane apparently developed engine trouble or other malfunctions and dropped from the formation with two engines out. It dropped far behind the rest of the group and apparently had other problems for the crew abandoned the plane, parachuted to safety and were POW's for the rest of the war.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-31607     
PilotLt John Akers, Jr   POW
CopilotLt Charles T. Scott   POW
NavigatorLt Lloyd C. Dell   POW
BombardierLt Leo F. Kruszynski   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Edward R. White   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Robert J. Marsteller   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Harold T. Peterman   POW
Right Waist GunnerSgt Christopher W. Milgo   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Austin F. Moore   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Wallace V. Taft   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:06
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)