457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 32
750th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 750th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:11

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 32
Date - April 25, 1944
Target - Nancy/Essey Cr in France
This mission of the 457th was to bomb an airfield in the Nancy/Essey region of France. The base was used by the Germans as a transport base between France and Germany. When the group arrived at the target area there was total cloud cover and it was decided to return to the base with the bombs. As the group was returning, the lead aircraft burst into flames for reasons unknown, turned and headed toward France. The crew bailed out over France. The rest of the planes returned to Glatton.
Since the target area was covered with clouds the order was given to return to Glatton with their bombs. Just as they started over the English Channel, the group lead plane, s/n 42-97070, with Air Commander Major Rod Francis in charge, developed an unexplained fire in the bomb bay. They left the formation, dropped their bombs in the Channel, and headed back to France where all the crew parachuted to safety. Major Francis and four members of the 11 man crew evaded and returned later to Glatton. The others were made POW's.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-97070     
PilotCapt Edward M Bender   POW
CopilotMajor Rodrick L. Francis (Air Commander)   EVD
NavigatorLt Earl E. Woodard   EVD
Navigator2Capt Arthur T. Cavanaugh   EVD
Navigator3Lt Edwin K. Fuller   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt James L Free   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Lymon M. Mahan   EVD
Left Waist GunnerSgt John P. Sarico   POW
Right Waist GunnerLT Monroe J. Hotaling   EVD
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Michael Woyurka   POW
Tail GunnerLt Bill Soules   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:11
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)