457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 52
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:14

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 52
Date - May 27, 1944
Target - Ludwigshaven
This mission was to the marshalling yards at Ludwigshaven and Mannheim. The 457th led the 94th Combat Wing with Col James Luper as Air Commander. Enroute to the target the group was savagely attacked by 50 or 60 ME-109's and several planes in the formation were lost. The fighter attack lasted 25 minutes and disrupted the formation causing the low box to bomb before the lead. The lead box did a 360 degree turn and made a second pass through the heavy flak. Thirteen planes received flak damage.
Plane s/n 42-97460, named "Delayed Lady," was flown by Lt William E. Dee on this mission. Their plane was badly shot up during the attack and they had to leave the formation along with two other planes. They joined up with 42-31594 (Whitlow), 42-38055 (Birkman) and (Summerville) for protection but accurate flak hit them and caused a fire in engine #2. The plane crashed in Germany after the crew bailed out. One of the crew Lawrence Oberstein bailed out with only a minor shoulder wound and his chute opened, however, he was found dead on the ground. Nine of the crew were POW's.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-97460     
PilotLt William E. Dee   POW
CopilotRobert M. Cotterell   POW
NavigatorLawrence Oberstein   KIA  
BombardierLt Donald S. Jay   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt William H. Jones, Jr.   POW
Radio OperatorSgt George L Hatcher   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Orval Sterner   POW
Right Waist GunnerSgt Stephen L. Floyd   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Steve J. Sak   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Thomas L. Treadwell  POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:14
Note: Please feel free to send your observations/comments on
the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)