457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 128
748th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 748th Bomb Squadron
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Mission Narrative

Mission No. 128
Date - September 28, 1944
Target - Magdeburg
This mission to Magdeberg turned out to be one of the worst mission for the 457th since it began flying. Six crews were lost. The Group put up 36 planes and their target was to be the Krupp machine shops at Magdeberg where anti-aircraft guns and tanks were made. Just before reaching the IP the group was attacked by 25 to 50 ME-109's and FW-190's. The fighters attacked from 4 oclock and 9 o'clock low and hit hardest at the rear of the formation. Five planes were lost to fighters: s/n 43-37518, s/n 43-38181, s/n 43-38026, S/N 43-37834 and 42-97470. One other plane s/n 42-102948 was lost to flak at the target. Bombing was by PFF and the results were unobserved. P-51's arrived to drive off the attacking planes after the damage was done. Three other planes received major damage and twelve received minor damage from flak and fighters.
Plane 42-97470, named "Oh Kay," and flown by Lt Robert I Ellsworth, was hit by fighters just moments before turning on the IP. Details of exactly what happened to these planes on this attack are scarce. The attack lasted 13 minutes. There were about 50 ME-109's and FW-190's that hit from below at six and nine oclock. The damage was done by 30 mm cannon shells and this plane , along with four others in the Squadron, left the formation and crashed in Germany. All crew members parachuted safely and became POW's.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-97470     
PilotLt Robert I. Ellsworth   POW
CopilotLt John V. Van Ingen   POW
BombardierLt Thomas O. Metcalfe, Jr.   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt James D. Kreighbaum   POW
Radio OperatorSgt James A. Mellin   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Lawrence J. Maher   POW
Right Waist GunnerSgt Elmer T. Lafayette   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Melvin Milbauer   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Joseph J. Smolinski   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:14
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)