457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 46
751st Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 751st Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:14

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 46
Date - May 19, 1944
Target - Berlin
The group put up 36 planes for this mission to bomb government buildings in the heart of the German capital. The low squadron of the group was attacked by fighters on the way to the target and lost one plane with engines afire. Bombing results were fair, flack was accurate and seven planes were damaged. Other groups were also hit by fighters with total losses for the 8th of twenty eight planes. The first crew to complete their tour with the 457th was that of Lt Robert D. Lane who flew this mission.
Plane s/n 42-97481, named "Liberty Run," was piloted by Lt Philip H. Birong. Before reaching the target the group was attacked by a force of ME-109's and FW-190's and Lt Birong's plane had two engines set afire. It left the formation and began a spiral toward the ground. All of the crew, except one, bailed out and landed safely and were POW's for the balance of the war. The radio operator, Sgt Norman Musial spilled his parachute in the plane and, in spite of urgings from the other crewmen, would not jump with the folded parachute in his arms. He stayed with the plane and died when the plane crashed. Two of the crew were substitutes that day Lt Patty and Lt Martinjak. For a description of this incident by Sgt Lt Paul Owens, see "Black Puff Polly" - Mission No 46.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-97481     
PilotLt Phillip H. Birong   POW
CopilotLt Robert A. Patty   POW
NavigatorLt Frank Martinjak   POW
BombardierLt Paul V. Owens   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Max L. Hull   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Norman Musial   KIA  
Left Waist GunnerSgt Albert L. Missinger
Right Waist GunnerSgt Pasquale N. Sacco   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt William H. Farrar   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Luis J. Franco   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:14
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)