457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 66
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:15

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 66
Date - June 14, 1944
Target - Le Bourget
For this mission to the area around Paris, France, the 457th put up a maximum effort of 57 aircraft. The target for the 457th was airfields and supporting facilities. The Germans put up some three hundred fighters in this region on this date. The weather was CAVU and the flack was heavy and very accurate. For reasons unknown the bombs were not dropped on the first pass and the group proceeded to do a 360 turn to make another pass. During this turn the group was attacked by about 15 German fighters that passed through the three boxes that were in trail. Bomb results were poor. Five planes were badly hit and were lost.....the worst mission yet for the 457th. For gallantry in action on this mission, Major Syptak and Sgt Birchen each recieved the Silver Star. The crews lost were 42-97579 (Allen), 42-97062 (Johnson), 42-31568 (Rogers), 42-102464 (Blackwell), and 42-31618 (La Paze).
Plane 42-57979, named "Local Mission", and flown by Lt Roy W. Allen was first hit by the fighter attack and engine #2 was knocked out. He was then hit by flak in the target area and #3 engine was also knocked out. The plane was set afire and left the formation. The crew all bailed out and Lt Allen was picked up by the French underground and hidden for many weeks. Posing as a civilian he was betrayed by the French and was taken prisoner by the Gestapo who treated him as a spy. He underwent rigourous interrorgation and was eventuall sent to Buchrnwald concentration camp. After a few months at this camp he convinced the Germans that he was indeed an airman and was thereafter a POW at Stalag III. He is the only 457th crewman to have been sentenced to a concentration camp. Lt Anderson was shot and killed in the air or otherwise killed after he bailed out.(See Roy Allen's description of this incident in "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers).

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-97579     
PilotLT Roy W. Allen   POW
CopilotLt Verne H. Lewis   POW
NavigatorLt Joseph C. Brusse   POW
BombardierLt Lawrence Anderson   KIA  
Aircraft EngineerSgt Roy E. Plum   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Ernest L. Smith   EVD
Left Waist GunnerSgt Leonard Henson  POW
Right Waist GunnerSgt William Goldsborough   EVD
Tail GunnerSgt John L. Miller  POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:15
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)