457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 66
750th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 750th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:17

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 s/n 42-102464, piloted by Lt Charles R. Blackwell was hit by flak just after dropping their bombs. The first burst of flak blew off the plexiglass nose. The next couple bursts knocked out two engines and left the third with a runaway prop. They turned and made it halfway back to the coast when the runaway prop fell off. The cockpit area was awash in gasoline and the order was give to abandon ship. The crew all bailed out at 1500 feet altitude. (See Charles Blackwell's account of this incident in "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-102464     
PilotLt Charles R. Blackwell   EVD
CopilotLt Theodore R. Baskette   POW
NavigatorLt Irving H. Meyers   POW
BombardierLt Verne M. Boon   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Thomas W. Howard   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Edward Nabozny   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Francis W. McCall   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Thomas G. Leahy   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Sylvester C Kuraszkiewicz  POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:17
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)