457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 79
751st Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 751st Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:19

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 79
Date - June 29, 1944
Target - Leipzig
The target for the 8th Air Force at Leipzig were aircraft factories. The weather presented severe problems for assemblying aircraft and many groups turned back to England. To bomb visually the group made a 360 turn over the target and were attacked head on by about 6 ME-110's. Only one plane was damaged. P-51 escorting fighters drove off the enemy planes. Bombs were dropped on a smoke covered target and results were not observed. Flak was heavy and tracked the group over the city. One plane of the 457th, s/n 42-37562, took a direct hit, spiraled down and exploded.
Plane s/n 43-37562 was flown by Lt Albert Gumulauskas. While on the bomb run the plane was hit with 20 mm fire from an attacking aircraft and the pilot and copilot were both severely injured by the exploding ordinance. The crew bailed out as the plane dove down and exploded. The engineer was shot through the neck by the interrogation officer after capture but survived. (see "Black Puff Polly - Mission No 79" by Roland Byers for an account of this incident by Harry E. Will Jr, the Navigator.)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 43-37562     
PilotLt Albert Gumulauskas   POW
CopilotLt William T.Neidhardt   POW
NavigatorLt Harry E. Will, Jr.   POW
ToggleerSgt Paul E. Beatty   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Enos C. Bleacher   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Ralph Anastasio De Leonardis   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Charles L. Campbell   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Louis F. Beske   POW
Tail GunnerSgt Joy F.. Stacy   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:19
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)