457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 133
748th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 748th Bomb Squadron
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Mission Narrative

Mission No. 133
Date - October 07, 1944
Target - Politz - Cr at Stettin
The mission to Politz, Poland on this Oct 10th turned out to be one of the most costly mission for the 457. The group not only lost five planes to enemy action but it also lost the group commander, Col James Luper. The target at Politz was a synthetic oil refinery that had been bombed a couple of times before. The group put up 48 planes for this mission led by the group commander, Col Luper. Thirty six planes made up the lead box and the extra 12 planes went to make up another box together with twelve planes put up by the three other groups of the 94th Wing. The 457th group was to be the first over the target at 26,000 ft. The flight to the target was uneventful. The bomb run was to be 8 minutes long and each squadron bombed in trail. The visibility was good but the Germans put up an artificial smoke screen that hid much of the target area. The lead plane, s/n 44-8046, containing Col Luper was hit by accurate tracking flak before they could drop their bombs. Also aboard this plane was the Group Surgeon who was killed. The deputy lead took over and the #3 plane was also hit badly and left the formation. The lead plane in the low squadron s/n 42-97638 was also hit and left his formation. In addition to the six planes lost, thirty eight sustained some damage and five had major damage. The planes lost were: 44-8046, 42-97638, 44-6469, 43-38529, and 42-102905.
Plane 44-6469, flown by Lt Vernon M. Moland, was hit in the nose section of the plane on the approach to the target. One engine was hit but the plane was not disabled immediately. They flew for about 30 minutes till the engine and wing caught fire. The crew all bailed out and became POW's. The plane circled down and crashed in Poland. (See Leo Higgins account of this incident in Mission No. 133 in "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers.)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 44-6469     
PilotLt Vernon M. Moland   POW
CopilotLt Scott S. Millis, Jr.   POW
NavigatorLt Leo J. Higgins   POW
BombardierLt Arthur H. Jensen   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt William D. Ackerson   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Cecil D. Woodruff   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Earl S. Howell   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt John R. Koziel   POW
Tail GunnerSgt James A. Gunnels   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:25
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)