457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 83
751st Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 751st Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 17:49:36

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 83
Date - July 07, 1944
Target - Leipzig - Ditched
This was a repeat mission to the aircraft plants at Leipzig, the previous mission on Jun 29th had not done the job. This time the 457th had the same target and made visual passes in trail on the target. Photos later showed that the target had recieved direct hits and smoke billowed skyward and could be seen hundreds of miles away. On the way to the target one of the 457th planes, an old model F, was unable to transfer fuel and had to leave the formation and eventually ditched in the North Sea. Over 1000 planes had been dispatched and 37 failed to return.
Plane s/n 42-30731 was an old model F and on this mission to Leipzig was piloted by Lt Jack B. Owens. They had lost three engines and the fourth was sputtering. They left the formation and set direction toward Glatton. They were unable to maintain altitude and within 15 miles of England, over the English Channel, they elected to ditch the plane following standard procedures. The plane broke in half as it hit the water. Some of the crew managed to get a life raft out before the plane sank. Four of the crew drowned and the other five were rescued by air-sea rescue.

Jack B. Owens Crew

The crew on this mission was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-30731     
PilotLt Jack B. Owens   POW
CopilotLt Hays Bricka   POW
NavigatorLt Armen Topakian   POW
BombardierLt Francis A. Minturn   KIA  
Aircraft EngineerT/Sgt Phillip M. Murillo   KIA  
Radio OperatorT/Sgt Theodore C. Roland   KIA  
Right Waist GunnerS/Sgt John D. Ward   POW
Ball Turret GunnerT/Sgt. Earl Markwalder   KIA  
Tail GunnerS/Sgt R.C. Zeagler   POW

                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 17:49:36
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)