457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 22
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
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Mission Narrative

Mission No. 22
Date - March 29, 1944
Target - Waggum
Over three hundred bombers were sent to bomb a FW-190 aircraft plane in Waggum, Germany . This was the longest mission that the 457th had flown to date. The group lost three planes to a furious fighter attack both before they hit the target and on the way home. The route was over the North Sea, across Denmark and then East across the Baltic Sea. Many planes dropped out due to extremely bad weather conditions but the weather cleared as they approached the target. The bomb run and results were good in spite of enemy fighter attacks. Flak was moderate. The 457th lost three planes to enemy action. The 8th Air Force lost 32 bombers on this mission.
Plane s/n 42-31531, piloted by Lewis Lennartson, was flying in the low box and had fallen some distance behind the formation with all engines functioning. He continued on the bomb run and dropped his bombs after his squadron had already turned off the target. About this time the Group was attacked by about 40 or 50 German fighters. Two Luftwaffe planes attacked 42-31531 and pressed the attack. The plane lost one engine and the other was on fire. Parachutes were seen to have come from the plane while it was still under control. The aircraft exploded shortly after. All the crew exited safely except the pilot who stayed till everyone was out but failed to exit himself before the explosion. The ball turret gunner was killed in the ball turret by enemy aircraft fire. Lt Lennartson's, crew had ditched earlier in the North Sea on their first mission. This was the crew's third mission.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-31531     
PilotLt Lewis W. Lennartson   KIA  
CopilotLt Everett I. Kessee, Jr.   POW
NavigatorLt Manfred Markowitz   POW
BombardierLt Augustine Fernandez   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Thomas B. Haag   POW
Radio OperatorSgt William T. Graham   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Clyde E. Garnhart   POW
Right Waist GunnerSgt Gilbert C. Goode   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Omer Fontaine   KIA  
Tail GunnerSgt James E. Blackwell  POW

                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:05
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)