457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 23
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:07

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 23
Date - April 09, 1944
Target - Gdynia
Over three hundred bombers were sent to bomb a FW-190 aircraft plane in Gydnia, Poland. This was the longest mission that the 457th had flown to date. Because of the distance friendly fighter protection would not be available near the target. 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.
Lt Parks aircraft, 42-31629, was shot down in the target area. They were hit in the cockpit area and the plane left the formation and shortly after exploded. Some crewmen were able to bail out and some were thrown out by the force of the explosion. Seven of his crew were killed and three became POW's.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-31629     
PilotLt David P. Parks   KIA  
CopilotLt Floyd O. Grove   KIA  
NavigatorLt William C. Ellerbusch   POW
BombardierLt Edward T. Quinn   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt Donald J. Kesselmeyer   KIA  
Radio OperatorSgt Ruben H. Halverson   KIA  
Left Waist GunnerSgt Cosmo J. Fazzio   KIA  
Right Waist GunnerSgt Charles M. Kerr   POW
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Anthony J. Nunes   KIA  
Tail GunnerSgt George H. Grebe   KIA  
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:07
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)