457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 133
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
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Mission Narrative

Mission No. 133
Date - October 07, 1944
Target - Politz
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 42-97638, named "Follow Me," and piloted by Lt William H. Flannery, was hit by flak while in the vicinity of the target . They were flying lead in the low squadron. Engine #3 was hit and caught fire. The flames trailed to the tail of the plane as it dived in an attempt to extinguish the flames. No parachutes were seen and the plane crashed on an island across the Oder river from Politz. Lt Strosser parachuted safely but fractured his ankle on landing. The flaming plane crashed on an island in a river near Stettin Bay. Some of the chutist also landed on this island.

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-97638     
PilotLt William H. Flannery   KIA  
CopilotLt Jewell W. Lowery   KIA  
NavigatorLt Paul Moll, III   POW
Navigator2LT Morris Arnovitz   POW
Navigator3Lt Raymond G. Moon, Jr   POW
BombardierLt John G. Schloendorn   KIA  
Radio OperatorSgt Duane E. Stowits   KIA  
Aircraft EngineerSgt Lloyd K. Lagassa   KIA  
Ball Turret GunnerSgt George L. Petty   POW
Tail GunnerLt Walter C. Strosser   POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:16
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)