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
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 42-102905, piloted by Lt Clarance R. Jennings, was hit by flak just seconds before bomb release. #3 and #4 engines were knocked out and the oxygen supply had also suffered a hit. Lt Jennings dove the plane down to about 10,000 feet where they would not need oxygen. He then found that Lt Jakku, the bombardier had been injured by the flak burst as had the Navigator, Lt Schwartz. Flack had also killed Capt Floyd A. Cox, who had been flying as an observer. In view of the injuries and the condition of the plane a decision was made to fly to Sweden. There they landed at Jonkoping, Sweden without brakes. The crew was treated for their wounds and then interned. Sgt Jakku died of his wounds in a Swedish hospital. After two months they were transported back to England and then returned to the USA. (See Richard Garland's account of this incident in "Black Puff Polly", by Roland Byers.)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 42-102905     
Pilot Lt Clarance R. Jennings INT
CopilotLt Richard R Garland INT
NavigatorLt Martin Schwartz INT
BombardierLt Stewart W. Jakku INT
Aircraft EngineerSgt Hardy L. Bell INT
Radio OperatorSgt Walter W. Marr INT
Left Waist GunnerSgt William H. Barth, Jr. INT
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Charles Spornick INT
Tail GunnerSgt John D. Wood INT
Intelligence OfficerCapt Floyd A. Cox   KIA  
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:17
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)