457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 172
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:24

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 172
Date - January 10, 1945
Target - Euskirchen
The mission on this date was to bomb Luftwaffe airfields near Aachen, Germany. The group had extreme difficulty with dense contrails, haze and fog during assembly and all the way to the target area. The low squadron became separated from the group in the haze and eventually bombed with another group. Bombing was by G-H equipment and results were unobserved because of cloud cover. One plane s/n 44-6088 developed an engine fire on the way into the target and the crew bailed out over Belgium.
Plane s/n 44-6088, named "Rattlesnake Daddy II," and piloted by Lt Fredrick C. Gauss, encountered engine problems as the group approached Belgium. Engines #1 and #3 stopped and were feathered and engine #4 was ablaze. The plane dove to try to extinguish the blaze without success. The crew bailed out at about 8000 feet and all survived except the pilot whose parachute did not open. All landed in friendly territory and were returned to Glatton. (See Arthur Fitch's story about this incident in "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 44-6088     
PilotLt Fredrick C. Gauss   KIA  
CopilotLt Ralph Gray
NavigatorLt Bart Rizzo
BombardierLt Arthur Fitch
Aircraft EngineerSgt Jack Woodford
Radio OperatorSgt Robert Pinkney -
later killed in the crash of 44-8152 (Miss Ida)
Left Waist GunnerSgt Robert Glenn
Ball Turret GunnerSgt Walter McGuire
Tail GunnerSgt Edward B. Tooker

                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:24
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)