457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 133
750th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 750th 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 7th 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 s/n 44-8046 , piloted by Capt Alfred Fischer, was hit by flak as it approached the target. The plane was the group lead and was first over the target and contained Col James Luper, the Group Commander and the Group Surgeon, Major Gordon H. Haggard. Just before bomb release the plane was struck by very accurate tracking flak and engines #2 and #3 were hit and caught fire. The wing burst into flame and the plane left the formation and spiraled downward till it exploded below. Parachutes were seen and one parachute was seen to be aflame. ( See William J. Morrow's description of this mission No 133 in "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers)

......... Crew

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 44-8046     
PilotCapt Alfred W. Fischer   KIA  
Air CommanderCol James R. Luper   POW
NavigatorMajor Norman A. Krielin   POW
Navigator2Lt William J. Morrow   POW
Navigator3Lt Fredrick A. Asbell   POW
BombardierCapt Henry P. Loades   KIA  
Aircraft EngineerSgt John W. Koehler   KIA  
Radio OperatorSgt Ancil V. Shepherd   KIA  
Left Waist GunnerSgt John H. Derling   POW
Tail GunnerLt Edward A. McNeal Jr   KIA  
PassengerMajor Gordon H. Haggard   KIA  
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:26
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)