457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 198
750th Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 750th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:26

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 198
Date - February 28, 1945
Target - Soest - Ditched in Channel
The target for the 457th on this date was the marshalling yards at Soest, Germany. This city handled the heaviest traffic from the Ruhr valley to Central Germany. The route to the target was as briefed and before the IP it was determined that the lead plane's G-H equipment was malfunctioning so the high squadron leader took over the lead. Bombs were dropped from 24,800 feet and results were unobserved because of cloud cover. One plane, s/n 44-8255, lost engine #3, which burned till it fell off the plane. The plane crashed in the English Channel after the crew bailed out.
Plane s/n 44-8255, 751st Squadron, and piloted by Lt Roy E. Kirk, caught fire over the English Channel on the way to the target. #3 engine was afire from a major oil leak and the wing was burning. The crew all bailed out before the plane broke up and each of them landed in the channel. The burning engine had fallen off the plane and when the plane hit the water the wing broke off. Three of the crew lost their lives and the rest were rescued by air-sea rescue and returned to Glatton. Of those rescued only the bombardier sustained injuries.

......... Crew


The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 44-8255     
PilotLt Roy H. Kirk, Jr   KIA  
CopilotCapt William F. Gibbons
NavigatorLt Arvo J. Kajander
BombardierLt Valentine W. Stype
Aircraft EngineerSgt Rocco V. Montagno
Radio OperatorSgt Edward A. Grover   KIA  
Radar NavigatorLt Victor A. Smith
Left Waist GunnerSgt Charles W. Coleman
Tail GunnerSgt Williard Krueger   KIA  
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:26
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)