457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 228
457th Bomb Group '749th Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:26

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 228
Date - April 10, 1945
Target - Oranienburg
The target for the 457th was an ordinance depot at Oranienburg, near Berlin. Rendezvous and course were flown as briefed. Bombing was visual in squadron trail formation. Bombs were dropped from 25000 feet and results of all squadrons was good. Just after dropping their bombs the group was attacked by four ME-262's from the tail, The The lead ship s/n 44-8368 was hit by 20 mm cannon and, with two engines out, left the formation and later exploded. Also a plane in the high box s/n 43-38606, was hit and dove out of formation. Another plane, s/n , flying deputy lead was hit badly by 20 mm shells but managed to stay with the bomber stream and made an emergency landing at Woodbridge in England.
Plane s/n 44-8368, flying group lead, and piloted by Capt Melvin Fox, Was hit by ME-262's shortly after dropping it's bombs. The group commander, Lt Col Francis was aboard. The left wing sustained several hits and engines #1 and #2 were knocked out. Flames were seen coming from the wing. The plane left the formation and flew level for a few minutes and then went into a spin and exploded. The crew all bailed out before the explosion and were POW's except for Sgt Blood. He drowned when he parachuted into a lake. (See Gerald Zelikofsky's description of this incident in the book "Black Puff Polly" by Roland Byers)

The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 44-8368     
PilotCapt Melvin M. Fox   POW
Air CommanderLt Col Roderick L. Francis   POW
BombardierCapt Charles E. Musgrove   POW
NavigatorLt Beverly C. Robertson   POW
Navigator2Lt Paul L. Hertenstein   POW
Flight EngineerLt Gerald Zelikofsky   POW
Radio OperatorSgt Lloyd J. Blood   KIA  
Radio Operator2Sgt Adrian A. Belanger   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Alvin P. Prukop   POW
Tail GunnerCapt Monroe J. Hotaling  POW
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:26
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)