457th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group Honor Roll
Mission No. 234
751st Bomb Squadron
457th Bomb Group 751st Bomb Squadron
                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:27

Mission Narrative

Mission No. 234
Date - April 18, 1945
Target - Freising
The primary target for this mission was the marshalling yards at Traunstein, Germany. The 457th put up 30 planes for this mission. Assembly and route to the target were as briefed. The visibility was good and the squadrons bombed in trail. At the last minute clouds covered the target and it was decided to proceed to the alternate target at Freising. The clouds broke so as to provide a visual run. The high squadron missed the IP and elected to do a 360 turn and returned to bomb the target. Bombing results were excellent. On the bomb run engine #4 of deputy lead, s/n 44-8557,of the lead squadron began smoking. Four of the crew were seen to bail out. The pilot left the formation and dropped his bombs and the remainder of the crew bailed out. This was the last plane of the 457th to be lost to enemy action in WWII.
Plane s/n 44-8557, from the 748th Squadron, and piloted by Lt William T. Thistle, was apparently hit by flak on the bomb run. Engine #4 began smoking and immediately four members of the crew bailed out. The pilot rolled out of formation, dropped his bombs, closed the bomb bay doors and the plane was last seen spiraling downward. One of the crew, Sgt John T. Miller, Aerial Engineer, did not survive. Thistle's plane was the last plane lost to enemy action by the 457th Bomb Group in WWII and Sgt Miller was the last combat victim of this bomb group. Thistle's ankle was broken on landing and he was sent to an Italian hospital in Mirano.


The crew was as follows:
     Plane s/n 44-8557     
PilotLt William I. Thistle   POW
CopilotLt Joseph Taylor   POW
NavigatorLt Craig S. Winters   POW
BombardierLt Roy E. Truba   POW
Aircraft EngineerSgt John T. Miller   KIA  
Radio OperatorSgt Louis E. Domato   POW
Left Waist GunnerSgt Luther H. Smith   POW
Right Waist GunnerSgt Harvey G. Henkel   POW
Tail GunnerSgt John H. Taylor   POW
Radar OperatorF/O William W. McIntosh   POW

                                         (457th Home) (Back)            Updated 12/03/2000, 19:17:27
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the Content:  Willard (Hap) Reese (Website Author)