MISSION NO. 14
LANDSBERG AM LEC GERMANY
18 MARCH 1944
Cloud cover having prevented destruction of the German aircraft
factories and airfields in southern Germany two days ago, a second attempt
was made with thirteen Combat Wings,with 738 bombers dispatched.
The 457th launched eighteen aircraft to bomb a high priority
twin engine airfield at Landsberg am Lec, Germany.Col. Luper led the Group
and the 94th Combat Wing.
After reaching the French Coast, the formation ran into moderate
but very accurate flak, which knocked the Deputy Leadship out of formation.
As the formation reached the IP it was apparent that visual bombing conditions
prevailed. Since Col.Luper was flying a PFF ship and the Deputy Lead was
no longer in formation, the lead of the high box, the 401st, was called to
assume lead. Bombing results were not good.
Immediately after leaving the target, the low group was attacked
by about thirty FW- 1 90s and Me-I 09s, coming in from the nose and four
to fifteen abreast. Flak was encountered on the return trip over France,causing
damage to some of the craft.
A total of fourteen planes sustained damage. The high squadron
leader, Lt. Leonard P.Soenke, had 126 holes in the tail section, cutting
the controlcables, and eight holes in the wings of the craft.All craft returned
to the Base except Lt. Edward B.Dozier’s plane, which was forced to land
at another base.Forty-three of the Eighth Air Force bombers were lost,including
sixteen which landed or crashed in Switzerland.