MISSION NO. 26

SCHWEINFURT, GERMANY

13 APRIL, 1944

The target was the now-famous Schweinfurt Keigelfischer ball bearing works. A planned mission to SchweiflfUrt the previous day had been scrubbed after briefing, so this was no great surprise.

The 457th supplied eighteen aircraft. Major Leroy Watson was Air Commander of the Group and of the 94th Combat Wing, and Lt. Mark R. Belcher was pilot.

Approximately twenty minutes from the target, swarms of Me-109s and FW-190s attacked the wing ahead and the high and low groups of the 94th Combat Wing in head-on attacks. Going in, FW-190s attacked the 457th, in spite of a tight formation-pilots said that one could step from wing to wing of the different planes. Crewmen of the 457th observed ten to twelve B-17s in other groups go down in one of the most vicious air attacks the Group had observed. Returning to England, the Group was again attacked near the coast.

Bombing results were unobserved because the targets were covered with smoke and with explosions from bombs dropped by other units. Five aircraft sustained damage.

The Eighth lost 38 bombers on the operation.


CREW LOADING LIST

April 13, 1944

Mission No 26   Target: Schweinfurt, Germany

No loading lists are available for this Missison.

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