Thursday, July 23, 2009

Extract of 344th Bomb Group 494 Bomb Sqdrn

(These extracts are from a private scrapbook)

Extract of Squadron Records
344th Bomb Group
494 Bomb Sqdrn

This page is Unclassified

On the 29th of the month, Orival railroad bridge was bombed. Here we put up eight planes. It was unfortunate that a live round of ammunition from another aircraft, testing it's guns, struck and injured 2nd Lt Ralph Clader, breaking his arm.

On the 30th of May, Major Dale once again led the mission. This time to Rouen, wherein our squadron furnished twelve aircraft. The bridge in the city was the object of the attack.

On 2nd of June, we participated in the attack against a gun position at Quend.

On the 4th of the month, the target was the bridge at Courcelles-sur-Seine. Our squadron furnished nine aircraft. On take-off an unfortunate incident occurred. The plane piloted by 1st Lt. John Pikula had engine failure upon becoming air-borne. Both engines cut out, causign the plane to crash. The two 2,000 lb bombs it carried exploded shortly thereafer. Lt. Pikula, Lt. Lyons, S/Sgt Vooney and S/Sgt Blosser managed to get away prior to the explosion but were seriously injured. S/Sgt Bovi Fauling was killed probably by blast about twenty feet from the crashed plane. S/Sgt Strauss too was killed by the explosion.

On the 5th of the month a Headquarters Shelter at Wissant was attacked, our squadron furnishing seven aircraft. This date, too 1st Lt Webster Allyn was promoted to Captain as per paragraph 1SC 153 Hq ETOUSA; 1 June 1944; and Captain Thomas F. Johnson received his Majority.

On the memorable D-Day; June 6th, we furnished eleven aircraft for the attack against the defended coastal areas at Beau Guillot, La Madaleine, and St. Martin de Verreville. There is good reason to believe that our bombing caused the enemy much distress. The second mission that date was to the Marshalling yard at Amiens. Here Colonel Vance and Major Hale led the group.

This date too six new Officers joined our squadron; namely 2nd Lt Harold W. Hansen, 2nd Lt Chas Chaley, 2nd Lt Carl M. Chris, 2nd Lt Clyde Chaney, 2nd Lt Allex M. Arenson and 2nd Lt. Edward M. Cain; from AFF Station 236. Also this date, 1st Lt Richard Hynes and 1st Lt Seebalt were promoted to Captain; per par 2, 20 153 Hq ETOUSA 1 June 1944.

June 7th was another day producing two missions. Firstly to the gun position at La Fernelle-Barfleur. Secondly to the marshalling yard at Aargentan. Lt J. Cather was injured in a crash landing.

This date too, Captain Steen, 1st Lt Swan and 1st Lt. Baker went back to the United States on temporary duty. Lt Marsin was sent to Gunnery School in Texas.

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