44th Bomb Group Mission Number 262

Date City Country Target
12/2/1944 Bingen Germany Marshalling Yards

Unofficial Mission Summary 

UMS
12/2/44
The Group dispatched 11 aircraft, 3 being 67th's, led by 66th's Capt. McDonnell in our eight plane formation and leading the 14th Combat Wing to the Bingen Marshalling Yards. 67th's Lt. Lavitt led the high right squadron of the 392nd BG, along with 506th's Lt. Bayless lead of the low left squadron. All reached the objective and bombed on Gee-H with unobserved results. The weather was definitely worse than briefed! One of the Group's aircraft attacked a Target of Opportunity, a railroad bridge 3 miles west of the target and hits were observed on the north end of the bridge. Flak was meager and inaccurate in the target area and enemy fighters were observed in the area. No fighter attacked our formation, but attacks were observed on stragglers of other Groups. Unbelievably our Group lost two aircraft - one by the 68th and one by the 506th. The 506th aircraft #42-50766 D+ and piloted by 1st Lt. H.L. Bayless was leading the low left squadron of the 392nd when at 1246 hours this squadron passed through a cloud bank and Lt. Bayless was separated from the formation and no longer was seen. Lt. Bayless and four of his crew were KIA, 4 became POWs. The 68th A/C #42-50805 T, piloted by 2nd Lt. J.C. Hobbs, apparently, was a repeat of Lt. Bayless. Just before bombs away (1238) our formation flew into a cloud layer and this A/C was last seen entering this bank. Only two men survived and neither of them were ever officially listed as POWs. It can only be assumed that E/A attacked these two planes as stragglers. Our fighter support was very good and they were observed to engage enemy fighters immediately. 66th's 1st Lt. Hess in #329 left the formation because he lost #4 engine oil pressure and landed in France - all others returned to base safely. F/O Strug was assigned from the 498th BG.
 
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