44th Bomb Group Mission Number 66

Date City Country Target
11/18/1943 Kjeller Norway Airfield

Unofficial Mission Summary 

The mission that was attempted on the 16th was re-scheduled on the 18th. The Group put up 34 aircraft, with 24 of them attacking the Primary. The target was a Motor Works at the Kjaller Air field near Oslo, Norway which was hit with almost uncanny accuracy by our Group. Over 98% of the bombs (500 lb GPs) landed within 2000 feet of the MPI, 30% being within 1000 feet with many of our planes making two or more bomb runs to assure accuracy on all targets. The 506th's Lt. Bob Johnson made a solo bombing run on the airdrome and dispersal of the fishing fleet from 5000 feet. Our Group had great difficulty in assembling in the pre-dawn take off and in the adverse weather, with 10 planes that were airborne unable to make assembly. Finally, the formation was effected and the long flight to Norway begun. On the way back our formation was attacked by enemy fighters coming out of the sun, causing considerable damage to our planes. Our score against these fighters was 4 - 3 - 1, while five of our planes did not return. Though damage caused by the enemy attacks were serious, it is believed that several of the planes lost were due to running out of fuel, while one landed in Sweden - (A/C #42-63971 W "Helen Hywater" piloted by Capt. W.B. Weant). The 67th Squadron lost three aircraft - 1st Lt. Houle, 2nd Lt. E.M. Dobson and 2nd Lt. E.T. Johnson - all in the North Sea. Lt. Houle's aircraft was observed in the water with one or two men in the water and dinghies were dropped to them, but no word was ever received from any of them. The 67th had 8 planes participate, including Lt. R.C. Griffith's, which could not get both main gear down; the right one refusing to lower, and then could not retract the left one. Seven men bailed out over the base and then Lt. Griffith, his co-pilot and one wounded gunner made a most spectacular and successful one-wheel landing. The fifth plane lost, also a 68th ship, was piloted by 1st Lt. Edward R. Mitchell, who had been in the 67th Squadron, flown the Ploesti mission and interned in Turkey; later returning to duty and transferred to the 68th.'The A/C number was (?) --- 231 (very clear on the microfilm). None of the crew survived.
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