44th Bomb Group Mission Number 8

Date City Country Target
12/20/1942 Romilly Sur Seine France Airdrome

Unofficial Mission Summary 

The target for today was the Romilly Air Park and Airdrome which is situated two miles from Romilly Sur Seine, east of Paris. The Air Park holds the reserve of aircraft of all types for the GAF in France and the Low Countries. It also was used for repair and modification of the GAF planes; large stocks of extra parts were kept there. The secondary target was Villacoublay and Rouen as a last resort.

Our planes were under attack by FW 190 after crossing the French coast, with the gunners driving the enemy off so that the planes proceeded to the target, passing over slight, ineffective heavy flak. Just prior to reaching the target, a second attack of many FW 190s and Me 109s was again driven off. The bomb run was made and then the Group headed back for Shipdham with no further incident.

Photographs taken after the attack showed a large hanger had received a direct hit and four medium hangers had been damaged. Considerable damage was done to barracks and a large number of bombs had fallen close enough to hangers, workshops and shelters to cause considerable internal damage by the blasts.

Other than minor flak damage to the aircraft of the Group, the mission was completed without further incident.

Unfortunately for the 66th Squadron they suffered their first casualties when S/Sgt. Lund was killed by a 20 mm shell and two others were wounded on Major Key's plane. Lt. McPhillamey's crew received credit for 3 FW 190s destroyed or damaged - also of the 66th Sq. Captain J. O'Brien, 68th's C.O., recalls additional facts: "We started out from Shipdham with 18 aircraft from the 44th (the 93rd was in Africa). As we approached the Channel that naughty sin called 'aborts' started in wholesale numbers with guns freezing and other mechanical problems. (Little Beaver again had supercharger trouble). A total of 14 aborted (apparently) leaving only four of us like sitting ducks. However, with our 180 MPH speed we caught up with a B-17 Group (I think it was the 302) and tucked ourselves real close onto their tail. It was a relative safe trip in and out from the target and quite a novelty watching B-17s going down. They lost about six A/C that day out of three Groups.... " From Capt. O'Brien's account one must assume that there must have been another, separate formation of 44th ships, eight in number, that managed to assemble and bombed behind the three B-17 Groups, and that 'only' six ships were abortive.

Several crew members had trouble with their oxygen masks freezing up and nearly lost their lives.
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