44th Bomb Group Mission Number 168

Date City Country Target
6/20/1944 Politz Germany Oil Refineries

Unofficial Mission Summary 

A deep penetration into Germany was made today by the Group, 12 A/C were 67th, on this early morning mission. Lt. Ward led the 2nd section which was composed entirely of 67th ships. The target was Politz, Germany, the site of extensive oil refineries. The bombing results were most gratifying as the MPI was completely covered with an excellent pattern. This was by far the best bombing of the month so far, visual. Fierce enemy attacks were encountered - 60 E/A were seen but only seven attacked the 44th's formation. Lt. Keller and crew in the 68th's A/c #42-94892 U "Battlin Baby" was hit hard and left the formation headed for Sweden. The plane landed at Bulltofta, was interned and returned to England on 19 June 1945. Claims for destroyed enemy aircraft were submitted for two crewmen of the 67th - S/Sgt. Horace L. Watkins flying as tail gunner on A/C # 087 K is credited with one Me 410, S/Sgt. Albert H. Wright of Pittsburgh, flying as tail gunner of A/c #42-94846 L is credited with one Me 110. An intense barrage of flak was encountered at the target which accounted for eight of the 12 67th's ships suffering battle damage. The weather was good, the fighter support was excellent, but this mission was considered the roughest in quite some time. Return to base was at 1330 hours. Lt. Jones adds: Rumor has it that it will be a long raid. All bad rumors seem to come out true - this is a DP, past Berlin, to a synthetic oil refinery which puts out 10% of Germany's synthetic oil. We carry 42 x 100 lb GPs and 2700 gallons of gasoline. Today the 44th BG is leading the whole 8th AF over the target, with 21 squadrons scheduled to hit Politz. Take off at 0500, north over southern Denmark, north of Kiel, then southeast of the target. We make a sharp turn and head for the target. The first squadron over doesn't get too much flak, but we catch hell! It seems like the sun is blotted out, it is so dark and it's accurate. They told us 85 guns would be turned on us, and I'm sure there were all of that. The Germans try to cover the refinery with smoke pots, but they aren't successful because of a high westerly wind. Our top turret and tail turrets are hit by flak. We get cut quickly and head for home. Our tail gunner claims a Me 410. We arrive home to find some 29 holes in our plane - E. The Wasps Nest, was retrieved today after being repaired.
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