44th Bomb Group Mission Number 224

Date City Country Target
9/18/1944 Best Holland Low-Level Supplies, Troops

Unofficial Mission Summary 

There has been quite a bit of confusion in the minds of the personnel on this station during the past few days. The reason lots of low-level formation practicing! Today the answer was evident. The Group dispatched 40 aircraft (10 by each Squadron) to drop food supplies and ammunition to airborne forces operating behind the enemy lines at Best, Holland,- who had dropped there yesterday. The entire mission was carried out at low level. We left the English coast at 1100 feet, entered the Dutch coast at that same altitude, came down over the target at 400 feet, dropped the huge packages, climbed to 3,000 feet, and then let down again over the Channel to enter the English coast at 1000 feet. The results were excellent as reported by the drop masters, with all parachutes landing in the drop zone. Enemy resistance en- countered was from small arms fire, and 27 of the Group's airplanes were slightly damaged and two men were wounded. All planes returned safely to base except one squadron's ship that was forced to land in Belgium near Brussels. Three ships were involved in crash-landings due to flat tires, etc. Lt. Henry's ship K+ 279 flew deputy lead. Lt. Jones adds this: "Supplies consisted of medical stuff, K-rations, guns and ammunition. We don't take off until 1300 hours, the whole Wing is flying supplies today. All along our course the Dutch people gather in groups to wave at us. We're so low one can almost shake hands with them. We Pull up to 300 feet to release our cargo. My racks fail to function properly and we leave the squadron to make our own run and then release on salvo. This time we get the stuff out! We started out the same we came in, except almost alone. The Group catches quite a bit of small-arms fire from the Germans. It is mostly .30 cal. stuff. We are the first ones back and land just as we find out we're leaking gas. A .30 cal. is in the wing tank and the ship will not be able to fly for a couple of days. Three ships pile up on landing - no nose wheel, flat tires and shot-up hydraulic systems. All the cattle in Holland got a good workout today!" 1st Lt. Weatherwax, asst. S-2 officer, relieved from assigned and assigned to CPO 70th RD.
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