Mission Details for Saint-Lo (#115)



Number: 115
Date: 7/24/1944 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Maj. L. Stann "A"
Crews Briefed: 40
Details: Tactical targets

Flying Control

Runway: 23
Engines: 0530 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan23.jpg
Taxi: 0545
Take Off: 0600
E.T.R.: 1045
Notes: Briefing took place at 0300 hours, but the times for takeoff were changed several times, making it necessary for aircraft to taxi back to dispersals and cut engines. The 40 operational aircraft were finally airborne by 1026 hours, and all but two had returned by 1527 hours. One of the two landed at 1545, having delayed its return to circle and drop its dinghy to a crew that had bailed out over the channel.


Aircraft: 40
Lost Over Continent: 1
Lost Other: 0
Summary: This mission was intended to provide tactical support to U. S. troops, which were poised for a major offensive in France. The assigned target was an area only 1,500 yards ahead of American lines, and crews were ordered not to drop unless visual sighting could be made.
The 401st provided the three Boxes of the 94th Combat Wing "A" formation and several aircraft for a Composite Wing Low Squadron. While weather conditions were good, previous bombing and artillery smoke made visual sighting very difficult. As a result, the 401st crews were unable to identify their targets and consequently returned to Deenthorpe with their bombs.
While no enemy aircraft were encountered, flak was moderate and fairly accurate. One 401st aircraft (No. 43-32005), piloted by Lt. E. W. Coleman, caught fire on the way back, and the crew bailed out into the English Channel. Lt. William C. Mannix brought his plane down low over the water and released his dinghy, with the result that eight of Lt. Coleman's crew were rescued within two hours. However, the co-pilot, F. O. Stewart L. Wilcox, was never found.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants