Mission Details for Groesbeck (#144)



Number: 144
Date: 9/17/1944 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Lt. Col. W.T. Seawell
Crews Briefed: 51
Details: Siegfried Line fortifications and artillery. The object of the operation was to take out German flak batteries prior to the great airborne invasion of Holland by Allied troops known as "Operation Market Garden."

Flying Control

Runway: 23
Engines: 0515 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan23.jpg
Taxi: 0530
Take Off: 0545
E.T.R.: 1113
Notes: The Group was briefed at 0300 for this maximum effort. One ship crashed on takeoff about 750 yards off the end of the runway at 0606 hours. All but one of the other aircraft were airborne by 0639, after which the airfield was closed. The Weldon Road was also closed because of unexploded bombs and debris in the area. One aircraft aborted, returning at 0945. All other operational aircraft had returned by 1222 hours.


Aircraft: 51
Lost Over Continent: 0
Lost Other: 1
Summary: The 401st furnished four Boxes of 12 aircraft each which divided into eight Forces of six aircraft upon reaching the target area. The Group was given a target in a wooded area near Groesbeck, Holland, where a concentration of enemy tanks and gun positions was located. The target was bombed visually with splendid results, resulting in messages of commendation from Colonel Bowman to the Lead crews. No enemy air opposition was encountered, and flak was meager.
As noted in the Flying Control Notes, one aircraft crashed on takeoff. "Rosie's Sweatbox" (No. 42-97872), piloted by Lt. F. E. Cook, failed to clear the hedge at the end of the main runway and crashed onto the Weldon road. Despite the devastating explosion of fragmentation bombs and aircraft fuel, the tail gunner, Cpl. W. J. Ambrogetti, was still alive when emergency crews arrived. Unfortunately, he died later that day. All of his crewmates were killed instantly.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants