Mission Details for Politz (#154)



Number: 154
Date: 10/7/1944 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Lt. Col. W.T. Seawell
Crews Briefed: 51
Details: Synthetic Oil Plant

Flying Control

Runway: 5
Engines: 0700 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan05.jpg
Taxi: 0715
Take Off: 0730
Notes: The Group was briefed for a maximum effort at 0410 hours, and 51 aircraft were airborne by 0809 hours. The three spares returned early as planned. The Group had returned by 1725 hours, although two ships landed at other bases and five aircraft were missing.


Aircraft: 51
Lost Over Continent: 5
Lost Other: 0
Summary: This was one of the most difficult and costly missions flown by the 401st. The Group furnished three 12 aircraft squadrons comprising the 94th Combat Wing "C" unit and 12 aircraft making up the High Squadron of the 94th "B" unit, plus PFF aircraft. Although much cloud cover was encountered en route, weather over the primary target was clear except for an effective smoke screen over the target. For that reason, and because the Group was forced out of position by another formation, the lead bombardiers had difficulty identifying the MPI's. However, bombs were observed striking in the approximate area of the assigned MPI's.
Flak on the bomb run from Stettin to Politz was intense and accurate. As a result the 401st lost five aircraft, and the Wing lost 17 of the 142 aircraft which attacked Politz.
The aircraft shot down were the following:
No 42-107084 ("Betty's Revenge") piloted by Lt. A. Harasym, received a direct hit in the navigator's compartment, killing the bombardier and navigator. One other crew member was killed when he left the plane without a parachute. The others parachuted safely and were made POW's.
No. 43-38452 ("Undecided), piloted by Lt. R. W. James, after being damaged by flak, managed to make it to Sweden, where it made a belly landing in a peat bog. All crew members were interned but were returned to England and then to United States on November 30, 1944.
No. 44-6145 ("Cover Girl"), piloted by Lt. H. P. Silverstein, blew up in mid-air after being hit by flak. Two crew members were thrown clear and parachuted safely but the others were killed in action.
No.42-31081 ("Son of Blitz"), piloted by Lt. A. J. Nelson, received a direct hit that blew off the nose of the aircraft, which then went into a vertical dive. None of the crew survived.
No. 42-31087 ("Boche Buster"), piloted by Lt. T. K. Hill, lost an engine as a result of flak and suffered a large hole in the bomb bay. After laggingbehind the Group and losing altitude, Lt. Hill altered course to Sweden, where he landed safely. The crew was interned.
In addition to the lost aircraft, three 401st ships received major flak damage and 40 received minor damage. The casualties totaled 45 killed or missing in action, three seriously wounded and four slightly wounded.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants