Mission Details for Rheine (#236)



Number: 236
Date: 3/24/1945 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Lt. Col. R.J. White
Crews Briefed: 36
Details: Luftwaffe air bases

Flying Control

Runway: 5
Engines: 0550 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan05.jpg
Taxi: 0605
Take Off: 0620
E.T.R.: 1201
Notes: The Group was briefed at 0300 hours for the first of the day's two missions in support of the Allied Army's Rhine River Crossing, known as "Operation Varsity". Ships were loaded with twelve 500 pound GP's and 2,300 gallons of gas.
All operational aircraft were airborne by 0651 hours, and all but one aircraft had returned by 1240 hours.


Aircraft: 36
Lost Over Continent: 0
Lost Other: 1
Summary: This was the first of two missions flown this day in support of "Operation Varsity", the Allied ground force crossing of the Rhine River. The 401st put up its usual three squadrons comprising the 94th Combat Wing "B" Group. The target, a Luftwaffe airfield, was attacked visually with good results.
While no enemy aircraft were reported, flak encountered on the bomb run was deadly accurate, with 16 aircraft sustaining major battle damage and two others minor damage.
One of the badly damaged ships, No. 43-38733 ("I'll Be Seeing You"), piloted by Lt. Charles J. Campbell, made it back to England despite losing two engines over the target and having elevator controls shot off, which made the aircraft nearly uncontrollable. Spotting an airfield near the coast, Lt. Campbell let down to land, but on final approach another engine failed, which threw the plane into a spin and resulted in a crash. Seven members of the crew perished, but two miraculously survived.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants