Mission Details for Paris (#3)



Number: 3
Date: 12/5/1943 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Major Allison C. Brooks
Crews Briefed:
Details: A ball-bearing plant located five miles northwest of Paris.

Flying Control

Runway: 5
Engines: 0800 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan05.jpg
Taxi: 0815
Take Off: 0830
E.T.R.: 1325
Notes: Aircraft 42-39825 crashed on take-off into the village of Deenethorpe. It was believed a combination of prop wash and icing resulted in loss of power and caused the port wing to sink until it touched the runway, turning the aircraft to port and down the hill into the village.

Eight of the crew managed to scramble clear and dashed around the village to warn the inhabitants to run for their lives before the burning plane exploded. The navigator and bombardier were in the nose of the aircraft and were badly injured. They were bravely rescued by ground personnel and recovered eventually from their injuries. Twenty minutes after the crash, the aircraft, load with 6000 pounds of bombs and over 2000 gallons of aviation fuel, exploded with a tremendous roar, taking the 401st fire tender up with it.

The ground crew who braved the burning aircraft to rescue the injured men were M/Sgt Earl K. Williams and M/Sgt Francis F. Snider, who dragged clear Lt Carl T. Floto (the navigator), and Capt Ralph J. White and Cpl William N. Luna who rescued Lt John J. King (the bombardier).

The loss of the fire tender should have meant that the Group be diverted to other bases upon returning from the mission, but this also had its problems. The aircraft were still loaded with bombs and the crews on their first or second missions in most cases. After much heartsearching permission was finally given for them to land back at the base without a fire truck standing by. The touch downs were without incident and everyone breathed again.


Aircraft: 22
Lost Over Continent: 0
Lost Other: 1
Summary: The 401st BG was the High Box of the 94th Wing formation and consisted of 20 aircraft. Due to 10/10th's cloud undercast over the target, no bombs were dropped. Bombing by PFF was forbidden to protect the lives of French civilians near the target.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants