Mission Details for Vitry-en-Artois (#89)



Number: 89
Date: 6/12/1944 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Lt. Col. B.K. Voorhees
Crews Briefed: 36
Details: Airdrome

Flying Control

Runway: 23
Engines: 0500 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan23.jpg
Taxi: 0515
Take Off: 0530
E.T.R.: 1010
Notes: Briefing took place at 0220 hours. At 0400 hours Operations was advised of a 45 minute delay. All 36 operational aircraft were off by 0639, and by 1142 all had returned safely--36 aircraft having landed in 36 minutes.

At 1544 hours, after the aircraft had returned, Operations was notified that fragmentation bombs being unloaded from an aircraft in Dispersal Area 2 had exploded. Seven men were killed and seven injured in the accident.


Aircraft: 36
Lost Over Continent: 0
Lost Other: 0
Summary: The 401st led the 94th Combat Wing with 36 B-17's. Two of the three Squadrons were able to drop their bombs within 1,000 feet of the MPI, with excellent results. The third Squadron was prevented from releasing its bombs when another Group passed below just as the point of release had been reached and had to return to base with its bombs. It was this chain of events that led to the disastrous accident back at Deenethorpe when the fragmentation bombs were being unloaded.

While the Luftwaffe came up in large numbers for the first time since D-Day (the Eighth Air Force lost 8 bombers and 16 fighters), the 401st did not encounter any fighters and experienced only intermittent flak between the coast and Brussels and 10 ground rockets over Lille and Cambrai.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants