In England, Verne writes in his diary . . . .
Burcin1 went on a mission, but we stayed home and took it easy. Sent out laundry. Played a few cards. No mail today. Filled out application for schooling to take up transition after war is won. Sent pants to cleaners for first time. Did a little washing. Felt quite a bit better since we haven’t been on any missions lately. Suits me if I never had to go on another one.
Meanwhile, Verne’s brother-in-law, Kenneth E. Cline, went on his third mission, a raid on a oil refinery at Magdeburg. To mark the target, P-47s were to dive bomb the refinery prior to the arrival of the 392nd Bombardment Group’s B-24s. A Mosquito was to fly ahead of the lead wing to provide directions to the target. Between 0415 and 0530, 30 crews were briefed. At 0755, 29 aircraft took off. Of the 29 aircraft launched, 5 returned to base. Only 24 of the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) B-24s reached the Magdeburg oil refinery, which they found 9/10s undercast. Bombing was by H2X; results were unobserved.2
Among the five B-24s aborting the mission and returning to base was B-24 #42-95299 piloted by 1st Lt. Cline of the 577th Bombardment Squadron (H). Three other B-24s from the 577th Bombardment Squadron (H) aborted and returned to base as well as one from the 578th.3 None of the crews of the returning aircraft received mission credit.
Notes & Commentary
1 2nd Lt. Michael J. Burcin was Combat Crew 87’s navigator.
2 History for the Month of February 1945, Headquarters 392nd Bombardment Group (H), 7 March 1945, microfilm B0445, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 1735.
3 “Mission #238, Target: Magdeburg.” WWW.B24.NET (http://www.b24.net/missions/MM021545.htm : accessed 26 January 2015).
Returning to base due to aborting a mission would be a basket of mixed emotions – relief, frustration, anger, embarrassment etc.
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This is quite some website!
Do I understand that crew on aircraft that did not drop its bombs over the designated target were denied credit for flying the mission?
Sort of, but it was more complicated than that.