Wednesday In England, Verne writes in his diary . . . .
02-28-45 – 12th Mission KASSEL Another royal screwing. No pass, but on a mission. We sure are fed up with this outfit. One minute we are on order and next second we aren’t. Went to Kassel with 14,500 pound G.P.s. Were hitting a marshaling yard. Heavy flak over target area but very inaccurate. Thank heaven. Prayers really have helped me and will always be thankful to the Lord. Several letters today. Aileen has found me a fountain pen and is sending it airmail. It should arrive soon. This pen is surely lousy. The ink fairly runs out.
On this mission to Kassel, Verne flew on B-17G #338769 piloted by Maj. James O. Gross. This was the 390th Bombardment Group’s Group 264th mission.
On 28 February the Eighth Air Force ran its tenth consecutive operation, and the fourteenth raid in fifteen days. This represented one of the longest sustained periods of operation in the history of the Air Force, and the greatest weight of bombs dropped in any comparable period. Most important, the visual attacks during the period were outstandingly successful, while pathfinder results were increasingly effective. Kassel marshaling yard had been attacked 29 January, when the goods depot, rolling stock, and yard facilities had been heavily damaged. Sidings had been cut in thirteen places. Yet the main lines through the yard had been made intact, and the locomotive facilities were brought up to 95 per cent of serviceability. Thirty-seven aircraft in a force of 364 planes bombed again 28 February, using pathfinder technique. Clouds obscured bomb results, flak was only moderate and inaccurate, and the mission was uneventful.1
Bombing at Kassel was by H2X. Moderate, inaccurate barrage flak was received during the bomb run. Unusual large red bursts were observed at Kassel. At 50⁰05’N 06⁰00’E, northeast of Bastogne, a balloon at 35,000’ was observed.2
Notes & Commentary
1 United States and Albert E. Milliken. The story of the 390th Bombardment Group (H). [New York]: Priv. Print., 1947. p. 123.
2 “390th Bomb Group Intelligence Report – Kassel Mission of 28 February 1945”. 390th Bombardment Group (H) History, February 1945, Headquarters 390th Bombardment Group (H), 26 March 1945, microfilm B0426, Maxwell AFB, AL: Air Force Historical Research Agency, 1973, frame 1308.