In England, Kenneth E. Cline flew his 9th mission as the pilot of B-24 #169 on April 7, 1945.. The target was an ammunition storage depot at Krummel.1 After a three hour delay, 30 aircraft were launched on the mission at 0900. The crews had been briefed for the mission at 0300. The mission recovered at Wendling by 1600. Flak was light and inaccurate. Although upwards of 15 enemy aircraft were sighted by the mission, none attacked the Group. As was always the case, the 392nd Bombardment Group’s part was but a small part of a much larger mission.
On April 7, 1945, the 8th Air Force dispatched 1,314 bombers and 898 fighters to attack airfields, oil and munitions depots and explosives manufacturing facilities in Central and Northern Germany. Of that number, 128 B-24s were assigned the mission of bombing explosives manufacturing facilities and ammunition storage depots at Krummel. On April 7, the Germans put up over 100 conventional fighter aircraft and over 50 jets, Me-262s. Some of the 8th Air Force units are mauled heavily. Of the aircraft dispatched by the 8th Air Force 117 B-17s are damaged and 14 lost. The B-24s groups suffer 3 lost and 1 damaged.2
Notes & Commentary
1 “Mission #276, Target: Krummel.” WWW.B24.NET (http://www.b24.net/missions/MM040745.htm : accessed 02 April 2015).
2 “Mission 931, 1945-04-07”, Eighth Air Force Operations History (http://www.8thafhs.com/search.php : accessed 04 April 2015)
What really sticks in my craw is that the Germans know they are beaten and get the Allies still lose men and machines. The war is nearly over but the carnage just goes on and on.
Allen, I have been super busy lately and missed the intro of Kenneth Cline. Who is he and what happened to Wayne and his brother-in-law in England?
The war touched everyone. On 7 April 1945, Wayne is stationed on Palawan in the Philippines with the 100th Bombardment Squadron (M), 42nd Bombardment Group (M), 13th Air Force. Wayne’s wife is living with her parents in South Carolina and working at the Columbia Army Air Base.
Wayne’s youngest brother, 18-year-old Harry Nordman Gray, is in Germany as an assistant Forward Artillery Observer. He is assigned to Cannon Company, 100th Infantry Regiment, 28th Infantry Division. He came to his regiment as a replacement, a new guy, in the closing throes of the Battle of the Bulge. He has fought in the Vosges Mountains, participated in the reduction of the Colmar Pocket (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colmar_Pocket), and was among those units that crossed the Rhine and attacked toward the Ahr River. Beginning on 7 April, the 28th Infantry Division will be engaged in occupation duties.
Wayne’s other brother, Robert S. Gray, is stationed in Italy with an Army Air Force engineer unit.
Wayne’s brother, Verne, has been missing in action since the collision of his B-17 with another over Germany on 14 March 1945. He is assigned to the 571st Bombardment Squadron (H), 390th Bombardment Squadron (H), 8th Air Force. His unit is stationed at Parham (Station 153) near Framlingham in Suffolk. Verne’s wife is living with her parents Colorado and waiting for his return.
Kenneth E. Cline, brother of Verne’s wife, is stationed at Wendling (Station 118) near Beeston in Norfolk. Ken is a B-24 pilot with the 392nd Bombardment Group (H), 577th Bombardment Squadron (H), 8th Air Force. Wendling is located about 50 miles north of Parham where Verne is stationed. Ken’s is living with her parents in Nebraska and waiting for his return.
On 7 April 1945, Arthur G. Cline, also a brother of Verne’s wife, is on Guam. Art is with the 64th Engineer Battalion at the advance headquarters of the Commander in Chief, Pacific (CinCPAC). His unit is producing maps for the invasion of Japan.
The world today cannot fathom an air fleet of over 1,300 planes anymore. That is what is so sad. They are totally isolated from this massive wave of humanity that was flying into harm’s way.