April 9, 1945

Monday

In England, the 8th Air Forces launched Mission 935, an attack on an ammunition plant, underground oil storage tanks and ten jet airfields. The mission put 1,252 bombers and 846 fighters in the air. Among the bombers were 88 B-24s sent to attack Leipheim Airfield. This included 31 B-24s from the 576th, 577th, 578th and 579th Bombardment Squadrons of the 392nd Bombardment Group (H).1

Kenneth E. Cline flew 577th Bombardment Squadron B-24 #169 to complete this, his 10th mission. The crews of the 392nd Bombardment Group were briefed at 0700 and only finally began taking off at 1245. All aircraft recovered at Wendling by about 2000. No flak and no enemy fighters were encountered.2

Leipheim Airfield was attacked by the 335th, 336th and 337th Fighter Squadrons of the 4th Fighter Group on 18 November 1944. The fighter squadrons claimed to have destroyed 40 Me 262s as well as service facilities during this attack. By January 18, 1945, the airfield was reported again serviceable for Me 262s, and by April 6, the runway had been extended to 5,600 feet. On April 9th, 88 B-24s bombed the airfield and its runway.3

Notes & Commentary

1 “Mission 935, 9 April 194,” Eighth Air Force Operations History (http://www.8thafhs.org/combat1945.htm : accessed 04 April 2015)

2 “Mission #276, Target: Leipheim.” http://www.B24.net (http://www.b24.net/missions/MM040945.htm : accessed 05 April 1945).

3 “Leipheim”, Luftwaffedata Wiki. (http://www.wiki.luftwaffedata.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Leipheim : accessed 05 April 2015)

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8 Responses to April 9, 1945

  1. Mustang.Koji says:

    This mission is but an example of the airpower that was assembled for just one mission of this war – over 2,000 combat aircraft. Kids these days have no appreciation of the enormity or danger. To many, it’s a drone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jfwknifton says:

    Another interesting post, showing well how the noose is gradually tightening.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pierre Lagacé says:

    We all know the end of WWII is one month away, but reading this makes you realise the effort put forth by the Allies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pierre Lagacé says:

    This is a mission done by Bomber Group 6, a RCAF bomber group.

    http://www.6bombergroup.ca/April45/April8~945.html

    Richard Koval has been documenting the history of different squadrons through his Website.

    Liked by 1 person

    • a gray says:

      When one first looks at the information for RCAF Bomber 6 (http://www.6bombergroup.ca/April45/April8~945.html), it appears to be a simple tabulation of events. Read slowly and thoughtfully, it becomes a story of enemy aircraft attacks, anti-aircraft fire and equipment malfunction —- a tale of fear an bravery whose reward was a homecoming to poor weather and having to land wherever they could.

      6U-W were attacked by an unidentified twin engine enemy aircraft

      6U-H were attacked by a ME-163, flying wing

      VR-D were attacked by a ME-262

      VR-S were attacked by a ME-262

      stbd inner failed outbound, they continued to the target and bombed. On return the stbd outer burst into flames and the crew was forced to bail out over the continent

      F/O E. Cole from 420 Squadron was hit by flak, there were holes in the elevator

      F/O R. Lepp washit by flak, there were holes in the bomb doors.

      F/O H. Bishop was hit by flak, not serious. There was also an aerial from a Lancaster wrapped around the port propellers

      PT-V were attacked twice by JU-88’s. They were hit by two cannon shells, one through the starboard elevator and one through the bomb doors.

      S/Ldr R. Hemphill from 425 Squadron had the port outer propeller fly off just before the target.

      KW-T were attacked by an unidentified twin engine enemy aircraft,

      OW-D were attacked by an unidentified enemy aircraft

      ZL-H were attacked twice by an ME-262

      ZL-W were attacked three times by ME-262s

      F/Lt E. Acree from 428 Squadron had the port outer u/s on return

      NA-A were attacked by a JU-88,

      SE-P were attacked by a JU-88

      S/Ldr W. Miller from 432 Squadron returned early as the stbd outer was u/s.

      F/Lt A. Clarke was hit by flak, the stbd inner was damaged, seized up and the propeller flew off

      QO-R were attacked by a FW-190

      BM-S were attacked by an unidentified twin engine aircraft

      BM-Y were attacked twice by unidentified twin engine aircraft,

      WL-T were attacked by a JU-88

      WL-K wereattacked by a JU-88

      Someone once commented that such tabulations were just a meaningless recitation of events, but stop and think about it. You are somewhere between 16,000 and 20,000 feet in the sky. It is dark night and people are trying to kill you. Think about it . . . . .

      Like

  5. Pierre Lagacé says:

    Having a special interest in 425 Alouettes squadron, this information is truly valuable.

    Like

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