Following is information related to my father's service in the 445th Bomb Group during World War II.



My father served in the 445th Bombardment Group (H), 2nd Bomb Wing, 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force, during World War II. The 445th Bomb Group had recently suffered large losses after the Kassel Mission . He served in the unit from 30 September 1944 to 10 June 1945. The 445th flew B-24's and was based at an airbase in Tibenham, England.



Robert E. Conrad Jr's Crew Members by Mission


Lt. Snow's B-24 Crew, WWII

703rd Bomb Squadron

Missions Position Name
1-3PilotLt. Daniel W. Snow
 CoPilotF.O. George O. Smith
 BombardierLt. Robert F. Hudson
 NavigatorLt. Robert E. Conrad Jr.
 Engineer/Top Turret GunnerSgt. Joseph W. Barbieri, Jr.
 Radio Operator (Gunner)Sgt. Ernest M. McKim
 Gunner-Nose TurretSgt. J.B. Rogers
 Gunner-Tail TurretSgt. Biaggio R. Valore
 Gunner-WaistSgt. Robert Jordan
 Gunner-WaistSgt. Stanley J. Maronski


Daniel Snow's plane, 42-50756, went down 26 Nov 1944, MACR 11217 (see records on footnote.com)

703rd Bomb Squadron

Missions Position Name
4-14PilotLt. Keith H. Jones
 CoPilotLt. John P. Burrington
 Navigator/BombardierLt. Robert E. Conrad Jr.
 Engineer/Top Turret GunnerT/Sgt. George J. Gerstner
 Radio Operator (Gunner) T/Sgt. Alfred B. Wunluk
 Gunner-Nose TurretSgt. Quinn O. Summers
 Gunner-Tail TurretS/Sgt. Cecil P. Howe
 Gunner-WaistSgt. John R. Hannigan
 Gunner-Waist Sgt. William V. Tumelavich


703rd Bomb Squadron

Missions Position Name
15-19PilotLt. Otto S. Tauer
 CoPilotLt. Philip H. Goldfarb
 BombardierLt. Abner G. Musser, Jr.
 Lead Navigator (DR)Lt. George W. Herbert, Jr.
 Mickey (Radar) NavigatorLt. Robert A. Livingston
 Pilotage Navigator/GunnerLt. Robert E. Conrad Jr.
 EngineerT/Sgt. Robert H. Eisenberg
 Radio OperatorT/Sgt. Maurice E. Guerriero
 Tail Turret GunnerS/Sgt. William J. Trollinger, Jr.
 Top Turret GunnerS/Sgt. Jack C. Wikoff
 Waist Gunner S/Sgt. Anthony P. Hmura
 Waist GunnerS/Sgt. Richard P. Schultz


Lt Tauer's Crew, 445th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, WWII

701st Bomb Squadron
701st Bomb Squadron (lead crew)

Missions Position Name
20-30PilotLt. Otto S. Tauer ("Skipper")
 CoPilotLt. Philip H. Goldfarb ("Toggle")
 BombardierLt. Abner G. Musser, Jr. ("Mate")
 Lead Navigator (DR)Lt. Robert E. Conrad Jr. ("Gimper")
 Mickey (Radar) NavigatorLt. Robert A. Livingstone ("Livy")
 Pilotage Navigator/GunnerLt. Harold L. Clark ("Head")
 EngineerT/Sgt. Robert H. Eisenberg ("Ike")
 Radio OperatorT/Sgt. Maurice E. Guerriero ("Pappy")
 Tail Turret GunnerS/Sgt. William J. Trollinger, Jr. ("Bill")
 Top Turret GunnerS/Sgt. Jack C. Wikoff ("Jack")
 Waist Gunner S/Sgt. Anthony P. Hmura ("Casanova")
 Waist GunnerS/Sgt. Richard P. Schultz ("Dutch")



On flight back to the USA per Operation Order #9 dated 23 May 1945, Robert Conrad flew on B-24H (Ser No. 42-95015), Shipment No. 10074 J(A); flight was from Valley to Stornaway to Iceland to Goosebay to Bradlay Field, CT. 42-95015 was known as "Patches".

700th Bomb Squadron (trip back to USA)

Mission Position Name
to USAPilotLt. Leon A. Moore, Jr.
 CoPilotLt. Hewitt R. McGowan
 NavigatorLt. Robert E. Conrad, Jr.
 EngineerT/Sgt. Sam Boyko
 Radio OperatorT/Sgt. Robert L. McClendon
 AGS/Sgt. Herman F Zimmer
 AGS/Sgt. Russell H. Karweik
 AGS/Sgt. Eddie J. Choate
 AGS/Sgt. Basil D. Red, Jr.
 AGS/Sgt. Taffe S. Simon


(other crew members & passengers per Operation Order #9)



Combat Mission Record with 445th Bomb Group - Lt Robert E. Conrad Jr.


DateMissionCrew FlightA/CA/CA/C 
 No.PositionTargetTime (hrs)T/OO/TLossesS/N
10/15/441NAV Reisholz Oil Refinery (near Dusseldorf)624240756-J (B-24J 42-50756)
10/19/442NAV Mainz Marshalling Yard (near Frankfurt)6.2521100657-D
10/25/443NAV Neumunster Air Field (near Kiel)811110753-S
11/10/444NAV/BOM Langendiebach Air Field (near Hanau)829272729-N (B-24J 42-50729)
11/21/445NAV/BOM Hamburg Oil Refinery7.2533331???-?
11/26/446NAV/BOM Misburg Oil Refinery (near Hannover)731296652-D
12/04/447NAV/BOM Bebra Marshalling Yard (near Eisenach)8.2531300462-K
12/10/448NAV/BOM Bingen Marshalling Yard (near Mainz)620180464-H
12/12/449NAV/BOM Hanau Marshalling Yard (near Frankfurt)7.7538331657-B
12/28/4410NAV/BOM Homburg Marshalling Yard (near Hamburg)7990228-I
12/30/4411NAV/BOM Euskirchen Rail Bridge (near Bonn)6.531300461-K
01/01/4512NAV/BOM Neuwied Rail Bridge (near Koblenz)724231692-G (B-24J 42-50692)
01/02/4513NAV/BOM Guls Rail Bridge (near Koblenz)729280896-J
01/05/4514NAV/BOM Sobernheim Marshalling Yard (near Saarbrucken)7.531290692-G (B-24J 42-50692)
01/31/4515NAV/BOM Hallendorf (?) (near Brunswick)*7.253700461-N
02/09/4516NAV/BOM Magdeburg Marshalling Yard ("Chaffer")6.536350844-B (B-24J 44-48844)
02/19/4517NAV/BOM Jungenthal Tank Repair Factory7.531310480-C
02/23/4518NAV/BOM Paderborn Marshalling Yard (near Osnabruck)933311562-A
02/24/4519NAV/BOM Lehrte Marshalling Yard (near Hannover)720191851-C (B-24J 44-48851)
03/05/4520LD/NAV Harburg Marshalling Yard (near Hamburg)6.2511110609-A
03/09/4521LD/NAV Munster Marshalling Yard5.531310547-B
03/11/4522LD/NAV Kiel U-Boat Yard733330562-G
03/15/4523LD/NAV Zossen German Army HQ (near Berlin)8.2533311015-J (B-24H 42-95015)
03/18/4524LD/NAV Henningsdorf AFV/I (BERLIN)7.2521200902-I
03/23/4525LD/NAV Munster Marshalling Yard622211711-L
03/31/4526LD/NAV Brunswick Marshalling Yard **532300547-B
04/02/45NALD/NAV Danish Air Field *63200???-?
04/04/4527LD/NAV Perleberg Air Field8.2544112711-L
04/08/4528LD/NAV Furth Air Field (jet)(near Nurnberg)7.533310480-D
04/09/4529LD/NAV Memmingen Air Field (jet)833330562-G
04/16/4530LD/NAV Landshut Marshalling Yard933310480-D


T/O = Take Off
O/T = Over Target
Marshalling Yard = railroad
* Mission was recalled
** Mission was aborted

Several of these aircraft were subsequently shot down...
  • 42-50756 - 11/24/44, MACR 11217
  • 42-50729 - 11/26/44, MACR 11216
  • 44-48844 - 3/3/45, MACR 12882
  • 42-50692 - 3/3/45, MACR 12883
  • 44-48851 - 3/3/45, MACR 13563




  • Combat Mission Notes

    Mission 1, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "We arose from our bunks early Sunday morning at 0300 to find out that we were to fly today. It was to be our first combat mission and naturally a hundred thoughts were running through my mind. We didn't have time to shave, so we just washed up, went down to breakfast, and then to briefing. After briefing, we went to our plane and checked it over. Everything was okay. After briefing the crew as to where we were going, how much flak to be encountered, and escape kits given out to all crew members, we climbed into our plane, a B-24 J Liberator Bomber. After taking off, we assembled with the other squadrons at Buncher #6. Then we departed from the bunches and started out over the North Sea. When we passed the French coast, I checked where we were by pilotage. So far, everything was going okay. Then we hit an undercast of clouds which put pilotage out of the way. By the time we hit the coast, we were up to night altitude, which was 23,000 ft. It wasn't too cold for just silk gloves. It was about 10 min. before we hit the I.P. that we put on our flak suits. It took me about 15 rain, to get mine on. Later on, we had to revive Smitty (co-pilot) because his oxygen line froze up. We saw some flak, and it gives you a funny feeling in your stomach. Our target was a synthetic oil plant at Reisholz near Dusseldorf. We didn't drop our bombs on the target because the toggle switch didn't work, so we salvoed. On the way back, we passed within 14 1/2 statute miles of Aachen. With the GEE radar set I computed true course and good ground speedo We got back okay, and we landed with 2 G.P.'s apparently hung up in bomb racks and weren't released when salvoed Thus, ended my first mission."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    Mission 2, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "This was my second mission and we were to go to M/Y at Mainz, near Frankfurt. As usual, we were awakened early in the morning and had the traditional fried eggs for breakfast. We briefed and then boarded our plane to be ready for take-off. We followed the briefed route, but we had to climb over a cold front where the clouds were up to 26,000 ft. It was pretty cold since it was -42C. Everything went okay until we were near the target. Then the intervolometer didn't work, so we had to salvo the bombs. There was a little more flak in this mission, than there was in the first mission. Then we ralleyed at the R.P. with the other groups and everything went okay on the return trip to our home base."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    Mission 3, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "This mission, our target was an airfield at Neumunster up near Kiel. We had early breakfast and briefed as usual, & then rode out to the hardstand specific parking area for each aircraft where our bomber was located. We took off and assembled at altitude and then started out over the North Sea towards the target. We missed Heligoland* island by a safe margin and then went on to the target. It was 10/10 undercast and no flak at the target. This was the third time that the intervolometer didn't work, so we salvoed or dropped all the bombs instantaneously. Then we went back to our home base, landed, & then interrogation by Operations personnel as to bomb strikes, flak intensity, enemy A/C, etc."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    *Heligoland was noted for being well protected by very accurate German AA batteries.

    Mission 4, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "We were to bomb an airfield at or rather near Hanau (Langendiebach). This was my first mission with my new pilot Keith Jones and new crew since I was transferred off of the old original crew. Due to a shortage of Navigators and Bombardiers, the original Bombardier, Robert F. Hudson, was assigned Navigation duties on the original crew and I was assigned as Navigator to replace the Navigator on Keith Jones' crew. At the same time, we Navigators were assigned certain bombing functions as noted in the "NAV/BOM" abbreviations. Everything on the mission went as usual and then we started for the target. My E.T.A.'s weren't too good, because the wind I computed was way off. As for the last couple of missions, the GEE navigation system was jammed again by the Germans. At the target there wasn't much flak and it was 10/10 undercast again. After bombing the target we went for the R.P. and headed for home base. We landed safely; after landing, we learned that we lost one plane & crew over the target while a second crew was injured in a crash landing upon return to England".
    Ref. OML, NMB, & BGH.

    Mission 5, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "For this mission, we were to go to Hamburg to get at the heart of German synthetic oil industry. We briefed, took off, assembled and headed for the target over the North Sea. There sure was a heck of a lot of planes in the air that day. It's not exaggerated in the newspapers back home when they spread the headlines with '1000 plane raids on Germany'. We hit the I.P. okay and then started on the bomb run. It was a complete undercast of clouds. At the target there was a black, solid wall of flak, and we were wondering if it were possible to get through it. We did, by praying and a little luck. The post-graduate (the best) German AA batteries, groups of AA guns, must have been down there, because they came pretty close. We got to the R.P. and then headed for home base. After landing we discovered a flak hole in the tail."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    "Flak barrages around the target were intense and our bomb group suffered the loss 0f one crew. During mission assembly in the morning two bombers from the 389th B.G. collided in the vicinity of our base, and once again our group witnessed the awful spectacle of death. The bombers crashed into the ground with a terrific noise, and within five minutes the bombs went off with an even louder explosion."
    Ref. BGH


    Mission 6, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "This morning, we were briefed to bomb the O/R or the M/Y at Misburg, near Hannover. Our secondary target was a little town called Bielefeld. We briefed, after having breakfast, & then rode out to the hardstand. After taking off in the usual way, we assembled at Buncher #6 & started our flight to the target. Just before the I.P. was reached, I was hoping that we would hit the secondary target, but we didn't meaning that we would be hitting the primary target. Going down the bomb run, we saw a barrage of flak put up at Hannover. It was visual (clear - no undercast) and I saw that the bombs were coming close to the target, but not quite. The flak was becoming accurate to very accurate and we were all praying to get through the stuff. After we dropped our bombs, we made a left turn toward the R.P.. Then, it happened! The low left or that squadron in the low left bomb position of the 445th B.G. was attacked by bandits (enemy aircraft). There were dog-fights (aerial combat) between our fighters (P-51's or P-47's) & the bandits, and planes were going down either by flak or fighter aircraft. We could see parachutes blossoming out, and one parachute passed pretty close to us. After finally getting out of the scramble, we headed for home base. One plane, J for Jigg (J identification on the vertical tail of a nearby B-24 of 445th B.G.), was having a little trouble, and I sweated it out all the way back to the base, because I thought it was the old crew , the original crew that I flew my first three missions with. After landing at our base, I found out that it wasn't the old crew, & that they (the old crew) had gone down (had been shot down either by flak or by enemy aircraft). Total losses were actually 6 planes of our 445th B.G.; 5 by flak and/or fighters and the 6th crashlanded at our base. *

    Note: 11 Feb. 45 I have just found out that the nose gunner of Dan's crew (the crew that I had flown my first three missions with) is a PW (P.O.W. = Prisoner of War)."
    Ref. OML,NMB,BGH, & MWD

    "The mission to Misburg on November 26 was an unusually rough one. The Germans put up a heavy fighter force to defend the oil refineries which were the target, and our group suffered the loss of five ships with 45 crewmen missing in action. In addition, a sixth ship crashed upon return to our base. Our group gunners were credited with two German fighters destroyed, and two probably destroyed. "
    Ref. BGH

    * There is a terrific article which describes this mission (i.e. my Mission No. 6) from the viewpoint of the crew which crashlanded at our base. For a complete account this crew's herioc actions read Pgs.27 & 28 of the Fall 1997 issue of the Second Air Division - 8th Air Force Journal - Volume 36 Number 3


    Mission 7, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusual notes on happenings, etc.
    Ref. OML & MWD.

    Mission 8, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusual notes on happenings, etc.
    Ref. OML & MWD.

    Mission 9, Group Bombing Results: Poor
    "The mission for today was destined to be the M/Y near Hanau. After the usual morning routine, we took off and assembled around the Buncher #6. Then we headed over the North Sea toward our target. We hit the I.P. okay and started down the bomb run. It was visual and we were heading straight for the target. Then Jerry (German AA) started throwing up the black stuff which was moderate and very accurate. There was a smoke screen over the target and it was difficult to tell whether the target had been hit. We headed back toward home base and landed there. We were interrogated and we found out that one bomber had gone down.

    That bomber had one of my buddies on it (Seymour B. Cohen who had graduated with me in Navigation School at San Marcos, TX in Class 44-9-1 on July 1, 1944).
    Ref. OML, BGH, NIC, & MWD

    Mission 10, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusal notes on happenings, etc.
    Ref. OML & MWD.

    Mission 11, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusal notes on happenings, etc.
    Ref. OML & MWD.

    Mission 12, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusal notes, except as follows; "The New Year got off to a bad start early in the morning. During Take-off for the mission to Neuwaie (Neuwied R/B), one of our ships failed to get off safely and cracked up at the end of the runway nearest Sites 5 and 6 on our 445th B.G. base. Almost at once .50 caliber shells began to go off. Only the Bombardier of the crew was killed, although several crewmen were injured. While one of the Base MP's was attempting to carry an injured crewman to safety, the bomb load suddenly went off with an explosion that shook the Base. Although only minor damage was done to the Base, the heroic MP who rescued the injured crewman suffered severe shock which eventually made it necessary for him to be evacuated to the States. His bravery won for him the Soldier's Medal. Three crews failed to return at the end of the day's mission, but two of them reported in safely the following day."
    Ref. BGH, MWD & OML

    Mission 13, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "Our target fdr today was a bridge located near Coblenz (Koblenz). After breakfast and briefing, we went to our ships and taxied out to the runway. Then we took off and assembled as usual. We started out for the target which I happened to remember was a railroad bridge across the Rhine near Coblenz (Koblenz). We finally hit the I.P. Turning on the bomb run, it looked as if it were going to be visual. But by the time we got near the target, there was a 9/10 undercast of alto stratus clouds. Flak was meager and fairly accurate. We couldn't see how how well the bombs hit. We turned towards the R.P, and headed home. After landing, we were interrogated as usual."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    Mission 14, Group Bombing Results: Good
    "Today, we were to fly to Sobernheim near Saarbrucken. The target was the marshalling yards (railway yards) there. We had the regular early morning breakfast and briefing. Then after taking off, we assembled around Buncher #6, afterwhich we started out on the mission. Everything was going fine up to and beyond the target. I was calculating fairly good winds with GEE and pilotage locations. When we hit the target, and it was visual, we could see the bombs hitting the R.R. yards and part of the town. The bombs really socked hell out of the target. Then we assembled at the R.P. and proceeded to head for home base. There was a complete undercast by now, but according to my Dead Reckoning, we were beyond the flak areas. So I started to take my flak suit off. I say, 'started to take off', because just then a piece of flak 'popped' below me. * Turning around, I saw where it had blasted the lower window panel and tore up thru the cartridge belt, and then thru the forward bulk head and then apparently thru the seat of the nose gunner. I made sure I wasn't hit and then called the Nose Turret Gunner on the Inter-com to make sure he was Ok. He was okay. At the same time our Engineer got hit in the neck by a piece of flak. The Radio Oper'r gave him first aid. To my surprise and pleasure, everybody on the crew remained calm and cool. We hit the North Sea okay, and then left the rest of the formation planes in the 445th B.G. to fly straight to our home base. We shot red flares to signal base personnel that we had wounded on board our plane, and landed. After interrogation, we learned that it was the front line Jerry who was throwing up the flak (not the regular flak batteries used by the Germans). Our Engineer went to the hospital to be X-rayed. About 3 weeks after this mission, our Engineer left the hospital and is okay now."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    * Mission No. 14: The piece of flak had actually scraped the flying suit just below my right knee. That's close enough.

    Mission 15, Group Bombing Results: N/A
    "After about 3 weeks of training on a new crew ("Lead Crew"), we're checked out and scheduled to fly to Brunswick. We had breakfast and then briefed for the mission. My new job was nose turret Navigator/Gunner. , so I plotted the course on the pilotage maps. We took off and tried to assemble around Buncher #6. There were clouds up to 18,000 ft. and we assembled at a lower altitude. We couldn't see very far in front of us and planes were traveling in all directions. I believe this was the mission when another B-24 traveling in the opposite direction just missed hitting us off the starboard side. We caught up with the formation out over the North Sea and then started out over the "American Highway", a common West-to-East route over the North Sea. We were about 20 mi. from Osnabruck, when the mission was recalled. We started back to our home base & then heard that we were diverted to another base ** because of bad weather at our base. We landed Northern England and then went into the town of Bridlington. We nad a pretty good time, but I sure wish that we had been back at our base. First, we were supposed to get paid. Second, I had a date in a small town near our base. Third, I, or rather we (our crew) had a 48 hr. pass the next day. As it turned out, I didn't get the Second or Third because of the restriction."
    Ref. OML,BGH, & NMB Even though mission was recalled we did get credit for it.
    ** Lissett

    Mission 16, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "Today we are to go on a chaff ("Chaffer") mission to Magdeburg. We had pancakes for breakfast and then went to briefing. We then went to our ship, after which I had a little trouble getting the twin, .50 caliber aerial machine guns into the nose turret. Then we took off and assembled over the coast. Meantime, I still had trouble feeding the guns and then charging them (probably a cartridge belt or ammo or gun problem). Then my heated suit short circuited and scared me plenty with all the darn smoke it made. I can still remember our pilot Otto Tauer yelling at me over the Intercom, 'Conrad, are you up there smoking?', since I believe our Engineer was transferring gasoline from one tank to another, in which case NO ONE SMOKES. Anyway, I disconnected the electric heated suit. Then we started out over the North Sea, and I was still trying to fix the guns. Finally, I had the tail gunner come up, and he fixed one of them (our Tail Gunner was an expert on the guns, since he had already flown a tour of duty on B-24's in the South Pacific, before flying another tour with our crew). So back into the turret I went, still trying to keep warm. Herb, the D.R. navigator (Lead Navigator) then put my flak suit on. We had bursts of flak at Bielefeld and then went to the target. We disposed of our nickel load ("Chaff") and then headed for home. On the way in and way out, we passed through a weather front at about 25,000 ft. We had a little flak at the target, but we could "S" (bank to the starboard side and then to the port side, etc. etc.) all we wanted to, therefore avoiding it. The temperature was -42, but the nose turret was pretty warm with the hot sun beating down on it. We returned okay."
    Ref. QML & NMB

    Mission 17, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusual notes on happenings, etc.
    Ref. OlStL & MWD

    Mission 18, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "Today, we arose early in the morning as usual, and had breakfast. As always, we briefed for the mission, and then went out to bur ship (aircraft). After taxiing and then taking off, we assembled around the buncher #6. Then we started out over the North Sea. We were to bomb some marshalling yards at a little town a few miles south east of Osnabrtuck, at low altitude. After crossing the enemy coast, we saw that the weather was going to be pretty bad. There was a 10/10 undercast of altocu (alto cumulus) & stratocu (strato cumulus) clouds with tops at about 14,000 ft. After reaching the I.P., we started to let down for bombing altitude, but it was 10/10, so we started to climb back to reference altitude. We decided to bomb Paderborn M/Y by instruments. During the bomb run we were flying through clouds and we lost sight of the formation ahead of us, now and then. After "bombs away" we joined with the other groups and headed for home. We caught a little prop wash (air turbulence from the planes ahead) over the North Sea. It was solid undercast and we had to have an instrument let down. Up to this time the Engineer constantly checked the gasoline consumption, and we were supposed to have had plenty. Just before peeling off, banking & flying lower, for the let down phase we had all four engines cut out on us (all 4 engines quit). At the time I had been climbing out of the nose turret and thought that we hit more prop wash. After getting to the flight deck, I learned that we were practically out of gas and about 40 miles from the English coast. Otto (our pilot) got the engines started & kept the plane flying, but we slowly lost altitude. The 4 engines were running, but were coughing consistently. Herby, our Lead Navigator kept calculating our locations by GEE and he was computing them about every 2 to 3 minutes, to bring us to the closest emergency airfield. We didn't want to ditch (crash land in the North Sea), but thought it best to bale out over land. We finally saw the coast slide under us (we were at 200' altitude) and made for the nearest field. Finally the field was in sight, and Livy (our"Mickey" Navigator) began shooting red flares. We landed okay, and after examining the gas tanks, we saw that they were empty (I MEAN EMPTY). We really came in on "A Wing & A Prayer", and many thanks to our dear Lord for helping us."
    Ref. OML & NMB.

    We lost one A/C on this mission.
    Ref. BGH.

    Mission 19, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "After getting back to th* base at 10:00 PM the preceding night I remember that a truck from our home base came to the field where we had made an emergency landing and took our crew back to our home base. We were awakened at 2:00 AM this morning. After breakfast, briefing, and taking off, we assembled in the usual way. We then got in position at the DAL ( SORRY - I can't remember what DAL stood for) and started over the 'American Highway'. We were to bomb the primary visual, or the secondary by instrument if it was 10/10 undercast. It was 10/10 undercast so we started on the bomb run to the secondary target, after turning at the I.P. There was quite a bit of flak being thrown up at Hannover, but we were not supposed to go in that far. After dropping our bombs on Lehrte M/Y, we turned sharp left (port), and headed for the rally point. We got back okay, and that night we, Livy, Herby, & I went over to the club (Officers' Club) to celebrate Herby's finishing his tour of 30 missions. We really had a good time that night. So now Herby joins the ranks of the "Paddle Foots" (Ground Pounders or personnel who do not have to fly)"
    Ref. OML & NMB

    We lost one A/C on this mission (crashed on T.O.; 4 killed)
    Ref. MWD

    Mission 20, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "They awoke us as usual at about 0200 (AM) on Monday morning for the mission. We went down to chow and then went to lead crew briefing. This was to be my first mission as 7 the Lead Navigator, on a lead crew. After getting all the information, on routes, targets, weather, fighter plane support & opposition, etc., we went down to the main briefing room. After drawing the route in on the navigation map, we headed for the planes and waited for taxiing time. After T.O. we assembled as usual, and then had an un-eventful trip to the target. We sweated out the undercast, but it remained the same over the target. Bombing was done by instruments and I think we had some pretty good strikes. The trip back to our base was uneventful also. The target we hit was the R.R. yards at Harburg, near Hamburg. The flak was low and inaccurate (probably due to "Chaff" thrown from the planes)."
    Ref. OML & NMB

    "On Feb. 25 the Group underwent a major reorganization. The 701st Squadron became the Lead Crew Squadron, with Lead crews from all other Squadrons transferred to the 701st. On March 4, 1945 about 1:30 AM, our Base was attacked by German aircraft for the first time since Nov. 4, 1943."
    Ref. BGH


    Mission 21, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    "After early chow, we learned at briefing that our target was to be the R.R. yards at Munster. This wasn't exactly our idea of a nice target to go to (this target was heavily protected by AA batteries). After briefing and then getting into our flying clothes, we sat around in the "drawing room" and shot the bull with the other guys. Then we went to our plane, checked it over and waited for T.O. time. After T.O., we assembled and started out over the North Sea, heading for the "American Highway". It was 10/10 again and I had to rely on my GEE set and the Mickey Navigator and DR for navigation."
    Ref. OML & 1MB

    For the balance of this 21st mission & all subsequent missions, I had not written any events in my NMB. There could be a number of reasons for this action - namely, I was getting tired of writing the details or that some of the details were repetituous or I was getting superstitious (only 9 more missions to go to complete my tour) or whatever. In any event, for the balance of missions (No's. 22 thru 50th), notes will only be referenced per my OML, FPR, BGH, & MWD, where applicable.


    Mission 22, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    No unusual notes on happenings, except as follows.Ref. OML & MWD
    According to my FPR for this mission, our target was the U-boat (submarine) pen at Kiel; we encountered flak just before bombs away & shortly thereafter (no hits, however).
    Ref. FPR

    Mission 23, Group Bombing Results: Good
    On this mission the target was the German Army Headquarters at Zossen, about 20 mi. South of Berlin. It was visual and we lost one aircraft which crash landed in liberated Poland. I'm not sure, but I thought this was the mission in which Hitler was supposed to have been in the railway station at the time we got to the target, or it was the secondary target in the event that we couldn't visually see the primary target (German GAH at Zossen}.
    Ref. OML,FPR, & MWD.

    Mission 24, Group Bombing Results: Poor
    The primary target was a German tank factory at Henningsdorf about 6 mi. NW from the center of Berlin. We were about 21 mi. from the target when we encountered large bursts of red flak (no hits, thank goodness). The target was visual. We had to do a lot of "S"ing (doglegging port and then starboard, etc., etc.) after bombs away in order to stay clear of flak areas.
    Ref. OML, FPR, & MWD.

    Mission 25, Group Bombing Results: Good
    The primary target was the Munster M/Y and it was visual. We lost one aircraft on this mission. Our lead crew lead the 445th B.G.
    Ref. OML & MWD

    "March proved to be a month of heavy aerial operations, and by the end of the month the 445th B.G. had flown a total of 25 missions for the month, with a fairly heavy casualty list. The war on the Continent was rolling along at a fast pace, and the news in general seemed to be good."
    Ref. BGH

    (Please note that our group flew a total of 25 missions for the month while we only flew 6 missions. We had a number of lead crews, since when not flying combat missions we could be flying practice missions over England).


    Mission 26, Group Bombing Results: Unobserved
    My OML & BGH are all correct in that they show that the target was Brunswick M/Y and that the date of the mission was 03/31/45. We aborted the mission over the Zuider Zee + 11 mi. My FTR shows that our flight time for the mission was 4 hrs.55 win. Even though we had to abort the mission we did get credit for it as a combat mission.

    Two days later (i.e. 04/02/45) we intended to fly a combat mission to a target of Danish A/F's but we were recalled near the Danish coast line due to bad weather at the target area. My FPR & FTR confirm this data. We did not get credit for this particular mission even though our flight time was 6 hrs. 05 min..
    Ref. OML, FPR, FTR, BGH, & MWD

    Mission 27, Group Bombing Results: Fair
    We lead the 445th Bomb Group on this mission. The primary target was the jet (ME 262) A/F at Perleberg. We had our briefing at 0200, T.O. at 0535, and assembled at Buncher #6. Some of my notes taken from my FPR for certain events are as follows:


    0925 - Plane went down (saw a plane go down, probably 445th)
    0934 - Unidentified planes at 12 o'clock, and flak @ 3 & 9 o'clock
    0948 - Flak @ 12 o'clock
    0952 - Attack target
    1000 - R.P. (Rally Point)
    1012 - Altered a little bit R. (changed course slightly to starboard)
    1016 - Saw a Plane with #4 engine on fire (probably 445th)
    1127 - Thru flak area at lines (the front lines on earth where American & German ground forces were in battle)
    1228 - Carbon Y-Yoke left to GE + more gas (????)

    Cannot find any notes on FPR referencing ME 262 plane being pursued by a P-51, but my OML (and I remember) references "jet plane attacks". I feel quite certain that we were attacked by ME 262 jets and that this was the mission in which I saw an ME 262 German jet heading for the deck (the earth) with a P-51 American fighter plane in close pursuit, quite close to the port side of our plane. We lost two bombers on this mission.
    Ref. OML, FPR, & MWD.

    Mission 28, Group Bombing Results: Good
    The primary target was the Furth A/F (jet) near Nurnberg. We had T.B. at 0723, and as usual assembled at Buncher #6. Some of my notes taken from my FPR for certain events are as follows:


    1043 - Fighter escort in area ("little friends" like P-51's & P-47's which escorted us to the target were close by)
    1153 1/2 - On bomb run
    1212 - Bombs Away
    1212 - Hit by flak, gas leak (I'm not sure, but I believe that this is the mission in which flak hit the gasoline tank in the starboard wing & put about a 4 in. hole in the inboard side of the tank so that gasoline spewed out of this 4ank & down thru the open bombbay doors. I also believe the Mickey Navigator & I held our Engineer so that he could plug the hole in the tank with rags. Thank God - No Sparks).
    Ref. OML, FPR, & MWD


    Mission 29, Group Bombing Results: Good
    The primary target was Memmingen A/F (jet). No unusal notes or happenings.
    Ref.OML & MWD

    Mission 30, Group Bombing Results: Fair
    The primary target was Landshut M/Y. We were the lead crew for the entire 2nd Bomb Wing which consisted of the 445th, 453rd, and 389th Bomb Groups (approx. 75 to 90 B-24's). No unusal notes or happenings.
    Ref. OML, MWD, & BGH
    "YIPPEE" (My tour of 30 missions was completed)

    Note: For the 15th thru the 29th missions, our crew either lead a squadron of the 445th B.G. or we lead the 445th B.G. or we were a deputy lead crew for the group or a squadron (deputy lead crew flew next to & slighty behind the lead crew).
    Note: Since our flying time was not only spent on "combat missions", it should fee noted that we flew quite a few "practice missions" over England.

    The total flight time for each category is as follows:

    A. Total Combat Missions: (30)
         Total Flight Time = 212 3/4 hours
    B. Total Practice Missions: (46)
         Total Flight Time = 131 2/3 hours





    Memorable Notes

    A. There was one mission in which I "had to go" (had to "relieve myself"). Each crew position had a relief tube for this purpose, but since "Bombs Away" had just occurred, the bomb bay doors were still open & I couldn't wait to use the relief tube. So I stood on the catwalk (the small walkway between the bomb racks), our plane was at about 20,000 ft. altitude, and I just "let it flicker" (relieved myself). Unfortunately I did not realize that the air flow on the bottom surface of the aircraft took my urine & tossed it right back into the bomb bay & onto me. But that's the way you learn. From that time on, I used the relief tube.

    B. While on the lead crew as the Lead Navigator, all of our crew members will always remember what took place very shortly after "Bombs Away" on each mission. Harold L. Clark ("Head"), our Pilotage Navigator/Gunner would immediately start singing over the Inter-Com (so that the rest of our crew could hear him) Vaughn Monroe's rendition of "Racing With The Moon". We then knew that everything was going to be OK back to our home base.

    C. I also remember one mission in which I was Pilotage Navigator/Gunner in the Nose Turret. We had flak quite close & I remember turning the nose turret around to the starboard side and seeing a B-24 in which flak or fighter plane guns had hit the port side of that B-24 right at the pilot's location. A section of the aluminum "skin" (sheetmetal) at this location had been shot away. The section was large enough that I could observe the pilot struggling with the controls in an attempt to keep that plane flying. That's all I remember.

    D. Prior to T.O. for a mission but after briefing, I went to our plane (I was a NAV/BOM on that mission) to check out the bombs on the bomb racks. Each bomb was supposed to have its small propeller on its nose end, and the propeller secured with an arming wire. This wire would keep the propeller from rotating until we were airborne & over the target. During my pre-flight check of the bombs, I noticed suddenly that one of these propellers was on the groung under the airplane bomb bay area. I didn't know whether one bomb was missing the arming wire & the propeller or not, but thought that if that were true the bomb would be armed & ready to go off (explode). Nope I didn't panic but thought if it's going off, it's going to go off. Anyway, I checked all of the bombs for their nose-end propellers and arming wires. All of the bombs were OK. Apparently the bomb propeller was defective & the Armorer replaced it with a good one (plus the arming wire), but inadvertantly left the defective bomb propeller on the hardstand.

    E. After our crew landed from this mission (now I remember, it was my Mission No. 6) were debriefed, had our shot of Schnapps, we started back to our appropiate Nissan hut. As I was walking along, I saw Lt. Seymour Cohen walking toward me and I said something like "Hiya Seymour". He stopped immediately & his facial features suddenly went white (I mean WHITE !). He thought that he was seeing a ghost since he knew that Dan Snow's crew had been shot down that day & he thought that I was still on Dan's crew. Seymour himself was later shot down on the same mission as My Mission No. 9.

    F. On my 30th combat mission there was a higher ranking Navigator who flew with us as a Pilotage Navigator/Gunner in the Nose Turret (Reference CMH), in place of Harold L. Clark. At some point over Germany he wanted our pilot Otto Tauer to alter course slightly. Otto called me over the Intercom & asked me whether he should alter course. I remember telling him "NO - because if he did we would head into a flak area". Otto follow-my advise & we avoided the flak area. Needless to say the higher ranking Navigator didn't appreciate my counter direction, BUT I WAS RIGHT. I suppose Otto and I could have been court-martialed for not following the order of a superior officer. But we were not.

    G. When Lou & I (& Ab Musser & Ellen, his wife) went to England in 1992 & visited our old 445th B.G. airbase at Tibenham, we were met by Mr. Evan Harris. Mr. Harris is our post war English contact at Tibenham. He gave us a nice quick tour in his car down the old runways of the airbase. Going down this one runway I looked ahead and could see the tree line far in the distance at the end of the runway. Suddenly it seemed like it was early 1945 and I was in a B-24 taking off for a combat mission in the fog. As all of us on our crew would probably have been thinking, "Come on Otto, let's get this B24 off the runway - get it up, etc., meaning let's get this B-24 in the air NOW." During this mission I suddenly remembered that near the tree line that we had cleared the old tree tops BUT I vividly recalled a slight "bump". We continued to gain altitude & assembled with the other planes in our B.G, & completed our mission. However after landing I remember looking at the main landing gear wheels and seeing a portion of a small tree branch stuck in one of the landing gear struts. Apparently the branch was not large enough to keep ithe landing gear and wheel from fully extending into the wheel well opening in the bottom of the wing after T.O. When landing, the small branch did not prevent the landing gear/wheel from extending properly & locking in place. So in 1992 this memory of a take-off in 1945 and the "bump" & the "tree line" was brought back to mind quite vividly.

    H. In regard to my flight back to the USA as noted at the bottom of Sheet 1, I recently found out that the name of our B-24 H was "PATCHES". Please reference the following documents:
    1. "Liberator Album" by Mike Bailey & Tony North, Pg.42, lower right photo & reference to "PATCHES", Ser. No. 42-95015, of the 700th B.S., 445th B.G.
    2. "B-24 Nose Art Name Directory" bv Wallace R. Forman, the sixth item from bottom left of Pg. 54 and Pg. 140, both of which show that "PATCHES", Ser. No.42-95015, was a B-24 of the 700th. B.S., 445th B.G.


    I. Mission No. 15 - This mission was recalled but we did get credit for it as a combat mission.

    J. Mission No. 26 - We did abort this mission but we did get credit for it as a combat mission.

    K. I was given my Navigator "Flight Plan" & "Flight Map" for my Mission No's. 22, 23, 24, 27, & 28 plus my trip from England back to the USA in June, 1945.

    L. James M. ("Jimmy") Stewart of Indiana, PA & Hollywood fame was originally with the 445th Bomb Group, 703rd Squadron, and had commanded that squadron. Photos of him and his crew are shown in Ref. BSH. Jimmy was transferred to the 453rd Bomb Group where Walter Matthau (also of Hollywood fame) was assigned. I do remember when Col. Jimmy Stewart sat in on one of our briefings after a tough mission (while I was on the lead crew as a Lead Navigator. At that time I believe Col. Jimmy Stewart was the 2nd Wing Commander located at 2nd Air Division Headquarters).

    M. On Dec. 14, 1995, about 50 years later, I saw the movie "You Gotta Stay Happy" with Jimmy Stewart & Joan Pontain on our cable TV on the American Movie Channel, Lo & behold, Jimmy's flight jacket had a squadron identification patch sewn on it which looked quite familiar. Yep, it was the 703rd Bomb Squadron patch because I compared it to the one I have, and they were identical.

    TO MY FAMILY

    I compiled this information so that you would have a better understanding of what combat was like in our 445th B.G. while overseas during World War II.

    Robert E. Conrad, Jr. Capt. USAF Reserve (Retired)
    Recipient of the following:
    1. Distinguished Flying Cross
    2. Air Medal (with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters)
    3. European Theater of Operations (Medal with 3 Battle Stars)
    4. American Campaign Medal
    5. World War II Victory Medal
    6. Sharpshooter (Pistol-D) Qualification




    ABBREVIATIONS

    AA Anti-aircraft or "Ack-ack" were shells which were fired by German Artillery on the ground and exploded at a predetermined altitude near or in a bomber, showering jagged metal fragments (known as " flak ") thru the bomber.
    A/C Aircraft (i.e. airplane or plane or "ship")
    A/F Airfield
    AFV/I Armored Fighting Vehicle/Industry (i.e. German Tank Factory)
    "C" Chaff or "Chaffer" Mission (i.e. shredded tin foil dropped from a bomber which would provide static on the radar screen of the German AA gun controller; it made it quite difficult for the gun controller to accurately fire the AA shells at the bombers. This "Chaff" was extremely effective when clouds were 10/10 undercast).
    C.P. Check Point was the location during the mission where the bomber's course heading had to be altered (e.g. to avoid AA areas).
    D.R. Dead Reckoning was the method used by the Navigator to perform mathematical computations involving air speed, ground speed, wind speed & direction, compass heading, magnetic variation, compass error, etc. for a particular instant in time to determine a bomber's location of latitude & longitude. Each D.R. location was usually calculated every 5 to 10 minutes of flight time.
    ETA Estimated Time of Arrival, usually computed as a minimum for each C.P. along the mission course.
    GAH German Army Headquarters
    GEE English radar positioning system used in B-24 Liberators.
    G.P. General Purpose Bomb
    I.P. Inital Point, was that location at which the bombers must accurately begin a consistent straight & level course for the bomb run toward the target. During the bomb run the course of the Lead Bomber is controlled by the Bombardier & the Norden Bombsight.
    LD/NAV Lead Navigator is the Navigator on a Lead Crew who performs all D.R. calculations and supplements with Pilotage positions from the NAV/GUN, with Radar positions from the "Mickey" Navigator, and with positions from the "GEE" radar system. He then provides the Pilot (i.e. Aircraft Commander) with accurate course heading, compass heading, airspeed, flak areas, etc. & changes thereto from T.O. at our airbase to the target and return to base.
    M/Y Marshalling Yards (i.e. Railroad Yards)
    NAV Navigator who performed D.R. calculations as noted above & provide the Pilot with the bomber's position. HOWEVER, the Pilot must retain the bomber in the proper position in the bomber formation & follow the Lead Crew bomber.
    NAV/BOM Navigator/Bombardier was the same as the NAV, plus using the Intervalometer to set up the proper bomb dropping interval, opening the bomb bay doors and dropping the bombs (using a "smoke marker" from the Lead Crew bomber as a visual "Bombs Away" signal. Only the Lead Crew bomber had a bombsight and a Bombardier).
    NAV/GUN Navigator/Gunner would provide Lead Navigator with Pilotage ground locations GUN) as determined from comparing visual actual terrain and landmarks with his map, plus performing nose turret gunner tasks (when under enemy attack).
    O/R Oil Refinery
    O/T Over Target (i.e. attacking the target)
    R/B Rail Bridge(i.e. Railroad Bridge)
    R/P Rally Point was that location where our squadron and/or group must meet with the other bomber squadrons and/or groups after "Bombs Away".
    T.O. Take Off or T.O. time,; the time that the bomber departs the base runway.
    TRF Tank Repair Factory
    U/Y U-boat Yard (i.e. German submarine "pen")
    UNOB Unobserved (i.e. target not visible)
    10/10 Complete cloud coverage aobve or below bomber or both above/below bomber.
    T/O Taking Off (i.e. refers to number of bombers departing from base runway)
    N/A Not Applicable




    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    OML My Original Mission List (no title, but lists my mission no's., targets, dates, & some notes per some missions, all on one page; written by me after each mission ).
    NMB My Navigator Mission Book (no title but has label on front cover of notebook on which I wrote "Lt. R.E. Conrad, Jr. #x-xxxxxxx Navigator"; inside cover on which I wrote "Lt. R.E.Conrad, Jr. #x-xxxxxxx',' and on which I drew a copy of the Eighth Air Force emblem and on which I hand colored the appropiate colors of this emblem; my hand written notes by Mission No's. & Dates for 15 of my 30 missions; written by me after each mission).
    FTR My Plight Time Record (AAF Form No. 5 which shows all of my flight time by day and by month from start of navigation training, 28 Feb 1944 thru to my last AAF flight 13 Sept 1945).
    FPR My Flight Plan & Record (flight plan, flight log, & combat map for combat missions of 11 Mar 1945, 15 Mar 1945, 18 Mar 1945, 2 Apr 1945, 4 Apr 1945, & 8 Apr 1945; includes all position coordinates of latitude & longitude, air speeds, headings, etc., plus the plotted flight plan from base to target & back to base, and actual flight path on combat maps in my handwriting).
    BGH The "History of the 445th Bombardment Group(H) (Unofficial)" by Rudolph S. Birsic, dated July 1947.
    MWD "Mighty Eighth War Diary" by Roger A. Freeman, dated March 1981.


    *Our mission on 2 Apr 1945 was originally planned to be a combat mission but it was recalled and it did not count as a combat mission (see note following Mission No. 26 on Sheet 11).

    NOTE: Please note that our crew listings on Sheet 1 list the basic crew members for each crew. For example, on some occasions we may have had a substitute crew member due to sickness or injury of the regular crew member but I can't remember of such an occurence. However, our Lead Crews from Missions No's 15 thru 30 from time to time may have had an extra crew member on certain missions (e.g. a Senior Officer acting as the Air Commander on that crew). I did not note such additions, however.




    Links

    445th Bomb Group Home Page

    My Other Pictures Related to 445th
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    Eighth Air Force Museum
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    445th Bomb Group Wartime Memories
    Kassel Mission
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    Jack A. Williams


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