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1st Lt. Silas Carl May

1st Lt. Silas Carl May (colorized)
1st Lt. Silas Carl May (colorized)

1st Lt. Silas May, bombardier, received an Order Paper for transfer from Toome, Northern Ireland on the 10th August 1944 for transfer to the 344th bomb group, and was listed with Keith Caldwell as his Pilot; and John Dinou as his Co-Pilot as part of the 496th bomb squadron.

The earliest mission record found was for September 17th.

It seems that this mission to Weiberheim was scrubbed.

Two days after the 344th bomb group moved from Stansted, England to Cormeilles-en-Vexin, they became operational operational, having worked at top speed to be ready for any target Bomber Divisions might assign to. That assignment came on October 2 and sent Silas May and the rest of the 344th BG formation to bomb an industrial area at Ubach, Germany (near the border of Belgium). Of the 36 aircraft dispatched, only twelve bombed the area. Flak, though moderate, was very accurate, one plane piloted by Lt. Caldwell was battle damaged and subsequently abandoned for
further operations. None of the crew of Lt. Caldwell’s plane were injured. Seven planes bore evidence of slight damage.

This hand drawn map shows the route to the target. They met weak and inaccurate flak. One plane was lost.
Bombardier, Silas May flew near the front of the formation in plane 43-34333 N3-Z. The ship has no name according to records thus far.
Lt. May flew as bombardier in 43-34333 N3-Z. The plane took off at 8:10 am and landed at 12:10 pm. Their position in the formation was 1-1-4.

On October 6, the target was a highway bridge in Arnheim, Holland. Thirty-four planes dropped 136 X 100- pound general purpose bombs.The attack was only fair, patchy clouds and slight haze being a determent to good sighting. The enemy threw up a moderate defense action and flak destroyed one plane, damaged five slightly. The missing plane was piloted by 1st Lt. Herbert H. Moore, Jr. of the 495th squadron and was crewed by 2nd Lt. A.J. Allen, Co-Pilot; 2nd Lt. E. Sadula, Bombardier; S/Sgt. B.A. Bielinski, Engineer Gunner; Sgt. Einar H. Nielsen, Radio Gunner; Sgt. N. H. Truax, Radio Gunner; and Sgt. G. M. Boyer, Gunner. The Arnheim bridge was an important objective in the path of British and Canadian units fighting to hold the bridgehead they had established in the face of still
opposition. The enemy had been rushing reinforcements and supplies over this structure bridging the Nedder Riju River a tributary of and continuation of the Rhine, and were making a formidable showing. Its destruction was accordingly imperative.

This hand drawn map indicates the path to the target.

Silas May flew in 43-34443 N3-Y in position 2-2-4. The pilot was G.R.Young.
May and crew flew in plane 43-34443 N3-Y. They dropped their bombs as briefed.
Pilot, Young reports dropping 4-1000lb bombs. Crewmates observed a plane hit by flak. They also observed a dogfight between allied and enemy fighters.

On October 8, the 344th Bomb Group attacked strong points in the Metz, France area which the Third Army was contesting. Results were very good and materially aided the ground forces in cracking the ring of forts maintained in that section.

Piloted by Young in plane N3-Z. May and crew were near the front of the formation in position 1-1-4.
N3-Z, piloted by Young with Silas May as bombardier, took off at 9:45 am and landed back at Corneille-En-Vixen at 12:30 pm having dropped their bombs on target.
2- 2000lb bombs were dropped on target from 11,500ft at 11:24 am.