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Final Flights of the 344th Bomb Group

A U.S. Army Air Forces Martin B-26G-11-MA Marauder (s/n 43-34565) from the 497th Bombardment Squadron, 344th Bombardment Group, 9th Air Force, enveloped in flames and hurtling earthward after enemy flak scored a direct hit on left engine while aircraft was attacking front line enemy communications center at Erkelenz, Germany. (MACR 12649)
Date 26 February 1945

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Thanks to Paul Clouting for most of the information below

42-95913, coded Y5-H, 495th BS
Also shot down by flak on same mission as above. MACR#5144. Pilot, 1st Lt. Henry C Woodrum.

42-95922 (495th BS) coded Y5-N. Shot down by flak on the 11th May 1944 mission to Malo Les Bains coastal defences, France. MACR#4515.

42-95858, coded Y5-R, 495th BS
Shot down by flak on the 28th May 1944 mission to bomb the Maisons Laffitte Railroad bridge, across the Seine River, France. MACR#5139. Pliot, Capt. J W Seale.

42-107608, coded Y5-T, 495th BS
Also shot down by flak on same mission as above. MACR#5142, Pilot, 2nd Lt. Jack C Shewell

42-107686, coded Y5-H, 495th BS
Shot down by flak on the 9th August 1944 mission to Brest Harbour, France. MACR#7848. Pilot, 1st Lt. Raymond H Phillips

42-107855, coded Y5-W, 495th BS
Exploded in mid air, 5 miles North of Stansted on the 25th August 1944 mission to attack heavy gun positions at Fort L’Ambrique, Brest, France. Pilot, 1st L. William H Geary (killed).

42-95910 “Wizard Of Koz” (495th BS) coded Y5-F. Shot down by flak on the 22nd April 1944 mission to Siracourt V-1 launch site. MACR#4093.

42-95925 collided with 42-95981 over Theydon Mount, Epping on 8th March 1944. Both aircraft were 494th BS. These were the first losses for the group after entering combat. Both crews were killed.

42-95814 (494th BS). Crash landed at Stansted on 4th June 1944 after suffering flak damage on the mission to Courcelles-Sur-Seine, France. Written off & salvaged by the 74th Air Service Squadron.

42-95901 (496th BS) coded N3-B. Shot down by flak over Henchin, France on the 21st April 1944 mission to Bonniers, France. MACR#4073.

42-95928. Shot down by flak on the 23rd April 1944 mission to Heuringhem V-1 launch site. MACR#4094.

42-95926 “Canteen Eileen” (496th BS). Shot down by flak on the 27th April 1944 mission to Fort Mardick coastal defences, France. MACR#4144.

42-95893 “Piccadilly Commando” (496th BS) coded N3-J. Shot down on same mission as 42-95926. MACR#4145.

42-95856 “Fertile Mertile” (497th BS) coded 7I-A. Shot down by flak on the 10th May 1944 mission to Mons marshalling yards, Belgium. MACR#4511.

42-95895, coded N3-O, 496th BS
Also shot down by flak on same mission as above. MACR#5143. Pilot, 2nd Lt. P J Laux.

42-95920, named “Smilin’ Joy”, coded 7I-G, 497th BS. Shot down by flak on the 28th May 1944 mission to the Amiens Marshalling Yards. MACR# 5140. Pilot, 1st Lt. Jim F Reynolds (killed); Co-pilot, Lt. Joseph Johnson (bailed out and evaded capture).

42-107574, 496th BS. Shot down by flak on the 10th June 1944 mission to Valognes, France. MACR#5708. Pilot, 2nd Lt. Herman L Burdette.

42-96304, 496th BS. Suffered a landing accident at Steeple Mordon Airfield on 8th July 1944 flown by Joseph S Danner. Aircraft written off. Salvaged on 10th July 1944.

41-35755, 494th BS. Crash landed at RAF Dyce, Aberdeen, Scotland on 23rd July 1944 whilst flown by Frank A Williams. ircraft written off. Salvaged on 25th July 1944 by engineers from the 42nd Air Service Group.

42-95964, coded K9-G, 494th BS. Shot down by flak on the 24th July 1944 mission to bomb the Tours-Le Riche Railroad Bridge, France. MACR#7478. Pilot, 2nd Lt. Robert V Coulter.

42-107611, 494th BS
Lost an engine on take off from Stansted on 12th August 1944 and belly landed at RAF Sawbridgeworth. Pilot, John D Ashford. Aircraft written off and salvaged on 15th August 1944 by the 74th Air Service Group.

42-107619, 494th BS
Shot down by flak on the 23rd September 1944 mission to Venlo Marshalling Yards, Holland. MACR#9734. Pilot, 1st Lt. John B Comstock (killed)

42-107679, coded K9-M, 494th BS.
Shot down by flak on the same mission as above. MACR#9735. Pilot, 1st Lt. Carson W Carrington.

43-34406, named “Ill Wind II”, 496th BS
Shot down by flak on the same mission as above. MACR#9733. Pilot, 1st Lt. John B Hegg (bailed out)

43-34403, coded 7I-K, 497th BS
No info on this one.

 

2 Responses to “Final Flights of the 344th Bomb Group”

  1. Susan Martens says:

    I’m sorry, I forgot the date. He was shot down 14Feb45

  2. Susan Martens says:

    Looking for info on my uncle. Lt.John Paul Nelson. Flew a b26 Marauder, 344th Bomb group, 497 Bomb squadron, 9th air force. Shot down on return trip from bombing bridges on the Rhine. Was within sight of Cherbourg (sp). Any info would be greatly appreciatged.

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