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Lead Crew - Mission #113
25 Feb 1944
Augsburg, Germany


Target Group A:

Messerschmitt A/C Factory, Augsburg, Ger.

Target group b:

V.K.F. Ball Bearing Works, Stuttgart, Ger.

Crews Dispatched:

Group A - 19; Group B - 12

Crews Lost/wounded:

6 crewmen wounded by flak

Length of Mission:

9 hours, 15 minutes

Bomb Load Group a:

12 x 500 lb bombs

Bomb Load group b:

3 or 6 x 1000 lb bombs

Bombing Altitudes:

Group A - 22,100 ft; Group B - 21,100 ft

Ammo Fired:

3,780 rounds


B-17G "Ole George" #42-31574 (358BS) VK-G
41st CBW-A Lead (358BS) - Pilot Capt D. Gamble / CoPilot Maj G.F Shumake

(Back L-R) Maj. G.F Shumake (CP), Capt. J.B. Fawcett (B),
Capt. D. Gamble (P), 1Lt H.H. Steely (N), Capt. N.N. Jacobsen (N)

(Front L-R) S/Sgt N. Vaughn (WG), S/Sgt F.H. Stender (TG),
S/Sgt C.S. Schmeltzer (WG), T/Sgt C.E. Wagner (E),
T/Sgt R.G. Scharch (BT), T/Sgt H.N. Bland (R)

Both Groups experienced moderate to intense and accurate flak. The main "A" Group sustained one wounded crewman (Richard G. Scharch) and 15 damaged aircraft and the "B" Group had eight wounded crewmen and nine damaged aircraft–all from flak. Enemy fighter opposition was generally weak with only a few attacks on the Group. Strung-out fighter support over the route resulted in no support over the target area for about one hour. Co-pilot, Lt. John C. Cook was hit by flak in his arm. Pilot, Lt. Robert W. Snyder was hit in the neck. They were flying in #42-97617 (No Name).


Bombing excellence was a tribute to the courage of the bombardiers who stayed crouched over their bombsights through one of the worst flak barrages ever encountered by the 303rd BG(H). Nearly every Group B-17 had several holes to testify to the accuracy of the German gunners.


Credit for the successful operations went to Maj. Shumake, who took a Combat Wing to Augsburg, and Maj. Cole, who led a Group to attack Stuttgart. Both men made almost identical reports on their missions. Maj. Shumake said, "I think we did a darned good job as far as bombing is concerned. We didn't have much trouble until we got over the target, but they really gave it to us there. We didn't get jumped by fighters, but we could hear other Groups calling for help. It was a long, rough haul, but worth it." Maj. Cole said, "Our Group had excellent bombing. All of our bombs went right in there. There was a lot of smoke coming up from the target when we left."


Capt. Gamble, who piloted Maj. Shumake, said he had seen enough flak to last him for a long time, and "We had flak all the way and it was pretty fierce. "Luckily our fighters kept the Germans away from us and we had a good bomb run in spite of the flak. Our bombardier did a swell job and our bombs seemed to go right into the target. "When our pilot said we were at the French border, I looked back at Augsburg and could still see smoke coming up from our target. It was a big black column and it seemed to be getting bigger," Davis said. S/Sgt. Elwood R. Pelkey, waist gunner on The '8' Ball MK II which went to Stuttgart, reported lots of smoke there, too. "We could see black smoke coming up from Stuttgart thirty minutes after we left the place," he said.

Detailed Mission Report: Combat Mission No. 113

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