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21 February 1945

Target: Vienna South Station Area, Austria

Another target in the concentrated Southeast section of Vienna was missed by the pathfinder methods on 21 February. The target was the South Station Area, but the bombs fell beyond the target near the banks of the Danube River. Intense haze interfered with correct target identification.

The formation got off to a bad bomb run when they overshot the initial point at Michelbach and ran into the Moosbierbaum flak area. The second section did not believe the first section had corrected far enough to the right on the bomb run and left the formation. The first section turned out to be correct on course but wrong on rate. The second section over-corrected and bombed the Wiener Neudorf Aircraft Engine Factory near Modling, Austria.

Seven of the planes in the first section were hard hit by flak and three of them failed to return to Base.The three planes lost were flown by the Group leader, Major Robert K. Baker, 1st Lt. Clarence P. Marshall, and 2nd Lt. Josiah R. Hooper. All three of these planes headed for safe territory east of the Russian bomb line. One wounded man aboard another plane was returned to Base.

Major Baker became the second Squadron Commander in the history of the Group to become missing in action.

The deputy lead position in the formation was flown by Major Poole. This was his fourth consecutive mission to Vienna.

Mission Photo