MISSION NO. 1
21 FEBRUARY 1944
GUTERSLOH – LIPPSTADT, GERMANY
Departure time Glatton: 10.42
Weather at target: clouds 10/10The first mission of the 457th was flown on the second day of The Big Week to Gutersloh and Lippstadt. The total operation of the day for the Eighth Air Force was directed against Brunswick, Diephol; Achmer, Gutersloh and Lippstadt. The 457th operation was flown in two formations, A and B. The A formation, consisting of nineteen aircraft, assigned to fly the high box in the 94th A Combat Wing, and was dispatched to Gutersloh. The B formation consisting of seventeen aircraft, went to Lippstadt. Both were airparks for the storing of enemy fighters. The A Formation was led by Col. Luper with Lt. J.L. Smith, pilot. Major Henry B. WIlson, Deputy Group Commander, led the B formation with Lt. Vinton H. Mays as pilot.
Track chart February 21st 1944
Newspaper of February 21st 1944The A Formation failed to assemble with the 94th A Combat Wing (CBW), but joined with the 41st CBW. Its target was an Airdrome near Hamm. Bombing results were nil. A complete undercast obscured the target and when the Wing Leader dropped on a target of opportunity in the target area, twelve ot the crews released bombs. The Group Leader and other planes held their bombs, and failing to find a better target, returned to the Base. A solid undercast prevented the B Formation, flying the high box of the 94th B Combat Wing, from dropping bombs as no PFF (radar equipped) aircraft was provided. The Formation leader searched for a target of opportunity. Finding none, the formation jettisoned bombs in the North Sea, a short distance from the Dutch Coast. Notwithstanding the bombing results, two significant events occurred on the mission. Lt. Llewellyn (lew) G. Bredeson, flying aircraft No 42-31596, was shot down on the bomb run, becoming the first 457th crew to be lost in combat, 3004 MACR.
Lead crew with Col. Luper (kneeling) second on the right and with Lt. J. L. Smith, pilot.
Major Henry B. Wilson, Deputy Group Commander