MISSION NO. 5
2 MARCH 1944
Departure time Glatton: 08.40
Weather at target: clouds 10/10
Landing time at Glatton: 16.00
Eighteen aircraft were dispatched to Frankfurt to bomb the Alfred Treves factories, makers of 50% of the aircraft piston rings produced in Germany. Six combat wings of the 1St Air Division were dispatched to this target together with two combat Wings of the 2nd Division on the railway marshalling yards at Frankfurt.
The 457th comprised the 94th Combat Wing high box. Major Theodore C. Hoffman was Air Commander and Lt. Raymond A. Syptak was pilot. There was 10/10 overcast from the French Coast to the target and return. Bombing was done by PFF aircraft at 26,000 feet. The 94th Combat Wing went in to the target with the lead and high box abreast, 457th Group to the right of the lead group and the low box in trail slightly left. The run from the I.P. lasted six minutes. The lead bombardier, Lt. Musgrove, attempted to salvo on the Wing lead PFF ship but there was a malfunction of the salvo handle. The safety collar on the handle was stuck so the bombs were toggled immediately and the pilot also salvoed on request of the lead bombardier at 12.11 hours at 26,000 feet. This caused approximately a 10 second delay. Bomb results were not observed due to the undercast.
The formation over the target had been reduced to fourteen planes. The wing leader maintained a speed of 160 M.P.H. on the way in which was too fast and made it difficult for the high and low boxes to keep up. One of our planes fell out of formation over France and could not catch up so he aborted. Three others aborted the mission due to oxygen failure. Oxygen was essential since the flight altitude was 26,000 feet.
Trach chart March 2nd 1944
Lead crew Air Comm- Maj. T.C. Hoffman (P), Lt. Raymond A. Syptak (C-P), Lt. Patrick W. Henry (N), Lt. William H. Dupont (B), Lt. Charles E. Musgrove
The return trip through Belgium to Ostend was uneventfull. There was one weak fighter pass at the group but no harm caused. All planes returned to base at 16.00 hours, completing an 8 hour and 20 minute mission with no battle damage.
Enemy air opposition against all the eight Wings on this target was very weak. Nine heavies out of 372 attacking were lost to all causes. Escort support was excellent, from the 588 friendly fighters.
Diary fragment from the March 2nd mission to Frankfurt