MISSION NO. 126
26 SEPTEMBER, 1944The entire First Air Division was dispatched to destroy the Railroad marshalling yards at Osnabruck, north of Munster, considered the gateway to northern Germany. The destruction of this target, possessing the capabilities of handling over 2,200 cars per day, would produce a severe bottleneck in the deliver)’ of war materials and supplies. Other attacks were on targets in Hamm and Bremen.
Bombs away to destroy the Marshalling yard at Osnabrück
Osnabrück on May 12th 1945
Major Watson led the thirty-five craft formation, which comprised the 94th C Combat Wing, third in the Division line. The Wing crossed the Channel and entered Holland over the Zuider Zee. The IP was reached and the formation turned on the bomb run. Clear weather over the target not only permitted visual bombing, but caused the planes to be visible targets. Although the flak thrown up from Osnabrnck was moderate in intensity, it was accurate.
While over the primary target, it was necessary for the high box leader to withhold bombs to avoid dropping on the low box. Two other aircraft likewise withheld their bombs and dropped with the leader on an airfield, a target of opportunity.
Crossing back over the Zuider Zee, as usual light but accurate flak was encountered. The plane piloted by Lt. Carl H. Gooch was hit in the cockpit and the top turret was blown off. No. 3 and No. 4 engines were feathered. The plane was last seen under control. Two crewmen lost their lives, four evaded capture and three were prisoners of war.
One other crewman was killed on the mission. One ship received major damage and nine minor damage.
Lt. Gooch’s plane was the only one lost to flak, and no enemy fighters were encountered during the entire mission. On September 15th 2012 a monument was unveiled for the Lt. Carl H. Gooch crew in a small Dutch town called Lisse. The monument is across the road where the ‘Jayhawk‘ crashed. A book was written about the crew and the crash and it’s called ‘Broken Wings’.
Photo taken on September 28th 1944 of the “Jayhawk” crash location