19 MAY, 1944
Mission nr. 6 Berlin
The Group sent thirty-six planes comprising the lead and low boxes of the 94th A Combat Wing to Berlin. Targets were government buildings near the center of the city where other targets had previously been bombed.Lt. Col. Raymond L. Cobb flew as Air Commander of the lead box in a PFF ship. Major George C. Hozier led the low box with Captain Jerry Godfrey as pilot, and Major Theodore C. Hoffman led the high box with Lt. Malcolm E. Johnson as pilot. En route to the target, Me-109s and FW-190s were observed away from the formation. The 109s and 190s peeled off and attacked the low squadron of the lead Group. As a result of the attack, the plane piloted by Lt. Phillip H. Birong was hit and left the formation with two engines on fire. The craft went into a spiral and all the crewmen, except one, successfully bailed out and became POWs.There was seven-tenths cloud cover over the target area, so bombing was by PFF. Bombing results were fair. Flak was moderate but accurate, damaging seven planes. Fighter Protection was good except for the interval prior to the bomb run Overall, the Eighth lost twenty-eight aircraft.The first crew in the Group to do so, Lt. Robert D. Lane, Pilot, completed its tour with this mission, and celebrated by the traditional buzzing of the field and shooting of flares.The Daily Bulletin called the attention of personnel to military discipline, personal appearance, and other elementary things that should have been learned in basic training. Also, a simulated briefing of combat crews was given for the benefit of all ground personnel. The crew of Lt Phillip H. Birong was lost on this date. Track chart Berlin