11 APRIL, 1944
The target was the eastern complex of the FW-190 aircraft factories located at an airdrome near Sorau. Overall, a thousand heavy bombers and eight hundred escort fighters were involved in the operations of the day. Remembering the occurrences of 9 April, the Group expected a tough mission. The mission was flown at an altitude of sixteen thousand feet.The 457th supplied twenty-four aircraft to compose all the high and part of the lead box of the 94th A Combat Wing. Major Rod Francis was Air Commander of the high box with pilot Lt. Edward M. Bender.On the way to the target, heavy flak was encountered in the Hannover area. Two planes, piloted by Lt. Marsden W. Mattatal and Lt. Adrian W. Seabock, were knocked out of formation and returned to England badly damaged. However, five of Lt. Seabock’s crew, including the navigator, parachuted and became prisoners of war. The lead aircraft was hit, had to salvo the bombs, but stayed with the formation. As they emerged from the flak, Me-109s were waiting, but escort fighters and gunners kept them away.The primary target was covered with clouds; so the formation headed north for the Politz Oil Refinery, the secondary target, where clouds and other wings prevented bombing. Targets of opportunity were bombed; and the aircraft took the Baltic Sea, Denmark, North Sea route back to Glatton, completing a ten hour mission.Thirteen craft sustained minor, and eight major, damage. scannen-amerika0024