The Missions of Baby's Crew
All flights from Podington, 1944
All missions were flown in B-17G models, except the 3rd and 4th missions, flown in an 'F' model (no chin turret). The chin turret had been added to the 'G' model to help fend off the deadly new tactic of the Luftwaffe: head-on attacks by successive waves of fighters.
The crew flew in many different planes; a total of 11 different B-17's were used by the crew between January 5 and March 24, through mission 16. No plane was used more than 3 times, most only once.
The last aircraft flown by the crew, B-17G-45-BO (42-97203), was first flown on mission 17. This was the first unpainted B-17 flown by the crew. All others had been painted in camouflage colors. The name "Baby" was painted on the nose, but none of the typical American nose art was ever added.
Aircraft (a/c) counts in 'Comments' are for the 92nd BG
Jan 4 7:45 Kiel
Port complex, 2 a/c lost.
Pilot Parramore flew as copilot with another crew;
the rest of Parramore's crew waited at Podington.
2 Jan 5 8:10 Kiel The first mission for the crew as a whole.
Jan 14 3:35 Pas
de Calais (Linghem), France (30 mi. SE of Calais, labeled on
Crossbow (V-1) sites.
Jan 29 7:50 Frankfurt
am Main 53 a/c sent, 1 lost.
92nd's first use of its own PFF a/c.
5 Feb 6 7:00 Nancy, France Clouds; brought bombs back.
6 Feb 8 5:40 Frankfurt am Main 3 a/c lost.
Feb 20 8:35 Leipzig
Bf109 factories; 1 a/c lost.
Start of "Big Week".
8 Feb 22 8:40 Aalborg, Denmark Clouds; no bombs dropped. 2 a/c lost.
9 Feb 24 7:35 Schweinfurt 3 a/c lost.
Feb 25 9:05 Stuttgart
Ball bearing plant, aircraft factory.
End of "Big Week".
Mar 3 7:15 Berlin
Ball bearing plant. Clouds; recalled. 1 a/c lost.
If the weather had cooperated, this would have been the first raid on Berlin,
the capital of the Third Reich, by the Eighth AAF, a momentous and morale
Instead, the next day, March 4, was the first day that the 8th AAF dropped
on Berlin. 21 B-17's of the 95th and 100th BG reached Berlin.
Lt. Charles "Chuck" Yeager, flying a P-51 on escort, shot down his first
German fighter plane over Berlin on this day. Herr Goering, seeing B-17 bombers
escorted by P-51 fighters over Berlin for the first time, reportedly said,
"The war is lost." He was right.
12 Mar 18 8:10 Lechfeld Me262 jet fighter factory. 1 a/c lost.
13 Mar 20 7:15 Frankfurt am Main Clouds; aborted.
Mar 22 9:10 Berlin
Secondary target; suburb of Oranienburg
was primary. Steichen reports seeing P-51's
strafing ground targets in Berlin.
15 Mar 23 6:35 Hamm Aircraft repair depot. 5 a/c lost.
16 Mar 24 7:00 Frankfurt am Main Secondary target; Schweinfurt was primary.
Mar 26 3:25 Pas
de Calais (Mimoyecques), France (10 mi. S of Calais,
18 Apr 18 8:20 Oranienburg (suburb of Berlin) Marshalling yards.
19 Apr 19 6:40 Kassel Luftwaffe aerodrome.
Apr 20 3:35 Pas
de Calais (Zadausques), France (20 mi.
SE of Calais, not labeled)
Apr 24 7:00 Oberpfaffenhofen
(Munich) Dornier aircraft factory
5 a/c lost, including 'Baby'.
The specific target was the underground portion of the factory,
which was being used to assemble jet engines for the Me262
jet fighter. This was the primary target of an earlier mission of the
92nd BG, flown on March 16.
Approximately 750 bombers of the 8th AAF headed for various
targets in southern Germany on this day. The group assigned to
Oberpfaffenhofen did not have fighter escort for about an hour,
and about 200 German fighters attacked. 15 aircraft of the 40th
Wing landed in Switzerland this day.
unknown date Pas de Calais, France Unknown town in Pas de Calais.
Aborted because of weather;
alternate target - Ruhr valley.
For more details of these and other AAF missions, see the HeavyBombers comprehensive chronology
(The Channel Tunnel was not yet available to the Allies, nor to Germany!)
miles 0 22 44
| | |
The Flight Across the Atlantic
Life at Podington
The Missions of Baby's Crew
The Last Mission
Life in Switzerland
Escape from Switzerland
The Author's Trip
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Copyright © 2001 by Ed Rathje