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Jessie The Jeep

100th Bomb Group's second Bloody Nose - Munster 10th Oct 1943

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MUNSTER - October 10th 1943

 

The mission to Munster was to attack the city which was the billet for virtually all of the railway workers in the area, which in turn would stop rail transportation in the Ruhr Valley. Five of the 100th planes aborted over the North Sea or approaching the coast of Holland.

 

The first signs of trouble came when the P-47 escort turned for home and the replacement escort failed to show, having been delayed by ground fog at their home bases. By the time the escort did arrive, the 100th BG was gone, along with half of the 390th BG and one quarter of the 95th BG, having been overwhelmed by over two hundred Fw190's, Ju88's, Me110's, Me210's, Me410's and Do217's.

 

The assault began at 14:53 as the formation flew towards the target at 23,000 feet, with Fw190's making head on attacks, closing to 50 to 75 yards before breaking away. During this attack, B-17 "M'lle Zig Zag" received a flak hit in the belly and fell away trailing smoke. All but one waist gunner bailed out.

 

Soon after, "EL P’sstofo" was attacked by two Me410's firing rockets. The first salvo missed, but the second struck the left wing, igniting the main gas tank and No1 engine. Unable to extinguish the flames, the bail out bell was rung and the engineer salvoed the bombs. All ten crew escaped the aircraft and became POW's.

 

At 15:15, "Shack Rat" exploded over Xanten, west of Haltern, and spiralled down to crash at Vynen. Only the co-pilot and left waist gunner survived, having been blown out of the aircraft.

 

B-17 "Lena" claimed four Fw190's before being hit by flak, well past the Dutch-German border. With controls shot away and the right wing on fire, it went into a shallow dive. After releasing the bombs, the pilot gave the bail out order. Three crew were trapped in the spinning bomber when the wing blew off, giving them no chance of escape.

 

"Forever Yours II" ignited over Munster. It slowly banked over and went into an uncontrollable dive, crashing near Amelsbeuren. The navigator and radio operator were killed.

 

B-17 "Invadin Maiden" was shot down by a Fw190 after hitting the right inboard engine and wing. As the fighter passed under the B-17, his own engine was hit by the gunners forcing the German pilot to also bail out. Due to the fire, the B-17 exploded with six of the crew managing to bail out, though one later died of his wounds. The rest were killed in the crash including the ball turret gunner who is believed to have shot down the fighter. The B-17 crashed near Hohenhalte, about 9 miles west of Munster.

 

As the German pilot floated down he saw another B-17 spiral down in flames. This was B-17 "Slightly Dangerous". It lost its right wing and exploded in mid-air. The B-17 had been shot down by a fighter. Seven of the crew managed to escape the falling bomber.

 

Five minutes after passing the target, the German fighters swarmed in again. "Sexy Suzy Mother of Ten" was hit by something in the left wing with a massive bang, with flames spreading over the whole plane rapidly. The pilot called for the bail out and shortly after the aircraft went into a vertical dive and exploded. Only four of the crew escaped. Unknown to the crew, the plane had been in a collision with an enemy fighter.

 

B-17 "Sweater Girl" was also involved in the same collision and spun down. Six of the crew escaped with the wreckage landing along with the two other aircraft at Ostberven eight miles north of Munster.

 

"Aw-R-Go" was attacked by fighters shortly after the target, starting a fire in the radio room. The radio operator tried to fight the fire and was badly burned. He may have bailed out with his chute aflame. Eight crew escaped when the plane exploded and became POW's.

 

As the remains of the group flew over Munster, B-17 "Stymie" was hit by flak, adding to the damage caused by fighters. The pilot took the plane down to try and hedge hop back to England, but in doing so, accidentally flew low over a German fighter base and was confronted by a swarm of German fighters. It was forced to belly land at Aalten Holland about six miles from the Dutch-German border. All ten crew became POW's.

 

After bombing the target, the crew of "Pasadena Nena" found themselves all alone. They made for the protection of another formation 5 miles away. This group then came under attack and their own plane was hit in the No4 engine sending it into a spin. After a struggle, the pilots regained control below 1000 feet. The pilots assumed the crew had bailed out. The co-pilot manned the top turret for defense. Minutes later, a fighter sprayed the B-17, probably having seen the turret move. With both wings on fire, both pilots bailed out. The pilot escaped via the Dutch resistance and many others, finally making it back to England for Christmas Eve 1943. He was put under house arrest until released two days later having been identified as a member of the 100th BG. The co-pilot later died of 20mm canon wounds and the tail gunners body was also found in the wreckage.

 

Only one Fortress now remained, B-17 "ROYAL FLUSH", piloted by Robert Rosenthal. While badly damaged and with the No1 engine out, it bombed the target and headed for home. The B-17 came under fighter attack with rounds hitting the No3 engine and oxygen system. A rocket also passed through the right wing just missing a gas tank. Three of the crew were wounded, but the crew also claimed three fighters destroyed. The aircraft was loosing height and so all moveable equipment was thrown overboard. The B-17 made it back to England on two engines and landed in rapidly gathering fog. They were the only 100th aircraft to return.

 

With the loss of so many crews only two days before at Bremen, and another 12 aircraft at Munster, Thorpe Abbotts was a very sad and empty base, and yet, worse was to come the following March on the mission to Berlin.

 

 

Munster - 10 Oct 43

8th Air Force Despatched 313 Heavy Bombers

100th Bomb Group Despatched 18 Aircraft of which 5 aircraft Aborted on the way to the target

 

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-3229 "Pasadena Nena" - XR-A - 7 POW, 2 KIA, 1EVA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-3237 "Stymie" - LD-R - 10 POW

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-3433 "Lena" - LN-W - 7 POW, 3 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30023 "Forever Yours II" - XR-M - 8 POW, 2 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30047 "Sweater Girl" - LN-Q - 6 POW, 4 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30087 "Shack Rat" - EP-M - 2 POW, 8 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30090 "EL P’sstofo" - XR-B - 10 POW

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30723 "Sexy Suzy Mother of Ten" - EP-D - 4 POW, 6 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30725 "Aw-R-Go" - LN-Z - 8POW, 2 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30734 "Slightly Dangerous" - EP-G - 7 POW, 3 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30830 "M’lle Zig Zig" - LD-U - 10 POW, 1 KIA

MIA 10-10-43 - A/C 42-30823 "Invadin Maiden" - LN-F - 5 POW, 5 KIA

 

A/C 42-6087 "ROYAL FLUSH" LD-Z - The only 100th Bomb Group aircraft to return from the mission with two engines shot out

 

 

Steve

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Another quality item from Steve. I don't know how you are collating this stuff but you deserve a big thanks. More please. This may be essentially an MV forum, but sharing this stuff is a fantastic idea. it should encourage everyone to have a go if you have it in you. You don't have to be Shakespear you just have to care.

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I am constantly amazed at the bravery of bomber crews, who were after all probably just in their 20's

 

They certainly didn't need an "ASBO"

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Until you have been in a B-17 or similar and seen how small it is, and worn all the kit, and realised how heavy it all is, It's hard to imagine how they did it.

 

Add to that breathing oxygen for 8 hours, at minus whatever temperature, in a space where you can't stand up straight, then have people shoot at you.....

 

Then you go home, have a drink with your friends in a local, go to bed in a cold damp hut, and have to do it all again the following day, knowing the rest of your friends never came home yesterday.......

 

One of the youngest 100th BG airmen, slightly exagerated his age when joining up. He completed his tour of duty by the time of his 17th Birthday!!!!!!!!

 

Hard to see that happening these days.

 

Steve

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Guest matt

To be honest guys I have to disagree about there being such a difference between those who were in their teens and twenties during WW2 and people of the same age today,I'm 27 and I feel strongly that the current view of British youngsters as "yobs" is something which is largely created by the press. I'm not saying that all youngsters are angels but lets not tar everyone with the same brush,after all it could be said that as many pedophiles are men over 40 we should view all men in that age group as perverts :-o

 

Matt.

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True, not all youngsters are yobs, and the recruits I see coming into the fire service are a credit to the LFB

however........in the part of london where I live you tend not to see many people out walking after dark, and If you want to see some pretty bullet holes in the shop doorframes I can show you several.

 

My point was that in ww2 people had more of a sence of "duty" and "doing their bit"

nowdays it seems that there is more of a "couldn't care less" attitude amongst the young.

 

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Cracking story. To follow some of the comments on this thread, yes some of the youth of today maybe little SH.......... But I would suggest that, if the call came today, there would be just as many would step up to the plate just as their Grandfathers did back then

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Until you have been in a B-17 or similar and seen how small it is, and worn all the kit, and realised how heavy it all is, It's hard to imagine how they did it.

 

Add to that breathing oxygen for 8 hours, at minus whatever temperature, in a space where you can't stand up straight, then have people shoot at you.....

 

Then you go home, have a drink with your friends in a local, go to bed in a cold damp hut, and have to do it all again the following day, knowing the rest of your friends never came home yesterday.......

 

One of the youngest 100th BG airmen, slightly exagerated his age when joining up. He completed his tour of duty by the time of his 17th Birthday!!!!!!!!

 

Hard to see that happening these days.

 

Steve

 

i read recently about a b24 gunner who was grounded after 6 missions because he was only 16!!! lied about his age...now i cant see 2days kids doing that!!

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To be honest guys I have to disagree about there being such a difference between those who were in their teens and twenties during WW2 and people of the same age today,I'm 27 and I feel strongly that the current view of British youngsters as "yobs" is something which is largely created by the press. I'm not saying that all youngsters are angels but lets not tar everyone with the same brush,after all it could be said that as many pedophiles are men over 40 we should view all men in that age group as perverts :-o

 

Matt.

 

the good decent people are out there, we just have 2 find them!! in my job i see both good and the downright sc..!! i hope we have it in all of us, young or old, if the time ever came!!

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well ......whatever the thinking on 'todays' youth........I can't help but be in total admiration of those boys that clambered into Lancs and Halifaxs and B17s and B24s back in that day ..KNOWING damn well they stood VERY little chance of climbing out again and being still in one piece... let alone alive.....just try and imagine how they felt ??? how did they do it?...day after day KNOWING they were on very 'borrowed' time ..... absolute heroes ..one and all.....

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