These are the missions of my Uncle. His name is James Ernest Casey. I never had the honor of meeting this man as he died defending the freedom of the United States on March 8, 1944. These missions and his ultimate sacrifice are his contribution to the eventual victory in Europe.
Each entry tells the story of the mission from 4 perspectives. The mission title is linked to a page which contains the mission story as told in Harold Jensen's "The History of the 446th Bomb Group (H)". The first text entry was penned by James himself in his flight diary which was returned to my family after his death. These entries are brief … telling strictly the facts important to survival… target… flak… fighters. The second text entry is the mission summary as described in the 446th BG Website. I encourage all to visit this website if you have an interest in WWII, 8th AF or B-24s. The final text entry for each mission is the official report of the USAF European Theater of Operations.
Thank you for visiting and reading of my Uncle's contribution.
Ron Shue, Fort Worth, Texas
Thursday December 30th, 1943 Mission 1
"No1 Ludwigshaven Flak moderate not too accurate. No fighters"
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): VIII Bomber Command Mission 169: The port area and oil refinery at Ludwigshafen, Germany are hit at 1156-1300 hours. 502 of 530 B-17's 145 of 168 B-24's, and 11 of 12 PFF aircraft attack the target; they claim 12-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 14 B-17's and 9 B-24's are lost, 4 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 106 B-17's and 11 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 19 WIA and 200 MIA. The mission is escorted by 79 P-38's, 463 P-47's and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 8-3-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 P-47's and 2 P-51's are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 12 MIA. VIII Bomber Command Mission 170: 5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Antwerp, Ghent, Lens, Belgium and Cambrai, France at 2319-2340 hours; no losses.
Friday January 7th, 1944 Mission 2
"No2 Ludwigshaven Didn't get to target. Turned back due to weather."
January 7: Ludwigshaven
This mission was aborted when heavy overcast prevented the planes from meeting the 392nd bomb group.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 351 of 382 B-17's and 69 of 120 B-24's hit the I G Faren Industrie plant at Ludwigshafen, Germany; they claim 30-6-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17's and 17 B-24's are lost, 2 B-17's and 2 B-24's are damaged beyond repair and 104 B-17's and 18 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 14 KIA, 13 WIA and 121 MIA. 71 P-38's, 463 P-47's and 37 Ninth Air Force P-51's escort; they claim 7-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 5 P-47's are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged; casualties are 6 MIA. Mission 179: During the evening, 5 B-17's drop 1.08 million leaflets on Paris, Chartres, Caen and Evreux, France without loss.
Friday January 14th, 1944 Mission 3
"No3 France. No flak. No fighters. Milk run."
January 14: Noball target atSt Pierre-des-Jonquies, France
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 183: 356 of 374 B-17's and 156 of 178 B-24's hit 20 of 21 V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area of France; 19 B-24's hit targets of opportunity; they claim 8-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-17's and 1 B-24 are lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 66 B-17's and 9 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 11 WIA and 31 MIA. 98 P-38's, 504 P-47's and 43 Ninth Air Force P-51's escort; they claim 14-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38, 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 9 P-47's and 1 P-51 are damaged; casualties are 3 MIA.
Friday January 28th, 1944 Mission 4
"No4 France. No fighters but flak damned accurate. No milk run."
January 28: Noball target
The target was bombed successfully by 25 of the 26 planes that took off. One plane did not drop when another plane flew under it, avoiding a catastrophe.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 195: 54 B-24's in 2 groups are dispatched to the Bonnieres V-weapon site in France; 2 Gee-H equipped PFF aircraft lead each group; due to technical difficulties, the second formation was ordered to follow the lead and bomb the same target as a secondary; 4 minutes before the target the leader of one section accidentally released and the following 11 aircraft did likewise; 31 hit the primary; 1 B-24 is damaged. 122 P-47's provide escort without loss. Gee-H is more accurate than H2X but is of use only against targets within the 200-mi (320 km) beacon range; later, aircraft are equipped with both devices.
Saturday February 5th, 1944 Mission 5
"No5 Tours France Saw fighters but friendly fighter support took care of that. Heavy flak but inaccurate. [My] Parachute opened after take off."
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): In view of the previous decision to concentrate most of the training activities of the Eighth Air Force in the VIII Air Force Composite Command, a decision is made to transfer HQ from Limavady, County Derry, Ireland, to Cheddington, England, to bring it closer to the combat crew training stations over which it is to be given supervision. Most of the transfer is completed between 7 and 15 Feb. Mission 210: Airfields in France are targetted. 103 B-17s are dispatched to Chateauroux/Martinerie and Avord Airfields with 50 hitting each target; 121 B-17s are dispatched to Chateaudun (61 bomb) and Orleans/Bricy (60 bomb) Airfields; 182 B-17s are dispatched to Romilly-sur-Seine air depot but 133 hit Villacoublay; 103 B-24s are dispatched to Meslay Airfield (90 bomb) and 8 hit Chateaudun; they claim 5-0-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 39 B-17s and 31 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 15 WIA and 22 MIA. Escort is provided by 92 P-38s, 496 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 46 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 6-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47s are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged; casualties are 2 MIA.
Sunday February 6th, 1944 Mission 6
"No6 France No fighters. No flak."
February 6: Noball target,Eclimeux, France
[Ron Shue: Lt. Merriman's crew was one of the three that dropped their bombs and thus received full mission credit.]
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 212: Airfields in France are targetted but weather forces 400+ bombers to abort the mission. 189 B-17s are dispatched against the Romilly-sur-Seine Air Depot and 60 hit St Andre de L'Eure Airfield and 40 hit Evreux/Fauville Airfield; 303 B-17s are dispatched to Nancy/Essay and Dijon/Longvic Airfields but only 60 hit Caen/Carpiquet Airfield; 150 B-24s are dispatched to St Pol/Siracourt V-weapon site but 37 hit Chateaudun Airfield and 9 hit the Eclimeux V-weapon site; they claim 3-3-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 43 B-17s and 7 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 3 WIA and 43 MIA. Escorting are 85 P-38s, 506 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 47 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 11-2-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 2-0-7 on the ground; 3 P-38s and 1 P-47 are lost, 1 P-38 and 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 4 MIA.
Tuesday February 8th, 1944 Mission 7
"No7 France No fighters or flak."
[Ron Shue: On this mission, Lt. Merriman's crew flew AC42-7576 "Stardust"]
February 8: Noball target, Pa de Calais, France
24 planes dropped through a complete overcast.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 214: 53 of 54 B-24s hit the V-weapon site at Siracourt, France while 57 of 73 B-24s hit the V-weapon site at Watten, France; 41 B-24s are damaged and 10 airmen are WIA; escort is 89 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s. 88 of 236 B-17s hit the marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany using blind-bombing techniques; 107 other B-17s hit targets of opportunity; they claim 1-3-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 108 damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 4 WIA and 130 MIA; escort is provided by 77 P-38s, 435 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 16-1-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38s, 3 P-47s and 4 P-51s are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 4 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 9 MIA.
Thursday February 10th, 1944 Mission 8
"No8 Feb 10 France No flak. No fighters. No bombs dropped."
February 10:Gilze-Rijen airfield, Holland
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 216: 141 of 169 B-17s hit the industrial area at Brunswick, Germany and 2 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 42-30-61 Luftwaffe aircraft; 29 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 52 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 3 WIA and 295 MIA; escort is provided by 64 P-38s, 357 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 45 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 56-1-40 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 0-0-2 on the ground; 5 P-38s and 4 P-47s are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair and 6 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 1 WIA and 9 MIA. 27 of 81 B-24s hit the Gilze-Rijen Airfield, The Netherlands; dense contrails and frost prevent most aircraft from attacking; 4 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; casualties are 26 KIA and 14 WIA; escort is provided by 91 P-47s without loss.
Sunday February 20th, 1944 Mission 9
"No9 Feb 20 Gotha Germany. Long haul. Otherwise milk run. Good fighter protection and overcast over the target."
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 226: The Eighth Air Force begins "Big Week," attacks on German aircraft plants and airfields. For the first time, over 1,000 bombers are dispatched; 21 bombers and 4 fighters are lost hitting 3 areas in Germany, i.e.: 1. 417 B-17s are dispatched to Leipzig/Mockau Airfield, and aviation industry targets at Heiterblick and Abnaundorf; 239 hit the primary targets, 37 hit Bernburg, 44 hit Oschersleben and 20 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 14-5-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 17 WIA and 72 MIA. 2. 314 B-17s are dispatched to the Tutow Airfield; 105 hit the primary and immediate area, 76 hit Rostock and 115 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 15-15-10 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 3 KIA and 60 MIA. 3. 272 B-24s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Brunswick, Wilhelmtor and Neupetritor; 76 hit the primary, 87 hit Gotha, 13 hit Oschersleben, 58 hit Helmstedt and 10 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 36-13-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 10 KIA, 10 WIA and 77 MIA. Missions 1 and 3 above are escorted by 94 P-38s, 668 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 73 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 61-7-37 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38, 2 P-47s and 1 P-51 is lost, 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 4 aircraft are damaged; casualties are 4 MIA.
Tuesday February 22nd, 1944 Mission 10
"#10 Feb 22nd Cluster raid. Arnhem. Scheduled for Gotha but got recalled. Got too near Rotterdam on the way in. Lot of flak and very accurate. In fact , too damned accurate for comfort. Target of opportunity Arnhem."
February 22: Gotha
After the group was recalled from the mission to Gotha, they decided to bomb targets of opportunity in Germany. By mistake, though, they bombed Arnhem and Nijmegen, on the German-Dutch border. Docks, factories, and a fuel dump were hit, and about 885 Dutch citizens were killed.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): HQ VIII Bomber Command is redesignated as HQ, Eighth Air Force. Mission 230: "Big Week" continues with 799 aircraft dispatched against German aviation and Luftwaffe airfields; 41 bombers and 11 fighters are lost. 1. 289 B-17s are dispatched against aviation industry targets at Aschersleben (34 bomb), Bernburg (47 bomb) and Halberstadt (18 bomb) in conjunction with a Fifteenth Air Force raid on Regensburg, Germany; 32 hit Bunde, 19 hit Wernegerode, 15 hit Magdeburg, 9 hit Marburg and 7 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 32-18-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 38 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 141 damaged; casualties are 35 KIA, 30 WIA and 367 MIA. 2. 333 B-17s are dispatched to Schweinfurt but severe weather prevents aircraft from forming properly and they are forced to abandon the mission prior to crossing the enemy coast; 2 B-17s are damaged. 3. 177 B-24s are dispatched but they are recalled when 100 miles (160 km) inland; since they were over Germany, they sought targets of opportunity but strong winds drove the bombers over The Netherlands and their bombs hit Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Deventer; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost and 3 damaged; casualties are 30 MIA. These missions are escorted by 67 P-38s, 535 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s, and 57 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 6 are damaged; the P-47s claim 39-6-15 Luftwaffe aircraft, 8 P-47s are lost and 12 damaged, 8 pilots are MIA; the P-51s claim 19-1-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 3 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged, 3 pilot are MIA.
Thursday February 24th, 1944 Mission 11
"#11 Gotha Feb 24 Just a shade rough. Saw lots of planes going down and parachutes opening. I believe our fighters & bombers knocked down quite a number of enemy fighters. Target is believed to have been completely destroyed. Saw smoke for 60 miles. 17's hit Schweinfurt at the same time. We got hit by fighters and flak. Got in a couple of long bursts at a FW-190. Ended up near Antwerp. T.S. got plenty of accurate flak. Lost 3 planes today."
February 24: Gotha
Fragmentation bombs were used for the first time, on an aircraft factory airfiled where 40 to 60 planes were parked. The factory itself and the city were also hit, with good results. Flak was intense and accurate. One plane, the Lady Barbara, received a direct hit in a fuel tank by anti-aircraft fire. All 10 crewmen bailed out and were taken prisoner. Flak also hit a second plane, with 2 killed and 8 taken prisoner. A third plane, Henry's Pride, was severely damaged by cannon fire. The crew bailed out over England, but the pilot, 2/Lt Cecil Miller, crashed with the plane and was killed. Miller was poshumously awarded the Silver Star.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Report record inaccurate.
Monday February 28th, 1944 Mission 12
"No12 Feb 28 Target somewhere in France (Mont de Marsan) Great amount of haze. No bombs dropped. Lots of flak. The sky was filled with P-47's. Beautiful fighter escort."
February 28: Noball target
The failure of both GH planes caused the mission to be scrubbed
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Missions 237, 238 and 239 are flown today against targets in France; 7 B-17s are lost. Heavy clouds cause over half the bombers dispatched to return without bombing. Mission 237: 49 of 81 B-24s hit the Ecalles sur Buchy V-weapon sites; 1 B-24 is damaged. Escort is provided by 61 P-47s. Mission 238: 258 B-17s are dispatched against V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais; 109 hit the primary target, 10 hit a road junction E of Yerville, 7 hit a rail siding SW of Abbeville and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-17s are lost and 75 damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 63 MIA. Escort is provided by 81 P-38s, 94 P-47s and 22 P-51s; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-51s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.
Sunday March 5th, 1944 Mission 13
"No13 March 5 Mont de Marsan, France. Target overcast bombed target of opportunity. Bergerac airfield. Could see Pyrenees at primary target. Attacked by fighters coming out. Fighter escort good. Lots of flak over target. Long ole haul."
March 5: Mont de Marsan, France
An advanced RTU base near the Pyrenees mountains was the intended target, but dense cloud cover caused a change in plans. Instead, an airfield at Bergerac and Landes de Bussac with good results.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 248: 219 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Mont De Marsan, Cayeux and Bordeaux/Merignac, France but bad cloud conditions force a target change and multiple aborts; 62 hit Bergerac Airfield, 60 hit Cognac/Chateaubernard Airfield, 41 hit Landes de Bussac Airfield and 1 hits La Roche Airfield; they claim 14-2-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 23 damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 35 MIA. Escort is provided by 34 P-38s, 185 P-47s and 88 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; 2 P-38s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 1 pilot is killed and another MIA; 1 P-47 is damaged and 1 pilot is KIA; the P-51s claim 14-0-6 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 0-0-6 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 4 MIA.
Monday March 6th, 1944 Mission 14
"No 14 Target Berlin March 6. Formed and got over enemy territory. Two superchargers went haywire. Couldn't keep up. Had to turn back."
[Ron Shue: Lt. Merriman's crew was probably in their normal aircraft "Sweet Moonbeam McSwine" for this mission. Repairs were not complete by the next mission March 8th. Explains why the aircraft they were in on their last mission was 41-29292. "Sweet Moonbeam McSwine" survived the war and was scrapped May 8th, 1945].
March 6: Genshagen/Berlin
The first large attack on the German capital by the 8th Air Force, the Zehlendorf area of Berlin was set afire. Flak was so intense that 38 planes suffered damage. One plane, Major Hoopo, ditched in the English Channel, killing 7 of the 10 crewmen on board.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 250: 504 B-17s and 226 B-24s are dispatched to hit industrial areas in the suburbs of Berlin; fierce fighter opposition claims 69 bombers (the highest number lost by the Eighth Air Force in a single day) and 11 fighters; the bombers claim 97-28-60 Luftwaffe fighters; details are: 1. 248 B-17s hit secondary targets in the Berlin area; 18 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 172 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 8 WIA and 184 MIA. 2. 226 B-17s hit targets of opportunity at Templin, Verden, Kalkeberge, Potsdam, Oranienburg and Wittenberg; 35 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 121 damaged; casualties are 15 WIA and 354 MIA. 3. 198 B-24s hit the primary target (Genshagen industrial area), secondary targets in the Berlin area and targets of opportunity at Potsdam; 16 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 54 damaged; casualties are 15 KIA, 8 WIA and 148 MIA. Escort is provided by 86 P-38s, 615 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 100 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; results are: 1. P-38s claim 3-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 is lost, the pilot is MIA. 2. P-47s claim 36-7-12 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-47s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 5 MIA. 3. P-51s claim 43-1-20 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged; casualties are 5 MIA. The fighters also claim 1-0-12 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.
Wednesday March 8th, 1944 Mission 15
This first hand account was sent to me by Charles S. Clark. [Lt. Clark finished his tour of duty as the Operations Officer for the 705th BS September 1944]
"The target was Berlin for the 8th AF. The specific target for the 446th BG was the ball bearing plant atErkner on the east side of Berlin if the weather was visual for the bombadier. I was flying as co-pilot.
We dropped our bombs on the ball bearing works with good effect. Flak was intense on the bomb run and afterward as we reassembled the wing. I saw three bombers knocked out of formation by flak. I could not tell what finally happened to them. Berlin was a large city. It seemed a long time to fly over with all the flak.
The air was clear on the withdrawal and several miles to the west of Berlin I saw four fighter planes off to the right side flying near our altitude and parallel to our course. They flew well past us until they were specs in size. Suddenly they made a turn to the left and made a 180 degree turn and headed in our direction. This becomes a matter of seconds. I could not tell if they were P-51's for sure.
Our plane was flying the number 2 position in the high right element of 3. Our position in the formation was off the right wing of Lt. Merriman's plane.
The four fighters were flying abreast and it quickly became evident that our 3 plane element was their target. The closure rate was rapid. Suddenly the wings of the approaching fighters started twinkling -- cannon and machine guns firing. I jinked the B-24 and the attacking ME-109's shot underneath us. I looked over at Lt. Merriman's plane and itslowly slipped down out of the formation. We then slid over and took the place just vacated. I lost sight of Lt. Merriman's plane as we took the lead position in our element."
March 8: Erkner
The VKF ball bearing works was hit and great damage was inflicted. Intense flak took it's biggest toll so far, with 3 planes going down. Among the three planes, a total of 26 crewmen died and 4 more taken prisoner.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Mission 252: The primary target is the ball bearing plant at Erkner, a suburb of Berlin; enemy opposition is fierce and 37 bombers and 16 fighters are lost; 320 of 414 B-17s and 150 of 209 B-24s dispatched hit the primary; 36 B-17s hit Wildau and targets of opportunity; 33 B-24s hit Berlin and targets of opportunity; the bombers claim 63-17-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 28 B-17s and 9 B-24s are lost, 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; casualties are 4 KIA, 14 WIA and 364 MIA. Escort is provided by 104 P-38s, 613 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 174 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; claims/losses are: 1. P-38s claim 9-2-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-38s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 4 MIA. 2. P-47s claim 49-6-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 P-47s are lost, 13 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 2 WIA and 10 MIA. 3. P-51s claim 29-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 4 MIA. An additional 8-4-7 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed on the ground. 786th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 466th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Attlebridge, England from the US with B-24s; first mission is 22 Mar.
Again from Charles S. Clark
Casey was a bombadier on a lead crew. The lead crew led the bomber formation and other planes following dropped their bombs when the lead plane dropped it's bombs.
Casey was a member of the original group to fly to England. To be a member of a lead crew meant you were the best of the best.
[Note: Cpl. Floyd Meckler and Lt. Frederick Riedel are pictured in this crew photo but were not on the ill-fated mission. Lt. Leonard Baxa and S/Sgt Calvin Hahnert were members of the crew on March 8, 1944. Cpl. Meckler and Lt. Riedel are not listed as casualties in the records of the 446th Bomb Group.]