Mahaska County

1/Lt. Walter McCartie

 

 

 

Forts Hit Frankfurt 2nd Time in 4 Days;
Calais Gets It Again

Fighter Opposition Nil in Comparison With Thursday Battle,
Fatal to 29 Forts; Direct Hits on Rail Center

Flying Fortresses carried on the ever-growing Allied aerial offenses against the Luftwaffe and its supporting factories yesterday with a strong blow at Frankfurt, railway center of southwestern Germany and site of important aircraft and other military manufacturing plants.

Simultaneously formations of Liberators and Marauders again struck the unidentified military objectives in the Pas de Calais area of France.

The assault on Frankfurt was in sharp contrast to the mission of the previous day against Brunswick, when the Fortresses and their escorting fighters ran into what was probably the heaviest opposition yet encountered against Germany.

Only five bombers were lost yesterday – the lowest toll recorded for any major operation against Germany. One Liberator failed to return from the Pas de Calais operations. None of the Marauders was lost. At the same time, U. S. fighters claimed 32 German planes against a loss of 14 of their own. Mustang pilots alone claimed 14.

The attack on Frankfurt yesterday was the USAAF’s second in four days and fifth since operations against Germany began. The first U. S. raid on the great industrial and transportation city was on Oct. 4, but the great assault obviously designed to flatten the city got under way Jan. 29, when 800 bombers, escorted by 700 fighters, deluged the city with 1,800 tons of explosives.

Dense masses of smoke bellowed up from Frankfurt, according to crewmen back from the 900-mile round trip over snow-covered Germany. The city was partially covered by clouds, and some bombardiers had to use the new technique for bombing through overcast. Others, able to watch their bombs, reported direct hits.

12 Raids in 15 Days

Mustangs, Lightnings and Thunderbolts escorted the four-engine bombers to Germany, while other Thunderbolts covered the Liberators in their run to France. Heavy bombers of the U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe have not struck Continental objectives in 12 of the last 15 days.

This exceeds by one the largest total of raids in any one month since the heavies began operating in this theater – and the best evidence of their new striking power.

Liberators, escorted by P47s, bombed military installations in the Pas de Calais area of France, making their 11th attack on enemy targets in two weeks. They encountered no German fighters, but flew through considerable flak over some of the targets.

“I’d rather take on Bremen than another deal like today, related 1/Lt. Walter McCartie, of Oskaloosa, Iowa, pilot of “Heavenly Daze II,” which returned from her maiden mission with numerous flak holes.

2/Lt. Charles Young of Dayton, Tex., skipper of the “Flying Squaw,” declared: “The legend of that territory being easy wasn’t justified today. It was the roughest ‘easy’ mission I’ve ever made.”

Marauders, flying their ninth mission of the month, returned to the Pas De Calais yesterday morning to pound military objectives. Escorted by R.A.F., R.C.A.F. and Allied fighters, they returned without loss.

Source: Stars and Stripes, Saturday, February 12, 1944