After a five-day break, the 362nd Fighter Group attacked the marshalling yards at Busigny on May 17, 1945. 27 planes bombed, with 16 providing top cover; the load of 54 500-pound bombs was split between two areas in the yards. Lt. Bill Moore of the 379th Fighter Squadron noted in his log that the bombs “caused “railroad cars to be blown into the air.”
Four planes strafed the second area but were dissuaded from this activity by a flak tower in the woods northeast of the target, which threw up an intense barrage. One P-47, 42-76199 flown by Lt. Bernard J. Elson, was damaged by its fire; his fellow pilots heard him radio that he had been hit and didn’t know if he could make it. After five minutes, Elson radioed, “Sorry, I can’t make it. I’m losing altitude. I’ll have to go down.” A response from one of his flight members came back: “OK boy, hurry back!” Elson was last seen near Quant, west of Cambrai. No one saw a crash or a parachute and his status was listed as missing in action. Lt. Ed MacLean had to force-land P-47D 42-26113 at High Halden when his engine failed; the Thunderbolt was a complete write-off.