67 Years Ago: the 362nd FG loses Lts. Robert Daw and “Mouse” Maucini

The 362nd Fighter Group flew seven missions, five in support of III Corps, on December 30, 1944. A sixth went to the Neunkirchen marshalling yard and a seventh one attacked gun emplacements east of Bastogne. At Neunkirchen, six large fires were started among about 1000 rail cars stretched over a 10-mile span of rail lines, and 200 rail cars north of Baumholder were hit with napalm. A supply dump northeast of Bastogne was set on fire. The 378th hit a supply dump near Bourcy, leaving it burning, and destroyed two tanks and 14 gun positions near Derenach. Lt. Robert Racine and Lt. Robert E. Daw of the 377th spotted some armed vehicles on the edge of some woods and began strafing them. “On our last pass I looked back and saw Lt. Daw going over the edge of the forest very low,” said Racine. “In a few moments, I looked back and saw Lt. Daw going straight off his pass about 100 feet off the ground. About the same time, Lt. Daw, sounding very excited, called over the radio that he just flew through some trees and he was going in. Red Leader, not understanding his call, told him to bail out if he was in trouble. Lt. Daw then called again that his engine was dead and he was going in.” Daw, flying “Spunky,” P-47D-11 42-75392, bellied in safely near Benonchamps, Luxembourg, about a mile from American lines. It wasn’t until a month later he was declared killed in action; Daw may have been captured and executed by SS troops in the area. Lt. Joseph J. Maucini Jr. of the 378th was hit by flak and bailed out south of A-82, but his parachute failed to open.

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1 Comment

  1. This is very interesting to me as Lt. Robeert Daw was my cousin. The details here are similar to the lettwer received from his commanding officer when he went down. Also, about 10 years ago, a Mr. Robert Feller from the BG Museum in Peris, Luxemberg, got a picture of the plane on the ground after it had safely landed,]. He also assumed Lt. Daw was killed by SS troups.

    Jack Irish, Lufkin, Texas jmirish205@gmail.com


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