68 years ago: the 362nd Fighter Group busts bridges and snarls traffic

The weather took a favorable turn on January 14, 1945, and 11 missions were flown by the 362nd Fighter Group. Two were in support of VIII Corps, four went after the Willingen highway bridge; the 378th Fighter Squadron, led by Capt. Wilfred Crutchfield, dropped three spans, then strafed and destroyed seven trucks and four gun positions southeast of Trier. The squadron’s second mission struck the ammunition dump south of Asch, with 14 planes under Lt. Robert Stoddard making the raid, followed by an uneventful armed reconnaissance. In the evening, the 378th sent 12 planes under Maj. Vern Boehle to bomb Bourcy, and they also destroyed four gun positions north of the town. The group also flew five armed recces. The total claims were 93 trucks, 14 armored vehicles, 20 locomotives, one roundhouse, seven gun positions and six buildings in Courcy. The 377th Fighter Squadron made an especially good showing, wiping out 63 trucks and two half-tracks. The tank depot at Aschaffenburg was pounded with 1000-pound bombs. Two planes were lost, but both pilots returned to the group safely. The 379th returned to the bridge it attacked the day before, this time bringing 14 1000-pounders and eight 500-pounders. Although the bridge remained standing, it was holed in three places and the approaches were completely impassable.

 

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1 Comment

  1. Always good to see details of the 362nd FG,
    Many thanks
    Vic Lewis, Leavenheath. England


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