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All Missions Flown By: Robert  M.  Smith Of The 44th Bomb Group  68 Squadron

Missions Flown: 20


Mission Date  Mission No  Aircraft No         City                  Country       Target

 2/26/1943        14           41-23816         Wilhelmshaven          Germany     Port & Docks

 5/1/1943          28           41-24009         Diversionary Mission  France        Diversion

 5/4/1943          29           41-24009         Diversionary Mission  Holland       Diversion

 5/14/1943        30           41-24009         Kiel                              Germany     Krupp Submarine Works

 7/2/1943          33           42-40071         Lecce                          Italy             Airdrome

 7/5/1943          34           42-40071         Messina                      Sicily            Marshalling Yards

 7/6/1943          35           42-40071         Gerebina                     Sicily           Air Drome

 7/10/1943        37           42-40071         Catania                       Sicily            Marshalling Yards

 7/12/1943        38           42-40071         Reggio Di Calabria     Italy             Marshalling Yards

 7/13/1943        39           42-40071         Crotone                       Sicily           Air Drome

 7/15/1943        40           42-40071         Foggia                        Italy              Air Drome

 7/17/1943        41           42-40071         Naples                        Italy              Marshalling Yards

 7/19/1943        42           42-40071         Rome                         Italy               Littorio Marshalling Yards

 8/1/1943          43           42-40071         Ploesti                        Romania      Oil Facilities

 8/13/1943        44           42-40071         Wiener-Neustadt       Austria          Aircraft Factory

 9/9/1943          49           41-24232         Abbeville/Drucat        France          Air Drome

 9/15/1943        50           42-40071         Chartres                     France          Air Drome

 9/21/1943        51           42-40071         Leghorn                      Italy              Tactical

 9/24/1943        52           42-40071         Pisa                            Italy               Marshalling Yards

 10/1/1943        56      



Robert  M.  Smith

Of the 44th Bomb Group 68 Squadron  

Rank: Staff Sergeant   

Duties: Waist Gunner   

Status: Killed in Action


Mission Information

Mission : 56  

Mission Date: 10/1/1943  

Mission City: Wiener-Neustadt  

Country: Austria  

Target: Aircraft Factory


Mission Comments:

UMS 10/1/43 The 44th BG dispatched 26 B-24s with 1 abortive. Take-off was at 0700 hours, flying into 10/10th cumulus from the Adriatic to the target where a small hole was found, but not large enough to permit an adequate bomb run. Bombing results were poor due to these weather conditions and to intense, accurate flak over the target. Persistent fighter attacks were encountered from the I.P. until about five minutes past the target causing the loss of eight aircraft. One A/C left the formation on the way out headed for Yugoslavia, cause unknown. One A/C was destroyed in crash-landing at Foggia.


There were between 55 to 75 encounters with Me 109s and 20 to 25 encounters with FW 190s. Of these, 50 were destroyed, 3 probables and 6 damaged. In view of pressure of time, it was necessary to fly this mission in weather that was very unfavorable. Under these conditions, the results were creditable. Strike photographs taken during the bombing show that the target areas were well covered by bursts, many being seen in the Fluzeng- werke, the Henschel Works and the northern part of the Storyr Daimler Works. Considerable other detail of hits also is shown. Flak was slight, aimed, accurate heavy flak at Viterbo & Frosinone, Gray and north of the Volturno River. In the target area, intense accurate, aimed and barrage type heavy flak.




ID: 13027651
Entered the Service From: Pennsylvania
Rank: Master Sergeant

Service: U.S. Army Air Forces, 68th Bomber Squadron, 44th Bomber Group, Heavy

Died: Friday, October 01, 1943
Buried at: Ardennes American Cemetery
Location: Neupre (Neuville-en-Condroz), Belgium
Plot: B Row: 44 Grave: 53

Awards: Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, Purple Heart

The following is the text of the News Handout, II Combat Wing, covering the activities of the Wing on 1 October 1943:


WIENER NEUSTADT - USAAF B-24 Liberators led by Brig. Gen. James P. Hodge of Tampa, Fl., yesterday flew into Germany for the first time from this theater to attack the important Messerschmitt factory at Wiener Neustadt, 27 miles south of Vienna. The B-24 force was largely from the Eighth AF, operating under control of the Northwest African Air Forces. The Liberators braved intense anti-aircraft fire and heavy formations of German fighters, but they bombed the factory in spite of bad cloud conditions over the target. They pushed through bad weather all the way after reaching the continent. Accurate observations of some of the bombing was prevented by cloud cover, but part of the big formation definitely saw its explosives falling directly on the cluster of factory buildings. The fighters made aggressive and persistent attacks for one-half hour after leaving the target, and Liberator gunners shot down at least 20 of them. The Wiener Neustadt plant ranks in importance with the big factories at Regensburg and Leipzig. It is one of the principal production centers for the Luftwaffe. It produces a substantial precentage of German pursuit planes. It was attacked by USAAF B-24 Liberators on 13 August, but yesterday's raid was the biggest yet. Directly in the target area are two airfields where the factory production funnels for distribution to the Luftwaffe. Following are comments of some of the crew members on this Wiener Neustadt raid: 2nd Lt. John R. Jordan, 353 McLean St. Wilkes-Barre, PA. said, "There was a sea of flak and clouds of fighters, but they didn't stop us from hitting our target." 1st Lt. Robert J. Lehnhausen, 515 East Armstrong St., Peoria, Ill., said, "The way the enemy put up a defense indicates the target was a prize - but we got it." 1st Lt. David W. Alexander, Hot Springs, VA.: "A rough fight, but we hit our target and got a flock of Jerries to boot." 1st Lt. Allen G.E. Bargmann, 1105 Brown St., Davonport, IA.: "The flak and fighters were the best I've seen, but we got through and hit our objectives."



1st Lt. Robert Fisher 137 1/2 Fontanax St., Downey, CA., "We not only knocked down the fighters but we knocked down the plant that built them." S/Sgt. R.P. Reeves of 3606 Harrison St., Amarillo, TX.: "Our ship, calaban, (67th's) bucked flak and fighters and returned home safely." Lt. Col. James T. Posey of Henderson, KY., commander of one of the B-24 Groups (44th) said, "It was the worst flak I've seen, and the fighters were eager, but the mission was carried out." S/sgt. L.N. Bresnahar of Lafayette, Ind., said, "Our bomb bursts seemed centered in a group of factory buildings, which were covered by smoke and flames. However, the anti-aircraft was so intense that I didn't have a lot of time to keep looking." S/Sgt. C.N. Miller of Hempstead, MD., said, "We flew almost the entire route with heavy clouds. Luckily, in the target area, a hole opened up enough for us to bomb. I saw 20 bursts in the factory buildings." Lt. James L. Tollison of Amarillo, TX. said. "It was a tough mission. Clouds made it exceedingly difficult and there was lots of flak, some of it very accurate. No fighters attacked us, but the Group behind (44th) were attacked with considerable force.



Msgt. Robert M. Smith

" OFFICIAL AIR COMMUNIQUE From Chief Air Censor, NATOUSA (To be released at 1130 hrs, 2 Oct. 1943, at press HQ NATOUSA) Oct 2, 1943 - Yesterday heavy bombers of the NAAF, augmented by heavy bombers of the 8th AF, attacked an aircraft factory in Austria and military objectives in southern Germany.


During yesterday's operations, eight enemy aircraft were destroyed; 12 of our aircraft are missing. /s/ Max G. Marple Total losses: 44th BG - 8 - 7 by flak, 1 accident 93rd BG - 1 - Very few attacks on 93rd 389th BG - 1 or the 389th Total Damaged 44th BG - 4 Cat. "B" & 13 Cat. "AC" 44th BG Stats only: E/A Encountered - 20-25 FW 190s, 55-75 Me 109 E/A Destroyed - 43 Me 109s and 7 FW 190S E/A Probables - 3 Me 109s E/A Damaged - 6 Me 109s Crew Members MIA - 69 Seriously Wounded - 2 Slightly Wounded - 6 A/C Dispatched - 26 A/C Abortive - 1 A/C Bombing - 25 Bombs Dropped 50.5 tons


Due to the fact that interrogation of the 44th Group was conducted at many fields on different procedures, it has been impossible to reconstruct all of these encounteres, However, as best as possible, these encounters-have been summarized above. It should be noted too, that some enemy aircraft remained out of range, firing rockets accurately into the formation, and a number were observed with 37 mm cannon, one under each wing. Silver discs (indendiaries) were also reported as used against us. Abortives: A/C #42-40370 returned after 3 hours with #3 engine feathered. It had caught fire three times. Investigation revealed that a large quantity of oil had been used. Cause attributed to worn out condition of engine. This was Whitlock's "Heaven Can Wait", a 506th Squadron's ship.


FW 190’s