|Aschaffenburg in the 16th century, above, and in 1945, below
|Allied "Boasting" Report of German Genocide: 25 February 1945 Mission #244 Target:
The key railroad marshalling yard facilities in Aschaffenburg, 26 miles southeast of Frankfurt, were
the target. With a capacity for handling 2,500 wagons per day, the marshalling yards were last
attacked on 21 January 1945 with only slight damage done.
For the first time in weeks, the prospects for a visual target were excellent as the weather had cleared
over the Continent. General briefings for 30 aircrews were conducted between 0315 and 0430 hours
with 28 commencing take-offs at 0650. Each plane had 2,700 gallons of fuel and carried ten 500
pound General Purpose bombs.
A long route down over France was briefed to avoid poor weather which still persisted over north
central Germany. A force of 27 bombers went over the target, releasing (262) 500 pounders.
The 578th Sqdn, leading the 392nd, accomplished fair bombing as did the 577th high right squadron.
The 576th Squadron, however, dropped 54 percent of its bombs within 500 feet of the Mean Point
of Impact (MPI), 93 percent within 1,000 feet and 100 percent within 2,000 feet of the MPI.
According to the 392nd's Photo Interpreter, "This is really excellent bombing. The MPI here was the
large double round house and the 576th blanketed it with at least 30 bursts. Next to this they also
damaged or destroyed at least 50 railroad cars. Other hits were scored on roads and 7 large buildings
near the yards... To sum it all up, this was a very successful mission and should have put the
marshalling yards out of commission for awhile, by cutting many of the tracks and destroying much
of the rolling stock."
Enemy fighters were not encountered and AA fire was meager. The long route caused six crews to
land elsewhere due to low fuel: Capt W.L. Miller and 2/Lt Dodson at B-58 and 2/Lt Joyce at B-53
on the Continent; 2/Lt Pope at Horsham; and 2/Lt Jordon and 1/Lt Harding at Manston. The other
ships landed safely at Wendling by 1607 hours after a long but successful raid.
The next day, Gen William Kepner, Commander of the 2nd Bomb Division sent a message
commending the Division and the 392nd for its outstanding bombing on this mission. To be read to
all crews at briefings, the message said, "Evaluation of yesterday's bombing results of important
communications and a/c centers conclusively shows that each of 2nd Division's targets was
superlatively hit. I consider this to be not only the best day's work this Division has ever done while
under my command but also one of the outstanding performances in the history of precision
bombing. My congratulations to each and every officer and man in each and every Group and Wing
for this magnificent performance which dealt the enemy a devastating blow at one of the crucial
periods of the war. [signed] KEPNER"