THE BOMBING OF THE CHARTRES 01 AOUT 1944
On 1 August 1944, 1014 and 397 four-engine escort fighters of the 8th US Air Force took off from England. Initially, the city of Berlin was the main target of the day. However, due to extremely cloudy sky that could compromise the mission, the US command decided to change the targets. Chartres, Chartres and Orleans are now among the priority objectives of the bombers.
The attack on the city of Chartres will be done in three stages, the first wave consisting of 58 "Flying Fortress" B-17 that target Chartres airfield while 36 others are to attack the bridges to cross the city.
THE CRASH OF THE B-17 LT STEVENS
Around noon, a first wave of bombers took off from England with the aim of bombing Chartres. At 2:45 p.m., the first formation of bombers arrive at Chartres by the West to destroy the airfield. These bombers, are those of the 322nd Bomber Squadron of the 91st Bomber Group which took off from the field Bassingbourn between London and Cambridge. Chartres German DCA is moderate but precise and has hit a first B-17. The B-17 (No. 42-97879) belonging to the 322nd Bomber Squadron of the 91st Bomber Group is controlled by 2nd Lt. Arthur L. STEVENS.The bomber crashed immediately to the west of Chartres. According to testimony given by other members of the panel, the unit was hit by shells between the cockpit and the bomb bay, and to the left wing. The device then engaged in a spin with two engines on fire. Of the five men who manage to jump, one opens his parachute. The four remained stuck in the burning aircraft. To 1,500 feet, flying fortress, probably still loaded bomb explodes in the air and scattered debris over a large area. The lucky man who saves his life was Sergeant Laurence E. DOYLE, rear gunner but was captured by the Germans.
The members of the crew:
Arthur L. STEVENS
Gordon W. DIXON
Thomas J. Scheurell
Thomas J. Minnick
T / Sgt
Gordon E. Carrell
S / Sgt
Eldred W. BASKIN
T / Sgt
S / Sgt
Paul B. Taliaferro
Laurence E. DOYLE
Read more about Thomas J. Minnick: http://www.backtonormandy.org/the-history/other-interesting-records/american-cemetery-and-memorial/J-27-10.html
Thanks to http://forcedlanding.pagesperso-orange.fr/bozarth.htm