The 489th Bombardment Squadron in Corsica
Bombardment Squadron in Corsica
My father, Quentin Kaiser, flew his 1st combat mission to bomb a railroad bridge at Viareggio, Italy on May
18, 1944. Twelve planes from the 489th Bomb Squadron and 12 planes from the 487th Squadron
each carried four 1000-pound bombs and were escorted by 12 Spitfires on the mission. The
Operations Order for the mission shows Lieutenant E. J. Haster as the flight
leader. My dad was the radioman in B-25J 9H (705) as he recorded in his mission log.
The 489th flight schedule shows the positions of the planes with their crews in their flight formations.
There are two "boxes" of six aircraft listed and one alternate plane which returned to base after take-off
unless there was a problem with one of the regular planes. Note that Major Leonard Kaufmann, the Operations Officer
(in a few weeks he would become the Commanding Officer) for the 489th, appears to have been a last-minute replacement as the
copilot in the lead plane of the first box- B-25J 9K (101). The lead planes in each box of six aircraft also
had a navigator on board in addition to the usual crew of pilot, copilot, bombardier, radio-gunner, engineer top-turret gunner and tail gunner.
The above excerpt from the 489th Bomb Squadron Tactical Diary describes the mission of May 18, 1944.
Since it was his first mission, my dad must have been in one of the "new crews" referred to.
This 1944 photograph sent to me by Daniele Cammilli from Viareggio shows the target area with the old train
station and a damaged bridge after the mission.
This photo from Daniele Cammilli shows the damaged bridge after the bombing. The
Daily Operations Report shows that one plane jettisoned its four bombs due to a rack malfunction so ninetytwo 1000-pound bombs were dropped on the mission.
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