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Google Earth Plug-in: 461st BG (H), Mission 88, Markersdorf Airfield

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23 August 1944, Target: Markersdorf Airdrome, St. Polten, Austria

The third frag job of the month against enemy airdromes. The target was the Markersdorf Airdrome at St. Polen, Austria. The first string of frags started at the Southwest corner of the airdrome and continued northeast to the service apron, the second string fell across the western half of the airdrome. Seven enemy aircraft were hit and three others received near misses. Forty-two enemy aircraft parked on the airdrome can be counted in the Group pictures.

Again enemy fighter opposition was encountered. Upward of seventy ME-109's and FW-190's were seen between Lake Balaton and the target. As a result of repeated attacks, five of these were destroyed, six probably destroyed, and one damaged. The cover provided this Group by the P-51s on this mission was exceptionally good. There was no flak at the target. The plane piloted by 2nd Lt. Gordon W Rosecrans, Jr. was set on fire by enemy fighters. More than half the crew members were seen to bail out from the plane.

For the second time since the Group had been operating in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations, a strange airplane joined the bomber formation on this mission. At 46 deg., 25' North and 15 deg., 52' East a black B-17 with white vertical stabilizer and elevators joined the formation and flew a wing position for approximately thirty minutes. At the end of that time it fired upon the formation and then turned away when fire was returned.

In Austria, 472 B-24s and B-17s supported by P-51s and P-38s bomb the S industrial area of Vienna, the Wiener-Neudorf aircraft engine factory, Vosendorf oil refinery, and Markersdorf Airfield, and attack targets at Ferrara, Italy, missing a river bridge but hitting a synthetic rubber factory.

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