CONFIDENTIAL
C-O-P-Y

338TH FIGHTER SQUADRON
55TH FIGHTER GROUP

(21 May 1944)

REPORT OF RED SECTION 338TH FIGHTER SQUADRON

Flew east to Plawer Sea due to 10/10 overcast west of that area.  Hit deck approximately 10 miles SW of lake with white section.  Flew southwest to Elbe River then due west through assigned area.

Saw no target until Elbe River where shipping was observed.  Our 8 ships were spaced more or less on line. Shipping attacked was between Rogatz and a point 8 miles south.  Lt. Parker made gunnery pattern on a 1 stack river steamer and left it afire.  Lt. Parker is claiming a destroyed.  Major Bollwerk observed many hits on deck on another 1 stack steamer claiming damaged.  Lt. Fruh observed many hits on a 3rd 1 stack steamer which is also claimed as damaged. Continued west observing no traffic on (illeg.) Neuhaldensleben RR. between Neuhaldensleben and Weferlingen Lt. Lanham made a pattern on another locomotive which exploded and is claimed destroyed.  Shortly thereafter he went down on another locomotive which he scored many hits and claims as damaged.  In this area Lt. Dempsey disgusted with lack of targets in his line of flight shot up four RR houses and Lt. Berry knocked down a RR Switch tower complete with operator. Lt. Hailey shot up a power station in same locality.  Red to the right of White flight and very low on deck came upon A/F believed Grasleben airfield.  Lt. Dempsey finding a bunch of ME 109s lined up in front of him set the first on fire and caused second to collapse in a heap on the ground which wal (sic.) also witnessed by Lt. Berry.  Both are claimed destroyed.  He continued across field and fired into hangar containing several FW 190s, hits were observed but no further results could be seen due to arrival of tension lines in front of Lt. Dempsey which he proceeded to fly under and capture one inch line which he brought home around his rudder.  White One went down on same field after twin engine A/C believed to be HS-129 scoring many hits and after pull up was observed to be on fire.  Lt. Buskirk observed the two A/C on fire.  Due to heavy ground defence no other members of section strafed A/F but Lt. Fruh a camouflaged barracks which he proceeded to shoot up.  Red flight left deck and started for home up through overcast at this point due to damage to Lt. Dempsey's plane, Lt. Hailey's plane.  Shortly thereafter white 3 and 4 got lost in rainstorm and started up through overcast and home.

(next paragraph illeg.)

The general tactics were Red flight on deck and white flight at 4000 ft.  Just under 10/10 overcast.  At one White one and two were bobbing up and down as targets appeared.  10/10 overcast and poor visibility made keeping ships together very difficult.

On the Grasleben A/F 20 ME 109s observed on ground.

VAL W. BOLLWERK
Commanding and Section Leader

C-O-P-Y
CONFIDENTIAL

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