319th BG lost two Marauders on this mission; 41-17766 "I Dood It"; Pilot Lt. Gibbs and 41-17803; Pilot Lt. Leonard (MACR 15620). The MACR says serial 41-17206, but this is wrong, as no Marauder had this serial.
This was the 10th combat mission for 319th BG (their 1st was Nov 28 1942). The target was RR yards at Sousse, Tunisia. 6 Marauders on the mission, 2 a/c lost. Flight Leader was Lt. A.E. Woolridge.
"December 18 1942. The sun broke through today. Six B-26s of this Gp. took off to bomb railroad station and yards at Sousse, Tunisia. They were escorted by four P-38s. One B-26 returned safely due to fuel line trouble. B-26s bombed from 800 to 1200 feet. Bombing was made directly down the railway tracks over the station. Bombs were dropped in a pattern covering about 2000 feet of tracks. Direct hits were made on the tracks and also on a freight train in the yards. Hits or near misses were made on railroad station and roundhouse. Heavy black smoke was seen from all fires for about thirty-five miles. Intense and effective machine gun fire from bombers was made on flak positions near the target.
One of our B-26s was seen to explode and disintegrate in midair about 1500 feet west of railroad station. The second B-26 shot down by flak was seen to crash into the ocean 1000 feet southwest of quay at Sousse Harbor. This B-26 remained under control with one engine out until shortly before it hit the sea. All of its guns remained in action against the flak barges until the end. It was piloted by Lt. LEONARD. Others killed were Lts. GIBBS, LINDER, Sgt. POLLARD, Cpl. MIDDELL, Sgt. LONG, Sgt. HUDSON, Lt. LEONARD, Lt. MARGWARTH, Lt. WILSON, Sgt. FAUST, Sgt. KARASIN, and Sgt. CORETTO. The accuracy and intensity of the flak is indicated by the fact that four of the bombers which returned were hit from three to ten times each." Crew 41-17803 438th BS:
Pilot 1st Lt Charles J. Leonard
Co-Pilot Dean D. Margwarth
2nd Lt Barnett C. Wilson
S/Sgt Frank A. Coretto
Sgt Virgel D. Faust
Sgt Bernard Karasin
Attached scan shows 41-17803 on a mission December 4th 1942.
post edited by deefeater -