14 February 1945 — Echgernach, Luxemburg
The 387th Bomb Group (Medium) of the Ninth Air Force was based at Station A-17, Clastres, France. Clastres was located on the northern edge of the village of Clastres, about seven miles south of the city of Saint-Quentin, France. The 387th Bomb Group (M) was one of eight U.S. Army Air Force B-26 Marauder groups deployed in the European Theater of Operations. Known as the “Tiger-Striped Marauders” or “Tiger Tails” because of the distinctive diagonal yellow and black stripes painted on the tails of their aircraft, the groups was made up of four squadrons: 556th, 557th, 558th, 559th Bomb Squadron (M).
The 387th Bomb Group (M) moved to Clastres in early November 1944 to keep up with rapidly advancing Allied troops. The group quickly set up a tent city and lived in tents near the runway. The operations tent was near group headquarters. It was furnished with wooden benches and a large map of western Europe. The map was marked with a grease pencil bomb line depicting the most advanced position of the Allied ground forces. A colored string stretched between pins showed the course to the target.
Members of the groups spent their spare time improving their quarters, including building floors, furniture and improving the tent heating systems. Building materials were scrounged from many sources including wood from bomb crates found at a German bomb dump in the nearby woods and nails form the charred ruins of an old German hanger. Crews also had the pleasure to visit local villages which had recently been liberated. Here they were able to meet the locals and purchase souvenirs of their time in France.
From the 558th Bomb Squadron, 1st Lt. Robert J. Tobin was the pilot of the B-26G-15 Marauder 44-67915 with identification markings of KX-M. At about 16:15 hours, this aircraft was hit by enemy anti-aircraft flak and pilot called for a bail out. According to Missing Air Crew Report 12342 all crew members were successful and landed on the ground before being captured by the Germans. The aircraft crashed near Echgernach, Luxemburg.