The 344th Bomb Group of the Ninth Air Force was a medium bomber unit that took part in the tactical bombing of the European Theater. Originally stationed at Stanstead, England, the unit moved to Station A-59 Cormeilles-en Vexin, France on 30 September 1944. Cormeilles-en Vexin is located about 40 kilometers northwest of Paris. As the Allies advanced, the unit moved again on 5 April 1945 to Station A-78 Florennes, Belgium. During early 1945 the missions for the bomb groups were German rail marshaling yards and V-1 rocket launch sites in France.
Shot down on during the 14 February 1945 mission to the Engers railroad bridge was a crew from the 497th Bomb Squadron. Piloted by 1st Lt. John Paul Nelson (O-706233) and his six man crew were flying B-26G1 Marauder with serial number 43-34196.