On the morning of June 9, 1944, 2Lt. Walter H. Michaels boarded his Lockheed B-24J-165-JO Liberator nicknamed "Hogan's Hellcats" (A/C #44-40479), and departed Giulia Airfield #1. Giulia Airfield (also known as Cerignola) was part of the Foggia airfield complex just inland from the Adriatic Sea on Italy's east coast. His Liberator was assigned to position 5 of "C" Flight. Their mission this day was to hit targets in and around Munich, Germany about 500 miles to the NNW.
According to Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 5849, the 758th Bomb Squadron of the 459th Bomb Group reached the target area at about 10:00 A.M. and made their run unloading their bombs. Weather was described as overcast and antiaircraft flak as intense but inaccurate. According to SSgt. Michael J. Meindl, tail gunner in the #3 plane of "C" flight, to the left of, level with "Hogan's Hellcats" and about 50 yards ahead, the group had just completed the bomb run at 10:05 A.M. when five bursts of flak exploded directly under Lt. Michaels' ship. The tip of the left wing curled up and the ship went into about a 60% bank to the left. After falling approximately 500 feet, Lt. Michaels brought the ship out of the dive. As he did so, the number one engine fell off and the last he saw of the ship it was spinning earthward, into the flak barrage below.
In a statement made by 2Lt. Leonard Brosky, navigator and sole survivor of Lt. Michaels crew, "We dropped bombs and I think about 5 seconds later we went into a spin. I saw the pilot, co-pilot, and engineer try to leave their seats. I was navigating from the flight deck and using the radio operator's table. After my chute opened I looked for other chutes but did not see them. I heard from a gunner in a ship in front of us and in the same squadron (758th) that it blew up in the vicinity of Munich. I don't even remember how my chute opened up."