31 March, 1943 — North Africa
Herbert E Rodgers; KILLED IN ACTION On 31 March 1943
448th Bombardment Squadron War Diary:
On March 31, 1943, on a low element sea sweep (Bombing Mission) over the Mediterranean Sea, Off of Northeastern Tunisia, the first battle casualties of the squadron occurred. 2 Crews, (13 Men), and 2 Planes were Lost,1st Lt. Hess, McKinney; 2nd Lts: Campbell, Welton; S/Sgts: Cookman, Hines, Kirol, McGinnis, McMurray, Ratajczyk, Rodgers, Headings and Lottes were shot down into the Mediterranean Sea by enemy fighters. The mission however did succeed in sinking two enemy ships.
At 12:45 15 planes off to bomb on sea sweep, over the Mediterranean Sea. 14 (planes) dropped 84 x 500 bombs. 12 planes back at 17:05. One landed at Bone. Met convoy, lower element (48) claims M/V (Military Vessel) broken in two, one M/V (Military Vessel) left sinking, one left burning. 4 E/A (Enemy Aircraft) destroyed. About 50 E/A (Enemy Aircraft) attacked 2 B-25’s (Lts: Hess and McKinney) shot down. Intense, heavy accurate flak, balloon barrage. Bombing was at 100-200 feet. Weather: Clear.
Own Aircraft Losses: Two. B-25C 41-13209 and B-25C 41-13205. One by flak and 1455 hours - 37°35’N, 10°47’E; the other by fighters at 1512 hours - 37°48’N, 10°27E.
A/C No. 41-13205 (MACR-14578 “Lost at Sea.
Aircraft was lost to enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft”)
P: McKinney, Charles A., 1Lt~KIA
CP: Campbell, John F., 2Lt~KIA
B: Kirol, Edward A., S/Sgt~KIA
E: Ratajczyk, Thomas S., S/Sgt~KIA
R: Headings, Boyd V., S/Sgt-KIA
G: McGinnis, Lofton F., S/Sgt~KIA
F: Lottes, Richard O., Sgt(ASV)~KIA
A/C No. 41-13209 "Trouble" (MACR-14579 "Lost at Sea. Aircraft waslost to enemy aircraft and anti-aircraft")
P->Hess, Robert G., 1Lt - KIA
CP->Welton, Mert J., 2Lt - KIA
B->McMurray, Walter J., S/Sgt - KIA
E->Rodgers, Herbert E., S/Sgt - KIA
R->Cookman, Harold F., S/Sgt - KIA
G->Hines, Ralph V., S/Sgt - KIA