Ralph L. Minker, Jr. seen inside the Blue Hen Chick

 

List of Missions

No.

Date

Target

Air Craft #

Plane Name

Comment

1 Thursday, Oct. 26, 1944 Hannover, Germany: oil plant 43-38605 Big Ass Bird 1st flight - broke in as co-pilot with Lt. J.V. Wessling
2 Thursday, Nov. 2, 1944 Merseburg, Germany: synthetic oil plant 43-37795 Dixe Marie 2nd flight as co-pilot with Lt. B. Hatfield as pilot and the Minker crew. Heavy flak over the target, 447th lost seven aircraft and four crews.
3 Thursday, Nov. 9, 1944 Saarbrucken, Germany: transportation targets 42-107215 Li'l Eight ball Crew's first mission
4 Thursday, Nov. 16, 1944 Duren area, Germany: support to ground troops 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Poor visibility in Rattlesden delayed return. Dropped leaflets
5 Saturday, Nov. 25, 1944 Merseburg, Germany: synthetic oil plant #230    
6 Sunday, Nov. 26, 1944 Hamm, Germany: marshalling yard #667    
7 Monday, Nov. 27, 1944 Bingen, Germany: marshalling yard #296    
8 Monday, Dec. 4, 1944 Mainz, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick  
9 Wednesday, Dec. 5, 1944 Merseburg, Germany 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick  
10 Monday, Dec. 11, 1944 Giessen, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Largest force flown in one operation to date
11 Tuesday, Dec. 12, 1944 Darmstadt, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick  
12 Sunday, Dec. 24, 1944 Babenhausen, Germany: airfield 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick First clear day since Battle of the Bulge began, Dec. 16. Nine hour mission
13 Thursday, Dec. 28, 1944 Koblenz, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick  
14 Saturday, Dec. 30, 1944 Mannheim, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Two crews of 708th lost in mid-air collision over the target
15 Monday, Jan. 1, 1945 Dollbergen, Germany: oil plant #215 Li'l Eight Ball Blue Hen needed repairs on bomb-bay doors. Two planes crashed on take-off.
16 Wednesday, Jan. 3, 1045 Koblenz, Germany: marshalling yards #524    
17 Friday, Jan. 5, 1945 Waxweiler, Germany: communications center #016   1st of four missions in a row
18 Saturday, Jan. 6, 1945 Worms, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Blue Hen is back from repairs.
19 Sunday, Jan. 7, 1945 Paderborn, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Germans had been pushed out of the bulge
20 Monday, Jan. 8, 1945 Frankfurt, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Awakened at 0230 for 4th consecutive mission. Took heavy flak, holes in right wing, on oxygen for 5.5 hours.
21 Wednesday, Jan. 10, 1945 Karlsruhe, Germany: Marshalling Yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Foggy day with freezing rain. Only four of the squadron got over the target - hit by flak in # 1 engine, had to feather # 3.
22 Sunday, Jan. 14, 1945 Magdeburg, Germany: Oil Refinery 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick 0855 hrs, flak hit navigator lightly on back of the neck.  Had to feather # 3 propeller.
23 Monday, Jan. 15, 1945 Augsburg, Germany: Aircraft Plant 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick 0855 hrs, flak hit navigator lightly on back of the neck.  Had to feather # 3 propeller.
24 Tuesday, Jan. 16, 1945 Dessau, Germany: Oil Plant #080   At 9.5 hrs, longest mission to date.  Had to hand crank bomb bay doors closed weather forced an alternative landing field back in England.
25 Saturday, Jan. 20, 1945 Heilbronn, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Deputy squadron leader for 1st time. 67 degrees below centigrade, cabin windows froze over.
26 Sunday, Jan. 21, 1945 Mannheim, Germany 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Second day of bitter cold, had to hand crank Max Shepherd out of his ball turret.
27 Monday, Jan. 29, 1945 Kassel, Germany: aircraft plant, marshalling yards as secondary target 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Flew deputy lead
28 Thursday, Feb. 1, 1945 Wesel, Germany: rail bridge 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick  
29 Tuesday, Feb. 7, 1945 Bohlen, Germany: oil refinery 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Flight was 9 hrs 10 min.  Poor visibility - almost mid air collision on deck as deputy squadron leader hit by flak on the outskirts of Dunkirk.
30 Wednesday, Feb. 14, 1945 Wesel, Germany: highway bridge 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Botched mission - had to feather # 3 engine.  Made second bomb run in heavy flak.  Had to return to the target on the 16th.
31 Friday, Feb. 16, 1945 Wesel, Germany: rail bridge 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Squadron leader had to abort.  As deputy leader I took over.  Bombadier hit in arm by flak, navigator helped to put turniquet on his arm and stead the bombadier without alarming the rest of the crew.
32 Monday, Feb. 20, 1945 Nurnberg, Germany: marshalling yards 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Poor visibility. Bomb rack hangup and couldn't get full release.  Almost a mid-air collision.
33 Sunday, Feb. 25, 1945 Neuberg, German: rail line 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Had to feather # 3 engine.  Flew back down low and all alone.
34 Monday, Feb. 26, 1945 Berlin, Germany: Alexanderplatz railway station 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick The last and largest 8th Air Force bombing of Berlin, assisting the Russian Army advance just 30 miles east of the capital.  Ran out of gas and had to feather engines 2 and 3 to limp back home.
35 Tuesday, Feb. 27, 1945 Leipzig, Germany: communication center 43-38719 Blue Hen Chick Finished 35th mission as the youngest first pilot in the 447th: age 20, 8 months, 11 days.
  Month of March, 1945 On 30 day furlough. Volunteered for 2nd tour of duty.      
36 Monday, April 16, 1945 Royan Area, France: harbour facilities & coast defense built by the Germans A/C #783   Capt. Wm. Walsh and Lt. Minker led the Low group of 4D Wing
37 Saturday, April 21, 1945 Inglostadt, Germany: airfield A/C #786   Last mission of the war for the 447th
  Week of May 1-6, 1945 Liberty Tours     Tours conducted for ground troops at the end of the war

 

History 447th Bomb Group, by Doyle Shields
Mission Targets from 447th home page

Notation from Jim Shannon's log (Flight Engineer of Blue Hen Chick) and mission records housed at NARA.

National Archives, RG18, Boxes 1559-1649

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