Operation 22 FEB 1944 - Aalborg                                          Updated:  28 MAY  2019

4 planes were lost that day. Hot Rock and  Pot O'Gold were shot down by Oberleutnant Hans Hermann Müller in his Ju-88 over the North Sea.
Ball Turret Gunner Lester Schrenk and the other airmen of B17 42-31377 were escorted to landfall by the German Pilot! In 2012 they became friends!

B17 42-31377 (AirmenDK) Pot O'Gold    Pilot  2nd Lt William R. Lavies     See Sgt Schrenk and Obl Müller in 2012 and many links from there.
See also the article Came down by parachute in Thy on this day 70 years ago from 22 February 2014 written by Villy Dall, translated into English by AS and KK.
A response was Account from Herluf Munkholm which you may compare with Lester Schrenk - The day of my capture.

See Roy Cheek's 14th Mission - shot down on 22 FEB 1944 - evaded capture in Holland - his story received 2019 from his daughter Barbara Lanning.

B-17 G-15-VE 297494  Hot Rock   Pilot 2nd Lt Robert Wolf  -
see Losses 22 FEB 1944, from 92nd USAAF-USAF Memorial Association with Missions 1944.
He has no known grave. His name is inscribed on Tablets of the Missing,
Netherlands American Cemetery, Margraten, Netherlands.
He entered the Service from Pennsylvania. Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart. (Source: ABMC)

B-17 42-31409 Liberty Run    Pilot 1st Lt Charles O. Barnes  -  see
Liberty Run propeller and more. Museumscenter Hanstholm has HUDSON V AM684.
He has no known grave. His name is inscribed on
Tablets of the Missing, Cambridge American Cemetery, England.
He entered the Service from Texas. Awards: Air Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. (Source: ABMC)

B-17 42-31322 MI AMIGO      Pilot 1st Lt John Kriegshauser   - 
he crashed into Endcliffe Park - see Sheffield Bomber Crash: Flypast on 75th Anniversary.
See also: On May 15, 2019 VA News had B-17 crew saves young British boy's life from VAntage Point, Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

John Kriegshauser's name is not in the ABMC records. (Source: ABMC) Find A Grave has this about his grave in Missouri and details about him.
Paul Allonby has a mass of information on the crew of MI AMIGO - the men, the missions, and the aircraft, see www.facebook.com/EndcliffeParkB17

Paul Allonby, the author of the book COURAGE ABOVE THE CLOUDS:


23.15 21.02.44 MAXIMUM EFFORT orders forwarded to 305th Bombardment Group at Chelveston and the 92nd BG at Podington.
Groundcrews briefed on fuelling and payload. Work commences at dispersal points at both airfields to ready the maximum number of B-17s possible.

01.15 22.02.44 ORDERS arrive via teleprinter from FIRST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION HQ at Brampton Grange for specialist staff at Chelveston and
Podington to begin preparing briefings for air-crew.

03.15 AIR raid sirens sounded at both bases – Luftwaffe bombers detected operating in the area. Work continues to prepare the aircraft for the raid.

04.00 CREWS destined to fly on the mission are woken.

04.31 ALL-CLEAR. Air raid siren sounded to signify Luftwaffe bombers have now left the area.

05.00 CREWS at both bases are briefed on the forthcoming mission, which is intended to divert Luftwaffe fighters from heading southwards to intercept 
the main mission – which is targeting aviation manufacturers and German bases within Germany. (See also The Big Week)

08.00 AIRCRAFT begin taking off from Chelveston and Podington. The main force heading to Germany departs an hour later.

09.06 THE amalgamated formation, with the 92nd BG leading, gathers then finally departs from its rendezvous point above Louth in Lincolnshire, heading
on a dog-leg course over the North Sea for Denmark.

13.01 LUFTWAFFE fighters are scrambled to meet the formation of B17s, tracked heading towards Denmark. They are on a route which could see
them attack targets in Denmark, or head towards Hamburg or other German cities.

13.08 THE B17s sight the Danish coast – but the country is covered in solid cloud, with the cloud topping out at 8,000 feet. The formation is flying
at 24,000-feet.

13.25 ENEMY fighters encountered for the first time over the Danish coast. The interceptors are deterred from pressing home their attack by strong
defensive fire from the B17s. The bombers are also fired upon by anti-aircraft guns.

13.38 GERMAN pilots confirm to ground control that not only is the mission, given the number of aircraft, a diversion but reveal that some of the aircraft
are the new ‘’G’’ variant of the B17 with a chin turret for additional defence.

13.55 LUFTWAFFE ace Hans Müller is vectored to the American formation. Flying a JU-88, he is told to observe the bomber formation, particularly
regarding the defensive capability and effectiveness of the B17g participants in combating head-on attacks from Luftwaffe Me109 defending fighters.

14.13 THE bomber formation arrives at Aalborg (here - zoom), but visual bombing is not possible. The crews circle the city, twice. Radio messages
are exchanged between lead crews over what to do. A decision is made to follow the briefing recommendation to drop the bombs safely over the sea,
as no secondary target has been highlighted.

14.26 LUFTWAFFE fighters, though limited in number, began attacking the B17s with vigour, with further anti-aircraft fire at 14.43

14.42 HANS Müller attacks, and shoots down, ‘HOT ROCK’. The aircraft is last seen heading out to sea heading in the direction of Sweden, but
appears out of control. At one stage a crewman bales out but his parachute snags on the badly damaged aircraft. Lt Muller could only look on in horror
as efforts are made by men on the aircraft to retrieve their colleague, with Lt. Muller radioing its position as it disappears into the cloud. In this encounter,
a Me109 Luftwaffe fighter, flown by Kurt Schwarz disappears. His body is later recovered from the sea. No trace is found of the B17 crew.

14.45 WITHIN minutes, Lt. Müller engages ‘POT O’GOLD’ causing severe damage.  He takes a position behind and to one side of the stricken bomber
so the crew can bale out, before the aircraft crashes down onto Danish farmland.

14.55 – 15.20 ALL bombs carried by the B17s are jettisoned into the North Sea.

15.00 DEFENDING fighters again engage the American bombers, with Herbert Christmann claiming ‘’ace’’ status with the downing of ‘’LIBERTY RUN’’ –
the fifth enemy aircraft downed to date in his career - which crashes into the North Sea, nine crew being seen to bale out. Squadron Leader Christmann
radios the downed aircraft’s position, so air-sea rescue assets can be launched, but no survivors are found despite an intensive search.

15.02 ERICH Naujokat, flying his first interception mission and operating as wingman to Herbert Christmann, engages ‘MI-AMIGO’ in what his colleagues
described as a ‘’spirited’’ attack, with strikes being seen on the bomber’s wings and fuselage. He in turn is met with defensive fire from the B-17,
particularly from the rear and waist gun positions, and his aircraft is seen to dive into the clouds, out of control. Again, despite a search, no trace of him
is found until his body is eventually recovered from a beach in Sweden.

15.10 THE Luftwaffe fighters begin heading back to base as the B17s head towards home across the North Sea, now travelling at 19,000-feet.

15.15 ‘MI-AMIGO’ – trailing smoke from her wings and at least one engine – begins lagging behind the formation and eventually is lost from sight.

16.10 RADIO transmission from ‘MI-AMIGO’  using call-sign LIFTBOY VICTOR is received and answered. The badly damaged bomber is still airborne,
and wants a vector to RAF emergency landing grounds in Yorkshire.

16.28 THE B17s travelling ahead of ‘MI-AMIGO’ make landfall over the English coast only to find heavy cloud blanketing much of central England.
Permission is granted for the incoming bombers to land at other airfields if necessary due to the weather conditions.

16.53 AIRCRAFT begin landing at Chelveston and Podington.

16.59 ‘MI-AMIGO’ emerges from low cloud over Sheffield, South Yorkshire, with engines faltering.

17.02 NO survivors as ‘MI-AMIGO’ crashes into Endcliffe Park. See also Sheffield Bomber Crash: Flypast on 75th Anniversary.