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John Moran Series

John Moran Entering Service

John Moran Series

Have you ever wondered what actually happened to the WWII vet that you have grown to know? You are not alone. It turns out that their story is waiting for you to discover it. Join us for the incredible series of posts about John Moran’s WWII story as a bomber pilot for the 344th Bomb Group. This series will feature a series of chronological posts as the action unfolds during his time at war.

Pictured: John Moran, from Burlington, Iowa entered the service from Peoria Illinois. Pictured, far left back row, he is being sworn in for his enlistment for training as an aviation cadet.

Mission #16 “How do you Like the reception?

Maissones Lafitte RR Bridge (Paris) May 28th 1944

On this morning mission, the target was the Maissones Lafitte railroad bridge that crossed the Siene River NNW of Paris. 38 Aircraft participated. Bombed in standard operating procedure flight attack formation; only three flights bombing out of six flights. A “Flight” consists of 6 planes along with another two flights for a total of 18 planes in what is called a “Box”. They received intense and accurate flak in target area, especially during bombing run. Flak slackened in intensity after target, but continued moderate and accurate for several minutes. Four ships downed on bombing run; 10-12 chutes reported but none of the ships seen to hit the ground. Two ships landed away from base badly damaged, and one ship unaccounted for. Fire P.C. “Seen”; Week inaccurate flak encountered in the area of Les Andelys on the return to base. John Moran’s plane was one of the two planes that landed elsewhere that were badly damaged. John Moran’s plane N3-G landed at West Malling in Kent, UK south of his home base of Stansted. This mission was part of the “Transportation Plan” which was designed to place a ring of interdiction around the planned establishment of Normandy Beachhead that took place on June 6th. Destroying this bridge would remove the enemy capacity to reinforce and supply any countermeasures against the Allied forces. 16 men died on this mission. A total of 31 (including the 16 KIA) were lost on this mission. 25 planes were hit with FLAK. On the common radio frequency shared by the aircrews, a German voice asks, “How do you like the reception?”. John Moran received his third Oak Leaf Cluster after this mission.


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