Thirty-five 445th Bomb Group B-24 Liberators and 336 men who make up their crews, suffered the greatest single-day loss to a group from one airfield in aviation warfare history, all within six minutes.

Twenty-five of the heavy bombers are downed inside of Germany’s borders; three crash land--two in France and one in Belgium; two make forced landings at an emergency field in England; and another crashes after it makes it home but is waved off to try again. All tolled, only four B-24s of the original thirty-five return safely to base at Tibenham.

117 airmen of the Mighty Eighth’s 445th are killed in action, 121 are taken prisoner, and only 98 are returned to duty.

This website is dedicated to telling their stories.

Recent News

We appreciate all efforts from editors across the US who are picking up these press releases on the success we are seeing on MIA identification. This type of publicity accelerates our efforts as we continue to find and identify our eight MIAs. Special thanks to this submission from Randy Fleuriet, nephew of Lt. Porter Pile and the publisher and editor of Rio Grande Valley Newsletter, John Bourg.

Ray Lemons Passing

February 9, 2023
It is with regret that I share the recent passing of Ray Lemons just this past Tuesday evening, 2/7/23. On behalf of the KMHS Board, we offer our sincere prayers and condolences to all members of the Lemons Family.
WASHINGTON – The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) announced today that Army Air Forces 2nd Lt. Porter M. Pile, 24, of Harlingen, Texas, killed during World War II, was accounted for Nov. 28, 2022.


The Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944 was not only one of World War 2's most spectacular battles, it was also one of the most unusual, in that it took place between 20,000 and 26,000 feet above what would become the dividing line between East and West Germany. As a result, half of the 25 bombers that were shot down crashed east of the border, and the crash sites were not accessible to anyone from the West until the German reunification in 1990. Of the 117 American airmen who died in the battle, eight were still listed as Missing in Action, including five from the Hansen crew. Just recently, the DPAA (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency) announced that through advanced DNA testing of remains, it has identified two of those crew members, Technical Sergeant James Triplett of Spokane, Washington; and Second Lieutenant Porter Pile of Harlingen, Texas. The two will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in a special ceremony on October 31. In this episode of the Kassel Mission Chronicles, hosts Linda Alice Dewey and Aaron Elson discuss the efforts of the Kassel Mission Historical Society to reach out to family members of airmen who perished on the flight, and to coordinate with the DPAA on several active cases involving the six remaining MIAs. In addition, Aaron shares a recording of P-51 pilot Bob Volkman who tells of a dramatic dogfight between fighter pilot Bill Beyer and a noted German ace. Thank you for listening, and be sure to visit the Kassel Mission web site, kasselmission.org. Also look for Aaron's oral history of the mission, "Up Above the Clouds to Die," available at amazon and aaronelson.com; and check out Linda's great artwork at LindaAliceDewey.com, where you can order notecards, calendars and many other items featuring pastels of Leelenau County, Northern Michigan and Arizona.
Of all the tragedies surrounding the ill-fated Kassel Mission of Sept. 27, 1944, this one is still ongoing. Lt. Raymond Ische, the lead navigator for the 445th Bomb Group that day, remains MIA, and may still be buried in German soil. In this episode of the Kassel Mission Chronicles, Linda and Aaron discuss the search for Lieutenant Ische with MIA investigator Robert Rumsby.
There are hundreds of individual stories associated with the Kassel Mission. Some have been told many times, others will never be told. This is Frank Bertram's story.