700th Bombardment Squadron
The 700th Squadron was slated to lead the 445th from the base in England to Kassel, Germany on 27 September 1944. Each squadron required two B-24s specially equipped with Pathfinder (PFF) navigation for the #1 (lead) and #2 (deputy lead) positions.
Because of recent repairs being made to its ships, the 700th had only one mission-ready, PFF-equipped B-24. So Operations pulled a brand new lead ship from the 703rd Squadron and selected John Chilton and his 703rd Squadron crew to go with it. McCoy had flown with Chilton before and felt comfortable with him as a lead pilot. Unfortunately, that brand new plane's PFF system would become problematic and could be the main culprit in the debacle that was to follow.
Operations also pulled the Hautman crew and its plane, "Mairzy Doats," to fly with the 700th on the Kassel Mission. The Chilton and Hautman crew information will be located at the 703rd Squadron page on this site, which is under construction at this time.
Front View of 700th Bomb Squadron
The Chilton and Hautman crews were borrowed for Kassel Mission from the 703rd Squadron. Those squadron pages are currently under construction.