This was to be
the 41st mission of the 392nd since it was
operational. T/Sgt Payton was the engineer of a
B24. His crew was made up of:
2Lt. J. V.
2Lt. C. C. Doyle
2Lt. J. Kaplan
2LT. R. R. Argast
S/S J. B. Payton
S/S E. J. Vesey
Sgt. D. Archibald
Sgt. N. D. Lankford
Sgt. R. D. Bucholz
Sgt. W. N. DeLaughter
The crew took
off in B24 #42-7496 codenamed "THE JINX". It was
the crew's 16th mission. They took off at around
08.30 from Wendling. After formation the Bomb
Group flew towards occupied Holland. Four B24s
aborted the mission for various reasons.
The 392nd found
itself leading the 2nd Air Division, when the
leading Bomb Wing made a navigational error and
took a wrong heading. The bombers encountered
fierce resistance from the German Luftwaffe,
more determined and larger in scale than many
crews had ever experienced. For two and a half
hours the bombers were attacked by 150+ German
fighters of all different types. The bombers
dropped their bombs at 13.21. The results were
excellent. For their excellence, the 392nd was
awarded an Distinguished Unit Citation for this
Unit Citation for the 24 February 1944 mission.
(Picture courtesy of www.b-24.net)
This was to be
a costly day for the 392nd. Seven aircraft were
lost. Among them was 2Lt Barnett's "THE JINX".
His airplane was seen to be attacked by German
fighters right after the bomb run. The plane
exploded and crashed in the target area. Three
parachutes were observed, however, seven of the
ten crew survived. 2Lt Barnett, T/Sgt Josephine
Payton and 2Lt Charles Doyle jr were killed in
the crash. All other were taken PoW the same
day. The remains of the three were recovered the
next day. 2Lt Doyle and T/Sgt Payton were
identified and buried in a common grave at the
Communal Cemetery in Seisdorf on February 18th.
2Lt Barnett was not identified at the time and
buried as an unknown at the same cemetery. After
the war he was identified and together with
T/Sgt Payton, reburied at Margraten.
is buried at Margraten American Military
Cemetery, Plot E Row 17 Grave 5.