Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

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Sid Guttridge
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Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 08 Jan 2018 15:09

Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

The town appears to have had almost no military value.

I am guessing that it was a target of opportunity after the aircraft failed to find their original target.

The bomber unit concerned seems to have been one of the following: 340th Bombardment Squadron, 341st Bombardment Squadron, 342nd Bombardment Squadron, or 414th Bombardment Squadron. All were part of 97th Bombardment Group.

Many thanks for any assistance.

Sid.

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Ironmachine
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Re: Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby Ironmachine » 08 Jan 2018 19:32

In this article (https://www.vn.at/lokal/vorarlberg/2013/09/30/und-plotzlich-liegt-tod-uber-der-stadt.vn) it is claimed that Feldkirch was a target of opportunity as it was in the return route of the bombers after being unable to bomb their original target (the Messerschmitt factories in Augsburg) due to the weather. It is also claimed that Feldkirch's large buildings may have been the deciding factor.

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Re: Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby OpanaPointer » 08 Jan 2018 19:37

Any explanation in the USAAF operational histories?
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Takao
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Re: Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby Takao » 09 Jan 2018 10:23

Possible explanation can be found in this 1984 99th Bomb Group Newsletter. Pages 25-26.
http://www.99bombgroup.org/newsletters/ ... 1-1984.pdf

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Re: Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 11 Jan 2018 17:48

Hi Guys,

Thanks for your assistance.

It appears that the original target was Augsburg, but cloud cover prevented it. One squadron of the group then drifted into Swiss airspace as it turned to head back to its base in Tunisia. Feldkirch was bombed as a target of opportunity on the return leg.

All that remains is to establish which of the group's four squadrons was involved.

Many thanks,

Sid.

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Waleed Y. Majeed
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Re: Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby Waleed Y. Majeed » 11 Jan 2018 19:00

97th Bomb Group, 414th Squadron?
http://www.reddog1944.com/Missions_Targ ... #Feldkirch
waleed

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Re: Why did the USAAF bomb Feldkirch on the Austrian border with Liechtenstein on 1 October 1943?

Postby Sid Guttridge » 12 Jan 2018 17:59

Hi Waleed,

I was wondering about that, as the link is not specific.

It is clear that only one of the group's squadrons bombed Feldkirch, but even this link isn't specific as to which one.

It does, however, make 414th Bomb Squadron the favourite.

Thanks,

Sid.


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