49th Bomb Squadron
2nd Bomb Group

United States Army Air Forces during WWII in Italy
Mission 150 to Steyr, Austria Aircraft Factory Feb. 24, 1944 pure HELL!!!!!!

The 49th Squadron lost all seven planes. The Group loss totaled 14 planes, 27 KIA, 113 POW.  A real blow for the 2nd Bomb Group.


On November 24, 1999 I received an Email from Neuwirth Wolfgang who lives with his family in a small city in Upper Austria near Linz. He said they had found pictures of B-17 #42-31859 after it had crashed and also recent picture of children of the area holding parts from the plane.  The pilot of this plane was 1st Lt. George J. Verbruggen after a mission over the aircraft factories at Steyr, Austria.  On this day all seven of the 49th Squadron planes were lost to either fighters or flak.  Vanbruggen had all his crew bail out and stayed with the aircraft until he could no longer control it.  Then he bailed out through the bomb bay.  Lt. Vanbruggen was a POW and sent to Stalag Luft I near Barth, Germany.  The rest of the crew were all taken prisoner in other areas and taken to other POW camps in Germany.  The complete story of this mission can be found

 in our book "Defenders of Liberty"

1st Lt. George J. Verbruggen's plane #42-31859 one of seven 49th squadron's planes
shot down on the Steyr, Austria mission No. 150 on February 24, 1944.
The children of the area have made a play house out of the Wreckage
A makeup of mission 150 is shown on the 96th Squadron page.
 The losses for both squadrons were similar for this mission.

Forward to 49th Squadron People