The USAAF 392nd Bombardment Group ran into 50 ME 109's right during and after the bomb run to Bingen Dec 2nd 1944. See: http://www.b24.net/missions/MM120244.htm This day would go down in the 392nd’s history as one of the roughest missions ever flown in terms of aircraft and aircrew casualties. It would be the highest attrition the Group would ever suffer through the remaining missions of World War II. It was also ironic that the evening of this date, the 200th mission party celebration for all Enlisted Men of the 392nd was planned. At 0515 and 0640 hours, (18) aircrews were briefed on the target and at 0930, all began their take-offs. Two squadrons were put up this day, flying high and low formations off of the 44th Bomb Group at Shipdham. The mission went orderly until the IP where heavy clouds were encountered for start of the bomb run. At this position, the high squadron managed to avoid the weather and bomb the target. The 577th Squadron, flying in the low position, were scattered out just west of the IP but made their bomb run through the clouds. This Squadron broke out of the weather right over the release smoke of the lead ship of 44th which caused a late bomb drop. The Group dropped a total of (216) 500 GPs in the target area but their problems were just beginning. At the rallying turning point about 1244 hours, the 577th was hit by an estimated 50 FW-109 fighters between Bingen and Bad Kreuznach to the northeast. The fierce attacks lasted for around fifteen minutes with fighters attacking above and below — tail astern. Six of the 577th crews were lost in this short period with very little known about any since the Squadron was so badly broken up by this time. The aircrews were: Captain H. D. Watkins in #785; Lieutenant R. J. Cieply in #323; Lieutenant G. R. Billingsley in #867; Lieutenant W. C. Buaas in #012; Lieutenant E. L. Comeau in #328; Lieutenant W. F. Davis in #961. From the 577th, ship #169 also with Lieutenant D. L. Walker’s crew managed to return to land at Manston with (4) crew members wounded. Strangely enough, friendly fighter support for this mission was rated as very good. The remaining ships returned around 1550 hours with gunners claiming (4) enemy aircraft kills. Any others that are noteable?