Tag Archives: Ford B-24M-10-FO Liberator

4 April 1945

Ford B-24M 44-50838 blown in half by an Me 262, 4 April 1945. (U.S. Air Force)
Ford B-24M 44-50838 blown in half by an Me 262, 4 April 1945. (U.S. Air Force)

4 April 1945: 0928 at 51°31′ N., 10°18′ E, east of Hamburg, Germany, a Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1 Schwalbe twin-engine jet fighter shot down this B-24 with an R4M rocket.¹

The four-engine bomber was a Ford B-24M-10-FO Liberator, serial number 44-50838—a very long range heavy bomber assigned to the 714th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 448th Bombardment Group (Heavy), and based at RAF Seething (USAAF Station 146), Norwich, England.

No parachutes were seen.²

Germany surrendered 31 days after this photograph was taken.

Lieutenant Robert L. Mains’ crew during combat training. Standing, left to right: Corporal Charles H. Daman, Nose Gunner; Corporal Charles E. Cupp, Jr., Radio Operator; George S. Alexander, Top Turret Gunner; (unknown); Antonio Munoz, Jr., and (unknown). Kneeling, (Unknown); 1st Lieutenant Robert L. Mains, Aircraft Commander; 1st Lieutenant Allen L. Lake, Navigator; and (Unknown). Daman, Cupp, Alexander, Lake and Mains were aboard 44-50838 when it was shot down. (American Air Museum in Britain)
1st Lieutenant Robert L. Mains, aircraft commander of B-24M 44-50838, was killed in action, 4 April 1945. His remains, identified by DNA and physical evidence, were returned to the United States in October 2017, and interred at Calverton National Cemetery, Calverton, New York. (Department of Defense)
Oberleutnant Rudolf Rademacher (1913–1953)

¹ Ford B-24M-10-FO Liberator 44-50838 was shot down with an R4M rocket fired from a Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1 twin-engine jet fighter, flown by Oberleutnant Rudolf Rademacher of Gruppe II, Jagdgeschwader 7 (11./JG 7), based at Parchim, Germany. Rudi Rademacher was a veteran of more than 500 combat missions, credited with at least 97 victories (and as many as 126), including 16 four-engine heavy bombers.

² TDiA has been informed by his grandaughter that Radio Operator, Technical Sergeant Charles E. Cupp, Jr., did survive. He was able to escape from the doomed bomber through its bomb bay. He was captured and held as a Prisoner of War.


© 2018, Bryan R. Swopes