2 October 1944 Mission No. 278 - Dive Bombing The Teterchen Tunnel

Mission No. 278

This one was tough.
Lt. Rae Preston from Macon, Georgia led the squadron up on the second mission of the day to bomb a railroad tunnel entrance on the east side of the town of Teterchen, France. That tunnel was one of two, connection the town with Hargarten to the east. The Germans were using these tunnels to hide large 11 Inch guns mounted on rail road chassis that were nicknamed Schlanke Bertha or “Slender Bertha”. The guns had a range of 39 miles and the Germans had been, or were preparing to depending on what source you read, shelling Nancy in an effort to harass Patton and his III Army HQ.
The 95ID had occupied the town of Teterchen before this date.
But before Preston could make the bomb run, there was a collision between his wingman, Lt. John Molen, and Lt. Doyle F. Nee flying the White 3 position. Below is Molen’s witness report from Nee’s file – note how confusing the plane movements in formation are.

Bob Ueek’s report is a little less confusing, but no less horrific.


Doyle F Nee was from Pensacola, FL and is buried in the American Cemetery in Epinal, France.
In the Orange Tails book, the mission is recounted and itis written that during this mission on October 2, the 367FS made accurate bombing runs and skipped bombs into the tunnel entrance damaging the large gun inside. They also wounded and killed a large number of German soldiers as witnessed by one investigating XX Corps Artillery Unit on the ground. (Page 99)

The attached photo of the tunnel entrance is credited to William Davis who took it in March 2013. In his caption he specifically mentions Rae Preston:
“Teterchen Tunnel that Rae Preston bombed in WW2. The tunnel, on the right, contained a German railroad gun. This is the approach to the tunnel that Rae flew.”



1 Comment

  1. Hey old friend,

    Really cool account about that outstanding mission; the webmaster’s historical commentaries about the context really help to understand the importance of that successfull mission.

    Go on in such a way for many other missions, that’s very cool so, and interesting to read!

    maybe you should paste a portarit of Praeston here? Would be cool, in relation of the action. Mathias

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