"On 16 December 1944 the Germans launched their great counter offensive, known as the Battle of the Bulge, against the Allied armies in the west, and made considerable progress during the next week under cover of weather unfavorable for flying. It was not until the weather finally improved enough during the night of 22 December 1944 that the full strength of the Allied power could be used to block General Von Rundstedt's offensive. As a means of doing this, it was imperative that the main enemy lines of communication and supply to the Bulge be severed. A target of high priority in this category was the Railroad Bridge at Mayen, Germany, which was one of the key bridges on the main railway from the German heartland to the Belgium Bulge. The 344-foot span of this bridge carried the enemy lifeline across the deep ravine of the Nette River, and its destruction would sever the railway for supplying the German offensive for a considerable period of time."
Clyde Harkins, Pilot
387th Bomb Group, 558th Bomb Squadron
Read it all here: http://www.b26.com/marauderman/ch/bridge.htm