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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Loading of assault forces for Operation OVERLORD (invasion of Normandy) begins.

Mission 380: 928 bombers and 672 fighters in 6 forces are dispatched to hit aircraft industry targets in Germany and marshaling yards in France and Belgium; they claim 65-8-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 bombers and 9 fighters are lost:

1. 268 B-17s are dispatched to attack aviation industry targets at Dessau (83 bomb), Halberstadt (107 bomb) and Oschersleben (51 bomb); 5 other hit targets of opportunity; they claim 8-5-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 9 B-17s are lost and 81 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 86 MIA.

2. 369 B-24s are dispatched to hit aviation depots at Oldenburg (135 bomb), Rotenburg (147 bomb) and Zwischenahn (71 bomb); 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 9 MIA.

3. 46 of 91 B-24s hit Munster/Handorf Airfield and 36 others hit Diepholz Airfield; 2 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 6 WIA and 9 MIA.

4. 122 of 126 B-17s hit French marshaling yards; 62 hit Reims and 60 hit Troyes; 24 B-17s are damaged.

5. 39 of 40 B-17s hit Brussels/Schaerbeck marshaling yard, Belgium; 12 B-17s are damaged.

6. 76 of 84 B-17s hit V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais, France; 12 B-17s are damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 10 MIA.

Escort is provided by 186 P-38s, 184 P-47s and 302 P-51s; 3 P-38s are damaged; P-47s claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft with 1 loss (pilot is MIA); P-51s claim 48-3-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 7-0-3 on the ground with the loss of 8 P-51s (pilots are MIA), 2 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; 637 Ninth Air Force fighters support the mission; they claim 8-0-2 aircraft in the air and 0-0-4 on the ground for the loss of 3.

100 P-47s are dispatched to bomb 4 rail bridges in NW France; 37 hit Longueil bridge, 26 hit Beaumont-sur-Oise bridge, 23 hit Canly-le-Jouque bridge and 12 hit the Creil bridge; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot is MIA).

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,