Mission

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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,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: Junkers Aircraft Plant & Airfield at Halberstadt, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 9, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Crews Lost: Lt. Van Weelden - 4 KIA, 5 POW. Length of Mission: 6 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 8 x 500 lb G.P. M43 and 500 lb. RDX bombs. Bombing Altitudes: Group A - 23,000 ft; Group B - 22,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,205 rounds.

Splitting up into two separate Groups, 303rd BG(H) Fortresses hit two targets in the Halberstadt area. One was the airdrome near Halberstadt, and the other the factory itself, just on the edge of the city. Bombing in conditions of good visibility, no opposition was encountered over the target except for other formations of bombers that made traffic a little hazardous. The bombardiers were annoyed as they tried to set their sights while confronted by prop wash from other Groups. Bombing was accomplished from 23,000 and 22,500 feet, dropping 330 550-lb. G.P. M43 and 20 500-lb. RDX bombs. Flak was practically non-existent for both Groups. One aircraft in the 303BG-B formation sustained minor flak damage. From 40 to 75 enemy fighters were reported. There were no enemy aircraft attacks or claims.

Aircraft #42-31213 Pistol Packin' Mama, 359BS, piloted by 1Lt. Douglas C. Van Weelden, started out in the No. 2 position, but dropped to the No. 6 position shortly after crossing the Dutch border into Germany. The No. 2 engine smoked slightly until the bombs were dropped, then it started to smoke violently and the propeller was feathered. From there on out to the Zuider Zee, the B-17 kept dropping back slowly, but seemed to be in good shape. By the time the Zuider Zee was crossed, it was about four miles behind and 2,000 feet below the Group formation. ME-109s spotted the B-17 and inflicted additional damage on the Fortresses. After giving the bail-out order, he flew the aircraft alone for "quite a distance." After landing and being captured, he was told that the bodies of the co-pilot, radio operator, waist gunner and tail gunner had been found near his crashed B-17. He knew this was untrue because of the distance he had flown since they had bailed out. He believes they were shot by the Germans.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #7: Diepholz. Command Pilot: BOYD. 24 aircraft dispatched with 72 tons of bombs for this Luftwaffe airfield. 23 planes dropped 68 tons of bombs. One plane had mechanical failure and aborted. One plane was lost Missing in Action due to flak with 9 crewmen also listed Missing in Action. 4 bombers received battle damage. Score: fair to good.

B-24H 41-28840 B/R Smoky Missing in Action believed near Rotterdam. Crashed at Rheine. With 18BS. Pilot: Hansen Missing Air Crew Report # 5238. 8 Prisoner of War, 1 Evaded. Crew Chief: Frank Bristo.

source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 16 aircraft were sent on this mission.

42-31725 Lt. C. E. Hicks - Shot down by fighters. POW 10.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 120. Primary Target: Aircraft Plant - Halberstadt, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

36 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 31. Aborted - 5
42-37792 Maggart, Richard L - turned back over field shortly after t/o b/c #2 engine became inoperative and had to be feathered.
42-97263 Hale, Charles E - Aborted at 0948 hrs; leak in glycol system behind #2 engine which pilot thought was an excessive gas leak; BL ret.
42-97449 Wortman, Marshall (NMI) - Aborted at 0926 hrs; radio operator ill; BL ret.
42-102500 Gowder, Charles F - aborted Ld Grp 'B'; turned back at 0952 hrs due to illness of tail gunner

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th Squadron was represented by the following crews flying in the Lead Squadron position: McKeon, Fox, Lemmons, Connolly. Bombing was excellent, photos disclosing that not only had the MPI been hit but 50% of the bomb pattern fell within 500 feet of the MPI. Between 40 and 60 enemy aircraft were encountered enroute out from the target resulting in the loss of two crews. Meager flak was encountered in the Dummer Lake region which was only fair for accuracy. All 613th crews returned safely.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 18 aircraft of the 401st led the 94th CBW on this mission under the command of Lt. Col. Rogner, the assembly plant for the FW-190 aircraft being the Group's MPI. Interpretation of the strike photos showed that the bombing results were excellent. There was no deflection or range error. The center of the bomb patterns covered the MPI, 50% of the strikes being within 500 feet and 100% within 2,000 feet. Between 40 to 60 fighters were encountered as the formation left the target area and two 614th crews were lost: Wilson, Kilmer. Flak was also encountered at the Dummer Lake region which was fair for accuracy. Crews: Chapman, Gruman, Smith, Wilson (MIA), Kilmer (MIA), La Fevor, Rozzell.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Goodman, Opie, McCord, Massey, Wells, Toussaint, Atherton.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The target for today was the airfield at Rotenburg, Germany. 26 aircraft took-off, eight of them from the 67th, at 0730 with bomb loads of 12 x 500 lb GPs. Capt. Gildart was lead pilot, and Major Lehnhausen was his Command Pilot on this most successful mission. Strike photos show excellent coverage of the target and was recognized as being the best to date. Capt. Thomas finished his tour today by flying Deputy Lead. Moderate, fairly accurate flak was experienced with a few ships of the Group having Category "A" battle damage. Sgt. Kipnes on Lt. Mercer's crew adds, "Take-off at 0757 in 'Wasps Nest" with target the airplane repair' depot in Rotenberg. We started out in Glory Bee, but as we started to taxi #2 engine sprang an oil leak and we had to switch over to this standby plane. Visibility was perfect - bomb results excellent. General Johhson, our C.O. commended us on our precision bombing - it looked like all our bombs were right on target. Fighter support was very good and stayed with us all the way. P-51s escorted us into the target, with P-38s taking us back on the long stretch over water. Landed at 1325 hours. The squadron (67th) softball team engaged the 506th in a heated battle at 1815 hours. A huge crowd turned out to see the 67th win hands down, the final score being 3 to 0. Cpl Kota pitched a great ball game.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Rothenburg airfield

The airfield was bombed with very good results. A hangar was seen exploding and smoke reached 30,000 feet. There was almost no opposition.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0500 hours and the target was near St. Pol-Siracourt in the Pas de Calais, France. The planes were loaded with six 1600 pound armor piercing bombs, a total load of 9600 pounds. Take off started at 0725 hours and a clear weather assembly was made at 3000 feet. As the formation departed the English coast they were at their bombing altitude of 25,000 feet. The Group broke up into six plane squadrons for the bomb run. The leader of one squadron was not able to drop his bombs because the bomb bay doors would not open. He ended up returning to base, with his bombs on board, with the rest of the Group and landing started at 1135 hours. source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
458th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 458th Bomb Group web page http://www.458bg.com/
466th BG Mission Report
Strike photos show 20% of bombs of 1st SQDN within 500 ft radius of MPI - 85% of bombs were within 2000 ft radius. All bombs of 2nd sqdn were within 2000 ft of MPI. Results were excellent.; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 0; WIA = 0; MIA = 0
source: 466th BG: Mission List (Mark Brotherton Collection)
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
492nd Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Dessau, Germany, was again attacked for the second time this month. All reports indicate that the mission was very successful. Thirteen ships from 323rd squadron took part. Ship #8027 aborted shortly after takeoff on account of there being excessive gasoline fumes in radio compartment and bomb bay; also, in the cockpit, waist and nose. The fumes persisted and increased in intensity. This was considered as an engineering abortive. Enemy opposition, both from flak and fighters, was greater than it had been for some time. The flak was heavy and accurate and the fighters came right into the attack formation. The flak disabled ship #9975, and when it started out of formation, the fighters pounced on it. Our P-51 escort went to the rescue to drive them off, but still our bomber went down. source: 323rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Dessau. Strike photographs of bombing on Junkers Factory indicate very poor results. Formation was attacked immediately after bombs away by fifty to sixty E/A with group ahead bearing the blunt of the attack. This group lost one A/C and nine men MIA. The squadron had one man wounded. No E/A claims. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - The target assigned to this Group was the same Aero Engine factory attacked yesterday. Our Squadron provided 7 A/C and crews for today's mission. BOMBING RESULTS: Strike photos indicate results were very good. Heavy smoke covered target area. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 20 ' 35 E/A attacked this group just past the target between Magdeburg and Berg. Me 109s led the attack with Me 410s following up. The attack was hurried and ineffective due to interception by our P-51s escort. About ten E/A were seen to go down. FIGHTER SUPPORT: As stated above. FLAK: Meager, inaccurate AA fire reported from Dummer Lake . Moderate rather accurate flak experienced at the target. REMARKS: Aircraft 996 piloted by Lt. D. J. Ryan had it's # 1 engine out before arriving at the target but it made it back safely. source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97376).
Organization: 412BS / 95BG of Horham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Evans, John W.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: Troston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-28645).
Organization: 733BS / 453BG of Old Buckenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Earl, Wilbur L.
Notes: crash landing.
Location: Old Buckenham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29257).
Organization: 734BS / 453BG of Halesworth, Suffolk.
Pilot: Fleckenstein, A J.
Notes: mechanical failure due to engine fire.
Location: Halesworth, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29482).
Organization: 839BS / 487BG of Lavenham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Ziegler, Arlon F.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Lavenham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-52293).
Organization: 67BS / 44BG of Shipdham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Stepnich, Ivan C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Heston, Middlesex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-52745).
Organization: 838BS / 487BG of Lavenham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Majerus, Bernard J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Lavenham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-52761).
Organization: 837BS / 487BG of Lavenham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Hatfield, Jay J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Lavenham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-241*).
Organization: 753BS / 458BG of Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk.
Pilot: McCarthy, William P.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40139).
Organization: 859BS / 492BG of North Pickenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Bowman, James L.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Snetterton Heath, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-104367).
Organization: 384FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Grimshaw, John L.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67980).
Organization: 384FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Yost, Byron P.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-68064).
Organization: 402FS / 370FG of Andover, Hampshire.
Pilot: Shaffer, Joseph D R.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: White Parish, Pepper Bx R England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C1 (#42-103294).
Organization: 370FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Lemmons, Andrew T.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C7 (#42-103362).
Organization: 374FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Vandiver, Loy C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "8th AF 380"
Industry in Germany, rail targets in France and Belgium
May 30, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
 
Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
9289192500.08-5-10-0-012-3-2015-12-114487BG aircraft ditches sea
453BG aircraft crash-lands base
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Mission Targets

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DESSAU, GERMANY
Junkers Flugzeugwerke Industry
Aviation83 A/Cphotos (3)
HALBERSTADT, GERMANY
Junkers Industry
Aviation107 A/Cphotos (2)
OSCHERSLEBEN, GERMANY
Ago / Focke-Wulf Industry
Aviation51 A/Cphotos (3)
OLDENBURG, GERMANY
Airfield
135 A/C
ROTENBURG, GERMANY
Airfield
147 A/C
BAD ZWISCHENAHN, GERMANY
Airfield
71 A/Cphotos (3)
NORDHOLZ, GERMANY
Airfield
1 A/C
MUNSTER, GERMANY
Handorf Airfield
46 A/Cphotos (2)
DIEPHOLZ, GERMANY
Airfield
36 A/Cphotos (2)
REIMS, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard62 A/Cphotos (1)
TROYES, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard60 A/Cphotos (1)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Schaerbeck Railroad
marshalling yard39 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
489BG
492BG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
94BG
100BG
34BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
487BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
91BG (1 a/c)
303BG (1 a/c)
351BG (1 a/c)
381BG (1 a/c)
398BG (1 a/c)
401BG (2 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
489BG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
34BG (1 a/c)
487BG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)