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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 407: With bad weather over top priority targets in Germany, 1,442 bombers are dispatched against airfields and landing grounds in NE France and rail and road bridges on the Brest Peninsula; 691 of 769 B-17s and 586 of 673 B-24s hit 16 airfields and 6 railroad bridges in the Rennes and St Nazaire area; they claim 1-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-17s and 2 B-24s are lost; 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; and 188 B-17s and 52 B-24s are damaged; 7 airmen are KIA, 14 WIA and 58 MIA.

988 fighter sorties are flown with the loss of 16 aircraft; 15 pilots are MIA:

1. 234 P-38s, 80 P-47s and 201 P-51s fly escort, sweeps and patrols over the Channel NW of Paris and in the Rennes area; they claim 20-0-8 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 3 P-38s, 1 P-47 and 3 P-51s are lost; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair.

2. 93 P-38s and 183 P-47s fly fighter-bomber missions against 5 railroad bridges in the Tours-Paris area; they claim 5-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 1 P-38 and 8 P-47s are lost; 1 each is damaged beyond repair.

3. 45 P-38s and 152 P-51s fly escort for Ninth Air Force A-20s and B-26s. Mission 408: 7 of 7 B-17s drop leaflets on France and Belgium during the night without loss.

16 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

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: Airdrome at Cambrai/Epinoy, France. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 9, 427th - 10). Crews Lost: Lt. Eisele, 9 KIA, 1 POW. Length of Mission: 4 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 250 lb G.P. & 100 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 21,900 ft, 21,800 ft & 22,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

Concentrated attacks continued on enemy airfields located within fighter range of the invasion area. One aircraft returned early when the pilot reported high oil temperature on the No. 2 engine #42-38154 (No Name), 358BS (Lt. Davis).

No enemy aircraft attacked and only a few friendly fighters were spotted. Flak was moderate with accurate flak encountered in the target area. Chaff had little effect.

Aircraft #42-107048 (No Name), 360BS, piloted by 1Lt. Roy Eisele, flying in the No. 2 position, high element, high Group, was hit by flak between the No. 2 engine and fuselage, approximately one minute before "bombs away." Another burst hit directly in the bomb bay and the entire B-17 burst into flames, nosed down sharply, broke in half near the bomb bay door and lost its left wing. Crewmen in other aircraft spotted it until approximately 1,000 feet altitude near Cambrai, France. No parachutes were seen.

Thirty-four Group aircraft bombed from 21,900, 21,800 and 22,500 feet, with unlimited visibility and only a few scattered clouds. The lead Group dropped 198 250-lb. G.P. M57 bombs about 1,500 feet AP. Most went into the fields. The high Group dropped 418 100-lb. fragmentation AN M41 bombs that hit the dispersal areas with possible damage to five revetments. The low Group dropped 456 100-lb. G.P. M30 bombs. While checking the bombsight synchronization, Lt. Col. Lyle, flying his second mission as a bombardier, noted that his bombs fell about five miles short of the target with premature release.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #15 Beauvais, Tille. Command Pilot: WACKWITZ. 37 planes were dispatched (Underwoos says 39 with 107 tons of bombs and two planes aborted). 60 tons of bombs were dropped on the primary target at Beauvais, France. (Underwood says 93 tons.) Score: good. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 37 aircraft were sent on this mission.

42-37845 Lt. V. B. Guthrey - Ditched, KIA 2.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 133. The 384th supplied all three groups of the 41st "C" Wing, with Col Robert E Travis in command. Clouds obscured the primary target, so the Wing attacked a target of opportunity. Strike photos reveal that the Wing bombed a highway bridge over the Rance River at 48°30'N,1°58'W. The primary target was a railroad bridge at 48°32'N,2°0'W. Primary Target: Railroad Bridge, Tactical Support - Vicomte sur Rance, France. Target Attacked : Target of Opportunity (Visual): La Ville-ès-Nonais, France

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 39. Scrubbed - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 3

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The largest force of heavy bombers ever to be dispatched by the 8th Air Force was sent out to attack German-occupied airfields in Northern France.

The 388th furnished the three Groups for the 45th A Combat Wing. 41 a/c plus 1 PFF a/c took-off between 0445 and 0520 hours with formation being effected without difficulty. 6 a/c, 2 from each Group aborted-1 for personnel failure, 2 for mechanical problems and 3 as scheduled.

Clouds covered the target area which made identification of the target extremely difficult. Second runs were made on the target and even then only the lead Group dropped its bombs. Bombs were away at 0858 hours from 24,400 feet. Just after bombs away the PFF a/c which was leading the Group was hit by flak and dropped out of formation. The lead a/c of the second element then took over the lead. The high and low Groups brought their bombs back.

No enemy fighters were seen. Meager to moderate accurate flak was encountered at the target.

1 a/c crash-landed at Honington because it could not completely lower its landing gear. All crew members are safe. All other a/c returned to base by 1151 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
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 - Target: the airfield at Vitry-en-Artois, France. The 613th crews flew in the High and Low Squadron position of the High Box. Crews : Mannix, Keeling, Murgatroyd, Lemmons, Fox, Kuta, Thomason, Connolly, Hess.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Three boxes of 12 aircraft each set out on June 12 to bomb an airdrome at Vitry-en-Artois, France. One box could not bomb because another wing of aircraft passed under the Group at bomb release point, and this box brought their bombs back to base. The other two boxes did an excellent job on the two M.P.I.'s assigned to attack. Enemy opposition was nil and all crews returned safely.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 401st put up 36 aircraft with Lt. Col. B.K. Voorhees as the Group leader. Two of the Boxes of aircraft bombed successfully but the third one was just about to release its bombs when another group of aircraft passed under it. Captain A.H. Chapman flew the Group Lead Ship as detailed below. Crews: Owens Risher La Fevor Filemyr Taylor Kenney Bartley Rozzell.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 401st was briefed at 0220 hrs to attack as the primary target an airdrome at Vitry-En-Artois and was composed of 3 Boxes on three different MPI's. Major R.J. White led the Low Box of the 94th CBW and Lt. Col. B.K. Voorhees was the 94th CBW Leader. Bombing results were described and later confirmed as excellent with the Lead and Low Groups placing 100% of their bombs within 1,000 feet of the assigned MPI. Lt. R.J. Wolf, Lead Bombardier, of the 615th Box distinguished himself. The only enemy opposition was intermittent flak between the coast and Brussels and 10 ground rockets over Lille and Cambrai. All aircraft from the mission landed back at Deenethorpe at 1142 hrs, the 36 ships landing in 36 minutes. Some hours later some fragmentation bombs were being unloaded from one of the aircraft in Dispersal no. 2 when one of them exploded. Seven men were killed and seven injured in this incident. (a/c IW-O, 42-107207). The 615th Squadron furnished the following crews: Kalinski, Mcllraith, Trimble, Grinham, Gillespie, Schroeder, Heenan, Post, Parr.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Captain Schmidt led the 67th today with twelve aircraft, 36 for the Group, in a mission to Illiers L'Eveque, France, an airfield, and was hit with only fair results. Capt. Kuch was Lead Pilot (68th), target was visual and was the first the Group had "muffed" for some time. Plenty of flak was encountered near Caen and in the adjacent areas, but no ships suffered serious damage and all returned to base at 1100 hours. Capt. Schmidt and crew flew in a 68th ship #049 which was substituted for ship #967 which was unable to take off on the mission. A/C #805(?) failed to bomb due to mechanical malfunction. Lt. Al Jones, Bombardier on Lt. H.C. Henry's crew made these comments: "We are alerted for the first time as a crew. The Greek has to stay "home" as we only fly a crew of nine. They called us at 12 PM, mid-night, for briefing at 1:30 AM. We carry 52 fragmentation bombs and are supposed to hit an airplane dispersal area at Illiers, France. After briefing we get dressed and are taken out to our ship P, which is an old B-24J with 44 missions. I checked the bombs and then tried to get into the nose turret but cant, I'm too big. I decide to ride the waist position and let (Sgt) Billie Moore operate the nose turret. Take-off is at 0415, taking two hours to assemble. Pass over London about 0600 and hit Channel about 15 minutes later. There is a continuous stream of ships all across the channel - all sorts of boats and ships. We don our flak suits as we near the French coast as we are supposed to cross near Caen, France and pass right over the beachhead. There seems to be a million boats down there although we are too high to see much activity. We start getting flak from Caen - it is moderately heavy and pretty accurate - about 20 bursts to a volley. I don't think of getting hit so much from above or to the sides as much as I do through the floor! Very peculiar feeling, but I don't think I'm scared. We are at 21,000 feet and soon pass out of range. All of a sudden (Sgt) Norm Tillner, the other waist gunner, starts firing. I look around to see a plane on an attack curve. Neither of us is sure what kind of an aircraft, but he slides off and we see two P-47s right below us. That was quite a surprise! We are near the IP now and two rockets come up, but are way wild - some three or four miles. We are the only planes getting any flak from Drue because of our position. Lead Bombardier screws up and we make another run, finally drop our bombs and miss very badly. We get home after about seven hours and land - have only one very small hole in the tail section. Go to interrogation; then clean our guns." 2nd Lt. Duwe promoted to 1st Lt. on the 6th of June.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Rennes/Ploermel, France

After a 1:30 AM briefing, an early raid sent planes to a railroad bridge at Ploermel, and the Rennes airfield, where they were met by heavy flak. One plane (42-94859) was hit by flak and then set upon by 12 enemy fighters. 3 crewmen were killed in the ensuing crash, 2 were shot and killed as they parachuted, 1 was taken prisoner, and 4 evaded capture.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Conches airfield, France

12 planes dropped 624 100 pounders on the airfields dispersal area with good results.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
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
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Cambria , Niergnies airdrome. BOMBING RESULTS: Very good covering hangars and runways. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: Nil. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Fair. FLAK: Meager, inaccurate black continuous and following. Increasing in intensity and accuracy as we left target.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: A-35B (#41-31384).
Organization: 1GTTF / of Snettisham, Norflk.
Pilot: Harper, Maurice J.
Notes: forced landing mechanical failure.
Location: Castle Rising, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97110).
Organization: 87FRS / 27ATG of Warton, Lancashire.
Pilot: Buhler, William S.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Warton, Lancashire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-6082).
Organization: 510BS / 351BG of Polebrook, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Gibbons, James N.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Polebrook, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110146).
Organization: 785BS / 466BG of Attlebridge, Norfolk.
Pilot: Johnson, Robert D.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Rackheath, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40129).
Organization: / 491BG of Metfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Caputo, Anthony J.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Metfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 1
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40170).
Organization: 853BS / 491BG of Metfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Cotnoir, George P.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Metfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-13403).
Organization: / 402AD of Warton, Lancashire.
Pilot: Clearwater, William T.
Notes: killed due to structural failure.
Location: Hesketh Narsh/nr Warton England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Photo Reconnaissance "
Photo Reconnaissance
June 12, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
Mission Targets

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photo29 A/C
weather3 A/C

weather3 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
802nd Reconnaissance Group
Aircraft Losses

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)