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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 412: Bad weather again covers all strategic targets in Germany except one in the extreme N; a major effort is against tactical objectives, mainly in France; 1,357 of 1,525 bombers dispatched hit the targets listed below; 14 bombers are lost:

1. 502 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields in France, i.e.,: Le Bourget (134 bomb), Coulommiers (24 bomb), Creil (25 bomb), Bretigny (69 bomb), Melun (50 bomb), Creil (66 bomb) and Etampes (69 bomb); they claim 0-5-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 B-17s are lost and 139 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 14 WIA and 97 MIA.

2. 466 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Chateaudun (103 bomb), Orleans/Bricy (97 bomb), Eindhoven, the Netherlands (63 bomb) and Coxyde, Belgium (7 bomb); and 61 hit the Emmerich, Germany oil refinery, 50 hit Beauvois, 44 hit Domleger, 12 hit targets of opportunity and 4 hit the Normandy beaches; 33 B-24s are damaged.

3. Of 191 B-24s, 7 hit Ham-sur-Somme, 32 hit targets of opportunity, 52 hit Lille/Vendeville, 12 hit Calas Tres, 12 hit Denain Drousey, 39 hit Laon/Athies and 70 hit Chievres; 2 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 56 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 4 MIA.

4. 351 B-17s are dispatched to hit targets in Belgium: 35 bomb St Trond Airfield, 95 hit Florennes Airfield, 52 bomb Le Culot and 61 attack Brussels/Melsbroek; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 73 damaged; 1 airman is MIA.

5. 7 of 15 B-24s hit the Ham-sur-Somme Bridge and 5 use Azon missiles against targets of opportunity; no losses. Escort for the bomber missions is provided by 103 P-47s; 2 P-47s lost, the pilots are MIA.

Other fighter missions are:

1. 168 of 176 P-47s fly fighter-bomber missions against Luftwaffe HQ at Chantilly, France and Panzer columns; they claim 0-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.

2. 234 of 242 P-38s, 178 of 190 P-47s and 171 of 197 P-51s fly beachhead patrols and sweeps in front of the bomber force; they claim 4-1-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-38s, 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost (all pilots are MIA; and 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair.

Mission 413: 3 of 4 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night. 20 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,