Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 414: 1,361 bombers are dispatched in 8 forces to bomb an oil refinery Germany and numerous tactical targets in France, including 9 airfields, an aircraft plant, a CROSSBOW (V-weapon) sites, 11 bridges, a marshaling yard, and various scattered targets; 2 B-17s are lost:

1. Of 747 B-17s dispatched, 172 hit the Hannover/Misburg oil refinery, 16 hit Wilster, 16 hit Wesermunde, 2 hit the Hannover area and 1 hits Helgoland Island, Germany; in France, 144 hit Bordeaux/Merignac Airfield, 71 hit Nantes railroad bridge N, 71 hit La Poissonniere rail viaduct, 70 hit Angouleme marshaling yard, 59 hit Beauvoir V-weapon site, 46 hit Nantes railroad bridge S, 12 hit Gael Airfield and 10 hit a viaduct N of Nantes; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 267 damaged; 7 airmen are WIA and 18 MIA.

2. Of 614 B-24s dispatched to France, 89 hit Le Port Boulet railroad bridge, 61 hit Evreux/Fauville Airfield, 59 hit Tours-la-Frillerie, 54 hit Tours-La Rice railroad bridge, 46 hit Guyancourt Airfield, 45 hit Etampes/Modesir Airfield, 44 hit Cinq Mars bridge, 27 hit St Cyr, 21 hit Buc Airfield, 12 hit Tours-La Riche highway bridge, 12 hit Le Mans Airfield, 12 hit Orleans/Saran Airfield and 8 hit targets of opportunity; 12 B-24s use Azon missiles against Etaples railroad bridge and 7 others use the missiles against the Pecrone railroad bridge.

Fighter operations are:

1. 96 P-38s, 202 P-47s and 211 P-51s escort the bombers and claim 5-0-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38s and 1 P-51 are lost with the pilots MIA.

2. 36 of 48 P-47s bomb Etaples, France; 1 P-47s is lost (pilot is MIA).

3. 177 of 185 P-38s fly a fighter sweep in front of the bomber forces without loss.

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: Bridge at La Possonniere, France. Crews Dispatched: 36 (358BS - 9, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 7). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 15 minutes. Bomb Load: 2 x 2,000 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 16,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

With Lt. Col. Lyle back in the pilot seat after three missions as a bombardier, the 41 CBW-A formation of three 12-aircraft 303rd BG(H) formations took off to bomb a bridge at La Possonniere, France. One B-17 turned back just before reaching the enemy coast with engine trouble: #42-37875, Flying Bison, 427BS-A (Lt. Johnson).

Thirty-five aircraft dropped 68 2,000-lb. G.P. M34 bombs on the bridge with excellent results. It was believed to be destroyed. Weather at the target was CAVU. No enemy aircraft were seen and only scattered meager and inaccurate flak appeared. Friendly fighter support was good. All aircraft returned safely to Molesworth.

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/
351BG Mission Report - 37 aircraft were sent on this mission. source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 136. The primary target was bombed effectively from an altitude of 15,000 feet, in CAVU conditions. Primary Target: Railroad Viaduct, Tactical Support - La Possonnièrre, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

37 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Ground Spare, Unused - 1

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished three Groups which composed the 45th A Combat Wing to attack a military installation on the French Coast.

40 a/c were airborne by 0354 hours with 4 a/c aborting for mechanical reasons. 12 a/c were in each Group over the target. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed. Visibility was excellent in the target area and all three Groups attacked visually. Bombs were away from the lead Group at 0637 hours from 25,000high Group at 0639 hours from 24,000 feet and low Group at 0643 hours from 23,000 feet. Bomb results were fair just missing the main MPI.

The lead Group encountered no flak while the high Group had meager flak in the target area. The low Group had very accurate flak.

Lt. McFarlane in a/c #757 "Panhandle" received two rocket hits. The first rocket hit the nose knocking off the plexiglass. The second rocket hit the #3 engine leaving a hole of 9 inches in diameter, then went through the cockpit emerging on the left side. This tore up the cockpit, knocked out the top turret and set the oxygen system afire. Sgt. Biggs was badly burned and Lts. Lynah and Milano were injured. Lt. McFarlane crash-landed at Manston.

All other a/c returned to base by 0822 hours.

Bremen also sent up rockets. There was no enemy air opposition on this mission.

All of our a/c returned to base safely.

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/
44BG Mission Report - Eight ships each from the 67th and 68th, (? from 506) no PFFs from the 66th attacked the bridge near La Frilliers and Tours, France. Capt. Aldridge (67th) led the Group which was composed of two sections. All A/C went over the target and all released their bomb loads of 12 x 500 lb demos. Strike photos show the results were excellent with the pattern completely covering the MPI. Capt. Kuch was Lead Pilot of the 2nd squadron and also had excellent results. The Group had 100% of their bombs within 2000 feet of the MPI, and most of them were within 1000 feet. Moderate flak was encountered. No 67th planes were damaged but 2 from the 68th sustained minor battle damage. The Group met enemy aircraft attacks but only one was shot down by our gunners - credited to a 506 Squadron gunner. The fighter support was excellent. Planes returned at 1030 hours. Lt. Jones adds: 'Awakened at 0030 hours. We are flying today and are in #5 spot. Caen was in flames. About 20 miles inside France E/A hit a B-24 between the two squadrons. We see three FW 190s and a JU 88 lob a couple rockets, but no damage to our formation - and the P-51s drive off the fighters.'source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Tours, France

35 planes attacked a railroad bridge in 3 waves with good results reported.

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
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Bordeaux. The 91st Group flew three groups in the 'A' CBW and low group in the 1st 'B' CBW attacking Bordeaux Merignac Airfield, the home base of the bombardment groups operating against shipping with glider bombs. The A/D was attacked with good to excellent results. No casualties. 8 A/C minor damage. 2 major. A/C #634 aborted. #1 engine caught fire before leaving England. Due to late take-off #610 flew with 398th Bomb Group attacking same target. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Bordeaux: Our Squadron sent 13 A/C and crews on this mission. BOMBING RESULTS: Area well hit, many bombs on MPI. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Very good. FLAK: Heavy barrage over target. Continuous following on either side. The barrage was low for the high group and accurate for the other groups.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-107232).
Organization: 551BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: .
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Great Ashfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-39914).
Organization: 509BS / 351BG of Polebrook, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Halpin, Robert H.
Notes: crash landing.
Location: Polebrook, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97818).
Organization: 551BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Nieman, Merle D.
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Great Ashfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#41-23999).
Organization: 36BS / 801BG of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: .
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-95094).
Organization: 788BS / 801BG of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Goldsmith, Samuel (NMI).
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-74659).
Organization: 551FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Phillips, Jay A.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Atcham, Shropshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-12416).
Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Flack, Jack O.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#42-106690).
Organization: 504FS / 339FS of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Craigo, Cecil E Jr.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#43-7188).
Organization: 362FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Taylor, Erle A.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Leiston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C7 (#42-103559).
Organization: 505FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Tower, Archie A.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 414"
Airfields and rail targets in France; Oil targets in Germany
June 15, 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
136112003259.00-0-00-0-02-0-3376-12-18
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Mission Targets

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NANTES, FRANCE
Railroad
bridge117 A/C
ANGOULEME, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard70 A/Cphotos (2)
LA POISSONNIERE, FRANCE
Railroad
viaduct71 A/Cphotos (1)
BORDEAUX, FRANCE
Merignac Airfield
144 A/C
GAEL, FRANCE
Airfield
12 A/C
MISBURG, GERMANY
Deurag Industry
oil refinery172 A/Cphotos (3)
WILSTER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard17 A/C
WESERMUNDE, GERMANY
V-weapons site
16 A/C
BEAUVOIR, FRANCE
V-weapons site
59 A/Cphotos (1)
ST. CYR, FRANCE
Tactical
27 A/C
LA RICHE, FRANCE
Transportation
bridge54 A/C
GUYANCOURT, FRANCE
Caudron Airfield
46 A/C
EVREUX, FRANCE
Fauville Airfield
61 A/Cphotos (2)
LE PORT BOULET, FRANCE
Transportation
bridge89 A/Cphotos (1)
CINQ MARS, FRANCE
Railroad
bridge44 A/Cphotos (1)
ETAPLES, FRANCE
Railroad
bridge12 A/C
LA FRILLIERE, FRANCE
Railroad
bridge59 A/Cphotos (2)
LE MANS, FRANCE
Arnage Airfield
12 A/Cphotos (1)
TOUSSUS LE NOBLE/BUC, FRANCE
Airfield
21 A/C
ETAMPES, FRANCE
Mondesir Airfield
45 A/Cphotos (1)
ORLEANS, FRANCE
Saran Airfield
12 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
466BG
467BG
489BG
491BG
492BG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
94BG
100BG
34BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
487BG
490BG
493BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
306BG (1 a/c)
381BG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
492BG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)