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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 416: 370 bombers, including 22 Pathfinders are dispatched to 4 airfields and 4 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) supply sites in France; 1 B-17 is lost:

1. Of 146 B-17s, 38 bomb Laon/Athies Airfield, 38 hit Juvincourt Airfield, 18 hit railroad targets of opportunity and 17 hit Laon/Couvron Airfield; 1 B-17 is lost and 58 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 9 MIA.

2. 224 B-24s are dispatched to bomb airfields and CROSSBOW sites; B-24s attacking V-weapon supply sites are: 48 hit Renescure, 44 hit Sautrecourt, 43 hit Domleger and 21 hit Beauvoir; airfields attacked are: 17 hit Beauvais/Tille, 17 hit Authe and 12 hit St Andre de LEure; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 13 damaged; 5 airmen are KIA and 2 WIA.

VIII Fighter Command missions for the day are:

1. 165 P-38s, 88 P-47s and 172 P-51s escort the bombers above, they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; no losses.

2. 70 P-51s perform a sweep against stalled trains between Angouleme and Poitiers, dropping external fuel tanks on them and firing the tanks by strafing; the same tactics are used on trains in the marshaling yard at Saint-Pierre-dEcideuil; heavy damage is inflicted on both targets, including heavy troop casualties.

3. 50 P-38s and 75 P-47s make fighter-bomber attacks on troops in the Arras-St Pol area; at St-Pol-sur-Ternoise a large number of railroad cars are burned by oil and phosphorus bombs and strafing attacks; other marshaling yards, a power station, railroad station, trains, barges, tanks, trucks, gun emplacements, AA tower and an armored vehicle are attacked; A total of about 400 railroad cars are attacked and about half of them set on fire. In general the fighter attacks are highly effective; 3 P-38s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

Mission 417: 10 of 10 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the evening.

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