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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 428: 1,234 bombers and 1,170 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in Germany; 45 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:

1. 145 of 163 B-17s begin shuttle bombing missions (Operation FRANTIC) between the UK and bases in the USSR; 72 P-38s, 38 P-47s and 57 P-51s escort the B-17s to the target (synthetic oil plant at Ruhland, Germany); 123 B-17s bomb the primary target, 21 bomb Elsteriverda and a lone B-17 bombs Riesa due to a bomb rack malfunction; after the attack, the supporting P-51s are relieved 50 miles (80 km) SE of Poznan, Poland by 65 other P-51s which are to accompany the B-17s to the USSR; 50 miles (80 km) SE of Brest Litovsk 20 to 30 Luftwaffe fighters attack the force; in the resulting battle 1 P-51 and 6 German fighters are destroyed; 1 B-17 is lost (to unknown causes) on the flight; 144 B-17s land in the USSR, 73 at Poltava, and the rest at Mirgorod; the 64 remaining P-51s land at Piryatin; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 10 MIA. During the night of 21/22 Jun the 73 B-17s which earlier landed at Poltava are attacked for 2 hours by an estimated 75 German bombers led by aircraft dropping flares; 47 B-17s are destroyed and most of the remainder severely damaged; heavy damage is also suffered by stores of fuel and ammunition. This AAF shuttle run is made in conjunction with a large-scale effort against targets in the Berlin area as follows:

2. 456 of 496 B-17s attack Berlin; 12 other hit targets of opportunity; they claim 16-20-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 B-17s are lost and 216 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 10 WIA and 148 MIA; escort is provided by 99 P-38s, 95 P-47s and 73 P-51s; they claim 4-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 fighter is lost.

3. Of 368 B-24s dispatched, 69 hit Genshagen, 52 hit Marienfelde, 47 hit Berlin, 40, hit Potsdam, 28 hit Niederschonweide, 23 hit Genshagen, 16 hit Rangsdorf, 10 hit Trebbin, 8 hit Selvig, 8 hit Stendal, 7 hit targets of opportunity in the Berlin area and 1 hits Bederekesa; they claim 13-3-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 19 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 150 damaged; 21 airmen are KIA, 20 WIA and 182 MIA; escort is provided by 148 P-38s, 147 P-47s and 116 P-51s; they claim 13-0-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 P-38 damaged beyond repair.

4. Of 207 B-17s, 103 hit Berlin, 80 hit Basdorf and 5 hit targets of opportunity; 9 B-17s are lost; escort is provided by 108 P-38s, 81 P-47s and 91 P-51s; 1 P-38, 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost (all pilot MIA) and 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.

Mission 429: In the late afternoon, 31 B-24s bomb CROSSBOW (V-weapon) supply sites at Oisemont/Neuville and Saint-Martin-LHortier and 39 bomb a rocket site at Siracourt, France. AA fire shoots down 1 B-24; escort is provided by 99 P-47s, meeting no enemy aircraft, but 1 group strafes railroad and canal targets.

Mission 430: 5 of 5 B-17s drop leaflets in France.

21 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France during the night.

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