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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 453: 371 bombers and 445 fighters are dispatched to attack 3 airfields in the Netherlands and 2 in Belgium, a factory near Mol, and 3 V-weapon supply sites in France; 5 fighters are lost:

1. Of 79 B-17s dispatched to the Netherlands, 38 hit Gilze-Rijen Airfield, 20 hit Volkel Airfield and 19 hit Noll without loss.

2. Of 221 B-24s, 43 hit Bois de Cassan V-weapon site, 36 hit Le Coulet Airfield, 29 hit Foret de LIsle Adam and 29 hit hit Mery sur Oise V-weapon sites, 13 hit Eindhoven Airfield, 5 hit Melsbroek Airfield and 2 hit Tulemont Airfield; 49 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA. The two missions above are escorted by 180 of 192 P-51s that claim 4-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).

3. 70 of 71 B-17s hit Beziers marshaling yard; 13 B-17s are damaged. 228 P-47s and P-51s escort the bombers and claim 18-1-9 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-47s and 1 P-51 are lost (pilots are MIA). Of 93 P-47s, 22 bomb Rouen, 10 hit LArche Bridge, 10 hit Seine River locks, 7 hit Boissy le Bois, 7 hit Pantgouin, 7 hit Veulettes Bridge and 6 hit communication targets; they claim 3-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-47s are lost (pilots are MIA). The P-47s are escorted by 181 of 190 P-38s; 2 P-38s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 is damaged beyond repair.

During the night, 8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in France with the loss of 1 B-17; and 8 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

70 B-17s on shuttle mission (UK-USSR-Italy-UK) attack a marshaling yard at Beziers, France (with Fifteenth AF B-24s) while on the last leg from Italy to the UK; 42 P-51s return to UK with the B-17s (of the 11 P-51s remaining in Italy, 10 return to the UK the following day and the last several days later).

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