Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 458: 1,129 bombers and 756 fighters are dispatched to attack synthetic oil plants, aircraft assembly plants and engine works, airfields and an equipment depot, marshaling yards railway station and railway repair shops in Germany; 37 bombers and 6 fighters are lost:

1. Of 373 B-24s, 102 hit Lutzkendorf and 64 hit Halle oil plants, 90 hit Bernburg and 73 hit Aschersleben aircraft plants and 8 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 39-5-10 Luftwaffe aircraft; 28 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 126 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 274 MIA. Escort is provided by 224 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 46-1-16 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).

2. Of 303 B-17s, 64 hit Bohlen and 51 hit Merseburg oil plants, 67 hit Kolleda and 32 hit Lutzkendorf Airfields, 22 hit targets of opportunity and 16 hit Gottingen marshaling yard; 2 B-17s are lost and 112 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 20 MIA. Escort is provided by 185 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 9-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 3-0-1 on the ground; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost (pilots are MIA).

3. Of 453 B-17s, 114 hit Leipzig/Taucha, 79 hit Leipzig/Mockau, 35 hit Leipzig/Heiterblick and 15 hit Leipzig/Abtnaundorf oil plants, 46 hit Leipzig bearing industry, 35 hit Kolleda Airfield, 19 hit Leipzig Station and 7 hit Nordhausen; 7 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 152 damaged; 15 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 50 MIA. Escort is provided by 247 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 20-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair (pilot is WIA).

Mission 459: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France and Belgium during the night.

19 B-24s participate in CARPETBAGGER operations 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,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: Leipzig (Mockau), Germany. Crews Dispatched: 38 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Length of Mission: 8 hours.

Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. & 10 x 500 lb Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitudes: Group A - 24,000 ft; Group B - 23,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

The Group dispatched 38 B-17s as the lead and low Groups of the 41st CBW-B led by its chief of Staff, Col. William L. Travis. Four aircraft returned early.

The Group bombers dropped 160 500-lb. G.P. M43 and 180 500-lb. M17 incendiary clusters from 24,000 and 23,000 feet with uncertain results. Fortress #44-6124 (No Name) 360BS (Lt. Crawford), flew with the 390th BG and dropped ten 500-lb. incendiaries on the 390th BG target. Fortress #42-39875 Buzz Blonde, 427BS (Lt. Dubose), dropped incendiaries on Celle, Germany, a target of opportunity. Target weather was hazy with no clouds.

A few crews reported some enemy aircraft in the distance, but none attacked the 303rd BG(H) formation. Fighter support was poor and quite spotty. Intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was experienced at the target. Seven aircraft sustained major and fourteen, minor battle damage. Two crewmen had light flak injuries. There were no casualties.

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 - 36 aircraft were sent on this mission.

43-37534 Lt. P. P. Wishnewsky - Crash-landed at Polebrook on take off, crew safe.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 153. Primary Target: Oil - Leipzig, Germany

45 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 24. Aborted - 11. Scrubbed - 3. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 2. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 1. Some Crewmembers Bailed Out - 1. Crashed - 2.
42-97273 Pranger, Nicholas Vincent - tailgunner bailed out during violent prop wash
42-102442 Anderson, Earl O - collided with 44-6147 over England due to weather conditions; crashed at Withersfield, near Haverhill, Suffolk, UK
44-6147 Bagby, Donald W - Crashed in Allied Territory HGrp 'B'; collided with 42-102442 over England due to weather conditions; crashed 8 miles from Ridgewell at Withersfield, UK; three crew including Bagby were safe

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished 25 a/c for this mission with the target being the synthetic oil plant at Bohlen just south of Leipzig. The A Group flew as high Group in the 45th A Combat Wing and our other 5 a/c flew as high squadron with the 452nd B Group.

19 a/c plus 1 PFF a/c for the A Group took-off by 0459 hours and formations were effected without difficulty. 2 a/c plus the PFF a/c aborted for mechanical reasons. The deputy leader then took over the lead. 2 a/c of the B Group also aborted.

The formations were about 30 minutes late in departing the English Coast. Therefore, our Combat Wing did not get into its proper position. Due to the fact that the Combat Wing did not make its control points good, there was a concentration of Groups in the target area. The A Group was forced out of its bomb run by another Group and on the second bomb run the same thing happened. The lead bombardier then determined to toggle on the Group ahead with bombs away at 1003 hours from 27,000 feet. The B Group attacked the secondary target which was a synthetic oil plant at Lutzkendorf. Bombs were away at 1008 hours from 24,900 feet.

3 ME 109's were seen in the target area but did not attack. Flak was moderate in the target area.

All of our a/c returned to base by 1256 hours.

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/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th flying 12 aircraft in the Lead Box. Lt. John J. Connolly, Deputy Leader, took over Wing Lead when Majar Jere W. Haupin aborted and several Air Commanders commented on his excellent job of leading the Wing over the entire route. His navigator Lt. Thomas H. Krise, was also commended for his splendid navigation. Strike photos indicated excellent bombing results. Flak at the target was described as moderate to intense, fair to good for accuracy. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Crews: Connolly, Mannix, Coleman, Hanson, Fox, McKeon, Lippert, Thomason, Lockhart, Kuta, Fitchett, Etters.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - The first strategic bombing mission for July was an attack on the number one priority aero-engine factory located at Leipzig, Germany which was flown on the 7th. Our Group despatched the Lead and Low Box in the 94th "B" CBW, each box consisting of 18 aircraft. Weather was strangely CAVU over the continent and both boxes from our Group accomplished excellent bombing with an average of 98% of the patterns within 2,000 feet and direct hits on all three buildings in the MPI area. Moderate to intense flak was met at the target which was fairly accurate and meager and fairly accurate flak was encountered from Magdeburg. This accounted for minor battle damage. No enemy aircraft were seen and friendly fighter support was termed "excellent". All but one aircraft returned - this aircraft from the 615th aborted before the target and nothing else is known of it. Major Maupin started cut to lead the Wing but unsuspected and complete oxygen failure necessitated his aircraft aborting, but not until he had completed the Wing assembly.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The first strategic bombing mission of July was to the aero-engine factory at Leipzig, Germany. Major Maupin took off with 37 aircraft of the 401st to lead the mission but after assembly it was found that the aircraft's oxygen system was out. Lt. Connelly of the 613th took over the lead position and accomplished an excellent job. The Group made up the Lead and Low Boxes of 18 aircraft each in the 94th CBW "B" formation. The weather, for a change, was CAVU over the continent and both Boxes bombed with an average of 98% of the patterns within 2,000 feet of the three buildings that made up the MPI area. The flak at the target was moderate to intense and fairly accurate, and some meager but fairly accurate flak was met at Magdeburg. Crews: Kovach, Taylor, Lerwick, Risher, Koons, Rozzell, Kenney.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The briefing for 38 crews was at 0200 hrs and shortly afterwards there was some excitement when IW-D, Serial No. 42-97322, caught on fire on dispersal 48, but there must have been very little damage to the aircraft because it eventually flew back to the USA almost a year later on Operation Home Run. A few minutes later Major Garland took off in the weather ship - IY-K. The operational aircraft - minus the one that had caught on fire - were on their way to central Germany by 0538 hrs, with Captain K.H. Opie as the Air Commander. The aero-engine factory of the MW plant NE of Leipzig was the assigned target for the 401st on this mission. Direct hits on all three buildings in the MPI area were made, as well as those in a wooded area nearby. The 401st furnished the Lead and LO'N Boxes for the 94th "B" CBW. No enemy air opposition was encountered. At the target area, moderate to intense black flak was encountered. The 615th Squadron lost Lt. J.C. Neill and his crew in IY-P, Serial No. 42-37981 10 miles north of Magdeburg. It was known that his No. 3 engine was feathered and smoking badly. Bombs were salvoed and a W/T message informed the Group Commander that he was turning around and heading for home. The 615th put up the following crews: Neill (MIA), Haskett, McIlraith, Ochsenhirt, Konze, Gillespie, Wingard.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - A German Aircraft factory at Bernberg was the target for the thirty seven planes of the-44th plus 6 PFFs of the 66th.(13 of the 67th) The PFFs provided leads for the 392, 466th, 458th, and one bombed visually. The 44th bombed the target visually although PFF equipment was available. Enemy aircraft arose to give challenge to the formations, and the 68th report that this one was one of the roughest they have ever met. They lost three planes and crews, five received category "AC" damages and three "A" damages. Results of the bombing was listed as good to excellent; flak was moderate and accurate. The formation encountered 30 to 40 ME 410s and a few JU 88s. The Group claimed five - four - two with the 67th gunners S/Sgt. Ranson A. Tomlinson, flying as right waist on Lt. Ward's crew being credited with the destruction of one ME 410; Sgt. B.H. Nelson was credited with the probable destruction of one ME 410. 68th Squadron losses were: A C #42-110035 piloted by 1st Lt. D.H. Steinke - Two POWs, only A/C #42-100170 piloted by 1st Lt. J.A. Wilson - One KIA, 9 POW; A/C #42-99966 W piloted by 1st Lt. T.L. Weaver - Seven POWs. This latter plane, 99966 and so the name "Full House", had a crew flying their 23rd mission. Just before bombs away some 12 ME 110s, twin-engined fighters dived on them in the high squadron of the formation. Only was pass was made but they hit "Full House" in the top turret, flight deck, navigators compartment, wings and the engines. One shell exploded in the instrument panel and filled the cockpit with smoke so that the pilots hardly got a glimpse of the attackers. Only one prop could be feathered, two others kept wind milling, and the navigator and left waist gunners were wounded. Losing altitude quickly the ship was quickly attacked by ME 109s and the gunners valiantly fought them off. Then A/C #170, also badly damaged, joined with "Full House" for a few minutes. But "Full House" didn't have the power to continue flying and the crew bailed out at 1100 hours. But the left waist gunner, Sgt. Stanley G. Nalipa, was wounded and had to be helped bail out, had no luck at all as his chute did not open and fell to his death. The co-pilot Shambarger landed about 33 miles southeast of Groningen City The Netherlands, not too far from the German border. When the people came up to Shambarger to assist and he thought that one wanted to shake his hand (a 22 year old Nazi sympathiser) but this youth suddenly pulled a knife and stabbed the Lt., killing him. So eight of the ten crew members survived to become POWs Lt. Al Jones adds that: "This is a max-max. Up at 2 AM: take-off at 0410, load is 52 oil bombs. Everything went well until we reached the I.P. I was just swinging the sight on the target when I chanced to look up. Just at that moment about 75 to 100 ME 410 hit the squadron ahead of us. I shut my eyes expecting all of the 24s to be knocked down. However, they only got one. I thought we were next to get an attack but because of our position, high and to the right with good formation, the ME's took the lower section, the 68th. I tried to watch because J.T. (a friend) was in that section but was unable to see. Besides, we were on the bomb run. I picked up the Target and we let our bombs go. First and Second squadrons had good results, the 3rd was excellent. However we saw 6 to 8 24s go down and many fighters. Our escort was in a full fight with the Germans by now and things were really popping. Saw two P-38s get a 410 in cross-fire and blew him up. Lee and I saw many fighters go down and we counted over 30 chutes. Found out later that J.T. got a 410 and so did his tail gunner. After getting home and eating M/Sgt. Mike Curtin, our crew chief, came over and Lee, Pete (Henry) Al (Winters) and I had drinks with him." There was another inspection made of the 67th Squadron area today. Two more combat crews joined the squadron.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
44th BG Crash Report - Aircraft #42-99966, FULL HOUSE:

WEAVER, TED L. Pilot lst Lt. Idaho Falls, Injured, evaded, returned
SHAMBARGER, WALTER B. Co-pilot lst Lt. Montpelier, Ohio, murdered, buried Ardennes
PLATT, LAWRENCE Jr. Navigator 1st Lt. St. Paul, Minnesota wounded, injured
REED, ROBERT E. Bombardier 1st Lt. Pittsburgh, Penn, POW
GNIADEK, JOSEPH S. Engineer T/Sgt. Northridge, Mass, POW
FAHEY, DONALD F. Radio Oper. T/Sgt. Kansas City, Mo. POW
CROUSE, MARVIN L. RW Gunner S/Sgt. Newark, Ohio, POW
NALIPA, STANLEY G. LW Gunner Sgt. Poland, Ohio, KIA, buried Ardennes
VOIGT, LORIN L. Tail Turret S/Sgt. San Francisco, Cal, POW

The MACR for this aircraft states that hits were observed on three engines, #1, #2 and #4, all occurring on the first pass by the enemy aircraft at the IP. This plane dropped to about 15,000 feet and straggled behind the formation. It successfully withstood another attack by Me 109s and was last seen flying with another 44th BG aircraft. Both planes were being escorted by two P-38s when last seen. This aircraft eventually crashed near Valthe, 8 km north of Emmen at 1100 hours.

Recollections of pilot Ted Weaver: We were on our 23rd bombing mission, which was to an airfield at Bernberg, Germany. I was flying high element lead that day and just as we were making the standard maneuver to maintain position of close formation during the final turn onto the bomb run, we were hit by Me 110s out of the sun at 2 o'clock, high. Between their exploding shells and the flak that we encountered at the same time, we lost three of our engines and were able to feather only one of them. The other two windmilled until they froze up, and consequently caught fire just before we abandoned ship. Charley Harrison had been wounded in the head by an exploding flak burst inside of our ship on a previous mission [27 June 1944], so was not with us this day. Stanley G. Nalipa, who was flying substitute waist gunner for Harrison, was seriously wounded. Even though Crouse and Voigt made sure he had a firm hold on his ripcord and was conscious when they helped him out the window and yelled for him to pull as he went out, his chute did not open. The Germans picked his body up about a mile inside of Germany from the Netherlands border.

With the exception of myself, all the rest of my crew landed inside Germany and were captured. Lt. Platt, navigator, was wounded in one leg during the attacks and injured his other leg while landing with his parachute. My co-pilot, Bart Shambarger was captured by a Nazi sympathizer After capturing Bart, he offered his hand in a handshake gesture. When Bart reached out his hand, the Nazi grabbed it and jerked Bart toward him and simultaneously stabbed Bart with his bayonet. The Germans spread the story that Bart had impailed himself on a fence post during landing. Joe Gnaidek, my engineer, was shown Bart's body right after he was killed and they told him Bart's chute hadn't opened.

Bart's body was moved after the war to the American Cemetery at Neuville-en-Condroz, Belgium. His murderer, the Dutchman G.J. Trechsel, was turned in to the Allies after the war and sent to prison for eight and one-half years, then released.

Being the ship's commander, and therefore the last to bail out, I landed just barely on the border of Netherlands and Germany. FULL HOUSE was so near the ground when I got out that my chute barely had time to check my velocity before I hit the ground. I injured my back, but managed to crawl to a hiding place and later that evening got into contact with the Dutch Underground. I spent nine months in German-occupied Holland before getting back to Allied lines. All others from my crew became POWs. Incidentally, I am reasonably certain of the circumstances of Bart's death since I have personally visited with the Dutch farmer whose daughter witnessed it.

source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0220 hours and the target was an oil refinery at Merseberg. This was a strategic mission designed to keep as many Luftwaffe fighters as possible deep in Germany away from the invasion area. It would also deliver a blow to the German petroleum plants. Weapons were 100 lb. GP bombs. Take off started at 0450 hours and reached the bombing altitude of 25,000 feet over the Rhine River. At the target heavy flak was encountered, but there were no losses. Bombing results were rated as "good" and the Group started landing at 1250 hours. source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Link source: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
492nd Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Mockau. The 91st Group furnished the high group in the first 'A' CBW. The first 'A' CBW was unable to bomb the Messerschmitt plant at Mockau, the assigned primary target, due to smoke, but bombed marshalling yards at Kollenda with excellent results. The first 'B' CBW accidentally dropped between IP and assigned target with poor results. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Kolleda and Leipzig A/C Factory ( Two M.P.I.'s ). The target was the important Mockau A/C factory located about 3 miles North of Leipzig. The importance of this target is indicated by the fact that it was the objective on numerous Leipzig missions throughout the month. Visibility in target area was good. However, B group bombs were accidentally released between I.P. and target with poor results. A group attacked target of opportunity, Kolleda A/D, with poor results.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: AT-16 (#43-12968).
Organization: Hq / 4CCRC of Cheddington, Buckinghamshire.
Pilot: Aber, Earl J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-102442).
Organization: 545BS / 384BG of Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Anderson, Earl O Jr.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Haverhill/ 1 1/2mi N England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31922).
Organization: / 385BS of Great Ashfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: [parked aircraft].
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Great Ashfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-6008).
Organization: 549BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Gagnon, Henry C.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Great Ashfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-37534).
Organization: 508BS / 351BG of Polebrook, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Wishnewsky, Peter P.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: Polebrook, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-6147).
Organization: 545BS / 384BG of Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Bagby, Donald W.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Haverhill/ 1 1/2mi N England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-8111).
Organization: 524BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Jordan, Eugene C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#42-63786).
Organization: 36BS / 801BG of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Ellis, Neil G.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#42-63797).
Organization: Hq / of Langford Lodge, Northern Ireland.
Pilot: Sayers, Edward F.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Langford Lodge, Northern Ireland Ireland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-95172).
Organization: / 801BG* of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: [parked aircraft].
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-68144).
Organization: 384FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Hess, William P.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B7 (#43-6793).
Organization: 376FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Wilson, Albert O.
Notes: crashed belly landing due to engine failure or fire.
Location: Bottisham/nr NW Sta 374 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Photo Reconnaissance "
Photo and weather Reconnaissance
July 07, 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
18180.00-0-00-0-01-0-00-0-2
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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FRANCE
Reconnaissance
photo10 A/C
BERLIN GERMANY
Reconnaissance
weather1 A/C
NORTH SEA / UK
Reconnaissance
weather2 A/C
FRANCE / GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo10 A/C
SCOUT FOR BOMBERS
Reconnaissance
weather3 A/C
ATLANTIC
Reconnaissance
weather2 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
802nd Reconnaissance Group
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
802RG (1 a/c)