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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,