Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
With the conversion of the 55th Fighter Group from P-38s to P-51s, the Eighth acquires a majority of P-51 groups to provide longer-range high-altitude escort for the heavy bombers. Conversion to P-51s will continue until by the end of the year every group except 1 will be equipped with them.
Mission 472: In a morning mission 319 of 359 B-17s drop 3,700 containers of supplies to French interior forces in S France; they claim 5-2-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 15 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 465 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft.
Mission 473: During the evening 131 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields in France; 54 hit Montdidier Airfield and 39 hit Peronne Airfield; 9 B-24s are damaged. 40 other B-24s fail to bomb because of failure of blind-bombing equipment. Escort is provided by 79 P-38s and P-51s; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair.
94 of 100 P-38s fly fighter-bomber missions against rail targets E and SE of Paris; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 is lost (pilot is MIA).
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #35 Montdidiers. Command Pilot: BURTON. 24 planes were dispatched and 3 aborted. 21 planes dropped 50.5 tons on the primary target. 21 Credit Sorties. The target was an airfield. The lead planes are GH equipped planes from the 486th Bomb Group.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
388BG Mission Report - The 3rd Air Division was dispatched to France on a special mission in support of the French Marquies. All a/c were loaded with C-3 type bombs.
The 388th furnished three 12 a/c Groups which composed the 45th C Combat Wing.
Our 36 a/c were airborne between 0340 and 0423 hours and there were no abortions. Some difficulty was encountered in forming due to darkness; after which, the briefed route to and from the target was followed.
The target area was clear and the briefed recognition signals were easily recognized. Bombs were away from the prescribed altitude as follows: A Group at 0920 hours on a heading of 15 degrees. B Group at 0930 hours on a heading of 360 degrees and the C Group at 0932 hours on a heading of 345 degrees.
Strike photos show excellent results for all Groups.
No enemy fighters or flak was seen on this mission. Our a/c returned to base at 1338 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0200 hours. The target was a drop of 452 canisters of equipment and supplies to the Maquis named Operation Cadillac (Area 10) in Southern France. Take off started at 0330 hours. The 447th joined the Division at the south coast of England climbing to 15,000 feet to get over the combat line. They then dropped to an altitude of 1,500 feet to make the drop. The B-17s lowered their undercarriage to restrict their speed while releasing their canisters. On the return. Lt. Hyder had difficulty and landed on the invasion beach in France. The entire crew survived, were picked up, and made operational again. Landing started at 1310 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com