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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 486: 1,110 bombers and 795 fighters are dispatched in 4 forces to bomb targets in Germany, among them 4 aircraft plants and 2 ball bearing plants; 31 bombers and 8 fighters are lost:

1. Of 433 B-24s, 106 hit Munich, 93 hit Saarbrucken marshaling yards, 78 hit targets of opportunity, 54 hit Oberpfeffenhofen, 33 hit Neuabuing, 13 hit Bullay Bridge, and 9 hit Schorndorf; they claim 10-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 22 B-24s are lost, 3 are damaged beyond repair and 181 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 7 WIA and 205 MIA. Escort is provided by 262 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 2-0-1 aircraft in the air and 3-0-10 n the ground; 5 P-51s are lost.

2. Of 96 B-24s, 48 hit targets of opportunity, 17 hit Duren, 12 hit Walldrun marshaling yard and 9 hit Indenboden; 2 B-24s are lost and 12 damaged; 20 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 109 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft.

3. Of 241 B-17s, 90 hit Regensburg/Obertraubling, 44 hit Regensburg/Prufening, 40 hit Stuttgart and 18 hit targets of opportunity; 4 B-17s are lost and 88 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 38 MIA. Escort is provided by 148 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 3-0-0 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost.

4. Of 340 B-17s, 99 hit Schweinfurt, 70 hit Ebelsbach, 59 hit Ludwigshafen, 13 hit Bad Kreuznach, 13 hit Ebelsbach, 13 hit targets of opportunity, 12 hit Bad Munster, 12 hit Lachen, 12 hit Simmern marshaling yard, 8 hit Wurzburg, and 5 hit Neckargemund; 3 B-17s are lost and 81 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 3 WIA and 25 MIA. Escort is provided by 187 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-38 is lost.

Mission 487: 8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night; 1 B-17 is damaged.

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: Airdrome, Lachen, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 11, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 9). Length of Mission: 8 hours, 5 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 27,400, 16,400 & 27,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

The 303rd BG(H) primary target was the Schwabisch-Hall airfield with Ludwigshafen "military installations" in the event that PFF bombing was required. Last resort German targets included an airfield at Lachen. Lt. Col. Richard H. Cole led the 41st CBW-A with lead, low and high Group formations of 36 aircraft plus a 305BG PFF B- 17. Three 303BG aircraft flew as the high flight, high Group, 41st CBW-B.

Twenty-three Group Fortresses of the lead and high Groups dropped 230 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs on Ludwigshafen. Results of the PFF bombing were unobserved. The twelve aircraft of the low Group visually bombed the Lachen airfield with 50 500-lb. bombs from 16,400 ft. Some bombs hit a hangar, but most went over the target. The weather in the target area was 7/10 to 9/10 cumulus with tops at 12,000 ft., 7/10 to 9/10 altostratus with 17,000 ft. base and tops at 20,000 ft., and cirrus between 24,000 and 27,000 ft. The low Group lost the other Groups going through the clouds and had to go down to 16,400 ft. to make a visual bombing.

No enemy aircraft were seen. Crews reported friendly fighter support as excellent the best the group ever experienced. Moderate to intense flak was encountered at Ludwigshafen. The low Group found moderate and accurate flak at Nuremberg. One aircraft had major and two, minor battle damage. All B-17s returned safely to Molesworth with no casualties.

The three Group aircraft of the 41st CBW-B formation bombed Ludwigshafen by PFF and reported enemy action and bombing results similar to the 41st CBW-A.

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/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #40 Targets of Opportunity. Command Pilot: WACKWITZ. 38 planes were dispatched and 2 aborted. 25 planes dropped 59.5 tons on targets of opportunity and 11 failed to bomb. 36 Credit Sorties. One aircraft lost, the 10 crewmembers listed Missing in Action.

B-24H 42-94815 B/B Frivolous Sal Missing in Action believed from Prop wash due to a near collision with another plane. Exact circumstances of the loss are unknown. Crashed near Ehingen. With 4BS.

source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 20 aircraft were sent on this mission. source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 163. Primary Target: Industry - Schwabisch Hall, Germany

38 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 33. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 3
42-37982 Cole, Alfred H - Turned back over England b/c he could not locate formation after taking off late; ret 10x500GP to base
42-97574 Wilson, Quentin - Landed at Chelveston.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany was the object of our attack on July 21st. Its importance was well known and although it had been hit previously reconnaissance indicated that it was not seriously damaged. The weather over the target was clear and strike photos indicated that the MPI and target area were blanketed. No air opposition was encountered and flak was moderate and fairly good for accuracy. Crews of the 613th participating were: Mannix, Hammond, Irwin, Kuta, Hanson, Thomason.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - 26 aircraft from the Group, under the leadership of Major White, were part of a formation of 99 1st Air Division Fortresses that dropped 230 tons of bombs on the ball bearing plant at Schweinfurt. The Group itself dropped incendiary bombs visually with excellent results. Smoke at the target did cause the bombardiers some problems but they eventually found both MPI'S. No enemy aircraft were seen but the moderate and fairly accurate flak over the target caused battle damage to 12 of the Group's aircraft. Crews: 42-107151 Kenney, 42-97602 Kovach, 42-102659 Rozzell, 42-97780 Lerwick, 42-102468 Mercer.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The PFF aircraft for this mission arrived from Ridgewell at 2034 hrs on the 20th July. It was Serial No. 1625 and coded Cobley I. The Group was briefed at 0300 hrs and 26 crews took part. The weather ship was off at 0510 hrs and the 26 operational B-17's airborne by 0649 hrs. The 401st Group furnished the Lead and Low Boxes of the 94th "B" CBW for the attack on the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt. The target was bombed visually and crews observed that the results were excellent. Strike photos disclosed that incendiary bombs, which both Boxes carried, blanketed the MPI and the target area. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Moderate, black, accurate flak was encountered at the target. Fighter support was excellent. Two aircraft received major battle damage and 10 received minor battle damage. Major R.J. White led the Wing, with Capt. R.F. Causey as Lead Navigator and Capt. A.C. Kuenning as Lead Bombardier. The Lead Pilot was Lt. C.J. Parr. The Squadron loading list was: Ossiander, Melofchik, Wingard, Heenan, Gillespie, Konze.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The mission today was a long one - to Oberpfaffenhofen, an armaments center near Munich, Germany. 27 aircraft, including 4 PFFs, two of which led the 44th and two with the 492nd. Lt. Ward led the second section which was made up of 8 67th ships. The enemy sent up approximately twenty-five aircraft to try to off set our "heavies" attacking force, making their attacks mostly from the tail position. The flak was moderate and accurate. The E/A gave fierce challenge, and combined with the flak, caused the loss of four Group planes. It is believed that these four planes headed for nearby Switzerland. The Group claimed 3 - 1 - 0 against the FW 190s and Me 109s. T/Sgt. Maurice P. Groh, flying as top turret-gunner on Lt. Ward's crew was credited with the destruction of one FW 190. T/Sgt. Edward M. Healy, top turret gunner on Lt. Duwe's crew was credited with the destruction of one ME 109. S/Sgt. Bernard E. Schiffbauer, flying left waist position on Lt. Knowles crew, was credited with the probable destruction of one FW 190. Crews report this mission to be the roughest so far this month, with at least 13 planes returning damaged and four lost. Losses were: 68th A/C #42-110049 A "Mary Harriet" 1st Lt. J.R. Anderson's crew 68th A/C #42-95226 c "Channel Hopper" FIO D.Y. Tofte's crew Both ships successfully arriving in Switzerland, crews interned. 506 A/C #42-110034 2nd Lt. J.W. Allen and crew - 8 POWs 506 A/C #42-95142 K 2nd Lt. M.H. Butler - All 10 POWs 506 A/C #42-95207 crash-landed at Warningford, England and later salvaged. Pilot of this aircraft was Lt. Charles N. Atkins, Jr. 67th Sgt. Woodrow Wilson was cited on the 44th Bomb Group Special Order #43 as the enlisted man of the week for his outstanding work in the D/F Station on the base. Sgts. Raffell, Alexander; Cpls. Franklin, Davis, and Williams assigned and joined the 67th Squadron. Cpl. Turner promoted to Sgt.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
44th BG Crash Report - Aircraft #42-95142, CAPE COD SPECIAL II, MACR # 7288

Entire crew POW:

  • BUTLER, MYRON H., Pilot, 2nd Lt., Greentown, Pennsylvania
  • KINCAID, JACK A., Co-pilot, 2nd Lt., Sacramento, California
  • McKAY, JOHN E., Navigator, 2nd Lt., Detroit, Michigan
  • PERRY, OLIVER C., Bombardier, 2nd Lt., Somerset, Massachusetts
  • RASMUSSEN, JACK D., Engineer, S/Sgt., Los Angeles, California
  • MANN, ROBERT E., Radio Oper., S/Sgt., Metheun, Massachusetts - Injured
  • HUMPHRIES, PAUL C. Jr., Well Gun, Sgt., Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • CONNELLY, JOHN J., RW Gunner, Sgt., Newark, New Jersey
  • DEIFER, LOUIS W., LW Gunner, Sgt., Mt. Vernon, Indiana
  • ERAMO, LEONARD A., Tail Turret, Sgt., Brooklyn, New York

The MACR briefly states that the weather was poor, high clouds and haze. At 1038 hours, in vicinity of Munich, this aircraft called over the VHF to say that they had a three-foot section of wing tip shot off by flak. However, all four engines were running and the crew was going for Switzerland. They did not make it. However, all ten men survived to become POWs.

Bombardier Oliver C. Perry recalled: we were hit over Munich and had a very large hole in the wing that made it most unlikely that we could get back to base. So we proceeded to go toward Switzerland, but we were hit again before we got there. That was southwest of Munich, over a town named Lorach (Eurach or Durach') where we lost an engine and a rear stabilizer was shot off. Not then being able to make Switzerland, we all bailed out.

I think that we encountered some fighter action south of Munich, but it was in very cloudy conditions and they lost contact with us in the 10/10th overcast. We had been told that we would have had to fly at least eight miles into Switzerland before we could be considered safe as internees, as those people living in the border area with Germany might be tempted to sell or give us back to the Germans.

Our radioman, Robert E. Mann, was injured while either bailing out or upon landing as he had a broken arm. A few of the crewmembers got banged up on landing, too. We were captured and made prisoners.

We were taken to Mulhouse, France and then to a Frankfurt jail for a couple of days; then to Dulag Luft for interrogation for a few more days before we took the trip to Stalag I, Barth, on the Baltic Sea. We remained there until the war ended and were liberated by the Russians.

source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
446th Bomb Group Mission Report

A bad day. Heavy clouds caused the target to be abandoned. Multiple targets of opportunity were hit, including bridges, railroads, and tunnels. 3 planes were lost in the intense flak. Quivering Box (42-100315) had 2 engines taken out by flak and went down, killing 8 men with 3 more taken prisoner. Maximum Effort (42-95188) was hit by flak and crashed, killing 2 with the remaining 8 taken prisoner. A third, unnamed plane (42-51257) suffered an engine failure, and was subsequently hit by flak. 9 crewmen were killed and one was taken prisoner.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.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/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
492nd Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-24D (#42-40841).
Organization: 465SrS / of Cluntoe, Northern Ireland.
Pilot: Laszlo, Geza (NMI).
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Cluntoe, Northern Ireland Ireland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: C-64A (#43-5368).
Organization: 27PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Stamey, Earl K.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Booker Fld/Sta 101 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: F-8 (#43-34957).
Organization: / of .
Pilot: Munn, William H.
Notes: take off accident with resulting ground loop.
Location: Goose Bay Labrador.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67309W).
Organization: 554FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Pitzer, Reginald A.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#42-106663).
Organization: 328FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Rogers, Charles E.
Notes: crash belly landing out of gas.
Location: Coggishall (on beach) England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B15 (#42-106763).
Organization: 374FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Hicks, Barry R.
Notes: bailed out-engine failure.
Location: Great Chishall England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13582).
Organization: 328FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Clark, Glenn R.
Notes: crash landing out of gas.
Location: Thornage Hall/nr Holt 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, weather recon; scouting
July 21, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
Mission Targets

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weather3 A/C

H2X1 A/C
photo13 A/C
weather2 A/C
weather2 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
802nd Reconnaissance Group
Aircraft Losses

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)