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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 501: 1,057 bombers and 753 fighters are dispatched to bomb targets in Belgium, France and Germany; 7 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:

1. 291 B-24s in 2 forces are dispatched to hit signal depots, fuel dumps and V-weapon supply sites and a bridge in Belgium and France but the forces are recalled because of cloud cover over the targets; the first force of 180 B-24s is dispatched to NW France V-weapon sites, fuel dumps and a railroad bridge; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 8 are damaged; 10 airmen are KIA; escort is provided by 235 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 and 2 P-51s are damaged (pilots are MIA). The second force of 111 B-24s is dispatched to hit Brussels and Vilvorde fuel and supply depots; 8 B-24s are damaged; escort is provided by 40 of 53 P-51s.

2. 766 B-17s are dispatched to bomb the synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, Germany; 652 hit the primary while 36 hit Leipzig/Taucha oil refinery, 18 hit the Wiesbaden marshaling yards and 8 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 1-2-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost and 217 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 7 WIA and 67 MIA. Escort is provided by 386 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 4-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost and 3 are damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.

Mission 502: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France 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,