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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 503: 1,228 bombers and 755 fighters are dispatched to hit oil targets in Germany and airfields in France; 17 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:

1. Of 657 B-17s, 569 hit the Merseburg/Leuna synthetic oil plant, 13 hit Gottingen, 11 hit Hildesheim marshaling yard, and 10 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 15-8-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 15 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 349 are damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 17 WIA and 138 MIA. Escort is provided by 429 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 21-2-3 Luftwaffe aircraft (including a jet aircraft) in the air and 3-0-2 on the ground; 7 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 P-47 and 6 P-51s are damaged.

2. Of 473 B-24s, 442 hit Bremen/Oslebshausen oil refinery, 2 hit targets of opportunity and 1 hit Cuxhaven; 2 B-24s are lost and 96 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 15 MIA. Escort is provided by 106 of 109 P-51s.

3. Of 98 B-24s, 38 hit Juvincourt Airfield and 26 hit Laon/Couvron Airfield in France; 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; 5 airmen are KIA and 7 WIA. Escort is provided by 142 of 150 P-51s.

Mission 504: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night. 44 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions; 12 abort.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,