Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 541: 660 bombers and 300+ fighters are dispatched to attack 13 marshaling yards, fuel dumps, airfields, and targets of opportunity, in NE France and the Paris area; 4 bombers are lost:

1. 157 B-17s are dispatched to attack Belfort (76) and Mulhouse (76) marshaling yards and 1 B-17 hit a target of opportunity; 16 B-17s are damaged.

2. Of 141 B-24s, 47 hit Coulommiers Airfield, 36 hit Pacy-sur-Armancon and 34 hit St Florentin; 5 B-24s are damaged.

3. 76 of 77 B-17s hit Villacoublay aircraft depot; 1 B-17 is lost and 17 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 9 MIA.

4. 45 of 65 B-24s dispatched hit Toussus le Noble Airfield; 9 others hit Orleans/Saran Airfield; 1 B-24 is damaged.

5. Of 220 B-24s, 66 hit Strasbourg fuel dump; marshaling yards at Strasbourg (65) and Saarbrucken (60); Nivelles Airfield (10) and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 3 B-24s are lost and 112 damaged; 7 airman are KIA, 7 WIA and 19 MIA.

Mission 542: 275 of 294 B-17s attack 23 arsenal areas, barracks, concrete emplacements and heavy artillery posts in and around Brest, France; 1 B-17 is lost and 37 damaged.

Mission 541 and 542 are escorted by 356 P-38s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is WIA and 1 MIA.

Mission 543: 1 of 2 B-17s flies a Micro H test against La Chenaie rail bridge. Escort is provided by 7 of 8 P-47s.

Mission 544: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in Franc during the night. 165 of 180 P-47s fly a fighter sweep of the Paris area; they claim 3-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 2-0-0 on the ground. 28 of 31 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France.

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: Tactical Ground Support Mission, Brest, France. Crews Dispatched: 38 (358BS - 9, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. M43 or 6 x 1,000 lb G.P. M44 bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 26,500, 26,300 & 25,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

Flying Fortresses took off with heavy bombs in an attempt to silence the enemy coastal batteries near Brest, France. The targets were: Lead: Fort De Mengant and a radio station. Low: Installations near Fort du Petit Minou. High: Fort du Petit Minou and light coastal batteries.

One aircraft returned early.

In the target area there were 1/10 scattered low clouds. Visibility was 15 to 20 miles in haze. Thirty-six aircraft bombed their assigned primary targets, dropping a total of 284 500-lb. G.P. M43 and 72 1,000-lb. G.P. M44 bombs from 26,500, 26,300, and 25,500 ft.

Bomb results were: Lead: The radio station and protective sea wall was broken in two places. Two hits on a heavy flak battery.

Low: The exact MPI was surrounded by near misses on three sides. The bulk of the pattern was in a small group of buildings.

High: Two hits on the fort, three hits near barracks buildings, and hits on two roads leading to the fort and one road to the beach.

Two aircraft failed to bomb and brought bombs back. Friendly fighter support was poor none were seen. Flak was meager and inaccurate at the target and no enemy aircraft were seen. There were no casualties and two B-17s sustained minor damage. All aircraft returned to Base.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #57 Tousus Lenobles, Orleans. Command Pilot: BOYD. 39 planes were dispatched. 23 planes dropped 55.2 tons on the primary target, while 9 planes dropped 22.3 tons on the secondary target and 7 failed to bomb. 32 Credit Sorties. One plane crashed on takeoff.

B-24H 41-29559 E/P Belchin' Bessie Failed to lift off the runway. Fortunately what fire there was extinguished quickly and all of the bombs were safely removed. With 7BS. Pilot: Alexander. Crew OK. Salvaged with non-battle damage.

source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 36 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 177. Primary Target: Tactical - Brest, France

44 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 40. Ground Spare, Unused - 4

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished 26 A/C for this mission with 13 a/c in the high squadron of the A and B 45th Combat Wings. These were to attack the marshalling yards in the southeastern section of Mulhouse. One a/c (Lt. Chimenti) did not take off. 24 of our A/C plus one PFF A/C were airborne by 0654 hours. One of these (Lt. Porter) aborted because of mechanical problems. The aircraft formed in each Wing and proceeded to the assigned Target.

The weather in the Target area was CAVU and the MPI was attacked by Groups. Each Group had a different MPI. Bombs were away from A Group at 1146 hours from 19,000 feet. From the B Group at 1145 hours from 19,120 feet. Strike photos show good results and the B Group with a possible "shack".

Neither flak nor enemy fighters were encountered by our formations.

All a/c returned to base by 1534 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Five hundred pound SAP bombs were dropped with results described as excellent. Strike photos indicated that the bombs of the lead Box were directly on the MPI. 90% within 1000 ft and 100% within 2000 ft. The Low Box covered the selected MPI with a well concentrated pattern. No air opposition was encountered and flak over Brest was described as meager and of fair accuracy. Crews: Mannix, Connelly, Hanson, Jennings, Kuta.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - The weather kept the Group grounded for two days before they returned to operational work. This time they were assigned to go back on one of the ground support missions and for the U.S. Army this time. The target area was on the outskirts of Brest, France and the mission was flown August 11th. Two boxes of 12 aircraft each flew as a Wing and attacked two M .P .I.'s which were strongly defended points. The Lead Box bombed their M.P.I. gaining excellent results while the Deputy Leader of the Low Box had to take over for the Lead aircraft and bombed the wrong target through misidentification although their bombing was effective on another enemy concentration. Meager flak of fair accuracy was encountered from Brest but all crews returned safely. Six 612th crews were sent on the mission but one returned early.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The Wing Leader on this mission was Lt. Col. E.W. Brown when 27 aircraft flew as a Wing with 3 spares flying in other formations. The 614th Squadron flew in the Lead Box to bomb the fortifications at Brest, France as a ground support mission for the American Army who were then 10 miles north of the city. 90% of the strikes were within 1000 yards of the MPI and the results were classed as excellent. Crews: 42-97872 Ochsenhirt, 42-97602 La Fevor, 42-97395 Lincoln, 42-102394 Filemyr, 42-97145 Evans, 42-107151 Silverstein, 42-31863 Brown.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - This was a day of visual attacks on rail targets, fuel dumps and troop concentrations over the Brest Peninsula in France. For the 401st it was support of the ground troops and the tactical bombing was used as a means of allowing American troops and supplies to filter through the lines. Even with a scattered pattern, bombfall for the Lead Box was directly on the MPI - 90% within 1,000 feet, 100% within 2,000 feet, while the Low Box had an excellent pattern, well concentrated. One PFF ship, '991, came in from Chelveston at 0830 hrs, and the other, '658, came in from Thurleigh at 0839 hrs. 26 crews were briefed at 0930 hrs and after a number of delays they became airborne by 1345 hrs. The 401st furnished the Lead and Low Boxes of 12 aircraft each to form the 94th "B" CBW which was led by Lt. Col. E.W. Brown, flying with Lt. Connolly. Lt. Parr flew as Leader of the Low Box with Lt. G.E. Hansen as Lead Navigator and Lt. J.H. Ridley as Lead Bombardier. No air opposition was met, but flak was encountered at Brest, which was meagre and fair for accuracy. Ten aircraft received minor flak damage. There were no casualties. The 615th crews on this mission were: Parr, Mitchell, Wingard, Calloway, McIlraith, Dow, Cooper.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Coulommiers, France

28 planes bombed the airfield, including its dispersal area, runways, and taxi trucks. Results were very good. There was no opposition.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
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/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Brest. This Squadron furnished the 12 A/C low group of the force put up by this group, attacking a heavy gun position on Pt. des Espagnoles opposite the city of Brest with excellent results. Lt. McCarty flying A/C 634 aborted due to engine failure before reaching enemy coast, jettisoning his bombs in the sea. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Brest Troop or material concentrations. At the request of the ground forces attacking Brest Harbor, our bombers were assigned the task of attacking gun emplacements, troop and material concentrations in the harbor. Photos showed good results for all Groups.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 11th of August we dispatched 12 A/C and 13 crews to attack gun emplacements and troop or material concentrations in Brest Harbor. We flew the High Group on this mission, the target was attacked with good results. Flak was meager-accurate over target. None 324th A/C are missing.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#43-37950).
Organization: 527FS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Randall, Dale P.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-6005).
Organization: 366BS / 305BG of Chelveston, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: [ground crew].
Notes: ground accident,destroyed by fire.
Location: Chelveston, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29559).
Organization: 7BS / 34BG of Mendlesham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Alexander, Shelby T.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Mendlesham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110072).
Organization: 330BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk.
Pilot: Gruener, Harry H.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-26B (#41-18016).
Organization: Hq / 3CCRC of Toome, Northern Ireland.
Pilot: Justis, Carlton E.
Notes: take off accident due to engine failure.
Location: Toome, Northern Ireland Ireland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47C (#41-6532W).
Organization: 552FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Barrett, Fred H.
Notes: bailed out due to explosion.
Location: Shelcott Fm, Montfort England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75170).
Organization: 359FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Allison, Ralph T.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75573).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Metz, Robert A.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-12212W*).
Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Carr, Ernest R.
Notes: missing in service [often a macr].
Location: Scarborough/ 7mi N English Channel.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#42-106710).
Organization: 503FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: McClish, Donald E.
Notes: forced landing due to engine failure.
Location: Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C* (#43-12460W).
Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Bauer, John E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C10 (#42-103795).
Organization: 354FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: White, Alvin S.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13372).
Organization: 334FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Gillette, Willard G.
Notes: bailed out due to structural failure.
Location: Haverhill/ 2mi SW England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13571).
Organization: 354FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Mendenhall, Lee G.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13773).
Organization: 504FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Van Cleave, Ely N.
Notes: crash landing engine failure.
Location: Luton/ 1mi E England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit XI (#MB956).
Organization: 14PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Rawlings, Irving L.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Mount Farm, Oxfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit XI (#PA842).
Organization: 14PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: [parked aircraft].
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Mount Farm, Oxfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "8th AF 541, 542, 543"
Rail, fuel, troops in Brest peninsula
August 11, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
 
Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
9568782371.80-0-00-0-05-1-1877-8-28489BG aircraft land Switzerland
453BG aircraft ditches near North Foreland
34BG aircraft crashes take-off
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Mission Targets

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MULHOUSE, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard76 A/Cphotos (1)
BELFORT, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard76 A/Cphotos (2)
PACY-SUR-ARMANCON, FRANCE
Industry
oil storage36 A/C
ST. FLORENTIN, FRANCE
Industry
oil depot34 A/Cphotos (1)
COULOMMIERS, FRANCE
Airfield
47 A/C
VILLACOUBLAY, FRANCE
Industry
Aviation76 A/C
TOUSSUS LE NOBLE/BUC, FRANCE
Airfield
45 A/C
ORLEANS, FRANCE
Saran Airfield
9 A/C
STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard66 A/Cphotos (1)
STRASBOURG, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard65 A/Cphotos (1)
SAARBRUCKEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard60 A/Cphotos (1)
NIVELLES, BELGIUM
Airfield
10 A/C
BREST, FRANCE
Defenses
Coastal Batteries275 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
100BG
34BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
486BG
487BG
487BG
493BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

Click blue links for info on the MIA aircraft (if known).
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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
457BG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
453BG (1 a/c)
489BG (1 a/c)
491BG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
100BG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)