Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

The shuttle-bombing mission UK-USSR-Italy-UK is completed; of the 72 B-17s taking off from Fifteenth AF bases in Italy, 3 have various problems; the others bomb Toulouse/Francazal Airfield, France and then proceed to the UK; 62 P-51s (part of the shuttle-mission force) and 43 from the UK provide escort; no aircraft are lost; 70 B-17s and 58 P-51s land in the UK; 5 B-17s and 6 P-51s, either left in Italy or returning there during this mission, subsequently return to the UK.

Mission 545: 577 bombers and 436 fighters are dispatched to make visual attacks on the Metz marshaling yard and airfield in C and E France; 3 bombers and 3 fighters are lost (number in parenthesis are the number of bombers attacking the target):

1. 276 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Mourmelon (75), Laon/Athies (63), Laon/Couvron (61) and Juvincourt (52); 3 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 46 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 32 MIA.

2. 301 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields at Chaumont (72), Buc (67), La Perthe (58) and Etampes/Mondesir (12); 69 hit the Metz marshaling yard; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 28 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA and 1 WIA. The 2 groups above are escorted by 386 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).

Mission 546: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night. 486 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s attack transportation targets in the Paris and Brussels areas; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft in the air and 13-0-0 on the ground; 1 P-38s, 5 P-47s and 7 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA). 220 P-47s and P-51s attack transportation targets in NE France; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 3 are damaged beyond repair.

1 fighter group escorts Ninth Air Force B-26s.

The 850th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 490th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Harrington to Eye, England with B-24s.

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

Mission Reports

FRANTIC Mission Reportssource: Air Force Historical Research Agency http://www.afhra.af.mil/
303BG Mission Report - Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards, Metz, France. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 9, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Length of Mission: 8 hours, 45 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs. Bombing Altitude: 21,000, 20,450 & 19,900 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.

Brigadier General Robert F. Travis led the Fortresses from Molesworth to a large scale attack on the Metz marshalling yards. A combination of good weather, good visibility, and good flying led to a tight concentration of bombs on the marshalling yards and extensive damage. One B-17 returned early.

Thirty-eight aircraft dropped 456 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs. There were no clouds in the target area and visibility was 15 miles. The Group encountered no enemy aircraft. Friendly support was good. Anti-aircraft fire was meager and inaccurate. Returning aircraft had no battle damage.

One Group B-17 was missing #42-31177 Lonesome Polecat, 359BS (Lt. Cathey). It was last seen circling an airfield southeast of Cherbourg, France, with its wheels down. The crew returned to Molesworth the next day.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
366BS / 306BG Mission Report - 9 A/C flew Lead and Lo el in Hi Gp of 40 "A" CBW. (1 A/C in dep pos belonging to 422nd BS and 1 crew in lead pos of hi el of the 422nd BS). A/Cs piloted by Lts Tipper, Boggs, Tupler, Anthony, Sjejerman, Chambers, Berry and Barry. A good long pattern was laid out on the landing grounds of La Pertha, France. source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
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/
44BG Mission Report - After a stand-down and one full day of celebrating, it was back to war. Today the 44th led the Combat Wing to Juvincourt Airdrome, dispatching 32 aircraft, 12 from the 67th and no PFFs. Bomb loading was 52 x 100 GPs and bombing was done visually. Lt. Leonard (506th) led the Group and bombing was rated good to excellent. 90% of all bombs were within a 2000 foot circle. No enemy resistance was encountered and fighter support was good. Again a 506th ship was lost. #024 was last seen to leave the formation losing altitude. The pilot, 2nd Lt. T.J. McGuire called to say he was low on gas and was advised to call for fighter support and head for Allied lines. Pilot called again and said #3 engine had cut out and #4 tank was empty. Was last seen headed for friendly lines with fighter support, but went down. 506th A/C #42-110024 P Pilot and co-pilot, RW gunner KIA, 5 POWs, and two returned to duty, escaping capture. Three 67th A/C abortive, one from the 506th.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Laon/Couvron airfields, France

Very good results were achieved on these 2 airfields.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Buc A/D. The Buc A/D just south of Versailles was bombed with very good results by this group but the 322nd Bomb Squadron was stood down for the day. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Bus Airfield. Weather over England made assembly extremely difficult with clouds to 30,000 ft.. Photos showed excellent results with all 3 groups placing their main concentration of bombs squarely upon the assigned M.P.I.'s. Target weather was CAVU, enemy opposition nil, flak meager but accurate.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Mission to Buc, France. On the 12th of August we dispatched 10 A/C and 12 crews to attack an airfield on the outskirts of Paris, a Bomber-Recon Unit and storage of aircraft parts. None 401st A/C are missing. Moderate but extremely accurate flak was encountered over the target. Sgt. Chester Gunshev, Tail Gunner, was seriously injured by flak.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-107005).
Organization: 511FS / 351BG of Polebrook, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: [ground crew].
Notes: ground accident,destroyed by fire.
Location: Polebrook, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-107191).
Organization: 600BS / 398BG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Searl, Charles J.
Notes: killed in crash due to explosion.
Location: Lude&Parsonage Farms England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24 (#41-29528).
Organization: 310FRS / 27FTG of Langford Lodge, Northern Ireland.
Pilot: Moore, Ray S.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Langford Lodge, Northern Ireland Ireland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-95023).
Organization: 577BS / 382BG of Wendling, Norfolk.
Pilot: Ellis, John D.
Notes: killed in crash due to explosion.
Location: Mixwell Fm, Cheshunt England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40295).
Organization: 578BS / 392BG of Wendling, Norfolk.
Pilot: Long, Jesse D.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: C-61A (#43-14420).
Organization: 41SrS / 33SrG of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Laflam, Armand A.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-76296W).
Organization: 552FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Cunnungham, William A.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Atcham, Shropshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-8469W).
Organization: 551FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Tacy, Alonzo D.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Atcham, Shropshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-6644W).
Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Sykes, Henry S.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#43-6972).
Organization: 334FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Jahnke, Jerome E.
Notes: crashed due to engine failure.
Location: Bradwell Bay/10mi W England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-13517).
Organization: 362FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Baker, Maurice F.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Madna Italy.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13952).
Organization: 384FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Parsley, Adrian D.
Notes: crash landing engine failure.
Location: Eastbourn/4mi from England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Fighter Command"
Escort for 8th AF 545; Fighter-Bomber ops
August 12, 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
13301092280.66-0-013-0-018-3-40-1-18364FG crash-lands Eastbourne
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Mission Targets

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Escort
386 A/C

Fighter-Bomber
706 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG
56FG
355FG
361FG
479FG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG
78FG
339FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG (2 a/c)
352FG (2 a/c)
356FG (2 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
56FG (1 a/c)
355FG (1 a/c)
361FG (4 a/c)
479FG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG (3 a/c)
353FG (2 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)