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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 552: 1,183 bombers and 429 fighters are dispatched to attack 9 airfields, 2 aero engine factories, 1 oil plant, 2 bridges, 2 rail junctions and other secondary and targets of opportunity in SW Germany, E France, and the Bordeaux, France region; 2 bombers and 1 fighter are lost (numbers in parenthesis indicate number of bombers attacking the target):

1. Of 376 B-24s dispatched to France, the following airfields are hit: Lyon/Bron (108), Dijon/Longvi (83) and Dole/Evaux (70); bridges hit are at Anizy (46) and Fismes (34); and 12 B-24s hit Liart rail junction and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 32 are damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 92 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

2. 77 B-24s are dispatched to hit French rail junctions at Saintes (38) and Angouleme (38) without loss. Escort is provided by 40 of 42 P-51s without loss.

3. 349 B-17s dispatched to Germany hit Ludwigshafen (144), Mannheim (110) and Mannheim/Sandhofen Airfield (72); 4 others hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost and 232 damaged; 8 airmen are WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 88 of 99 P-51s without loss.

4. 381 B-17s dispatched to Germany hit airfields at Hagenau (92), Metz/Frascaty (72), Florennes (24) and Chievres (9); and Stuttgart/Echterdingen (72), Kaisereslautern (46), Sindelfingen (12), Trier (10) and targets of opportunity (16); 20 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 168 of 193 P-51s; they claim 10-0-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot is MIA).

Mission 553: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft. 37 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France; 1 B-24 is lost.

136 P-38s and P-47s fly fighter-bomber missions in the Paris area; they claim 3-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-38 and 2 P-47s are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 2 P-47s are damaged; 2 pilots are MIA.

The 36th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VIII Air Force Composite Command, moves from Harrington to Cheddington, England with B-24s; the squadron will convert from CARPETBAGGER to ECM missions over Europe.

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