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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 554: 932 bombers and 443 fighters are dispatched to attack 11 airfields in NW Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium in conjunction with 1,000 Royal Air Force (RAF) heavy bombers and Mosquitos raiding 9 airfields in the Netherlands and Belgium; 16 bombers and 5 fighters are lost; numbers in parenthesis indicate the number of bombing attacking:

1. 219 B-17s are dispatched to hit German airfields at Cologne/Ostheim (108), Frankfurt/Eschborn (65) and Wiesbaden (38); 3 others hit targets of opportunity; they claim 4-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 9 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 86 damaged; 7 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 81 MIA. Escort is provided by 112 of 141 P-51s; they claim 10-0-1 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 2 damaged.

2. 350 B-24s are dispatched to German airfields at Wittmundhaafen (91), Zwischenahn (90), Vechta (67), Plantlunne (54) and Hopstein (10); they claim 9-1-2 aircraft; 4 B-24s are lost and 6 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 40 MIA. Escort is provided by 163 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-0 aircraft in the air and 7-0-9 on the ground; 2 P-38s and 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA); 3 P-51s are damaged; 1 pilot is WIA.

3. 298 B-17s are dispatched to Dutch airfields at Handorf (109), Venlo (104) and Twente/Enschede (75); 3 others hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost and 6 damaged; 19 airmen are MIA.

4. In Belgium, 59 of 65 B-24s hit Florennes/Juzaine Airfield and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 3 damaged.

The two missions above are escorted by 118 of 124 P-51s without loss. 33 of 35 P-47s dive-bomb and skip-bomb a repair shop and locomotives in the marshaling yard at Braine-le-Comtes; 1 P-47 is lost and 4 damaged; 4 pilots are MIA.

12 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.

HQ 491st Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 852d, 853d, 854th and 855th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) move from Metfield to North Pickenham, 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,