Mission

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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,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Airfield near Wiesbaden, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 9, 359th - 9, 360th - 11, 427th - 10). Crews Lost: 9 A/C, 23 KIA, 48 POW, 10 EVD Crewmembers Lost or Wounded: 1 KIA, 2 WIA. Length of Mission: 6 hours, 46 minutes. Bomb Load: 4 x 1,000 lb G.P. M43 & 4 x 500 lb M17 Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 25,600, 25,500 & 24,900 ft Ammo Fired: 50,050 rounds.

Thirty-nine 303rd BG(H) B-17s took off, flying as the 41st "B" CBW formation. Thirty- seven aircraft dropped a total of 147 1,000-lb. M43 and 146 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs on the primary target. Hits were made on one hangar with a near miss on another. The airfield landing ground sustained numerous hits, the entire area was blanketed by incendiary bombs. Three hits were made on a railroad line. Bombing was from 25,600, 25,500, and 24,900 ft.

Moderate to intense and accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered at the target, chiefly from Frankfurt. It was also observed from several other areas. Chaff had very little beneficial effect. Eleven aircraft returned with flak battle damage and three wounded airmen. From 25 to 40 enemy aircraft were reported.

#42-102432 Tiny Angel, 427BS, piloted by 1Lt. Harry S. Cook, exploded and crashed near Malberg. Most of the crew parachuted.

#42-31423 Jigger Rooche, 427BS, piloted by 1Lt. Henry C. Clark, was shot down 8 km northeast of Bitburg at Bickenforf and exploded.

The lead aircraft, #43-37838 Fearless Fosdick, 358BS, piloted by Capt. Arnold S. Litman and Lawrence J. Stein, was observed going down in flames. No parachutes were seen. It crash landed near Wittlich, Germany. A 20mm shell exploded in Bombardier 2Lt. Lawrence M. Wolf's back. He immediately lost consciousness and died within 10 minutes. 1Lt. Wayne E. Krouskup, navigator, tended him until he died. The Germans removed his body from the B-17 after the landing.

The right wing of #44-6086 My Blonde Baby, 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. Oliver B. Larson, exploded and came off. The aircraft crashed at Seffern, Germany.

The crew bailed out of #44-6291 (No Name), 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. Alfred I. Smith. The aircraft crashed at Orsfield.

#42-102680 (No Name), 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. John L. Cathey, exploded and some of the crew were spotted bailing out one km northwest of Rommersheim. Lt. Cathey reported that they were hit by an ME-109 fighter which set the No. 3 engine and gas tank on fire.

#42-31224 Hell in the Heavens, 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. Samuel C. Smithy, was hit from the rear by FW-190s. The pilot tried to fly evasive action, gave the bailout order, and put the B-17 on automatic pilot. when fire was seen on the left wing, he bailed out. The co- pilot, Lt. Ernest P. Boat, flew the aircraft for another ten minutes before bailing out himself. The Fortress crashed and explode in the Koblenz, Germany, area near Adenau/Eifel.

Four of the engines of #42-97085 (No Name), 358BS, piloted by 1Lt. Roman P. Charnick, were on fire and two parachutes were observed. The aircraft pulled straight up and exploded scrap landed as far as 14 km northeast of Bitburg near Wittlich.

Coming off the target, #42-31183, Bad Penny, 359BS, piloted by 2Lt. Arthur L. Goss, was the first 303rd BG(H) B-17 to be attacked by enemy fighters. Bad Penny exploded in mid-air. One burning wing crashed into Seinsfeld and set some farmhouses and barns on fire. 2Lt. Lester E. Reuss landed near Preist, Germany. He was caught in a tree by his chute and tried to unbuckle himself. Two unarmed German soldiers tried to help. A local Nazi party man arrived and shot Lt. Reuss. Two other civilians then beat him to death with a club and hammer. These three men were found guilty of murder at a war crimes trial and hanged on 29 June 1945. A "Landwacht" (Home Guard) man who watched the murder, was also sentenced to death, but his sentence was changed to life at hard labor. Sgt. Patsy Rocco bailed out safely, was captured and jailed at the Indenheim police post. The next day, while being transported to Bitburg, the escorting policeman shot and killed Sgt. Rocco for an uncertain reason. Witnesses claimed he was trying to escape. A war crimes trial in August, 1945, resulted in the policeman being sentenced to a life imprisonment, which was later reduced to two years.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #60 Florennes Juzaine. Command Pilot: LeBAILLY. Target was an airfield. 39 planes were dispatched. 36 aircraft dropped 85.5 tons on the primary target and 3 failed to bomb. 36 Credit Sorties. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
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 - Included in the 24 aircraft dispatched to Adorf Airdrome at Wittmundhafen were nine from the 67th, but with one abortive. A second run was necessary when the Group was forced off the first bomb run by another approaching formation. But the target was hit with excellent results by Capt. Stanhope who was leading the Group in #794, PFF. Most ships were carrying 12 x 500 lb GPs but one 506 had 52 x 100 M47s. No enemy aircraft and the flak was light and inaccurate. Fighter support was excellent from rendezvous until return to base. One new combat crew was assigned to the 67th Squadron today.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Plantlunne airfield, France

21 planes hit the airfield, with 10 more bombing Hopsten airfield. Results were fair to good.

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 - Ostheim. The 322nd Squadron put up the low group of the 1st A CBW attacking the airfield at Ostheim just east of Cologne, Germany. Moderate accurate flak at the target resulted in minor battle damage to seven A/C of this group and three casualties among the other crews. Photographs indicated good bombing results. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Ostheim (Cologne) Airdrome. Squadron Losses: None ( 2 wounded, 1 killed ). Photos indicate good results. The bombs of the low group smothered the MPI in a tightly packed concentration. Flak was moderate and rather accurate, weather was clear, there was no fighter opposition and our own fighters provided excellent support.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 15th of August we dispatched 10 A/C and 13 crews to attack the Ostheim Airdrome east of Cologne. We furnished the High Group. Our Squadron flew High Group of 1st CBW. Our aircarft experienced moderate, accurate AA fire at the target. Target was bombed with good results. All our A/C returned.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-102558).
Organization: 369BS / 306BG of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire.
Pilot: Smith, Berle F.
Notes: crashed on take off.
Location: Thurleigh, Bedfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-37780W).
Organization: 848BS / 490BG of Eye, Suffolk.
Pilot: Smelser, Charles H.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Eye, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-37840).
Organization: 367BS / 306BG of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire.
Pilot: Pedersen, Irving B.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Thurleigh, Bedfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-37940).
Organization: / 490BG of Eye, Suffolk.
Pilot: [parked aircraft].
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Eye, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-8011).
Organization: 547BS / 384BG of Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Rainey, Harry W Jr.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Grafton Underwood England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-52625).
Organization: 406BS / 305BG of Cheddington, Buckinghamshire.
Pilot: Leftwich, Tommie F.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Morris Hse Frm, Brwn Edge England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40267).
Organization: 18BS / 34BG of Mendlesham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Paulnock, Russell S.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Mendlesham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75171).
Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Shelton, Toney (NMI).
Notes: forced landing structural failure.
Location: RAF Woodbridge #10 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Fighter Command"
Escort for 8th AF 554, Fighter bomber ops
August 15, 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
47842613.814-0-17-0-96-0-90-1-9
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Mission Targets

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Escort
393 A/C

Fighter-Bomber
33 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
353FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
359FG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG (1 a/c)
56FG (1 a/c)
355FG (1 a/c)
479FG (2 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)