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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 626: For the second day, 888 bombers and 662 fighters are dispatched on a major assault on the German oil industry; they are intercepted by 400-450 Luftwaffe fighters; AAF claims 81-16-20 aircraft in the air; 35 bombers and 12 fighters are lost:

1. 299 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Brux (79) and Ruhland (59); targets of opportunity are Lauta (48), Plauen (30), Etterwinden (12), Karlsbad (11), Kitzingen (11) and others (21); PFF methods are used for all targets; they claim 14-9-7 aircraft; 19 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 94 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 171 MIA. Escort is provided by 238 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 29-2-4 aircraft in the air and 21-0-16 on the ground; 10 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.

2. 348 B-17s are dispatched to hit Magdeburg/Rothensee (144), Magdeburg/Friedrichstadt (73) and Bohlen (35); targets of opportunity are Fulda (46), Molbis (11) and other (8); they bomb visually; they claim 13-5-5 aircraft; 12 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 9 WIA and 109 MIA. Escort is provided by 236 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 25-0-4 aircraft in the air and 5-0-15 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

3. 241 B-24s are dispatched to hit Hemmingstedt (66), Kiel (58) and Misburg (34); targets of opportunity are Laharte (38), marshaling yard at Northeim (12), Hannover (11), Hemmingstedt (3) and other (3); PFF was used for bombing; 4 B-24s are lost and 49 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 37 MIA. Escort is provided by 105 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s without loss.

Mission 627: 7 of 7 B-17s drop leaflet in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night. 36 B-24s and C-47s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.

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 - Synthetic Oil Plant at Brux, Czechoslovakia. Crews Dispatched: 26 (358BS - 6, 359th - 7, 360th - 6, 427th - 7). Crews Lost: Lt. Clemensen, 4 KIA, 5 POW; Lt. Mehlhoff, 9 POW Crew Members Lost or Wounded: Sgt. M.R. Bruce KIA, Lt. R.H. Parrilla WIA/DOW, Lt. K.H. Freeman, WIA. Length of Mission: 8 hours, 50 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 28,300 & 27,800 ft. Ammo Fired:16,195 rounds.

The 41st CBW again attacked a synthetic oil refinery at Brux, Czechoslovakia. The secondary target was the Czechoslovakian aircraft components plant at Mejdek. The last resort targets were a German aero-engine plant at Eisenach and an aircraft repair facility at Zwickau. No aircraft returned early.

Twenty-three aircraft dropped 209 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs from 28,300 and 27,800 ft. visually through 4/10 to 5/10 low clouds. Drifting clouds obscured the bombing results. Intense and accurate flak was encountered over the target. Nine aircraft sustained major and five, minor battle damage. Chaff had no effect.

The Luftwaffe put in a short, but destructive, appearance: 303rd BG(H) gunners received a good workout and three of our Fortresses were lost. Approximately 25 aircraft made vicious attacks. They were primarily ME-109s, with a few FW-190s and jets. Most attacks came out of the sun to attack high on the front and then peel off down through the formations.

Poor fighter support was provided by 238 P-51s and P-47s, being somewhat scattered and spotty. A big gap in support appeared when the enemy aircraft attacked and, again, in the target area.

360BS B-17G Miss Liberty #42-31340, piloted by Lt. Arnold Mosel, lost two engines from the fighter attacks northeast of Berlin. The Fortress flew the entire width of Germany and over occupied countries, without escort, at a 105 mph indicated air speed. Miss Liberty was on her 93rd mission and ran into flak from an enemy battery at Boulogne where a third engine was lost. It crash landed with one engine operating at Ruxquelier, France, under very difficult conditions. Bombardier, Lt. Parrilla, who was flying on his final mission, was seriously wounded during the crash landing. He was left in a Canadian hospital in the Pas de Calais area. He died on 15 September, three days after he was injured.

#42-31177 Lonesome Polecat, 359BS was hit by seven fighter attacks between 1100 and 1130 hours. They made a hole in the front part of the wing close to the No. 3 engine. Strips were flying off the wing. Another attack forced it out of the formation and it slid off and dropped down. The horizontal stabilizer was also hit and strips of metal were coming off. Then the wing caught fire. When last seen, it was in a glide, still under control. No parachutes were seen. The aircraft crashed near Berlin.

#42-107196 Temptress, 360BS received a hit in its No. 1 engine and the propeller was feathered. It first dropped back out of formation and seemed to be holding altitude pretty well. It then slid off to the left and made a 180 degree east turn. When last seen, it was in a tight spin, apparently after the crew bailed out. Nine parachutes were seen. The aircraft crashed near Jachymov, Czechoslovakia.

Aircraft #44-6316 (No Name), 358BS, limped back to England on three engines. The right landing gear collapsed when the aircraft touched the runway. A fire was quickly extinguished by the crash crew. There were no injuries.

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/
351BG Mission Report - 37 aircraft were sent on this mission.

42-97318 Lt. R. C. Lopert - Shot down by fighters. POW 7, KIA 2.

43-37850 Lt. J. R. Brown - Shot down by fighters. POW 4, KIA 5.

43-37986 Lt. C. C. Schonian - Shot down by fighters. POW 6, KIA 3.

43-38089 Lt. C. T. Adams - Shot down by fighters. POW 9.

43-38123 Lt. E. J. Hennegan - Shot down by fighters. POW 8, KIA 1

44-6139 Lt. D. E. Hadley - Crash-landed Belgium, crew safe.

44-8100 Lt. W. F. Schmollinger - Shot down by fighters. POW 9.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 193. The 384th Bomb Group, flying as the High Section of the 41st CBW, attacked the primary target, a synthetic oil plant, in Brux, Czechoslovakia. A good visual bomb run was made and results are believed good, although "a patch of clouds came over the target at the time bombs hit," so results were unobserved. Primary Target: Synthetic Oil Plant - Brux, Czechoslovakia. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual).

17 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 10. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 3. Ground Spare, Unused - 3
42-97142 Hanlon, Ernest Edward - Failed to Return - MIA; at 1105 near Wittenburg, aircraft was hit by ME-109s on first attack in #3 engine; could not climb back to formation and continuously drifted behind until lost sight of; right wing fell off at 1109 and aircraft went down on fire in a steep glide; 3 chutes; crashed in Gruenfelde, immediately west of Kyritz, Germany; MACR 8901
42-102620 Tracy, Edward H - landed at Woodbridge due to fuel shortage and difficulty with #1 engine
43-37703 Rice, Robert E - Aborted due to low oil pressure in #2 engine at altitude. This failure was confirmed by Engineering Officer.
43-38213 Patella, Joseph D - Aborted due to pilot illness.
44-6141 Carlson, Walter E - Aborted; engineer's arm crushed in top turret mechanism.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, the first after the big 200 mission Party on the 9th, the 388th put up two Groups flying lead and High in the 45th Combat Wing.

24 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c were airborne between 0650 and 0746 hours with 2 a/c from the A Group aborting, one for mechanical and one for personnel failure.

Formations were effected and a route over the North Sea and into Germany was taken to the target. There was a heavy smoke screen at the target, but our bombs were dropped at 1104 hours from 25,000 feet. Leaflets were also dropped. After bombs away a southerly course was taken and the return to base was over France.

Lt. Creagh, in a/c 42-107085, "Little Chum", was hit by flak at the target and dropped behind the formation with his left wing on fire. He was hit by enemy fighters and shot down. Lt. Creagh gave the bail-out alarm and stayed with the plane so that the rest of the crew could get out. All of the crew were wounded.

Just after the target the Group was attacked by 40-50 Me 109's and FW 190's. Most of the attacks were from tail high in groups of four. Our crews claim 6 enemy a/c destroyed, 4 probable and 4 damaged. 17 of our a/c received minor battle damage and 4 a/c had major battle damage.

All but the one missing a/c returned to base by 1445 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/
44BG Mission Report - The primary target for today is a repeat of yesterday the Hanomag Works at Misburg. However, an intense smoke screen hid the primary, so the rail junction at Lehrte, 5-21 miles west, was bombed. 22 A/C (6 were 67th)- plus two PFFs were dispatched, the first squadron bombed long, dropping their 24 x 250s too late, but the second squadron's bombs were on the target. Bombing altitude was 23,000 feet, temperature at 32 Centigrade. Flak in target area was heavy but inaccurate, and no enemy aircraft were observed. Lt. Holmer bombed a target of opportunity, results unknown. All aircraft returned to base safely, fighter support was great. Sgt. L.C. Allen, tail gunner on Lt. Struther's crew, stated that as they flew over Holland and Belgium he could see how the Germans had flooded the low country there. 2nd Lts. Arterburn, Hurst and Green promoted to 1st Lts. effec- tive 9 September.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Misburg, Germany - Leherte, Germany - Oil Refinery - Railroad Marshalling Yard. A/C Took Off: 24. A/C Bombed Target: 0 - 21. A/C Lost: 1source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report

36 planes bombed a jet engine plant with good results.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31043).
Organization: 526BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Martin, John R.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#42-40713).
Organization: 858BS / 492BG of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Blume, Edward G.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75095).
Organization: 62FS / 56FG of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Allen, John R.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Wick Farm, RAFBirch/1mi S England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14177).
Organization: 376FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Woodward, Donald T.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13648).
Organization: 343FS / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex.
Pilot: Goethal, Karl J.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: College Farm, Weeley England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13943).
Organization: 368FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Archibald, David B.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit Mk XI (#PA944).
Organization: 14PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Blyth, John S.
Notes: landing 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 Fighter Command"
Escort for 8th AF 626
September 12, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
6625790.054-2-826-0-3112-2-100-0-12359FG crash-lands Abbeville
359FG crash-lands Woodbridge
Mission Targets

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579 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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352FG (1 a/c)
359FG (4 a/c)
4FG (2 a/c)
355FG (3 a/c)
361FG (1 a/c)
55FG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)