Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 642: 796 B-17s are dispatched against marshaling yards in W Germany; weather prevents about half from bombing primary targets but most manage to bomb targets of opportunity; 7 bombers and 1 fighter are lost:

1. Of 380 B-17s dispatched, all hit targets of opportunity, i.e., marshaling yards at Koblenz (87), Dillenburg (39), Limburg (37) and Darmstadt (24); bridges at Limburg (35), Koblenz (25) and a bridge over the Rhine River at Koblenz (13); and Wiesbaden (38), Wetzlar (14), the railroad line at Koblenz (13) and Wiesbaden Airfield (12); 4 B-17s are lost and 159 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 37 WIA. Escort is provided by 131 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft in the air; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA).

2. 416 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshaling yards at Hamm (186) and Soest (32) and depot at Dortmund/Unna (64); other targets hit are marshaling yards at Raesfeld (11), Wesel (9), Rheine (6) and Munster (3); Dillenburg (11), Emmerich (7), Hamm (5), Osnaburck (2) and others (6); 3 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 120 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 109 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

100 B-17s and 61 P-51s takeoff from bases in the USSR and bomb the marshaling yard at Szolnok, Hungary and continue to bases in Italy. 172 of 182 P-51s supporting the First Allied Airborne Army in the Netherlands engage 100+ fighters, claiming 23-4-14; 6 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; 1 pilot is KIA and 6 MIA.

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 - Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards at Osnabruck & Hamm, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 36 (358BS - 8, 359th - 9, 360th - 9, 427th - 10). Crew Members Wounded: T/Sgt. Gerald Meyer, WIA. Length of Mission: 7 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 26,000 & 25,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 3,870 rounds.

Lieutenant Colonel Lewis E. Lyle led the 41st CBW-B on his 55th 303rd BG(H) combat mission to attack the Hamm, Germany marshalling yards. The last resort targets were airfields at Guterslch and Handorf, Germany. Aircraft #42-97944 Daddy's Delight, 359BG (Lt. Chance), returned early with a disconnected gas line due to a broken hose clamp. It landed at Woodbridge.

The lead and low Groups dropped 282 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs on the primary target at Hamm from 26,000 and 25,500 ft. The high Group dropped 131 500-lb. bombs at Osnabruck from 25,000 ft. in the low Group position in the target area. Weather at the target was 4/10 to 5/10 low clouds with bases at 7,000 ft. and tops at 18,000 to 20,000 ft., 5/10 middle clouds with bases at 16,000 ft. and tops at 18,000 ft. and no high clouds.

No enemy aircraft were seen. Friendly fighter support by 109 P-47s and P-51s was good. Anti-aircraft fire was meager and fairly accurate at Hamm. The high Group encountered intense but inaccurate flak at Osnabruck and intense and accurate fire over the Ruhr Valley. Returning aircraft had eight major and fourteen minor instances of battle damage. T/Sgt. Gerald E. Meyer, radio operator on the 359BS Lt. Akers crew, flying in #42-97781 The '8' Ball MK III, 359BS, was wounded.

Due to bad weather at Molesworth, only one B-17 returned to Base. Twenty-two aircraft landed at Bungay, 446BG: 10 at Boxted, 56FG; one at Dunmow, 56FG; one at Kimbolton, 379BG; and one at Woodbridge, an emergency field. A 384BG B-17, flying with the high Group, was lost to flak after bombs away.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #65 Oberwestal, Ebenheim. Command Pilot: LeBAILLY. 37 planes dispatched. 24 planes dropped 79 tons on targets ofopportunity, while 13 failed to bomb. 37 Credit Sorties. (Cleveland Romero #2. Pilot seat shot out. 17 flak holes.) source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 38 aircraft were sent on this mission.

42-38153 Lt. R. E. Butler - Flak damaged, ditched. Crew saved by ASR.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 196. The 384th Bomb Group, flying as the 41st "A" CBW, attacked the primary target at Hamm, Germany, with fair results for the Lead group [squadron], and poor results for the Low group [squadron]. The High group [squadron] did not bomb. Primary Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards - Hamm, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual).

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 37. Scrubbed - 1. Landed In Allied Territory - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 3.
42-37982 Carnes, Joe R - Landed in Allied Territory Lead squadron flying spare; joined formation; MIA; aircraft struck by flak just before the IP; after dropping bombs on target, left formation, apparently under control; crew bailed out over Binche, Bel.; all crew returned to duty except ball turret gunner, who was seriously injured.
42-38014 Hassing, Eugene T - Landed in Allied Territory Low squadron flying spare; joined formation; aircraft struck by flak just before the IP; after dropping bombs on target left formation, apparently under control; landed away in France; crew returned to GU.
42-97986 Durdin, Larkin C - Landed away at Old Buckenham, reason unknown.
43-37703 Blankenmeyer, William J - Landed away at Woodbridge, reason unknown.
43-37822 Gabel, Raymond J - Landed away at Old Buckenham, reason unknown.
44-6141 Groff, Richard H - Landed away at Old Buckenham, reason unknown.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - All forces of the 1st and 3rd Air Divisions were briefed to attack the Marshalling yards at Hamm, Soest, Lunen, Bielefeld, Osnabruck and Munster in the Ruhr Valley. The 388th furnished two Groups to fly as lead and low Groups in the 45th B Combat Wing.

13 a/c including 2 PFF a/c of the A Group and 13 a/c of the B Group took-off between 0920 and 0948 hours with no abortions. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed.

Approximately 20 minutes before the IP, the formation encountered clouds which went up to 30,000 feet. The Wing then made a 180 degree turn and attacked the Marshalling yards at Dillenburg, which is just east of the Ruhr. The target was bombed visually in Wing formation with excellent results. Strike photos show a very tight pattern covering the Marshalling Yards. Bombs were away at 1414 hours from 25,000 feet.

Neither flak nor enemy fighters were encountered. All a/c returned to the base by 1705 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Our assigned primary target was the large marshalling yard at Soest the main supplementary marshalling yard dealing with the traffic to and from eastern Germany. The secondary target was the large marshalling yards at Hamm, at present another link in the supply system,connected with German opposition to airborne operations. Because of 10/10ths overcast to 30,000 feet, the primary target was not attacked and bombing was done as follows: 9 aircraft of the Lead Box bombed Wesel, Germany, strikes being observed in the city through a cloud break. 3 aircraft of the Lead Box bombed Dulmen, Germany. The High Box bombed Hamm, briefed as the secondary, by means of PFF. Because of gas shortage the Low Box bombed an unknown target of opportunity. A diversion was received while over France sending the 401st to North Pickenham. Twenty-four aircraft landed there and others at scattered fields all returning to base the following day. Crews participating were: Coleman, Douglas, Lockhart, Budd, Jetter, Keeling, Annis, Carson, Keck.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - 39 aircraft were put up by the Group, ten of them coming from the 614th Squadron under the command of Lt. Ted D. Carroll. All the targets assigned to the Division were connected with the supply of the German Forces attacking the airborne troops in Holland. The 401st was allocated the marshalling yards at Soest, the main supplementary marshalling yards dealing with the traffic to and from Eastern Germany. The secondary was the large yards at Hamm. Just before I.P. the whole operation began to go wrong. The weather ship made contact with the Wing Leader just before the I.P. to inform him that visual bombing was out of the question. After passing the I.P. the formation ran into a 10/10th's front that went up to 28,000 to 30,000 feet - and went into it. The Wing became separated, missed the target and then all turned to the secondary, Hamm. The Lead Box could not find the target and bombed a target of opportunity with poor results. The High Box had seven miles to line up on Hamm and bombed with unobserved results. The Low Box did not have PFF, could not find a target, and finally dropped their bombs in an open field. Over France the Group received diversion orders and 24 aircraft landed at North Pickenham, home of the 491st B.G., a B-24 outfit. The other aircraft were scattered around at various fields and returned to Deenethorpe the following day. 42-97780 Carroll, 42-97145 Lerwick, 42-102659 Kovach, 42-107151 Silverstein, 42-97473 Hubbell, 42-97602 mays, 42-31863 Brown, 42-38236 Hays, 42-107084 Sisson, 42-38330 James.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The Group was briefed for this mission at 0630 hrs and the 39 operational aircraft and the observer aircraft took off in between times when the airfield was declared RED through bad weather. Just after the Group became airborne an RAF Spitfire crashed at the end of Runway No. 33 while trying to land. The return later that afternoon was even more dramatic with diversions for the 401st being given by the 1st Bomb Division and changed time after time. Eventually the aircraft of the 401st were spread out over East Anglia on twelve different airfields. The assigned target was the marshalling yards at Soest with the 401st B.G. (H) furnishing the 94th "c" Combat Wing, led by Lt. E.W. Brown. The Group history states that it turned out to be one of those "screwed up messes". The weather ship made contact with Lt. Col. Brown on time just before the I.P. informing him that visual bombing was possible, however, in front of the Wing was a 10!10th's front towering up to at least 28,000 feet just beyond the I.P. area. The cloud was so thick that the Wing became separated and none of them were able to spot. the target. They then all turned toward the secondary target located at the city of Hamm -- again marshalling yards -- but the Wing were unable to reassemble because of the bad weather. The Lead Box then dropped on a target of opportunity,but with poor results. The High Box did manage to bomb a secondary target, the Mickey operator having only seven miles in which to set up his run and bomb. Results were unobserved. The Low Box were without PFF equipment and finally jettisoned their bombs. There was no enemy air opposition, and some flak was seen in the vicinity of Hamm; four aircraft received minor battle damage. The 615th put up the following nine crews: Oas, Cooper, McKay, Sullivan, Daves, LA Turk, ML Turk, Udy, Stegemann.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - September 19th found the Group with 36 aircraft assigned to attack the railway marshalling yards at Soest, Germany. As it turned out though, the mission ended up being one of those "screwed-up messes". The weather aircraft contacted the Wing leader on time just before the I.P. informing him that visual bombing was possible. However the Wing experienced a 10/10's front towering above 28,000 feet just past the I.P. area. The soup was so thick that the Wing became separated, and none of them were able to see the target. They all turned towards the secondary located at Hamm, Germany --- again Marshalling Yards --- but were unable to reassemble due to bad weather. The Lead Box was unable to find the Secondary with its bombs and bombed a Target of Opportunity with poor results. The High Box did manage to bomb a Secondary Target although the Mickey Operator only had seven miles in which to set up his equipment and bomb. Results from this Box were unobserved. The Low Box not having PFF equipment were unable to bomb the Secondary and finally jettisoned their bombs in an open field. Crews reported good friendly escort and no enemy air opposition, and only the Lead Box actually encountered enemy opposition which was in the form of moderate Flak from Wesel with four of the aircraft damage. Captain McCord led the High Box on this mission and was very ably assisted by the excellent work of Lt. Fishbeck as navigator and Lt. Howard as Mickey operator. Lt. Fishbeck was commended for his final navigation on this mission. Nine of the 612th crews completed this effort with crew loadings as follows: 44-8153 McCord, 43-37632 Hocking, 43-37790 Bonney, 42-106992 Maxwell, 42-39993 Gibson, 42-97938 Lawrnce, 42-102398 Aiken, 42-107039 Harlan, 43-37628 Jones.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
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/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Hamm, Germany. Lt. Malone led the low group furnished by this Squadron in the 1st B CBW attacked the M/Yds at Hamm by PFF methods. Both the lead and the low groups made 360 degree turns for a second bombing run with fair results, bombs striking in the southern end of the yards. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Hamm Marshaling Yards. Photographs from low group showed bombs bursting in Southern end of M/Y. Lead and low made a second run over target when high cloud prevented identification on first run. Capt. Klette, group mission commander made a skillful left turn close to Ruhr to maneuver for second run when formation approaching target from right prevented the more favorable right turn. No E/A seen. Flak was moderately accurate.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-24D (#41-24215).
Organization: 702BS / 445BG of Tibenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Querbach, Albert E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Mount Farm, Oxfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-26416).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Rose, John B Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Rochester AD,Kent England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B15 (#43-24802).
Organization: 376FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Brock, William R.
Notes: crashed belly landing due to engine failure or fire.
Location: Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-13708).
Organization: 354FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Peglar, Warren B.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: San Severo Italy.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14083).
Organization: / 3SF of Wormingford, Essex.
Pilot: Lundholm, Wesley G.
Notes: bailed out-engine failure.
Location: Paddock Farm, Gosfield England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13872).
Organization: 376FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Clement, Robert C.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: UC-61A (#43-14440).
Organization: 791BS / 467BG of Rackheath, Norfolk.
Pilot: [ground crew].
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Rackheath, Norfolk 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 642, Frantic; patrols in Holland
September 19, 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
5284120.026-4-150-0-07-1-21-0-7361FG crash-lands base
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Mission Targets

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Escort
240 A/C

Escort
61 A/C

Patrol
172 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
356FG (1 a/c)
364FG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
357FG (5 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)