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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 652: 1,049 bombers and 724 fighters are dispatched to hit oil and military vehicle factories in C Germany using PFF means; they claim 37-8-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 34 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:

1. 445 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Magdeburg/Rothensee oil refinery (23); 359 hit the secondary at Magdeburg and 35 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 10-7-5 aircraft; 23 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 126 damaged; 8 airmen are WIA and 208 MIA. Escort is provided by 263 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 24-0-13 aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 5 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; 5 pilots are MIA.

2. 342 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Merseburg/Leuna oil refinery (301); 10 others hit targets of opportunity; 10 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 251 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 92 MIA. Escort is provided by 212 of 231 P-51s; they claim 2-1-0 aircraft in the air; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

3. 262 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Kassel/Henschel motor transport plant (243); 1 hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 86 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 171 of 195 P-47s; 1 P-47s is lost and 3 damaged; 1 pilot is MIA. Mission 653: 4 B-24s and 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

194 B-24s fly a TRUCKIN mission to France with fuel.

The 374th, 375th and 376th Fighter Squadrons, 361st Fighter Group, move from Bottisham to Little Walden, England with P-51s.

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