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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 655: 834 bombers and 629 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on marshaling yards and airfields in W Germany; 8 bombers are lost:

1. 257 of 266 B-17s hit Bielefeld marshaling yard; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 24 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 28 MIA. Escort is provided by 240 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

2. 255 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshaling yard at Hamm (206); targets of opportunity are Munster (12) and other (1); 1 B-24 is lost and 32 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 170 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s without loss.

3. 313 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshaling yard at Munster (35) and Munster/Handorf Airfield (14); targets of opportunity are Munster (239) and other (1); 3 B-17s are lost and 85 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 36 MIA. Escort is provided by 177 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.

86 of 97 P-51s fly a sweep over NW Germany; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.

116 B-24s fly a TRUCKIN mission carrying fuel to France.

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

Mission Reports

390th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: Louis Hensgens 390 Bomb Group http://www.louishensgens.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 202. The 384th Bomb Group (H) flew as the 41st CBW "B" Wing on today's mission. Clouds obscured the primary target resulting in a decision to release the bombs on the center of the city. Primary Target: Handorf Airfield - Munster, Germany. Target Attacked : Secondary (Visual): City - Munster, Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Aborted - 2. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 4

42-97251 Chmura, Edward - Went over target but did not release bombs due to inoperative bomb bay door motor; hand cranked the doors but a/c was past bomb line by then.

43-37990 Mock, John M - Aborted; returned early with #1 feathered.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.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/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Target: rail yards at Munster. In spite of 6/10ths to 8/10ths cumulus clouds over the primary target bombing was done visually with results described as good to excellent. Lt. Fowler was High Squadron Leader and Major de Jonckheere Low Squadron Leader. Nine aircraft from the 613th flew on the mission and returned safely. No enemy air opposition was encountered and the flak at the target while moderate was accurate. Two aircraft from our Group were lost to flak. Our crews were: Campbell, Jetter, Hillested, Keck, Etters, Hopley, Nelson, Lockhart, Keeling source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - 39 401 aircraft took off for the 151st mission of the Group to form the 94th "A" Group plus two PFF aircraft for the Lead Squadron and one PFF aircraft in the High Squadron. Major Eric de Jonckhere was the Air Commander with Colonel Rogner, now 94th Wing Operations Officer, leading the wing. There was 6/10th's to 10/10th's cumulus cloud over the primary target but the bombing was done visually with good results. No enemy air opposition was met the flak over the target proved to be very accurate. Crews: 42-39012 Lerwick, 42-102659 Mays, 42-97395 Moran, 42-107151 Silverstein, 42-102659 Rundell, 42-38236 Hays, 44-6464 Morton, 42-97478 Schultz, 44-8508 Sisson, 43-38452 Crozier.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The briefing was at 0600 hrs and was for 39 operational crews and one weather ship crew. The weather ship left Deenethorpe at 0903 hrs with the other ships leaving by 1146 hrs. That morning the Control Tower Log Books record one of the WWII mysteries. A B-17 in flames came from the North Sea, flew over the Wash and headed in the direction of Deenethorpe. It had obviously been abandoned by its crew. Some time later it was reported as flying over Liverpool and heading for the Atlantic, where it eventually disappeared. The target was the marshalling yards at Munster with the 401st Group putting up the 94th "A" Group with Colonel H.E. Rogner riding with Captain Don Currie as the Air Commander. Major E.T. de Jonckheere and Lt. W.M. Fowler led the other two Squadrons. Bombing was done visually with the bombs of the Lead Squadron hitting the central portion of the marshalling yards. The results of the other Squadrons were excellent.

There was no air opposition from the Luftwaffe but as far as the 401st was concerned they were in the wrong place at the wrong time for the intense flak that hit them. Only 3 aircraft were lost to flak out of the 313 1st Bomb Division aircraft over Munster - two out of the three were from the 401st Group. They were SC-L, Serial No. 43-37632, piloted by Flt. Officer O.F. Nagle and IY-A, Serial No. 42-31077, "PAKAWALUP II, piloted by Lt. T.A. Davis. Two other aircraft received major flak damage and 24 others received minor flak damage. Although Lt. Davis was a 615th pilot his crew, that day, were from the 612th Squadron. The eight 615th crews on this mission were: Callaway, Stegemann, McKay, L.A. Turk, Dow, Haskett, Sombart, Konze.

source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Mission No. 151, and 14th for the month, was flown on the last day of the month. As usual the Group furnished a complete Wing formation of 36 aircraft with a PFF aircraft included in each Box formation for this mission --- usually two in the Lead and one in the High. Bad weather dogged the Group all the way during the with this last mission again having to resort to the PFF method for bombing although for the second time the breaks in the clouds on the bomb run did enable the bombardier to assist greatly by adding corrections from the visual check points. Almost 100% of the bombing was within the 2,000 foot circle using the assigned visual aiming points as reference points. The marshalling yards received many hits which probably caused extensive damage. This last mission saw the Group through an entire month with no enemy air opposition. Target Flak was as usual and proved to be good in accuracy and moderate in amount, accounting for the loss of two aircraft, both from the 612th Squadron. These were crews of Lt. Nagle and Lt. Davis. All other personnel and aircraft returned safely although 26 of the aircraft sustained battle damage. Captain Currie's crew ably assisted by Lt. Shapiro as Lead Navigator, Lt. Roy R. Hill as Lead Bombardier and Lt. Howard as Lead Mickey Operator led the Wing formation with Colonel Rogner, 94th Wing Operations Officer, as Air Commander. Eight other crews started the mission in the same Box but two of them were lost. Complete loadings are as follows. 42-97947 Currie, 42-102398 Harlan, 42-31087 Hill, 42-97487 Aiken, 43-37632 Nagle, 42-31077 Davis, 42-106992 Jones, 42-39993 Lawrence.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The 67th Squadron finished off the month with Lt. Honmyhr leading the Group, which led the 14th Wing and the 2nd Division to Hamm M/Y. The Group dispatched 28 A/C and 2 PFFs and all but one attacked the Secondary, Hamm M/Y on PFF (Primary was visual) with results being unobserved. Lt. Harris (67th) in A/C #846 L was hit by flak in the target area and both wings were badly damaged. A/C #224 (42-51224 W) a 68th ship, had #4 engine out and was spouting oil joined with 42-94846 to leave the formation and reported by VHF that they were landing at Brussels. They made their landing but had to abandon their ships there. Both crews returned to this station in A/C #224 on 1 October, and ship #846 was eventually repaired and returned, completing the war. Also, aircraft #44-10531 R+, 66th Squadron and flown by Lt. Ledford, was missing in action. Just after bombs away, at 1324 at the target, this plane which was flying #3 position in low squadron, was apparently hit by flak and was last observed at 1325 hours to leave the formation, dropping below, apparently under control. 8 men became POWs, with the tail gunner Sgt. H.P. Starr being KIA. The fighter support was excellent. 1st Lt. Phillips from DS to duty 29 Sept. 1st Lt. Pendleton assigned from the 68th Squadron. Major Cameron from DS Rest Home to assume command of the 67th Sq. COMMENTS: On the 8th of September it was glad tidings and a happy reunion for nine officers and 13 EM of this Group. Today they returned to England after an absence of more than 13 months - 13 months in Rumanian prison camp. They were part of the men who went down on the first and historic low-level attack on Ploesti Oil Refineries. Those who were uninjured in crashing were taken to Bucharest for approximately 50 days and then up to the central part of Rumania where a small village had been taken over by the authorities to serve as a prison camp. Those who were injured in crashing were taken to a hospital for treatment and as they became well, they were sent to the prison camp where they were welcomed by their comrades who preceded them. This was their home for nearly a year. Officers were placed in a modern, stucco building which in peacetime years was the summer villa of town officials. Enlisted men were quartered in small farmhouses nearby. After a first bit of rough handling by ignorant peasants who thought they were Russian Airmen, they were treated quite well and even kindly. It was surprising to note that even a radio was provided for the officers. Thus they were able to keep up on news, and was retained until about two months before their liberation. It was via this radio that on 6 June 1944, the news of the Allied Invasion of Normandy was joyously received. When Bucharest was taken and fighting broke out in central Rumania, trucks were sent up to the prison camp to carry the men back to the capitol. From here, they were ferried back to England by the 15th Air Force planes. The men are now assigned to Headquarters ETOUSA and will be reassigned to this organization for a short time before returning to the ZOI. The men are: 1st Lt. Henry A. Lasco, Worden Weaver, Lloyd L. Reese, Jr., Elmer H. Reinhart, and Richard H. Pendleton, Jr., 2nd Lts. Walter M. Sorenson, Robert R. Snyder, Gerald J. Totten and Joseph F. Kill, T/Sgts. Jesse L. Hinely,and Frank D. Garrett, S/Sgts. George Van Son, Paul L. Breedlove, Russell D. Huntley, Alfred A. Mash, Frank J. Suponcic, Robert W. Wolfe, James A. Brittain, Bernard G. Traudt, Michael J. Cicon, Albert L. Shaffer and Charles P. Decrevel. Let's give them a hand and Best Of Luck, Boys! On the 19th of September a Farewell Party was given for these Ploesti returnees on the grounds of Mr. Patterson's home, just adjacent to the Station. Since the majority of the men were members of the 67th Squadron, Major William R. Cameron, the Squadron Commander, took it upon himself to arrange the party. All Squadronssource: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Hamm, Germany - Railroad Marshaling Yard. A/C Took Off: 10. A/C Bombed Target: 10. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report

26 planes dropped 500 pounders and propaganda bombs, with unobserved results.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Munster, Germany. The Marshalling Yard in the center of Munster was attacked by PFF methods through 10/10 cloud. Capt. Thompson, flying with Capt. Newquist, acted as group commander. 322nd Squadron furnished the lead squadron. No damage was received by any A/C in the group. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Munster Transportation system. Attack was made through 10/10 cloud on PFF equipment which was working satisfactorily. Absence of flak and opinions of some navigators indicate that the assigned target was not attacked, however. No opposition.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-24 (#41-29452).
Organization: 754BS / 458BG of Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk.
Pilot: Swartz, William E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Watton, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-28967).
Organization: 310FRS / 27ATG of Warton, Lancashire.
Pilot: Edwards, Jess H.
Notes: crash belly landing due to mechanical failure.
Location: Warton, Lancashire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B15 (#43-24778).
Organization: 370FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Ramser, Galen E.
Notes: crash landing engine failure.
Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13738).
Organization: 362FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Wyatt, Harold A.
Notes: crashed belly landing due to engine failure or fire.
Location: Leiston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 655"
Rail and aviation targets in western Germany
September 30, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
8347652046.50-0-00-0-08-1-1411-5-74452BG aircraft crashes UK
Mission Targets

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marshalling yard257 A/C
marshalling yard206 A/Cphotos (2)
251 A/Cphotos (1)
Handorf Airfield
14 A/Cphotos (2)
marshalling yard35 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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401BG (2 a/c)
457BG (1 a/c)
44BG (1 a/c)
487BG (2 a/c)
493BG (2 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)