Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 681: 1,338 bombers and 811 fighters are dispatched on PFF attacks in the Cologne, Germany area; 4 bombers and 1 fighter are lost:

1. 465 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshaling yards at Cologne/Eifeltor (216) and Cologne/Gremberg (34); targets of opportunity are Cologne/Kalk marshaling yard (151) and other (2); 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 263 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 6 WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 274 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

2. 453 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshaling yards at Cologne/Gereon (295) and Cologne/Kalk (142); 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 150 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 10 WIA and 37 MIA. Escort is provided by 271 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

3. 430 B-24s are dispatched to hit a chemical plant at Leverkusen but weather prevents the attack; targets of opportunity hit are the Cologne/Gereon (231) and Cologne/Kalk (179) marshaling yards; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 73 damaged. Escort is provided by 229 P-47s and P-51s.

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: Military Installations at Cologne, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 34 (358BS - 9, 359th - 9, 360th - 8, 427th - 8). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Loading: 34 x 100 lb H.E. M30 & 2 x 500 lb M17 Incendiary. Bombing Altitudes: 24,100, 23,350 & 22,600 ft. Ammo Fired: 510 rounds.

Aircraft again bombed Cologne, Germany. The only opposition was the usual flak that caused major damage to four B-17s and minor damage to six. No aircraft returned early.

The bombers dropped 1,080 100-lb. H.E. M30 bombs and 65 500-lb M17 incendiaries. One aircraft dropped 10 bundles of T180 leaflet bundles. PFF equipment was utilized to bomb from 24,100, 23,350 and 22,600 feet through 8/10 to 10/10 low clouds with tops at 11,000 feet. The lead Squadron results were unobserved, but a built-up area was believed to have been hit. Low Squadron bombs hit about one mile west of the assigned target in the southern part of the city.

No enemy aircraft were seen and support was provided by 251 P-47s and P-51s. Groups attacked the target from different headings and altitudes and this strategy, as well as chaff, dispersed much of the flak. All of the bombers returned safely to Molesworth.

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 - Misson # 79 Cologne. Command Pilot: FANDEL. 30 planes dispatched. 28 planes dropped 59 tons on the primary target and 2 planes failed to bomb. 29 Credit Sorties. One plane lost due to flak and 10 crewmembers were listed as Missing in Action. Marshalling yards once again the target of pathfinder bombing. See 34th Bpmbardment Group (H) 1941-1945, p.46 for the story 'Memorable Experience' by John F. Kantorak about the LT MOWERS crew experience on this mission.

B-17G 43-38353 E/A Lili Marlene With 7BS Missing in Action Cologne flak. At 0915 hours there was a small fire in #1 engine. Some crews reported seeing trailing vapor which would indicate the wing tanks were on fire. After 3-5 minutes the plane peeled out of formation and into a shallow dive in an apparent attempt to put out the fire. Following this maneuver black smoke issued from the engine (#1). When last seen, it was trailing smoke, but seemed under control and holding altitude at 17,000 feet. At 1012 hours, near Liege, a B-17 was observed flying at 12,000 feet with #1 engine on fire and escorted by 5 P-51 fighters. This could possibly be the same aircraft. Crashed Ahrweiler, Germany. Pilot: Capt. McAllister. Missing Air Crew Report # 9468. 1 Killed in Action, 9 Prisoner of War including George H. Carroll, wounded in parachute. See 34th Bombardment Group (H) 1941-1945 pp. 43-44 where George Ritchie tells in a story titled 'The Not So Great Escape' about his experience as a Prisoner of War following this mission and his eventual escape.

source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 36 aircraft were sent on this mission. source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 212. The 384th Bombardment Group flew as the 41st CBW "C" wing on thday's mission. Each squadron was assigned a different marshalling yard, but clouds in the target area altered the plan. All squadrons bombed the lead squadron's assigned visual primary target, releasing bombs on lead by PFF. Primary Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards - Cologne, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (PFF).

42 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 38. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 1

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 8th Air Force for the third consecutive time concentrated its forces on the Ruhr Valley with most Targets in the city of Cologne. The 388th put up the lead and high Groups in the 45th "A" Combat Wing.

23 A/C plus 3 PFF A/C were airborne by 0547 hours. 1 a/c aborted for mechanical reasons and one failed to bomb the target. After take-off, Wing formation was completed without difficulty and the briefed route to the Target was followed. Weather was 10/10th clouds over most of the route so PFF methods were used in bombing. The secondary Target was bombed at 0909 hours from 27,000 feet. The Mickey operators say the bomb hit in the city.

Moderate to intense flak was encountered at the Target. 10 a/c had major damage and 13 a/c had minor battle damage. One Me 163 was seen near the German Border on the return route. Lt. J. George and Cpl. C. Reinert were wounded.

Two of our a/c were shot down due to flak and one, Lt. Thomas in a/c #322, crash-landed at Honnington. 22 a/c returned safely to base by 1220 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/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Our specific MPI's were three marshalling yards, each squadron to individually bomb a separate marshalling yard. Lt. Fowler led the Low Squadron and ten crews from the 613th participated. Because of 10/10ths cloud coverage bombing was done by PFF, results being unobserved. The flak was ineffective at the target and crews reported that stacking groups and ganging up over the target certainly split the flak coverage. Formations flown on this mission were reported the best the Group has flown in a good many missions. Crews from the 613th participating in this mission were: Campbell, McGoldrick, Keck, Keeling, Cushman, Hillested, Etters, Jetters, Baker.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - 8th Air Force was sent to Cologne. Over the three days a massive 3,000 bombers and 2,000 fighters had been sent to knock out the important marshaling yards. Considerable damage had been done to the city but very little to the all important marshalling yards. As on the two previous days the weather forced the formations to bomb by PFF. The 401st B.G. put up 39 aircraft under the command of Captain C.A. Lewis with the 614th furnishing 10 aircraft and crews. They flew as the 94th "B" Group. Crews: 43-38565 Brown, 44-8258 Carroll, (PFF aircraft.), 43-38738 Spuhler, 42-102659 Rundell, 42-97395 Hubbell, 43-38677 Moran, 42-97602 Hays, 42-97478 Crozier, 44-6464 Wittman, 446508 Sisson,source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - Briefing was at 0300 hrs with 39 crews in attendance. Take-off began at 0620 hrs and by 0651 hrs all 39 aircraft were on their way - yet again to Cologne with some 1,250 other B-17's and B-24's of the 8th Air Force to unload some 2,917 tons of H.E. on the marshalling yards. Three squadrons of 12 aircraft each were furnished -by the 401st flying as the 94th "B" Group. These included three PFF ships, one leading each Squadron. The bomb run was started on Mickey due to the 10/10 thIs undercast and things were going well until the lead PFF ship had a Mickey malfunction. There was no time to change leads so the Group bombed on the preceding Wing's smoke bomb. There were no observations. There was one four-gun flak battery en route that proved to be very accurate and there was meagre to moderate flak over the target and one aircraft received major and 10 minor battle damage. Captain C.A. Lewis was the Group Leader with Lt. R.M. Fowler and Captain T.D. Carroll the other two Squadron Leaders. The 615th put up the following crews: 43-37947 (PFF) Heenan (with Captain C.A. Lewis and Major E.T. de Jonckheere), 42-102674 Grimm, 42-31983 Callaway, 43-38125 Stegemann, 43-38159 McKay, 43-38458 Dow, 42-31730 Sombart, 42-107113 Sullivan.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Another trip to Cologne was the assignment for October 17th. Three Squadrons of 12 aircraft each was furnished by the 401st flying as "B" Group in the 94th CBw. These included three PFF aircraft, one leading each which were used in the effort. The bomb run was started on Mickey due to the 10/10's undercast and things were going well until the Lead Mickey aircraft had a PFF malfunction. There was no time to change leads and 50 the Group bombed on a preceding Wing's smoke bomb. No results were available due to the obscuring undercast. One accurate four-gun battery of Flak enroute and meagre to moderate Flak with ineffective accuracy over the target provided the enemies opposition causing damage to two aircraft. All aircraft returned safely. Nine of the 612th crews took part on this effort with Lt.'s Aiken, Gibson and Maxwell each leading the High Flights in each of the three Squadrons. Crew: 43-31662 Cox, 42-106992 Roadman, 606 Gibson, 42-102393 Jones, source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The 44th BG dispatched 32 aircraft (10 being 67th's) and 3 PFFs to lead the 14th Wing and the 2nd Division on today's operation. The Chemical Works at Leverkusen was the assigned Primary but with 10/10th cloud cover dominating the scene, the Secondary, Nord M/Y at Cologne was bombed on PFF with unobserved results. Capt. Orthman flew Group deputy lead and when the lead aircraft was forced to turn back, Capt. Orthman took over the lead. Bombing results were unobserved. Flak, from the IP to the target was intense and accurate with 19 of the Groups ships suffering some slight degree of battle damage - four of them were 67th A/C. No personnel were hit by the flak, and all returned safely. Fighter support was good. S/Sgt. Allen also adds: "Bomb loading of 6 x 500 lb GPs and 6 x 500 lb M17s, bombing altitude of 22,000 feet, P-47s and P-51 were escort fighters. # 13 is done!! Heavy, intense and accurate flak over target and Rhine. No holes! Lt. Struthers saw a jet- propelled E/A. And what a landing! #3 engine cut out and feathered, then two more cut out. Struthers and Lloyd brought 0 down fine. Clipped some trees, hit in pasture, then just cleared the fence and made good landing. Nose and right wing knocked a bit, with part of a tree stuck in wing!" Lt. Hyland and crew completed operational tour. FIO Beaver appointed to 2nd Lt. effective 13th. Major Grube from leave of absence to duty.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Cologne, Germany - Gereon Marshaling Yard. A/C Took Off: 36. A/C Bombed Target: 34. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Cologne

The marshalling yards were again hit, with unobserved results.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
453st Bomb Group personal reminiscencesource: 453rd Bomb Group web page http://www.453rd.com/
457th Bomb Group Mission Link source: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
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/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38707).
Organization: / BAD1 of Burtonwood, Lancashire.
Pilot: Rosen, Edgar G.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Burtonwood, Lancashire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-8322).
Organization: 562BS / 388BG of Knettishall, Suffolk.
Pilot: Thomas, Glen J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Troston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-27314).
Organization: 360FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Ciocchi, Dante G.
Notes: mechanical failure.
Location: Cologne Germany.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#44-20087).
Organization: / BAD1 of Burtonwood, Lancashire.
Pilot: White, Thomas A.
Notes: take off accident destroyed by fire.
Location: Burtonwood, Lancashire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-13686).
Organization: 385FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Allen, John J.
Notes: crashed on take off engine failure.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 681"
Targets in Cologne area
October 17, 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
133812502917.20-0-00-0-04-4-4863-16-46453BG aircraft crashes France
2x 398BG aircraft crash-lands France
388 crash-lands Honington
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Mission Targets

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COLOGNE, GERMANY
Gremberg Railroad
marshalling yard34 A/C
COLOGNE, GERMANY
Eifeltor Railroad
marshalling yard216 A/C
COLOGNE, GERMANY
Kalk Railroad
marshalling yard472 A/C
COLOGNE, GERMANY
Gereon Railroad
marshalling yard526 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
489BG
491BG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
94BG
100BG
34BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
487BG
490BG
493BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
305BG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
95BG (1 a/c)
34BG (1 a/c)
388BG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

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
8117740.00-0-00-0-01-0-00-0-1
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Mission Targets

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Escort
774 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG
352FG
359FG
364FG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG
56FG
56FG
355FG
361FG
479FG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG
78FG
339FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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

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
68670.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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CONTINENT
Reconnaissance
photo1 A/C
ATLANTIC / CONTINENT
Reconnaissance
weather4 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
12 A/C

Communications
radio-relay1 A/C

Communications
radio-relay13 A/C
SCOUT FOR BOMBERS
Reconnaissance
weather33 A/C
ATLANTIC / UK
Reconnaissance
weather4 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
1SF
25BG
2SF
3SF
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)