Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 688: 1,250 bombers and 522 fighters are dispatched to hit oil and industrial targets in W Germany; 2 bombers and 1 fighter are lost; the first three forces use H2X while the 4th and 5th use GH:

1. 455 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Harburg (221) and Rhenania oil refineries (214) at Hamburg; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 94 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 129 of 139 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 225 B-24s are dispatched to hit Neumunster Airfield (216); targets of opportunity are Munster (3) and Utersum (1); no losses. Escort is provided by 41 of 42 P-51s without loss.

3. 297 B-17s dispatched to hit the primary hit secondaries, Harburg (179) and Rhenania oil refineries (106) at Hamburg; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 16 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 221 of 255 P-51s without loss.

4. 131 B-17s are dispatched to hit synthetic oil targets at Gelsenkirchen/Nordstern (27); 100 others hit the secondary, the marshaling yard at Hamm; 49 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 50 of 50 P-47s without loss.

5. 142 B-24s are dispatched to hit synthetic oil targets at Scholven/Buer (91); 34 hit the secondary at Munster and 1 hits Gronua; 39 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 34 of 36 P-47s without loss.

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