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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 698: 1,174 bombers and 968 fighters are dispatched in 5 forces to make PFF attacks on the oil industry and rail targets in Germany. 40 bombers and 15 fighters are lost.

1. 460 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Leuna synthetic oil refinery at Merseberg (383). 13 strike Wolfenbuttel, 23 hit Halle and 17 hit targets of opportunity in the area.12 B-17s are lost. Gunners claim 6 - 2 - 2. 433 P-51s and 34 (9th AF) P-38s escort the 3BD, with the P-51s shooting down 26 e/a, losing 8. The P-38s claim 48 e/a destroyed.

2. 233 B-17s are dispatched to Leuna synthetic oil refinery at Merseberg (210); 5 hit T/Os in the area. 26 are lost, with B-17 gunners claiming 30 - 23 - 25. 209 P-51s escort this force, shooting down 46 e/a, with 6 lost.

3. 191 of 208 B-24s dispatched hit Bielefeld viaduct bridge and rail yards with no lossed. They were escorted by 143 P-47s which claimed no e/a destroyed, but lost 2 a/c.

4. 131 of 146 B-24s dispatched hit oil industry targets in Castrop/Rauxel, losing 1 a/c. 37 escorting P-47s claimed no e/a.

5. 107 of 13 B-17s dispatched, escorted by 20 P-47s, struck oil industries at Sterkrade, and 20 hit the rail yards at Rheine.

In all 2,648 tons of bombs were dropped.

Mission 699: Leaflet mission - 3 B-17s and 5 B-24s Holland and Germany. 36 BS dispatched 7 B-24s on RCM.

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