Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 704: 1,131 bombers and 802 fighters in 6 forces make PFF attacks on the oil industry in W Germany; 5 bombers and 5 fighters are lost:

1. 291 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Harburg (142) and Rhenania (138) oil refineries at Hamburg; 3 others hit the Lubeck oil refinery at Hamburg; 4 B-17s are lost and 103 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 36 MIA. Escort is 238 of 258 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 262 B-17s are dispatched to hit the aviation industry at Neumunster (23); 231 hit the secondary, the Neumunster marshaling yard; 3 others hit targets of opportunity; 10 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA. Escort is 93 of 102 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

3. 215 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Mittelland Canal at Minden; 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 31 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. 43 of 44 P-47s escort without loss.

4. 101 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Bottrop oil refinery; 12 others hit the secondary, the marshaling yard at Hamm; 39 B-17s are damaged. 257 of 271 P-51s escort without loss.

5. 143 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Sterkrade oil refinery (134); 1 other hit Vreden; 27 B-24s are damaged. 40 of 43 P-51s escort claiming 0-0-1 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

6. 119 B-17s are dispatched to hit the benzol oil plant at Duisburg (65); 43 hit a target of opportunity, the marshaling yard at Rheydt; 18 B-17s are damaged. 51 of 54 P-47s escort without loss.

30 P-51s of the Scouting Forces patrol the area without loss.

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: Synthetic Oil Refinery at Bottrup, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 46 (358BS - 12, 359th - 10, 360th - 12, 427th - 12). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Load: 18 x 250 lb H.E. M57 bombs. Bombing Altitude: 28,700 ft. Ammo Fired: 5,905 rounds.

Lieutenant Colonel William S. Raper, the new 303rd BG(H) Commanding Officer, led his first 303rd BG(H) combat mission. He was no stranger to combat, having flown on many of the earliest and most dangerous 8th Air Force missions with the 306BG.

The bombers found 9/10 to 10/10 low clouds with tops at 12,000 feet over the target and flew with moderate persistent contrails. Twelve lead Squadron aircraft dropped 216 250-lb. H.E. M57 bombs on the secondary target from 28,700 feet. They used PFF equipment to bomb when the GEE-H equipment malfunctioned and the GEE-H navigator became sick from lack of oxygen. Bombing results were unobserved. The low and high Squadrons and the 10 B-17s that flew with the 41st CBW-B formation dropped 614 250-lb. bombs on the primary target using their GEE-H equipment. The high Squadron hit to the east of the target and the other results were unobserved.

Two crews reported seeing two German jets in the distance, but they failed to attack the 303rd BG(H) formations. Very good fighter support was provided by 43 P-47s. The aircraft attacking the

primary target encountered moderate to intense and accurate flak and six aircraft received major and eighteen, minor battle damage. The lead Squadron, which attacked the secondary target, found meager and inaccurate flak with minor damage to only one aircraft. All aircraft returned 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 - Mission #88 Neumunster. Command Pilot: NOTMAN. 13 planes dispatched. 13 planes dropped 30 tons on the primary target. 13 Credit Sorties. 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 221. Primary Target: Bottrop (Welheim), Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 39. Ground Spare, Unused - 4
42-97150 Milne, Alexander D - Hot camera ship.
42-97263 McNamara, John G - Hot camera ship.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - All Air Divisions of the 8th Air Force were sent to attack targets in the Hamburg area and the northern Ruhr with the exception of the 45th "A" and "B" and the 4th Combat Wings. The latter three Wings attacked the Benzol plant at Duisburg. The 388th furnished the low Group in the 45th "A" Combat wing plus the PFF a/c for the lead in the 452nd "A" Group plus 3 a/c as the high element of the 452nd "B" Group.

Our 17 a/c were airborne and formations were effected without difficulty. The briefed route was followed to the target with the primary target being attacked using PFF equipment. Bombs were away at 1031 hours from 26,500 feet on a mag heading of 09 degrees. The 452nd "B" Group attacked the secondary target, the Rheydt Marshalling Yards using PFF equipment.

Flak over the target was moderate and fairly accurate. Two enemy fighters were seen in the target area but did not attack our Group.

Lt. Cunliffe in a/c 42-31996 "War Weary", was hit by flak over the target and was forced to crash-land in Belguim after they had lost three engines. They came down in a cabbage patch near Gosselies, Belguim. Four of the crew had bailed out.

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/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 401st flying as the 94th "B" Group again attacked oil refineries at Harburg on November 6th. Bombing was by PFF with a visual assist. Although strike photos disclosed few bursts, bombs were observed to fall in the target area. The flak over the target was moderate to intense and fairly accurate. Aircraft 42-107009 ( LADY JANE, IN-P ), piloted by Lt. R.H. Hillested, was evidently hit by flak over the target. It gradually lagged behind until last observed near Cuxhaven at about 21,000 ft. An SOS was later transmitted over the North Sea and he is thought to have attempted to ditch. No further word was received from him or his crew or from Air Sea Rescue. Lt. E.W. Coleman, Low Squadron Leader and eight other crews from 613th returned safely to base, they were: 42-39012 (614th ship) Keeling 44-6313 Budd, 42-97980 (614th Ship) Coleman 43-38187 Carson, 43-37736 Annis, 42-107009 Hillested, 44-6104 Keck, 44-6132 McGoldrick, 42-31591 Douglas.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The target was just south of Hamburg. Captain A.H. Chapman led the 94th "B" CBW with 9 aircraft from the Squadron to strike at the oil industry again and, as usual, it was necessary to use PFF, although strikes were seen through breaks in the clouds. The flak was moderate but there was no enemy aircraft. The 614th crews were: 42-38600 Mercer, 42-38330 Crozier, 44-6464 Ochsenhirt, 42-107151 Morton, 44-6508 Sisson, 42-97602 Mays, 43-38677 Fondren, 42-102659 Aubyn,source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 37 crews were briefed at 0345 hrs and all aircraft taking part in the mission were away by 0753 hrs. The 401st Group furnished the 94th "A" Group, led by Captain A.H. Chapman flying with Lt. E.W. Mercer; 1st Lt. E.W. Coleman and Gaptain J.F. Goodman were the other two Squadron Leaders. The assigned primary target, Harburg, which was the same as the secondary, was the home of large oil refineries so vital to the German War machine. Because of 7/10 to 8/10th's cloud coverage, the target was bombed by PFF, with some visual assistance obtained because of breaks in the clouds at the target area.

There was no challenge from the Luftwaffe but the flak was very evident, causing major damage to two 401st aircraft and minor damage to 10 others. It also accounted for the loss of IN-E, Serial 42-107009, piloted by Lt. R.H. Hilstad. An SOS was picked up from IN-E while they were over the North Sea with an escort of three P-51's. Everything was thrown overboard but it became obvious that they would crash into the sea just off the Dutch coast, so they turned their badly damaged aircraft - the "Lady Jane" - back to Holland and crash-landed at Enschede. The crew were POW's for the rest of the war. Crews observed enroute, as they had for the previous few weeks, formations of rocket contrails, commencing at 20,000 feet and continuing up to at least 45,000 feet, with a 7% trajectory and leveling off slightly at the top. This phenomenon had been confirmed much earlier as the V-2 rocket on their way to England. The ten 615th crews on the loading list were: 44-8258 Duckworth, 42-107113 Sullivan, 43-38425 Udy, 42-97644 Turk, 43-38125 Stegemann, 42-97322 Cooper, 42-102468 Maire, 43-37551 Calloway, 42-31730 Sombart, 42-31485 McKay.

source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Out again the following day, November 6th, for a repeat performance at Harburg, (near Hamburg) Germany, with 36 aircraft to bomb the oil installations that the Group had attempted to attack on November 4th. The Group furnished the three Squadron formations which comprised the 94th CBW "B" Group for this effort. Finding 10/10's undercast at the r.p.. the Leader resorted to PFF again and started the bomb run. Fortunately a few breaks occurred which aided a slight correction in the rate by the Bombardier just before bombs away and the Group dropped. Strikes could be seen but not pinpointed but subsequent analysis from the pictures show that good bombing was accomplished this time with noticeble coverage of the assigned area apparent. Encountering no enemy air opposition but the usual contrary Flak conditions at the target the crews reported the following. The Anti-aircraft fire was moderate to intense in amount and fairly accurate for several minutes. However they happily described it as not half as bad as before although twelve of the aircraft sustained damage and the Flak was the cause of the loss of one aircraft which it is believed ditched. All other personnel returned unharmed.

Flying his first mission since returning from the states was Captain Jim Goodman, Squadron Operations Officer. He flew as Squadron Commander with Lt. Schaunaman and crew which led the High Squadron. Out of the other eight Squadron crews participating in the same Squadron formation Lt. Christensen was Deputy Leader and Lt. Maxwell led the Low Section of the formation. Captain Goodman was reminded of the old days rather pointedly when his number three engine was hit by Flak and had to be feathered. Lt. Christensen took over the Squadron lead and accomplished a fine job of leading for the return trip. Crews: 43-38077 Shaunaman, 42-97636 Maxwell, 43-38541 Lawrence, 43-38267 Christensen, 42-31072 Cox, 43-37628 Schliemann, 42-39993 Bonney 42-107113 Comer, 42-106992 Roadman.

source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Out again the following day, November 6th, for a repeat performance at Harburg, (near Hamburg) Germany, with 36 aircraft to bomb the oil installations that the Group had attempted to attack on November 4th. The Group furnished the three Squadron formations which comprised the 94th CBW "B" Group for this effort. Finding 10/10's undercast at the r.p.. the Leader resorted to PFF again and started the bomb run. Fortunately a few breaks occurred which aided a slight correction in the rate by the Bombardier just before bombs away and the Group dropped. Strikes could be seen but not pinpointed but subsequent analysis from the pictures show that good bombing was accomplished this time with noticeble coverage of the assigned area apparent. Encountering no enemy air opposition but the usual contrary Flak conditions at the target the crews reported the following. The Anti-aircraft fire was moderate to intense in amount and fairly accurate for several minutes. However they happily described it as not half as bad as before although twelve of the aircraft sustained damage and the Flak was the cause of the loss of one aircraft which it is believed ditched. All other personnel returned unharmed.

Flying his first mission since returning from the states was Captain Jim Goodman, Squadron Operations Officer. He flew as Squadron Commander with Lt. Schaunaman and crew which led the High Squadron. Out of the other eight Squadron crews participating in the same Squadron formation Lt. Christensen was Deputy Leader and Lt. Maxwell led the Low Section of the formation. Captain Goodman was reminded of the old days rather pointedly when his number three engine was hit by Flak and had to be feathered. Lt. Christensen took over the Squadron lead and accomplished a fine job of leading for the return trip. Crews: 43-38077 Shaunaman, 42-97636 Maxwell, 43-38541 Lawrence, 43-38267 Christensen, 42-31072 Cox, 43-37628 Schliemann, 42-39993 Bonney 42-107113 Comer, 42-106992 Roadman.

source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The 44th Group formed the 14th Combat Wing, third Wing in the blivision and dispatched 32 aircraft to the oil refinery at Sterkrade. All but two (one was Lt. Struthers when #2 supercharger went out) attacked the Primary through 10/10th cloud cover with unobserved results. The 67th had 6 A/C, and both the 68th and 506th had 8 each. Capt. Barleywine in #124 (66th) led the 44th. Fighter support was not observed although radio contact was maintained. The 67th's Lt. Kleiderer participated, this being his first mission bombing with 4 x 2000 lb GPs. All aircraft returned to base safely with no casualties, but it is reported that the 506th's A/c #44-40071 0 "Sweat Box" crashed on return.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Minden

11 planes bombed the canal aqueduct through clouds. Jet fighters were spotted.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
SterKrade

18 planes attacked a synthetic oil plant with unobserved results. There was no battle damage in spite of heavy flak.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 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/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Hamburg Oil refineries. We furnished the high squadron for the group on this mission. The briefed target was Rhenania oil refineries, at Harburg. The results of the bombing were poor as plotted from photographs. The much respected flak was moderate and accurate.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31920).
Organization: 334BS / 95BG of Horham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Helm, Warren G.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Horham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40071).
Organization: 66BS / 44BG of Shipdham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Vaughan, John J.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Shipdham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Mosquito XVI (#MM386).
Organization: 653WRX / 25BGR of Watton, Norfolk.
Pilot: Grimes, Robert G.
Notes: killed in crash landing.
Location: Wendling/ nr Sta 118 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Mosquito XVI (#NS568).
Organization: 653WRX / 25BGR of Watton, Norfolk.
Pilot: Kaellner, Otto E.
Notes: killed in crash landing.
Location: North Pickenham/2mi W England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75565).
Organization: Det B / 65FW of .
Pilot: Setterland, Ray W.
Notes: unknown.
Location: Boxted, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage):
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C10 (#43-25065).
Organization: 55FS / 20FG of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Barnes, Thomas C Jr.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14143).
Organization: 503FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Crump, Alan F.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Manor Farm, Thriplow England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14198).
Organization: 55FS / 20FG of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Tennant, John H.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14498).
Organization: 358FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: McElroy, James N.
Notes: landing accident due to structural failure.
Location: Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14620).
Organization: 352FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: [ground crew].
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14898).
Organization: / 2SF of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Zeigler, George T.
Notes: bailed out due to mid air collision.
Location: Duxford/ nr Sta 357 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14962).
Organization: 352FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Porterfield, George N.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15057).
Organization: 436FS / 479FG of Wattisham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Spencer, Richard S Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Wattisham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 704"
Oil installations in western Germany
November 06, 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
113110883025.50-0-00-0-05-0-2283-2-46486BG aircraft crash-lands near Ghent
388BG aircraft crash-lands Gosselies, Belgium
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Mission Targets

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HARBURG, GERMANY
Rhenania Industry
oil refinery142 A/Cphotos (1)
HAMBURG, GERMANY
Rheunania Ossag Industry
oil refinery138 A/Cphotos (2)
NEUMUNSTER, GERMANY
Airfield
23 A/C
NEUMUNSTER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard231 A/Cphotos (1)
MINDEN, GERMANY
Mittelland Transportation
Canal204 A/Cphotos (1)
BOTTROP, GERMANY
Mathias Stinnes Industry
coal mine87 A/Cphotos (1)
HAMM, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard12 A/Cphotos (2)
OBERHAUSEN-HOLTEN, GERMANY
Ruhrchemie AG Industry
oil refinery134 A/Cphotos (1)
DUISBURG, GERMANY
Industry
oil refinery1 A/Cphotos (1)
RHEYDT, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard43 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
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
381BG (2 a/c)
401BG (1 a/c)
457BG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
448BG (1 a/c)
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
8027220.00-0-10-0-05-1-00-0-555FG ditches sea
479FG ditches sea
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Mission Targets

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Escort
722 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
364FG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG (2 a/c)
479FG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG (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
88850.00-0-00-0-03-0-00-0-325BG aircraft Mosquito crash-lands S. Pickenham
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Mission Targets

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GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo12 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
29 A/C

Screen
12 A/C

Communications
radio-relay23 A/C
CONTINENT
Reconnaissance
weather7 A/C
AZORES/ATLANTIC/UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
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)
7PG (2 a/c)