Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 723: 1,043 bombers and 965 fighters are dispatched to hit the synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, Germany using H2X and a marshaling yard; 8 bombers and 6 fighters are lost:

1. 671 of 766 hit the Leuna oil plant at Merseburg and 9 hit targets of opportunity; 8 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 197 damaged; 7 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 64 MIA. Escort is 716 of 800 P-51s; they claim 9-0-8 aircraft on the ground; 6 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 254 of 271 B-24s hit the Bingen marshaling yard; 43 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA. Escort is 129 of 130 P-47s.

Mission 724: 7 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

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

Mission Reports

34th BG Mission Report - Mission #92 Merseburg. Command Pilot: CONLEY. 35 planes dispatched. 28 planes dropped 88 tons on the primary target while 7 failed to bomb. 29 Credit Sorties. Pathfinder bombing. Results unobserved. 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 229. The 384th provided the three squadrons of the 41st Bomb Wing "B" Group. A visual attack on the primary target was not possible due to weather, so the Leuna works at Merseburg were bombed using PFF aiming. On returning to England, weather forced the diversion of 384th aircraft to Aldermaston and other fields; only two were able to land at Grafton Underwood. Primary Target: Synthetic Oil Plant - L├╝tzkendorf, Germany. Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Leuna Works Oil Refinery - Merseburg, Germany.

44 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Scrubbed - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 3. Ground Spare, Unused - 4

43 a/c land away because of weather.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - Most forces of the 8th Air Force attacked targets in the Merseburg area. The 1st force of 388 B-17's (3rd Division) were dispatched against the Merseburg Leuna Synthetic Oil Plant. Of these, 13 were lost to flak, one crash-landed in England and 43 believed to have landed in friendly territory. The 388th furnished one Group that flew low in the 45th C Combat wing, which was the fifth Wing in the Division column.

12 a/c plus 1 PFF a/c were airborne by 0730 with 2 a/c aborting for mechanical reasons. Formations were effected without difficulty and the briefed route was followed to and from the target. The target was covered by clouds and was attacked using PFF methods. Bombs were away for the Division between 1125 and 1156 hours from 24,500 to 29,000 feet. 320 a/c dropped 888.8 tons of general purpose and 32.8 tons of fragmentation bombs on the target. 5 a/c dropped leaflets.

Flak over the target was intense and accurate with 33 a/c receiving major and 104 minor battle damage. Lt. Wilson on his first mission was lost due to this flak. No enemy fighters were seen and our fighter escort was excellent.

Our a/c returned to base by 1623 hours.

Lt. Wilson in a/c 44-6472, was lost due to flak damage with the plane crashing in a forest at Arenrath at 1400 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 - The synthetic oil works at Merseburg was again the target on November 25th. The 401st furnished 94th "B" Group in which 10 crews from the 613th flew. Bombing was by PFF and no observations of the results were obtainable. Due to bad weather on return to base it became necessary to land seven of the ships at other bases. They later returned safely to base. Crews participating were: 43-37706 Annis, 44-6313 Budd, 42-38267 Cox, 44-6113 Scheller, 43-38187 Hopley, 42-97931 Campbell, 42-102947 Steele, 44-6132 Bradley, 42-31891 (612th a/c) Keeling, 42-31077 (615th a/c) Jennings.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was the fourth time during the month that the Group had been to the oil refinery at Merseburg. The 39 aircraft of the Group made up the 94th "B" CBW with three PPF aircraft included. Also for the fourth time the Group were forced to bomb by PFF so no observations of the results were possible. The Mickey operators were confident that they had bombed accurately but later assessment by S2 showed that the bombs had fallen on the city itself. This time Captain D.V. Kirkhuff led the Low Squadron with ten aircraft from the Squadron taking part. The Squadron reported little flak or fighter opposition but intense flak over Merseburg brought down eight bombers and damaged over 200 others from the 1st and 3rd Divisions. Four other B-17's crashed on their return because of battle damage. Crews: 42-97780 Brown, 42-39012 Hubbell, 43-38646 Babcock, 42-97602 Mays, 44-6464 Wittman, 42-107151 Morton, 42-38330 Crozier, 42-97322 St. Aubyn, 44-6508 Seder, 43-38738 Fondren.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The briefing was for 39 crews, the time, 0415 hrs, and for the 4th time in November it was another visit to the oil refineries at Merseburg. Again the primary and secondary target was the synthetic oil plant that had been continuously bombed by PFF - and on this mission it was necessary to once again use PFF techniques with unobserved results. The 401st furnished the 94th "B" Group which was second over the target, led by Major D.E. Silver, flying in a 615th ship piloted by 1st Lt. D.R. Charleville. No enemy aircraft were seen and the flak, probably due to the new anti-radar chaff used for the first time by the 401st over Merseburg, did not seem to be able to get the range of the Group. Only four of the Group's B-17's received minor flak damage. Sadly, the mission was not without one tragedy. Sgt. Jack F. Irvin died from anoxia on this mission. The ten 615th crews on the mission were: PFF 42-97947 Charleville, 43-38779 Grimm, 42-31983 Calloway, 42-97664 Maire, 42-97636 Duckworth, 42-102468 Djernes, 42-31485 McKay, 43-38810 Cracraft, 43-38425 Udy.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - For the fourth time this month the 401st went back to Merseburg, Germany on November 25th to attack the all-important Luena synthetic oil plant which is vitally needed by the Germans. Three Squadrons of 12 aircraft each, with PFF included, were dispatched, flying as the 94th CBW "B" Group. And for the fourth time the Group had to resort to the PFF method of bombing because the usual 10/10's cloudy undercast prevailed in the target area. The bomb run went off in good order and the Mickey Operator expressed the belief of good bombing. Later assessment shows the bombs probatly hit the City of Merseburg although definite strikes were not available. The Flak picture proved a different one at Merseburg for the first time in all the missions there for our Group. Effective employment of Chaff and secret anti-radar apparatus fooled the Jerries and most of the intense barrage was far below the formations altitude and caused only minor damage to four of the aircraft. Meagre but inaccurate Flak was observed at two other places and no enemy aircraft were seen. All crews and aircraft returned safely. The 612th did have a casualty on this mission however. This was the death of Sgt. Jack F. Irvin, Tail Gunner, on the Boddin crew. He had oxygen trouble and evidently died of anoxia. Although the 612th did not lead a Squadron on this effort they furnished nine crews which flew in flights of three in each Squadron. Lt. Maxwell, Lt. Cox and Lt. Roadman each led one of the three High Flights. Crews: 43-38680 Cox, 43-38637 Hudnall, 43-38788 Bloetscher, 42-39993 Roadman, 42-102393 Jones, 44-6506 Boddin, 42-102398 Maxwell, 42-107039 Thorne.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - For the fourth time this month the 401st went back to Merseburg, Germany on November 25th to attack the all-important Luena synthetic oil plant which is vitally needed by the Germans. Three Squadrons of 12 aircraft each, with PFF included, were dispatched, flying as the 94th CBW "B" Group. And for the fourth time the Group had to resort to the PFF method of bombing because the usual 10/10's cloudy undercast prevailed in the target area. The bomb run went off in good order and the Mickey Operator expressed the belief of good bombing. Later assessment shows the bombs probatly hit the City of Merseburg although definite strikes were not available. The Flak picture proved a different one at Merseburg for the first time in all the missions there for our Group. Effective employment of Chaff and secret anti-radar apparatus fooled the Jerries and most of the intense barrage was far below the formations altitude and caused only minor damage to four of the aircraft. Meagre but inaccurate Flak was observed at two other places and no enemy aircraft were seen. All crews and aircraft returned safely. The 612th did have a casualty on this mission however. This was the death of Sgt. Jack F. Irvin, Tail Gunner, on the Boddin crew. He had oxygen trouble and evidently died of anoxia. Although the 612th did not lead a Squadron on this effort they furnished nine crews which flew in flights of three in each Squadron. Lt. Maxwell, Lt. Cox and Lt. Roadman each led one of the three High Flights. Crews: 43-38680 Cox, 43-38637 Hudnall, 43-38788 Bloetscher, 42-39993 Roadman, 42-102393 Jones, 44-6506 Boddin, 42-102398 Maxwell, 42-107039 Thorne.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The Group finally dispatched 25 aircraft with six of them flying with other Groups. The only ones identified were 66th's Capt 0.K. Williams, leading the 392nd and 68th's 1st Lt. Kelly flying deputy lead for the 392nd. 506th's Capt. Hal S. Kimball led the 44th's formation. The 67th's seven planes stayed with the Group, except for Lt. Evans, pilot of R #895, which was forced to turn back when an oil lead developed in the #2 engine. All remaining aircraft bombed with 12 x 500 lb demos on Gee-H with unobserved results. Flak was meager and inaccurate, and fighter support was very good. No battle damage was reported by the 67th planes but 68th's #260 had category "A" damages. All returned to base at 1445 hours. The target was Bingen M/Y. Sgt. Chaffin adds: " Our fifth mission today. We flew in U, a carpet blinker's' ship (42-50539 Sultry Sue?). Latty, our old nose gunner, replaced Rosenburg and will be with us from now on. Rosie went to Navigators school.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Bingen, Germany - Railroad Marshalling Yard. A/C Took Off: 31. A/C Bombed Target: 26. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Bingen

38 planes attacked the mashalling yards with good results reported.

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/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-107214).
Organization: 600BS / 398BG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Hansard, V AEngland.
Notes: killed in crash landing.
Location: Reed England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-39852).
Organization: 569BS / 390BG of .
Pilot: Drinkwater, Roger W.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Leiston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage):
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38659).
Organization: 338BS / 96BG of Snetterton Heath, Norfolk.
Pilot: Berryman, Henry E.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Snetterton Heath, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38745).
Organization: 526BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Leite, Robert M.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage):
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38748).
Organization: 339BS / 96BG of .
Pilot: Weaver, Robert (NMI).
Notes: forced landing out of gas.
Location: Sta 393/ 2mi NNE England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage):
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-8445).
Organization: / BAD1 of Burtonwood, Lancashire.
Pilot: Mah, Jimmie (NMI).
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Geddington/ 3mi W England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-100427).
Organization: 328BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk.
Pilot: Buhler, Russell (NMI).
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-14279).
Organization: 383FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Hubley, Ralph L.
Notes: forced landing out of gas.
Location: Honington/2mi E Sta 375 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D- 5NT (#44-11198).
Organization: 362FS / 357FG of .
Pilot: [parked aircraft].
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Leiston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage):
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14343).
Organization: 328FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Howard, Hugh A.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Bodney, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-14902).
Organization: 487FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Corson, Charles O C.
Notes: crash belly landing out of gas.
Location: Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15060).
Organization: 343FS / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex.
Pilot: McVay, James C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Wormingford, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15280).
Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Brearley, William C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 724"
Night Leaflet Operation Nov 25/26 1944
November 25, 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
13110.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Leaflet drop
UTRECHT, NETHERLANDS
Leaflet drop
ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
Leaflet drop
KALDENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
VENLO, NETHERLANDS
Leaflet drop
BRUGGEN, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
VETTWEISS, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
EMMERICH, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
KLEVE, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
GOCH, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
KEVELAER, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
WASSENBERG, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
ARSBECK, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
ODENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
ROMMERSKIRCHEN, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
GREVENBROICH, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
ELLER, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
SAARBURG, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
BARR, FRANCE
Leaflet drop
COLMAR, FRANCE
Leaflet drop
SAARBRUCKEN, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
FREIBURG, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
EMMENDINGEN, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
LAHR, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
OFFENBURG, GERMANY
Leaflet drop
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
422BS
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)

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
660.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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Leaflet drop

Leaflet drop
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
482BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
36th Bomber Squadron
Aircraft Losses

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