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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 725: 1,137 bombers and 732 fighters are dispatched to make attacks on rail viaducts, marshaling yards and oil installations in W Germany; all but 1 attack is with radar; about 550 Luftwaffe fighters intercept and 34 bombers and 9 fighters are lost; the AAF claims 133-14-42 aircraft:

1. 406 B-17s are sent to hit an oil refinery at Misburg (243) and a rail viaduct at Altenbekin (118); 19 hit the secondary, the marshaling yard at Osnabruck; 3 others hit a target of opportunity; they claim 4-6-7 aircraft; 10 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 160 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 93 MIA. Escorting are 292 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 67-2-11 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.

2. 350 B-24s are sent to hit the Schidesche rail viaduct at Bielefeld (240) and the Misburg oil refinery (57); targets of opportunity are Hannover marshaling yard (26) and other (1); they claim 12-5-4 aircraft; 21 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 53 damaged; 15 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 196 MIA. Escorting are 208 P-47s and P-1s; they claim 42-0-18 aircraft; 2 P-47s and 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

3. 381 B-17s are sent to hit the marshaling yard at Hamm (266); other marshaling yards hit are at Gutersloh (37), Bielefeld (36), Herford (24) plus 3 hit other targets; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 86 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 27 MIA. Escorting are 132 of 138 P-51s; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

4. 36 of 36 P-51s fly a scouting mission; they claim 5-1-2 aircraft without loss.

Mission 726: 8 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop leaflets on 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,