Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 727: 530 bombers and 770 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on marshaling yards in Germany and fighter-bomber strikes on 4 oil centers in N and C Germany; they claim 102-4-12 aircraft; 15 fighters are lost:
1. 148 of 190 B-17s hit the Bingen marshaling yard; 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 46 bombers are damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escorting are 91 of 95 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
2. 181 of 186 B-17s hit the Offenburg marshaling yard; 1 hits Freiburg; 14 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA. Escorting are 105 of 107 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
3. 144 of 154 B-24s hit the Offenburg marshaling yard; 7 others hit targets of opportunity; 9 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 45 of 48 P-51s without loss.
4. 460 P-47s and P-51s fly fighter-bomber missions against oil targets in N and C Germany; about 750 Luftwaffe fighters, the largest sighting to date, attack in the Magdeburg-Munster-Hannover areas when the Germans mistake the fighters for a heavy bomber formation; the AAF claims 98-4-11 aircraft in the air and 4-0-1 on the ground; 2 P-47s and 10 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
303BG Mission Report - Target: Railroad Marshalling Yard at Offenburg, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 40 (358BS - 1, 359th - 12, 360th - 14, 427th - 12). Length of Mission: 7 hours, 20 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 2 x 500 lb M57 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 24,800, 24,200 & 26,350 ft. Ammo Fired: 20,890 rounds.
Weather in the target area was 2/10 to 3/10 middle clouds with tops at 12,000 feet and moderate non-persistent contrails at 24,000 feet. Approaching the target, there was 8/10 to 10/10 undercast which broke about half-way down the bomb run, making visual bombing of the primary target possible.
Thirty-nine aircraft dropped 368 500-lb. H.E. M43 bombs and 70 500-lb. M57 incendiary bombs and ten units of T221 leaflets from 24,800, 24,200 and 26,350 feet. Reports indicated that bombing results were fair—the bombs hit in the town, but not on the assigned MPI. One aircraft was unable to release its bombs and brought them back to Molesworth.
No aircraft returned early, there were no enemy aircraft observed and friendly fighter support by 105 P-51s was very good. Anti-aircraft fire was meager and inaccurate at the target. One aircraft had major damage and one, minor damage from the flak. Chaff had no effect. All aircraft returned safely and there were no casualties.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 231. The 384th provided three squadrons forming the lead group of the 41st Bomb Wing "A" Wing. A Gee-H bombing run was started at the IP, but the weather changed to CAVU leaving enough time to complete a visual bomb run. Results were deemed "very good." Primary Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards - Offenburg, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 38. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 2 42-98027 Cline, Walter W - High squadron lead; PFF & Gee-H ship. 43-37917 Zink, Joseph D - Aborted; #3 prop feathered. 43-38766 Salley, Thomas R - Landed away at White Waltham with two engines out; reason unknown. 44-6141 McKone, Joseph F - Flew entire mission but could not drop bombs: bomb bay doors would not open either electrically or manually. Bomb load returned to base. 44-8007 Davis, L K - Group lead; PFF and Gee-H ship. 44-8221 Gross, Kenneth E - Low squadron lead: PFF & Gee-H ship.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
44BG Mission Report - Five of the 67th aircraft bombed Offenburg M/Y today led by Lt. Brownlowe. He also led the Group formation as well as the 14th Combat Wing. The 44th dispatched 24 aircraft with one of them, 68th's 1st Lt. Collins leading the 392nd Group in A/C #806. All attacked the target visually but with the aid of Gee-H. The results were excellent except for one squadron which bombed over the target because of a rack malfunction. Flak was meager and inaccurate; fighter support was good. All aircraft returned to base with no casualties. Lt' Appelin adds; "Bomb loading of 52 x 160 Fragmentation bombs. Miserable weather! Deputy lead.'
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
Aircraft: P-51D- 5NA (#44-13362). Organization: 486FS / 352FG of . Pilot: Stearns, John D. Notes: unknown. Location: Bodney, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14204). Organization: 338FS / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex. Pilot: Harbeck, Robert K. Notes: killed due to engine failure. Location: French coast/30mi from English Channel. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-14997). Organization: 369FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk. Pilot: Lancaster, Robert T. Notes: taxiing accident. Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15099). Organization: 352FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk. Pilot: Snyder, Ralph B. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Raydon, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15208). Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Pilot: Odenwald, Ralph E. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-11164). Organization: 374FS / 361FG of Little Walden, Essex. Pilot: Bacigalup, Hector L Jr. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Little Walden, Essex England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/