Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 729: 1,077 bombers and 946 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on viaduct rail targets and oil refineries in Germany; 1 bomber is lost:
1. 445 B-17s are sent to hit the oil refinery at Misburg (391); targets of opportunity are Osnabrcuk (36) and others (5); 6 B-17s are damaged. Escorting are 419 P-47s and P-51s without loss.
2. 307 B-24s are sent to hit the Schildesche rail viaduct at Bielefeld (152) and the Altenbeken rail viaduct (144); 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 9 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 261 P-47s and P-51s without loss.
3. 312 B-17s are sent to hit the Hamm marshaling yard (294); 4 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 87 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA. Escorting are 112 of 120 P-51s without loss.
4. 12 of 13 B-17s fly a screen mission and hit a target of opportunity. Escorting are 26 of 32 P-47s without loss.
5. 31 of 34 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 730: 6 B-17s and 7 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
HQ 489th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 844th, 846th and 847th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) depart Halesworth, England for the US; this B-24 group will become a B-29 outfit that is destined for the Pacific.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
The Merseburg, Germany Synthetic Oil Refinery was visited for the ninth time in 1944 by Allied bombers, most successfully on 20 June and 12 September. It was the first trip for the 303rd BG(H). The target was attacked by 391 B-17s, who rained down 1,152 tons of 500-lb. G.P. M43 bombs. The widespread damage reduced monthly capacity from an estimated 25,000 metric tons to 15,000 tons. One 303rd BG(H) aircraft returned early with a faulty oxygen system: #43-38621 50 Ragged, 427BS (Capt. Fletcher).
Target weather was 10/10 undercast with tops at 14,000 to 16,000 feet. Bombing was by PFF and 303rd BG(H) results were unobserved. The 38 Group aircraft dropped 441 500-lb. G.P. bombs and ten units of T225 leaflets from 25,000, 23,600 and 25,500 feet.
The expected enemy aircraft failed to appear, thanks to the 419 P-51s that escorted the 1st BD. Another 558 fighters escorted the 2nd BD and 3rd BD. This was the second largest fighter force ever sent into German skies to escort our bombers.
Chaff proved to be effective and was credited with limiting the flak to meager, moderate and inaccurate fire. The 303rd experienced no battle damage and no casualties. All the aircraft returned to Molesworth.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #94 Hamm. Command Pilot: TAVASTI. 23 planes dispatched. 22 planes dropped 68 tons on the primary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 22 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 232. The 384th provided three squadrons of the lead group of the 41st Bomb Wing "C" Wing. Advised that the primary target was covered by 10/10ths clouds, the group attacked the secondary (PFF aiming point) target in the same area. Primary Target: Oil Refinery - Misburg, Germany. Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Oil Industry - Misburg, Germany
43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 38. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 2 43-38062 Orr, James W - Aborted due to mechanical failure; landed away at Halesworth; jettisoned bombs in Channel. 43-38542 Bills, Edgar L - Low squadron lead. 44-8007 Carnes, Joe R - Group lead. 44-8211 Doran, William R - High squadron lead.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 8th Air Force, continuing its offensive against the Third German Reich, sent the 1st Division to Misburg, the 2nd Division to Beilefeld and Altenbeken while the 3rd Air Division was sent to attack transportation target supplying the Western Front at Hamm. The 388th furnished two Groups, flying lead and high in the 45th A Combat Wing. In addition, 5 a/c plus 1 PFF a/c were furnished to precede the Division forces to distribute chaff at the target.
23 a/c plus 3 PFF a/c were airborne between 0910 and 0935 hours and the 6 chaff a/c followed. One chaff a/c aborted for mechanical reasons. Formations were effected and the briefed route followed into the target area. Because of a mickey malfunction in the lead a/c, the deputy lead took over at the IP. The deputy lead had a malfunction and drop: ped their bombs on the bomb run with several others dropping on him. The remainder of the lead Group dropped on the leader of the 96th A Group.
The lead Groups bombs were away at 1243 and 1252 hours from 25,000 feet. The high Group dropped on Hamm at 1254 hours from 25,500 feet.
Meager to moderate flak was met over Hamm with some inaccurate flak at Egmond and Zwolle. 9 rockets were met at Herbern. 14 a/c had minor flak damage and 1 had major damage.
All a/c returned to base by 1518 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The oil refinery, located at Misburg, near Hanover, was again bombed by means of PFF on November 29th. Nine crews from the 613th Squadron flew with the 94th "C" Group led by Capt. J.R. Locher. The formation was good throughout and very good on the bombing run. The target was believed to have been well hit. Flak was generally inaccurate, and no fighter opposition was encountered although German fighters were expected to come up. All crews returned safely to base. Those participating were: 42-31591 Douglas, 44-6132 Budd, 44-6113 Scheller, 43-37706 Annis, 44-6313 Tausig, 42-97931 Kelso, 43-38862 Hopley, 42-31072 Curran, 44-8033 (PFF a/c) Baker, 44-6454 (PFF a/c) Cushman. Flying with 615th Squadron: Fowler.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was an attack on the oil refineries in Germany with the 1st Bomb Division using H2X. The 401st B.G. put up 39 aircraft to form the 94th "C" Group with Captain J.R. Locher as the Air Commander. The flak was generally inaccurate and no enemy fighters put in an appearance, much to the surprise of the crews because on the 26th November, just three days earlier, the whole of the 8th Air Force had come under heavy attack in the same region, losing 34 bombers and 9 fighters. The Luftwaffe had lost something like 120 fighters in the encounter so they were probably still recovering from this heavy blow. The nine crews supplied by the 614th were: 42-97602 Mays, 43-38738 Spuhler, 43-38677 Moran, 44-6464 Wittman, 42-97322 Richardson, 43-38646 Babcock, 42-38330 Crozier, 42-97395 White, 42-107151 Fondren.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The evening before, Tuesday, 28th November, a number of B-17's were practicing night flying, and, while Flight Officer Cox was coming in to land IN-M, he crashed on Runway No. 23. Unfortunately, the civil engineering workmen had dug out a hole at the intersection of the other two runways - No.'s 28 and 33 - and filled them with ballast, so neither could be used. At 0500 hrs 39 crews were briefed for the mission to Misburg but it was 0615 hrs before Runway 23 could be cleared of the crashed aircraft and the go-ahead given for the mission. Then, as take-off time approached, the control tower reported a huge cloud of birds on and over the airfield, and the Ordnance had to be called out to disperse them with shotguns. Finally, 38 of the aircraft became airborne by 0957 hrs, and the odd one, IN-U, followed half an hour later, but in time to catch up with the rest of the formation. The 401st furnished the 94th "C" Group with Captain J.R. Locher as the Group Leader, flying with Lt. Tom Cushman. The 615th put 1st Lt. R.O. Duckworth as the High Squadron Leader. Again no sign of the German Air Force and only meagre and inaccurate flak was observed enroute and over the target. The 615th crews flying the mission were: 43-38771 Duckworth, 43-38425 Turk, 43-38810 Gerber, 42-31983 Calloway, 43-37551 Jordan, 43-38779 Grimm, 42-31485 MCKay, 42-102468 Djernes, 42-31730 Sombart.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Mission number 11 for November was flown on the 29th. This was another assignment to bomb the oil industry at Misburg which the Group had already attacked once during the month. Flying as the 94th CBW "C" Group the 401st dispatched 36 aircraft, with PFF included, to carry out the job. And it was the 11th mission in November in which PFF bombing was necessary. A good run was by the Mickey Operator with the Lead Bombardier checking the rate and they believed a good job was accomplished although no strikes were available through the clouds. No enemy air opposition confronted our Group and Flak did not cauoe much trouble either. Meager to moderate Flak was encountered in the target area but none of the personnel or aircraft were hit and all returned safely. Captain Goodman, 612th Operations Officer, led the Low Squadron in this attack flying with Lt. Harlan as pilot, Captain Haberer as Navigator and Captain Browne as Bombardier. Eight other 612th crews flew in the same Squadron with Lt. Cromer, flying the Deputy Lead position and Lt. Ritting leading the Low Section. Crews: 43-38541 Comer, 42-39993 Schliemann, 42-106992 Jones, 43-37628 Aiken, 42-31891 Hanlan, 44-6506 Boddin, 43-38733 Cromer, 42-107039 Thorne, 42-102398 Ritting.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The 44th dispatched 24 aircraft, 6 of the 67th's, to hit the railway viaduct at Altenbeiken. 68th's 1st Lt. J.R. Collins was Group lead for the 44th; Capt. Williams, 66th, led the 392nd BG in #594. 23 of our aircraft attacked the target on Gee-H through 10/10th cloud cover, with unobserved results. Enemy opposition was nil in the target area; fighter support excellent. All aircraft returned safely except one from the 66th Squadron who landed at St. Trond with his #4 engine out. He returned on the following day. Bomb loading 12 x 500 lb GPs. 2nd Lt. Hilmer assigned from Hq. 44th BG per paragraph 2, S.O. 330, Hq. 44th BG, 27 November.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg