Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 738: 589 bombers and 884 fighters are dispatched to make attacks on Germany; an estimated 275-300 Luftwaffe fighters attack and AAF fighters claim 90-7-30 aircraft; 12 bombers and 17 fighters are lost:
1. 451 B-17s are dispatched to make PFF attacks on munitions and tank plants at Berlin (404); targets of opportunity are Nienburg (2) and other (23); 12 B-17s are lost and 169 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 8 WIA and 115 MIA. Escorting are 630 of 711 P-51s; they claim 90-7-23 aircraft in the air and 0-0-2 on the ground; 15 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 114 of 129 B-24s hit the marshaling yard at Munster; 10 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 141 P-47s and P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 P-47 damaged beyond repair.
3. 6 of 6 B-24s fly a screening mission.
4. 23 of 25 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 739 is an APHRODITE mission with 2 B-17 Castor drones, 3 B-17 control and observation aircraft, a P-38 observation aircraft and 17 of 17 P-51s as escort; the P-51s claim 1-0-0 aircraft.
Mission 740: 11 of the 4 B-17s and 8 B-24s dispatched drop leaflets in the Netherlands, France and Germany.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #97 Berlin. Command Pilot: BRUNK.38 planes dispatched. 37 planes dropped 82 tons on the primary target while one plane dropped 3 tons on a target of opportunity. 38 Credit Sorties. One plane was lost due to flak, but no crewmembers were listed missing, wounded, or killed. See 34th Bombardment Group (H) 1941-1945, p.46 'Memories' by Darrel Bulis, for the story of how this was the first mission for LT Sheelsey's crew before they were officially combat qualified and without having ever done any practice bombing at 'The Wash'(Cleveland Romero #14. 'Lost #2 engine on return.' He saw lots of enemy fighter opposition but apparently none of them attacked the 34BG.)
B-17G 44-8140 H/K Missing in Action Berlin flak. Crashed Gross Zerlang, Germany. With 4BS. Pilot: Kermode. Missing Air Crew Report # 11046. 10 Killed in Action, 1 Prisoner of War.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 35 aircraft were sent on this mission.
43-38432 Cap. H. F. Williamson - Shot down by flak. POW 9.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - The 1st and 3rd Air Divisions were sent to attack the Tegel Tank Factory in Berlin while the 2nd Division went to Munster. The 388th furnished two Groups, the A Group flew as low Group in the 45th A Combat Wing while the B Group flew as low Group in the 45th B Combat Wing.
For both Groups, 23 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c were airborne between 0641 and 0715 hours. Formations were effected and the briefed route across the Zuider Zee and North Central Germany was followed to the target. Weather prevented visual bombing through occasional breaks in the clouds at the target assisted the attack. Bombing was done 1,000 feet higher than briefed because of weather conditions. Bombs were away from A Group at 1045 hours from 26,300 feet. B Group at 10461/2 hours from 25,300 feet. Strike photos show that only the B Group to be the only one in the 3rd Division to get bombs on the target. Other Groups hit in the suburban area to the north of the target.
Dogfights were seen in the target area but no enemy a/c attacked our formation. Flak was meager to moderate barrage type with several rockets in the target area. 22 a/c suffered battle damage.
Lt. Burkheimer in a/c 42-37787, made an emergency landing on the Continent but the crew is safe. Lt. A. Ehm was wounded on this mission. All other a/c returned to base by 1455 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 - Berlin, with the Rheinmetal Bersig A.C. plant our assigned MPI, was the target as take-off was made in the darkness before dawn. The Low Squadron Leader was Lt. Fowler and 9 crews from the 613th participated. The weather was described as 9/10ths undercast through Belgium becoming 9/10 10/10ths over the target. Bombing was by PFF and the results were unobserved. The flak was only meager to moderate and generally inaccurate. No fighter opposition was encountered and what could have been an exceptionally dangerous mission turned out to be a fairlyˇ easy one. Crews from the 613th on this mission were: 43-38160 Tausig, 42-102947 Annis, 44-6113 Carson, 43-38791 Carey, 43-38862 Hopley, 42-31591 Douglas, 44-6313 Bradley, 42-31072 Curran, 43-38680 Campbell.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The assigned target for the 401st on this mission was the Rheinmetal Bersig A.C. plant at Berlin / Tegel. This was a munitions and tank works. The Group took off before dawn with the usual 39 aircraft making up a 94th CBW formation. The Air Commander was Captain D.A. Currie. The 614th put up ten aircraft with Lt. C.W. Utter flying as the Deputy Air Commander of the Group. The weather over the target was 9/10th's to 10/10th's cloud cover and the bombing was by PFF. The strike was found later to be about 4 miles east of the MPI but within the city limits of Berlin. Up to this mission the crews had found the Berlin flak to be very accurate and deadly. This time it was moderate to intense and what had been expected as a very dangerous mission turned out to be a fairly easy one - all things considered. The escort took care of the German fighters with claims of 91 shot down, 7 probables and 28 damaged for the loss of 17 P-51's and p-47's. The Squadron put up the following crews: 44-8259 Brown, 42-97322 St. Aubyn, 44-6464 Utter, 42-97602 Mays, 42-107151 Morton, 42-97478 White, 42-38330 Crozier, 42-38565 King, 44-6508 Richardson, 43-38464 Thompson.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The B-17's of the 8th A.F. attacked the munitions and tank works at Berlin/Tegel on this mission. The Group was briefed at 0400 hrs and was for 39 crews, and they were all airborne by 0805 hrs. Although the strategic target of Tegel was assigned the clouds made it necessary to bomb by PFF - with the usual unobserved results. It was also a strange experience for the crews to fly over Berlin and find that the flak was meagre and inaccurate with no casualties and no battle damage as a result. Credit for this must go to some extent to the fighter escorts that day. For a loss of 17 of their own number they shot down a total of 91 German fighters with 7 probables and 28 damaged. Captain D.A. Currie, who completed a second tour for a total of 40 missions, led the 94th "B" Group with Lt. R.M. Fowler and Major J.H. Havey the other leaders. The ten 615th crews flying the mission were: 44-3258 Lozinski, 43-38425 Stegemann, 43-37551 Cooper, 42-97664 Maire, 43-38779 Turk, 43-38810 Cracraft, 43-38738 Sombart, 44-6588 Jones, 42-102393 Maloney.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Weather permitting a break for operations found the 401st out day, December 5th, with 36 aircraft dispatched to attack a factory at Tegel, a suburb of Berlin. Again PFF bombing was disgustingly necessary as clouds obscured the target area. The Lead Squadron Mickey went out and the PFF photographs indicate that damage was done to the built up area of the town but not at the target. A very strange experience was the lot of the crews in the way of Flak at the target. Heretofore the Berlin Flak was known to be terrific in amount and deadly accurate. This time it was moderate to intense in amount and generally inaccurate, causing no personnel injuries nor battle damage. All aircraft returned safely. Leading the 401st was Captain Jim Goodman flying with Captain Currie,, with Lt. Jeffrey as Lead Navigator, Captain Joe Browne as Lead Bombardier and Lt. Howard as Mickey Operator. Eight other 612th crews completed the mission, all flying in the Lead Squadron with Lt. Aiken leading the Low Section. Crews: 44-8153 Goodman, 44-8371 Lawrence, 43-38541 Aschenbahn, 43-37790 Schielmann, 43-38733 Ritting, 43-38637 Long, 43-37628 Aiken, 42-107039 Boddin, 43-38788 French.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - There was only a limited effort by the 44th BG today with the 66th, 68th and 506 sending three A/C each. The 67th dispatched four, two with the 44th while Lt. Brownlowe led the low left squadron of the 491st and Lt. Lavitt led the high right squadron of the 392nd. All of the 44th planes were in the lead of the 14th Combat Wing and attacked Munster M/Y. Bombing was accomplished on Gee-H through 10/10th undercast with unobserved results. Moderate and accurate flak was encountered at the target; fighter support was excellent. All aircraft returned safely to base, and only one having slight battle damage. 1st Lt. Rommelfanger, 67th Squadron Navigator, promoted to Capt.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg