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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 748: 895 bombers and 928 fighters are dispatched to make a H2X attack on Merseburg, Germany and visual attacks on rail targets in Germany; 4 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:

1. 337 of 380 B-17s hit the Leuna synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, 10 hit the secondary, Nordhausen and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 25 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 10 MIA. Escorting are 392 of 447 P-51s; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft on the ground; 7 P-51s are lost (6 pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.

2. 378 B-24s are sent to hit the Hanau (270) and Aschaffenburg (69) marshaling yards; 17 hit the secondary, Gelnhausen and 8 hit a last resort target, the marshaling yard at Friedburg; 3 B-24s are lost and 45 damaged; 11 airmen are KIA and 20 MIA. Escorting are 193 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair.

3. 461 of 497 B-17s hit the marshaling yard at Darmstadt, 9 hit a last resort target, Dieburg and 4 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged. Escort is provided by 214 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

4. 15 of 20 B-17s and B-24s fly a screening mission.

5. 32 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

Mission 749: 7 B-24s and 4 B-17s 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,