Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 759: 10 of 12 B-24s hit the La Pallice coastal battery in France without loss.

Mission 760: A high pressure front across W Europe brings clear weather and the Eighth AF launches a maximum effort against airfields and communications in W Germany; this was the largest air strike of WWII; 2,034 bombers and 853 fighters are dispatched; they claim 92-6-21 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 bombers and 10 fighters are lost:

1. 858 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields at Darmstadt (189), Frankfurt-Rheine (143), Bilbis (100), Babenhausen (96), Zellhausen (85) and Gross Ostheim (60); secondary targets hit are marshaling yards at Pforzheim (37) and Kaiserslautern (24) and Haildraum (60); 26 targets of opportunity are hit by 37 B-17s; they claim 18-5-1 aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 11 damaged beyond repair and 337 damaged; 15 airmen are KIA, 21 WIA and 76 MIA. Escorting are 343 of 358 P-51s; they claim 53-0-6 aircraft; 7 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 542 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Merzhausen air depot (198) and airfields at Giessen (74), Kirchgons (54), Nidda (53) and Ettinghausen (43); secondary targets hit are Koblenz (42), Darmstadt (7), Kaiserslautern (5) and Babenhausen (4); 20 B-17s hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 9 damaged beyond repair and 109 damaged; 21 airmen are KIA, 23 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 350 of 368 P-51s; they claim 13-1-13 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

3. 634 B-24s are dispatched to hit Euskirchen (62), Wittlich (62), Gerolstein (59), Mayen (59), Ahrweiller (54), Bitburg (35), Eller (32), Pfazel (28), Ruwer (27), Schonecken (26), Rheinbach (25), Daun (24), Wetteldorf (18), and Cochem (11); 75 others hit 18 targets of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 150 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 20 MIA. Escorting are 87 of 92 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-0 aircraft without loss.

4. 24 of 24 P-51s fly a scouting mission; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft without loss.

5. 9 of 11 P-51s escort 9 Spitfires and 8 F-5s on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft without loss.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,