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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 774: 845 bombers and 725 fighters are dispatched to hit oil installations and rail bridges and junctions in W Germany visually and by PFF; they claim 23-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft including a jet fighter; 8 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:

1. 451 B-17s are sent to hit an oil refinery at Magdeburg (11); secondary targets are the Henschel marshalling yard at Kassel (292) and the Gottingen marshalling yard (26); targets of opportunity are Hadamar (12), Wetzlar (12), Dillenburg (15), Koblenz (11), Wetter (12), Limburg (8), Kirchbunden (7) and other (22); 2 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 71 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 18 MIA. Escorting are 327 of 374 P-51s; they claim 17-1-1 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 109 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil industry targets at Dollbergen (54) and Ehmen (24); targets of opportunity are the Koblenz marshalling yard (12), Limburg (4) and other (5); 3 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 43 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA. Escort is provided by 199 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

3. 273 B-24s hit the Lutzel (56) and Guls (30) rail bridges at Koblens, the Irlich rail bridge (57) and the Remagen rail bridge (6); targets of opportunity are Andernach (26), Engers rail bridge (9), Trier (1) and others (6); 1 B-24 is lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 63 damaged; 20 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 10 MIA. The escort is 66 of 70 P-51s without loss.

4. 12 of 12 B-17s fly a screening force mission; they are 8 minutes late for their escort and are attacked by Fw 190s when 50 miles (80 km) ahead of the bombers; they claim 6-0-2 aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost and 1 damaged beyond repair; 45 airmen are MIA. Escort is supposed to be 23 of 26 P-51s.

5. 2 of 5 B-17s fly an APHRODITE mission against Oldenburg without loss.

6. 11 of 11 P-51s escort 9 F-5s and 1 Spitfire on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany without loss.

7. 25 P-47s and P-51s escort 3 of 4 Mosquitoes on a special operations mission without loss.

Mission 775: 5 B-24s and 3 B-17s drop leaflet on Belgium and Germany during the night without loss.

The 1st, 2d and 3d Bombardment Divisions are redesignated 1st, 2d and 3d Air Divisions.

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