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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 785: 1,073 bombers and 700 fighters attack communications centers, rail targets, bridges and an oil storage depot in W Germany using PFF methods; 3 bombers and 1 fighter are lost.

1. 265 B-17s are dispatched but hit secondary targets, the marshalling yard at Hamm (109), Paderborn (74) and Bielefeld (74); 2 hit a target of opportunity; all attacks made using H2X radar; 5 B-17s are damaged. Escorting are 197 of 204 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

2. 351 B-17s are dispatched to hit communications centers at Blankenheim (39), Kall (39), Bitburg (110) and Euskirchen (75); 35 hit the Lutzel Bridge at Cologne; all attacks made using Gee-H and H2X; 3 B-17s are damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 159 of 160 P-51s.

3. 147 B-17s are dispatched to hit the bridge at Hohenzollern (14) and the highway bridge at Rodenkirchen (22); 80 hit the secondary target, the Kalk marshalling yard at Cologne; targets of opportunity are Limburg (11), Koblenz (11) and other (1); all attacks are made using Micro H and H2X; 2 B-17s are lost and 10 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 19 MIA. The escort is 91 of 95 P-51s.

4. 304 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yards at Landau (54), Zweibrucken (64) and Rastatt (99), the rail and communications center at Achern (31) and the railway at Kaiserslautern (26); all attacks made using Gee-H; targets of opportunity hit visually are Durrmenz (8) and Karlsuhe (1); 1 B-24 is lost and 10 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 9 MIA. Escorting are 94 of 102 P-51s.

5. 6 of 6 B-17s fly a screening mission.

6. 88 P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter sweep without loss.

7. 12 of 12 P-51s escort 2 F-5s and 2 Mosquitoes on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.

8. 33 of 33 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

Mission 786: 2 B-17s and 5 B-24s drop leaflets during the night in SE Belgium and France.

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