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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 789: 1,119 bombers and 362 fighters are dispatched to attack airfields, rail targets and bridges in Germany; most attacks are made using PFF methods; they claim 3-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:

1. 429 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Rodenkirchen (31) and Deutz (10) highway bridges at Cologne, the South (34) and Hohenzollern (52) rail bridges at Cologne and the marshalling yard at Karlsruhe (105); 20 hit the secondary target, the Gereon marshalling yard at Cologne; targets of opportunity are bridges at Duisburg (11) and Oberkassel (21), Dusseldorf (28) and other (33); some targets hit visually but most by PFF methods; 5 B-17s are lost, 5 damaged beyond repair and 199 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 48 MIA.

2. 233 B-24s are dispatched to hit highway bridges at Steinbruck (23), Schonberg (70), Weweler (60) and Dasburg (20); 1 hits Prum, a target of opportunity; targets are hit using Gee-H; 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA.

3. 458 B-17s are sent to hit the Hangelar Airfield at Bonn (63); Odendorf Airfield at Euskirchen (98), Osteheim Airfield at Cologne (83) and Gymnich Airfield (52); 43 hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Cologne; targets of opportunity are the marshalling yards at Euskirchen (8), Belecke (8) and Duren (12) and other (26); Gee-H is used in bombing with some visual sightings; 5 B-17s are lost, 11 damaged beyond repair and 140 damaged; 5 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 52 MIA.

4. The bombers are escorted by 137 of 152 P-51s; 6 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.

5. 123 P-47s and P-51s make a freelance sweep to cover the bombers; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 2-0-0 on the ground; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 is lost (1 pilot MIA); 4 P-51s are damaged beyond repair.

6. 13 of 15 P-51s dive bomb the marshalling yard at Neustadt without loss. 7. 6 of 8 P-51s escort 2 Mosquitoes on a photo reconnaissance of the Brux, Czechoslovakia area.

8. 28 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

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