Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 796: A planned major strike at oil and industrial targets in Germany is cancelled by weather; 627 bombers and 693 fighters are dispatched to hit oil targets; 2 B-24s and 1 P-51 are lost; due to heavy fog a large percentage of the bombers are diverted to various landing fields in the UK and on the Continent:

1. 364 B-24s are sent to hit the Rothensee synthetic oil plant at Magdeburg (61) and the oil plant at Ruhland (67); secondary targets hit are the marshalling yard at Dresden (138) and a tank factory at Magdeburg (61); 5 others hit a target of opportunity; targets are bombed visually and using H2X radar; 2 B-24s are lost and 8 damaged beyond repair; 3 airmen are KIA, 20 WIA and 22 MIA. Escorting are 368 of 392 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 7 damaged beyond repair.

2. 263 B-17s dispatched hit secondary targets, the marshalling yard at Dessau (146) and 2 aircraft engine plants at Bitterfeld (96); 4 others hit targets of opportunity; all attacks are made using H2X radar; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair; 1 airman is KIA and 3 WIA. The escort is 194 of 203 P-51s.

3. 68 P-47s and P-51s fly a sweep.

4. 19 of 20 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

5. 5 of 7 P-51s escort a Spitfire on a photo reconnaissance mission on Berlin and Misburg.

Mission 797: 1 B-24 drop leaflets on Belgium 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,

Mission Reports

34th BG Mission Report - Mission #114 Bitterfeld. Command Pilot: LeBAILLY. 38 planes dispatched. 29 planes dropped 90 tons on the primary target. 3 planes dropped 9 tons on targets of opportunity and 6 failed to bomb. 33 Credit Sorties. One plane was lost, however, only one crewmember is listed as Killed in Action.

B-17G 43-38392 B/E 'Old Crow' with 18BS crash-landed at Ampton, UK during assembly. #3 engine caught fire at 12,000 feet and pilot ordered the crew to bail out. All the crew got out OK, but the explosion of the plane when it hit the ground apparently collapsed the ball gunner's chute, letting him fall the last 150-200 feet to the ground. Pilot: W. S. Jones. 1 Killed in Action.Plane was salvaged.

source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
44BG Mission Report - The ordered Primary was a deep penetration to the synthetic oil plant at Ruhland, and the 44th dispatched 33 aircraft (7 of them 67th) to lead the 2nd Division. * Capt. Testa, 66th, was the Group lead with Colonel Snavely as Command Pilot. Shortly after crossing the German border Capt. Testa had to turn the lead over to the deputy because of malfunction of the H2X equipment. Upon reaching the Primary it was evident that bombing could not be accomplished because of a smoke screen and low clouds. Making a turn and passing through moderate, accurate flak, the formation set a course for the Secondary, Dresden M/Y. The 44th's remaining 27 aircraft attacked this target with poor results. The lead aircraft bombed over the MPI because of a rack malfunction; the low left squadron bombed short of the MPI because the bombardier's panel was frosted and the target was picked up too late to effect visual synchronization. The high right squadron bombed over and to the right of the MPI because they were forced off the bomb run by a squadron of another Group. Enemy resistance at the Secondary was nil and the fighter support was very good. Captain Testa's plane, which had lost two of its engines, bombs were salvoed in Bernberg. All of the crew parachuted while the aircraft crashed and burned. Col. Snavely, who was CP, landed near Saarburg. No word was received from this crew for two days but they returned on the 19th. Sixteen other crews landed in France and three of these were abandoned and left for repairs or salvage. One aircraft was abandoned over England when it was out of fuel and no field could be found in the thick overcast. This was a 68th A/C and is thought to be #42-100295 V. Capt. Henry, 66th, in 907 B+ led the 2nd squadron. Al Jones adds: "Plan "A", target Ruhland, an oil refinery, Plan "B", target Berlin - the gas works. We are to be scrubbed if it is Plan "B". Plan "A" goes into effect and we take off at 0730 hours, load of 8 x 500 lb Navy bombs. We pass over Wilhelmshaven, Hannover, Magdegurg, Hamburg, Bernberg and near Berlin. Turned southeast from Berlin and made for Ruhland. Couldn't find the target in time because of trouble "uncovering". Got lots of flak at target. We then made for Dresden where another Group dropped bombs ahead of us enroute and we were in a turn when our bombs went away. Don't know how we hit the target. Slight flak at the target but the Group lead was hit and started to lose altitude and smoke. We then passed over Czechoslovakia, and came out south of Strusbaugh. We were forced into Paris after 8-1/2 hours of flying. Field was Orley and about 50 B-24s landed there. 67th's Lt. Struthers was one of the 50 B-24s that landed at Orley and Sgt. Allen adds: "Came in over the Zuider Zee and returned down over Metz. Went directly to Orley because U.K. was socked in. Stayed over-night; others went in to Paris while Lt. Struthers and I stood guard. Convoy finished on this one with 36. *Captain Testa's aircraft was #42-110095 G.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Magdeburg, Germany - Rothensee Synthetic Oil Refinery. A/C Took Off: 32. A/C Bombed Target: 21. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Ruhland

The Lauta aluminum plant was bombed with good results. The lead plane was hit by flak, but continued. It later landed on the continent. Most of the planes landed in Yorkshire on their return.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38392).
Organization: 18BS / 34BG of Mendlesham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Jones, Wyatt S.
Notes: crashed destroyed by fire.
Location: Bury St Edmunds/5mi N England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-51345).
Organization: 577BS / 392BG of Wendling, Norfolk.
Pilot: Stoddard, Kenneth L.
Notes: bailed out out of gas due to weather.
Location: Cheddington/ 5mi E England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-51432).
Organization: 329BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk.
Pilot: Robertson, William R.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-51471).
Organization: 855BS / 491BG of North Pickenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Rose, Frank G.
Notes: forced landing due to weather.
Location: Stowgate Fm, Deeping St England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-10617).
Organization: 707BS / 446BG of Bungay, Suffolk.
Pilot: Murphy, John R.
Notes: crashed due to engine failure.
Location: Bungay, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-26629).
Organization: 63FS / 56FG of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Groce, Walter R.
Notes: bailed out due to weather.
Location: Berden Chapel England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#44-19886).
Organization: 63FS / 56FG of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Arnold, John A.
Notes: bailed out due to weather.
Location: RAF Birch {WM-3738} England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#43-7173).
Organization: 357FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Sitton, Sam (NMI) Jr.
Notes: crashed out of gas.
Location: Moreton England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14317).
Organization: 336FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Hagan, Harry N.
Notes: bailed out out of gas due to weather.
Location: Dover/ 8mi W England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14533).
Organization: 336FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Hall, Frederick D.
Notes: killed in a crash due to weather.
Location: Rivenhall/ nr England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14693).
Organization: 352FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Lamb, James W.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Voisins/A-58 France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14836).
Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Harney, Vance E.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Eagles Fm, Bedfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15101).
Organization: 361FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Ray, Vincent S.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Cambri/A-74 France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15178).
Organization: 368FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: MacLean, Douglas A.
Notes: killed crash on take off eng failure.
Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15534).
Organization: 358FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Fees, Edwin W.
Notes: crash landing out of gas weather.
Location: Lindsell England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15684).
Organization: 357FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Cavender, James V.
Notes: crashed due to weather conditions.
Location: Frome England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D20 (#44-63220).
Organization: 363FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Thompson, William B.
Notes: killed in crash landing.
Location: Clowes Corner, Earle Soh England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51K-10NT (#44-11634).
Organization: 343FS / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex.
Pilot: Fisher, Walter R.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Bretigny, France France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: TB-26C (#41-35790).
Organization: 364SrS / 479FG of Wattisham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Glover, John G.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: South End England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "8th AF 796"
Oil and industrial targets in Germany
January 16, 1945

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
 
Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
6275781454.90-0-00-0-02-10-04-23-222x 392BG aircraft crash-lands France
392BG aircraft crashes Tuddenham airfield
458BG aircraft crash-lands Dijon
95BG aircraft crashes France
44BG aircraft crashes France
44BG aircraft abandoned over England
34BG aircraft crashes Ampton
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Mission Targets

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MAGDEBURG, GERMANY
Braunkahle (BRABAG) Industry
oil refinery61 A/Cphotos (4)
RUHLAND-SCHWARZHEIDE, GERMANY
Braunkohle-Benzin A.G. Industry
oil refinery67 A/Cphotos (1)
DRESDEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard138 A/C
MAGDEBURG, GERMANY
Krupp-Grusonwerke Industry
armaments61 A/Cphotos (2)
DESSAU, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard146 A/C
BITTERFELD, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard96 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
491BG
3RD AIR DIVISION
94BG
34BG
385BG
447BG
486BG
487BG
490BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
93BG (1 a/c)
448BG (1 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
6936540.00-0-00-0-01-8-03-1-1359FG crashes take-off
357FG crashes Earl Soham
4FG crashes near Lympne airfield
4FG crashes near Folkestone
56FG crashes Clacton
56FG crashes near base
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Mission Targets

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Escort
562 A/C

Sweep
68 A/C
GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo5 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout19 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG
56FG
355FG
361FG
479FG
3RD AIR DIVISION
55FG
339FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG (1 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
41410.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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GERMANY / LC
Reconnaissance
weather3 A/C
BERLIN / MISBURG
Reconnaissance
photo1 A/C
GERMANY, WESTERN
Reconnaissance
H2X2 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures5 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
10 A/C

Communications
radio-relay14 A/C
AZORES/ATLANTIC/UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
5th Emergency Rescue Squadron
36th Bomber Squadron
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)