Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 798: 700 bombers and 362 fighters are dispatched to make visual attacks on oil refineries at Hamburg and Harburg and Gee-H and H2X attacks on rail targets; 9 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:
1. 158 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Rhenania (40) and Albrecht (34) oil refineries at Hamburg and the U-boat base at Hamburg (73); 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 4 B-17s are lost and 88 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 39 MIA. Escorting are 61 P-47s and P-51s; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair.
2. 78 of 84 B-24s hit the Rhenania oil refinery at Harburg; 1 other hits Borkum Airfield as a target of opportunity; 4 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 57 damaged; 7 airmen are WIA and 44 MIA. Escort is provided by 46 of 55 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
3. 458 B-17s are sent to hit the Paderborn marshalling yard (397) and the Schildesche rail viaduct at Bielefeld (37); 4 others hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 6 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. The escort is 108 of 118 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
4. 80 of 87 P-51s fly a fighter sweep against a rail target without loss.
5. 25 of 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Major Charles E. Kerwin was assigned to the 359BS and led the Group's thirty-nine aircraft to attack a railway viaduct at Bielefeld, Germany (visual or PFF). The secondary target was the marshalling yard in Paderborn (PFF) and last resort, an airfield at Gutersloh, Germany. One aircraft, #43-38608 Lucille 358BS, (Lt. McLeod), turned back early due to a leak in the oxygen system.
The target area contained 10/10 low clouds with tops at 10,000 to 12,000 feet and light, non-persistent contrails. Thirty-eight B- 17s dropped 228 1,000- lb. H.E. M44 bombs on the secondary from 20,000, 23,700 and 27,800 feet with unobserved results. The lead Squadron dropped on the smoke markers of the low Group ahead after its GEE-H and PFF equipment failed. The low Squadron bombed off the lead. The high Squadron bombed PFF because its GEE-H equipment also failed.
The Luftwaffe again failed to send any opposition. The 109 P-51s from the 1st AD provided only fair support—scattered and not close. There was no flak and no battle damage or casualties. All aircraft returned to Molesworth after this welcomed "milk run."
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 94th "A" Group bombed the PFF target, a rail yard at Paderborn on January 17th. because solid undercast obscured the primary target. No results were observed, no enemy aircraft were encountered,and flak was nil. All aircraft returned safely to base. Those flying from the 613th were: 43-38791 Kelso, 44-6132 Donaldson, 42-102947 Steele, 42-31072 Curran, 44-6588 Nielson, 43-38941 Jennings, 43-37706 Hart, 44-6113 Scheller, 43-38862 Carey, 44-8550 McGoldrick.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 1st Air Division, with 397 B-17's, attacked the marshalling yards at Paderborn on this mission, the 401st furnishing the aircraft to form the 94th CBW "B" Group. The Air Commander was Major R.J. White. The primary had been Altenbecken but a solid undercast forced the Group to attack the secondary, and, because of a malfunction, the target was bombed by PFF instead of Gee-H. There were no observations, no enemy aircraft and no flak, and the crews put it down as a milk run. The Squadron loading list was as follows: 44-8259 Brown, 42-97780 Seder, 44-6508 Hartsock, 42-97602 Mays, 43-38677 Moran, 43-38738 Sorenson, 42-38565 Babcock, 43-38646 Richardson, 42-107151 Morton, 42-38330 White.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 401st was part of a force of almost 400 B-17's that dropped 1,154 tons of bombs on the marshalling yards at Paderborn. The primary had been Altenberken but solid undercast had been met at the target so the Group went in to bomb the secondary by Gee-H. Unfortunately the Gee-H had a malfunction so the PFF was used to bomb a railway workshop and main line station. No observations were possible. The was no flak and no fighters - another "Milk Run" for the crews. 39 crews were briefed at 0600 hrs with all aircraft becoming airborne by 1020 hrs. Each B-17 carried six 1,000 pound bombs and 2,600 gallons of gas. The 401st furnished the 94th "B" Group with Major R.J. White as the Air Commander. Lt. J.J. Brown and Lt. W.R. Jennings were the other two Squadron leaders. The ten crews from the Squadron were: 44-8371 (PFF) Dempsey, 43-39125 Lozinski, 42-31730 Smith, 42-31891 Udy, 42-102468 Djernes, 43-37551 Jordan, 42-97869 Jones, 42-31983 Cracraft, 43-38810 AR Grimm, 43-38758 Hansen.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Three 67th aircraft, 11 in total of 44th's, formed the high right squadron of the 14th Combat Wing to attack an oil refinery at Harburg, Germany. One of the 44th's A/C led the 491st as well as the Wing. Visibility was good and bombing was accomplished visually, with excellent results. Barrage and tracking type flak at the target was intense and accurate. Fighter support was good and no aircraft was lost although seven were slightly damaged, one being a 67th craft.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
source: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Paderborn Marshaling yards 130 x 500 and 1 x M-17 bombs were dropped on the marshaling yards at Paderborn by PFF methods with good results. Lt. Manville led the squadron flying the high squadron. A/A fire was reported to be nil which goes for the enemy fighters also.
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38374). Organization: 18BS / 34BG of Mendlesham, Suffolk. Pilot: Steffen, John P. Notes: killed in a crash. Location: Mendlesham/ 4mi W S 156 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38667). Organization: 551BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk. Pilot: Sanders, William A Jr. Notes: taxiing accident. Location: Great Ashfield, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14808). Organization: 351FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk. Pilot: Wiehe, Robert K. Notes: crashed belly landing due to engine failure or fire. Location: Wattisham/2 1/2mi SE 377 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15528). Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Pilot: Carr, Robert E. Notes: killed in crash landing. Location: Maisoncelle St Pierre France. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51K (#44-11631). Organization: 82FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Rosenberg, Alvin M. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Duxford, Cambridgeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/