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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,