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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 801: 772 bombers and 455 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants at Sterkrade and rail targets and bridges in W Germany using H2X radar; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 bombers and 3 fighters are lost:

1. 36 of 309 B-17s hit the Holten oil plant at Sterkrade; 225 hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Rheine; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 68 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 33 WIA and 61 MIA. Escorting are 189 of 199 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

2. 187 of 223 B-17s hit the Heilbronn marshalling yard; 8 hit the secondary, the Pforzheim marshalling yard and 2 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 18 damaged. Escort is provided by 39 of 48 P-51s without loss.

3. 170 of 230 B-17s hit the Mannheim marshalling yard and rail bridge; targets of opportunity are Stuttgart (24), Mannheim (21) and other (1); 1 B-17 is lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 29 damaged. The escort is 130 of 137 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

4. 36 of 39 P-51s fly a fighter sweep in the Frankfurt area; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

5. 16 of 16 P-51s fly a sweep in the St Vith/Duren area without loss.

6. 16 of 16 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

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