Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 22: 68 B-17s and 8 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Keroma U-boat pens at Lorient, France; only 11 B-17s find a gap in the 10/10 cloud cover and bomb at 1410 hours local without loss.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
303BG Mission Report - Target: Submarine Pens, Lorient, France. Crews Dispatched: 18 (358BS - 4, 359th - 7, 360th - 1, 427th - 6). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 48 minutes Bomb Load: 2 x 2,000 lbs M34. Bombing Altitude: 21,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 2,395 rounds. Major Charles E. Marion (DCO 303rd BG), Major Romig (CO 359BS) and Major Sheridan (CO 427BS) were pilots on Squadron lead aircraft. Briefing was held at 0800 hours conducted by Capt. Young and Lt. Prior. Lt. Von Schmidt covered the flak situation. Twenty-one B-17s were dispatched, but three failed to take off. Six aircraft aborted and the remaining twelve headed for Lizart Point where they picked up an escort of three fighter divisions that went as far as the French coast. Arriving over the target at 1410 hours, the Group found a hole in the 10/10th cloud cover. Twelve 303rd Fortresses identified the target. Eleven aircraft dropped 22-2,000 lb. bombs from 20,000 feet. The bomb release mechanism failed on the twelfth aircraft. A hit was believed to have been made on a merchant vessel in the harbor south of the aiming point. Additional results could not be observed. On this mission the 303rd BG(H) was the only Group to attack the target. The others-- the 91st, the 305th, the 306th (B-17s), and the 93rd (B-24s)-- could not find the target because of the solid cloud cover. No enemy aircraft were encountered. All aircraft returned safely, landing at 1629 - 1704 hours at Alconbury and Chelveston when weather closed in at Molesworth. More info on this mission at the 303BG website
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Bombing mission against enemy Submarine Docks and Pens at Lorient in occupied France. Both main and alternate targets were so obscured by overcast that no bombs were dropped. All ships returned safely, having encountered but little enemy resistance.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Group assigned 18 ships to attack Lorient, France, sub pens. Flight commanded by Major P. D. Brown of 323rd. Bomb load was 2 x 2000 lb., altitude was 19,000 ft. 322nd sent 4 A/C, 4482, Major Zienowisz 4512, Captain Kenneth K. Wallick 4'81, ast Lt. James D. Baird and 4439, 1st Lt. Bruce Barton. Owing to 10/10 cloud cover, target was not attacked. Maj. Zienowicz and Captain Wallick returned to base, Lt's Baird and Barton landed at Westcott. All safe, no casualties.