Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 811: 1,158 bombers and 700 fighters are dispatched to hit industrial plants at Kassel and rail targets in C Germany; the attacks were made using H2X radar; they claim 6-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-24 and 2 P-51s are lost:
1. 415 B-17s are sent to hit rail centers at Niederlahnstein (110) and Siegen (144); 104 hit the secondary, the Mosel marshalling yard at Koblenz; 37 hit the marshalling yard at Bad Kreuznach, a target of opportunity; 4 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged. Escorting are 235 of 254 P-51s; they claim 1-0-1 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is KIA.
2. 386 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Henschel oil plant at Kassel (93); 154 hit the secondary, the Kassel marshalling yard; targets of opportunity are the Bielefeld marshalling yard (76), Koblenz (35) and other (2); 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 28 damaged; 18 airmen are KIA and 1 WIA. The escort is 207 of 224 P-51s; they claim 4-0-1 aircraft; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
3. 357 B-24s dispatched hit secondary targets, the marshalling yards at Munster (206) and Hamm (124); 9 others hit the Soest marshalling yard, a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 18 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. 173 P-47s and P-51s escort; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
4. 23 of 27 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.
Mission 812: 1 B-17 and 8 B-24s drop leaflets in Germany and the Netherlands 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,
The 303rd BG(H), largely recovered from previous battle damage, was only able to dispatch 26 aircraft instead of the usual 39 on this mission. One aircraft, #43-38608 Lucille, 359BS (Lt. Rogers), returned early due to mechanical trouble.
Target weather included 8/10 to 10/10 clouds with tops at 8,000 feet and contrails at 25,000 feet. Twenty-five aircraft dropped 283 500-lb. H.E. M43 bombs and ten units of leaflets on the primary target. Bombing was GEE-H from 23,950 and 22,850 feet, and results were unobserved.
There was no enemy opposition, flak or fighters. A large force of 235 P-51s provided good support. All aircraft returned safely to Molesworth with no casualties.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
366BS / 306BG Mission Report - Squadron flew 12 A/C in the Lead Sq of 40 'C' Group. Capt. Anthony led the Group formation which attacked the Mosel M/Y at Koblens by using PFF equipment due to the targets coverage of 10/10 clouds. Results were unobserved, but mickey operator believes a satisfactory run was made on the M/Y. 43 Officers and 68 Enlisted Men participated in mission. All returned safely. Bomb Load: 144 x 500.
source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #118 Kassel, Ober Lahustein. Command Pilots: DUNHAM and PELSZNSKI. 26 planes dispatched. 13 planes dropped 42 tons on the primary target while the other 13 planes dropped their 42 tons on targets of opportunity. 26 Credit Sorties.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 37 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - On this date over 1100 8th Air Force heavy bombers, escorted by over 600 fighters were sent to attack targets in West Central Germany. 1st Division went to the railroad yards at Siegen, Niederlahnstein and Koblenz. The 2nd Division bombed the marshalling yards at Hamm, Munster and Soest. The 3rd Air Division went to Kassel and Bielefeld. The 388th furnished two Groups flying the low Group in both the 45th A and 45th B Combat Wings.
24 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c were airborne between 0752 and 0823 hours. Formations were effected and the briefed route was followed as far as the Munster area. The 45th Combat Wing discovered at this time that the Wing they were briefed to follow was off course. Flak prevented a turn to regain the proper course so a bomb run on the primary target was attempted from a different direction than briefed. On this bomb run the #3 prop was shot off of the leading aircraft and the deputy leader took over. Then another Group got in the way and a turn was made for the last resort target at Bielefeld. Bombs were away at 1223 hours from 25,000 feet.
Our Group encountered none of this flak but one of our a/c that had to leave the formation encountered meager flak at Munster while returning alone.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1436 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - With Lt. Col. Vohees as Group and Division Leader the 94th "A" Group was forced to bomb a target of opportunity at Bad Kreuznach owing to the target area being completely overcast and Gee-H equipment being inoperative. Results were unobserved as bombs were dropped by PFF. No flak or air opposition was encountered and all aircraft returned to base. Major E. de Jonckheere led the High Squadron and the crews from the 613th flying were: 43-38941 Tausig, 43-38458 Hart, 43-38791 Scheller, 42-31072 Curran, 43-38862 Nielson, 44-6132 Bradley, 42-31591 Steele, 43-38607 Cox, 43-38187 May, 44-3449 Riegler. Weather Ship: Locher.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - A rail workshop at Siegen, Germany with Lt. Col. B.K. Voorhees as Air Commander. The primary target was completely obscured by cloud so the bomb run was started on Gee-H but when this broke down a late run was started on PFF. Because of the late run on PFF the Mickey Operator could not get the primary target in his scope so he delayed the drop and picked up a target of opportunity at Bad Kreuznaeh. Bombing was in Group formation with no results observed. There was no sign of flak or fighters on this mission and the following 614th crews were on the loading list: 42-7780 Brown, 43-38077 Spuhler, 42-107151 Cole, 43-38646 Thompson, 42-97478 Fondren, 43-38738 Sorensen, 42-97602 Hartsock, 43-38677 Moran, 42-38330 White, 42-97395 King.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The Gee-H aircraft for the mission, "Clinker Z", landed from nearby Glatton at 0405 hrs. The crews of 39 operational aircraft, plus one weather ship and one monitor ship were briefed at 0430 brs with the weather ship, IN-S, becoming airborne at 0617 brs. By 0859 hrs the last two stragglers were off to catch up with the long gone Group. During the night Deenethorpe had some visitors in the form of 16 "Halifax" aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force. The crews were billeted in the 615th Squadron area. The aircraft of the 401st formed the 94th "A" Group with Lt. Col. B.K. Voohees as the Air Commander. Lt. J.J. Brown and Major E.T. de Jonckheere were the other two Squadron Commanders. The primary target was found to be completely covered by 10/10 ths clouds so a Gee-H run was started on the secondary target, but this failed so a PFF run was attempted. In fact this was started too late and the Mickey operator did not have time to get the target in his scope in time so the Group-salvoed on Bad Kreuznach. No fighters or flak were encountered and all aircraft returned to base safely. The ten 615th crews on the mission were: 44-8653 Lozinski, 43-38425 Bennett, 42-97869 Jones, 43-38758 Hansen, 42-107113 AR Grimm, 42-31983 Cracraft, 43-37551 Jordan, 43-38779 Maire, 42-102468 Stephens.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Captain Holmer led the Group today with the 44th's 30 aircraft forming "B" Group in the Wing, flying echeloned to the left and high on the "A" group, leading Group of the Division. The 67th put up six aircraft in all to attack the M/Y at Munster on PFF. Lt. Louik, 67th, was forced to turn back when the engineer was' taken seriously ill. The briefed Primary was at Altenbecken, but the Group made their bomb run on the briefed Secondary, Hamm M/Y. 18 of the 20 A/C in the high right and low left squadrons attacked this target with unobserved results. The H2X in the lead aircraft kept fading in and out on the bomb run, so this squadron went on to bomb the Munster M/Y, a Target of Opportunity. All but one aircraft of the 67th attacked the target with unobserved results. Flak was meager to moderate and inaccurate at Hamm, and meager and inaccurate at Munster. Fighter support was very good and all aircraft returned to base with no battle damage. Yesterday a 68th Squadron ship #42-95349 ? was involved in a take-off accident for a test hop. It is believed that icing on wings when spray from previous plane froze upon contact on this ship. It crashed two miles east of the field, caught fire'and burned completely. Sgt. Layton W. Scott died 4 Feb. from injuries.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Niederlahnstein. The railway center at Niederlahnstein, about three miles south of Coblenz, was bombed by GEE-H methods in group formation with what are believed to be good results as the equipment was working perfectly and a good bomb run was made. Capt. Newquist flew as air commander with Capt. Towner as his pilot. Lt. Ashlock in A/C #294 had trouble with his #2 engine a few miles before the target. He had to feather the engine and could not keep up with the formation. Later reports state that he landed safely in friendly territory with all of his crew but with the A/C badly damaged.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Niederlahnstein Railway center. Twelve A/C, including one PFF, took off from 0748-0851 hours to form the low squadron of the 1st C Group. The assembly was accomplished without difficulty and the entire mission was flown in company with the lead squadron of this group. The leader of this squadron was Lt. Brubaker. The lead squadron bombing by G.H. with this squadron following up. One major and 3 minor battle damages sustained, with no injuries to personnel.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 29th of January we dispatched 2 A/C and one crew to attack the Rail Road Center of Niederlahnstein 3 miles south of Coblenz. Bombing was done by means of instruments with unobserved results. A/C 552 piloted by Maj, A. R. Reaume flew in the High Squadron with the 324th Squadron. A/C 843 was flown by a 324th crew. AA fire at the target was meager and fairly accurate. Fighter support was excellent. The Group furnished the first "C" Group. All A/C and crews returned safely.
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14098). Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex. Pilot: Green, George D. Notes: landing accident. Location: Debden, Essex England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14720). Organization: 352FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk. Pilot: Evans, James R. Notes: crash landing. Location: Raydon, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14769). Organization: 368FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk. Pilot: Madison, Garland E. Notes: bailed out out of gas. Location: Exeter/ 16mi W England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-14990). Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk. Pilot: Robison, George W. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Raydon, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/