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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 817: 1,437 bombers and 948 fighters are dispatched in a major strike on Berlin by B-17s while B-24s hit the synthetic oil industry at Magdeburg; they claim 38-1-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 25 bombers and 8 fighters are lost:

1. 1,003 B-17s are sent to hit the Tempelhof marshaling yard in Berlin (937); targets of opportunity are Bad Zwischenahn (1), Bromsche (1), Gatow (13), Luneburg (2), Sogel (1) and other (1); 23 B-17s are lost, 6 damaged beyond repair and 339 damaged; 18 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 189 MIA. Escort is provided by 575 of 613 P-51s; they claim 12-1-0 aircraft in the air and 17-0-11 on the ground; 7 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.

2. 434 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Rothensee oil plant at Magdeburg (116); 246 hit a target of last resort, the marshaling yard at Magdeburg; targets of opportunity are Wesermunde (17), Mockern (12), Cuxhaven (9), Yechta Airfield (2) and other (3); 2 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 58 damaged; 19 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 210 of 232 P-51s without loss.

3. 41 of 44 P-47s fly a sweep over Friedersdorf Airfield; they claim 9-0-6 aircraft in the air; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA). 4. 35 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

5. 24 P-51s escort 9 F-5s and 7 Spitfires on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.

Mission 818: 1 B-17 and 10 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and W Germany 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,