Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 841: 1,428 bombers and 862 fighters commence Operation CLARION, a joint RAF, Eighth, Ninth and Fifteenth AF operation with the objective of paralyzing the already decimated German rail and road system; most attacks were made visually; bombing was conducted from an optimum 10,000 feet (3,048 m) to achieve accuracy at target without flak defenses; they claim 28-2-43 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 bombers and 13 fighters are lost:

1. 522 B-17s are sent to hit marshaling yards at Bamberg (64), Zwickau (2) and Kitzingen (1); targets of opportunity are Ansbach (143), Donaueschingen (24), Reutlingen (25), Ulm (77), Freiburg (21), Hafingen (10), the marshaling yards at Aalen (24), Neustadt (26), Singen (8), Schwenningen (22), and Villgen (11) and other (42); some attacks are made with H2X radar; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 2 B-17s are lost and 29 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 19 MIA. Escorting are 163 of 168 P-51s; 3 are lost (pilots MIA).

2. 452 B-24s are dispatched to hit marshaling yards at Halberstadt (51), Sangerhausen (11), Nordhausen (30), Vienenburg (23), Peine (52), Hildesheim (55), Kreiensen (48), and Northeim (48); targets of opportunity are Nordhausen (11), Ottbergen (10), the rail and highway bridge at Lindern (1) and marshaling yards at Wallhausen (19), Oker (8), Eschwege (30), Gottingen (29) and Celle (8) and other (1); 4 B-24s are lost and 68 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 38 MIA. 246 P-47s and P-51s escort; they claim 19-0-16 aircraft on the ground; 4 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

3. 454 B-17s are sent to hit Wittenburg (72), Stendal (73), Salzwedel (59), Uelzen (73), Wittstock (11), Luneburg (39), and Ludwigslust (48); targets of opportunity are Grabow (13), Kobbelitz (24), Dannenberg (12) and Klotze (13). The escort is 268 of 280 P-51s; they claim 4-2-18 aircraft in the air and 3-0-5 on the ground; 5 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

4. 99 of 103 P-51s fly a freelance mission in support of the bombers; they claim 2-0-0 aircraft in the air; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

5. 28 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission; they claim 2-0-3 aircraft on the ground.

6. 13 P-51s escort 10 F-5s and 5 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.

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

Mission Reports

Carpetbagger Casualty Report - Gilbert Smith Jr, ASN# 35796058, Dispatcher; of Newport,KY: POW - 22Feb45 Holland - RTD 18 Apr 45source: The Carpetbaggers http://www.801492.org/
303BG Mission Report - Target: Marshalling Yards at Uelzen (Ulzen), Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 9). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 45 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb RDX bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 12,650, 11,340, & 12,900 ft. Ammo Fired: 595 rounds.

Colonel Lewis E. Lyle, CO 379BG, flew the Scouter aircraft. Operation CLARION, named after a Middle Ages trumpet that produced clear, sharp and shrill tones, involved a large-scale air strike by all available air power of the AAF and RAF against German transportation and communication targets. The 8th Air Force attacked 41 separate targets, bombing from medium altitudes of about 10,000 feet at targets without flak defenses.

The 303rd BG(H) dispatched its normal force of 39 aircraft. Three Forts returned early: #43-39160 (No Name), 358BS (1Lt. W.S. McLeod) mechanical problem #43-38645 (No Name), 359BS (1Lt. K.E. Bixby) mechanical problem #43-38958 Green Hill Belle, 427BS (2Lt. E.R. Grob) personnel failure

Thirty-six aircraft dropped 416 500-lb. RDX bombs and 10 units of leaflets from 12,650, 11,340 and 12,900 feet the lowest average altitude of any 303rd BG(H) mission. There were no clouds or contrails over the Continent and only slight ground haze over the target. Bombing was visual and was reported as good for the low Squadron, fair for the lead and poor for the high.

The three Groups of the 41st CBW blanketed the yard with bombs. At the end of the attack, one intense explosion was spotted when an ammunition train was hit. Some gunners used their 50-caliber guns to fire at the ground over the target. There was no enemy air or flak opposition, no aircraft battle damage and no casualties. All aircraft returned to Molesworth.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #128 Ausbach, Neustadt. Command Pilot: HERSHENOW. 38 planes dispatched. 37 planes dropped 108 tons on targets of last resort (LR) while one plane dropped 3 tons on a target of opportunity. 38 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
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 271. Primary Target: Rail Junction - Ulzen, Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 38. Scrubbed - 2. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 2

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - Nearly 1400 heavy bombers of the 8th Air Force were sent out to attack marshalling yards in central Germany. All other U.S.Air Forces in Europe along with the RAF participated in this operation.

The 388th furnished three Group which composed the 45th C Combat Group. Only one a/c of the low Group aborted. 38 a/c were airborne between 0730 and 0803 hours. Formations were effected without difficulty and headed for the target. At 1215 hours the formation ran into clouds and turned around. The primary or secondary targets were to be bombed visually so they were abandoned. The target of opportunity was the marshalling yards at Ulm and was attacked using PFF methods. Bombs were away at 1237 hours from 21,900 feet on a mag heading of 143 degrees.

Neither flak or enemy fighters were encountered. All a/c returned to base by 1610 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - A rail point on a main line railway just outside Ludwigshist was hit by all three Squadrons of the 401st the 94th "A" Group on February 22nd. Lt. J.Y. McGoldrick led the Low Squadron, 100% of the bombs hitting within 2,000 feet of the r1PI with 80% within 1,000 feet. Lt. L.G. Lewis was Lead Navigator and Lt. G.W. Peek Lead Bombardier. The 613th crews participating were: 43-38791 Kelso, 43-38941 Tausig, 42-31591 Maharick, 44-6313 Bradley, 43-37706 Cox, 42-31072 Curran, 43-37602 May, 44-8449 McGoldrick, 44-6588 Baker, 42-102947 McKenny.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was Operation CLARION, the major attack on the German rail and road communications by the 8th Air Force, in full strength, visually and at low level. Bombing targets without flak defenaes was to be carried out at around 10,000 feet and the 401st B.G. went in at 10,300 to 11,300 feet with the three Squadron Bombardiers putting up a performance that was classed as excellent. Major Alvah Chapman led the 401st an this mission as the 94th "A" Group, flying as co-pilot in a 614th ship. The 614th loading list was as follows: 44-8259 Brown (PFF + G-H), 44-8033 Seder, 43-38646 Holmes, 42-97780 St. Aubyn, 43-38738 Richardson, 43-38330 White, 43-38565 Viehman, 42-97931 Ayre, 42-97478 Tobin, 43-38677 Stauffersource: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The briefing for Operation CLARION was at 0445 hrs and was for 40 crews, which included the 94th Wing weather ship crew. The weather ship was airborne about two hours before the operational aircraft took off, the last ship getting away by 0755 hrs. Operation CLARION was a major attack on German road and rail communications by almost 1,500 bombers escorted by 800 fighters. The 8th A.F. were taking advantage of the good weather and went in at low level, the 401st bombing from between 10,300 feet to 11,300 feet. The three Squadron Bombardiers hit their MPIs with a superior performance, recording an excellent result in each case. There was no flak, it appears, over any of the 1st Air Division's targets because not one of their 454 B-17's received any flak damage and only one aircraft was lost. The 401st flew as the 94th "A" Group with Major A.H. Chapman as the Air Commander and Lt. J.W. McGoldrick and Capt. J.F. Goodman as the other two Squadron leaders. The 615th loading list for this mission was as follows: 42-97395 Berneburg, 43-38810 Stephens, 43-37551 Maire, 44-6146 Bennett, 43-38425 Djernes, 43-38541 Cracraft, 43-38077 Park, 44-6132 Smith, 43-38758 Eglin.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The Primary today is the Hohengandern choke point and the Secondary is the Gottingen M/Y, With the 44th dispatching 31 A/C, Nine of them 67th's. These nine ships, led by Lt. Pellow, flew the high right squadron to attack the secondary target. The weather was clear with only a slight ground haze, but it was because of this haze that the Primary was picked up too late. All three squadrons achieved excellent bombing results. We had 29 of the 32 dispatched attack Gottingen visually, and this was the best bombing of the Group in the 2nd Division for the month. The Group was highly commended for this operation. One A/C attacked a target of opportunity at Linden visually, also with excellent results. Flak at Herford was meager and fairly accurate. Fighter support was excellent. We were part of the approximately 6,000 A/C sent over Germany and we bombed about 8,000 feet - the lowest we have ever done in Germany proper. Despite that altitude no battle damage was inflicted on us and all A/C returned to base safely. S/Sgt. Allen again adds: "Flew in 0, bomb load of 12 x 500 lb GPs dropped from altitude of 8,000 feet. We came in over the Zuider Zee at 10,000 feet, then lowered to 8,000. Perfect bombing. Meager flak from Osnabruk coming out. Burt Savage finished today and just one more to go for us!! Thought we had flak under us when over the target, but it was concussions from exploding bombs."source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Halberstadt, Germany - Railroad Marshalling Yard. A/C Took Off: 46. A/C Bombed Target: 45. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Northheim

The roundhouse was blown to bits and the marshalling yard and railroad tracks were hit with excellent results. The 446th flew as part of a massive 6,000 plane force and bombed from just 8,000 feet.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Stendal Railway traffic center Squadron Losses: None Group Losses: None The high squadron was lead by Lt. Gaines and the target bombed was the marshaling yards at Stendal. The target was attacked visually and strike photos show that bombs from the high squadron fell partially on the marshaling yards near the assigned M.P.I.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 22nd of February we dispatched 9 A/C and 12 crews to attack the RR Traffic Center at Stendal. The target was bombed visually with very good results. The Squadron flew the Low Squadron in the Group formation. The Group furnished the 1st "B" Group. AA fire in the target area was nil. Fighter support was excellent. All Squadron A/C and crews returned safely.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110068W).
Organization: 409BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk.
Pilot: McGuire, Edward L Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#42-106925W).
Organization: 434FS / 479FG of Wattisham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Peacock, Cecil M.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Wattisham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C10 (#42-103784W).
Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Hawley, Robert C.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: Debden, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-13873).
Organization: 79FS / 20FG of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Hahn, James W.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-15179).
Organization: 385FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Kiernan, John W.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-15576).
Organization: 385FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Stern, Sidney S.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: UC-45F (#43-35755).
Organization: Hq / of Toussus-le-Noble, France.
Pilot: Harper, Thomas W.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Toussus/A-46 France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "8th AF 841"
Operation Clarion: major attack on German rail and road targets
February 22, 1945

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
 
Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
142813723895.10-0-10-0-07-0-970-5-66
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Mission Targets

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KITZINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard1 A/Cphotos (3)
ZWICKAU, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard2 A/Cphotos (1)
BAMBERG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard64 A/C
ANSBACH, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard143 A/Cphotos (1)
AALEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard24 A/C
NEUSTADT AN DER WEINSTRASSE, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard26 A/C
DONAUESCHINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard24 A/Cphotos (2)
REUTLINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard25 A/C
ULM, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard77 A/Cphotos (2)
FREIBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard21 A/C
SIEGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard8 A/Cphotos (1)
SCHWENNINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard22 A/C
SCHWENNINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard11 A/C
HALBERSTADT, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard51 A/C
SANGERHAUSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard11 A/C
NORDHAUSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard30 A/Cphotos (1)
VIENENBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard23 A/Cphotos (1)
PEINE-HILDESHEIM, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard107 A/Cphotos (1)
KREIENSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard48 A/Cphotos (2)
NORTHEIM, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard48 A/Cphotos (1)
WALLHAUSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard19 A/C
OKER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard8 A/C
NORDHAUSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard11 A/Cphotos (1)
ESCHWEGE, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard30 A/Cphotos (3)
GOTTINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard29 A/Cphotos (2)
CELLE, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard8 A/Cphotos (1)
OTTBERGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard10 A/C
WITTENBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard72 A/C
STENDAL, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard73 A/Cphotos (1)
SALZWEDEL, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard59 A/Cphotos (1)
UELZEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard73 A/Cphotos (1)
WITTSTOCK, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard11 A/C
LUNEBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard39 A/C
LUDWIGSLUST, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard48 A/Cphotos (1)
GRABOW, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard13 A/C
KOBBELITZ, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard24 A/C
DANNENBERG, GERMANY
Railroad
bridge12 A/C
KLOTZE, GERMANY
Target of Opportunity
13 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
491BG
3RD AIR DIVISION
94BG
100BG
34BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
487BG
490BG
493BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
398BG (1 a/c)
2ND AIR DIVISION
392BG (1 a/c)
458BG (2 a/c)
491BG (1 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
452BG (1 a/c)
486BG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
8628170.04-2-1824-0-2413-1-00-0-13359FG baled
364FG crash-lands base
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Mission Targets

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Escort
690 A/C

Support
99 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout28 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG
56FG
355FG
361FG
479FG
3RD AIR DIVISION
55FG
78FG
339FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
356FG (1 a/c)
359FG (2 a/c)
364FG (2 a/c)
2ND AIR DIVISION
355FG (1 a/c)
361FG (1 a/c)
479FG (2 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
78FG (1 a/c)
339FG (2 a/c)
353FG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
68680.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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AZORES/ATLANTIC/UK
Reconnaissance
weather4 A/C
GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo15 A/C
ATLANTIC / CONTINENT / UK
Reconnaissance
weather6 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures7 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
20 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
4 A/C

Communications
radio-relay12 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)