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,