Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission : 1,207 bombers and 726 fighters are dispatched to make H2X radar attacks on three Berlin rail stations; they claim 6-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17s and 3 P-51s are lost:

1. 377 B-17s are sent to hit the Schlesischer rail station (363); 1 hits Osnabruck, a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost and 21 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 18 MIA. 214 of 244 P-51s escort claiming 4-0-0 aircraft in the air.

2. 446 B-17s set out to hit the Alexanderplatz rail station (418); 4 others hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17s is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 43 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 9 MIA. Escorting are 232 of 240 P-51s; they claim 2-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (2 pilots MIA).

3. 361 B-24s are dispatched to hit the North rail station (285); 37 hit Eberswalde, the secondary target; 4 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 26 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 3 MIA. The escort is 20 P-47s and 190 P-51s.

4. 17 B-17s and 6 B-24s fly screening missions.

5. 31 of 32 P-51 fly a scouting mission.

Mission : During the night, 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany; and 5 B-24s fly a CARPETBAGGER mission.

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

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: Marshalling Yard at Berlin, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 9). Length of Mission: 8 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 4 x 500 lb M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 25,000, 24,500 & 26,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 650 rounds.

The once-dreaded Big "B" (Berlin) again became the target when a Field Order specifying a marshalling yard in Berlin was received. Berlin had lost much of its terrifying aspects as a target and crews even looked forward eagerly to a Berlin mission. The secondary target was also Berlin, if PFF bombing was required. Suggested last resort targets were Brandenburg, Briest and Rathenow, Germany. No aircraft returned early.

Thirty-nine aircraft dropped 228 500-lb. H.E. M43 and 151 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs from 25,000, 24,500 and 26,000 feet by PFF through a 10/10 undercast with tops at 12,000 to 14,000 feet. There were no contrails at flying altitudes. Results were unobserved, but all three PFF navigators believed their results were excellent.

There was no enemy air opposition. The Luftwaffe again distinguished itself by remaining safely on the ground. Flak at the target was moderate to intense and generally inaccurate. No aircraft received battle damage and there were no casualties.

One aircraft failed to return B-17G #44-6316, 360BS. Pilot 2Lt Morton C. Perkins, called the Group leader shortly before reaching the target and stated that he had a gas shortage and engine problems. He did not believe he could make the return journey and was heading for Russian territory. The aircraft made a wheels-up landing at Zolotonosha, Russia, near the Poltava Headquarters of the Eastern Base Command USSAFE. The crew was unhurt and returned to England by Air Transport Command.

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 #131 Berlin. Command Pilot: LeBAILLY. 44 planes dispatched. 41 planes dropped 108 tons on the secondary target and 3 planes failed to bomb. 44 Credit Sorties.

B-17G 43-38403 E/Z Battle damaged at Berlin and crash-landed behind Russian lines at Lodz, Poland. With 7BS. Pilot: Peede. Missing Air Crew Report # 12768. Plane salvaged 1Mar45. Crew finally returned to Mendlesham a month later on March 26, 1945 and Returned to Duty.

source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 34 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 275. Primary Target: Berlin, Germany - Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Berlin, Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 35. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 1. Landed In Allied Territory - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 4
42-107125 Hicks, Gerald Warden - Attempted to takeoff three times but could not, due to failures.
43-38678 Miley, Harold L - Turned back early due to material failure; jettisoned bombs in Channel
43-38823 Barnett, Jack - Landed in Allied Territory MIA; at 1158 one prop was feathered but under control; at 1230 hrs #2 and #4 engines were out; a/c was headed toward Russia; flak, cr Berlin; 9RTD; MACR 12760
43-39060 Connor, John Michael - Landed away Bungay due to fuel shortage
43-39138 Reed, Verlin D - Landed away Seething due to fuel shortage
44-6923 Mackellar, Donald A - Landed away Seething due to fuel shortage

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - Berlin was attacked by more than 1000 heavy bombers of the 8th Air Force. The 388th furnished the lead and high Groups of the 45th B Combat Wing.

23 a/c plus 3 PFF a/c took-off between 0900 and 0920 hours with one a/c aborting for mechanical reasons. Formations were effected and the briefed route was followed to the target. With a 10/ 10th cloud coverage, the target was bombed using PFF methods in Group formation. Bombs were away at 1236 hours from 26,000 feet. 20 minutes before bombs away, Lt. Ramsel in a/c 42-102559, left the formation with # 1 prop feathered and headed back toward the Coast. This plane crashed at Rtrange, France killing all of the crew but the tail-gunner. He was seriously injured and was taken to the 3rd Evacuation Hospital.

Moderate but inaccurate flak was encountered at Berlin. Our a/c returned to base by 1700 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/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 401st furnished a 12 aircraft 94th "C" Group Screening Force formation on February 26th, preceding the bomber stream to Berlin. The Screening Force leader was Captain W. Riegler with Captain E.D. Wood as Lead Navigator. Crews flying were: 43-38791 Curran, 42-31591 Cox, 42-102947 Baker, 44-8648 Tausig (PFF a/c), 44-8449 Riegler (PFF+GH a/c).source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 401st B.G. furnished six aircraft to form the Low Section of the High Squadron of the 94th "B" Group. Three spares also took off for the 94th "A" and "B" Groups. Seven of these aircraft eventually bombed the target on the smoke markers by PFF due to the 10/10th's cloud. The 614th records do state that four Squadron aircraft took part, flying with a composite Group, but the loading list is missing so the crews are not known. The Flying Control logs record the return of IW-F, IW-O and IW-A from the mission. From this day the transfer of all lead and deputy lead crews to 615th Squadron began and was expected to take two weeks to complete.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 20 aircraft briefed at 0500 hrs were to fly as a screening force and to supply the spares for Polebrook and Glatton. All 20 aircraft were airborne by 0841 hrs with 12 of them flying as the 94th "C" Group, carrying 36,000 units of chaff, which were dropped as briefed. Crew: 42-107113 Moran, 42-102468 Berneburg, 43-37551 Maire, 44-6146 Cracraft, 43-38160 Jones.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - There is an uneasy feeling about today's mission. Not really the thought of the flight - guess it's the thought of those same missions back in the old days. The target - Berlin. The Group dispatched 22 aircraft, five of them 67th's, to hit the Pankow M/Y in the Nazi,capitol. The undercast was solid 10/10th all the way in. Capt. Ogden K. Hill, Jr., 506th, led the Group formation and Lt. Kleiderer led the high right squadron which dropped on the leader, bombing on H2X with unobserved results. Flak was meager to moderate and generally inaccurate. Our fighters furnished good support. 67th's Lt. Kyle was abortive, the only 44th ship to return early - due to mechanical reasons. Crews reported that they never expected to attack Berlin with such ease. S/Sgt. Chaffin, tail gunner on Lt. Kleiderer's plane adds.- "We flew our 16th today with the target supposedly a M/Y on the north side of Berlin. There was a heavy overcast, in layers, so the flak was inaccurate. We were the last Group over the target so that's another reason why we didn't get any great amount of flak. There was moderate to intense flak of about 10 to 15 bursts in each barrage but it was way behind us. Our intervalometer was set for 140 feet. We have been back only 3 hours and I just heard the news report about the raid. It seems peculiar to make the news and then come back and hear about what you've just done." 1st. Lt. Lloyd completed tour.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Berlin, Germany - North Rail Station. A/C Took Off: 33. A/C Bombed Target: 31. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Berlin

The group led a large force as 3,000 tons were dropped on the German capital with unobserved results.

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 / 322nd BS Mission Report - Primary Target: Berlin Schlesischer Station. The Schlesischer R/R Station in Berlin was bombed with H2X equipment with unobserved results but plotting of mickey scope photos indicates very good results. The 322nd furnished the low squadron with Capt. Goodrich leading. The overcast plus radar countermeasures resulted in very inaccurate over the target with no damage at all to this squadron and only one A/C in the entire group received minor damage. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Railway station in Eastern section of Berlin. Major Klette and Capt. Brubaker lead the second attack of the month by this group on the Reich capital, Berlin. Bombing was done by H2X methods with unobserved results. A plot made from scope photos showed bombs to have fallen near assigned M.P.I.'s. Moderate and inaccurate flak was encountered over target.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 26th of February we dispatched 12 A/C and 13 crews to attack the Schlesischer RR Station in the city of Berlin. This was one of the least damaged areas in Berlin. The target was bombed by means of instruments with unobserved results. The Squadron flew the Low Squadron in the Group formation. The Group flew the 1st "B" Group. AA fire in the target area was moderate, inaccurate. 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-17G (#43-39159).
Organization: 602BS / 398BG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Heathcote, William C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B5 (#43-6785W).
Organization: 503FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Riggs, Gaston N.
Notes: killed in crash due to engine failure.
Location: Heston/ nr England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14402).
Organization: 357FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Hardee, Sellers S.
Notes: killed in crash due to engine failure.
Location: Glandfields Fm, Felstead England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 849"
Attacks on targets in Berlin
February 26, 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
120711352886.20-0-00-0-03-3-908-6-3093BG aircraft crash-lands
491BG aircraft abandoned eastern Germany
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Mission Targets

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BERLIN, GERMANY
Schlesischer Railroad
station363 A/C
BERLIN, GERMANY
Alexanderplatz Railroad
station418 A/C
BERLIN, GERMANY
Nord Railroad
station285 A/C
EBERSWALD, GERMANY
Railroad
chokepoint37 A/C

Screen
17 A/C

Screen
6 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
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
493BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
92BG (1 a/c)
384BG (1 a/c)
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
452BG (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
7266870.04-0-02-0-03-1-00-0-2357FG baled over sea
20FG crashes continent
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Mission Targets

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Escort
656 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout31 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
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
78FG (1 a/c)
357FG (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
40400.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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Chaff
3 A/C

Special Op
3 A/C
CONTINENT / UK
Reconnaissance
weather4 A/C
AZORES/ATLANTIC/UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
19 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures6 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
5th Emergency Rescue Squadron
36th Bomber Squadron
Aircraft Losses

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