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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 851: 1,107 bombers and 745 fighters are dispatched to hit road and rail communications at Halle and Leipzig using H2X radar; they claim 83-0-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-24s and 2 P-51s are lost:

1. 314 of 351 B-24s hit the marshaling yard at Halle; targets of opportunity are Bitterfeld (21) and other (3); 2 B-24s are lost and 4 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 18 MIA. Escorting are 196 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 45-0-3 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

2. 717 of 756 B-17s hit the rail center at Leipzig; 7 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA. The escort is 453 of 489 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 36-0-16 on the ground without loss.

3. 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

4. 13 P-51s escort 2 F-5s and 2 Spitfires on a photo reconnaissance mission over C and E Germany.

Mission 852: During the night of 27/28 Feb, 23 of 26 B-24s bomb Wilhelmshafen oil storage by PFF without loss and 1 B-17 and 11 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany.

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