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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 857: 1,228 bombers and 488 fighters are dispatched to attack marshalling yards in C and S Germany; 3 plants suspected of manufacturing Me 262 jet engine parts could not be attack due to clouds; most attacks are made using H2X radar; the fighters claim 12-0-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 P-51s are lost:

1. 452 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Bruchsal (115), Reutlingen (69), Neckarsulm (85), Heilbronn (107) and Gottingen (36); 25 hit Heidelberg, the secondary target; some visual attacks are made; 27 B-17s are damaged. Escorting are 92 of 100 P-51s; 2 are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.

2. 253 of 321 B-24s bomb the Ingolstadt marshalling yard; 62 others hit the secondary target, Augsburg; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair. 181 of 194 P-51s escort claiming 1-0-0 aircraft in the air; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

3. 420 of 449 B-17s hit the marshalling yard at Ulm; 2 others hit a target of opportunity; some attacks are visual; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; 16 airmen are KIA and 2 WIA. The escort is 147 of 152 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 9-0-7 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

4. 6 B-24s fly a screening mission without loss.

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

6. 9 of 10 P-51s escort 8 F-5s on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.

Mission 858: 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,