Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 859: 1,232 bombers and 774 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants and a tank factory in Germany; most attacks are made using H2X radar; they claim 110.5-9-60 Luftwaffe aircraft; 14 bombers and 13 P-51s are lost:

1. 450 B-17s are sent to hit an oil plant at Bohlen (60), oil refinery at Rositz (36) and gun batteries at Bohlen (36); 255 hit the secondary target, Chemnitz; targets of opportunity are Penig (12), Saalfeld (13), Jocketa (12), Cologne (1) and other (12); some attacks are made visually; they claim 2-0-1 aircraft; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 52 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 4 WIA and 29 MIA. Escorting are 254 of 272 P-51s; they claim 7.5-1-4 aircraft in the air and 0-0-6 on the ground without loss.

2. 321 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Rothensee oil plant (38) and Buckau tank factory (257) at Magdeburg; 4 others hit a target of opportunity; some attacks are made visually; 3 B-24s are lost and 61 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 28 MIA. The escort is 187 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 5-2-0 aircraft in the air; 2 P-51s are damaged beyond repair.

3. 455 B-17s are sent to hit the oil plant at Ruhland (24); 406 hit the secondary, Dresden; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; they claim 6-3-10 aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost and 53 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 72 MIA. 225 of 249 P-51s escort; they claim 54-3-16 aircraft in the air and 36-0-23 on the ground; 13 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

4. 6 B-24s fly a screening mission. 5. 25 of 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

6. 22 of 23 P-51s escort 14 F-5s and 4 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany without loss.

Mission 860: 11 of 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany without loss and 4 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.

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