Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 872: 1,353 bombers and 326 fighters are dispatched to hit benzol plants, an oil plant and rail targets in Germany using PFF; NO AIRCRAFT ARE LOST AND THERE ARE NO CASUALTIES!

1. 360 B-24s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Betzdorf (70), Siegen (114) and Dillenburg (73); targets of opportunity are Limburg (10) and Frankfurt (10); bombing is by H2X radar; 3 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 99 of 102 P-51s.

2. 526 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Robert Muser (99) and Bruchstrasse (63) benzol plants at Langendreer, the Gneisenau benzol plant at Dortmund (110) and Heddernheim chemical factory at Frankfurt (122); secondary targets are the marshalling yards at Giessen (69) and Frankfurt (18); 13 others hit Wetzlar, a target of opportunity; bombing is with H2X radar; 26 B-17s are damaged. The escort is 95 of 99 P-51s.

3. 458 B-17s are sent to hit the Emil benzol plant at Essen (114), the Mathies Stinnes benzol plant at Bottrop (37), the August Viktoria benzol plant at Huls (111) and the synthetic oil plant at Buer Scholren (75); 109 hit the marshalling yard at Essen, a target of opportunity; bombing is by Micro-H; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair. 93 of 98 P-51s escort.

4. 9 B-17s fly a screening mission.

5. 27 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

Mission 873: 11 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night without loss.

Mission 874: 15 B-24s attack the marshalling yard at Dortmund during the night without loss and 4 of 7 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,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: Benzol Plant at Essen, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 13, 359th - 13, 360th - 13, 427th - 0). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 17 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 2 x 500 lb M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 25,000, 24,000 & 25,700 ft. Ammo Fired: 450 rounds.

Effective today, according to an Eighth Air Force Directive, targets would no longer be referred to as primary, secondary and last resort. New designations will be first, second, third, etc. in order of priority.

The first two priority targets were the Benzol plant at Essen visually (first), or by GEE-H (second). The third and fourth were the marshalling yard at Essen visually (third) and H2X (fourth). One aircraft returned early.

Thirty-eight aircraft dropped 443 500-lb. H.E. M43, 70 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs, and 10 units of leaflets on the second priority target by GEE-H through a solid undercast. In the target area, there were 10/10 low clouds with tops at 6,000 feet and no contrails at bombing altitude. Results could not be observed, but were believed to have been good.

There was no enemy opposition, friendly fighter support by 93 P-51s was good, and only meager flak was observed at the target. There was no battle damage or casualties and all aircraft returned safely to Molesworth.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #137 Dattein. Command Pilot: FANDEL. 44 planes dispatched. 43 planes dropped 125 tons on the primary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 44 Credit Sorties. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 38 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 283. Primary Target: Oil Refinery - Essen, Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 37. Aborted - 1. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 4
44-8679 Baughman, John R - Aborted due to mechanical failure; rtd bombs to base

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - 1400 heavy bombers of the 8th Air Force were dispatched to attack coking plants, benzol plants and railroad centers in the Ruhr and Frankfurt Areas. The 3rd Air Division forces were divided and consisted of two task forces. The 45th Combat Wing was the second wing in Task Force # 1, which went to the Ruhr.

The 388th furnished three Groups which made the 45th B Combat Wing. 38 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 1030 and 1100 hours with one a/c of the high Group aborting for mechanical reasons. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed.

The primary target, which was the Benzol Plant at Langendreer, 4 miles east of Bochum was covered with 10/10 clouds. The lead and low Groups attacked using PFF equipment in Group formation. The high Group had difficulty with the mickey set and decided to attack the secondary target, the marshalling yards at Gliessen. Their bombs were dropped on the smoke bombs of the 96th Bomb Group. Strike photos show that these bombs fell in the western outskirts of Wetzler.

Meager to moderate flak was encountered at the primary target. All a/c returned to base by 1758 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/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The crews and aircraft for the 6th Group of the 94th Wing was put up by the 401st Group and the 613th Squadron furnished the High Squadron of the formation. An oil refinery was the briefed primary target for this operation and was to be bombed by visual methods only. Cloud cover of 10/10th's existed over the primary so the formation proceeded to the No.4 priority target which was the marshalling yards at E~sen. Bombing was done byH2X in Group formation. Results were unobserved. No air or ground opposition was met on the operation, and 'all crews returned to ,base. The 613th crews on this mission were: 43-38607 McKenny, 42-31730 Vermeer, 43-38458 Baker, 43-37706 Cracraft, 44-6588 Scheller, 42-102947 Kelso, 44-6313 Litchfield, 43-38862 Carey, 44-6146 Young, 42-31591 Maharick, 44-6132 May.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The Gee-H aircraft from Nuthampstead, 214, landed at Deenethorpe at 0328 hrs but the morning briefing did not take place until 0800 hrs with take-off at the very late time of 1140 hrs. The 1st and 3rd Air Division went after the benzol plants at various locations throughout Germany on this mission with the primary target for the Group being Bottrop, in the Ruhr Valley. The marshalling yards at Essen was the secondary target and because the Group could not bomb Bottrop visually they went en to bomb Essen by PFF techniques. The only opposition the Group met was five or six bursts of inaccurate flak. The Air Commander for this mission was Lt. Col. D.E. Silver. The 614th Squadron loading list was as follows: 44-821214 Thompson (398th B.G.), 44-8550 Utter, 43-97931 Lindsay, 42-97602 Stauffer, 43-37551 Jordan, 43-38330 Gray, 42-97322 Holmes, 42-97780 Salisbury, 42-97478 Viehman, 43-38738 Richardson, 42-107151 Cameron, 42-97395 1st Stehman.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - A Gee-H aircraft for the mission landed from Nuthampstead at 0328 hrs, Serial No. '214. The briefing for the 39 crews was at 0800 brs with all operational aircraft becoming airborne by 1140 hrs. The primary target was the oil refineries at Bottrop in the Ruhr Valley with the marshalling yards at essen as the PFF secondary, which, i~ the end was bombed in Group formation by PFF. No results were observed. The 401st put up the 94th "C" Group with Lt. Col. D.E. Silver, Capt. F.A. Kalinski and Capt. C.W. utter as the Group and Squadron Commander. The flak, the only opposition, was limited to five or six bursts over the target. T/Sgt. James T. Harper, a top turret gunner, was slightly wounded. The 615th crews were as follows: 43-38941 Wolf, 44-8033 Aschenbach, 42-31891 Boddin, 44-8648 Jennings.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The 44th dispatched 26 aircraft to form two squadrons, one to attack the Betzdorf M/Y, and the other to attack the Siegenmly. 67th's Capt. Benadom flew Command Pilot with Capt. Lavitt in the Groups formation to attack the railway center at Betzdorf. The target was bombed on G-H. The other 44th squadron led by 1st Lt. E.J. Burns, 506th, flew as the high right of the 491st BG. They started a Gee-H run on Siegen M/Y, their Primary, but the Gee-H trace was dim, so the Mickey operator took over for an H2X run. He did not have sufficient time, however, and could not positively identify Frankfort so they attacked the marshalling yards there on H2X, with unobserved results. It was later learned that the target the 491st BG hit was not Siegen, but was Limburg. Flak was nil at Betzdorf and moderate and fairly accurate at Frankfort. Fighter support was excellent and all of our aircraft returned to base safely. The following personnel completed their operational tour: 1st Lts. Harris, Ziegler, DeWitt, Bethel, Bonneau, Abrams; T/Sgts. Sieling, Peek, Coughenour; S/Sgts. Dorrisey, Jedlowski, Favini, Root, Wirth, Williams, Moore and Fredricksen.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Siegen, Germany - Railroad Marshaling Yard. A/C Took Off: 31. A/C Bombed Target: 31. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Betzdorf

18 planes attacked the marshalling yards 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: Hulz Synthetic Rubber Factory. A benzol plant at Huls, the assigned target, was bombed by Gee-H methods with unobserved results, but it is reported that equipment was working perfectly and a good run was made by all three squadrons. Capt. Goodrich flying with Lt. D.S. Smith led the low squadron furnished by the 322nd. No damage from flak to any A/C. Lt. Schone flying A/C #088 brought his bombs back due to a bomb rack malfunction. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Benzol plant near Huls Major Griffin led the Group on a Gee H mission to Huls, Germany. The target at Huls was a Benzol plant. The Gee H bomb run was reported to be a good one and a plot made from scope photos taken by mickey operator show good results.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 8th of March we dispatched 10 A/C and 13 crews to attack a Benzol Plant situated about 3 miles NW of Recklinghausen and about 2 miles SE of the Huls Synthetic Rubber Factory. The No. 3 target was the RR Marshalling Yard at Essen. The primary target was attacked by means of instruments with unobserved results. AA fire was meager, inaccurate. Fighter support was good. All Squadron A/C and crews returned safely.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: AT-6D (#42-85066).
Organization: 22PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Edwards, Ellis B.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: RAF Manston England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 1
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-107184).
Organization: 568BS / 390BG of Framlingham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Hayward, Bernard (NMI).
Notes: taxiing accident fire.
Location: Framlingham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97625).
Organization: 535BS / 381BG of Ridgewell, Essex.
Pilot: Peters, Vincent J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Glatton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38238).
Organization: 358BS / 303BG of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Nester, Harry E.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: Seething/ 1/2mi S Sta 146 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Mosquito XVI (#NS782).
Organization: 653BS / 25BG of Watton, Norfolk.
Pilot: James, Robert W.
Notes: ground looped.
Location: Watton, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14676).
Organization: 862BS / 3SF of Wormingford, Essex.
Pilot: Searby, William T Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Wormingford, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D20 (#44-63173).
Organization: 375FS / 361FG of Chievres, Belgium.
Pilot: Franey, Robert J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Chievres, Belgium Belgium.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51K (#44-11740).
Organization: 84FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Bath, Donald A.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Hill Farm, Tillingham/1mi England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51K5 (#44-11684).
Organization: 504FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Havighurst, Robert G.
Notes: crash landing engine failure.
Location: Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 872"
Synthetic oil plants and rail targets
March 08, 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
135312263770.10-0-00-0-00-1-290-0-0
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Mission Targets

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BETZDORF, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard70 A/C
SIEGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard114 A/Cphotos (1)
DILLENBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard73 A/Cphotos (1)
LIMBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard10 A/Cphotos (2)
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Ost Railroad
marshalling yard10 A/C
LANGENDREER, GERMANY
Zeche Robert Muser Industry
coking plant99 A/C
LANGENDREER, GERMANY
Zeche Bruchstrasse Industry
coking plant63 A/C
DORTMUND, GERMANY
Zeche Gneisenau Industry
coking plant110 A/C
HEDDERNHEIM, GERMANY
Metallgesellschaft AG Industry
chemicals122 A/C
GIESSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard69 A/Cphotos (1)
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard18 A/C
WETZLER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard13 A/C
ESSEN, GERMANY
Emil Industry
oil refinery114 A/C
BOTTROP, GERMANY
Mathias Stinnes Industry
coal mine37 A/Cphotos (1)
GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
Buer Industry
oil refinery75 A/C
HULS, GERMANY
Zeche Auguste Viktoria Industry
oil refinery111 A/Cphotos (3)
ESSEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard109 A/C

Screen
9 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
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
490BG
493BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
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
3263140.00-0-00-0-00-1-00-0-0339FG crash-lands
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Mission Targets

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Escort
287 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout27 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
20FG
359FG
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG
3RD AIR DIVISION
339FG
353FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
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
30300.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo2 A/C

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

Air Sea Rescue
10 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures5 A/C

Communications
Red Stocking1 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
7th Photographic Group (Recon)
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)