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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 877: 1,374 bombers and 670 fighters attack rail targets in Germany by PFF methods; they claim 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost:

1. 376 B-24s are dispatched to hit the rail viaducts at Arnsberg (115) and Bielefeld (114) and the marshalling yard at Paderborn; 10 hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Bielefeld; 1 B-24 is damaged. The escort is 146 of 155 P-51s.

2. 526 B-17s are sent to hit the Sud (109), Erfeld (111) and Eving (153) marshalling yards at Dortmund and the Soest marshalling yard (138); 3 other B-17s fly a scouting mission; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 44 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escorting are 152 of 158 P-51s; 1 is damaged beyond repair.

3. 457 B-17s are sent to hit the Sinsen (89) and Coesfeld (38) rail crossings and the marshalling yards at Schwerte (116) and Hagen (41); 136 hit the secondary, a marshalling yard at Dortmund; 33 others hit Hamm, a target of opportunity; 26 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA. 98 of 100 P-51s escort; 2 P-51s are lost.

4. 12 B-17s fly a screening mission.

5. 144 P-47s and P-51s fly a freelance support mission for the bombers; they claim 2-0-1 aircraft in the air.

6. 72 of 74 P-51s escort Ninth AF bombers on their strikes.

7. 27 of 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

8. 5 P-51s escort 7 F-5s and 4 Spitfires on a photo reconnaissance mission over the Ruhr.

Mission 879: 13 B-24s attack the marshalling yard at Munster during the night without loss.

Mission 880: 12 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night without loss.

The 857th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy) (attached to 1st Air Division) moves from Harrington to Bassingbourne, England with B-24s (the 857th begins flying weather reconnaissance missions today).

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