Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 889: 1,353 bombers and 833 fighters are dispatched to hit German Army HQ and a marshaling yard at Oranienburg; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 9 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:

1. 308 of 372 B-24s and 276 of 300 B-17s hit the Germany Army HQ at Zossen, near Berlin visually; targets of opportunity for the B-24s are the Gardlingen rail center (31), the rail bridge at Parey (11) and other (3) and for B-17s, the marshaling yard at Stendal (13) and other (3); 1 B-24 is lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 32 B-24s and 20 B-17s are damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 21 MIA. Escorting are 397 P-51s and P-47s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

2. 612 of 675 B-17s attack the marshaling yard at Oranienburg visually; targets of opportunity are Wittenberg (31), Havelberg (12), the marshaling yards at Durstadt (1) and Mellendorf (1), Schmarsau (1) and Dedelstorf Airfield (1) some of which are hit with H2X radar; 8 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 288 damaged; 8 airmen are WIA and 66 MIA. 320 of 352 P-51s escort; 1 is lost.

3. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission without loss.

4. 29 of 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

5. 9 P-51s fly a sweep of the Bonn-Koblenz area.

6. 9 of 12 P-51s escort 24 F-5s and 4 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.

Mission 890: 14 of 16 B-24s bomb the rail station at Munster during the night using PFF methods.

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: German High Command Hdqrs. at Zossen, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 0, 359th - 13, 360th - 13, 427th - 13). Length of Mission: 8 hours, 32 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 4 x 500 lb M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 23,000, 22,800 & 24,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 2,850 rounds.

Forty aircraft, including a 41st CBW Scouter aircraft (#42-31055 Aloha) piloted by LtCol William C. Sipes were dispatched to attack: First Zossen German Army Headquarters. Second Spandau, near Berlin Deutsche Industriewerke A.G. (Visual). Third Spandau Auto Union A.G. (H2X)

Fourth Stendal Railway workshops (visual). Fifth any military objective in a defined area (visual or H2X).

Thirty-eight aircraft in the 303rd BG(H) formation dropped 222 500-lb. H.E. M43 bombs, 148 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs, and ten leaflet units on the first priority target visually. Two runs were made on the target by the lead and high Squadrons after the lead Squadron was cut out on the run by an unidentified Bomb Group. There were no clouds over the target, but smoke and haze hindered target identification. The lead and high Squadron results were poor, but the low Squadron results were good. Dense, persistent contrails were present on the bomb run.

Three German jet aircraft were observed south of the target area, but did not attack Group formations. Flak was only observed at the Minden, Hannover, and Berlin area. Friendly fighter support by 82 P- 51s was good and there was no battle damage or casualties on the returning aircraft.

One aircraft failed to return #43-39220 Smilie Jack (aka Shillelagh), 427BS. It was last seen at 1409 hours. The B-17 landed at Okecie airfield near Warsaw, Poland. All crewmen were unhurt.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #143 Oranienburg. Command Pilot: SMITH. 38 planes dispatched. 37 planes dropped 110 tons on the primary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 37 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 289. Primary Target: Army HQ - Zossen, Germany

43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 1. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 3
42-97986 Reed, Verlin D - due to material failure attacked Target of Opportunity Vechta MY, Ger, w unobserved results
43-38752 Whitesides, John B - Aborted Material failure forced early turn back w. bombs
43-39138 Milligan, George R - Long Delay Fuses

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - Over 1300 a/c from the three Air Divisions took part against the Oranienburg marshalling yards and the Zossen Army Headquarters near Berlin. The 388th furnished three Groups which composed the 45th B Combat Wing.

38 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 1130 and 1229 hours with one spare returning to base. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed. At the primary target, the high Group was over the lead Group and had to hold their bombs. The lead and low Groups attacked the primary target visually in Group formation. Results were unobserved because the bombs had long delay fuses. Bombs were away at 1505 hours from 22,000 feet. The high Group made a run on Wittenburg and bombed at 1528 hours from 22,900 feet.

Moderate accurate flak was encountered at the primary target.

Lt. Fehrman in a/c 44-8594, dropped his bombs on Wittenburg when his # 2 engine ran away and could not be feathered. When the a/c left the formation, two of our fighter escort went down to escort them back. After about two hours trying to make it back they were hit by flak which knocked out # 1 and # 3 engines. The crew bailed out near Munster. The rest of our a/c returned to base and no one was wounded.

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 401st furnished the "B" Group of the 94th Wing formation, and the 613th Squadron put up the Low Squadron in the Group formation. Good weather conditions existed at the target resulting in a visual run and drop on the German Staff Headquarters at Zossen/ Wundsford. This was in the city area of Berlin. However, smoke and haze over the target area prevented visual observations of the results. Later camera evidence showed all the bomb patterns to be short of the assigned MPI's. In spite of the fact that the target was located in the suburban area of Berlin, there was no enemy opposition either from the ground or the air. No crews were lost on this mission. The 613th crews were:42-102947 Berneburg, 44-6146 Cracraft, 43-37706 Litchfield, 44-6132 Smith, 43-38862 McKenny, 44-6842 Maharick, 43-38758 Geren, 42-31730 Levy, 44-6588 Nielson, 43-38160 Jones. source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was an attack by about 600 four-engined bombers on the Headquarters of the German Army at Zossen, near Berlin. The 401st's share in the operation was 38 aircraft under the command of Major Alvah Chapman flying as the 94th "B" Group of the Wing formation. The weather conditions over the target were good so the Group went on a visual run. Unfortunately a combination of haze and the smoke from the bombs of the previous groups combined to blot out the target at the last moment and the photos showed that all three Squadrons had dropped their bombs short of the MPI. The real surprise was the lack of enemy opposition over the German capital. There was very little flak and no enemy aircraft, the flak itself coming from Stendal, and even this was meager and inaccurate. The Squadron loading list was as follows: 42-107151 Cameron, 43-38565 Babcock, 43-38738 Viehman, 42-97551 Salisbury, 42-97478 Fondren, 43-38330 Gray, 44-8646 James, 42-97602 Lindley, 42-102468 Djernes, 42-97931 Ayre, 42-97395 Sorensen.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 1st and 2nd Air Divisions of the 8th Air Force attacked a German Army Headquarters near Berlin on this mission, with the 401st putting up 36 of the 672 four-engined bombers. Briefing for the crews on the mission was at 0636 hrs, each Fortress carrying 2,780 gallons of gas, 6 x 500 Ib G.P.'S plus 4 x M17 IB's. Assembly was at 9,500 feet over the Cottesmore Buncher. There was a hold up for a while as the visibility went to almost zero but at 1040 hrs take-off began. There were still: a couple of hiccups as SC-X taxied off the hardstand and IN-F blew a tyre, but, in the end they were all away and heading for Berlin, the ultimate target. The 401st formed the 94th "B" Group, led by Major A.H. Chapman with Capt. F.E. Campbell and Capt. R.F. Hayes as the other two leaders. At the I.P. the weather was clear and a visual run was began on the assigned MPI but it soon became obvious that this was a mistake. There was terrific ground haze and the bombing of the previous Groups had left the area covered with intense smoke. It resulted in all three Squadrons missing their MPI's.

Some meagre and inaccurate flak was met near Stendal and that proved to be the only opposition the formation met. Seven aircraft received minor battle but none of the crew were wounded and all returned safely to Deenethorpe. Even the dreaded Berlin flak seems to have lost their keeness to do battle on this mission with only two aircraft MIA and 107 suffering minor battle damage out of the 821 over the German capital that day. The following six crews took part in this mission: 44-8550 Seder, 44-8648 Campbell, 44-8033 Hayes, 44-8767 Boddin, 44-8153 Tausig, 43-38077 Hart.

source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The German Military Headquarters at Zossen, Germany was the high priority target for today. Today Lt. Kleiderer led the low left squadron composed of eight aircraft of the 67th, while the 44th sent a total of 33 aircraft to lead the Wing to attack this target. The MPI was obscured by an intense ground haze and bomb smoke. The lead squadron had to change their MPI in order to bomb effectively, and they attacked the target visually with good results. The high right and low left squadrons bombed visually as well, but their main pattern was short and to the right of the ordered MPI. Dense, persistent contrails occurred at the target. Meager and inaccurate flak was found at Stendal on the route out, meager and inaccurate at the target. Our fighters furnished very good support and all aircraft returned to base safdly. No damage was reported. S/Sgt. Chaffin adds: "Zossen is a small town 28 miles south of Berlin. There was no flak. We carried a bomb load of 5 X 1000 lb GP bombs. As the Russians are threatening Berlin, the Germans moved their headquarters to this town." T/Sgts. Cooper and Flynn completed tour.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Zossen, Germany - Germany Army Headquarters. A/C Took Off: 33. A/C Bombed Target: 31. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Zossen

The German General Staff headquarters were bombed, but with poor 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 / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Oranienburg Marshaling yards. On the mission to the M/ds at Oranienburg, Germany our squadron furnished the high squadron. The mission was a visual attack and we had the best results of the Group. Flak at the target was meager to moderate and fairly accurate.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 15 of March we dispatched 12 A/C and crews to attack the Marshalling Yards at Oranienburg. The Lead Squadron bombed by means of instruments with unobserved results. The High and Low Squadrons bombed visually. A/C 061 piloted by 2nd Lt. P. A. Pastras ws forced to abort due to mechanical failure. Our Squadron flew the Low Squadron in the Group formation. The Group furnished the 1st "B" Group. AA fire was meager to moderate, fairly accurate. 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: B-17G (#42-31444).
Organization: 423BS / 306BG of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire.
Pilot: Cannon, Charles N.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Thurleigh, Bedfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38584).
Organization: 336BS / 95BG of Horham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Galbraith, James E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Horham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38603).
Organization: 849BS / 490BG of Eye, Suffolk.
Pilot: Evans, Marion T.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Eye, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-50284).
Organization: 578BS / 392BG of Wendling, Norfolk.
Pilot: Ansbro, Mathew J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Leicester, East England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-50326).
Organization: 715BS / 448BG of Seething, Norfolk.
Pilot: Hahner, Frederick J.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Seething, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47M (#44-21222).
Organization: 63FS / 56FG of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Scherz, Willard C.
Notes: killed crash on take off eng failure.
Location: Boxted/ 2 1/2mi S Sta 150 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14556).
Organization: 375FS / 361FG of Chievres, Belgium.
Pilot: Jentz, Norman E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Chievres, Belgium Belgium.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14811).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Abernathy.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: England .
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-15671).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Hopkins, James H.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15074).
Organization: 503FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Rawls, Dennis B Jr.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D20 (#44-72159).
Organization: 55FS / 20FG of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Nauman, Reginald A.
Notes: crash belly landing out of gas.
Location: Caster/ 1mi S England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 890"
Night Bombing Operation Mar 15/16 1945
March 15, 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
161435.70-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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MUNSTER, GERMANY
Railroad
station14 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
492BG
3RD AIR DIVISION
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
330.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
 asdfasdfasdf
Mission Targets

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ALTENBEKEN GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo3 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
3RD AIR DIVISION
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)