Mission

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MISSION DETAILS

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 59: 123 B-17s are dispatched against the U-boat yards at Kiel, Germany; 103 bomb the target at 1329-1333 hours local; we claim 48-7-21 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 6 B-17s and 28 others are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 7 WIA and 60 MIA. A smaller force, 64 B-17s, is dispatched against the naval yards at Flensburg, Germany; 55 attack the target at 1325-1328 hours local; we claim 12-4-14 Luftwaffe aircraft; 9 B-17s are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 4 WIA. An uneventful diversion is flown by 24 B-17s.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: Deutsch Werft, Kiel A.G. Shipbuilding Yards, Kiel, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 27 (358BS - 8, 359th - 7, 360th - 7, 427th - 5). Crew Members Wounded: 3 crewmen wounded, one serious. Length of Mission: 6 hours, 17 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb H.E. M43 bombs/+Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 23,700 ft & 26,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 80,527 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 10 destroyed, 7 probable, 11 damaged.

The target at Kiel was one of Germany's largest shipbuilding establishments. At one time it specialized in the building of battleships, but during the mission period had devoted all of its time to the production of Germany's deadly U-boats.

Three 359BS(H) B-17s aborted, all due to mechanical problems. The take-off of the Group B-17s was observed by Assistant Secretary of War for Air Robert S. Lovett and BGen. Newton Longfellow, Commanding General VIII Bomber Command. Gen. Longfellow and Mr. Lovett flew in during the morning to make a Base inspection and to see the tactical side of the VIII Air Force operations against Germany. They left soon after take-off to visit other Bases.

Moderate but accurate flak was experienced from the German coast and on into the target. Evasive action was necessary to avoid the bursts. Some battle damage was suffered by Group aircraft.

From 40 to 50 enemy aircraft were seen by 303rd BG(H) crews. The FW-190s, ME- 109s, and ME-110s began their attacks before reaching the German coast. There were approximately eight to ten concentrated attacks, but they stayed with the formation for over two hours. Gunners claimed 10 destroyed, 7 probable, and 11 damaged. All of the aircraft returned safely to Molesworth.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 16 aircraft were sent on this mission.

42-29701 Lt. R. W. Mansfield was shot down by flak. POW 3, KIA 2, MIA 5.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
351BG Mission Report - 13 aircraft were sent on this mission. source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Six of our ships, piloted by Capt. Clancy, Capt. Birdsong, Capt. Giauque, Lt. Silvernail, Lt. C.A. Bennett and Lt. Retchin took part in the mission to Kiel, Germany. Bombing was good as was the diversionary raid on Flensberg. All ships returned safely. source: 323rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on the Deutsche Werke Kiel, A.G., Kiel, Germany. Bomb load: 10 x 500 - Bombing altitude 25,500 - AA Fire Moderate & accurate Enemy Opposition: Encountered from 1311 to 1415 hours. Claims: None Casualties: None. Damage to A/C: A/C #139, #724 and #511 damaged by flak. Time: Leave Base 1005 - Arrive target 132 - Arrive base 1632. Formation led by Col. Wm. M. Gross in A/C 139. A/C712 aborted. A/C 483 crashed into Kiel fiord at 1334 hours, with 3 parachutes out. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Generally good. Many hits in target area and aiming point. Much smoke seen at target. Slight flak from Hosum and Schleswig. Flak ships in Kircher Fohrde. Accurate intense flak in target. Considerable opposition. ME 110, FW 190, ME 210, JU 88 about 35 altogether. Attack started at 1311 at Amrum Island and lasted until 1415 off German coast. Attack from all levels. One JU 88 dropped aerial bombs from above - no damage. source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: AT-6 (#BD136).
Organization: Hq / of London.
Pilot: Lee, Charles D.
Notes: ground looped.
Location: Bovindon, Hertfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-29740).
Organization: 412BS / 95BG of Horham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Eastling, Donald M.
Notes: non battle damage.
Location: Alconbury, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47C (#41-6356).
Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Ellington, Paul M.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: RAF Llanbedr Wales.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit Vb (#W3229).
Organization: 12OS / 67OG of Membury Berkshire.
Pilot: Rusten, Arnold M.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Membury, Berkshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "Fighter Command Fighter Operation 24"
Escort and patrol
May 19, 1943

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
1171170.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0Escort for 379BG aircraft diversion
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Mission Targets

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Escort
117 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG
56FG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
78FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT 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
660.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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Patrol
6 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)