Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 906: Air attacks in preparation for the lower Rhine River crossing by Allied ground forces continue; 1,331 bombers and 662 fighters attack barracks and military encampments in the Ruhr and airfields in Germany visually; they claim 27-1-12 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 and 3 P-51s are lost:

1. 99 of 114 B-17s hit Ahlhorn Airfield; 13 others hit the marshalling yard at Oldenburg, a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost; 9 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 95 of 99 P-51s.

2. 457 B-17s are sent to hit military camps at Bottrop (36), Dorsten (74), Barningholten (111), Westerholt (116), Feldhausen N (74) and S (39); 3 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 111 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA and 8 WIA. The escort is 95 of 99 P-51s.

3. 297 B-17s are sent to hit military camps at Hinsbeck (67), Geresheim (73), Ratingen (75) and Mulheim (74); 114 B-17s are damaged and 3 airmen are WIA. 48 P-51s escort; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft on the ground. 4. 342 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Kitzingen (168), Giebelstadt (75) and Schwab Hall (82); 8 others hit Wurzburg, the secondary target; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA. The escort is 138 of 153 P-51s; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft in the air and 13-0-7 on the ground.

5. 109 of 113 B-17s hit the Rhein Main Airfield at Frankfurt; 31 B-17s are damaged. Escorting are 56 P-51s.

6. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission.

7. 19 of 22 P-51s escort 19 of 22 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany; they claim 11-1-3 aircraft in the air.

8. 2 B-17s and 31 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

9. 150 of 153 P-51s escort Fifteenth AF bombers from Italy.

Mission 907: 9 of 10 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany.

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: Military Camp, Tactical Target at Buer, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 13, 360th - 4, 427th - 12). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 1 minute. Bomb Load: 12 x 100 lb H.E. M30, 6 x 260 lb M81 Fragmentation. Bombing Altitude: 25,200, 24,000, & 26,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 850 rounds.

The 8th Air Force went after barracks, military encampments and airfields. A military camp near Buer was the first priority (visual) and second priority target (GEE-H). The Verden airfield (visual) was the third priority target, any airfield east of the Rhine River (visual), the fourth, and any military installation in a specified area, the fifth. Major Robert W. Sheets, CO 427BS and LtCol W.C. Sipes flew Scouter aircraft.

Thirty-nine 303rd BG(H) B-17s dropped 469 100-lb. H.E. M30, 220 260-lb. M81 fragmentation, 50

500-lb. M17 incendiary and 10 500-lb. RDX incendiary bombs, and ten leaflet units on the first priority target. There were no clouds in the target area, but there the considerable haze hindered visibility and obscured the results. The lead and low Squadrons bombed visually with poor results. The high Squadron bombed by GEE-H with the lead bombardier making a visual assist at the end of the bomb run. Results could not be observed.

The High Squadron bombed by GEE-H with the Lead Bombardier 2Lt. Andrew T. Reed making a visual assist at the end of the bomb run. Lead pilot and co-pilot, 1Lts. Werner G. Goering and Barton F. Walker, in #44-8238 360BS, had problems about four minutes before bombs away. Severe flak knocked out the pilot's oxygen system, #1 engine and interphone. The C-1 autopilot became inoperative and an electrical fire in the cockpit fuse box filled the cockpit with smoke. The pilots remained calm, maintained good control and completed the bomb run manually. Bombs were dropped on the smokescreen obscured target. Only a few bombs hit the target.

The bombers encountered no enemy air opposition. Although the support received by 95 P-51s was reportedly poor, it appeared that fighters were in the area but could not be seen in the haze. Moderate and accurate flak was only encountered in the target area. Twelve aircraft sustained major battle damage and twelve minor damage. There were no 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/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #149 Rittingen. Command Pilot: SMITH. 38 planes dispatched. 36 planes dropped 105 tons on the primary target and 2 planes failed to bomb. 36 Credit Sorties. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 36 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 294. Primary Target: Camp - Westerholt, Germany

39 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 37. Landed In Allied Territory - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 1
43-38630 Shuff, Charles B - Landed in Allied Territory Flak damage forced landing on continent at B-83 (Knocke/Le Zoute, Belgium); salvaged 3/22/45

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th put up three full Groups for a 45th Combat Wing. 42 a/c took-off between 0928 and 0957 hours with three a/c aborting for mechanical reasons. Lt.Bragg landed at Deopham Green at 1041; Lt. Gregorich returned to base at 1122 and Lt. Hogan returned to base at 1301 hours.

39 a/c returned to base at 1552 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 - This mission was a continuation of the tactical offensive against the airfields suitable for the Luftwaffe to fly tactical work from, and any other German Army installations requested by the Allied Command. On this day the target was a barracks area just across the Rhine at the Ground Forces request. The 401st put up 36 aircraft with the 613th crews making up the Low Squadron of the Group formation. The clear weather enspred a visual and excellent bomb run by the Lead Bombardiers with only one Squadron just failing to get 10~6 of the bombs within the 1,000 ft radius of the assigned aiming point. The only opposition was some meager flak over the target. The following 613th crews flew on this mission: 42-102947 Berneburg, 44-6842 Kelso, 44-6588 Litchfield, 44-6132 Smith, 43-38458 Geren, 42-31730 Levy, 43-39125 May, 44-6313 Young, 43-38160 Jones, 44-8767 McKenny.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - At the request of the Allied Command the 8th A.F. went in to attack Luftwaffe airfields, army barracks and any military camps they could locate. The 401st bombed a barracks just across the Rhine with 36 aircraft visually with good results. They formed the 94th "B" Group of the Wing. The Air Commander was Captain Kalinski. The flak over the target was meager and inaccurate with only one aircraft from the Group receiving minor damage. No enemy aircraft were seen or encountered. The Group "hack", "PARIS EXPRESS" had a slight argument with a contractors truck at about 10 o'clock in the morning and did some damage to its wing tip and aileron. 614th Squadron's loading list was as follows: 42-97395 Stehman, 42-107151 Babcock, 42-102468 Lindsay, 43-38677 Stauffer, 43-38646 Cmeron, 42-97931 Park, 42-97478 Salisbury, 43-38738 Viehman, 42-97780 Gray, 42-39012 James, 42-97322 Holmes.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 1,300 bombers and an escort of 630 fighters attacked barracks, airfields and military bases, all visually, for the loss of one bomber and 3 fighters, the 401st's share in this mighty attack being the 94th IIAIr Group, ably led by Capt. F.A. Kalinski, 1st Lt. M.J. Kochel and CapL R.S. F.ayes~ Only one 401st aircraft suffered minor damage. Briefing was at 0400 hrs with 38 crews attending. The Lead and Low Squadrons were to carry 34 x 100 Ib G.P.'s and the High Squadron 6 x 500 Ib G.P.'s plus 6 x M17 IB's. Take-off time was put back 90 minutes but all ships were airborne by 0956 hrs. Almost1 At the end of the runway IY-W (001), an aircraft I have not been able to identify, came into contact with an English truck and damaged it's left wing tip and aileron. The bombardiers did an excellent job of visual bombing and only one Squadron's bombs fell short of 100% within the 1,000 feet radius of the MPI. Meagre and inaccurate flak was met at the target causing minor damage to one aircraft. The 615th loading list was as follows:- 44-8708 Campbell, 42-31591 Knowles, 44-8812 Kochel, 44-8707 Hayes, 44-8259 Boddin, 44-6947 Speer.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Our seventh consecutive operational mission today with the 44th dispatching 32 aircraft, 8 of them 67th, to fly second Group in the Wing, leading Wing in the Division on a mission to the Schwabisch/Hall Airfield. Captain Benadon, 67th, flew as Command Pilot with Capt. Clements, 506th, leading the Group. The target is located northeast of Stuttgart. Lt. Kleiderer flew Group deputy lead. Bombing was accomplished by squadrons and all three squadrons achieved excellent results, doing a supurb job of it. Enemy resistance was nil; our fighters furnished very good support. All of the 44th ships were accounted for when six of them reported in from landings on the continent. There was no battle damage. However, there was one aircraft that did not get airborne, crashing on take-off. Once again, the fence "took a beating". This A/C was 68th's 42-50427 V "Puritanical Witch". 1st Lt. Blair completed his tour.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Giebelstadt/Wurzburg, Germany - German Airdrome/Industrial Area. A/C Took Off: 33. A/C Bombed Target: 29. A/C Lost: 0source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Kitzingen

Excellent results in almost perfect weather were reported on this mission, to an airfield.

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: Dorsten. Tactical area. A military camp near Dorsten was attacked with fair to good results. Major Newquist was group leader with Lt. Schroeder as his pilot. All three squadrons started Gee-H runs but were able to bomb visually. Flak in the target area which damaged 12 A/C in the high squadron was not accurate for the lead squadron and only damaged two ships. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Dorsten German military camp We furnished the low squadron for this mission to Dorsten, Germany. The results were shown on strike photos to be fair to good results. The flak for the low squadron was reported meager to moderate and generally inaccurate. No battle damage was suffered by the squadron.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#43-37623).
Organization: 413BS / 96BG of Snetterton Heath, Norfolk.
Pilot: Birch, Ronald D.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Snetterton Heath, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-50427).
Organization: 68BS / 44BG of Shipdham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Almoina, Vincent (NMI) Jr.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Shipdham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-51150).
Organization: 579BS / 392BG of Wendling, Norfolk.
Pilot: Grettum, Robert B.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Coltishall/ nr England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-10578).
Organization: 409BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk.
Pilot: Bolton, Howard F.
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 1
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Mosquito XVI (#NS619).
Organization: 654BS / 25BG of Watton, Norfolk.
Pilot: McGriffin, Kenneth (NMI).
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Watton, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#44-33266).
Organization: 310FRS / 31FRG of Burtonwood, Lancashire.
Pilot: Hunter, Donald L.
Notes: killed in crash due to engine failure.
Location: Beauvais.Tille, France France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14552).
Organization: 336FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Baugh, Donald P.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Debden, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14594).
Organization: 436FS / 479FG of Wattisham, Suffolk.
Pilot: McKeown, Arthur J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Wattisham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15315).
Organization: 505FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Rice, John F.
Notes: ground looped on take off accident.
Location: Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13978).
Organization: 351FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Murray, Billy J.
Notes: crash [of unknown type].
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 906"
Attacks on barracks, camps and airfields
March 22, 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
133113013069.00-0-00-0-01-4-25710-11-9392 crashes Horstead
381BG aircraft crashes continent
44BG aircraft crashes take-off
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Mission Targets

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AHLHORN, GERMANY
Airfield
99 A/Cphotos (1)
OLDENBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard13 A/C
BOTTROP, GERMANY
military
camp36 A/C
BARMINGHOLTEN, GERMANY
military
Army HQ111 A/C
DORSTEN, GERMANY
military
camp74 A/C
WESTERHOLT, GERMANY
military
camp116 A/C
FELDHAUSEN, GERMANY
military
camp39 A/C
HINSBECK, GERMANY
military
camp67 A/C
GERRESHEIM, GERMANY
military
camp73 A/C
RATINGEN, GERMANY
military
camp75 A/C
MULHEIM, GERMANY
military
camp74 A/C
KITZINGEN, GERMANY
Airfield
168 A/Cphotos (1)
GIEBELSTADT, GERMANY
Airfield
75 A/Cphotos (5)
SCHWABISCH-HALL, GERMANY
Airfield
82 A/Cphotos (3)
FRANKFURT, GERMANY
Rhein-Main Airfield
109 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout2 A/C

Screen
6 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
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
390BG (1 a/c)
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
6626320.014-1-413-0-83-1-00-0-3339FG crashes take-off
4FG, 355FG, 479FG support 15AF from Italy
352FG, 361FG supported RAF
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Mission Targets

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Escort
601 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout31 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG
355FG
361FG
479FG
3RD AIR DIVISION
55FG
78FG
339FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST AIR DIVISION
2ND AIR DIVISION
355FG (1 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
55FG (2 a/c)
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
52520.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo19 A/C

Chaff
9 A/C

Reconnaissance
monitor1 A/C
CONTINENT / UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C
AZORES/ATLANTIC/UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
2 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures4 A/C
GELNHAUSEN, GERMANY
Airfield
1 A/C

Escort
4 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
482BG
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)