Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 917: 965 B-17s and 390 P-51s are dispatched to hit industrial targets in Berlin and Hannover; 10/10 cloud cover forces the B-17s to bomb using H2X radar; 2 B-17s are lost:
1. 446 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Spandau tank factory (318) and Falkensee armament plant (65) in Berlin; 6 hit Stendal, the secondary; targets of opportunity are Hannover (1) and other (21); 2 B-17s are lost, 5 damaged beyond repair and 133 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 8 WIA and 19 MIA. Escorting are 245 of 272 P-51s.
2. 519 B-17s are sent to hit the Hanomag tank factory at Hannover (34); 431 hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Hannover; targets of opportunity are Minden (10) and other (5); 66 B-17s are damaged; 3 airmen are WIA. 86 of 99 P-51s escort.
3. 8 of 9 P-51s escort 3 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
4. 6 of 10 P-51s fly scouting missions.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
303BG Mission Report - Target: Branden-Burgische Motorenwerke at Berlin/Spandau. Crews Dispatched: 40 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Crews Lost: Lt. Fredrickson - 1 KIA. Crewmembers Lost or Wounded: Lt. Wokersien & Sgt Bovey, KIA: 2 wounded. Length of Mission: 9 hours, 41 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 4 x 500 lb Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 26,500, 25,500, & 27,300 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.
A deep penetration mission to Berlin/Spandau, Germany, to bomb the Branden-Burgische Motorenwerke was the 303rd BG(H) first priority (visual) and second priority (H2X) target. The third priority targets were targets of opportunity at Stendal marshalling yard, Gardelegan Airfield, or other airfields in a designated area. There were no early returns.
Thirty-seven Fortresses dropped 213 500-lb. H.E. M43, 144 500-lb. incendiary bombs, and 10 units of leaflets on the first priority target in Berlin. The target was covered by a 10/10 undercast and adverse weather conditions with layered clouds were encountered from Belgium back to Molesworth on the return route. There was no enemy air opposition and friendly fighter support by 245 P-51s was good. Flak was meager and accurate at the target and at Brandenburg and Stendal. Six aircraft had major battle damage and 13, minor damage.
The bad weather on the return route, together with gas shortages, caused nine aircraft to land on the Continent and eight to land at other airdromes or to crash-land in the UK. Two aircraft crash-landed in England.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #153 Hannover, Minden. Command Pilot: FANDEL. 38 planes dispatched. 36 planes were airbourne. 31 planes dropped 89.75 tons on the secondary target and 5 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 - 37 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 299. Weather prevented attack on the primary target so the secondary target was attacked using PFF. This palnt procuded mchine tools, small arms gun components, and control apparatus for V-1 and V-2 weapons. Primary Target: Berlin/Spandau Motor Transport Works - Spandau (Berlin), Germany. Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Deutsche Industrie Werke - Spandau, Germany
43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 35. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 2. Returned To Base - 1. Landed In Allied Territory - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 2 43-38647 Ferrell, Oran D - Landed in Allied Territory Landed away at A-72 (Perrone, France) due to fuel shortage. Returned to base later. 44-6882 Spangler, George K - Aborted due to engine failure (said to have "exploded"); bomb load jettisoned at "Point B." 44-8679 Cathey, George Warlick - Landed in Allied Territory Landed away at A-72 (Perrone, France) due to fuel shortage. Returned to base later.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished three Groups for the 45th Combat Wing. Our 38 a/c took-off between 0700 and 0730 hours and effected formations without difficulty. The lead a/c of the high Group aborted and returned to base at 0940 hours. Lt. Snow in a/c 44-8301, landed at Bury St Edmunds before returning to our base. Our other 36 a/c returned to base by 1402 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - With bad weather setting in it was the 28th March before another mission could be run. Flying as the 94th "C" Group the 401st put up the usual 36 aircraft, the 613th Squadron putting up the Low Squadron for the Group formation. The assigned target was an armament and motor works at Spandau, Berlin and although the weather was clear right up to the target PFF bombing was necessary. No observations were possible although subsequent plotting did indicate that the results might be good. Moderate flak was met at Kassel and meager flak over the target and this caused damage to 20 of the Group's aircraft.One 614th -aircraft was lost and another crew bailed out from their burning aircraft over France. The 613th crews were: 42-31591 Maharick, 43-38160 Litchfield, 44-6313 Bradley, 44-6125 May, 44-3767 McKenny, 42-31983 Cracraft, 44-6132 Smith, 43-38458 Shepard, 44-6842 Kelso, 44-6588 Nielson.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 614th furnished the Lead Squadron which bombed the assigned target by PFF. Flak was moderate and Lt. J.M. McCullough's plane was hit over the target. His left wing was on fire but it did not seem to be serious as he flew with the formation for 30 minutes. Then, suddenly, a big puff of smoke came out and the aircraft went into a flat spin down through the clouds about 5,000 feet below the formation. No chutes were seen. The briefing was at 0400 hrs that Wednesday morning with 38 aircraft forming the 94th "C" Group of the Wing formation. Each aircraft carried six 500 lb GPs and four M-17's with a gas load of 2,980 gallons. The Air Commander on this last trip to Berlin city was Major D.G. McCree. The weather Ship that morning was IN-H with Lt. Col. "Hi Ho" Silver at the controls. It took off at 0500 hrs and returned to Deenethorpe at 1048 hrs. The assigned target in Berlin was the armament and motor works at Spandau and although the weather was clear right up to the target PFF bombing was carried out. There was moderate flak at Kassel and meager flak ever the target causing battle damage to 20 of the Group's aircraft, the loss of another and caused one crew to bailout over the continent. This was SC-J, "LADY LUCK". Also, IW-Z landed at A-64 on the continent. The 614th Squadron loading list was as follows: 42-102077 Scimeca, 43-38565 Holmes, 42-107151 Lindsay, 43-38646 Cameron, 43-38330 Salisbury, 42-97780 Gray, 42-102468 Viehman, 42-97602 Park, 43-38677 Sorensen, 42-97551 McCullough, 42-97931 Ayre.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The Group were briefed for an operational mission to Berlin at 0400 hrs with 38 crews attending. The weather, IN-H, piloted by Lt. Col. D.E. Silver, was airborne at 0500 hrs with all other aircraft on their way by 0641 hrs. The assigned target was an armament factory at Spandau, Berlin and was bombed by PFF methods. The Group flew as the 94th "A" Group, led by Major D.G. McCree with Lt. A.K. Wolf and Capt. R.S. Hayes as the other two leaders. Moderate flak was observed at Kassel and meagre flak was met at the target. The target flak varied from inaccurate to accurate causing damage to 20 of the returning aircraft. One crew member was also wounded by the flak. The aircraft piloted by Lt. J.\v. McCullough, 1\'I-Y, Serial No. 43-37551, was hit by flak over the target. When last seen the left wi~S was smoking and the aircraft remained with the formation until it went into a spin down through the clouds. The crews flying this mission were: 44-8648 Wolf, 44-6947 Knowles, 43-38148 Bennett, 44-8153 Spuhler, 42-97947 Hayes.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Spandau aero engine factory and Stendal marshaling yards. Our squadron flew in the high position for the mission. The group was a little North of course on the way into the target, and the high squadron received some accurate flak and caused damage to a few A/C. Being unable to continue on route to the briefed #2 target, the squadron leader and six other A/C from the squadron attacked Stendal. The remaining A/C flew with the group formation and attacked Spandau.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 28th of March we dispatched 12 A/C and crews to attack an Aero Engine Factory at Spandau, eight miles west of Berlin. Number 3 target was the Marshalling Yards at Stendal. The Lead and Low Squadrons bombed the Aero Engine Factory at Spandau by means of instruments with unobserved results. The High Squadron bombed the Stendal Marshalling Yards by means of instruments with unobserved results. Our Squadron flew the Low Squadron in the Group formation. The Group furnished the 1st "A" Group. AA fire at Stendal was meager, inaccurate, attempted tracking. AA fire at Spandau was moderate, fairly accurate and tracking. Fighter support was good.