Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 931: 1,314 bombers and 898 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields, oil and munitions depots and explosive plants in C and N Germany; all primary targets are bombed visually; they meet 100+ conventional fighters and 50+ jets; the German fighters attack fiercely and in the ensuing air battle down 15 heavy bombers; the AAF claims 104-13-32 aircraft including a few jets:

1. 529 B-17s are sent to hit airfields at Kaltenkirchen (143) and Parchim (134), an oil depot at Buchen (36) and a munitions depot at Gustrow (104); secondary targets hit are the marshalling yards at Neumunster (37) and Schwerin (48); 1 other hit Salzwedel Airfield, a target of opportunity; they claim 26-10-10 aircraft; 14 B-17s are lost and 117 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 117 MIA. Escorting are 317 of 338 P-51s; they claim 31-1-8 aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 340 B-24s are dispatched to hit explosive plants at Krummel (128) and Duneburg (168); 26 others hit the marshalling yard at Neumunster; they claim 14-2-6 aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 44 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 25 MIA. The escort is 252 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 30-0-7 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

3. 442 B-17s are sent to attack airfields at Wesendorf (107) and Kohlenbissen (93) and an oil depot at Hitzacker (115); 92 hit Lundeburg, the secondary; targets of opportunity are Fassberg Airfield (12) and the marshalling yard at Uelzen (13); they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 27 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 3 WIA. 209 of 222 P-51s escort without loss.

4. 3 of 4 B-17s and 29 P-51s fly scouting missions.

5. 23 of 25 P-51s escort 12 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany. The 374th and 376th Fighter Squadrons, 361st Fighter Group, move from Chievres, Belgium to Little Walden, England with P-51s.

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: Marshalling Yard at Hitzacker, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 12, 360th - 8, 427th - 9). Length of Mission: 8 hours, 24 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 15,000, 14,400 & 15,500 feet.

Marshalling yards were again targeted in an attempt to curtail the movement of German troops and supplies. Designated 303rd BG(H) targets were Hitzacker, the first priority, Luneburg, the second, and Fassberg, the third. No aircraft returned early.

Thirty-eight of the 39 dispatched B-17s bombed the first priority target visually. Dropped were 366 500-lb. G.P. bombs and 10 units of leaflets. The lead and low Squadrons hit across from the marshalling yard. The high Squadron hit close to the assigned MPI, but most bombs were short of the target area. Overall results were excellent. One aircraft dropped one 500-lb. G.P. bomb on the Ulren marshalling yards as a target of opportunity. In the target area there were 5/10 to 7/10 low clouds with tops at 6,000 ft. and air-to-ground visibility was 10-15 miles, making it necessary to make several bomb runs on the target.

Moderate anti-aircraft fire was encountered at Laurenburg, Wittenberg and Beinburg. It was extremely accurate for the lead Squadron, fairly accurate for the high Squadron, and inaccurate for the low Squadron. One 359BS crewman was injured.

One B-17 had a pass made at it by a German jet aircraft. The Fortress, knocked out of formation by a flak hit, avoided the enemy jet by diving into clouds. No attacks were made on the Group. The Luftwaffe Sonderkommando Elbe, a special unit of young fighter pilots formed to ram bombers, attacked B-17s of the 3rd AD and B-24s of the 2nd AD. This was the special unit's only known attack against the 8th Air Force and at least eight B-17s and B-24s were lost or suspected lost through the ramming tactics.

Three crews landed on the Continent with crews safe: #43-38763 (No Name), 427BS (Lt. Lonski)

#42-97944 Daddy's Delight, 359BS (Lt. Peterson) #44-6309 Duchess' Granddaughter, 359BS (Lt. Stewart)

Fourteen aircraft, including the three that landed on the Continent, sustained major battle damage and four, minor damage.

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 #159 Gustrow. Command Pilot: BRUNK. 38 planes dispatched. 37 planes dropped 108 tons on the primary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 37 Credit Sorties. 34BG gunners claimed 2 enemy fighters destroyed, 3 probables and 4 damaged. 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
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, the 388th furnished 38 a/c for the 45th Combat Wing and there were no abortions. Our a/c took-off between 0900 and 0928 hours and formations were effected without difficulty.

After bombs away on the return route, Lt. Hickman in a/c 42-97105 was rammed by a Me 109 over Luneburg and the crew bailed out. Lt. Bare in a/c 43-8869 went down on this mission.

36 of our a/c returned to base by 1600 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 / 614BS Mission Report - The primary target for this mission was the airfield at Reinsehlen but it was not visible so the Group went en to bomb the marshalling yards at Luneburg visually, the secondary target. The Group furnished 38 aircraft to form the 94th "C" Group of the Wing with Lt. Col. Eric de Jonckheere as the Air Commander. Bombing on this occasion was from 15,000 feet. It must have proved a very trying morning. The briefing was again early - 0230 hrs - with delay after delay with the take-off time. Finally, 8 hrs and 20 minutes after the briefing, all the aircraft were airborne. It was 1859 hrs when all the aircraft from the mission finally landed at Deenethorpe, and by that time the crews had been on the go for about 17 or 18 hours. The only opposition was some meager flak from two points during the mission but other formations that day met a lot of German fighters with claims of 40-12-17 being made. The 8th Air Force fighters also had a field day with claims of 64-1-15 for the loss of five. The Squadron loading list was as follows: 42-97322 Reinhard, 43-38565 Babcock, 43-38738 Gray, 43-38677 Park, 43-38330 Salisbury, 42-38012 James, 43-38646 Cameron, 42-102393 Scimeca, 42-107151 Lindsay, 42-102468 Howlin, 42-97478 Stehman.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The marshalling yards at Luneburg were bombed visually with a PFF assist and strike photos indicated hits across the marshalling yard which was filled with a considerable amount of rolling stock. The primary target for the Group had been the airfield at Reinschlen but it was not visible so they went on to bomb the secondary target at Luneburg. The briefing for the 38 crews was at 0230 hrs with take-off time at first being 0610 hrs,but times were moved up; at first it was 3 hours, then five minutes and finally another hour with all ships finally becoming airborne at 1047 hrs. The Group furnished the 94th "C" Group of the Combat Wing, led by Lt. Col. E.T. de Jonckheere with the other two leaders from the 615th Squadron - Lt. R.S. Hubbell and Lt. A.D. Aschenbach. The loading list missing from the micro-film. source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Capt. Lavitt led the Groups 22 aircraft, five from the 67th, on a mission today, with dynamite installations at Krummel being the priority #1 target and the railway center at Newmunster being the priority #2 target. While over Krummel, there occurred a rack malfunction in the lead aircraft and the lead squadron went on to bomb the priority #2 target visually. Results were excellent. The high right squadron continued in to attack the priority #1 target, but because of intense bomb smoke on the target, the Aiming Point could not be picked up until just a few seconds before bombs away, and bombs landed short and to the right of the target. Adding to the difficulties was the fact that for the first time in many "moons" our formation was subjected to sporadic enemy fighter attacks. Single engine enemy aircraft made mostly uncoordinated passes and our claims are 3 - 0 - 0. The enemy aircraft consisted of about 8 to 10 ME 262's and 4 or 5 ME. 109's. There were no attacks on the 67th formation, no claims by crew members of our Squadron. Passes were made against the 66th planes, attacking from astern except in one instance where a frontal attack was reported. Attacks were pressed home with enemy aircraft coming in as close as 200 feet, with minor damage being inflicted on three of the 66th aircraft, but none are missing. It was clear at the target and fighter support was excellent. The 66th gunners claimed one ME; 262 and 2 ME 109's as destroyed. All aircraft returned to base safely. One 67th aircraft sustained slight battle damage. Two crews were on local test flights. Sites 1 and 3 inspected - conditions good.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Duneberg, Germany - Industrial Area. A/C Took Off: 33. A/C Bombed Target: 31. A/C Lost: 1*source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Duneburg

32 planes hit an ordnance depot with good results. Explosions and fires were seen.

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: Kohlenbissen Landing Ground. Maj. Close flew as Group Commander with Capt. Schroeder as his pilot. The lead squadron bombed Faseberg A/D with very good results, the bombardier having mistaken this field for Kohlenbissen which was the assigned #1 target. Bombing was accomplished from 15,000 ft. with no enemy opposition. The high and low squadrons bombed the number one target with excellent results. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Kohlenbissen Landing ground The primary target was the A/D at Kohlenbissen. We flew the low squadron for this mission. Due to cloud cover on the bombing run, the lead squadron bombed Fassburg. The high and low squadrons bombed the primary target with good results.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-24J (#42-50855).
Organization: 703BS / 445BG of Tibenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Coppins, William J.
Notes: crash landing.
Location: Acle/ nr England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14142).
Organization: 334FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Jahnke, Jerome E.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Debden, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14250).
Organization: 328FS / 352FG of Chievres, Belgium.
Pilot: McAuliffe, Richard G.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Chartres/A-40d France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D15 (#44-15345).
Organization: 361FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Garneau, Edgar H.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D20NA (#44-63762).
Organization: 27PRS / 7PRG of Denain/Prouvy, France.
Pilot: Farrow, Vern L.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Denain/Prouvy, France France.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13377).
Organization: 505FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Paul, Robert H Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13871).
Organization: 486FS / 352FG of Chievres, Belgium.
Pilot: Stover, Merton J.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Chievres, Belgium Belgium.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 931"
Ordnance depots, marshalling yards and airfields
April 07, 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
131412613451.240-12-170-0-017-1-1888-15-1423 aircraft lost to ramming by German aircraft
467BG aircraft abandoned continent
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Mission Targets

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KALTENKIRCHEN, GERMANY
Airfield
143 A/C
BUCHEN, GERMANY
Military
ordnance depot36 A/C
GUSTROW, GERMANY
Military
ordnance depot104 A/C
PARCHIM, GERMANY
Airfield
134 A/C
NEUMUNSTER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard37 A/Cphotos (1)
SCHWERIN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard48 A/C
KRUMMEL, GERMANY
Industry
explosives128 A/C
GEESTHACHT, GERMANY
Industry
explosives168 A/C
NEUMUNSTER, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard26 A/Cphotos (1)
HITZACKER, GERMANY
Industry
oil storage115 A/C
KOHLENBISSEN, GERMANY
Airfield
93 A/C
WESENDORF, GERMANY
Airfield
107 A/Cphotos (1)
LUNEBURG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard92 A/C
UELZEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard13 A/Cphotos (1)
FASSBERG, GERMANY
Airfield
12 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND AIR DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
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
389BG (2 a/c)
445BG (1 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
100BG (2 a/c)
385BG (1 a/c)
388BG (2 a/c)
390BG (1 a/c)
452BG (4 a/c)
486BG (2 a/c)
490BG (1 a/c)
493BG (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
8988300.064-1-150-0-05-2-00-0-5339FG crash-lands base
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Mission Targets

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Escort
801 A/C

Reconnaissance
scout29 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND AIR DIVISION
4FG
56FG
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 (2 a/c)
3RD AIR DIVISION
55FG (1 a/c)
78FG (1 a/c)
339FG (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
58580.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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GERMANY
Reconnaissance
photo12 A/C
CONTINENT / UK
Reconnaissance
weather5 A/C
ATLANTIC / UK
Reconnaissance
weather4 A/C

Air Sea Rescue
15 A/C

Communications
radio countermeasures4 A/C

Communications
radio-relay18 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST AIR DIVISION
25BG
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)