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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 962: 837 bombers and 890 fighters are dispatched to hit rail targets NNW to SSW of Berlin, Bavaria and Czechoslovakia; they claim 7-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost:

1. 319 B-17s are sent to hit the rail industry at Nauen (82) and marshalling yards at Wustermark (77), Neuruppin (57) and Oranienburg (82); 1 hits Neuruppin Airfield, a target of opportunity; 15 B-17s are damaged and 1 airman WIA. Escorting are 258 of 271 P-51s; 1 is lost.

2. 289 B-17s are dispatched to attack marshalling yards at Brandenburg (137), Seddin (66) and Treuenbrietzen (82); 1 B-17 is lost and 10 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. The escort is 227 of 241 P-51s.

3. 223 B-24s are sent to hit a rail bridge and junction at Zwiesel (56); marshalling yard and rail junction at Muhldorf (53) and the railroad and rail junction at Irrenlohe (55) and Klatovy (54); 1 hits the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Straubing; no losses, damage or casualties. 228 P-47s and P-51s escort.

4. 100 of 108 P-51s fly a freelance fighter sweep for Forces 2 and 3 above; they claim 7-0-4 aircraft in the air.

5. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission.

6. 22 of 25 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

7. 11 P-51s escort 11 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany. During the night of 20/21 Apr, 12 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions to Norway; 2 B-24s are lost.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,