Mission

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MISSION DETAILS

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 400: 1,178 bombers and 1,353 fighter sorties are flown on communications in France to isolate German forward elements, and airfields are bombed to prevent Luftwaffe support. Cloud conditions prevent 400+ bombers from executing attacks.

1. 640 B-17s are dispatched to La Frilliere (66 bomb), Orleans (36 bomb), Rennes Airfield (30 bomb), Orleans/Les Aubrais marshaling yard (60 bomb), Nantes (25 bomb), La Huchetiere (31 bomb), Tours/La Riche (61 bomb) and Cinq Mars bridge (57 bomb); 18 hit Bruz, 2 hit Rennes and 13 hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 63 damaged; 11 airmen are KIA and 10 MIA.

2. 538 B-24s are dispatched to Pontaubault (67 bomb), Angers/St Laud (24 bomb), Angers (19 bomb), Le Mans/Arnage Airfield (14 bomb), Pontaubault (13 bomb), Nantes (42 bomb) and Cinq Mars bridge (55 bomb); 5 hit Dinon, 1 hits Precey, 1 hits Cinq Mars bridge, 30 hit Grandville Harbor, 19 hit a bridge at Rennes, 9 hit Precey and 26 hit targets of opportunity; an attack on the Melun bridge by an Azon unit is foiled by clouds; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 73 damaged; 17 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 20 MIA. Escort for the bombers is provided by 116 P-51s; they claim 3-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost and 1 is damaged beyond repair. Other fighter-bomber missions are:

1. 381 P-38s, 24 P-47s and 89 P-51s fly sweeps and patrols along the Normandy beachhead and the Channel area; P-47s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost; 1 P-38 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair.

2. 333 P-47s and 526 P-51s fly fighter-bomber missions against communications in NW France; they claim 27-2-4 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 21-0-11 on the ground; 6 P-47s and 11 P-51s are lost; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.

Overall, the fighters fly 1,405 sorties and attack nearly 75 targets; 1 pilot is KIA and 21 MIA during the day.

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