Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 74: The two primary targets are the rail industry at Hannover, Germany and the aviation industry at Hamburg, Germany. Both missions are recalled due to weather but the bombers hit three targets:
1. 205 B-17s and 2 YB-40s are dispatched against Hannover; 33 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 32-7-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 are damaged beyond repair and 50 are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 9 WIA and 3 MIA.
2. 125 B-17s are dispatched against Hamburg; 1 hits a convoy and 21 attempt to bomb the Fokker plant at Amsterdam, The Netherlands which is obscured by clouds; the target is missed and 150 civilians are killed; they claim 28-9-33 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 41 are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 3 WIA and 14 MIA.
VIII Air Support Command Mission Number 2: B-26s fly a diversion to the Cayeux, France area.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
The 303rd BG(H) mission was composed of two formations:
MainGroup: 18 aircraft of the 427th (lead), 359th (low) and 358th (high) led by Capt. Billy Southworth in #41-24619 S for Sugar.
Composite Group: 19 aircraft of the 360th BS (lead), four aircraft of Composite Squadron 384th BG(H) and one aircraft each from the 427th and 359th BSs (low) and a composite high Squadron with six 379th BG(H) aircraft and one from the 360th BS led by Maj. Lewis Lyle in #42-29931, Satan's Workshop.
Because of a heavily overcast sky which closed in the entire airbase, 303rd BG(H) aircraft took off 37 minutes late. Approaching the Dutch coast, the main 303rd BG(H) Group found solid 9/10 cloud cover below their 27,000 feet altitude. They continued another 75 miles and called Wing, recommending a return to Base. The recall was approved and the entire Wing was ordered to return home. The aircraft of the 303rd BG(H), flying as the composite Group, failed to rendezvous and finally attached themselves to part of the 103rd Combat Wing. They returned to Base when they received the recall order. Enemy fighters attacked both formations after the turn back and followed them for ten minutes out to sea. Two enemy fighters were destroyed. Flak was meager and inaccurate. There were no casualties or lost aircraft.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 21 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - For the first mission, 20 a/c were airborne by 0626 hours. Col. David was the Group Leader with Major Satterwhite as Deputy Leader. The Group and Wing formation was accomplished and the briefed route was followed with only a slight deviation at the IP. Two Groups were involved, the 388th and the 385th, with the 388th as lead.
Three a/c aborted. Lt. Eccleston in a/c 42-30193, as he had to feather #3 engine due to high oil pressure and temperature; Lt. Cox in a/c 42-5906, turned back at 0740 hours at Great Ashfield with a broken oxygen line; Lt. Pickard in a/c 42-30202, returned at 0745 hours because of poor radio communications. The 21st a/c scheduled, Lt. Bernard, blew a tire on take-off.
Bombing results on the assigned target an Aircraft Factory in Amsterdam were poor. Cloud coverage was 7/10th in the target area which made it difficult to pick up the target. Bombing was from 22,000 feet and the bombs landed in a congested business center. Of the 17 a/c over the target, 15 dropped all of their bombs. Lt. Swift in a/c 42-5900, dropped only 6 as he had a malfunction in the rack and brought the other 4 back. Lt. Bailey in a/c 42-30207, returned with all of his bombs as he could not identify the target.
No fighter opposition was encountered with only two enemy aircraft seen. Flak was not severe with meager flak at ljmuiden on the route in and moderate flak at the target.All of our a/c returned to base by 1019 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
44BG Mission Report - Every other day is getting to be a habit!. Today 29 of our B-24s departed Benian Main at 0630 hours to attack Naples. Pinpoints are L/10 Map #3-108 NA. Twenty-seven aircraft reached the target at 1137 hours and dropped 324 x 500 lb bombs fused instantaneous nose and 45 second tail from 25,000 feet. There were heavy concentrations of hits at L/10, some at J112 and M/13. Weather was good, A/A heavy intensity both aimed and barrage types and fairly accurate. Several of our aircraft sustained damages plus our A/C #42-63763 F "Lady Fifinilla" piloted by 1st Lt. Curtis S. Griffin was lost. When first observed Lt. Griffin's ship was out of formation, by himself but heading back, but with smoke coming out from the wing at approximately the position of #4 engine. There were two fighters coming in on this ship - one at about 2 o'clock high, and one at 6 o'clock, low. There was one chute that came out by itself. The ship then looked to be out of control and sliding off to the left. The right wing broke off between #3 & #4 engines. At the same time five other chutes came out. The last seen of the ship it was headed down towards a bunch of white clouds and it appeared that it might still have been partially under control, and the next thing seen was a large flash. Approximately 20 to 25 MC 202s, Me 109s, Me 11Ds and JU 88s attacked strongly using machine guns and aerial bombing. Capt. Cameron reported being subjected to three or four aerial bombs with the nearest being about 300 yards astern. The bomb was described as one large single burst, followed immediately by a number of small bursts. His ship also was subjected to many fighter attacks, using approximately 3200 rounds to repel them. Three MC 202s, one Me 109 and one Me 110 were claimed destroyed by his gunners. Lt. Reinhart claimed 1 JU 88 destroyed and one Me 110 damaged. Fred Jones claimed he finished off the damaged Me 110. Carpenter encountered mechanical trouble short of target so bombed a railway bridge and returned to base. Capt. Kolliner expended over 2000 rounds to desroy one Re 2001 and one Me 109 as well as damaging one Re 2001. Although two witnesses reported seeing no parachutes from Lt. Griffin's plane, Lt. Charles L. Rouser, Bombardier, states that eight men managed to parachute, but one of them, Co-pilot Joseph Potter was shot by the Italian soldiers as he hit the ground. Capt. Griffin and one of the waist gunners (S/Sgt. Gordon Greattinger) did not get out of the plane - probably had been hit. Two of the men were badly hurt while landing - Radio Operator Harrington, who had a broken hip, and another (unknown) who hit his face on the top of a fence post. Rouser adds that while coming down in his parachute, first the wing from the plane and then the plane itself went hurtling past him. Casualty Listing: B-24-D #42-63763 F "Lady Fifinilla" MACR #149 Griffin, Curtis S. 1st Lt. Pilot Kansas City Missouri Officially KIA Potter, Joseph H. 2nd Lt. Cd-pilot Fairhaven, Massaschutes Officially KIA Levinson, Samuel E. 2nd Lt. Navigator Greenville, Kentucky Officially POW Rouser, Charles L. 2nd Lt. Bombardier Elwood City, Penna. Officially POW & Escaped Corcoran, James A. T/Sgt. Engineer Brockton, Mass. Returned to duty Swansorf, Ernest V. S/Sgt. RW Gunner Smolan, Kansas Returned to Military Control Harrington, David G. T/Sgt. Radio Oper. St. Paul, Minnesota Officially reported POW Greattinger, Gordon J. S/Sgt. LW Gunner Caledonia, Wisconsin Determined Dead Nicholls, Robert W. S/Sgt. Hatch Gun Mina, Nevada Returned to duty 28 Oct. 1943 Teraberry, Phillip F. S/Sgt. Tail Turret Malcolm, Iowa Returned to duty 22 Oct. 1943
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Three ships 323rd squadron: Pilots Lieutenants Miles, Bennett & Lethers completed sorties on a mission to Hanover, Germany. Weather was 10/10 over target and bombing was out of the question. Many planes aborted before reaching enemy coast due to poor visibility for rendezvous.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on the synthetic rubber plants of the Continental Guemiwerke A.G. Bomb load: 16 x 250. Bombing altitude: 27,000 ft. Bombing results: Unknown. A. A. Fire: Meager to moderate inaccurate. Fighter opposition: Thirty to forty ME109s, FW190s, a few JU88s and ME110s attacked formation at 1020 hours and left at 1105 hours. Formation was recalled before reaching target. Impossible to locate target of opportunity. Bombs dropped in vicinity of Rhine. Time: Leave base 0856; Arrived base 1215.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Formation recalled before bombs were dropped. High overcast prevented selection of a target of opportunity. One crew reported large column of black smoke coming thru overcast after bombs were dropped in the vicinity of Rheine. Meager to moderate flak reported. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: About 35 E/A composed of FW 190s, Me 109s and some Me 110s attacked our formation, but did not press home these attacks. E/A came in in pairs and three at a time. A/C #763 received heavy E/A attacks causing much damage. Control cables suffered the most damage, and the aircraft was forced to leave the formation about ten miles off the English coast. Pilot gave orders to abandon the ship, and the following men bailed out: Lt. J. P. McAvoy, Lt J. M. Hexum, T/Sgt. J. B. Wenninghoff, S/Sgts. A. Beluschak, D. W. Millard, P. C. Bara, D. L. Hayes, F/O Pitts, the Pilot and Lt A. E. Wieneth, the Copilot, were able to land at a nearby RAF Airdrome.