Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
|VIII Bomber Command Mission 29: The primary targets are the steel and locomotive works and marshaling yard at Lille, France. The 1st Bombardment Wing dispatches 72 B-17s; 64 drop 125 tons of bombs on the targets between 1427 and 1430 hours local. Locomotive construction and repair work is seriously impaired.||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: Lille Fives Company Locomotive Works. Crews Dispatched: 19. (358BS - 4, 359th - 5, 360th - 5, 427th - 5). Lost: One crewman, S/Sgt P.D. Ferguson Length of Mission: 3 hours, 6 minutes. Bomb Load: 5 x 1000 lbs M44 H.E. Demolition bombs Bombing Altitude: 23,000 ft. Ammo Fired:11,667 rounds. |
An early morning briefing was conducted by Maj. Green. Gen. Hansell was in the lead 305th BG(H) Fortress with Col. Curtis LeMay. For the first time, Groups flew the new staggered "Combat Box" in their eighteen aircraft formations. Wings flew in columns of Groups.
The 303rd BG(H) dispatched nineteen B-17s, led by Lt. Col. Marion. One B-17 aborted, #41-24562, Sky Wolf, 358BS-A (Lt. Morales), when the right waist gun and left nose gun couldn't be fired. Eighteen ships attacked the target from 23,000 feet with 45 tons of 1000-lb. M-44 H.E. bombs. Slight to moderate flak was encountered. The Group observed 15-20 FW-190 German fighters, but were only attacked by two. One was destroyed and the other damaged. All aircraft returned home safely, although some had numerous flak holes.
Several crew members complained about the new "Combat Box" formation. The Fortresses were flying much closer than usual. Prop wash was experienced during much of the mission, making flying difficult. Maj. Romig blamed it on the Groups being too close together. 1Lt. Jack Roller called it "damned unhealthy." However, the Group soon learned how to utilize this new innovative formation. More info on this mission at the 303BG website
|source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/|
|306th Bomb Group Mission Report
Steel and locomotive works and marshaling yard at Lille, France 2
INFORMATION IN DETAIL
17 A/C/ took off. 14 bombed; 3 Aborts. Ryan abort due to gas leak in engine; Seelos abort due to crew illness
RESULTS OF BOMBING
Bombing time: 1430; 23500 ft
5 A/C dropped bombs; 3 A/C returned early
Hits observed on targets A and B
ENCOUNTERS AND CLAIMS
12 E/A over target; no encounters
2 A/C lost due to flak although some crews believe there was a collision. 4-5 parachutes seen.
20 men missing
Radioman for Seelos found passed out and turning purple with bad case of the bends.
Wilson crew waist gunner claims to have seen B-17 collision - right wing of one into middle of other.
Lambert crew reported seeing Spaulding right wing cut off Johnson tail section. Lambert tail gunner saw 4 men bail out. Lambert waist gunner saw Spaulding go into slow spin upside down - none seen to bail
Flanigan crew report Spaulding and Johnson collision. Johnson ship broke in two.
Riordan crew reported seeing B-17 explode in air close to ground south of Dunkirk.
Small holes in 2 A/C due to flak
Pilots reported formation problems; suggested more practice
On return, George crew reported seeing 24 Spitfires over Channel
Rebes pilot reported bomb racks failure. Had to salvo bombs.
Parker abort because supercharger failure
Pilot suggest keeping cement mixers away from runway on take-offs
|source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/|
|91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Three ships of 323rd squadron piloted by Capt. Dwyer, Lt. Birdsong and Lt. McCarty participated in bombing mission over storage warehouses and locomotive shops at Lille, France. Bomb load was ten, five hundred general-purpose bombs. Light enemy opposition encountered. Bombing results good. Ships returned safely. Two FW 190s downed by S/Sgt. Olexa.
||source: 323rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/|
Notes: VIII FC
|91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Target was the locomotive and carriage works at Lille, France. Bombs were 10 x 500, 91st Group sent 13 A/C of which 2 were from 322nd Squadron. Take off was 1233 hours. #453, Lt. Wm. Beasley, #483, Lt. Ralph Felton, went over target. Bombing was excellent. E/A were few and one FW 190 was claimed by the group. All safely returned.
||source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/|
Non-Combat Accident Reports
|Aircraft: P-38G (#42-12882). |
Organization: 71FS / 1FG of .
Pilot: Wells, Richard H.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Great Sampford/ 1mi S England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)
Mission "Fighter Command" Notes: VIII FC
Escort for: Bomber Command Mission 29, 2 raids by RAF Bostons against St. Omer; fighter patrol
January 13, 1943
Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
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|2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION|
| 4FG |
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