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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 176: Four targets are hit costing 24 bombers and 12 fighters.

1. 119 of 131 B-17s and 96 of 114 B-24s hit the shipyard and industrial area at Kiel, Germany plus 10 aircraft hit targets of opportunity; they claim 41-6-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s and 5 B-24s are lost, 3 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 61 B-17s and 15 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 36 KIA, 5 WIA and 100 MIA. This mission is escorted by 70 P-38s and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 22-1-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 P-38s are lost; casualties are 7 MIA.

2. 112 of 117 B-17s hit the Bordeaux/Merignac Airfield in France; they claim 50-10-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 49 damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 21 WIA and 110 MIA. This mission is escorted by 76 P-47s; they claim 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-47s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 5 MIA.

3. 78 of 79 B-17s hit the Tours Airfield in France; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost and 10 damaged; casualties are 10 MIA. This mission is escorted by 149 P-47s; they claim 3-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; no casualties.

4. 73 of 78 hit targets of opportunity at Neuss, Geilenkirchen, Dusseldorf and Wassenburg, Germany; they claim 2-5-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 22 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 20 MIA.

An Eighth Air Force report concludes that the US daylight strategic bombing program against Germany will be threatened unless steps are taken to reduce the enemy fighter force, which has increased in strength in the war as a result of step-up in production, strengthening of firepower, and transfer of a larger percentage of fighters to the Western Front.

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