Mission

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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,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: City Center, Kiel, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 23 (only 21 took off) (358BS - 5, 359th - 5, 360th - 7, 427th - 6). Crews Lost: 1 crew, Lt. B.G. Burkitt, 10 crewmen KIA. Length of Mission: 7 hours, 35 minutes. Bomb Load: 9 x 500 lb G.P. bombs, 1 B-17 w/ M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitude: 24,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 6,715 rounds.

Eighteen aircraft in main 303rd BG(H) formation of got off the ground with a bad start. #42-31441 360BS-G collided with #42-37887 379BG during the climb after take-off to the assembly area. Take-off was made in semi-darkness and visibility was very poor. Aldis tail lamps and flares were used in the effort to identify aircraft. Eight men in the 379BG aircraft died, as did all ten men in the 303rd BG(H) B-17 aircraft, which crashed near Catworth. The brand new B-17G was on its first mission.

Four aircraft in the main formation aborted the mission. All five of the 358BS aircraft, dispatched to fly as the high Squadron of the 379/303 composite Bomb Group, aborted. Four could not find the 379BG formation and one took off late and could not find the formation. The remaining twelve B-17s of the main 303rd BG(H) formation reached the target and found 3/10 cloud cover and a highly effective smoke screen. The Wing commander gave the signal for visual bombing. Eight aircraft bombed the primary target with good results. Three dropped bombs in the vicinity of Meldorf with unknown results. They were out of formation. One aircraft carrying leaflets (Nickels) failed to drop them.

Moderate and accurate flak was reported over the target. Meager and inaccurate flak was seen along the route. From eight to fifty enemy aircraft were seen by the Group, but no attacks were pressed home. Good P-38 and P-51 fighter escort was provided. All aircraft, except for the Burkitt crew, returned safely. Six had minor flak damage.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 15 aircraft were sent on this mission. source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 50. Primary Target: Port Area - Kiel, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

19 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 18. Aborted - 1
42-37848 MacPhail, Philip R - Aborted HSqLd; turned back at 1120 hrs b/c #2 supercharger was running away; jettisoned bombs in North Sea

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, the 388th put up one full Group plus 13 aircraft for a Composite Group. The 388th "A" Group led the 45th "A" Combat Wing which led the 3rd Air Division. The Composite Group flew as low Group.

20 A/C of the "A" Group took off between 0704 and 0818 hours with one a/c aborting because of mechanical reason. 13 A/C of the Composite Group took-off between 0651 and 0807 hours. The formations were effected without difficulty and the Wing proceeded to the target as briefed. Bombs were away at 1038 hours from 21,000 feet. Strike photos from the Composite Group show that the bombs hit the briefed MPI, in a tight pattern.

Flak was encountered in the target area which was accurate and moderate in intensity.

Bold, vicious, daring fighter attacks were encountered in the Bordeaux area and again in the Brest Peninsula. In the target area, approximately 12-15 FW 190's and 12 ME 109's attacked shortly after bombs away, and continued their attacks for twenty minutes. These attacks were mainly at the nose and passing under the formation. Attacks again occurred between 1214-1242 hours when the formation was over the center of the Brest Peninsula. There were 8 to 12 FW 190's, some with yellow noses and some with white. These a /c centered their attacks on straggling B-17s, after which they went for the formations. Most of these came in from the tail position. This group of enemy a/c were so persistent that the attacks did not cease until they were all shot down.

In these attacks, "Big Red" piloted by Colonel David and Captain Bailey, was hit by a 20mm shell and bullets from fighters on a head-on attack. The pilot was wounded and the cockpit was in flames. Col. David put the plane in a dive and the fire went out. At this time they were down to 10,000 feet. With Col. David alone in the cockpit, enemy a/c again attacked the plane. The gunners knocked down four of these and drove off the rest. In the end, with Col. David in the pilot's seat and the bombardier, Captain Bartuska as copilot, they were able to return to the home field. Nine members of the crew were treated for injuries.

30 of our a/c returned to base by 1512 hours. Lt. Davis in a/ c #132, landed at RAF Tarrant Rushton. His bombardier, Lt. Hamilton was injured in the right hand by flak. Lt. Chaklos, bombardier on Lt. Ingebritsen crew, was killed when hit by flak over the target. 16 other crew members were wounded by flak or fighters.

Lt. Kempton in a/c 42-5899 "Sioux City Queen", left the formation with one engine feathered and was attacked by fighters. The tail was shot-up by the fighters and the crew bailed out. As many as seven chutes were seen. Lt. LaForce lost one leg and Lt. Plytynski lost both legs while going over the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain. They were both returned to the states.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - Seventeen aircraft of the Group, led by Lt. Col. H.E. Rogner, were Tours, France, to bomb an enemy airdrome on 5th January.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - Briefing was at 0500 hrs on this Wednesday morning with 18 crews. The Group was led by Lt. Col. H.E. Rogner and 14 aircraft, with 64 aircraft from three other 1st Air Division Groups, attacked the FW-190 pilot training base at Tours, France. The loading list for the Squadron was as follows: 42-37809 Rumsey, 42-37833 Kaminski, 42-31069 Lewis, 42-39904 Wysocki.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Smith, Tanner, Tannerhill.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - We again participated in the bombing of Kiel. 4 of the 67th A/C departed this base at 0705 hours, with one abortive. 3 planes reached objective and returned to this base at 1500 hours. The bombs were dropped visually this time with good results, after having made two runs to insure a good pattern of bombs on the target. Both flak and fighter action was slight on our formation, being directed against other Groups. But once again coldness hampered the entire operations, but the pre-dawn assembling was quickly and successfully effected. 1st Lt. Nathanson was assigned to HQ. 44th BG.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Kiel, Germany - Port Area, Docks and Industrial Area. A/C Took Off: 23. A/C Bombed Target: 17. A/C Lost: 1source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Kiel

15 planes bombed the harbor at Kiel, along with the shipbuilding yards, with good results. Incendiaries burst in the northeast section of the harbor, north of the naval base, and on the south side of the entrance to Kiel canal. More fell within the Deutshe Werk shipbuilding yards. Smoke was seen from 100 miles away. S/Sgt Edward Partridge received credit for shooting down a JU 88.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Between the hours 0701 and 0728, 5 January 1944, 18 A/C of the 447th Bombardment Group (H) took off. Three A/C of the 447th Group, had to leave the formation over England, and were not dispatched. source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Eight ships took off. This time the target was Tours, France. Nine were scheduled but Ship #372 did not succeed in taking off due to mechanical failure. The fighter escort was again on the job and prevented the enemy fighters from coming within close range 323rd guns. Damage by enemy anti-aircraft guns was slight.

Some 323rd gunners witnessed or experienced the effects of flak hitting their ships. It is not a pleasant sound, but so long as the flak fails to strike the men, it is not taken very seriously. These eight ships returned safely. Bombs were dropped in the target area so the mission was considered as "completed" and each man added one more to hit total toward the one they all look forward to - twenty-five. The men on the ground, not flying, had physical training and attended a class in Aircraft Recognition.

source: 323rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Tours, France. Bomb Load: 16 x 300. Bombing Altitude: 19,800 - 21,000. Bombing Results: Generally good. Time: Take off 0852. Target:: 1144. Ar. Base: 1420. A.A. Fire: Meager, inaccurate. Damage to A/C: None. Fighter Opposition: Weak. Casualties: None source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: - Parcay - Meslay Airdrome - Bombing results were generally described as good. Concentration of bombs was observed covering the administration buildings and dispersal area to South. Hangers were enveloped in bomb bursts. Huge column of black smoke on NW corner. Three to eight E/A engaged our formation. Flak was meager and inaccurate. Three 323rd aircraft sustained slight damage. Fighter support excellent. Today our Group finished one-hundred operational missions against the enemy and became the first group in the European Theater of Operations to reach the century mark.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Generally described as good. Target area covered with bomb bursts and a high column of black smoke observed. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: From 3 to 8 E/F engaged our formations. One Ju 88, one yellow-nosed Me 109 and FW 190's comprised the opposition. Meager, inaccurate AA fire experienced at target and from the vicinity of Sille and on the coast. A pair of rockets were observed coming up from the ground between 4736N-0021E and 4742N-0004E. They burst with black puffs but trailed white streaks in flight. They were inaccurate for us but believed to have hit an aircraft from the low group. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Good support was given by P-47's to the target and part of the way back; while Spitfires escorted from a point near the coast to mid channel.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
96th Bomb Group Mission Report link source: Marshall Stelzreide Wartime Story http://www.stelzriede.com/warstory.htm

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17F (#42-29747).
Organization: 527BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Killion, Dale S.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Catsworth England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-30580).
Organization: 326BS / 92BG of Podington, Bedforshire.
Pilot: Lock, William B.
Notes: ground looped.
Location: Podington, Bedforshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-30767).
Organization: 367BS / 306BG of Thurleigh, Bedfordshire.
Pilot: Elliot, Ian R.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Sharnbrook England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-3268).
Organization: 413BS / 96BG of Snetterton Heath, Norfolk.
Pilot: Marshall, James M.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Snetterton Heath/1mi W England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31377).
Organization: 327BS / 92BG of Podington, Bedforshire.
Pilot: Wegner, Frederick P.
Notes: crashed on take off.
Location: Podington, Bedforshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-3344).
Organization: 550BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Morris, William H.
Notes: killed in crashed on take off.
Location: Great Ashfield/ 1 1/2mi f England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-3441).
Organization: 360BS / 303BG of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Burkitt, Benjamin G.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Catsworth/ 2mi SW England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-37887).
Organization: 526BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Larsen, Wayne P.
Notes: killed in crashed on take off.
Location: Covington England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29116*).
Organization: 700BS / 445BG of Tibenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Owen, Alvin M.
Notes: bail out.
Location: Hardwick/ 2mi NW England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-64451).
Organization: 712BS / 448BG of Seething, Norfolk.
Pilot: Campbell, Robert L.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Seething, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47C (#41-6354).
Organization: 336FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Raphael, Jack L.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Debden, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47C (#41-6359).
Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: .
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Debden, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-22538).
Organization: 357FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Butcher, Chester J.
Notes: forced landing.
Location: Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission Stats (Targets, Aircraft, Casualties, etc.)

Mission "8th AF Bomber Command Mission 176"
Marshalling yards at Neuss, Germany
January 05, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
 
Aircraft
Sent
Aircraft
Effective
Bomb TonnageEnemy
Aircraft
X-P-D
Enemy
Aircraft
(on gnd)
X-P-D
USAAF
Aircraft
X-E-D
USAAF
Personnel
KIA-WIA-MIA
Notes
7873194.02-5-20-0-02-1-220-2-20100BG aircraft crash-lands Tarrant Rushron
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Mission Targets

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NEUSS, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard73 A/Cphotos (1)
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
100BG
390BG
95BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
95BG (2 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)