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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 182. Three aviation industry targets in Germany are hit; fierce opposition estimated at 500 Luftwaffe fighters is encountered and 60 bombers and 5 fighters are lost.

1. 177 B-17s are dispatched to Oschersleben; 139 hit the primary and 20 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 174-32-63 Luftwaffe aircraft; 34 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 83 damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 11 WIA and 349 MIA.

2. 114 B-17s are dispatched to Halberstadt; 52 hit the primary and 55 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 35-11-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 42 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 18 WIA and 81 MIA. 177 P-47s and 44 Ninth Air Force P-51s escort; they claim 29-11-14 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 4 P-47s and 1 P-51 are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 2 MIA. Major James H Howard, a P-51 pilot of the 354th Fighter Group, shot down an Me 110 and then found himself the lone escort for a B-17 group being attacked by 30 Luftwaffe aircraft. For the next 30 minutes, he kept turning into the enemy fighters and firing until only one gun was firing; by this time, he was credited with 2-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft and saved the B-17s. Major Howard was awarded the Medal of Honor.

3. 234 B-17s and 138 B-24s are dispatched to Brunswick; 47 B-17s hit the primary, 114 hit Osnabruck, 25 hit Bielefeld, 22 hit Peine, 10 hit Herford and 1 hit Nienburg; no B-24s hit the primary, 58 hit Meppen, 1 hits Lingen and 7 hit other targets; they claim 19-17-16 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 B-17s and 2 B-24s are lost, 1 each damaged beyond repair and 47 B-17s and 7 B-24s damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 176 MIA. This mission is escorted by 49 P-38s and 322 P-47s; they claim 2-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 2 P-47s are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged; casualties are 1 MIA. Among the PFF aircraft are 4 B-24s, this being the first time B-24s are used in this capacity.

HQ 96th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) is activated at Horsham St Faith, England.

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