Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

VIII Bomber Command Mission 30: The 1st Bombardment Wing dispatches 73 B-17s against the port area of Lorient, France; 35 aircraft hit the primary target between 1348 and 1351 hours local and drop 86 tons on the target. We claim 7 enemy aircraft destroyed, 5 probably destroyed and 4 damaged; five B-17s are lost and one aircraft is declared damaged beyond repair upon returning to England; human casualties are 1 KIA, 19 WIA and 50 MIA. Nineteen B-17s hit the secondary target, the U-Boat base at Brest at 1413 hours; they drop 45.25 tons of bombs on the target and claim one enemy aircraft damaged; no B-17s are lost and only two are WIA.

The 2d Bombardment Wing dispatches 17 B-24s on a diversionary raid.

Four Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly uneventful ship protection patrols.

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

Mission Reports

Notes: VIII BC 30
303BG Mission Report - Target: Lorient Port Area & Brest U-boat Pens, France. Crews Dispatched: 21 (358BS - 5, 359th - 5, 360th - 5, 427th - 6). Crews Lost: O'Connor, Haas, Robey, Reber, Sanderson Crewmembers Lost: S/Sgt. B.L. Staner, S/Sgt. J.L. Markiewicz Length of Mission: 5 hours, 43 minutes. Bomb Load:2-SQ-5 x 1000 lbs, 2-SQ-10 x 500 lbs Bombing Altitude: 23,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 26,817 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 3 Destroyed, 5 Probables, 3 Damaged.
Col. Robinson led the 303rd BG(H) attack. Twenty-one B-17s took off. One aircraft aborted the mission: #41-24605 Knockout Dropper, 359BS (1Lt Eyster). Both waist guns failed to fire, the tail gun would not fire after test, excessive window frosting was experienced and the prop pitch had control problems. #41-24569, Memphis Tot, 427BS (Capt. Cole), experienced severe aircraft damage, the radio went out, and the bombs were jettisoned when the bombardier determined that they wouldn't drop near the target.
Intense heavy flak was encountered. About forty-five enemy fighters were seen with twenty-five attacks. Gunners claimed nine destroyed, five probables, and three damaged. Thirteen Group aircraft bombed the primary target at Lorient. One Group aircraft, #41-24587, Bad Check, 427BS (Capt. Southworth), dropped its bombs near Brest. Twelve of the aircraft returned to Molesworth. Several had one engine feathered. One aircraft had two engines out and feathered. Five were damaged by flak and enemy aircraft, three extensively. Four aircraft landed at other fields. Five aircraft were lost over the target. The losses were partly caused by the formation breaking up over the target when another Group was bombing over the 303rd BG(H) B-17s. More info on this mission at the 303BG website
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306th Bomb Group Mission Report
TARGET
The port area of Lorient, France

INFORMATION IN DETAIL
17 A/C took off. 3 A/C returned early. Propeller pitch problem (1); ice on windshield (1); oxygen system failure (1)

RESULTS OF BOMBING
Bombed at 1352, 25000 ft
Bursts seen on target and nearby although some bombs hit short in water.

FLAK
Flak over target intense and accurate on preceding group but was moderate and scattered for us.

ENCOUNTERS AND CLAIMS
Approx 40 attacks from 25 E/A
Several crews reported that E/A followed formation for distance of Channel, apparently trying to look like fighter escort

Claims:
2-0-0

WOUNDS, CASUALTIES
1 B-17 seen going down under control in target area. 1 chute seen
1 B-17 observed going down in flames in Channel. 10 chutes seen.
1 B-17 seen between Lorient and Brest going down under controll. 4 chutes seen
Several crews saw B-17 from another group with 2 smoking engines make a forced landing near French coast.
Several crews saw 3 B-17s go down over target area.
Weaver crewman burnt on right side due to electric suit being on fire.

NOTES
Crews reported good fighter cover
1 Crew reported being fired upon by friendly batteries near English coast.
Holt crew reported flak holes in co-pilot windshield; ball turret gun out.
Parker reported near collision with another A/C over England on way out.
Crew reported elevator cable and bomb bay doors frozen.
Pilot reported new nose gun on ship scared hell out of FWs
Pilot noted rendezvous far too delayed for gas load. Flew around for three hours before getting underway.
Tail gunner report formation too flat for shooting action: obstructed clear action.
Leaking hydraulic fluid coated ball turret obscured vision of gunner.

source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Piloted by Lt. Giauque, one ship of 323rd squadron took part in mission against submarine installations at Lorient, France. However, ship did not complete mission, becoming lost from formation in overcast. T/Sgt. Jones was hospitalized with frostbitten hands. Lt. Clinard, Lt. Beiseker and S/Sgt. Taliercio served as crewmembers on ships flown by other squadrons on this mission. It is a set policy for squadrons in this group to cooperate with each other in furnishing crew members when needed. By this means, maximum number of ships in the group are enabled to participate in missions. source: 323rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Lorient, France was target. Take off was 1055 hours with bomb load of 10 x 500. Group sent 13 A/C of which one was of 322nd, Lt. Wm. Beasely in #453. Bombing was good. All ships returned safely. Flack was heavy, intense and accurate. Only one E/A was claimed by our group. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Submarine pens and installations. Estimation 15 to 20 hits in target area. Photos reveal heavy damage to warehouse next to slips. Sgt. James killed, Sgt. Richardson, Sgt Mackenzie, Sgt Kirkpatrick, Lt Fischer & Lt Dean wounded. source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: P-38F (#43-2167).
Organization: 83FS / 78FG of .
Pilot: Lovera, Arthur S.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Prestwick, Scotland Scotland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit Va (#P8095).
Organization: / 6FW of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: McKennon, Pierce W.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Atcham, Shropshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit Vb (#AD187).
Organization: 107OS / 67OG of Membury Berkshire.
Pilot: Martin, Linden K.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Membury, Berkshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Bomber Command Mission 30"
The port area of Lorient, France
January 23, 1943

Notes: VIII BC 30

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
7354131.37-7-50-0-05-2-302-26-5091BG aircraft crash-lands Little Horwood
303BG aircraft crash-lands Lulsgate Bottom
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Mission Targets

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LORIENT, FRANCE
Keroman Naval
U-boat base36 A/Cphotos (3)
BREST, FRANCE
Naval
U-boat base18 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
91BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG (5 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)

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
17170.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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Diversion
17 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)