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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 252: The primary target is the ball bearing plant at Erkner, a suburb of Berlin; enemy opposition is fierce and 37 bombers and 16 fighters are lost; 320 of 414 B-17s and 150 of 209 B-24s dispatched hit the primary; 36 B-17s hit Wildau and targets of opportunity; 33 B-24s hit Berlin and targets of opportunity; the bombers claim 63-17-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 28 B-17s and 9 B-24s are lost, 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; casualties are 4 KIA, 14 WIA and 364 MIA. Escort is provided by 104 P-38s, 613 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 174 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; claims/losses are:

1. P-38s claim 9-2-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-38s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 4 MIA.

2. P-47s claim 49-6-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 P-47s are lost, 13 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 2 WIA and 10 MIA.

3. P-51s claim 29-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 4 MIA. An additional 8-4-7 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed on the ground.

786th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 466th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrives at Attlebridge, England from the US with B-24s; first mission is 22 Mar.

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