Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 259: 185 of 187 B-17s and 145 of 157 B-24s hit the industrial area at Brunswick, Germany and targets of opportunity; they claim 0-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are a lost and 31 B-17s and 15 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 4 WIA and 30 MIA. Escort is provided by 121 P-38s and 467 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s; 4 P-38s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 pilots MIA; P-47s claim 39-3-13 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground, 1 P-47 is lost and 5 damaged, casualties are 1 MIA.

Mission 260: 8 P-47s are dispatched, 2 with 2x1,000 pound (454 kg) bombs, against an enemy barge in the Zuider Zee, The Netherlands to test the feasibility of this type of operation; near misses are scored.

Mission 261: 7 of 7 B-17s drop 350 bundles of leaflets on Rennes, Lille, Reims, Le Mans, Paris and Chartres, France at 2115-2152 hours without loss.

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

Mission Reports

German damage report (Brunswick) - Major damage to the west edge of town. MIAG almost completely destroyed. Regional Hospital, Luther works, rye mill, and Hugo Broitzemer Luther Street. Ferriere damage: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Strasse, Nut Mountain Road, Altewiekring, Theaterwall, sandy road Friesenstrasse, Bohlweg, Park Hotel for the 2 Male taken backdrop of the theater house, Light fire damage in the theater. About 20 deaths. (translated from German)source: Brunswick city website http://www.braunschweig.de/kultur_tourismus/stadtportraet/geschichte/stadtchronik.html
388BG Mission Report - On this mission, the 388th was the high Group of the 45th Combat Wing which led the 3rd Air Division. The 2nd Air Division (B-24's) followed our Wing while the 1st Air Division had a stand-down.

Our Group put up 22 A/C and took-off by 0711 hours. Four of these a/c aborted, three for mechanical reasons and one when the pilot became ill. The briefed route was followed to the Target with bombs being dropped by PFF through 9/ 10th cloud coverage.

No enemy a/c attacked this Group and fighter escort was excellent. Flak over the Target was moderate but inaccurate. Most of our battle damage was suffered when the formation passed over ljmuiden, south of the briefed route, on the way out.

All of our A/C returned to base by 1353 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report
Flew to Brunswick. Complete undercast again so we bombed the city by P. F. F. instead of visually. Results believed to be good. Flew at 20,000 with -37degrees c. temp. Flak moderate and inaccurate - 1 flak hole - gunners saw only 3 Me 109s. P38s shot one down and other 2 disappeared into clouds.
source: 389TH BG: Personal Mission Log of Bernard L. Prueher http://www.hrhodes.com/Mission%20Logs/mission.htm
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
44th BG Crash Report - Aircraft #42-52332, 66 BS


TALBOTT, DAVID R. Pilot lst Lt. Bristol, Maryland - evadee, returned
CLAUSEN, LEMOINE H. Co-pilot lst Lt. Blairstown, Iowa - POW
MORIARTY, CLIFFORD F. Bombardier 1st Lt. Memphis, Tenn, KIA
GOLDMAN, ARTHUR Navigator 1st Lt. Cleveland, Ohio, KIA
ARBON, ERNEST W. Engineer T/Sgt. Malta, Idaho - interned
SWICK, RAYMOND E. Radio Oper. T/Sgt. New Richmond, Indiana - Evadee (underground)
HADDOCH, SAMMY W. Ball Turret S/Sgt. Florence, Alabama - POW
WILLIAMSON, JACK D. RW Gunner S/Sgt. Ruth, Miss., POW, wounded
GASSER, HERMAN C. LW Gunner S/Sgt. Toledo, Ohio - POW
SYMPSON, CECIL H. Tail Turret S/Sgt. Clarkson, Kentucky - POW, wounded

Recollections of left waist gunner, Sgt. Gasser:
When we were shot down, the FW 190s came in from the low rear because our ball turret was up, having been earlier knocked out of commission. So they shot us up pretty badly and set us on fire. I was the waist gunner on the left side and I could see all the bullets coming into the fuselage on the right side. I had a flak suit on which probably saved my life. I could feel them hitting the suit and grazing my body. I was lucky I got out with only one in my leg below my flak suit. I think that Williamson got hit but don't know to what extent because I never saw him again in the POW camps. (He was in a Dutch hospital)

The rear gunner, Sympson, came running out of the rear and went out the waist window. That was a dangerous thing to do as you might hit the stabilizer. I think that Arbon went out the waist window the same way. I don't remember where Sammy Haddoch, ball turret gunner, went out. I know I went out the bottom hatch, which I had to straighten out first because it was all shot up.

The ship was really burning by then and I was lucky to get out ' I guess it blew up later after the pilot got out. I didn't pull the ripcord for quite awhile, and I still remember the smoking ship flying away. An American fighter followed me down to the clouds and when I got below them, a German fighter came towards me, but he didn't shoot. I never saw any of the crew in the POW camps except for Sammy Haddoch, who was with me most of the 14 months. Moriarity and Goldman were both killed; Williamson, Clausen, Sympson, Arbon, Haddoch, and myself were all POWs. Swick was with the Underground and stayed with them throughout the war.

I was in Stalag Luft IV from March until after Christmas, 1944, when we went on the road until liberation on 2 May 1945.

Recollections of pilot Lt. Talbott:
We were about half way across the English Channel when trouble developed again with our superchargers, but I felt we could avoid aborting by manipulating the supercharger and throttle controls so that they wouldn't over-power each other. But it didn't prove very successful. We had lots of trouble in formation as we were not able to regulate power properly. But at any rate, we got through to the target and we probably would have gotten back home had it not been for the fact our Group was assigned the job of distributing some sort of pamphlets, which meant that we flew around over Europe dropping these damned papers. Not being able to closely control my power settings, I wasn't able to fly my close position in the formation that we should have. For that reason, and being out of formation, we were attacked by fighters. I think we were about 22,000 feet when we took some hits in the fuel tanks, which caused leaks into the bomb bay.

The engineer was not able to open the bomb bay doors to let the gas flow on through, and we took another hit in our main hydraulic engine (#3), and he wasn't able to knock the doors loose with anything. We were losing altitude because we lost that engine, and although there was a fire in the bomb bay, it wasn't a large fire until we lost enough altitude so that the increase in oxygen increased the flames.

So I finally gave the orders to abandon the plane. All of the men in my section of the plane went back through the bomb bay area and left the plane from the rear. My inclinometers were not working too smoothly, either. No one told the bombardier and navigator about the abandonment, and I could see the boys there, but there wasn't much I could do to advise them. I finally got the plane trimmed pretty well and went down through the flight deck opening, down to the bomb bay and started up to the nose section under the flight deck to tell those two men that we had to get out. But as I was approaching the nose compartment, the plane went out of control. I was going to ask them why they were still in there, but just then the nose wheel snapped down and knocked me out!

When I regained consciousness, I was on the ground near a small Dutch village of Nieuw Leusen. I released my parachute as the wind was dragging me across the ground. I got up and started walking, had a twist in my back, flak in my shoulder, flash burns around my head, but nothing to stop me from walking. Some gentleman came up and asked me if I could use some help ' of course I could ' and he directed me to go in one direction, not to look back, but just to keep walking as I would be watched. Well, it wasn't long after that I was told there would be another gentleman, and I could see him riding down the road on a bicycle. I thought it prudent to look for a few minutes, so I crawled into a canal and hid along the bank, allowing him to pass. In less than an hour, walking in the direction I was instructed to, I was met by some gentleman who told me to hide. They piled brush over me out in a field and instructed me to stay there until nightfall. They returned that night and took me to a village.

After a couple of days I was taken to another village where I witnessed the burial of mynavigator and bombardier. The ship had crashed within sight of the house I was being hidden in. So I saw the bodies being removed from the plane and carried to the village to be buried.

source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
44BG Mission Report - Five of the 67th aircraft departed this base with the Group at 0715 hours and returned at 1400 hours. In the meantime they had flown through 9/10th to 10/10th clouds to attack Bomber aircraft component factory at Primary and constructional engineering works both at Brunswick, Germany. Results were unobserved in the face of strong but ineffective attacks by the enemy aircraft. Our fighter support was excellent, which accounts for the "no losses" by the Squadron, but unfortunately the 66th lost one plane, "My Assam Dragon" #42-52332 and piloted by 1st Lt. D.R. Talbott. S/Sgt. H.C. Gasser states. "When we were shot down the FW 190s, came in from the low rear because our ball turret was up (it had been knocked out), so they shot us up pretty badly - setting it on fire. I was the waist gunner on the left side and I could see all the bullets coming into the fuselage on the right side. I had a flak suit on which probably saved my life. I could feel them hitting the suit and grazing my body. I was lucky I got out with only one in my leg below my-flak suit". The plane came down east of Zwolle in Holland. The 68th report that the flak was a fixed barrage of anti-aircraft fire that was encountered near the target. Though the results of the bombing was unobserved, the city itself was hit. 2nd Lt. Thom was promoted to 1st Lt.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
458th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 458th Bomb Group web page http://www.458bg.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Lechfeld A/D, Germany. Due to undercast covering our primary, Augsburg was hit by 100 x 100 G.P. bombs at 1216 from 19,000 feet. Aircraft 070 dropped 50 bundles of 6-'8 leaflets. Moderate and inaccurate A/A fire was experienced at the target. None 323rd A/C were damaged. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-24J (#42-100351).
Organization: 566BS / 389BG of Hethel, Norfolk.
Pilot: Vivian, Jerrold M.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Hethel, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: C-78 (#43-7666).
Organization: 86ATS / 27ATG of Cranford, Middlesex.
Pilot: Maguire, Bernard J.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: Hethel, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Oxford II (#AB752).
Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Smith, James B.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67811).
Organization: 38FS / 55FG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Hancock, James H.
Notes: crashed on take off engine failure.
Location: Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-68054).
Organization: 385FS / 364FG of Honington, Suffolk.
Pilot: Vann, James F.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Honington, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75670).
Organization: 351FS / 353FG of Metfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Trudeau, Paul J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Metfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit Vb (#EP249).
Organization: 14PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Mann, John J.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Wendling, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Fighter Command Fighter Operation 269"
Fighter support for 8th AF 259
March 15, 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
5885880.038-3-131-0-05-1-50-0-5
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Mission Targets

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Support
588 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
56FG
355FG
361FG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG
78FG
353FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
362nd Fighter Group
358th Fighter Group
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
364FG (3 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
56FG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)