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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 293: 542 bombers and 719 fighters are dispatched to aircraft factories and airfields in Germany and Poland; the bombers claim 45-8-14 Luftwaffe aircraft; 32 bombers and 10 fighters are lost; 10 bombers are damaged beyond repair. Details are:

1. 145 B-17s are dispatched to aviation industry at Rahmel, Poland and Marienburg, Germany; 96 hit Marienburg, 41 hit Rahmel and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 6 B-17s are lost and 44 damaged; casualties are 8 KIA, 9 WIA and 60 MIA.

2. 151 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Focke-Wulf plant at Poznan, Poland and the Heinkel plant at Warnemunde, Germany; 85 hit Warnemunde, 33 hit Poznan and 18 hit Marienehe Airfield; 12 B-17s are lost and 93 damaged; casualties are 6 WIA and 120 MIA.

3. 246 B-24s are dispatched to hit an assembly plant at Tutow, Germany; 106 hit the primary, 14 hit Parchim, Germany and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 14 B-24s are lost and 30 damaged; casualties are 17 KIA, 6 WIA and 140 MIA.

Escort is provided by 119 P-38s, 387 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 213 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the fighters claim 20-1-6 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 19-0-8 on the ground; no fighter support is available over the targets because of bad weather or distance: 2 P-38s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged, casualties are 1 KIA and 2 MIA; 4 P-47s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged, casualties are 2 KIA, 2 WIA and 3 MIA; 4 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged beyond repair, 1 pilot is MIA.

Mission 294: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 2.752 million leaflets on Rouen, Paris, Amiens and Caen, France at 2224-2338 hours without loss. 23 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER operations.

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: Focke-Wolf Aircraft Factory & Airdrome, Marienburg, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 40 (358BS - 12, 359th - 11, 360th - 10, 427th - 9). Crews Lost: Lt. McGarry, Jr., 6 KIA, 4 wounded. Length of Mission: 11 hours, 38 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb M64 G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: A - 15,000 ft; B - 17,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 21,940 rounds.

Forty scheduled B-17s were airborne. Spirit of Flak Wolf, 427BS, piloted by 1Lt. John J. McGarry, Jr., crashed shortly after take-off, about 2 1/2 miles from the end of the runway. Because of

its heavy gas and bomb load, it could not gain sufficient altitude and hit a tree while taking off. Its tail part of the stabilizer tore off. Still unable to gain altitude and hard to control, it hit another tree and crashed to the ground, catching fire one mile south of Winwick on the Montgomery farm. Eight other aircraft returned early.

When restricted visibility at Molesworth at take-off made formation assembly difficult, two B-17s joined other Groups. Due to solid cloud cover over the North Sea, four B-17s had to abort. On the bomb run, however, the target could be seen clearly.

Thirty-one aircraft of the two 303rd BG(H) formations dropped 300 M64 500-lb. G.P. bombs from 15,000 (303BG-A) and 17,000 (303BG-B) feet. Aircraft encountered meager and inaccurate flak at Kapellen, Eckenforde, Marienburg, and at the target. Three B-17s sustained minor battle damage and one man was injured. Enemy air opposition was weak.

The mission lasted 11 hours, 38 minutes the longest yet flown by the 303rd BG(H). Several aircraft landed at alternate airdromes to refuel before returning to Molesworth.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 20 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 86. Primary Target: FW-190 Fighter Aircraft Assembly Plant - Marienburg, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual).

36 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 24. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 11
42-31211 Gowder, Charles F - Landed away Witchford; could not contact formation due to bad weather
42-31222 Berbrich, John M - Aborted at 1000 hrs; could not contact formation due to bad weather; jettisoned bombs in Channel
42-31375 Courtemanche, Ralph E - Landed away Horsham due to fuel exhaustion; bombed target
42-31740 Schock, George William - Failed to Return - MIA; at 1546 hrs seen w wing root on fire due to flak; a/c was seen circling under control and 10 chutes emerged; cr Kiel; MACR 3653.
42-37758 Barad, Robert L - Turned back at 0850 hrs Splasher 4 due to difficulty in assembly; bombs rtd
42-37816 Heffley, Farris Ormond - Dropped 25 parcels of G-34 Nickles, 6x500GP on target
42-37982 Clayton, John E - Landed away Halesworth due to fuel shortage; bombed target
42-38112 Fioretti, Edward Anthony - Turned back at 1013 hrs due to difficulty in assembly; bombs rtd
42-38158 Outen, Charles L - Aborted turned back due to weather-caused assembly difficulties
42-97081 Corcoran, John J - Landed away Horsham due to minor flak damage; bombed target
42-97124 Burch, Hugh R - Turned back at 1003 hrs due to difficulty in assembly; bombs jettisoned in Channel due to malfunction of bomb bay doors
42-97142 Cole, Howard Woodrow - Aborted at 1130 hrs; could not contact formation due to bad weather
42-97201 Kelly, John T - Aborted turned back due to weather-caused assembly difficulties.
42-97477 Miller, Max Jean - Landed away Attelbridge (spelling unclear)
42-97510 Horton, Lloyd (NMI) - Landed away Metfield due to fuel exhaustion; bombed target
42-107058 Smith, Charles G - Aborted at 1030 hrs and Landed away Manby; could not contact formation due to bad weather; 42 M47A1 rtd.
42-107083 June, Glenn J - Aborted at 1027 hrs; could not contact formation due to bad weather.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, the 388th furnished the "A" Group plus the lead and low squadrons of the Composite Group. The high squadron was the 96th BG a/c. The "A" Group was scheduled to fly high in the 45th Combat Wing while the Composite "B" Group was to fly high in the 13th Combat Wing.

The Target for the 45th CW was the Focke-Wulf Aircraft factory at Poznan and the Target for the 13 CW was the aircraft parts plant at Krezinki, both located in north western Poland. The 4th CW attacked the Heinkel Works at Warnemunde.

21 A/C of the "A" Group were airborne by 0712 hours. The 14 A/C of the "B" Group were airborne by 0726 hours. The crews were briefed for extremely adverse weather over England and the weather was that plus more. Due to this weather condition it made assembly into Wing formation practically impossible. 17 A/C of the "A" Group and 2 A/C= of the "B" Group returned to base because of inability to locate the formation. 1 A/C scheduled to fly with the "A" Group, flew with the "B" Group. Captain Bynum and Lt. Sundstrom, who were leads in lead and low squadrons, attached themselves to the 452nd Bomb Group. Lt. Abramowitz, joined another Group.

The "B" Group assembled, then being unable to locate the 13th Wing, tacked on to a Group and bombed Cromer.

The 45th Wing proceeded to the assigned Targets slightly south of the briefed course. Our lead bombardier picked out the Heinkel Aircraft plant at Rostock and bombs were away at 1222 hours from 18,900 feet. The A/C with the 452nd BG went to Poznan with bombs away at 1315 hours from 14,800 feet. Right after the Target, (Captain Bynum) had to leave the formation when hit by flak knocking one engine out. He came back to base on the deck and was hit by fighters but made it back landing at 1834 hours.

No enemy a/c attacked the Wing formations. The "B" Group encountered accurate flak over the Target. Flak over Poznan was accurate.

Three crew members in the "B" Group were wounded by flak. One a/c from the "B" Group and two from the "A" Group are missing.

Lt. Abramowitz, in A/C 42-31137 "Classy Chassy", lost one engine and headed for Sweden. 3rd Air Division received this message from him at 1420 hours. "One engine out, am heading for Sweden.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report
Airfield at Lutow - 75 miles northeast of Berlin - 20,000, 10 x 500 lb. Demolition. Got late start so we didnt catch our formation until within 75 miles of Heligoland. Just before we caught them, we had to go through some bad weather. Ship nearly rolled over several times. Air speed varied from 120 to 200. Radio Operator sent in SOS but John and George managed to pull her through right side up. I can honestly say I was never so damned scared in all my life. Finally got in formation, flew across Danish penninsulva coming out about 50 miles below Copenhagen. Enemy fighters attacked us at I. P. which was in southwest corner of Baltic Sea. No damage to us but saw several planes go down. Smashed hell out of target. Just passed target 20 mm cannon shell exploded in waist injuring Kellis. Not bad, we hope, but he was spattered with shot from belly to ankle. Big hole in ship and rudder cable strands were broken. Kellis is first man, and I hope the last, to get the Purple Heart. Ran into some damn accurate flak around Vechta, followed us along for about 10 minutes. Pendergast, Westerbeck and crew went down. Sure was glad to get back on the ground again. Bill still in hospital, so again I toggled the bombs. Reese, Pohl and crew were rammed in mid-air by ship from different group while forming - all killed. Found out later Kellis was hit just before I. P. but said nothing until after we hit the target.
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/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th Squadron furnished 4 aircraft of the Lead Squadron. Crews: Locher, Livingstone, Vokaty, Fitchett. Weather over Germany was clear and the target area was clear with a slight ground haze. Bombing results were good to excellent as shown by photographs taken during the attack.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - After a number of false starts - missions being briefed and the scrubbed - 21 401st aircraft finally took off for Marienburg on 9th April, almost two weeks after their last mission. The mission to Marienburg marked a further step for the 401st. This all important target was the greatest in distance that the Group had ever travelled, and they flew as the High Box of the 41st "B" CBW. An excellent pattern of bombs was obtained with numerous strikes in adjacent buildings to the MPI. Fighter opposition was meagre. Flak too, was meagre at the target. After the target Lt. G.C. Byrd found that he was in trouble, one engine failed and he was short on gas so he turned back and headed for Sweden, where he eventually landed safely. At Deenethorpe on this day there was nothing but trouble. SC-O lost an engine and after dropping its bombs in the Wash landed at Woodbridge. IW-L found himself in the same sort of trouble and also landed at Woodbridge after jettisoning its bombs into the Wash. Then IN-G landed with supercharger problems and a little later IY-N landed with mechanical problems. After the mission IY-G landed at Ludham, IN-M landed at Rackheath and IN-G landed at Oulton. The two 615th crews on this mission were: Byrd, Knight.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Goodman, Dailey, Fox, Hagan, Kelly, Binghamsource: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - Tutow Airdrome, Germany was the scheduled target for today but very unfavorable weather confronted the formation so a recall was issued. Some of the planes dropped their bombs before the recall was issued. The results were believed to have been good as fires were seen burning even though observations were hampered by poor weather conditions. Very heavy flak and enemy aircraft attacks were experienced by the Group with the 68th losing one plane to enemy action. This aircraft, A/C #42-72858 U "Pistol Packin Mama", landed at Bulltofta, Sweden with damage to wings and nose. The pilot was 1st Lt. Hiram C. Palmer, 68th Sq. Photographs showed many fires burning, good concentrations were placed on the main installations, barracks and minor workshops. It is estimated that 15 to 25 enemy aircraft were encountered and claims of two E/A destroyed and two probable were made.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report

The airfield, with a long runway, was bombed with good results as was a hangar area. There was a great deal of enemy fighter opposition, but crews believed they were inexperienced pilots due to the manner of their attack.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Link source: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
458th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 458th Bomb Group web page http://www.458bg.com/
466th BG Mission Report
First section bombed primary target with excellent results; A/C MIA = 2; KIA = 0; WIA = 0; MIA = 20
source: 466th BG: Mission List (Mark Brotherton Collection)
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Mission to Marienburg, Germany. Marienburg: Crews called back from this but Lt Paul McDuffee's crew attached onto another formation and completed this mission. Bombing results were reported as excellent with a good concentration on the target. No enemy aircraft encountered. Meager but accurate AA fire encountered at the enemy coast. Enroute to base, moderate to intense AA fire experienced at Kiel, this concentrated type fire was accurate for altitude and slightly off for deflection. Meager to moderate continuous following and accurate fire was experienced at the target. source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17F (#42-30613).
Organization: 535BS / 381BG of Ridgewell, Essex.
Pilot: Soeder, Harlen D.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Ridgewell, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31185).
Organization: 708BS / 447BG of Rattlesden, Suffolk.
Pilot: Herdic, Carl W Jr.
Notes: forced landing mechanical failure.
Location: Troston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31616).
Organization: 427BS / 303BG of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: McGarry, John J.
Notes: killed in a take off accident.
Location: Winnick/nr England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29485).
Organization: 578BS / 392BG of Bovindon, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Morefield, Hubert F.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: RAF Foulsham England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110069).
Organization: 714BS / 448BG of Seething, Norfolk.
Pilot: Liebich, Joseph G.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Seething, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110079).
Organization: 712BS / 448BG of Seething, Norfolk.
Pilot: Durley, Earle P Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Seething, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-99982).
Organization: 566BS / 389BG of Hethel, Norfolk.
Pilot: Reese, Glen W.
Notes: killed in mid air collision.
Location: RAF Foulsham England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-68085).
Organization: 338FS / 55FG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Anderson, Newell (NMI).
Notes: killed in crash landing.
Location: Nuthampstead/ 1mi NE England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-76147).
Organization: 360FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Dunn, Carl W.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Burston/ 1/2mi N England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#42-106468).
Organization: 487FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Williamson, Ralph I.
Notes: killed due to explosion.
Location: Hardwick/ 2mi NE England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Fighter Command Fighter Operation 292"
Fighter support for 8th AF 293
April 09, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
7197190.020-1-619-0-810-4-113-2-9353FG crashes sea
56FG crashes sea
55FG crashes take-off
356FG crashes Gissing
364FG crash-lands base
Mission Targets

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719 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
362nd Fighter Group
363rd Fighter Group
354th Fighter Group
358th Fighter Group
Aircraft Losses

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20FG (1 a/c)
352FG (2 a/c)
364FG (1 a/c)
4FG (1 a/c)
56FG (1 a/c)
353FG (2 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
363FG (2 a/c)