Mission

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MISSION DETAILS

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 300: 455 bombers and 766 fighters dispatched to bomb industrial targets at Schweinfurt, Zwickau, Oscheresleben, Schkeuditz, Halle and Leipzig are forced to abandon the mission because of haze and multilayer clouds; Luftwaffe fighter opposition is concentrated over N France and the bombers claim 10-6-7 fighters; 6 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 25 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 12 KIA, 16 WIA and 56 MIA.

Escort is provided by 124 P-38s, 449 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 193 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 18-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-8 on the ground; 3 P-38s and 2 P-51s are lost, 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 3 P-38s, 17 P-47s and 1 P-51 are damaged; 5 pilots are MIA.

HQ 353d Fighter Group moves from Metfield to Raydon, England.

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

Mission Reports

389th Bomb Group Mission Report
Foche Wolfe assembly factory at Zwickau. Called back from pass to navigate for Oras crew. Had bad weather, in fact 2nd Section lost us in clouds over Channel and turned back. We went on through France and 100 miles into Germany before we finally had to turn back. We lost our friendly fighters when we turned and were immediately jumped by F. W.s. Saw at least 5 bombers go down. Flak moderate. Noticed French coast flooded for about 50 miles below Ostend.
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/
44BG Mission Report - Six of the 67th aircraft took off at 0950 hours along with like numbers from the other squadrons to attack Zwickau and/or Schweinfurt, Germany but the mission was recalled due to the extremely adverse weather conditions. All planes returned to base at 1630 hours after experiencing meager to moderate, accurate to inaccurate flak and several E/A attacks. The mission was delayed for 2 hours before take-off, was changed from Zwickau to Schweinfurt at take-off and before the formation reached the French coast a change was made back to Zwickau. About 50 minutes from target, in the vicinity of Kassel a recall was received. Sgt. Kipnes states, "While making our turn, "J" ship, piloted by Lt. Mueller collided with our (Lt. Mercer's) rudder. It wasn't serious but it gave us quite a scare. After the collision we hit the prop wash of the planes in front of us. Both Lt. Mercer and Church had to fight the controls to keep the ship flying steady. Despite the damaged rudder, Lt. Mercer made a perfect landing. On this mission we carried a photographer who worked the cameras from the waist." 2nd Lts. Church, Kessler, Mercer, Rising and Wahler all promoted to 1st Lts.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
96th Bomb Group Crash Report The B-17 was flying from its base to the 390th BG base to participate in a mission to Leipzig. The regular navigator had little night experience and they were initally off course when flying to Parham so the radio-navigator took over and corrected the course. Witnesses on the ground saw the plane on approach to Parham during its downwind leg as the field lights came on. They also saw and heard another aircraft following it. After it had turned base the enemy fighter opened up striking the B-17. The B-17 hit the ground and cartwheeled.

Time: 00:55 - A/C #42-97556, 413BS, 96BG

Crew:

  • Lt Donald M . MacGregor pilot -- leg injuries
  • Lt. Issac L. Hightower co-pilot -- lacerations
  • Lt. Francis Uihlein navigator-radar -- serious injuries
  • Lt. George Pietrucha navigator -- KIA
  • Lt. John J. Petrowski bombadier -- KIA
  • Tech Sgt. Paul W. Morgan engineer/top turret --lacerations and burns
  • Tech Sgt. Howell H. Thompson radio -- KIA
  • S/Sgt Arthur L. Flint waist gunner -- leg fracture, burns
  • S/Sgt James M. McLean waist gunner -- leg fractures
  • S/Sgt Jesse L. Graham tail gunner -- lacerations
  • Tech Sgt. Emmett L. Matthews ground personnel -- lacerations
  • Cpl Nyle Smith ground personnel -- hip and leg wounds

Photo of crash memorial

source: 12 Oclock High Forum http://forum.12oclockhigh.net

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-102575).
Organization: / of .
Pilot: Harat, Sherman L.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Nutts Corner/Sta 597* Ireland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31088).
Organization: 711BS / 447BG of Rattlesden, Suffolk.
Pilot: King, Philip D.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Grange Farm, Thorpe Mar England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97579).
Organization: 750BS / 457BG of Glatton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Lane, Robert D.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Glatton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-110038).
Organization: 310FRS / 27ARG of Warton, Lancashire.
Pilot: Collins, John J.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Warton, Lancashire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-94994).
Organization: 310FRS / 27ATG of Warton, Lancashire.
Pilot: Reed, Robert T.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Warton, Lancashire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-25901).
Organization: 311FTS / 27ATG of .
Pilot: Scheknayder, Malcolm J.
Notes: bail out.
Location: Glenluce/ 2mi W Scotland.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-76543).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Bedford, Richard L.
Notes: ground looped.
Location: Metfield, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-7969).
Organization: 551FTS / 495FRG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Webber, William C.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Atcham, Shropshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#43-25530).
Organization: 359FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Holtz, Raymond K.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B7 (#43-6912).
Organization: 487FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Moran, Glennon T.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Bodney, Norfolk 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 296"
Fighter support for 8th AF 300
April 12, 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
7667660.018-1-31-0-85-2-210-0-5
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Mission Targets

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766 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG
352FG
356FG
359FG
364FG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG
56FG
355FG
361FG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG
78FG
353FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
362nd Fighter Group
363rd Fighter Group
366th Fighter Group
368th Fighter Group
354th Fighter Group
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
364FG (2 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG (1 a/c)
357FG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
363FG (1 a/c)