Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 309: 842 bombers and 388 fighters are dispatched to hit V-weapon sites in France; 24 of 33 sites briefed are hit; 9 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:

1. 438 of 630 B-17s hit sites in the Pas de Calais and Cherbourg areas; 19 others hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 309 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 25 WIA and 69 MIA.

2. 113 of 212 B-24s hit sites in the Pas de Calais area; 2 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; casualties are 10 KIA, 9 WIA and 20 MIA.

Escort is provided by 89 P-38s, 211 P-47s and 88 P-51s; they claim 4-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 4-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged; 2 pilots are MIA.

VIII Fighter Command flies 2 missions:

1. 35 P-51 fighter-bombers are dispatched to Cambrai/Epinoy Airfield, France; escort is to be provided by 31 P-47s but they are unable to locate the P-51s; 33 P-51s hit the primary and 1 hits Vitry Airfield, France.

2. 56 P-38 fighter-bombers are dispatched to hit St Trond Airfield, Belgium but jettison their bombs in the English Channel after overcast prevents location of the targets; escort is provided by 36 P-47s.

Mission 310: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 1.92 million leaflets on Nantes, Orleans, Paris and Tours, France at 2238-2246 hours without loss.

Six 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: Crossbow Targets at Sottevast & Mesmil Au Val, France. Crews Dispatched: 28 (358BS - 6, 359th - 7, 360th - 7, 427th - 8). Crew Members Lost or Wounded: Lt. Lux KIA, S/Sgt. Schlottman WIA, Lt. Randall WIA. Length of Mission: 5 hours. Bomb Load: 6 x 1000 lb M44 & 2 x 500 lb AN-64 RDX bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 19,000, 19,400, 19,500 & 19,700 ft. Ammo Fired: 3,200 rounds.

Eleven 303rd BG(H) B-17s comprising the 41 CBW-B Lead Group (359BS and 427BS) took off and assembled on schedule. The twelve 41st CBW-B Low Group (360BS and 358BS) had assembly problems. The 379BG Squadron pulled into the Low Squadron position scheduled for the 358BS and bombed in this location. The makeshift Low Group pulled into position with the 41 CBS-B Lead Group. Lt. Moreau was forced to assemble his 358BS with another 379BG lead Squadron. The composite 427/359/360BS flying as the Lead Squadron in the 41 CBS-C Low Group assembled per instructions.

Twenty-three aircraft attacked the V-weapon site at Sottevast, France. Five 427BS aircraft attacked Mesmil Au Val, France. There were no abortive aircraft. At the target there was 2/10 cloud cover at 2,000 feet with tops at 5,000 feet. Visibility was unlimited.

The five B-17s led by Maj. Shumake failed to rendezvous with the other Squadrons and flew alone. Shortly before reaching the target, Maj. Shumake's B-17 was hit by flak and was forced to immediately salvo its bombs. The other four B-17s in the formation dropped their bombs on this aircraft. There was no evidence as to where the bombs hit. The lead ship navigator, 1Lt. E.Z. Randall, was injured by the flak burst. On return, Maj. Shumake landed at Thorney Island.

Sixteen of the B-17s, led by Maj. Cole, dropped 126 1,000-lb. M44 bombs on the primary target and jettisoned two 1,000-lb. M44 bombs into the English Channel. One Fortress dropped its bombs with the 384BG. Bombing results were unobserved. The bombardier believed that he hit to the right of the assigned aiming point. No leaflets were dropped. S/Sgt. Jerome D. Schlottman received a splinter of flak in his eye. 2Lt. Andrew L. Lux, co-pilot on #42-31830 Marie, 359BS-N, piloted by 2Lt. Clinton A. Moser, was killed by flak fragments on the bomb run. He is buried in Cambridge American Cemetery, England.

No enemy aircraft were observed. Friendly fighter support was excellent. Meager flak was observed at Aldermay Island with intense and accurate flak at the target. Chaff dropped had no apparent effect in confusing the flak gunners. Only seven FW-190s were seen. There were no attacks on Group aircraft. All 303rd BG(H) bombers returned to England.

The bomber crews and citizens of London witnessed the entire 8th and 9th Air Forces as they swept over the heart of London on their way to and from the target. Even veteran combat men reported that this mass of bombers and fighters was an impressive sight.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 34 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 92. Primary Target: Launch Site - Sottevast, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

29 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 24. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 1.

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished one Group plus the high squadron for the 452nd Composite Group. Our "A" Group led the 45th Combat Wing on targets in the Calais and Cherbourg Area of France.

For this afternoon mission, 7 a/c of the Composite Group took-off at 1605 hours. 21 a/c for the "A" Group took-off at 1630 hours. None of the a/c aborted. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed. Due to the cloud coverage and heavy haze, it was necessary for the squadrons to make second bomb runs. Bombing on this mission was done by squadrons at these times: Lead at 1925 hours, High at 1921 hours and low at 1938 hours.

Our a/c flying with the 452nd Bomb Group did not bomb the target. After the second bomb run over the target area without picking up the target, the leader being concerned about the shortage of gas, decided against another run. They jettisoned the bombs in the Channel.

25 of our a/c received flak damage which was encountered at St. Omer. No enemy fighters were seen.

All a/c returned to base by 2121 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report
St. Omer - 8 x 1000 lb Noball target. Good bombing job. Plane went down right ahead of us.
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 the Lead Squadron of one of the Boxes. Crews: Pruitt, Sharp, Connolly, Shotts, Lew, Stelzer, Dougherty (MIA). Bombing results were described by the crews as being fair. Flak in the target area was both intense and accurate and accounted for one 613th crew, Lt. Dougherty flying in the No.6 position. There was no enemy air opposition. Lt. Dougherty and crew, comparatively new in the Squadron, were lost as a result of flak on this operation. Observations of other crews were that the aircraft was hit over the target, the number 3 engine catching fire. The aircraft went into a dive and exploded. No chutes were seen and the witnessing crews were of the opinion that it would have been impossible for anyone to have gotten out.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was another mission to the V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area in Northern France. The mission was jointly led by Captain W. C. Garland and Captain L. Stann, and 28 aircraft set off from Deenethorpe to attack these most difficult of targets. Flak in the target area proved to be both intense and accurate and because of ground haze all formations made more than one run over the target. Two 401st ships went down over the target, victims of the very heavy flak, one being Lt. C.S. Ksieniewicz and his crew. The bombing results reported by the crews indicated fairly accurate bombing. An indication of the accuracy of the flak over these Noball sites is that of the 570 aircraft over the target that day 9 were shot down and 345 were battle damaged. Crews: Ksieniewicz Cammack Smith Bartley Wilsonsource: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - On the 20th, the 53rd Mission was flown to Bois Coquerel Airdrome. Capt. Garland and Capt. Stann each led a Box. 1st Lt. Briarton's bombing was of such a high standard -- he was lead bombardier -- that Col. Lacey, Combat Wing Commanding Officer, despatched a letter extolling his work and the bombing results.The other Box was not so accurate. This was an afternoon mission with briefing for the 28 crews at 1330 hrs and the last aircraft becoming airborne at 1620 hrs, one B-17, SC-J,. landing back after a quarter of an hour with flap trouble, the crew taking off again in IW-M about 20 minutes later. Due to the ground haze a second run was made over the target but the bombing results were not too good - mediocre accuracy was the term used. Accurate flak was encountered en route at landfall and at the target area. No enemy air opposition was encountered. Two aircraft from the Group were lost. They were IW-H, Serial No. 42-97448, piloted by 2nd Lt. Charles S. Ksieniewicz and IN-L, Serial No. 42-31593, piloted by 2nd Lt. Frank F. Dougherty. The 615th Squadron loading list was as follows: Kaminski, Lozinski, Christensen Post Ferdyn, Knoight, Dempsey, Campbell.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Currie, Smith, Johnson, Turner, West, Bingham, Wells, Hershey.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - A short, late mission to the now famous Pas-de-Calais area, Marquise/Mimoyecques being the intended target, but the aircraft were recalled before the bombs were dropped. Take-off was at 1600 hours for 26 of the 44th planes (8 of them 67th's) and returned at 2000 hours. Flak ranged from moderate and inaccurate to moderate accurate, with several planes experiencing minor damage. In the target area 6/10 to 7/-10ths cumulus clouds at 7,000 feet obscured the target for bombing. The GAF sent approximately 40 enemy aircraft over England. Our field was bombed and strafed, with no casualties and only minor damage. M/Sgt. Nelson's ship narrowly escaped damage and crew injury when the strafing aircraft placed machine gun bullets all around it, but no hits. The 66th Squadron held a meeting where Major Kahl announced that their squadron airplanes had been transferred to the various squadrons on the field and that the 66th would consist of PFF ships only; and that their men would be trained to handle their new jobs on these ships. Also, 30 missions were required to earn the Legion of Merit, ( Custodians note: Possibly Ground Crew? Not an award to flight crews ) but more than this number is desired if possible.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Noball target; Siracourt

Crews reported that some bombs hit the center of the site. A total of 144 500 lb bombs were dropped.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 1430 hours and the targets were Noball targets in the Cherbourg area. The planes were loaded with 107 tons of 500 pound high explosives with take off starting at 1700 hours. The bombing altitude of 20,000 feet was reached as the Group crossed the French coast. Bombing accuracy was rated as "Fair" with landing starting at 2030 hours. source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.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
"Fifteen A/C attacked a T.O. and steel works at Aire - France . Strike photos show 8 bursts in workman dewllings and sixty bursts in small village short of target"; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 0; WIA = 0; MIA = 0
source: 466th BG: Mission List (Mark Brotherton Collection)
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Military installation at Beauvoir, France. Target was attacked from 21,000 feet with results unobserved due to clouds. Bomb load 12 x 500 GP. Minor flak damage was suffered by A/C 027, 095. A/C 634 had major damage. Meager flak was encountered in the vicinity of Crecy, France. source: 322rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Croisette/ Beauvoir (No Ball) Rocket Installations. A Group after two bomb runs was unable to bomb due to weather. B Group attacked a target of opportunity, an A/D south of primary target. C Group attacked primary target and some crews report good results. Cloud Cover prevented good observations. E/A opposition nil, but A/A fire was accurate.source: 91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Croisette Beauvoir, France: Some crews reported good results, though cloud cover prevented accurate observation. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: Nil. Meager, but accurate AA fire experienced. Lt. J. D. Pope, flak wound in right arm.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17F (#42-30487).
Organization: 349BS / 100BG of Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk.
Pilot: Horne, Ralph D Jr.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Thorpe Abbots, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#42-106467).
Organization: 486FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Andrew, Stephen W.
Notes: mid air collision.
Location: Bodney, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B7 (#43-6718).
Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Homuth, Robert H.
Notes: crash landing engine failure.
Location: Pevensey Beach England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C (#42-103308).
Organization: 310FRS / 27ATG of Warton, Lancashire.
Pilot: Blanchard, James L.
Notes: crashed belly landing.
Location: RNAF Burscough England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF Fighter Command Fighter Operation 307"
Fighter support for 8th AF 309 and F/B missions
April 20, 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
3883880.04-0-24-0-02-0-10-0-2
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Mission Targets

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Support
388 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
353FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
355FG (2 a/c)
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
663417.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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CAMBRAI, FRANCE
Epinoy Airfield
33 A/C
VITRY-EN-ARTOIS, FRANCE
Airfield
1 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
78FG
357FG
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)

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
92920.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0
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Mission Targets

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ST. TROND, BELGIUM
Brustrem Airfield
0 A/Cphotos (2)
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
55FG
78FG
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)