Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 329: 295 bombers and 644 fighters are dispatched to 3 targets in France; the bombers claim 3-0-6 Luftwaffe aircraft and the fighters claim 18-1-5 in the air and 11-0-17 on the ground; 1 bomber and 5 fighter are lost:

1. 114 of 116 B-17s bomb Lyon/Bron Airfield; 1 B-17 is lost and 8 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA.

2. 118 of 124 B-17s bomb Clermont-Ferrand/Aulnat Airfield; 9 B-17s are damaged.

3. 52 of 55 B-24s bomb V-weapon sites at Siracourt; 3 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA.

Escort is provided by 128 P-38s, 268 P-47s and 248 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s: 44 P-38s, using the Droopsnoot method, bomb Tours Airfield, 1 P-38 is lost and 1 damaged, 1 pilot is MIA; 14 P-47s dive-bomb Romorantin Airfield plus escort the bombers and claim 9-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft, 4 P-47s are damaged; P-51s claim 20-0-17 aircraft, 4 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged, 1 airman is WIA and 3 MIA.

Mission 330: 4 of 4 B-17s drop 2.23 million leaflets on 21 towns in Belgium, France and The Netherlands including Zwolle, Hala, Alost, Louvain, Leeuwarden, Reims, Metz, Strasburg, Epinal, Tours, Saarguemines, Mulhouse, Troyes and Orleans without loss.

Mission 331: 128 fighters carry out fighter-bomber attacks in France; 22 P-38s, with 24 escorts, attack Orleans/Bricy Airfield using the Droopsnoot method, 2 are damaged; 21 P-47s, with 10 escorts, bomb the same target shortly later and 5 hit a V-weapon site as a target of opportunity, 3 are damaged; 51 P-51s swept the area before the attacks without loss.

20 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions 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

303BG Mission Report - Target: Lyon/Bron Airdrome, France. Crews Dispatched: 20 + 2 Spares (358BS - 7, 359th - 4, 360th - 7, 427th - 4). Crewmembers Lost or Wounded: S/Sgt. Pesetsky injured. Length of Mission: 7 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Load: 5 x 1000 lb M-44 G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 18,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 2,500 rounds.

There were no failures to take-off or abortive aircraft, which is classified by the S-4 Maintenance Section as a "perfect mission." Twenty-B-17s plus two spares took off. The spares returned when there were no vacancies to be filled. All aircraft returned undamaged with no casualties

One hundred 1,000-lb. M44 G.P. bombs were dropped on the primary target from 18,500 feet. A number of hits were made on the targeted airdrome. Meager flak was observed at a distance along the route, but at the target, no flak was experienced. One B-17 received friendly battle damage. Crews reported 10 to 50 enemy aircraft and friendly fighter support was excellent.

Weather at the target was good with high cirrus, a light haze and no clouds. S/Sgt. Paul W. Pesetsky, ball turret gunner on Iza Vailable Too #42-97254, 360BS-K, was injured while unloading his guns on returning from the mission.

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/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished 25 A/C for this mission. 5 of our a/c aborted with 20 receiving credit for the mission.source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th furnished two crews of the High Squadron of the Group formation which flew in the Low Box position of the 94th Combat Wing. Crews: Connolly, Lew. Cloud coverage on route to the target was described as 3/10 to 7/10 thin, to an altitude of 30,000 feet. Just before the target the weather cleared to approximately 1/10 and bombing was visual. Strike photos show that 95% of the bombs struck within 2,000 feet of the M.P.I., 60% struck within 1,000 feet, and 18% struck within 500 feet. An extremely large concentration were observed to hit squarely on the assigned M.P.I.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 401st supplied 21 aircraft, led by Major Garland and Capt. McCree, to form the Low Box of the 94th Combat Wing to attack the airfield at Lyon/Bron, France on 30th April 1944. Cloud coverage enroute to the target was about 3/10ths to 7/10ths up to an altitude of 30,000 feet. As the formation reached the target the weather cleared to approximately 1/10ths so the bombing was done visually. Strike photos showed that 95% of the bombs were within the 2,000 foot circle of the assigned MPI. 60% struck within 1,000 feet and 18% struck within 500 feet of the assigned fPI. An extremely large concentration was observed to have hit squarely on the assigned MPI. Crews: Fisette Cammack Smith Kenney Wilson Lincoln.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - A mission to France for the last mission of the month, with another early morning briefing - 0300 hrs - for 21 crews. Capt. McCree and Capt. Garland split the lead. This was an attack on the air depot at Lyon's Airdrome and the strike photo's indicated very good results with an extremely large concentration of bombs squarely on the assigned MPI. There was no enemy air opposition encountered by the 401st. Crews did observe, however, that escorting fighters engaged in several dog-fights with the Luftwaffe at a distance too great that identification of the type enemy aircraft was not possible. Flak was not encountered either along the route or at the target, some, however, was observed directed at the fighter escort. The 401st was the Low Box of the 94th CBW with the 615th in the Low Squadron position. The 615th loading list was as follows: Gillespie, Mann, Christensen, Post, Wysocki, Parr, Kaminski.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Grimmet, Massey, Hagan, Hershey.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0400 hours and the target was an Air Depot at Clarmont Ferrand, France. The aircraft were loaded with 42 tons of GP bombs and take off started at 0630 hours. The bombing altitude of 18,000 feet was reached as the Group crossed the French coast. The bombing results were rated as "Fair" and the planes began landing at 1425 hours. source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Link source: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Lyon: Results could not be accurately observed due to extreme amount of smoke and fire coming from the target area, but it is believed to be good. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: Nil. None.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17F (#42-3262).
Organization: 561BS / 388BG of Knettishall, Suffolk.
Pilot: Maple, Howard E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Knettishall, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-3335).
Organization: 549BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk.
Pilot: Ray, Arthur G.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Balderton Motts/Sta 482 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47C (#41-6324).
Organization: 3GTTF / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Beaupre, Robert V.
Notes: crash landing engine failure.
Location: RAF Wyton England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75137).
Organization: 63FS / 56FG of Halesworth, Suffolk.
Pilot: Lovett, George H Jr.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Stansted/ 1 1/2 mi N S169 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#43-25514).
Organization: 61FS / 56FG of Halesworth, Suffolk.
Pilot: Perry, Joseph H.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Bovindon, Hertfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Spit Vb (#).
Organization: 14PRS / 7PRG of Mount Farm, Oxfordshire.
Pilot: Chapman, Carl J.
Notes: forced landing due to engine failure.
Location: Cockham Moor, Bourne En 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 321"
Fighter support for 8th AF 329 and fighter bomber attacks
April 30, 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
64464419.218-1-511-0-176-1-110-1-4357FG crashes sea
4FG crash-lands Manston
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Mission Targets

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Support
644 A/C
ROMARANTIN, FRANCE
Prunieres Airfield
14 A/Cphotos (1)
TOURS, FRANCE
Airfield
48 A/Cphotos (3)
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)
363rd Fighter Group
354th Fighter Group
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
357FG (2 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
363FG (1 a/c)