Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

General Dwight D Eisenhower sets D-Day for the Normandy invasion as 5 Jun; the date subsequently will be changed to 6 Jun.

Mission 344: In the morning, 807 bombers and 729 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in Germany in a PFF mission; the bombers claim 76-16-16 Luftwaffe fighters, the fighters claim 55-4-20; 36 bombers and 13 fighters are lost:

1. 500 B-17s are dispatched to bomb Berlin; 386 B-17s hit the primary, 42 bomb Brunswick, 17 bomb Brandenburg and 8 bomb Magderburg; 25 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 169 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 7 WIA and 261 MIA.

2. 307 B-24s are dispatched to Brunswick; 288 hit the primary and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 11 B-24s are lost, 7 are damaged beyond repair and 28 damaged; 7 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 112 MIA. Escort is provided by 152 P-38s, 295 P-47s and 282 P-51s; the P-38s claim 6-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft, the P-47s claim 9-1-5 and the P-51s claim 40-3-12; 4 P-38s, 4 P-47s and 5 P-51s are lost; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair; 3 P-47s and 1 P-51 are damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 13 MIA.

Mission 345: In the afternoon, 164 bombers and 97 fighters are dispatched against targets in France and Belgium; 5 bombers are lost: 1. 92 of 101 B-17s bomb V-weapon sites at Glacerie and Sottevast, France; 5 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 29 damaged; 28 airmen are MIA. 2. 57 of 63 B-24s hit Brussels/Schaerbeck marshaling yard, Belgium; 29 B-24s are damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 19 MIA.

Escort is provided by 97 P-47s without loss. Mission 346: 3 of 4 B-17s drop 1.6 million leaflets on 10 towns in France without loss.

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