Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 350: 364 B-24s and 536 fighters are dispatched to bomb marshalling yards in France; 8 B-24s and 5 fighters are lost:

1. 144 are dispatched to hit Mulhouse; 94 bomb the primary, 19 hit Belfort, 13 bomb Orleans/Bricy Airfield and 2 hit Mezidon/Pithiviers; 1 B-24 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 17 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 7 WIA and 40 MIA.

2. 74 are dispatched to Belfort; 33 bomb the primary and 24 hit Chaumont; 1 B-24 is lost.

3. 76 are dispatched to Epinal; 68 hit the primary and 1 bombs Caen Airfield; 3 B-24s are lost.

4. 70 are dispatched to Chaumont but none bomb; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 30 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 31 MIA. Escort is provided by 147 P-38s, 188 P-47s and 201 P-51s; the P-38s claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground, the P-47s claim 3-0-2 in the air and 2-0-6 on the ground and the P-51s claim 3-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-4s and 3 P-51s are lost, 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair and 2 P-38s, 6 P-47s and 2 P-51s are damaged; 5 pilots are MIA.

Mission 351: In the afternoon, 609 B-17s and 471 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards in Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg; 8 B-17s and 4 fighters are lost; primary targets are Brussels/Midi (55 bomb), Brussels (49 bomb) and Liege, Belgium (119 bomb, 2 lost); Saarbrucken (58 bomb, 5 lost), Kons Karthaus (55 bomb) and Ehrang (60 bomb, 1 lost), Germany; and Luxembourg (53 bomb); 12 hit the secondary target at Thionville, France; and 16 hit Volkingen, Germany; 19 hit Bettembourg, Luxembourg and 51 hit other targets of opportunity; 8 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 172 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 23 WIA and 83 MIA. Escort is provided by 99 P-38s, 182 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 190 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-51s claim 11-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 P-51s are lost, the pilots are MIA.

Mission 352: 4 of 5 B-17s drop 2.4 million leaflets over Denmark; 2 airmen are KIA and 3 WIA.

4 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions.

850th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VIII Air Force Composite Command attached to 801st Bombardment Group (Provisional), moves from Eye to Cheddington, England with B-24s; the squadron is flying CARPETBAGGER missions.

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: Railroad Marshalling Yards at Saabrucken & Volkingen, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 37 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 9, 427th - 10). Crews Lost: Lt. John Long - 11 crewmen MIA. Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 11 wounded by flak. Length of Mission: 6 hours, 25 minutes. Bomb Load: 1000 lb. M-44 G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitudes: Group A - 22,000 ft; Group B - 21,200 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,070 rounds.

While taxiing into take-off position, the hydraulic system on #42-97272 Duchess' Daughter 359BS-T failed. The pilot, 2Lt. George R. Sirany, suddenly had no brakes and his aircraft taxied into #42-97284 Ain't Misbehavin 359BS and then swung around and hit #42-97058 Scorchy II 359BS. All three B-17s were damaged and were unable to participate in the scheduled mission.

Thirty-seven aircraft took off to bomb the marshalling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany. The secondary target was the Aero-engine Works at Woippy, France. No aircraft returned early. Only a few enemy attacks were seen in the distance. There were no attacks on the 303rd BG(H). Friendly fighter support was good. Moderate and extremely accurate flak was met in the target area. Twenty-one aircraft sustained major flak damage and fifteen, minor.

There were 2/10 middle clouds and no low clouds in the target area. Visibility was restricted to five to eight miles in a thick haze. Bombing was done from 22,000 and 21,200 feet and 229 1,000 lb. G.P. M44 bombs were dropped with poor results. Restricted visibility made it difficult to sight the primary target. The AFCE in both lead aircraft was knocked out by flak and runs were made visually by PDI. The lead Group was unable to locate the primary target until immediately over it. A second bomb run was attempted, but the target still could not be seen. The Group turned off and bombed the marshalling yards at Volkingen, Germany as a target of opportunity. The low Group did pick up the primary target on its second bomb run, but it was impossible to make a good run because of anti- aircraft fire.

#42-97260 Bow-Ur-Neck Stevens, 360BS absorbed a flak hit which set the No. 1 engine ablaze and knocked the aircraft out of formation. Capt. Long forced his aircraft back into formation for the second bomb run by straining his three remaining engines. Just after the bombs were released, another flak burst tore the No. 3 engine and propeller off the plane, throwing it completely out of control. It flipped over on its back and went down in a dive. It pulled out of this dive and almost immediately went into another. Four parachutes were spotted, but the aircraft was lost in the haze as it went down and was not seen to hit the ground.

B-17 #42-107147 Sweet Melody, 360BS, returned full of holes. Flak knocked out the navigator's oxygen and one outboard engine and blew off one of the bomb bay doors on the second bomb run. Lt. Cecchini left the formation, struggling to maintain altitude. At 11,000 feet anti-aircraft guns opened up and Lt. Cecchini dove his bomber toward the ground at 300 mph. He ordered his crew to move forward of the bomb bay to maintain aircraft balance and to jettison all excess equipment. Flying at tree top level at 125 I.A.S., the crew experienced German 88mm gunfire from a ground pill box that injured four crewmen. Lt. Cecchini passed through German coastal defenses and flew very low across the water to the English coast. The crew located an RAF training field at Southend-on-Sea on the Thames Estuary. Making a hot, two-engine landing, the two pilots avoided a concrete ammo building, crashed through a fence, lost their landing gear and bellied into a ditch that stopped the Fortress. All crewmen survived the difficult and skillful crash landing.

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 - 35 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 105A. Primary Target: Marshalling Yards - Saarbrucken, Germany.

20 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 17. Aborted - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 2

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 105B. Primary Target: Ehrang, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

22 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 19. Ground Spare, Unused - 3

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th put up two Groups. Our A Group flew low in the 45th B Combat Wing and the B Group flew high in the 13th B Combat Wing. The 45th Wing attacked the Marshalling Yards at Brussels while the 13th Wing attacked the Marshalling Yards in Leige, Belgium.

16 a/c of the A Group were airborne by 1529 hours and 1 a/ c aborted for mechanical problems. Formation was effected without difficulty and the briefed route to the target was followed. The target was covered with smoke from bombs of another Group and our bombardier had a hard time picking out the target. On the third bomb run over the target, bombs were away at 1821 hours from 16,700 feet. Strike photos show very good results.

21 a/c of the B Group were airborne by 1516 hours and 2 a/ c aborted for mechanical problems. Formation was effected and after crossing the enemy Coast, the B group went approximately twelve miles north of the briefed course. Visibility was very good and bombs were dropped at 1834 hours from 20,900 feet.

The A Group encountered no flak or enemy fighters. The B Group encountered meager, inaccurate flak at Tilburg, Maastricht and Leige.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
392nd Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th Squadron flying as the Group Lead. Crews: Shotts, Hess, Pruitt. Crews reported that bombs dropped by the Group demolished railway shops adjacent to the roundhouse which was the MPI. The pattern was excellent and crews of the opinion that this was a perfect mission. The reason for the opinion is that there was no enemy air opposition, no anti-aircraft fire encountered or observed, target hit, and all planes and crews returned safelysource: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 401st Group furnished the Low Box of the 1st CBW "B" formation. Crews reported that the bombs dropped by the Group demolished railway shops adjacent to the round-house which was the MPI for the Group. The north pattern was thought to extend into the round-house. The formation and pattern were excellent. There was no enemy air opposition or flak on this mission. Crews: Walsh La Fevor Kenney Kaufman Taylor Gruman.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Toussaint, Bingham, Wells, Kelly, Tanner, Opie.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The Marshalling Yards at Mulhouse, France was the briefed primary target today, but due to the target being obscured by clouds, targets of opportunity were attacked. 67th's Capt. Aldridge led the Group today with Major Bunker, formerly of the 506 Squadron, flying as Command Pilot. Capt. Aldridge, leading the first section containing 13 planes, bombed Orleons/Bricy Airdrome with good results. (Visually). The 2nd squadron with 10 A/C bombed Belfort Marshalling Yards, also visually. Hits were made in the Yards south of town. Photos of Orleans show hits in the hangers and perimeter areas. Flak ranged from slight, inaccurate to slight fairly accurate. The first squadron saw about 15 E/A but no claims were made. The 506th Squadron was hit by enemy aircraft, losing Lt. Walsh in A/C #42-94999, and claiming one FW 190 as destroyed. Lt. Walsh of the 506th squadron was shot down by fighters. Seven men became POWs, 3 returned to duty. Lt. Mercer flew "Limpin Ole Sadie" T, a spare ship and said that they couldn't bomb Mulhouse even after two runs at it. As this was a long mission into southern France, he did not chance running out of fuel in a strange ship, so landed at a Spitfire base, Tangemere, in southern England for refueling. Lt. Wahler and crew followed them in for the same reason - low on fuel. After refueling and a delicious dinner of fish and chips, they flew home at 2030 hours, never more than 200 feet and sometimes only inches above the tree tops. At base 2130 hours.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Mulhouse, France

The marshalling yards were hit with good results. S/Sgt James Forrest shot down an ME 109.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 1230 hours and the target were railroad yards in eastern Belgium, Luxembourg and northeastern France. The planes were loaded with 1000 pound GP bombs and take off started at 1500 hours. The formation was at bombing altitude of 18,700 feet as they crossed the Belgium coast. Due to weather, the Group bombed a railroad junction at Malines, Belgium as a target of opportunity. Flak was light and the bombing results were rated as "Fair". Landing started at 2000 hours. source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 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
19 A/C attacked the target with excellent results. SAV shows hits on the MPI with principal concetraion on the M/Y.; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 0; WIA = 0; MIA = 2
source: 466th BG: Mission List (Mark Brotherton Collection)
467th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
486th Bomb Group Flimsy reportsource: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
492nd Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - The Railway Marshalling Yards and Workshops at Kons Karthaus, on the East Border of Luxemburg was the target assigned to this Group. This Squadron provided 6 A/C and crews. Described as good with main concentration falling a little short and slightly West of briefed MPI. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None encountered or observed. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Described as Excellent.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-39848).
Organization: 511BS / 351BG of Polebrook, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Karragianis, Martin (NMI).
Notes: mechanical failure.
Location: Polebrook, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97058).
Organization: / 303BG of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: .
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Molesworth, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97272).
Organization: 359BS / 303BG of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Sirany, George R.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Molesworth, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97284).
Organization: / 303BG of Molesworth, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: .
Notes: ground accident.
Location: Molesworth, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#42-40803).
Organization: 36BS / 801BG of Harrington, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: McKee, William G.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29447).
Organization: 733BS / 453BG of Old Buckenham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Nowalis, Harrison V.
Notes: crash landing.
Location: Old Buckenham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-29552).
Organization: 579BS / 392BG of Wendling, Norfolk.
Pilot: Lotterhos, Roy H.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Wendling, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#42-94964).
Organization: 567BS / 389BG of Hethel, Norfolk.
Pilot: Whitbeck, Elwood N.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Hethel, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67410).
Organization: 554FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Hanley, Robert G.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Glaxby England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B10 (#43-7139).
Organization: 487FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk.
Pilot: Ellison, Charles E.
Notes: take off accident.
Location: Bodney, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B15 (#42-106945).
Organization: 376FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire.
Pilot: Freedman, Roswell (NMI).
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 351"
Marshaling yards in France
May 11, 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
6095471559.00-0-00-0-08-1-1722-23-83303BG aircraft crash-lands Southend
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Mission Targets

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SAARBRUCKEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard58 A/Cphotos (1)
LUXEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG
Railroad
marshalling yard53 A/Cphotos (1)
EHRANG, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard60 A/C
KONS KARTHAUS, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard55 A/Cphotos (1)
THIONVILLE, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard12 A/Cphotos (1)
BETTEMBOURG, LUXEMBOURG
Railroad
marshalling yard19 A/Cphotos (2)
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Railroad
marshalling yard49 A/C
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Midi Railroad
marshalling yard55 A/C
LIEGE, BELGIUM
Fimes Railroad
marshalling yard119 A/C
MALINES, BELGIUM
Railroad
marshalling yard20 A/Cphotos (1)
VOLKLINGEN, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard16 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
398BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
94BG
100BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

Click blue links for info on the MIA aircraft (if known).
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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG (1 a/c)
305BG (3 a/c)
306BG (1 a/c)
379BG (1 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
100BG (1 a/c)
390BG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)