Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Occupancy of all planned Eighth Air Force stations in Britain is completed with the transfer of the airfield at N Pickenham from the RAF to the Eighth; total stations number 77, including 66 airfields, occupied by 82 operational or HQ units.

Mission 361: 438 bombers and 568 fighters are dispatched on PFF attacks to targets in Germany and France; 5 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:

1. 342 are dispatched to the port area at Kiel, Germany; 289 hit the primary and 5 bomb targets of opportunity; 5 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 209 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 78 MIA.

2. 94 of 96 B-24s hit V-weapon sites at Siracourt, France; 1 B-24 is damaged. Escort is provided by 145 P-38s, 95 P-47s and 328 P-51s; P-38s claim 8-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft, P-47s claim 12-1-2 and P-51s claim 2-2-1; 3 P-38s, 3 P-47s and a P-51 are lost; 1 P-38 and 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair; 1 P-38, 2 P-47s and a P-51 are damaged; 6 pilots are MIA.

130 P-47s are dispatched on a fighter-bomber attack railroad bridges at Hasselt and Liege, Belgium; 1 P-47 is lost and 1 damaged. Mission 363: 4 of 4 B-17s drop 320,000 leaflets on The Hague, Haarlem, Rotterdam and Utrecht, The Netherlands without loss.

12 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: Port area, Kiel, Germany (PFF). Crews Dispatched: 14 (358BS - 7, 359th - 7, 360th - 0, 427th - 0). Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 1 wounded by flak. Length of Mission: 6 hours, 50 minutes. Bomb Load: 40 x 65 lb M-47A1 Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitude: 24,300 ft. Ammo Fired: 220 rounds.

Twelve Group aircraft appeared over the target and dropped 489 65-lb. M47A1 incendiary clusters from 24,300 feet. The lead bombardier received the code word for bombing by navigational aids (PFF). He could see the target on his bomb run and bombed visually from the Combat Wing formation. Results were reported as good with some 303rd BG(H) bombs hitting the Krupp Germania shipbuilding yard.

Some crews reported seeing 25 to 100 enemy aircraft in the distance, others reported seeing none. There were no attacks on the Group. Flak was moderate and accurate in the target area and was observed but not encountered in three other areas. Friendly fighter support was as ordered. Chaff seemed to have a beneficial effect eight aircraft sustained only minor flak damage. One airman suffered a minor wound from flak.

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 - 12 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 112. Primary Target: Marshalling Yards - Kiel, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

18 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 12. Failed To Return - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 3
42-38014 Decker, Charles E - Weather aircraft
42-102402 Castleman, Milton Eugene - Failed to Return - MIA; at 1308 peeled off from formation; #1 and #2 engine feathered; went into spin, apparently not hit by flak or e/a; bombed target; mech fault, cr Neumunster; MACR 4954

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - All forces of the 1st and 3rd Air Divisions were assigned the City of Kiel for this mission. The 388th was the lead Group in the 45th Combat Wing formation.

22 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c were airborne by 0924 hours and assembled in their respective formations without difficulty. Just before the Wing left the English Coast 5 a/c aborted.

1.Lt. Salles at 1044 hours with #1 engine failure.

2.Major Chamberlain at 1046 hours when he became sick.

3.Lt. Hanks at 1118 hours with #2 oil cooler out.

4.Lt. McGrath at 1108 hours a legal abort (spare)

5.Lt. Fjelsted at 1112 hours a legal abort (spare) The balance of our a/c followed the briefed course to the target. The weather, being better than briefed, was favorable for a visual attack which was made at 1303 hours from 24,900 feet. Before the IP was reached, Lt. Muirhead aborted when his Tokio tanks failed to open. Strike photos show our bombs hit in the harbor area.

Intense flak was encountered over the target and very accurate. 10 to 12 ground rockets were also reported at the target.

From 40 to 50 single engine enemy a/c were seen in the target area but were prevented from attacking by the escorting P-38's and P-51's.

Lt. Mergenthaler in a/c 42-97091, was shot down in the target area with the crew bailing out.

The tail-gunner was killed by German civilians with a bullet to the head. Four of the crew were put into the German PW hospital at Schleswig with the following injuries: Lt. Cohen with fractures of both arms; Lt. Hamilton with bullet wound in the right thigh and scratch wound on forehead; S/Sgt. Anshitz with fracture of left knuckle and T/Sgt. Sprague with bullet wound in right leg.

Lt. Glantz in a/c 42-31707 "Jakes Jerks", was hit by flak and fighters. They lost three engines and tried to make the channel but could not maintain any altitude. The crew was ordered to bail-out at 15,000 feet with all 10 crew members being captured soon after landing.

Lt. O'Brien in a/c 42-102433, made an emergency landing at Ludham. The plane crashed into a tree killing the co-pilot, Lt. H. E. Buck and radioman T/Sgt. Foster Carlson.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th Squadron furnished the following crews to participate on this mission: Connolly, Keeling, Lew, Hammond. Bombing was done by means of Pathfinder because of the dense clouds and because of the clouds observations were impossible. Flak was encountered or observed along the route was meager and inaccurate and at the target was meager to moderate but fair for altitude and poor for deflection. Five enemy aircraft were observed at a distance but as far as this Group was concerned enemy aircraft opposition was considered nil. All planes from this Group returned without incident.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The target on the 22nd May was the port area of Kiel and 15 401st aircraft made up the High Box of the 94th Combat Wing. Because of dense clouds bombing was done by Pathfinder methods with unobserved results. Flak was observed on the way to the tar;et but was meager and inaccurate. At the target it was meager to moderate but fair for altitude and poor for deflection. The Group did observe five enemy fighters but only at a distance and did not trouble the Group. Crews: Gruman Risher Cammack Walsh Lipka.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 1st and 3rd Air Division of the 8th A.F. sent a force of about 300 B-17's to attack the important warship and submarine shipbuilding yards at Kiel, although the MPI was designated as the center of the built-up city area. 623 tons of bombs were dropped with unobserved results. Five of the B-17's were shot down and 210 suffered battle damage. Briefing for the 15 crews was at 0600 hrs with all aircraft airborne by 0943 hrs. The 401st furnished the High Box of the 94th CBW. No enemy air opposition was met but five FW-190's were observed at a distance just after leaving the target. Flak encountered or observed along the route and at the target area was meagre to moderate and accurate. The 615th crews on the mission were: Lewis, Brown, Kaminski.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
457th Bomb Group Mission Linksource: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Our target was the industrial area in Kiel, just North West of the Krupp Submarine and Shipbuilding Yards, where the 10, 000 ton 'Prinz Eugen' was built. This Squadron provided 9 A/C and crews for this mission. BOMBING RESULTS: PFF run made, but bombing done visually. Area just North of briefed MPI was clear, so bombardier dropped on this with good results. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: No direct attacks on this Group. Crews reported that 12 to 15 E/A, mainly Me 109's and several Me 110's were engaged by our escort in a dogfight to the rear of our formation who kept them from making any definite attacks. FIGHTER SUPPORT: As briefed and as stated above. FLAK: Meager to moderate inaccurate AA fire experienced at the target.source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67257).
Organization: 554FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Gunn, William E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67856).
Organization: 554FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Weeder, Paul L.
Notes: killed due to explosion.
Location: Gainsborough/ 3mi S England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-68117).
Organization: 77FS / 20FG of Kings Cliffe, Northamptonshire.
Pilot: Arthuad, Charles C.
Notes: forced landing due to engine failure.
Location: Humber Ln, East Riding England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-76364).
Organization: 62FS / 56FG of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Vitale, Joseph (NMI).
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Boxted, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-8373).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Coffey, Martin D.
Notes: crashed belly landing due to engine failure or fire.
Location: Raydon/8mi ESE Sta 157 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-8646).
Organization: DetB / 67FW of Boxted, Essex.
Pilot: Gerhart, Robert P.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Boxted, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-8671).
Organization: 82FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Richards, Hayden E.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Duxford, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B5 (#43-6542).
Organization: 357FS / 355FG of Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Debacker, Albert H.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Steeple Morden, Cambridgeshire 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 346"
Fighter support for 8th AF 361
May 22, 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
5685680.022-4-80-0-07-3-40-0-656FG ditches sea
56FG crash-lands base
56FG crash-lands base
4FG crash-lands Sweden
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Mission Targets

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Support
568 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
339FG
357FG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
20FG (1 a/c)
364FG (2 a/c)
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
4FG (1 a/c)
56FG (3 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)