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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 364: 1,045 bombers and 562 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields and rail targets in France; 3 bombers are lost:

1. 580 B-17s are dispatched to the marshaling yard at Metz (34 bomb), Epinal (36 bomb) and Chaumont (54 bomb); airfields at Orleans/Bricy (17 bomb) and Chateaudun (18 bomb); secondary targets hit are marshaling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany (139 bomb), Bayon (12 bomb), the town of Neunkirchen, Germany (37 bomb), Caen/Carpiquet Airfield (18 bomb) and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 50 damaged; 12 airmen are KIA and 4 WIA.

2. 465 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Orleans/Bricy (167 bomb), Bourges (84 bomb), Avord (88 bomb) and Etampes/Mondesir (97 bomb); 1 aircraft hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 33 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA and 10 MIA. Escort is provided by 96 P-38s, 142 P-47s and 324 P-51s; none are lost and no Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 1 P47 is damaged beyond repair and 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are damaged; 644 Ninth Air Force fighters also participate with the loss of 2 P-38s and 2 P-47s.

Mission 365: 103 P-51s are dispatched to bomb a railroad bridge at Hasselt, Belgium; 75 bomb escorted by 14 acting as top cover; 1 P-51 is lost, the pilot is MIA.

Mission 366: 4 of 5 B-17s drop 928,000 leaflets on Belgium and The Netherlands without loss.

7 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

source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306BG Mission Reportsource: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Command Pilot: GERHART. 36 aircraft were dispatched with 117 tons of bombs. 24 aircraft made their runs and dropped 72 tons of bombs. Minor damage to 10 planes from flak. No casualties. Score: fair to good. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 25 aircraft were sent on this mission.

42-97325 Lt. P. E. Crowe - Collided with B24 and crashed. KIA 6, WIA 3.

source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 113. Primary Target: Nancy/Essey Airfield - Nancy, France. Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Saarbrucken, Germany

32 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 24. Scrubbed - 2. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 4. Ground Spare, Unused - 2

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th furnished one Group and the high squadron of the 452nd B Group. Our A Group flew low in the 45th Combat Wing and the 452nd B Group flew low in the 4th "B" Combat Wing. All three Air Divisions were to attack airfields and marshalling yards in France.

24 a/c of the A Group were airborne by 0537 hours. 7 a/c of the B Group were airborne by 0631 hours . 6 a/c of the A Group and 1 a/c of the B Group aborted as scheduled. The targets of both Groups were covered by clouds. The B Group did not drop their bombs because of the weather. Our A Group attacked Caen/Capriquet airfield with good results. Strike photos show the bomb pattern on the double hangers. Meager flak was encountered by both Groups but no enemy a/c were seen.

All of our a/c returned to base by 1248 hours.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report
Orleans, France. Up at 0200, briefing 0230 - Takeoff 0500. Load 12 x 500 lb. G. P., Gas 2300, Ship R+. Everything went off as scheduled, target was a bomb dump near airfield 9 miles N.W. of Orleans. Nose turret door broke off going through #3 prop, smashed cowling, cut a few holes in fuselage and broke R. O. window. Saw several places on way in and out that had just been bombed. Falk in target area.
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/
398th Bomb Group Mission reportsource: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th Squadron put up the following crews which flew in the Low Squadron position of the Lead Box: Fox, Windham, Hammond, Protz, Scharff, Keeling, Hess. The assigned primary target for this operation was the marshalling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany. However on arrival at the target it was found to be obscured by clouds resulting in a search for a secondary target. As a consequence Bayonne, France was bombed. Bombing was done visually and results were described as fair. No enemy air opposition was encountered and only meager to moderate flak was encountered in the vicinity of Rheims. All crews returned.source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The Group put up 29 aircraft on this mission to Bayon, France, making up the Lead and Low Boxes of the 94th IlAII Combat Wing. The attack was on the marshalling yards and was part of a force of 1,045 four-engined bombers and 562 fighters sent by the 8th A.F. to attack airfields and marshalling yards in Northern France. Out of this huge force only three aircraft were lost. There was no air opposition and some flak was encountered in the vicinity of Rheims. Crews: Kilmer Kenney Walsh Smith.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - This day witnessed a major visual attack by the 8th A.F. on airfields and rail targets in France. Just over 800 B-17's and B-24's with an escort of 560 fighters crossed the English Channel to do battle with the Luftwaffe but the enemy did not put in an appearance. Only three bombers were lost and three fighters damaged. The two PFF aircraft from Bassingbourne landed at Deenethorpe in the very early hours of the morning. They were coded "Dimple B" and "Dimple H". Briefing was at the very early time of 0200 hrs and the last of the 29 401st ships on the mission became airborne at 0621 hrs. The Group put up the Lead and Low Boxes of the 94th CBW. The briefed target was obscured by cloud cover and was not bombed, although three runs were made in an attempt to pick it up through a break in the clouds. On the last run, the Wing Leader dropped on the railroad tracks at Bayon. Crews observed strikes on the tracks. The bombs of the Low Box, which did not bomb with the Wing Leader, were dropped 12 miles SE of Verdun, France. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Meagre to moderate flak was encountered only at Rheims. The 615th crews were: Parr, Whiteman, Lewis, Gillespie, Knight, Ochsenhirt.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Toussaint, Kelly, West, Johnson, Opie.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - Excellent strikes and results were scored by the entire Group on the mission to the airfield at Avord, 14 miles miles west of Bourges, France. Captain Gildart was Lead Pilot with Colonel Gibson as Command Pilot, leading the entire Division on this most successful strike. Col. Gibson stated that the bombing results were the best ever accomplished by this Group. The MPI was entirely covered. 30 aircraft took off, 29 bombed (10 67th). Time off was an early 0445 and all returned at 1230 hours. There were no enemy aircraft in the target area and very little flak encountered. Fighter support was excellent. One new combat crew was assigned to the 67th and joined from Station #138.source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Orleans airfield

The airfield was bombed with good results. One plane, Wee Willie (42-7583), was lost when it appeared the bombs were dropped through the closed bomb-bay doors. A piece of the damaged door struck and damaged the planes tail, causing a spin from which the pilot could not recover. All 10 on board were killed.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0230 hours and the target was an airfield at Troyes, France. The aircraft were loaded with GP bombs and take off started at 0505 hours. Division assembly was made as the formation departed the south English coast at 0732 hours at 15,000 feet. The bombers were not able to drop their bombs due to cloud cover over the target. They also were not able to bomb their target of last resort because it was too close to a built up area. Landing started at 1255 hours with no losses. 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
Strike photos show 1st squadrons bomb concentration around MPI - reported as good.2nd SQDR bomb concentrationwas approx 500ft short & left of MPI in barracks area - report: Good.; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 0; WIA = 1; MIA = 0
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 Aero-engine works at Whippy, 2 miles NNW of Metz was the primary target assigned to this Group, the Railway Traffic Center at Saarbrucken, the secondary. Our Squadron provided 9 A/C and crews for this Mission. BOMBING RESULTS: A PFF attack on secondary was made with unobserved results. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None encountered. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Good. FLAK: Meager, inaccurate AA fire was experienced by our A/C at the target. Meager AA fire observed out of range from vicinities of Rheims and Nieuport. CASUALTIES: None. REMARKS: Aircraft # 076 aborted while over Beachy Head because of loss of supercharger on #3 engine. Aircraft # 042 blew up #1 exhaust stack on #4 engine while North of Paris as a result the crew aborted and returned to base. source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-107015).
Organization: 750BS / 457BG of Glatton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Procopio, Americo (NMI).
Notes: ground looped.
Location: Glatton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-22479).
Organization: 360FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Moyer, Grant F.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Clacton-on-Sea/5mi SW England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-22780).
Organization: 360FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.
Pilot: Hepfer, Joe B.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: RAF Hawkinge England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-74672).
Organization: 350FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Peters, Edwin H.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Raydon, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B5 (#43-6920).
Organization: 363FS / 357FG of Leiston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Davis, William S.
Notes: ground looped.
Location: Leiston, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: UC-78 (#43-31827).
Organization: / BAD2 of .
Pilot: Goddard, Stanley E.
Notes: crashed due to engine failure.
Location: Upper Heyford England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 365"
Fighter-bomber attack on Hasselt rail bridge
May 23, 1944

Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
10310317.50-0-00-0-01-0-00-0-1P-51 first fighter-bomber mission
Mission Targets

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bridge103 A/C
Aircraft Groups

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OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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361FG (1 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)