Mission

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 370: 406 bombers and 604 fighters make visual attacks on rail installations and airfields in Belgium and France; 4 bombers and 12 fighters are lost; the fighters claim 13-2-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 3-0-5 on the ground; unless otherwise indicated, all targets are in France:

1. 307 B-24s are dispatched to marshaling yards at Belfort (74 bomb) and Mulhouse (134 bomb); 12 hit Tonnere marshaling yard and 37 bomb Bretigny and 1 bombs Dijon Airfields; 2 B-24s are lost and 57 damaged; 20 airmen are MIA.

2. 320 B-17s are dispatched to Nancy/Essey Airfield (75 bomb) and marshaling yards at Metz (69 bomb), Saarguemines (36 bomb) and Blainville (36 bomb); 56 B-17s hit Thionville marshaling yard and 3 bomb Liege Airfield, Belgium; 14 B-17s are damaged.

3. 103 B-24s bomb Montignies sur Sambre marshaling yard and 9 bomb Alos marshaling yard; 3 B-24s are damaged.

4. In Belgium 247 B-17s are dispatched against marshaling yards at Brussels/Schaerbeck (52 bomb), Brussels/Midi (29 bomb) and Leige/Guillemines (50 bomb); other marshaling yards hit are Brussels/Melsbroek (18 bomb) and Liege/Renory (50 bomb); 2 B-18s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 71 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 6 WIA and 28 MIA.

5. 18 of 38 B-17s and 18 of 18 B-24s hit Fecamp gun battery without loss. 6. 15 B-17s hit St Valery gun battery without loss.

Escort is provided by 136 P-38s, 181 P-47s and 287 P-51s; P-38s claim 3-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 9 P-38s (pilots are MIA) are lost and 8 damaged; P-47s claim 4-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 3-0-5 on the ground, 6 P-47s are damaged; P-51s claim 6-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft, 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 damaged.

MISSION 371: 4 of 4 B-17s drop leaflets 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,

Mission Reports

303BG Mission Report - Target: Railroad marshalling yards, Blainville, France. Crews Dispatched: 28 (358BS - 7, 359th - 7, 360th - 7, 427th - 7). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 23,000 & 22,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 205 rounds.

Beautiful weather with no clouds and only a slight haze permitted two 303rd BG(H) formation of 12 aircraft each to attack the railroad marshalling yards at Blainville, France. Twenty-eight aircraft took off and four spare aircraft returned to Base. No Fortresses returned early.

Twenty-four B-17s bombed the primary target from 23,000 and 22,000 with 240 500- lb. G.P. A.N. M-64 bombs. Bombing was visual with good results: a few hit the Round House and others hit the marshalling yard area.

No enemy aircraft were observed. Meager and inaccurate flak was seen only at Blankenburghe. Chaff was not dropped. Friendly fighters furnished good support. All aircraft returned safely with no casualties.

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/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission # 3: Moutignies sur Sambre. Command Pilot: BOYD. 36 aircraft were dispatched with 117 tons of bombs. 23 planes dropped 66.5 tons of bombs, getting direct hits on locomotive sheds and near hits on a blast furnace and blower house. Score: good. No enemy fighters and no flak directed at this formation. At 0902 hours a crewmember observed what was believed to be a jet propelled aircraft, whose maneuvers were observed for about five minutes. Rockets were fired at the group at 0934 hours near Brussels. source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 34 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 115A. Primary Target: Marshalling Yards - Sarreguemines, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)

27 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 24. Aborted - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 2.
42-97201 Stevens, Raymond R - aborted due to oxygen failure;

source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388th Bomb Group Mission Reportsource: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th furnished an A Group and the high squadron of the 452nd B Group. Our A Group led the 45th Combat Wing which was lead CW of the 3rd Air Division. The Target was the marshalling yards at Leige.

21 A/C of the A Group were airborne by 0529 hours. The 7 A/C of the Composite Group were airborne by 0540 hours. Formations were effected with difficulty and the aircraft proceeded to the Target. Just after the formation had crossed the French Coast, the Group Leader and Deputy Leader were shot down. This was in the Poix Area at 0810 hours, due to flak. Our planes in the "B" Group high squadron then took the lead. Lt. Breed in A/C 106989, was also hit by flak and #4 engine caught fire. He ordered the crew to bail-out, and five men left the plane. The Co-pilot could not extract his chute so the pilot put the plane in a dive from 20,000 feet to 6,000 feet and the fire went out. He then returned to base with the remainder of the crew.

The "B" Group which now became the first group over the Target dropped their bombs at 0909 hours from 22,000 feet. The strike photos show that the bombs fell short of the main Target but with a few hits on the MPI.

Meager flak was encountered in the LeTreport area but very accurate flak at Poix/Osemond Area. All a/c of the A Group and 4 a/c of the B Group received battle damage.

Two of our a/c failed to return and five men from the third bailed-out. Lt. Hanks in a/c 42-31760 and Lt. Fisk in a/c 31973 made emergency landings at Manston. All crew members are safe. The remaining 19 a/c returned to base by 1113 hours.

Captain Zengerle in a/c 42-31741 "Thunderbolt", was hit by flak in the Poix Area at 0810 hours and fire broke out between #3 and # 4 engines. The a/c then peeled off to the right and ten chutes were seen. The a/c then went into a spin and blew-up before hitting the ground.

Lt. Warren in a/c 42-107017, was hit by flak in the Poix Area at 0812 hours and the #3 and #4 engines caught fire. The a/c then left the formation and 7 chutes were seen. The a/c blew-up before hitting the ground. The co-pilot and radioman came out through the French underground in September.

source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report
Paris - Overslept and missed the main briefing. Gas 2500 - 10 x 500 lb. G. P. Supposed to hit marshalling yards at Troy, couldnt see target so we bombed secondary, which was another airfield at Paris. Flak was heavy and accurate and I was damn glad to get home. Jimmy Stewart was Command Pilot for our wing.
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 / 614BS Mission Report - The 401st put up 34 aircraft to attack two separate targets on the 25th May, Fecamp and Metz, both in France. At Fecamp they attacked a gun battery and at Metz the marshalling yards. The bombing of Fecamp was described as not good, while the attack on Metz was considered as being excellent. A new system of combining Gee-H and H2X was tried out on the target at Fecamp but did not seem to have been successful, the bombs falling to the north of the target. It was a try-out for the bombing of coastal guns for the coming D-Day assault. The Squadron put up six crews for the Fecamp mission: Fisette Walsh Gruman La Fevor Kenney Smith.source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The two PFF ships for the 75th mission had landed from Bassingbourne at around 2300 hrs on the 24th May with briefing at 0300 hrs for the 34 aircraft taking part. By 0608 hrs all were airborne, with 16 aircraft heading for a coastal battery at Fecamp and the remainder going on to attack the railway station at Metz. The attack on the coastal battery was thought to have been fair to poor. No flak or enemy fighters were seen. The 615th Squadron did not have any of its crews on this part of the day's missions. The attack on the marshalling yards at Metz seems to have been a hurried last minute arrangement with the Field Order arriving only about two hours before takeoff. The assembly point was near London and the crews made out very large fleets of boats in the Thames - the question naturally came to their minds - the Invasion? After the I.P. the Lead Ship started towards Metz and over it they saw strikes on the left part of the marshalling yards followed almost immed­iately by the 401st bombs covering the right hand side. The 401st Bomb Group attacking Metz furnished the High Box of the 94th CBW with Major R.J. White as the Air Commander. The lead ship crew were: Post, DiSiana, Ochsenhirt, Knight, Christensen, Trimble, Dempsey, Gillepsie.source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Crews: Dailey, Bingham, Massey, Toussaint, Opie, Woods, McCord, Myrtetus, Kelly.source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - Captain Aldridge led the Group today on a mission to Belfort Marshalling Yards, with Major Lehnhausen (68th) as Command Pilot. 26 Aircraft were dispatched (8 were 67th), 24 of them bombed the Primary which is about 10 miles NW of the Swiss Border. The target lies on the main line railroad from Paris to Switzerland and southern Germany. There are large locomotive repair shops in the center of the yards, which was the MPI. The Group bombed by two sections. The second section was flying with the 492nd BG. Smoke obscurred vision and the 1st section hit slightly over, some hits in the Marshalling yards and results were considered good. Flak was meager and slightly accurate in the target area; and the fighter support was excellent. Nevertheless, the 67th Squadron lost Lt. Tomer and crew. The aircraft was observed to leave the formation at 0842 hours with #2 engine feathered and #3 smoking went into a steep dive but apparently under control and headed towards Switzerland 67th A/C #42-94962 X Missing Air Crew Report #5158 Tomer, Frank J. 2nd Lt. Pilot Corona, Calif. Unreported; later KIA Sanders, James E. 2nd Lt. Co-pilot Byron, Ohio Unreported; later KIA Franson, Quinten A. 2nd Lt. Navigator Sedgewick, Colorado Unreported; later KIA Prince, Bertis R. 2nd Lt. Bombardier Los Angeles, Calif. Unreported; later KIA Navish, Kenneth C. S/Sgt. Engineer Cleveland, Ohio Later, reported KIA Katz, Ervin S/Sgt. Radio Oper Chicago, Illinois Later, reported KIA Thurman, Homer A. Sgt. LW Gunner Turner, Kansas Unreported; later KIA Brose, William F. Sgt. RW Gunner Fords, New Jersey Returned to duty 10 Sep 1944 Anderson, Eldon B. Sgt. Tail Tur. Stanford, Texas Officially reported POW Steburg, Willis L. Sgt. Ball Tur. Los Angeles, Calif. Officially reported POWsource: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report
Mulhouse

32 planes bombed the marshalling yards with excellent results. One plane, Banger (41-29140), lost an engine and turned back before reaching the target. On its return, it suffered heavy flak damage and the crew had to bail out. 5 crewmen were taken prisoner and 5 evaded capture and returned to England.

source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0300 hours and the target was marshalling yards in the southern part of Brussels. The planes were loaded with ten 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 0530 hours. Upon reaching the French coast, the Group had arrived at their bombing altitude of 21,500 feet. Bombing results were rated as "Excellent" and the return flight was uneventful. Landing started at 1115 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
Group flew split formation with 456th and 467th Gps attackeding M/Y and locomotive sheds at Mulhouse. Results were excellent.; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 0; WIA = 0; 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
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Nancy/Essey, France, was the target for attack. It was successfully bombed. Ten ships from 323rd squadron took part. Ship #1579 aborted before reaching the enemy coast. Number four oil temperature was climbing and oil pressure went down to sixty pounds and was still going down when engine was feathered. No. four engine was also losing oil. It was considered as an engineering abortive. All ships returned safely to base without injury to any of their crews. source: 323rd Bomb Squadron / 91BG Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - The Nancy-Essey Airdrome was the target for this mission, with our Squadron providing 7 crews and A/C. BOMBING RESULTS: Crews describe bombing results as good with both MPI's covered with smoke. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Excellent. FLAK: None experienced. CASUALTIES: None. REMARKS: Aircraft piloted by Lt. Newton turned back from a point south of Amiens due to its oxygen system being out. source: 91st BG / 401st BS Mission Report http://www.91stbombgroup.com/

Non-Combat Accident Reports

Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97062).
Organization: 749BS / 457BG of Glatton, Huntingdonshire.
Pilot: Johnson, Malcolm E.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Glatton, Huntingdonshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: C-64 (#43-5225*).
Organization: 320FRS / 27ATG of Troston, Suffolk.
Pilot: Stenerson, Jenkin N.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Horham, Suffolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67261).
Organization: 436FS / 479FG of Wattisham, Suffolk.
Pilot: Walker, William R.
Notes: killed in crash due to engine failure.
Location: Rattlesden/NW Sta 126 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47C (#41-6367).
Organization: 552FTS / 495FTG of Atcham, Shropshire.
Pilot: Carson, Gale E.
Notes: killed in a crash.
Location: Lower Trewerward Farm England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-12193).
Organization: 555FTS / 496FTG of Goxhill, Lincolnshire.
Pilot: Freeman, Cecil M.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Goxhill, Lincolnshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

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

Mission "8th AF 370"
Airfields, rail targets and coastal batteries in France
May 25, 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
4063262166.30-0-00-0-04-1-1451-6-48
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Mission Targets

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BELFORT, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard74 A/Cphotos (2)
MULHOUSE, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard134 A/Cphotos (1)
BRETIGNY, FRANCE
Airfield
37 A/C
DIJON, FRANCE
Longvic Airfield
1 A/Cphotos (3)
NANCY, FRANCE
Essey Airfield
75 A/Cphotos (2)
METZ, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard69 A/Cphotos (2)
THIONVILLE, FRANCE
Airfield
56 A/Cphotos (1)
SAAREGUEMINES, GERMANY
Railroad
marshalling yard36 A/C
BLAINVILLE, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard36 A/Cphotos (2)
MONTIGNIES SUR SAMBRE, FRANCE
Railroad
marshalling yard67 A/C
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Schaerbeck Railroad
marshalling yard52 A/C
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Midi Railroad
marshalling yard29 A/C
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
Mielsbroek Airfield
18 A/C
FECAMP, FRANCE
Defenses
Coastal Batteries36 A/C
ST. VALERY, BELGIUM
Defenses
Coastal Batteries15 A/C
LIEGE, BELGIUM
Airfield
3 A/C
LIEGE, BELGIUM
Guillemines Railroad
marshalling yard50 A/C
LIEGE, BELGIUM
Renory Railroad
marshalling yard50 A/Cphotos (1)
Aircraft Groups

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
303BG
305BG
306BG
351BG
379BG
381BG
384BG
401BG
457BG
91BG
92BG
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG
93BG
389BG
392BG
445BG
446BG
448BG
453BG
458BG
466BG
467BG
492BG
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
94BG
100BG
34BG
385BG
388BG
390BG
447BG
452BG
486BG
487BG
95BG
96BG
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses

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1ST BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
2ND BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
44BG (1 a/c)
446BG (1 a/c)
3RD BOMBARDMENT DIVISION
388BG (2 a/c)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)