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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 373: 1,126 bombers and 710 fighters are dispatched against rail targets in France and Germany and gun batteries in France; 24 bombers and 7 fighters are lost; the fighters claim 35.5-1-5 aircraft in the air and 9-0-2 on the ground:

1. 344 B-17s are dispatched to marshaling yards at Ludwigshafen (150 bomb) and Mannheim (125 bomb); 18 hit Lachen/Apeyerdorf, 19 hit the Mannheim area and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 12 B-17s are lost and 98 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 114 MIA.

2. 269 B-17s are dispatched to marshaling yards at Karlsruhe (98 bomb) and Strasbourg, France (49 bomb) and aviation factory at Strasbourg/Meinau, France (53 bomb); 7 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 89 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 3 WIA and 70 MIA.

3. 69 of 86 B-24s bomb aviation factory at Woippy, France; 3 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 airman is WIA.

4. 369 B-24s are dispatched to marshaling yards at Saarbrucken (145 bomb), Neunkirchen (66 bomb) and Kons/Karthus (72 bomb); 3 others hit targets of opportunity; 5 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 18 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 50 MIA.

5. 36 of 40 B-17s bomb Fecamp gun battery, France without loss. 6. 18 of 18 B-24s bomb St Valery, France without loss.

Escort is provided by 170 P-38s, 238 P-47s and 302 P-51s; 1 P-38 is lost (pilot is MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair; P-47s claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 2-0-0 on the ground without loss; P-51s claim 34.5-1-4 aircraft in the air and 7-0-2 on the ground with the loss of 6 P-51s (pilots are MIA), another is damaged beyond repair and 8 damaged. 425 Ninth Air Force aircraft also support the mission; they claim 4-0-0 with the lost of 1.

Mission 374: 24 of 24 P-47s hit a barge convoy between Willenstadt and Meerije, The Netherlands; 1 P-47 is damaged and 2 barges destroyed.

Mission 375: 3 of 4 B-17s drop leaflets in Belgium and France without loss.

788th and 850th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), VIII Air Force Composite Command attached to 801st Bombardment Group (Provisional), move from Rackheath and Cheddington respectively to Harrington, England with B-24s; the 788th flies CARPETBAGGER missions over Europe and the 850th will commence these missions on 31 May.

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