Mission 898: 451 bombers and 355 fighters are dispatched to hit the shipyard and dock area at Hamburg and an oil refinery; they claim 14-3-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 bombers and 2 P-51s are lost:

1. 13 of 152 B-17s hit the Blohm & Voss U-boat yard at Hamburg; 133 others hit the secondary, the port area at Hamburg; bombing is visual; they claim 1-0-3 aircraft; 1 airman is KIA and 2 WIA. Escorting are 70 of 79 P-51s; they claim 0-0-2 aircraft.

2. 149 of 162 B-17s hit the secondary target, the Hamburg port area, using H2X radar; 1 other hits the Nordholz Airfield, a target of opportunity; they claim 5-3-2 aircraft; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 54 damaged; 27 airmen are MIA. The escort is 72 of 75 P-51s; they claim 0-0-2 aircraft.

3. 114 of 129 B-24s attack the oil refinery at Hemmingstedt; 1 B-24 is lost and 9 damaged; 12 airmen are MIA. 75 P-51s escort; they claim 2-0-1 aircraft in the air and 1-0-2 on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 4. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission without loss.

5. 2 B-17s and 26 of 27 P-51s fly scouting missions.

6. 78 of 82 P-51s fly a strafing mission in the Bremen-Hannover area; they claim 2-0-3 aircraft in the air and 3-0-2 on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

7. 17 P-51s escort 11 F-5s and 2 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.

Mission 899: 1 B-17, escorted by 4 P-51s, bombs Oberursel at 1650 hours from 25,000 feet (7,620 m); this is the first operational test of Micro-H Mk II radar.

Mission 900: 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany and 2 A-26s fly CARPETBAGGER missions (1 A-26 is lost).
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,

Mission Reports for this date:
Some entries may be scrollable
303BG Mission Report - Target: Oil Refinery at Hamburg, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 5, 359th - 13, 360th - 9, 427th - 13). Crews Lost: Lt. Taub - 3 KIA, 7 POW; Lt. Moore - 5 KIA, 3 POW. Length of Mission: 7 hours. Bomb Load: 12 X 500 lb H.E. M43 bombs.

Bombing Altitudes: 26,000, 24,800, & 27,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 24,695 rounds.

Major Glynn F. Shumake, CO 358BS, flew as co-pilot with 1Lt. Clarence J. Goodberlet in #43-38554 358BS Bouncing Betty III. Field Order target designations for the 39 303rd BG(H) B-17s were:

First Hamburg, Germany oil refinery (visual) Second Hamburg, Germany another refinery (visual) Third Hamburg, Germany submarine yards (visual)

In the target area there were 6/10 low clouds with tops at 10,000 feet and 1/10 to 2/10 cirrus with bases at 28,000 feet. Contrails at the target bombing altitude were light and non-persistent, but became dense and persistent as the Group lost altitude while leaving the target. Thirty-eight aircraft dropped 456 500-lb. H.E. M43 bombs on the second priority target by PFF with unobserved results. One aircraft dropped two 500-lb. bombs on the Nordhois airfield as a target of opportunity. Moderate to intense and fairly accurate flak was encountered at the target.

A force of 15 to 20 ME-262 German fighters attacked the 303rd BG(H) Forts for about 30 minutes as they came off the bomb run and started home. The enemy fighters pressed their attacks as close as 50 feet, sometimes zooming right through the formation. Most aircraft attacked on the tail level, although a few hit on the nose and from the sides. Good friendly fighter support, by 72 P-51s, prevented the ME-262s from making prolonged and coordinated attacks. Three 303rd BG(H) aircraft sustained major battle damage and seventeen, minor damage.

The ME-262s successfully downed two Group B-17s. B-17G #43-39160 G for George 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. Francis R. Taub, was flying on the right wing of the high flight leader in the high 360BS formation the most vulnerable spot in the formation. Three ME-262s, the first Germany jet aircraft seen by the crew, shot off the vertical stabilizer on their first pass. On the second pass they hit the #3 engine and set the right wing on fire. During the attack some of the crew believed that Sgt. James L. Hollowell shot down one of the ME-262s one of the few jets to be shot down during World War II. 2Lt. Charles P. Johnson (NAV) gave the pilot a course heading for Sweden, but it quickly became obvious that it would be impossible to remain airborne. The order was given to bail out and the Fortress went into a spin. The two pilots were struggling to gain control of the spinning aircraft so others could bail out. Lt. Johnson pushed S/Sgt. Warren F. Chrisman out the nose hatch, bailed out himself, blacked out and regained consciousness in time to pull the ripcord. He landed in a plowed field and proceeded north towards Denmark. He was captured the next day near the village of Bad Seiberg. The B-17 was about 1,000 feet below the formation and 3/4 mile behind when it exploded following the second attack by six ME-262. The explosion knocked out the plexiglass nose. S/Sgt Michael A. Dugan (TOG) went out the open nose. It was his opinion that the pilot and co-pilot, 2Lt. John T. Cooper, were killed as a result of the explosion.

B-17G #43-38767 (No Name), 359BS, piloted by 2Lt. Thomas L. Moore, was flying in the lead 359BS formation in the No. 2 spot in the low flight. The No. 2 engine was hit by two German jet fighters shortly after bombs away and immediately burst into flames. The oxygen and interphone systems were malfunctioning. The #2 engine was out and pieces of the nacelle fell off. The skin on the left horizontal stabilizer ripped off and ribs could be seen.

More info on this mission at the 303BG website
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/

384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 293. Primary Target: Shipyard, Submarine Facility - Hamburg, Germany

38 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 1
42-97271 Hicks, Gerald Warden - Failed to Return - MIA; hit by flak at 1655 hrs in #2 engine, was thrown up 100ft and quickly skidded out of formation to the rght and dropped 7000ft; was last seen heading for the deck, apparently under control with no feathered props; no chutes seen; flak, crashed near Ramhausen, Germany
43-37843 Cathey, George Warlick - Aborted; #3 turbocharger out; bombs jettisoned. Note: loading list indicates Bradford crew was assigned to this aircraft (loading list assigned Cathey crew to aircraft 43-38647), but formation chart was accepted as most authoritative source.
43-39236 Scherokman, Edward - Pilot reported seeing 10 Me-262 jet aircraft.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/

388BG Mission Report - The 8th Air Force put up a small force from all three Air Divisions which attacked oil and submarine targets in the Hamburg area. The 388th furnished one Group which led the 45th A Combat Wing.

11 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c were airborne by 0624 hours. Formations were effected and the briefed route was followed to the target. The secondary target was attacked using PFF equipment with a visual assist. Strike photos show that the bombs hit just east of the assigned target.

Meager to moderate flak was encountered at the target and in the Kiel Canal area. One single engine enemy a/c attacked a straggler near our formation. Eight of our a/c suffered battle damage. All of our a/c returned to base by 1935 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info

445BG Mission Report - Target: Henningstedt/Heligoland, Germany - Oil Refinery/Flak Emplacements (abort due to weather/flak). A/C Took Off: 11. A/C Bombed Target: 0. A/C Lost: 0
source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report

Good results were reported in the bombing of an airfield.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com

446th Bomb Group Mission Report

An oil refinery was hit hard, with large fires reported.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com

467th Bomb Group Mission report
source: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
392nd Bomb Group Mission Report
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
44BG Mission Report - Only three of the 67th aircraft, 11 44th's in total, participated in an afternoon mission to an Oil Refinery at Hemmingstedt, Germany. 1st Lt. Burns, 506th, led the 44th's aircraft to fly the left echeloned squadron in the 14th Combat Wing. It was generally clear with high clouds overhead throughout the route. The target area was covered with smoke for some 3,000 feet from the MPI, so the bombardier had to use the off-set method of bombing, but evidently rate wasn't set up properly, and bombs fell over the MPI as shown on SAV's. Bomb loading was 6 x 500 lb GPs and 6 x 500 RDXs. No flak or enemy aircraft were encountered, and our fighters furnished very good support. All aircraft returned to base safely. Today the 68th Squadron lost ship #42-50660, crashing on take off. No crew member was killed. On the 18th S/Sgt. Dean completed his tour, and on the 19th Lt. Maynard and S/Sgt. Kostecka completed their tour. Also on the 19th the 66th Squadron released Captain Howard C. Henry, 1st Lts. Albert K. Winter, Ira J. Lee, Albert E. Jones; T/Sgts. Robert W. McGahan, Wingfield E. Ward; S/Sgts. Richard H. Walker, Edwin L. Schonfeld and Billie Moore. Today, Lt. Folland and S/Sgt. Silberman completed their tour. Lt. Struthers and crew were assigned to 70th RD for return to ZOI. There was much excitement around on the base at 2130 hours when the black alert was given over the tannoy. A lone enemy aircraft was operating in the vicinity as ground fire from Wendling could be seen. Several minutes later he passed over the field. He was engaged by ground fire from several sites, but no hits were scored, apparently. He must have thought the defenses too heavy as he did not attempt another attack on the field.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #147 Hamburg. Command Pilot: CREER. 25 planes dispatched. 24 planes dropped 69 tons on the primary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 24 Credit Sorties.

B-17G 43-38386 E/K crash-landed at Eye Airfield, UK on return. Pilot: Roscher. Nothing reported on the crew.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com

Accident Reports for this date:
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38126).
Organization: 600BS / 398BG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire.
Pilot: Hicks, Lee J.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-39089).
Organization: 729BS / 452BG of Deopham Green, Norfolk.
Pilot: Imboden, Truman R.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: Deopham Green, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24 (#44-50844).
Organization: 36BS / 482BG of Alconbury, Cambridgeshire.
Pilot: Sweeney, William J.
Notes: crashed on take off.
Location: Alconbury, Cambridgeshire England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-12433W).
Organization: 351FS / 353FG of Raydon, Suffolk.
Pilot: Lamb, James W.
Notes: crashed belly landing due to engine failure or fire.
Location: Raydon/2mi W Sta 157 England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51C (#43-25037).
Organization: OT / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex.
Pilot: Hitt, Edward J.
Notes: taxiing accident.
Location: Wormingford, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14117).
Organization: 369FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk.
Pilot: Hopkins, Robert W.
Notes: landing accident.
Location: East Wretham, Norfolk England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D5 (#44-13779).
Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex.
Pilot: Rasmussen, Herman S.
Notes: crash belly landing due to mechanical failure.
Location: Debden, Essex England.
Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3
source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/

Mission "8th AF 899"
Special Bombing Operation
March 20, 1945

mission statistics sources:
Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Bomb TonnageEnemy
(on gnd)
550.00-0-00-0-00-0-00-0-0482BG aircraft 1st use of Micro H Mk II bombing
Mission Targets:
OBERURSEL, GERMANY Leaflet drop       
Escort: 4 aircraft       
Aircraft Groups:
482nd Bombardment Group (Provisional)
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)
Aircraft Losses:
OTHER (IX AF, HQ, etc)