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Mission

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Missions

The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Missions

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 533: 824 bombers and 675 fighters are dispatched to strategic targets (aircraft and tank factories, airfields and fuel depots) in SE Germany; weather deteriorated enroute and many bombers were recalled when confronted with a front rising to 28,000-feet (8,534 m) and most units attacked targets of opportunity; only 25 bombers hit their primary (Sindelfingen); 18 bombers and 3 fighters are lost; targets were (numbers in parenthesis indicate number of bombers bombing):

1. Of 359 B-17s, 103 hit Pirmasens; 56 hit Elsenborn, 41 hit Karlsruhe, 30 hit Ulm, 8 hit Spreicher and marshaling yards at Saarbrucken (34) and Luxembourg (29); they claim 1-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 157 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 96 MIA. Escort is provided by 243 P-47s and P-52s; they claim 33-0-10 aircraft in the air and 24-0-15 on the ground; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost (pilots are MIA); 2 P-47s and 5 P-51s are damaged beyond repair.

2. Of 218 B-17s, 16 hit Aacen, 12 hit Eindhoven, 12 hit St Vith marshaling yard and 7 hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 94 are damaged; 5 airman are WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 162 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

3. Of 247 B-24s, 147 hit Saarbrucken marshaling yard and 25 hit an aircraft engine plant at Sindelfingen; 4 B-24s are lost, 2 are damaged beyond repair and 126 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 10 WIA and 39 MIA. Escort is provided by 165 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 6-0-4 aircraft; 1 P-38 is lost (pilot is MIA).

Mission 535: 3 of 4 B-17s fly a Micro H test mission against Aubigny, France airstrip. Escort is provided by 16 P-38s without loss. Mission 536: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France and the Netherlands during the night.

116 P-47s, escorted by 40 P-51s, are dispatched on fighter-bomber missions against communications in France without loss.

In England, HQ 325th Photographic Wing (Reconnaissance) is activated at High Wycombe; and HQ 25th Bombardment Group (Reconnaissance) and 652d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy, Weather Reconnaissance) with B-24s, the 653d Bombardment Squadron (Light, Weather Reconnaissance) with B-24s and Mosquito XVIs and 654th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy, Reconnaissance, Special) with B-24s, B-26s and Mosquito XVIs are activated at Watton.

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