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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

HQ 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 856th, 857th, 858th and 859th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), the CARPETBAGGER group, assigned to HQ VIII Fighter Command, is transferred to the 1st Bombardment Division to operate as a night bombing group; only the 856th Squadron remains on CARPETBAGGER operations over the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark under operational control of HQ Eighth AF; this reduction of supply dropping forces results from the recapture of major portions of France. The 859th Squadron is sent to Italy in Dec 44 and did not return; the 857th and 858th started night bombing sorties on a limited scale in Dec 44.

Mission 685: 1,131 bombers and 785 fighters are dispatched on PFF attacks on targets in W Germany; 2 bombers and 1 fighter are lost:

1. 379 B-17s are dispatched to hit military vehicle plants at Hannover/Hanomag (171) and Brunswick/Bussing (148); targets of opportunity are Bielefeld (35) and other (6); 2 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 15 damaged; 20 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 16 MIA. Escort is provided by 379 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.

2. 353 of 373 B-24s hit the Hamm marshaling yard; 29 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 196 of 212 P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.

3. 352 of 379 B-17s hit the Munster marshaling yard; 8 others hit targets of opportunity; 13 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 147 of 157 P-51s.

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