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Mission

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Missions

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Missions

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 791: 958 bombers and 469 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards and Rhine rail bridges mostly by PFF methods; they claim 6-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:

1. 367 B-17s are sent to hit the Mainz rail bridge (31), the Gustavsburg rail bridge at Mainz (95) and the Bischofsheim marshalling yard (119); 74 hit the secondary target, the Mainz marshalling yard; targets of opportunity are Euskirchen (13) and other (7); most attacks are made using Micro H but some formations bomb visually; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 126 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 4 WIA and 19 MIA. Escorting are 79 of 80 P-51s; 3 are damaged beyond repair.

2. 276 B-24s are dispatched to hit rail bridges at Worms (86) and Rudesheim (89) and the Kaiserslautern marshalling yard (87); 1 hits a target of opportunity; most attacks are made using Gee-H but some formations bomb visually; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 39 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 10 MIA. The escort is 114 of 118 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.

3. 315 B-17s are sent to hit rail bridges at Germersheim (71, using Gee-H) and Maximiliansau (159) and rail and highway bridges at Mannheim (76) visually; 1 hits a target of opportunity; 5 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 42 MIA. Escorting are 77 of 82 P-51s; 2 are damaged beyond repair.

4. 102 P-47s and P-51s fly a freelance fighter sweep supporting the bombers; they claim 3-0-0 aircraft in the air and 3-0-1 on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.

5. 45 of 45 P-51s fly a fighter-bomber mission against Mannheim, Trier, etc without loss.

6. 20 of 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

7. 4 of 4 P-51s escort an F-5 on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany.

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