Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 169: The port area and oil refinery at Ludwigshafen, Germany are hit at 1156-1300 hours. 502 of 530 B-17s 145 of 168 B-24s, and 11 of 12 PFF aircraft attack the target; they claim 12-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 14 B-17s and 9 B-24s are lost, 4 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 106 B-17s and 11 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 19 WIA and 200 MIA. The mission is escorted by 79 P-38s, 463 P-47s and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 8-3-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 P-47s and 2 P-51s are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 12 MIA.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 170: 5 B-17s drop 1 million leaflets on Antwerp, Ghent, Lens, Belgium and Cambrai, France at 2319-2340 hours; no losses.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 36 aircraft were sent on this mission.
42-31162 Lt. R. A. Parsons - Shot down by flak. POW 6, KIA 4.
42-39780 Lt. J. R. Adamiak - Crash-landed. KIA 5.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 47. Bombs were away at 1202 hours on PFF from 22,000 feet, with unobserved results. Primary Target: I. G. Farben Industrie, Chemical/Synthetic Rubber Plants - Ludwigshaven, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (PFF)
30 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 23. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 5. Scrubbed - 1 41-24560 Morrison, Donald S - aborted at 1016 hrs because of oxygen failure in top turret; system dropped to zero and after it was recharged to 250 lbs it again dropped to 120 lbs in 15 mins; 18 M47A1s rtd 41-24578 Daskey, Kendall (NMI) - Aborted near Molesworth; #3 supercharger defective 42-3259 Cosentino, George (NMI) - Landed away at Gatwick with #4 engine out; bombed target; sent to 2 Strategic Air Depot at Little Staughton for repair. 42-29703 West, George B - Briefed to fly in high squadron of composite group, flew #5 position with unidentified Group; landed away at Thurleigh due to fuel shortage 42-31274 Jacobs, Randolph George Edward - Failed to Return Composite Squadron Ldr; MIA; mechanical fault; 15 mins over France #1 prop ran away, threw chunks of cowling, and caught on fire; MACR 1768; ditched in Channel at 1125 hrs; nine crew picked up, one missing; crew at Swanley Manor Hospital in Lewes. 42-37776 Smith, Roger Clement - Aborted at 1042 hrs because nose, windshield were completely blocked out by frost and throwing oil; 12x500GP rtd 42-37793 Carter, T L (IO) - High squadron lead 42-37816 Van der Haeghen, Joseph Albert - Low squadron lead 42-37848 Stier, George Withers - Aborted at 1020 hrs because of oxygen failure; oxygen filler line broke on ball turret and oxygen was leaking from the tail, left waist, ball, and radio positions; four men were completely without oxygen; 12x500GP rtd to base 42-37885 Lotz, William H - aborted because pilot's oxygen system was out of order; 42x65 M47A1s rtd 42-39784 Larsen, Jack Kirby - landed away at Thurleigh due to fuel shortage. 42-39888 Knapp, Paul B - landed away at Alconbury due to fuel shortage.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - This Group furnished two Groups for the 45th Combat Wing "B" which was the last Wing of the 3rd Division over the Target, followed by B-24's of the 2nd Division.
40 of our A/C plus the PFF that lead the "A" Group, took-off between 0817 and 0851 hours and both Groups made Wing rendezvous without difficulty. 5 A/C aborted for mechanical reasons and one due to personnel failure. One of these, Lt. Davis, received credit for the mission as he left the formation after he passed the French Coast because of engine trouble. Shortly after this, the lead PFF A/C aborted in the "A" Group and Lt. Gunn of his high squadron, took over.
The Target was the I.G. Farbenindustrie Chemical Works. Due to full cloud cover, the bomb results were unobserved. On the bomb run, the Group ran into severe prop wash from the Group ahead causing the formation to bounce around. As a result, "Joho Joker's" slid in front of Lt. Carlson's plane causing it to go out of control, rolled over and broke in half in the middle of the radio room. Four members of the crew parachuted and were POW'S A/C 42-31131 "SATANS SISTER"
No fighter attacks were made on this Group and flak was moderate. Six of our a/c received flak damage.
A short time after bombs away, Lt. Comella in a/c # 149, had trouble with # 3 prop which set up a lot of vibration and the engine caught fire. The pilot put the plane into a dive to put the fire out when # 3 prop came off and tore up the nose section. They were then attacked by fighters which knocked out the # 2 engine which had to be feathered. They were down to 600 feet when leaving the enemy coast and were hit by flak. They sent out an SOS and ditched in the channel. Four of the crew were picked up by Air-Sea Rescue. Lt. Hulcher and Lt. Mouat had to abort in the Target Area and made it back alone. Lt. Hulcher landed at Horham.
Sgt. Larson, waist-gunner, had a severe case of frost-bite.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was an attack on Germany's greatest chemical producing plant, the I.G. Farben Industrie at Ludwigshaven. 23 aircraft took part in this mission and Major E.W. Brown led the raid in a 613th Squadron aircraft with Capt. C.C. Hinkle Jr., and his crew. The 614th crews were: Kirkhuff, Kaufman, Wilson, Peck
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - This was an attack on the chemical works of I.G. Farbinindustrie at Ludswigshaven, which the Allies had reason to believe were producing poison gas. The Group put up 23 aircraft with 20 of them attacking the primary target under the leadership of Major E.W. Brown. This was the longest mission yet flown by the Group with 10 hours engine time recorded. The target was attacked by PFF method in Wing formation. No results were observed. The loading list was as follows: 42-31091 White, 42-37809 Sprecher, 42-31193 Beers, 42-31069 Kaminski, 42-37843 Chistensen, 42-39904 Grinham.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The objective of this mission was the vast Chemical Works of I.G. Farben-industrie that is located at Ludwigshaven, Germany. The group dispatched 24 aircraft that assembled without much difficulty, six of them being 67th's. The formation did not meet much enemy opposition either ground or air, and the bombs were dropped on PFF flares by B-17 Pathfinders. The use of "Window" - aluminum foil in strips (Chaff) that was dropped to counteract the radar in its predictor controlled anti-aircraft fire, was enthusiastically endorsed. However, in the target area after bombs away, 25 enemy aircraft made attacks on our formation, with the 66th's losing one of their aircraft, #42-7548 "Bull 0 The Woods" piloted by 1st Lt. D.J. Hessket. The engineer, T/Sgt. Elmer D. Risch, tells this story: "Our load was fire bombs and both bomb bays were-loaded full with the 80 or 90 pound type. Just before crossing the channel I pulled all the arming pins myself so the bombs were ready to go off on contact. We were hit by enemy fighters at 3'6'clock, a little higher than level. I was in the top turret facing the rear. As they came in they gave us the works, one behind the other. We were flying high and on the outside in the formation. Bullets were ricocheting because I was hit in the left heel from the rear (or front of the plane). The pilot gave orders to 'Prepare to bail out' on the interphone so I left the top turret and the interphone system. I opened the bomb bay doors and stood on the catwalk. When the radio operator started to come to me and I saw Lt. Hessket (co-pilot not seen), the pilot, leave his seat, I went over-board. I never saw anyone from the rear or waist positions, nor saw anyone from the crew until I got back to England. When in France I was told that two planes had crashed in the neighborhood. The name of the plane was 'Bull O. The Woods' with a large bull painted on the left front side snorting smoke. 1st Lt. William A. Rendall, Navigator, adds: "We were scheduled to do some Gee-Box training but were called for briefing on short notice. When we were about 14 minutes across the coast in Abbeville country, Lt. Heskett moved from the "box" to fill in an open spot on Coffin Corner due to an abortive at the coast. He swung a little wide - and it was the signal for an attack from 3 o'clock by three FW 190s. (S/Sgt. Aulus L. Blitz) was killed instantly on the first pass and (S/Sgt. George R.) Miller took a fragment through his left elbow. Controls were damaged on right side and we started losing altitude in a slow turn. Heskett rang the bail-out bell, and I was not able to get any answer on inter-phone so I started through the tunnel to go up on deck. But found that the bail-out dinghy in the passage way (under the flight deck) had snapped onto the pocket of my leather flying trousers. I finally got the other snap of the dinghy free from an angle and went out the nose wheel door, with that darned dinghy attached. It was a difficult free fall with that dinghy slapping around and I had to open up higher than comfortable. When the chute opened, the pocket with escape kit left with the dinghy. (S/Sgt. Stanley G.) Langcasky got Miller out of the ship and Miller had one of the most amazing escape stories I have ever heard. We all landed within 2 miles of the crash site near Chavigny, north of Soisson. 1st Lt. Donald J. Heskett set a speed record for his return to the base. (Returned to duty 11 February 1944!). In the first Resistance Group that I made contact with I made the mistake of showing off my college French to the Chief, who was also a Chief of Police, and he found me useful in moving English and American Airmen. A French family helped me across the river at Soisson on New Year's Eve and I started walking southeast by night for 10 days. But after I made contact with an Organized Group of the French Resistance, I was active in an evacuation program for Airmen and refugees until the Gestapo infiltrated on 19 June, 1944. Then it was to Chalons-sur-Marne and Fresnes Prison in Paris; evacuation to Germany and finally as Military. POW at Stalag Luft III (Sagan).
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Ludwigshaven
The port of Ludwigshaven was bombed with the crews experiencing very little enemy opposition. Bombing occurred through heavy clouds, but blue-green smoke was seen rising from the target area. All planes returned.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Ten A/C of 323rd squadron took off at 0810 hours to bomb the chemical works of I. G. Farben Industries at Ludwigshafen, Germany. The aiming point was the center of the works which is the center of research on oil, rubber, explosives and chemicals. Meager, inaccurate AA fire was encountered by our group flying at altitudes of 21,000 to 23,000 feet. Twenty to thirty enemy fighter, mostly ME109s, were seen and made several attacks. Our escort was as briefed except for the P-36s expected on withdrawal. Bombing results were unobserved due to 10/10 cloud cover over the target which brought PFF bombing into action. All A/C of 323rd squadron completed the mission and returned safely.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Attack on the chemical works of I.G. Farbenindustrie at Ludwigshaven, Germany. Bomb Load: 42 x M 47's. Altitude: 21,500 ft. Results A.T.O.T.: Dropped on PFF 10/10 clouds. No Obs. Time: Take Off 0815. Target 1158. R. T. Base 1535. A/A Fire: Meager and moderate. Enemy Fighter Opposition: 25/30 Me109's and FW190's - making attacks in formation of 5/C A/C from 12 to 2 o'clock, nose down instead of rolling over after attack. Me109's with wing guns. Fighter Support: P-47's gave good support, Spits IX's were late, P-38's too far away.
Battle Damage: A/C 656 received 20 mm in left wing and #2 gas tank, left stabilizer hit by 50 cal. A/C 353 major damage #3 engine shot out, electric cable in bomb bay, top turret damaged by 20 mm.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Ludwigshaven: Unobserved due to undercast, PFF used. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: Between 20 and 30 E/F seen at intermittent periods. Most E/A seen were Me 109's a few of which carried markings K.G.L. FW 190's, Me 110's, Ju 88's and one Macchi 202 sighted. Attacks not pressed home. Enroute, meager, inaccurate AA fire experienced at Worms and at the target. A/C 863 piloted by Lt F. C. Ammann crash landed at Steeple Morden after #1 and #3 engines caught fire at Take Off. Plane was total wreck but none of the crew were hurt.