Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 210: Airfields in France are targeted. 103 B-17s are dispatched to Chateauroux/Martinerie and Avord Airfields with 50 hitting each target; 121 B-17s are dispatched to Chateaudun (61 bomb) and Orleans/Bricy (60 bomb) Airfields; 182 B-17s are dispatched to Romilly-sur-Seine air depot but 133 hit Villacoublay; 103 B-24s are dispatched to Meslay Airfield (90 bomb) and 8 hit Chateaudun; they claim 5-0-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 39 B-17s and 31 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 15 WIA and 22 MIA. Escort is provided by 92 P-38s, 496 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 46 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 6-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47s are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged; casualties are 2 MIA.
Mission 211: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 300 bundles of leaflets during a CARPETBAGGER mission on Ghent, Monceau-sur-Sambre, Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium at 2026-2037 hours without loss.
In view of the previous decision to concentrate most of the training activities of the Eighth Air Force in the VIII Air Force Composite Command, a decision is made to transfer HQ from Limavady, County Derry, Ireland, to Cheddington, England, to bring it closer to the combat crew training stations over which it is to be given supervision. Most of the transfer is completed between 7 and 15 Feb.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
303BG Mission Report - Bricy German Airfield, Orleans, France. Crews Dispatched: 20 with 3 spares (unused) (358BS - 7, 359th - 0, 360th - 8, 427th - 8). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 25 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 15,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,780 rounds.
From an engineering standpoint, it was a perfect mission: no failures at take-off and no abortives. It was also a "milk run" with only meager and inaccurate flak and no enemy fighters. Friendly fighter support was excellent. Sixty tons of A.N. M43 500-lb. bombs were dropped from 15,000 feet. All aircraft returned with no casualties. Because there were only a few scattered clouds over the target, bombing was visual and the results were good.
Bombardiers said that the bombs flowed over the German airfield in a perfect pattern, destroying several parked aircraft and setting fire to buildings and hangars in the air base area.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 24 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 59. Primary Target: Bricy Aerodrome, Luftwaffe Training and Bomber Airfield - Orleans, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual).
23 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 20. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 3
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, which was a visual mission, the 388th furnished one Group which flew as low Group in the 45th Combat Wing. The 45th Combat Wing was the second Wing in the 3rd Air Division formations. The 1st and 2nd Air Divisions were assigned various airfields in France.
Our 24 a/c were airborne between 0756 and 0822 hours. One a/c aborted for mechanical reasons and two as legal aborts. Formations were effected without difficulty and proceeded to the target on the briefed route. When the formation reached the primary target, it was covered by clouds and the leader decided to attack the secondary target, which was Villacoublay Airfield. This was a German repair depot for Junker aircraft, located on the Southern outskirts of Paris. Bombs were away at 1219 hours from 22,500 feet on a mag heading of zero degrees. The lead bombardier chose a large hanger on the north side of the field. The bomb pattern covered this hanger and several of the adjacent workshops. After bombs away the formation returned on the briefed course.
In the Paris area, two yellow-nose FW 190's attacked the low squadron-from six o'clock low. One of these a/c is claimed as destroyed by this Group. One of our a/c received a 20mm shell in the right wing and suffered major damage.
Heavy flak was seen at Dieppe and Rouen. Moderate flak was encountered in the target area. 18 of our a/c received minor flak damage.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1430 hours.
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 - On the 5th February Captain Leon Stann led the mission to an airfield at Chateauroux, France, the Group putting up 26 aircraft to form the Low Box of the 94th Combat Wing. For a change the weather at the target was excellent and the Group were able to carry out visual bombing. The Lead Bombardier was Lt. Durward Fesmire, a veteran of numerous missions with the 19th Bombardment Group in the South Pacific. The bombing results were excellent. No flak was encountered but the clear weather brought up the Luftwaffe, some of the 401st aircraft being attacked, and some of the crews were wounded as a result. The following crews took part on this mission: Cammack, Arneson, Dawes, Wilson, Weber, Walsh.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - This was a major 8th A.F. attack on Luftwaffe bases in France. The 26 aircraft from the 401st B.G., under the command of Captain Leon Stann, attacked the airfield at Chateauroux. Lt. E.A. Christensen and his crew were flying 42-97496, and just after they had dropped their 12 x 500 Ib G.P.'s on the primary target, a single ME-109 came in at 1 o'clock and opened up on them with its cannon. A little later an FW-190 came up under them and opened fire with his 20mm cannon from about 20 yards then stalled away. One shell struck the ball turret and a fragment went through the forehead of S/Sgt. Jack D. Nonemaker, Ball Turret Gunner. Another fragment made a deep gash in the back of his neck. Two more found their mark, one cut his right hand and another tore a finger off his left hand. Despite these injuries, he managed to crawl out of his turret unassisted and went to the radio room. During this same attack, Sgt. Clarence R. Miller, the radio operator was standing at his gun when a 20mm shell came through the bomb bay and struck him in the right leg just above the ankle, shattering the leg badly. He applied a tourniquet by himself. At this same time S/Sgt. Battista J. Fatica, the right waist gunner was hit below the hip by a 20mm shell which exploded and blew his leg off. A fragment laid his scalp open. He died 45 minutes later when the aircraft was over the channel. The aircraft was also badly damaged and started to climb out of control and Lt. Christensen ordered the crew to bailout, but immediately rescinded the order. In the shambles at the back of the aircraft the bombardier, Lt. Reynolds, and the left waist gunner, S/Sgt. A.L. Batson, gave first aid to the three injured crewmen and although unable to save the life of Sgt. Fatica more than likely saved the lives of the other two injured men. With their radio out the co-pilot, Lt. R.L. Rustand, signalled by aldis lamp to one of the wing ships who then led them back to England to RAF Abingdon, near Oxford. During the attack a 20mm shell came through the tail of the fuselage, hit an ammo box at the side of the tail gunner and exploded, blowing him completely around but not injuring him. Crews: 42-31077 Currie, 42-31496 Christensen, 42-37833 Grinham, 42-40002 Scharff (612BS), 42-31518 Gardner, 42-31730 Lewis, 42-31619 Ferdyn, 42-31521 Campbell.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44th BG Crash Report - Aircraft #42-100181, 68 BS: Star Valley: shot down by enemy aircraft over Saint-Leonard-en-Beauce, France. Enemy fighters made very concerted attack against the Group formation. The loss was caused by enemy aircraft, which managed to shoot off part of one wing, the plane went into a spin and couldnt recover. Three parachutes were observed to come out and open.
Sgt. Keith Nutter stated: A FW 190 made an attack straight in on our nose, turned over on his back just as he passed under our left wing, then started down. As he came back up, I started firing straight down. He went down and with him went the B-24 which was flying on our left wing. Both seemed to hit the ground at approximately the same time and place. This fighter had hit our #2 engine and navigators compartment and also hit our wingman (Bohnisch) at the same time on that first pass. Our waist gunner claimed hits as well.
Pilot: Bohnisch, Carl A KIA
CP: Giffin, John S KIA
Navigator: Ede, Hubert J
Bomb: Spink, Harold W KIA
RO: Ohler, Bernard A
Eng/TT: Leverich, William F KIA
BT: Edgerton, Eugene C KIA
LW: Hall, Kenneth E KIA
RW: Klein, Warren E POW
TG: Morin, Joseph E E
Waist gunner report: We were attacked by F.W.190s, we were in formation at time and were flying in the tail position. They attacked from high at five oclock.
The right waist gunner thought they were American planes and did not fire at them. I heard him call them out, and I turned around to see them, by then they were firing at us. He froze at his position, so I turned to my own gun, and called the tail gunner to warn him. I started to fire at them as they came past my side of ship.
They hit our left tai land it started to come off, they hit number two motor, it caught fire. At that time I called the pilot to tell him of the tail. But he was calling for fighter escort help. As I turned to open hatch, I was hit in the head, I got the hatch open, and looked up to see the tail gunner standing there with his chute on.
That plan at that time went into a spin, Im not sure what happened then the next I knew I was in the air. I landed and just then heard the plane blow up.
Why the tail gunner didn't jump I do not know. He was not wounded. The right waist gunner as I said froze at his gun. The ball torrent never did come out.
The forward part of the crew I know nothing about.
source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
44BG Mission Report - The 67th participated in a mission to central France at Tours Airdrome. Fifteen of the 44th aircraft (3 were 67th) departed this base at 0700 hours, reached the objective, bombed, and all returned this base at 1430 hours except one 67th plane that was forced down at East Walling, Kent with two wounded officers, and one 68th's ship that was MIA. The 68th plane #42-100181 Z "Star Valley", was shot down by enemy aircraft which made very concerted flights against the 44th Group formation. Little or no flak was encountered over the target but the presence of the enemy fighters made up for the absence of flak. The Group claimed three enemy fighters as destroyed. And Capt. Bunker on DS to 14th CB Wing.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Tours
The Tours airdrome was attacked by 14 planes with good results. Ammunition dumps were seen exploding, and several buildings and hangars were hit.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0600 hours and the target was an Air Depot in Romilly-sur-Seine, France. The group was assigned to fly in the high position of the Fourth Combat Wing. The planes were loaded with GP bombs, and the assigned bombing altitude was 21,900 feet. Take off started at 0825 hours. After assembly the Group headed for Wing assembly but never completed the assembly. The decision was made to abort the missions. One crew joined another group and bombed Villacoublay. Landing started at 1245 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - The target was Avord, an Air Field, about 125 miles south of Paris, France. Six 323rd ships took part. All dropped their bombs with excellent results. As none aborted, or failed to reach the target, the squadron felt proud of the day's work. When a ship takes off on a mission and then has to turn back, neither its crew nor the ground crews feel happy about it. To them, it is a lot of hard work and effort wasted.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Avord AB, France. Bomb Load: 12x500. Bombing Altitude: 15,000. Bombing Results: Very good, hits seen in workshops, hangers, etc., good pattern in adjoining areas. Time: Take Off 0830. Target: 1110. Ar. Base 1410. A/A Fire: No A/A fire directed at our group, only meager, inaccurate A/A fire reported. Excellent fighter support was enjoyed all the way to and from the target.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Avord Airdrome. Crews report assigned M.P.I. was well hit. Also hits believed on parked airplanes on Eastern hanger line. Escort took care of the small number of E/A which appeared, 5 E/A believed to have been FW 200 K's took off during the attack, one crashing into a tree at one end of field and 3 others being shot down by P-38's. There was no battle damage from A/A fire. T/Sgt. Streets said, No fighters - no hangers - no barracks. S/Sgt. Harper said, our group blew up one side of their airport and the high group behind us took the other side. We kicked the stuffin out of that joint, and, brother, our fighter escort was beautiful.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Mission to Avord, France. Avord: Excellent! Targets at this airdrome were well hit. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: One to 5 FW 190's and Me 109's reported. Fighter support took care of them. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Excellent! P-47's, P-38's and P-51's furnished good close support all the way in and out. No AA fire was directed at this formation.