Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 300: 455 bombers and 766 fighters dispatched to bomb industrial targets at Schweinfurt, Zwickau, Oscheresleben, Schkeuditz, Halle and Leipzig are forced to abandon the mission because of haze and multilayer clouds; Luftwaffe fighter opposition is concentrated over N France and the bombers claim 10-6-7 fighters; 6 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 25 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 12 KIA, 16 WIA and 56 MIA.
Escort is provided by 124 P-38s, 449 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 193 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 18-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-8 on the ground; 3 P-38s and 2 P-51s are lost, 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 3 P-38s, 17 P-47s and 1 P-51 are damaged; 5 pilots are MIA.
HQ 353d Fighter Group moves from Metfield to Raydon, England.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
389th Bomb Group Mission Report Foche Wolfe assembly factory at Zwickau. Called back from pass to navigate for Oras crew. Had bad weather, in fact 2nd Section lost us in clouds over Channel and turned back. We went on through France and 100 miles into Germany before we finally had to turn back. We lost our friendly fighters when we turned and were immediately jumped by F. W.s. Saw at least 5 bombers go down. Flak moderate. Noticed French coast flooded for about 50 miles below Ostend.
source: 389TH BG: Personal Mission Log of Bernard L. Prueher http://www.hrhodes.com/Mission%20Logs/mission.htm
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
44BG Mission Report - Six of the 67th aircraft took off at 0950 hours along with like numbers from the other squadrons to attack Zwickau and/or Schweinfurt, Germany but the mission was recalled due to the extremely adverse weather conditions. All planes returned to base at 1630 hours after experiencing meager to moderate, accurate to inaccurate flak and several E/A attacks. The mission was delayed for 2 hours before take-off, was changed from Zwickau to Schweinfurt at take-off and before the formation reached the French coast a change was made back to Zwickau. About 50 minutes from target, in the vicinity of Kassel a recall was received. Sgt. Kipnes states, "While making our turn, "J" ship, piloted by Lt. Mueller collided with our (Lt. Mercer's) rudder. It wasn't serious but it gave us quite a scare. After the collision we hit the prop wash of the planes in front of us. Both Lt. Mercer and Church had to fight the controls to keep the ship flying steady. Despite the damaged rudder, Lt. Mercer made a perfect landing. On this mission we carried a photographer who worked the cameras from the waist." 2nd Lts. Church, Kessler, Mercer, Rising and Wahler all promoted to 1st Lts.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
96th Bomb Group Crash Report The B-17 was flying from its base to the 390th BG base to participate in a mission to Leipzig. The regular navigator had little night experience and they were initally off course when flying to Parham so the radio-navigator took over and corrected the course. Witnesses on the ground saw the plane on approach to Parham during its downwind leg as the field lights came on. They also saw and heard another aircraft following it. After it had turned base the enemy fighter opened up striking the B-17. The B-17 hit the ground and cartwheeled.
Time: 00:55 - A/C #42-97556, 413BS, 96BG
Lt Donald M . MacGregor pilot -- leg injuries
Lt. Issac L. Hightower co-pilot -- lacerations
Lt. Francis Uihlein navigator-radar -- serious injuries
Lt. George Pietrucha navigator -- KIA
Lt. John J. Petrowski bombadier -- KIA
Tech Sgt. Paul W. Morgan engineer/top turret --lacerations and burns
Tech Sgt. Howell H. Thompson radio -- KIA
S/Sgt Arthur L. Flint waist gunner -- leg fracture, burns
S/Sgt James M. McLean waist gunner -- leg fractures
S/Sgt Jesse L. Graham tail gunner -- lacerations
Tech Sgt. Emmett L. Matthews ground personnel -- lacerations
Cpl Nyle Smith ground personnel -- hip and leg wounds