Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 40: 71 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the power plant, bridge and the port area at Lorient, France; 65 drop 162.5 tons on the target between 1441 and 1445 hours local. We claim 7 aircraft destroyed, 2 probably destroyed and 1 damaged; we lose 3 B-17s and 8 others are damaged; casualties are 30 MIAs. Fifteen B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing fly a diversionary mission against the a bridge and the U-boat facilities at Brest, France; all 15 drop 44.5 tons of bombs at 1416-1417 hours local. We claim 2 aircraft destroyed and 2 damaged; 3 B-24s are damaged but there are no casualties.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Bombing Altitude: 25,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 10,650 rounds.
One B-17 failed to take off, #41-24562, Sky Wolf, 358BS-A (Lt. Morales). The brake drum broke while taxiing to take off, causing the right tire to blow out. Another B-17 aborted the mission, #41-24587, Bad Check, 427BS-U, (Capt. Southworth). The No. 2 engine ran rough above 18,000 feet, the No. 3 supercharger was faulty, and the aircraft could not keep up with the formation.
Seventeen aircraft bombed the primary target. Good bombing results were reported, including direct hits on the railroad bridge near the aiming point which was a power plant. Flak was reported as slight to moderate and inaccurate. There were a few enemy aircraft. Approximately six FW-190s were observed for a period of ten minutes beginning soon after the bombing run. There were eight encounters, but no claims were made.
One aircraft was missing - #42-5262, 360BS. It was flying in the No. 3 position in the lead element and was hit by an FW-190 coming in out of the sun. The No. 1 engine was knocked out. It was last seen heading toward the French coast and was in control at the time.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306th Bomb Group Mission Report MISSION
VIII BC 40
Power plant, bridge and the port area at Lorient, France
INFORMATION IN DETAIL
A/C: 21; 19 returning A/C landed at other bases: 8 Chivenor; 1 Davidstowe; 10 Exeter
T/O: 0945 - 0955
Bombing: 1438 - 1442, 22000 ft
RESULTS OF BOMBING
Bursts appeared good
Flak from flak ships in Lorient Harbor and Groix Island light
Intense and accurate at target
2 A/C from low squadron lost to flak: 42-5378 Tunnell (bef), 42-5130 Ryan (aft)
ENCOUNTERS AND CLAIMS
12-14 E/A over target; attacks feeble, mostly nose attacks.
1 Me109 entirely black
1 B-17 hit by flak jsut before target at 1438, 22000ft seen going straight down and out of control. 2 chutes
1 B-17 hit by flak just after target at 1450 left formation and headed back over France.
OHara: needsome food for a trip of this length
Barrage balloons over target
4 warships seen off coast near target heading NW 1435
New airdrome seen 10 miles north of target
Ryan crashed about 10 miles from Pont L'Abbe, Bretagne; Co-pilot Simmons shot while trying to escape (MACR); French report: an American paratrooper killed yesterday evening in St-Jean-Trolimon. Will be buried today at 9 H. The gendarmes are on site.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
44BG Mission Report - The target today was once again the dock area at Brest, France. 0f the ten ships put up by the 44th, three were from the 67th. Enemy aircraft attacked the formation prior to bombing but these attacks were ineffective although causing some damage and killing Sgt. Kressig of the 66th Squadron who was flying in one of the 67th planes. Bombing results included the hits on Naval storehouses and various buildings and installations.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Three ships of 323rd squadron, piloted by Capt. Dwyer, Capt. Clancy, and Lt. Giauque, took part in bombing mission against enemys Marine Naval Power Plant at Lorient, France. A.A. fire was very light. Two enemy fighters encountered but none were shot down. All our ships returned safely. Bombing resuLieutenants were excellent. T/Sgt. Corl and S/Sgt. Kusowski were awarded the Purple Heart.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Target was at Lorient, France and was attacked by 16 A/C of 91st. - with 5 from 322nd Squadron. Lt. Robert Campbell #549, Capt. Kenneth K. Wallick #453, Lt. Wm. D. Beasley #545, Lt. James D. Baird #511, Capt. Bruce D. Barton #1'9. Take off was at 1010 and target was hit successfully at 1''1 hours and ships all landed safely without casualty at Davidstone at 1709. 19 E/A sighted and one shot down. Flak was moderate but inaccurate.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Reported as good. Hits all around target - many fires started in dock area. Moderate to intense heavy, inaccurate as to our group at target. Only 10 to 12 FW 190's seen - only one attack on our group. Not a very strong one at that.