Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 462: during a morning mission 150 B-17s are dispatched to bomb bridges and airfields in France but cloud cover causes the bombers to hit targets of opportunity; 68 hit Chalonnes Bridge, 36 hit Chateaudun Airfield, 12 hit Bouchemaine Bridge, 12 hit Chalonnes highway bridge and 12 hit Le Creusot Bridge; 1 B-17 is lost and 10 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 155 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost (1 pilot is MIA).
Mission 463: 104 B-24s and 77 B-17s are dispatched to hit CROSSBOW (V-weapon) sites in France but encounters poor weather; Only 37 B-24s bomb V-weapon sites; 12 B-17s hit St Omber Longuenesse Airfield and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 60 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 158 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 5-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft. 90 of 96 P-38s strafe the Moulin-Nevers-Tour area claiming 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 is lost (pilot is MIA).
Mission 464: During the night, 5 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France. 37 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.
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 - Target: Airdrome at Chateaudun, France. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 12, 359th - 4, 360th - 10, 427th - 11). Length of Mission: 6 hours. Bomb Load: 2 x 2,000 lb G.P. M34 bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 26,000, 25,000 & 24,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 0 rounds.
The 303rd BG(H) became the first 8th Air Force Bombardment Group to complete 200 combat missions when 37 aircraft took off with their primary target the LaRiche, France, railroad bridge. Lt. Col. Edgar E. Snyder, Jr. led the 41st CBW-A in B-17G #42-97281 Queenie. It consisted of three 303BG Group formations flying a mission for the fifth day in a row. Arriving over the primary target, the bombardiers found a solid overcast and decided to bomb the Chateaudun airdrome as a target of opportunity.
The three 303rd BG(H) mission Group bombed from 26,000, 25,000 and 24,500 feet with 68 2,000-lb. G.P. M34 bombs. The low Group had good results — the lead and high Group results were only fair. Aircraft #42- 31405 Wallaroo MK II, 359BS (Lojewski), failed to bomb when their bomb bay doors wouldn't open when using the main switches. The crew then failed to use their emergency facilities to open the bomb bay doors and release their bombs.
There were no enemy aircraft encountered and friendly fighter support was good. The anti- aircraft fire was meager and inaccurate. All Group aircraft returned to Molesworth safely with no casualties.