Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission No. 46: 76 B-17s and 26 B-24s are dispatched against the U-boat yards at Wilhelmshaven, Germany; 69 B-17s and 15 B-24s drop 224 tons of bombs on the target at 1501-1510 hours local. We claim 28-9-9; we lose 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s; 12 B-17s and 10 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 18 WIA and 32 MIA.
The 452d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) with B-26s transfers from Rattlesden to Rougham, England.
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: Port Docking Area, Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 18 (358BS - 5, 359th - 4, 360th - 4, 427th - ). Crewmen Wounded: 4 - Names not available Length of Mission: 5 hours, 15 minutes. Bomb Load: 5 x 1000 lb H.E. M44 bombs Bombing Altitude: 27,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 38,637 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 3 Destroyed.
Maj. Green and Capt. Gabbert conducted the briefing. Eighteen B-17s took off. Capt. W.R. Calhoun, Jr., CO 359BS, flew the lead B-17 in the High Squadron in #41-24605, Knockout Dropper.
Three aircraft aborted the mission. Fifteen aircraft reached the target at 27,000 feet. There was no cloud cover with 10 to 15 miles visibility. A successful bombing run was made, dropping 37 1/2 tons of 1,000 lb. H.E. M44 bombs. The target area was so enveloped in smoke and flames from bombs dropped by the leading Groups that it was impossible for the 303rd BG(H) crews to observe their actual hits. Bombardiers claimed, however, that their run was perfect, their aiming good, and most bombs were seen going into the target area. A smoke screen was observed in operation around the target area, but was more accurate for the height of the Groups ahead.
Flak was intense over the target area, but was more accurate for the height of the Groups ahead. Most of the observed bursts were below and to the rear of 303rd BG(H) planes.
From 25 to 30 enemy aircraft were seen--FW-190s, ME-109s, ME-110s, and JU- 88s. Most of them flew along the sides of the Group formation to keep away from the German flak. Only a few attacked the formation until the forts got over the target. From there on, they kept a running fight for about forty minutes, attacking from all sides. In many instances, they flew right through the B-17 formation. Four enemy aircraft were claimed as destroyed, with three confirmed.
All Group aircraft returned safely. In spite of the heavy enemy air attacks there was very little battle damage to the Group B-17s. Minor injuries were suffered by three crew members. Another was seriously wounded in the arm by flak. The returning aircraft landed between 1710 and 1735 hours.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 16 aircraft were sent on this mission.
42-39849 Lt. W. C. Slosson - Tagged on to 457th BG whose bombs knocked this aircraft down. POW 9, KIA 1.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
44BG Mission Report - Our three planes again joined with three each from the 66th 68th and participated in a mission to the dock and U-boat facilities at Wilhelmshaven. As usual enemy aircraft made concerted attacks before and after the bomb run. About a half-hour before bombs were away the attacks began. Capt. O'Brien, 68th Sq., had a habit of ducking his head and shoulders and this motion probably saved his life as two bullets went threw the windshield into the partition where his head had been and ordinarily would have been. The bombing was very good and most of the bombs were dropped on the target area. The Group claims were: 10 - 6 - 0. Unhappily, the 67th lost Captain Gideon W. "Bucky" Warne and crew in plane #41-23832 while the newly arrived 506th Squadron and flying their first operational mission lost 1st Lt. Virgil R. Fouts and crew in A/C #41-24191. The 44th put up 12 aircraft on this mission.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Six ships from 323rd squadron, piloted by Capt. Dwyer, Clancy and Bishop; Lieutenants Evins, Giauque Rand bombed the shipyards at Wilhelmshaven. Bombing was good. Bombs were dropped by JU88s on parts of the formation when well off shore after leaving the target. Four enlisted men joined 323rd squadron as ground personnel.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - 18 A/C of 91st Group bombed the dock area at Wilhelmshaven, Germany at 1'02 hours with 5 x 1000 bombs. Capt. Bruce D. Barton #159 (') was only A/C of 322nd Squadron. Group lost one ship, Capt. Haskill McClellan of 324th Squadron but no other casualties. E/A were some 30 in number and group claims 3-1-'. Capt. K. K. Wallick had shaft on #3 engine to break when 40 miles from enemy coast. He could not feather prop. He salvoed bombs through bomb bay door and dove from 25,000 to at rate of 5000 feet per minute and crossed North Sea __'__ at 50 feet. He dropped off propeller just after making England and he landed safely at base.