Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 556: 1,090 bombers and 692 fighters are dispatched to make visual attacks on oil refineries and aircraft plants in C Germany; 23 bombers and 3 fighters are lost (number in parenthesis indicate number of bombers attacking):
1. 425 B-17s are dispatched to hit Delitzsch air depot (102), the aviation industry at Schkeuditz (92) and Halle (60) and the oil industry at Bohlen (88); other targets are Naumburg (15), Halberstadt Airfield (13) and targets of opportunity (9); they claim 6-4-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 234 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 9 WIA and 93 MIA. Escort is provided by 246 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 15-1-3 aircraft in the air and 0-0-3 on the ground; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is WIA.
2. 234 B-17s are dispatched to hit the oil industry at Rositz (105) and Zeitz (101); 3 others hit targets of opportunity; 6 B-17s are lost and 88 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 56 MIA. Escort is provided by 166 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 5-0-1 aircraft; 2 P-47s are lost (pilots are MIA).
3. 65 B-24s are dispatched to Halberstadt Airfield (51); 10 others hit Quedlinburg Airfield and 1 hits a targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 8 damaged. Escort is provided by 42 of 46 P-38s without loss.
4. 366 B-24s are dispatched to hit the aviation industry at Dessau (99), Kothen (71) and Magdeburg/Neustadt (67) and the oil industry at Magdeburg/Rothensee; 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-24s are lost and 173 damaged; 5 airmen are WIA and 66 MIA. Escort is provided by 156 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 12-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot is MIA).
Mission 557: 8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in France 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,
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #61 Halberstadt. Command Pilot: TAVASTI. Target was Halberstadt airfield. 39 planes were dispatched and dropped 87 tons on the primary target. 39 Credit Sorties.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 34 aircraft were sent on this mission.
42-31702 Lt. E. D. Cartwright - Shot down by flak. POW 7, KIA 2.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 181. Primary Target: Air Depot - Delitzsch, Germany
44 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 1. Spare, Returned As Briefed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 4 42-38014 Duesler, Donald B - Landed away Horsham due to low gas supply and oil leak in #4 engine 42-38208 Bean, Donald W - Landed away Thorpe Abbots due to battle damage; bombed primary 42-102601 Mohler, John G - Returned 10x500GP early due to mechanical failure.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - All 8th Air Force heavies attacked German synthetic oil plants in the Magdeburg-Leipzig Area. The 4th Combat Wing led the 3rd Air Division with the 13th, 45th and 92nd following in that order. The 388th furnished the lead and low Groups of the 45th Combat Wing.
Our 26 a/c were airborne between 0625 and 0648 hours with 2 a/c of the A Group returning because of mechanical reasons. Formations were effected without difficulty and the aircraft proceeded on the briefed course to the briefed target. The primary target which was the synthetic oil plant at Leitz was attacked visually by Groups with good results. Bombs were away at 1135 hours from 21,500 feet. Lt. Sarten in a/c 44-6123, was lost on the bomb run when a plane above dropped down and cut the rudder off. The a/c then went down out of control. a/c #328 continued with the formation.
Intense accurate flak was encountered at the target with 22 of our a/c receiving battle damage. 5 crew members were wounded by flak. No enemy fighters were encountered. 22 a/c returned to base by 1444 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The Lead Box Leader was unable to drop on the primary because of flak damage to the bomb-rack and the Deputy selected a target of opportunity, an air depot at Halberstadt, Germany. Bombing results were excellent. Lt. George R. Shullo, co-pilot of B-17 42-97344, was hit in the face by flak and a piece came out the back of his head. He was rendered first aid by the crew, worked on for nearly. and hour but never regained consciousness and died before reaching base. Crews: Shackleford, Jennings, Fish, Carson, Cain, Baker, Coleman, Kuta, Etters, Hanson, Lemmons.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Another strategic target was scheduled for the 401st on August 16th. This time the Group was to furnish the usual three 12 aircraft boxes for the 94th "A" CBW. The assigned target was the main assembly plant for the Ju-88 type German aircraft and of primary importance. After encountering terrific flak the target was finally reached and the bomb run made. The lead aircraft had its salvo mechanism shot out and could not bomb at all. This was not discovered until bombs away and the Lead Box did not bomb the primary. The Low Box did bomb with excellent results with 95% of the bombs within 1,000 feet. The High Box Leader had PDI and AFCE shot out on the bomb run but continued with a manual run and bombing results were good with 90% of the bombs falling within 2,000 feet. The Lead eventually turned over to the deputy lead aircraft and went to bomb an airdrome at Halberstadt, Germany, gaining excellent results. Although no enemy aircraft attacked the Wing, flak proved to be some of the roughest encountered by the 401st to date. At least 30 minutes of continuous flak was encountered around the target area. Fortunately all aircraft returned although one co-pilot was killed and two other men slightly wounded.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - Major R.J. White led 39 aircraft from the Group to form the 94th "A" CBW, plus three spares, on the attack on the Ju-88 aircraft assembly plant at Schkenditz, Germany. The 401st's assigned target was main assembly shop of the plant. The flak on the way into the target was described as terrific, and it obviously was because of the 1st Bomb Division's 425 aircraft 10 were shot down and 234 received battle damage. The Lead aircraft was so badly damaged it could not release its bombs but the Low Box bombed with excellent results. The High Box leader was also badly damaged and had to fall back on a manual bomb run - but the results were very good, 90% of the bombs falling within 2,000 feet of the MPI. It was estimated that the Group received up to 30 minutes of continuous flak in and around the target area, and, although no aircraft were lost, one co-pilot was killed and two other men wounded. Every plane put up by the Squadron that day received battle damage, four being in the major category. Crews: 42-39012 Lincoln, 42-107151 Risher, 42-97869 Hayes, 42-97872 Ochsenhirt, 42-102394 Sisson, 42-97145 Koons, 42-102659 Kovach, 42-97602 Brown, 42-97478 Filemyr.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - Two PFF ships from Polebrook were used on this mission, they were '600 and '965 and touched down at Deenethorpe the previous evening. 39 crews, plus the crew of a weather ship and an observer ship, were briefed at 0300 hrs with the weather ship becoming airborne at 0505 hrs. By 0644 hrs all the other ships were also airborne and on their way to the primary target, an airdrome at Schkenditz. The airdrome was a bomber assembly plant. The assigned target was located in flat open country about 7.5 miles NW of the city of Schkenditz, with an MPI - a large repair hangar - was attacked only by the Low and High Boxes of the 94th "A" CBW. Lead aircraft of the Lead Box, of the same Wing, was hit by flak during the bomb run on the primary target and the bomb release mechanism was damaged. A run was made on the secondary target, but again a damaged salvo bar was discovered to be out, so the Deputy Lead took over and bombed Halberstadt airdrome with excellent results. However, the Low Box and High Box bombed the primary target, with the former securing excellent results of 95% of the bombs within 1,000 feet of the assigned MPI. The High Box Leader also had a tough break with his AFCE and PDI shot out by flak during the bomb run, dropped his bombs manually. Even then, 90% of his hits were within 2,000 feet of the assigned MPI. The 401st Group furnished three 12 aircraft Boxes making up the 94th CBW, led by Major R.J. White flying with the Lead Pilot Lt. C.J. Parr. Lt.'s Hansen and Ridley were Navigator and Bombardier respectively. No air opposition was met, although crews did report seeing contrails of jet aircraft. Flak of both barrage and tracking type was encountered along the route and over the target. Eight aircraft received major battle damage and 23 received minor battle damage. One co-pilot was killed and two other crew members were wounded. The 615th put up the following crews: Parr, Duckworth, Sullivan, Grimm, Cooper, McIlraith, Udy, Haskett.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Kothen Aircraft factory was the ordered Primary today and 33 of the 34 aircraft dispatched (11 67th and 2 PFFs, etc) attacking the target. Bomb loads of 10 x 500 lb GP were skillfully released through 7/10th cloud cover with excellent results for the first two squadrons and poor for the third (due to a bomb rack failure at "Bombs Away"). Capt. Mustapa again led the 44th, with Major Hunn as Command Pilot. Flak was moderate and no enemy aircraft were observed. Fighter support good no losses. The 67th Squadron Commander, Major Felber received his orders to return to the ZOI after flying as Command Pilot with Capt. Aldridge, assisting him with his final mission to complete his tour of operations. Major Felber was transferred to the 12th RCD today. Major Grube, Executive officer, attended a Group Executive meeting today.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Magdeburg
32 planes hit the massive refinery through a smoke screen; flames were seen rising above the smoke.
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Aircraft factory at Halle, Germany, was bombed. Results, as ascertained, show the bombing as being fair. Twelve ships from this organization took part. Enemy opposition was very strong in comparison with his previous efforts to stop us in the past few months.
There was an attack by enemy fighters, which caused considerable losses to other squadrons in the group. All our ships got back safely, though quite badly battered up. Our crews felt lucky in getting back as well as they did. Battle honors were awarded the 1st Bombardment Division, by Section XI, War Department General Orders No. 50, 17 June, 1944, for extraordinary heroism, determination and esprit de corps, in bombing the heavily defended German aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany, on 11 January, 1944. This is a very high honor and ranks with the DSC for individual heroism. It will be recalled that 323rd squadron sent seven ships on that mission, one of which was lost and the crew carried as 'missing in action,' and that our gunners accounted for six enemy fighters destroyed and two damaged by our gunners. All personnel, both ground and air, are entitled to wear the citation ribbon as a permanent part of their uniform, if they were with the organization on that date.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Halle. The Seibel A/C factory north of Halle was bombed successfully by this group flying as the last C CBW. No crews of the 322nd Squadron were flying, but four A/C furnished by this Squadron for the high group were lost to enemy action east of Eisenach. The high group had dropped slightly behind the formation when they were bounced by 20-30 FW-190s and Me109s. As a result of this attack six 323rd A/C are missing and one crash landed at Boreham, England. Another A/C had an encounter with a jet-propelled Me163 on the way home, which made one attack from six o'clock high before being chased off by escorting P-51s.
Today, Aug. 16, marked the 14 mission this month for our bombers, which have been taking advantage of the unusually clear weather to keep up the pressure. Photographs show good results though main concentration is just over the M.P.I.. 20 to 30 E/A broke through the fighter cover and attacked our high group in one pass knocking down 6 of them. Fighters came out of sun and attacked from astern. Observers reported our A/C were not firing at them. This was the first fighter attack experienced by the majority of our crews. It is significant to note that in the claims made by our A/C, the gunners did not open fire until E/A were within 300 to 100 yards. Fighter support was good but not enough of it.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 16th of August we dispatched 11 A/C and 12 crews to attack Siebel A/C factory 2 miles NNE of Halle, an Ju88 assembly plant produces complete wings. We flew Low Group of C CBW. Our A/C experienced meager to moderate, rather accurate flak over target. Target was bombed with good results. All our A/C returned.