Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Two major missions are flown against Berlin and strategic targets in N and C Germany; 3 bombers and 10 fighters are lost:
Mission 583: 426 B-17s are dispatched but encounter very high clouds over Denmark and N Germany and are recalled; 5 hit Ausum Airfield, 4 hit targets of opportunity and 1 hits Flensburg marshaling yard; 2 B-17s are lost and 16 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 180 of 194 P-51s; 3 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; 1 pilot is KIA and 3 MIA. Mission 584: 777 bombers and 351 fighters are dispatched:
1. Of 371 B-17s dispatched, targets hit are Esbjerg Airfield (60), Emden marshaling yards and docks (37), Wilhelmshaven (34), Heligoland Island (11), Island of Fano (1) and Island of Sylt (1); 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 54 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 10 MIA. Escort is provided by 156 of 167 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 7 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged; 7 pilots are MIA.
2. 34 of 406 B-24s hit Heligoland Island; 3 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 169 P-38s and P-51s; 7 P-51s are damaged.
316 of 326 P-47s fly fighter-bomber missions against transport in E France; they claim 14-0-4 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot is MIA).
Mission 585: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France and the Netherlands 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,
Thirty-seven 303rd BG(H) aircraft took off to attack the Focke-Wulf assembly plant at Johannisthal, near Berlin. Berlin was the target if PFF bombing was used. The secondary target was Rechlin/Lars airfield, Germany, and the last resort targets were the Perleburg and Sohwer airfields in Germany. No aircraft returned early. The 303rd BG(H) furnished the weather B-17.
High clouds made it impossible to reach any of the assigned targets. Over Denmark there were 6/10 to 8/10 towering cumulus clouds. The target, the Esbjaerg, Denmark airfield, was bombed through a break in the undercast. Aircraft dropped 115 1,000-lb. G.P. M44 and 10 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs from 20,800 and 19,700 ft. The lead Group hit in a hangar area, while the low Group hit a railroad track west of the airfield. Only one B-17 in the high Group dropped its bombs. B-17G #43-37590 Neva -The Silver Lady, 359BS (Lt. Whittall), failed to bomb because the bomb bay switches were not turned on.
No enemy aircraft were seen and friendly fighter support was excellent. Chaff did not break up properly and had very little effect. Moderate and accurate flak was encountered at the target. Two aircraft sustained major and thirteen, minor battle damage. Returning B-17s contained one wounded crewman. Two Fortresses received direct hits by flak.
#43-37629 (No Name), 360BS received a direct hit in the fuselage just back of the wings near Esbjaerg, Denmark. It immediately broke in half and fell away in two pieces. No parachutes were seen.
#42-37841 Banshee, 360BS was hit over Esbjaerg and the tail was blown off, including the rudder, parts of the elevators, and a little bit of the stabilizer. The tail gunner, S/Sgt. Milt I. Ross, was killed when the whole tail section was blown off in small pieces. Lt. Hallum was able to fly the aircraft back to England. Near Middlesham, he ordered the crew to bail out and let the B-17 crash. All bailouts were successful. The B-17 was on its 97th mission—a record at that time for any 303rd BG(H) aircraft. The B-17 crashed at Badingham, U.K.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - Weather recall, mission credited. 32 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - The 1st and 3rd Air Division were dispatched to Berlin while the 2nd Division was to attack Airfields at Basdorf and Oranienburg.
The 388th furnished the lead and low Composite Groups in the 45th B Combat Wing. 20 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c were airborne by 1002 hours. Formations were effected and the route was followed to the Enemy Coast. Shortly after crossing the enemy Coast, dense clouds were encountered and the mission was aborted. Meager accurate flak was encountered before turning back with four of our a/c receiving battle damage.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1547 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 - Bad weather encountered upon reaching Denmark was responsible for a recall of the mission to the Henschel assembly plant at Berlin. The 94th "A" CBW composed of 26 aircraft from the 401st returned to base safely with bomb loads. Crews from the 613th on the mission were : Mannix, Budd, Lippert, Nelson, Thomason, Jetter, Keeling, Hanson, Lockhart, Lemmons.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Bad weather still persisted for the mission of August 27th. Our Group dispatched 36 aircraft to attack an Armament (Air) works located at an airdrome on the outskirts of Berlin. The mission went as planned until penetration into the Danish Peninsula where it became necessary to abandon the mission due to bad weather, a front which prevented any further penetration.. All aircraft returned safely although meager flak was encountered over Germany's part of the peninsula.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - Major Maupin led 39 401st aircraft on this mission to the German capital but only got as far as the Danish Peninsula when bad weather forced them to turn back. Some flak was encountered over the German part of the Peninsula. Of the 1,203 8th Air Force aircraft that set out to bomb Ger- many that morning only 188 dropped their bombs on targets of opportunity. Crews: 42-31662 Silverstein, 43-38033 Lincoln, 42-107084 Sisson, 42-97602 Lerwick, 42-39012 Filemyr, 42-97145 Crozier, 42-97869 Mays, 42-97395 Koons 42-102659 Utter.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The Group was briefed for a mission to Berlin with 39 crews attending the briefing at 0600 hrs. There were a number of delays and the airfield was declared RED at 0940 hrs, closing it down for a short while. It was a delay of only ten minutes, the first aircraft becoming airborne at 1000 hrs. The primary visual target was to have been the plants of the Focke Wulf and Henschel aircraft works located on the outskirts of Berlin. The formation reached Denmark to find a wall of high cloud in their path and a message was received to turn back. The bombs were brought back to Deenethorpe. The 401st furnished the complete 94th "A" CBW, led by Major Jere Maupin. Lt. R.H. Fowler and Lt. C.J. Parr led the other two Boxes. The 615th Squadron put up the following nine crews: Grimm, Cooper, Duckworth, McIlraith, Dow, Sombart, Parr, Kochel, Konze.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - An aero-engine factory near Berlin (Basdorf) was the secondary target after the Primary, Wezendorf was scrubbed. The 44th sent 34 aircraft plus two PFFs but a recall was sent out and all returned bringing back their bombs. Fighter support was excellent and all ships received sortie credit.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Heligoland. Although this squadron furnished some A/C for this mission there were no crews participating. Adverse weather conditions prevented bombing of the primary target which was an A/C factory about 10 miles southeast of Berlin. The lead group bombed installations at Heligoland by pathfinder methods with unobserved results.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 27th of August we dispatched 12 A/C and 12 crews to attack an Ju-88 assembly plant located close to Berlin, due to Weather conditions Before reaching Danish coast lead Group was forced to attack target of opportunity at Helgoland. High and Low Groups were unable to attack.
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31779). Organization: 524BS / 379BG of Kimbolton, Huntingdonshire. Pilot: Stickler, William C. Notes: crashed destroyed by fire. Location: Slipton England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-95123). Organization: 854BS / 491BG of North Pickenham, Norfolk. Pilot: Warczak, John S. Notes: crashed on take off. Location: North Pickenham, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Mosquito XVI (#NS590). Organization: 654BS / 25BG of Watton, Norfolk. Pilot: Kaellner, Otto E. Notes: take off accident. Location: Watton, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-25505). Organization: 361FS / 356FG of Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Pilot: Morel, Paul F. Notes: take off accident. Location: Martlesham Heath, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-76532). Organization: 61FS / 56FG of Boxted, Essex. Pilot: Getz, Stuart H. Notes: forced landing mechanical failure. Location: Boxted/ 1mi SE Sta 150 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14155). Organization: 38FS / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex. Pilot: Silk, John F. Notes: crash landing. Location: Wormingford, Essex England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/