Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
The last UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle mission (Operations FRANTIC) is completed as 72 B-17s and 59 P-51s fly without bombs from Italy to the UK; 2 B-17s and a P-51 abort and a P-51 crashlands SW of Paris; 70 B-17s 57 P-51s land safely in the UK.
Mission 637: 875 B-17s are dispatched bomb 117 flak batteries and installations and an airfield, all in the Netherlands; 815 B-17s attack the primaries and 6 hit Eisenach; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 119 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 15 MIA. Escort is provided by 141 of 153 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot is MIA).
503 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s escort aircraft of the First Allied Airborne Army making a parachute and glider drop of 20,000 troops into the Netherlands to secure the axis of advance toward the Zuider Zee for the British Second Army, as part of Operation MARKET-GARDEN, 17-30 Sep; troops dropped are the I Airborne Corps, consisting of the British 1 Airborne Division (with Polish Parachute Brigade) and US 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions; the fighters also bomb and strafe flak positions and other ground targets, encountering intense flak and about 30 fighters; they claim 7-0-0 aircraft in the air, 1-0-0 on the ground and the destruction of 107 flak positions; 6 P-47s and 7 P-51s are lost, 3 P-47s and 2 P-51s damaged beyond repair and 41 P-47s and 6 P-51s damaged; 2 pilots are WIA and 11 MIA.
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: Eindhoven and Hertogenbosch (Areas), The Netherlands. Crews Dispatched: 37 (358BS - 9, 359th - 9, 360th - 9, 427th - 10). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 45 minutes. Bomb Load: 30 x 260 lb M81 Fragmentation bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 15,700 to 16,400 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,775 rounds.
Thirty-seven 303rd BG(H) B-17s flew as six Squadrons in the 41st CBW in direct support of ground troops sent in by parachute and gliders (Operation MARKET GARDEN). In the target area, there were 2/10 to 3/10 low clouds, no middle-clouds, 10/10 clouds above the bombing altitude and some slight haze.
Thirty-six aircraft dropped 1,072 260 lb. M81 fragmentation bombs from 15,700 to 16,400 ft. The 303 BG(H) N-O-P (1st Group) bombs hit in a wooded area where enemy tank and gun concentrations were located. The "Q" Squadron scored direct hits on its assigned MPI, also three roads and an intersection. The "R" Squadron bombs hit in an open field, missing its target and were unobserved. Aircraft #42-31739 Pugnacious Peter, 358BS (Twomey), failed to bomb. The bombardier forgot to put his bomb select lever in the operating position. Bombs were returned to Molesworth. Others dropped their bombs visually.
Fighter support by 141 P-51s was fair. No enemy aircraft were sighted and no anti- aircraft fire came up in spite of the importance of the target. All bombers returned safely and there were no casualties.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #64 Tactical targets. Command Pilot: CREER. 51 planes dispatched, all of which bombed, dropping 123 tons of bombs on the primary target. These bomb runs were coordinated with the eastward moving ground troops. On this mission, one crewman was WIA. 51 Credit Sorties. (Cleveland Romero #1. 7 flak holes in the tail of his plane.)
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 43 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 195A. Target was tank and troop concentrations north of Eindhoven, Holland. Primary Target: Tank and Troop Concentrations, Tactical - Eindhoven, Holland. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
19 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 18. Scrubbed - 1
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
16 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 15. Failed To Return - 1 44-8011 Kelsay, Omar F - Failed to Return 'F' SqLd; MIA; hit by flak prior to the IP; at 1122 hrs, direct flak burst hit in the #2 engine, the right wing catching fire; a/c exploded shortly before or on hitting the ground; cr Liege, Bel; MACR 10197
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 1st and 3rd Air Divisions attacked flak batteries and installations in Holland. The 388th furnished three Groups plus one a/c which flew with the 452nd Bomb Group.
39 a/c were airborne between 0629 and 0652 hours. Formations were effected and proceeded to the target on the briefed course. One a/c aborted for mechanical reasons. This Group attacked six different installations and bombing was done by elements of 6 a/c each.
Weather over the targets was hazy but all elements attacked their targets. Strike photos shows that our Group had "shacks" on their targets. Some meager inaccurate flak was encountered in the target area.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1211 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 elimination of enemy tanks and guns along the edges of the Reich Wald Forest near Groesbeek, Holland was our assigned target for September 17th. Eight separate MPI's were assigned and the four 12 aircraft forces from the 401st, comprising the 94th "A" Wing, bombed by 6 aircraft squadrons. Col. Brown was the Force No. 2 Leader in which 12 613th aircraft flew. Lt. Kron was Lead Navigator and Lt. stout, Lead Bombardier. Strike photos showed that all MPI's were well covered. Only one burst of flak Was encountered and that between the I.P. and the target. All aircraft returned to base. Those participating from the 613th were: Coleman, Baker, Jetter, Keeling, Annis, Carson, Douglas, Lippert, Lockhart, Hopley. Hillested, Keck.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 614th furnished 12 aircraft in Force 3 to bomb fortifications of the Siegfried Line. The target was a wooded area where the Germans had a concentration of tanks and guns. The Group suspected a ground assault on this area - in fact it turned out to be Operation Market-Garden. The Force was assigned areas bounded by geographical coordinates and bombing was done by 6-plane elements. The 401st led the Division along the briefed route and excellent results were achieved; frag bombs were dropped from 12,000 feet. Practically no enemy opposition of any kind was encountered. Aircraft 42-97872 crashed on take-off killing all the crew, the pilot being Lt. F.E. Cooke. Crews: 42-97780 Carroll, 42-31863 Brown, 42-38330 Rundell, 42-32591 Silverstein, 42-39012 Gruman, 42-97395 Hubbell, 42-107084 Harasym, 42-97602 Mays, 42-38236 Lerwick, 42-97145 Sisson, 42-102659 James.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 51 crews were briefed at 0300 hrs with the take-off completed by 0639 hrs. During take-off IW-A, Serial No. 42-97872, piloted by Lt. F.E. Cook, crashed on the Weldon to Oundle road with the loss of all the crew. The assignment was an attack on Groesbeck, Holland on a wooded area where the Germans had a concentration of tanks and gun. positions. It was in support of the airborne landing in Holland that morning. The 401st certainly did its part well that day for all of the eight Lead Bombardiers, ably assisted by their Lead Navigators, and the excellent formation flying, laid the fragmentation bombs right on their assigned MPI's. The Group put up four Boxes of 12 aircraft each and each Box split into 6 aircraft units for the bombing. Lt. Col. W.T. Seawell was the Division Leader and led Force 1 of the 401st formation.The other leaders were Lt. Konze, Lt. Col. Brown, Lt. R.R. Lockhart, Lt. T.D. Carroll, Capt. J.A. Gruman, Major J. Maupin and Capt. D.A. Currie. Each Force bombed visually. No enemy air opposition was met and the flak was meagre. The 615th put up the following twelve crews: Grimm, Calloway, Cooper, Duckworth, McKay, Turk, Dow, Daves, Sullivan, Konze, Udy, Lewis.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - This assignment was an attack on Groesbeck, Holland on a wooded area where the Germans had a concentration of tanks and gun positions. We suspected a ground assault on these positions after the bombing but later in the day we found that the bombing was in preparation for the largest airborne landing in the history of the war. The 401st certainly did its part well that day for all of the eight Lead Bombardiers ably assisted by their Lead Navigators and good formations laid the fragmentation bombs right on the assigned The Group put up four boxes of 12 aircraft each and each box split into 6 aircraft units for bombing. No enemy opposition in any form was met and all formations were completely covered with a swarm of friendly fighter escort. All crews and aircraft returned unharmed and undamaged. Captain McCord, with Lt. Browne as Bombardier and Lt. Fishbeck as Navigator led the 612th Box. Captain Currie led the Low Squadron of this Box with Lt. McClendon as Bombardier and Lt. Jeffrey as Navigator. Both units did excellent bombing on this job. Eleven 612th crews took part on this mission, loadings are as follows. 42-97938 Lawrence, 42-31662 Ludeman, 42-31891 McCord, 43-37790 Currie, 42-97487 HIll, 42-102398 Maxwell, 43-37628 Aiken, 43-37632 Knost.