Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 683: 1,022 bombers and 753 fighters attack targets in Germany using PFF or GH; 6 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:
1. 381 B-24s are dispatched to hit the diesel engine and armored vehicle plant at Gustavsburg (50) and the Mainz marshaling yard (280) the secondary target; 5 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 148 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA and 49 MIA. Escort is provided by 195 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 217 of 267 B-17s hit the secondary target, Mannheim; 34 others hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 97 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 10 MIA. Escort is provided by 286 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 374 B-17s are dispatched to hit an artillery tractor plant at Mannheim (25); 257 hit the secondary, Mannheim; targets of opportunity are Karlsruhe (32), Kreuznach (10), Rudesheim (9), Bad Kreuznach (8), Steyer (2) and other (21); 182 B-17s are damaged; 2 airmen are KIA and 4 WIA. Escort is provided by 226 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
Mission 684: 5 B-17s and 5 B-24s are dispatched to drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany 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: Louis Hensgens 390 Bomb Group http://www.louishensgens.com/
303BG Mission Report - Target: Heinrich Lanz A.G. Tractor and Tank Works at Mannheim, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 35 (358BS - 9, 359th - 9, 360th - 8, 427th - 11). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 48 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 x 500 lb H.E. M45 & 6 x 500 lb M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 28,400 & 28,100 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,830 rounds.
The primary and secondary targets for this mission were the same — Mannheim, Germany. Thirty-four aircraft dropped 193 500-lb. H.E. M45 bombs and 196 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs on the target from 28,400 and 28,100 feet. One aircraft dropped six 500-lb. M45 and six 500-lb. incendiaries on Speyer, Germany, as a target of opportunity. The bombs of the lead Squadron hit approximately 1 1/4 miles to the northwest of the target in the central city area. GEE-H equipment was not used because the rate station could be picked up, but the course station could not. Weather over the target was 10/10 clouds with tops at 29,000 feet. Dense and persistent contrails at 26,000 and high obscured visibility and made formation flying difficult.
No enemy aircraft could be seen that could be positively identified. A few crews reported up to six ME aircraft shortly after leaving the target area. Friendly fighter support by 286 P-51s and P-47s was fair en route to the target and good on the return route. Anti-aircraft fire was reported by the lead and low Squadrons as being moderate and accurate, and by the high Squadron as moderate and inaccurate. Chaff had some beneficial effect.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission # 80 Mannheirn. Command Pilot: BRUNK. 26 planes dispatched. 26 planes dropped 59 tons on the primary target. 26 Credit Sorties. One plane was lost due to flak and 10 crewmen were listed as Missing in Action. Pathfinder bombing of another marshalling yard. Cleveland Romero #4.
B-17G 43-38300 B/P Mail Call Missing in Action flak, Mannheim. Received a direct flak hit in #2 engine and wing tank, starting a fire. Cowling a prop may have fallen off. Plane peeled out of formation to the left under the formation and appeared still under control as it entered the clouds 2000 feet below the formation. One man was seen to bail out, but chute was not seen to open before he entered the clouds. Crashed Ludwigshaven. With 391BS. Pilot: Halbert. Missing Air Crew Report # 9467. 9 Killed in Action, 1 Prisoner of War.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 36 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 214. The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the 41st CBW "C" group on today's mission. The lead and high squadrons attacked the primary target using Gee-H, while the low squadron attacked the PFF aim point of the same target, using PFF because the Gee-H equipment failed. Primary Target: Heinrich Lanz Tank Factory - Mannheim, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Gee-H).
40 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 37. Scrubbed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 1 42-107125 Cline, Walter W - Gee-H ship. Equipment failed prior to bomb run, causing squadron to attack secondary PFF target.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The target was the main works of Henrich Lanz in Mannhein, manufacturing various types of transport armored force vehicles, gun, tractors, etc. The PFF MPI was the center of the factory area. Lt. T.R. Cushman led the High Squadron in which 9 of the 613th crews flew. The weather over the continent was 8/10 to 10/10ths with the same conditions prevailing over the target. The Squadrons made individual runs and the results were thought to be good for the Lead and Low Squadrons. The High Squadron made an individual visual run on a target of opportunity at Karlsruhe Crews reported a good concentration of hits in the built up area of the city. The flak over Mannheim was meager and ineffective although the High Squadron encountered accurate tracking fire over Karlsruhe. No enemy air opposition was encountered and all aircraft returned to base. Crews from the 613th participating were: Annis, McGoldrick, Keck, Campbell, Jetter, Carson, Keeling, Cushman, Ham.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The target for this mission was a factory manufacturing armament and motor vehicles. The 614th furnished 10 aircraft led by Lt. E.W. Mercer. The bombing was visual through partial undercast and the results were classed as fair. There was no enemy air opposition and the flak was meager and inaccurate. The 39 aircraft of the 401st B.G. were led on this mission by Major D. G. NcCree to form the 94th "C" Group in the CBW. The weather over the continent was 8/10th's to 10/10th's with the same conditions over the target. The Squadrons made individual attacks, the High Squadron making an attack on a target of opportunity, the city of Karlsruhe. 16 Group aircraft received battle damage and two crew members were wounded. The 614th crews on the mission were: 44-8033 Mercer, 43-38565 Brown, 44-6464 Wittman, 42-97602 Mays, 43-38330 Crozier, 42-97478 Utter, 44-6508 Sisson, 43-38677 Moran, 43-38738 Spuhler, 42-107151 Morton.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - There was a delay of 5.5 hours between briefing - at 0500 hrs - and 1034 hrs. The 39 aircraft of the 401st, which included three PFF ships, comprised the 94th "C" Group, led by Major D.G. McCree and flying with Captain Don Currie. The other Squadron Leaders were Lt. G.W. Mercer and Lt. T.R. Cushman. The Lead and Low Squadrons bombed Mannheim by PFF with unobserved results but the High Squadron, with Captain D.W. Fesmire, who had recently returned to the Group after a leave in the United States and who was on his 121st mission, bombed Karlsruhe with excellent results. Again no sign of the Luftwaffe but flak was observed and encountered along the route and in the target area. Four aircraft received major and twelve minor flak damage. Two crew members were wounded, one seriously. 43-38125 Stegemann, 42-102674 Grimm, 42-102468 Hansen, 42-31730 Sombart, 42-97664 Dow, 42-31983 Callaway, 43-37551 McKay, 44-6146 Cooper, 43-38159 Oas.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Mission No. 158, flown October 19th, was an assignment at Mannheim, Germany to hit an industrial area which is furnishing various transports for the German war machine. Three PFF aircraft were included in the 36 furnished by the 401st, flying as three Squadrons and comprising the 94th "C" Group in the CBW. We .wonder what would happen to any of our efforts if it wasn't for PFF. Again there was bad weather in the target area with a clouded undercast. Not being able to bomb as a Group due to bad weather and contrary contrails the Group split up to bomb as Squadrons. The Lead Squadron started a Mickey bomb run but the Mickey went out and they continued in an effort to bomb visually. A slight break in the clouds provided a checkpoint and by using a specialized computer grid visual bombing was accomplished but results were unobserved. The Squadron did the same as the Lead The High Squadron being unable to pick up the primary turned and made a visual run on Karlsruhr hitting the built-up area and marshalling yards at the center of the city, obtaining good to excellent results. Again no enemy air opposition was met whereas Flak continued to be a nuisance. It was moderate at and the same at Karlsruhr with varying accuracy causing battle damage to 16 aircraft and wounds to two crew members. All aircraft returned safely however. Major McCree, Squadron C.O., flew as Group Air Commander with Captain Currie,, which included the able assistance of Ltg's Shapiro and Jeffrey as Lead Navigators, Lt. winn as Bombardier and Howard as Mickey Operator. Lt. Schaunaman, flew as deputy lead and seven other 612th crews were in the same Squadron. Crews: 42-97938 Lawrence, 44-6506 Schaunaman, 42-31662 Cox, 42-106992 Roadman, 42-102398 Gibson, 43-38637 Hocking, 42-97947 Currie, 42-102393 Jones, 42-107039 Harlan.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - The target for today was the Diesel Works at Gustavaburg, Germany with six aircraft of the 67th taking part with the other 13 A/C from the Group, plus 2 G-H ships and 1 PFF. We formed the "A" Wing of the 14th Combat Wing, and all but one aircraft attacked the target on G-H with unobserved results. Capt. Orthman flew as Group deputy lead. No E/A were observed and flak in the target area was moderate and accurate. Fighter support was excellent and the Group incurred no losses, but did sustain some slight battle damage.
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 - Karlsruhe. Major Thompson, air commander, flying with Capt. Suther, led the group on this mission for which the 322nd put up the 12 aircraft of the lead squadron. The Mickey equipment in the lead ship went out during the bomb run on Ludwigshaven (oil storage depot), the bombardier electing not to drop his bombs and try for another run. Following an accidental release by Lt. Ernst's A/C flying the #2 position, the rest of the Squadron dropped their bombs on Karlsruhe, as did the low squadron. Strike photographs show hits on the building area of the A/C at Karlsruhe. High Squadron dropped on the town of Bad Krueznach with unobserved results.