Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
HQ 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 856th, 857th, 858th and 859th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), the CARPETBAGGER group, assigned to HQ VIII Fighter Command, is transferred to the 1st Bombardment Division to operate as a night bombing group; only the 856th Squadron remains on CARPETBAGGER operations over the Netherlands, Norway and Denmark under operational control of HQ Eighth AF; this reduction of supply dropping forces results from the recapture of major portions of France. The 859th Squadron is sent to Italy in Dec 44 and did not return; the 857th and 858th started night bombing sorties on a limited scale in Dec 44.
Mission 685: 1,131 bombers and 785 fighters are dispatched on PFF attacks on targets in W Germany; 2 bombers and 1 fighter are lost:
1. 379 B-17s are dispatched to hit military vehicle plants at Hannover/Hanomag (171) and Brunswick/Bussing (148); targets of opportunity are Bielefeld (35) and other (6); 2 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 15 damaged; 20 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 16 MIA. Escort is provided by 379 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 353 of 373 B-24s hit the Hamm marshaling yard; 29 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 196 of 212 P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
3. 352 of 379 B-17s hit the Munster marshaling yard; 8 others hit targets of opportunity; 13 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 147 of 157 P-51s.
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/
German damage report (Brunswick) - Strong fires in the south and west. Tot: 7 German and 23 foreigners. (translated from German)
source: Brunswick city website http://www.braunschweig.de/kultur_tourismus/stadtportraet/geschichte/stadtchronik.html
303BG Mission Report - Target: Tank Assembly Plant at Brunswick, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 9, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 50 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 6 x 500 lb M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: 29,400, 29,200 & 29,100 ft. Ammo Fired: 5,850 rounds.
An almost perfect mission was flown with only three aircraft sustaining minor damage from flak. There were no enemy aircraft attacks, although two crews reported seeing a few ME-109s. Good support was provided by 379 P-51s and P-47s. Chaff helped keep flak to moderate and inaccurate fire. There were no casualties and all aircraft returned to Molesworth. B-17G #42-107099 Old 99, 427BS (Lt. Drewry) returned early due to engine trouble. Its bombs were jettisoned.
Thirty-seven B-17s dropped a total of 222 500-lb. H.E. M43 and 222 500-lb. incendiary bombs on the target with poor results. One aircraft dropped 10 bundles of T185 leaflets. In the target area there were 9/10 low clouds with tops at 9,000 to 12,000 feet, no middle clouds and 0/10 to 3/10 high cirrus clouds at 26,000 feet. Visual bombing could not be attempted. Bombs were dropped from the high altitudes of 29,400, 29,200 and 29,100 feet by equipment. The lead Squadron, with weak equipment, had only a fair bomb run with bombs hitting in the southwest side of the city. The high Squadron's equipment malfunctioned, so they bombed on the lead Squadron. The low Squadron equipment was working well and their bombs hit near the aiming point.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #81 Munster. Command Pilot: LeBAILLY. 23 planes dispatched. 20 planes dropped 48 tons on the primary target and three failed to bomb. 21 Credit Sorties. Target was highway junctions. Pathfinder bombing. Results unobserved. Cleveland Romero #5.
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
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, the 3rd Air Division was to attack targets in the Munster area. The 1st Division was sent to Hannover and Brunswick while the 2nd Division went to Hamm. The 388th furnished the lead for the 45th Combat Wing.
35 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 1015 and 1050 hours with 1 a/c aborting for mechanical reasons. Formations were effected and the briefed route to and from the target was followed. 10/10 cloud coverage prevailed over the entire route and the secondary target, which was the Marshalling Yards at Munster, Germany, was attacked. The bomb run was in Group formation using PFF methods.
Meager to moderate flak was encountered over Munster. All of our a/c returned to base by 1708 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 - A manufacturing industry at Hanover engaged in the production of medium calibre guns, gun carriages, artillery tractors and components for aircraft and heavy shells was attacked. Because of 10/10ths undercast over the primary target, bombing was by PFF and although results were unobserved it is thought that the bombs hit well within the target limits. The flak was meager and inaccurate over the target and no enemy air opposition was encountered. Jetter, Douglas, Etters, Hopley, McGoldrick, Baker, Cushman, Ham.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The target on this mission was a large works manufacturing guns and vehicle carriers of all types. 39 aircraft were furnished by the 401st to make up the 94th "B" Group of the CBW. The weather over the continent again made visual bombing out of the question but the three PFF aircraft reported that their equipment worked very well and they believed that the bombing was successfully carried out. The Air Commander was Major D.G. McCree. There was practically no flak and the small amount that came up was classed by the crews as inaccurate. This is proved by the fact that only 15 of the 379 aircraft of the 1st Air Division suffered any battle damage. Sadly, the only losses on this day by the 8th Air Force were two 306th B.G. aircraft that collided over the North Sea on the way home and two 305th B.G. aircraft that collided over Thurleigh with the loss of 19 men. Only one man was rescued from the North Sea collision. The 9 614th crews taking part in this operation were: 42-38236 Hayes, 43-38565 Morton, 44-6508 Ochsenhirt, 42-97602 Mays, 43-38330 Crozier, 43-38677 Moran, 42-39012 Utter, 42-97395 Hubbell, 43-38738 Spuhler.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - Bad weather closed down all 8th A.F. operations for the 20th and 21st October - and almost called a halt to this mission as well. The briefing was for 39 crews at 0700 hrs with the field in the RED condition until just before take-off. A diversion was arranged for the returning 401st ships late that afternoon, and, as the Control Tower Log Book puts it - "A" operational aircraft landed under extremely rugged weather conditions. Visibility very low and aircraft had difficulty in seeing each other. The assigned target was the marshalling yards at Hannover with Major D.G. McCree as the 94th "B" Group Leader and Captain D.A. Currie and Lt. W.M. Heenan as the other leaders. The three Squadrons made individual PFF runs on the target and all reported that their equipment was working very well and each believed that the bombing was successful. Moderate to heavy enemy air opposition was expected but none was seen or reported. The flak itself was meagre to moderate over the target but proved to be generally inaccurate and only three aircraft received minor battle. Flak barrages~were observed en route at Munster and Osnabruck. The 615th put up the following ten crews: 42-31983 Callaway, 44-6146 Cooper, 43-37551 Maire, 44-8033 Heenan, 42-102659 Oas, 42-31730 Sombart, 42-102463 Hansen, 43-38425 Udy, 42-107113 Sullivan, 43-38077 Campbell.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Continuing the Eighth Air Force assignment against Germany's Ordnance and Communications production, the 401st went to Hanover on 22nd October. The target was a large works manufacturing both guns and vehicle carriers of various types. 36 aircraft, three Squadrons of 12 each including a aircraft in each, were despatched to carry out the job, comprising the 94th CBW "B" Group. Weather continued to thwart our visual efforts by providing the more conventional 10/10's undercast. Three Squadrons each used individual PFF runs although they were practically in a Group formation. All three Mickey Operators reported their equipment to be working very well and each believes the bombing was successful, although no strikes were available. Although moderate to heavy enemy air opposition was expected none was seen or reported on VHF. Flak proved to be meagre to moderate over the target but generally inaccurate. Also Flak barrages were observed enroute at Munster and Osnabruck. Battle damage was limited to three aircraft receiving minor hits and all personnel and aircraft returned safely. Major McCree flew the mission as Air Comruander for the Group in the Lead Squadron. Captain Currie, with Lt. Hinor as Navigator, Lt. Howard as Mickey Operator and Lt. Murphy as Bombardier led the Low Squadron. Eight other 612th crews flew the effort in the Low Squadron with Lt. Hocking leading the Low Section. Crews: 44-6506 Lawrence, 42-31662 Cox, 42-106992 Roadman, 42-31891 Comer, 42-97636 Hocking, 42-102393 Jones, 43-37790 Bonney, 42-97947 Hayes, 43-38733 Cromer.
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Brunswick. Capt. Walter W. Thompson led the High Squadron furnished by the 322nd. The group flew as 1st A, leading the A Task Force of 1st Division, which preceded the 2nd and 3rd Divisions. Before the I.P. the Mickey equipment of the lead and low squadrons went out of order and the high group took over, bombing with unobserved results.