Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 689: 1,225 bombers and 674 fighters make PFF attacks on industrial and communications targets in W Germany; 1 fighter is lost:
1. 430 B-17s are dispatched to attack a storage depot at Bielefeld (155) and aircraft repair plant and Ludwig marshaling yard at Munster (108); targets of opportunity are Munster (87), Gutersloh (24) and other (1); 10 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 204 of 215 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
2. 432 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Hannover/Hanomag military vehicle plant (155); targets of opportunity are Hannover (221), Bielefeld (36) and other (1); 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 14 damaged; 16 airmen are KIA, and 1 WIA. Escort is provided by 235 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair.
3. 242 of 246 B-24s hit the aqueduct and Mittelland Canal at Minden; 5 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 128 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft without loss.
4. 117 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Welheim synthetic oil plant at Bottrop (65); 33 others hit Munster; 37 B-24s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA. Escort is provided by 59 of 66 P-51s without loss.
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: Marshalling Yard at Munster, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 48 (358BS - 12, 359th - 12, 360th - 12, 427th - 12). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 10 minutes. Bomb Load: 18 x 250 lb H.E. M57 bombs. Bombing Altitudes: 29,850, 28,400, 27,700 & 27,400 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,410 ft.
The Nordstern Synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, again was the primary target. The secondary target was the Munster marshalling yard, and the last resort targets were the Guterslch airfield and the Heine marshalling yard. The 303rd BG(H) dispatched four Squadron formations that comprised the 41 CBW-A. B-17G #43-38238 (No Name), 358BS (Lt. Reid, 427BS) returned early over the North Sea due to engine trouble.
The heavy cloud cover again made visual bombing impossible. The primary and secondary targets both had 10/10 cloud cover with tops at 12,000 feet. Forty-seven aircraft dropped 845 250-lb. H.E. M57 bombs on the secondary target at Munster. PFF equipment was used by the Nos. 1 and 2 Squadrons, but malfunctioned for the Nos. 3 and 4 Squadrons. They bombed on the lead Squadron smoke markers. GEE-H equipment also broke down on three of the Squadrons. PFF navigators believed that their bombs hit in the city, but results could not be observed.
The Luftwaffe again failed to appear to face the 241 escorting P- 51s. Flak was moderate and inaccurate and chaff was effective. Two aircraft sustained major battle damage and two, minor damage. An additional Fortress was damaged by friendly gunfire. There were no casualties and all aircraft returned safely to Base.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #83 Hannover. Command Pilot: SIMPSON. 13 planes dispatched. 13 planes dropped 29 tons on the primary target. 13 Credit Sorties. Target was the tank works. Pathfinder bombing. Results unobserved.
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 - The 3rd Air Division forces attacked the M/T and Artillery Tractor Factory at Hannover. The 1st Division went to Gelsenkirchen, Munster and Bielfelde while the 2nd Division went to Buttrop and the Mitteland Canal near Minden. The 388th furnished the 45th A Combat Group which led the 45th Combat Wing.
39 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 0955 and 1024 hours with 3 a/c of the low Group aborting, two for mechanical and one personnel failure. Formations were effected without difficulty and the briefed route to and from the target was followed. The target was covered with 10/10 clouds and was bombed using PFF methods. The mickey operators believed that the bombs fell in the target area.
Flak over Hannover was inaccurate moderate barrage. All of our a/c returned to base by 1730 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 visual and PFF target was the branch ordnance depots, 2 miles S.E. of the center of Bielfeld, supplying the German Front with tanks, guns, track vehicles, etc. Lt. W.C. Mannix was the Low Squadron Leader in which 10 crews from the 613th flew. Because of 10/10ths cloud cover over the primary target, bombing was done by PFF with unobserved results. Flak was not encountered and the flak observed enroute and over the target was meager. No battle damage was sustained and enemy air opposition was encountered, and all aircraft returned to base. Crews from the 613th participating were: Mannix, Annis, Douglas, Campbell, Hillested, Keeling, Keck, Budd, Hopley, McGoldrick
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The primary target on this mission was an ordnance and supply depot 2 miles from the center of Bielfeld. The attack was to be visual or PFF, depending on the weather, and it turned out to be yet another PFF one. The 39 aircraft from the Group made up the 94th "C" Group with Major D.G. McCree as Air Commander. The 614th Squadron put up 10 aircraft with Major A.H. Chapman flying as Squadron Commander and co-pilot with a 612th crew. The flak was missing for a change on this mission and of the 430 aircraft put up by damage. Crews: 44-8258 Mercer (PFF), 42-102468 Rundell, 42-38565 Seder, 42-38236 Hayes, 42-107151 Morton, 42-97478 St. Aubyn, 42-97602 Babcock, 43-38738 Spuhler, 44-6464 Wittman.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The briefing for 39 crews was at 0630 hrs but take-off time had to be delayed because of the weather conditions. In between the airfield being declared RED and closed down for flying, 38 of the crews managed to take off. The last crew, a 615th Squadron crew, failed to get off and transferred from IY-X to IY-G only to find that the Control Tower closed the airfield down and would not allow them to take off. The assigned target was an area depot of the German Army located at Bielefeld - to be bombed visually if possible and by PFF if necessary. It was decided to use PFF when the cloud cover was found to be 10/10th's over the target. Results were unobserved. 42-107115 Sullivan, 43-38458 Dow, 43-38159 Oas, 42-31983 Callaway, 42-97664 Hansen, 43-37551 Maire, 43-38125 Turk, 44-6146 Cooper.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Again another trip designed to knock out more of Germany's supply of tanks, guns and vehicles, etc. This one was to Bielfeld, on October 26th. The usual 36 aircraft comprising three of 12 aircraft each was furnished by the Group to fly as the 94th "C" Group, with the PFF type aircraft included. Still hampered by the poor conditions for visual bombing the Leaders had to bomb by PFF means through the clouds. Preliminary plotting shows the results will probably be much better on this mission with all three operators bombing close to the pin-point target. No visual observations of the bombing were possible. Neither enemy aircraft nor Flak was encountered on this "Milk Run" although Flak was observed near the target, Osnabruck, Munster, and Swolle in Holland. There was no battle damage to the aircraft and all crews returned safely. Major McCree flew in the Lead Squadron as pilot to check out Captain Chapman of another Squadron as a Group Air Commander. Lt. Winn flew with him as Lead Bombardier and Lt. Howard as Mickey Operator. Eight other crews completed the mission flying in the Lead Squadron with Lt. Hocking finishing up his tour flying as Low Section Leader. Crew: 44-6506 Schaunaman, 43-38541 Comer, 42-107039 Schliemann, 42-39993 Hocking, 42-102393 Jones, 43-37628 Long, 43-37790 Aiken, 42-97947 McCree.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - Captain Honmyhr flew Group deputy lead with six aircraft of The 67th Squadron to attack a synthetic oil plant at Bottrop, Germany. The 44th made up the 14th Combat Wing today, to lead the Division with 17 A/C, 2 G-H ships and 2 PFFs. Bombing was accomplished by G-H through 10/10th cloud cover, with unobserved results. Flak again was intense and accurate in the target area. No enemy aircraft were observed. Fighter support was present although no contact was made. No losses were incurred. S/Sgt. Allen adds: "Target lies 5 miles north of Essen. We flew in U, bomb loading of 24 x 250 GPs. This was the most flak we've ever seen over target. They threw everything they had up at us! This was (Lt.) Hennaberry's #13!"
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 - Munster. The M/Yds in the city of Munster were attacked with PFF methods, undercast preventing observation of results or photographic cover. The 322nd was stood down for this mission. Contrails from what are believed to be the A-2rocket bombs were reported by various crews over the Zuider Zee area from 20,000 feet to 50,000 ft.
Aircraft: P-51D10 (#44-14270). Organization: 375FS / 361FG of Little Walden, Essex. Pilot: Wolfe, Joseph B. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Little Walden, Essex England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/