Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 693: 1,279 bombers and 978 fighters fly a major mission against German oil production facilities; 2 bombers and 5 fighters are lost:
1. 357 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Harburg oil refinery (72) and Rhenania oil refinery (67) at Hamburg; targets of opportunity are Hamburg (28), Cuxhaven (25), Wesermunde (21), Uetersen (9), Bremen (1) and other (1); 2 B-24s are lost and 30 damaged; 19 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 293 P-47s and P-51s; 4 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
2. 463 B-17s dispatched hit secondary targets, the marshaling yards at Hamm (209) and Munster (192); targets of opportunity are Osnabruck (12), Enschede (2) and other (4); 17 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 2 MIA. Escort is provided by 123 of 135 P-47s; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA).
3. 459 B-17s dispatched to hit the Leuna oil refinery at Merseburg are recalled due to deteriorating weather; 2 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 482 of 508 P-51s without loss.
Mission 693A: 2 of 5 B-17s make an APHRODITE attack on Heligoland Island, Germany; escort is provided by 7 of 7 P-47s. 26 of 27 B-17s, escorted by 8 of 8 P-47s, fly a cover mission to Heligoland without loss.
Mission 694: 2 B-17s and 7 B-24s drop leaflets in 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,
Aircraft were dispatched to bomb the Hydierwerke-Scholven A.G. synthetic oil plant near Gelsenkirchen, Germany, as the visual primary target. The PFF secondary was the Guterslch Airfield and the Rheine marshalling yard. Aircraft #43-37666 Full House, 427BS (Lt. Roberts), turned back at 1226 hours, when ball turret Sgt. G.R. Campbell passed out from a loss of oxygen.
There were no enemy aircraft observed and only meager to moderate and inaccurate flak was seen. No aircraft sustained any battle damage and there were no casualties. Good support was provided by 123 P-47s.
Twenty-four B-17s dropped 431 250-lb. H.E. M57 bombs on the secondary target. Twelve aircraft of the high Squadron dropped 215 250-lb. bombs on a target of opportunity due to a bombing malfunction and accidental release. A low Squadron B-17, #43-38878 (No Name), 359BS (Lt. McDavid), did not drop his leaflet load due to mechanical difficulties. Another high Squadron B-17, #44-6523 (No Name), 360BS (Lt. J.B. Arwood), returned with 16 250-lb. bombs. Bombing was by PFF through a solid undercast. Results were not observed. PFF equipment worked satisfactorily after recent failures. All aircraft safely returned to Molesworth.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission #85 Re-called from target area due to inclement weather. Command Pilot: CRABTREE. 37 planes dispatched. All 37 failed to bomb due to the re-call. 35 Credit Sorties. Cleveland Romero #7.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 38 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 216. The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the 41st CBW "B" Group for today's mission. Dense clouds again cloaked the synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen. The Group attacked the PFF secondary target instead. - Primary Target: Synthetic Oil Plant - Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Railroad Marshalling Yards - Hamm, Germany
43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 39. Ground Spare, Unused - 4 42-97271 Herring, Harold F - Lead squadron hot camera ship. 42-97824 Toler, Harold M - Gee-H ship. 42-102459 Springsted, Donald George - Low squadron hot camera ship. 42-102661 Gilbert, Stanley M - Low squadron deputy. 42-107121 Hartness, Joseph G - High squadron hot camera ship. 43-38747 Mohler, John G - High squadron deputy. 43-38750 Galiano, Joe V - Low squadron hot camera ship. 43-38766 Causa, Raymond - High squadron hot camera ship. 44-8007 Bishop, Charles W - Group lead. PFF ship. 44-8008 Herzog, John H - Group deputy. PFF ship. 44-8211 Oosterhof, Franklin G - High squadron lead. PFF & Gee-H ship. 44-8409 Doran, William R - Lead squadron hot camera ship.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th furnished three Groups which made up the 45th B Combat Wing.
37 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 0810 and 0841 hours. 1 a/c of the low Group aborted. Formations were effected and proceeded on course to the target. At approximately 52? 33"N, 07? 04"E, the mission was recalled because of weather. All a/c returned to base by 1347 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 - Although the assigned target was the oil plants at Gelsenkirchen 10/10ths cloud cover prevented visual bombing and the secondary target at Munster marshalling yards was bombed by PFF. Results were unobserved. The flak enroute and over the target was ineffective, only four aircraft suffering battle damage. Major McCree was Group Leader of the 94th "A" Group and Lt. Mannix led the Low Squadron in which 9 crews from the 613th flew, they were: Etters, Hopley, Carson, Keeling, Mannix, Hillested, Douglas, Annis, Jenning.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The primary target for this mission was Gelsenkirchen but the deteriorating weather caused the recall of the 3rd Bomb Division and the 1st Bomb Division to seek secondary targets. The secondary for the 401st was the marshalling yards at Munster. The usual 36 aircraft plus three PFF aircraft was furnished by the Group to compose the 94th CBW "A" Group. There was no break in the 10/10th's cloud so there was no observations and no photos to evaluate the results. There was no enemy air opposition and the meager flak caused some battle damage to four of the Group's aircraft. The Squadron put up the follows aircraft and crews: 44-6464 Wittman, 42-107151 Morton, 43-38738 Spuhler, 42-38236 Hayes, 42-38330 Crozier, 43-38677 Moran, 42-97478 Ochsenhirt, 43-38565 Mays, 42-97395 St. Aubyn.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The last briefing for the month of October was at 0545 hrs and was attended by 39 operational crews, one weather ship crew and one observer crew. The weather ship took off at 0744 hrs with the rest of the,ships taking off from 0915 hrs. The 401st put up 36 aircraft to form the 94th "A" Group, led by Major D.G. McCree with Captain Harb and 1st Lt. B.C. Konze as the other Squadron Leaders. The assigned target was the oil industry at Gelsenkirchen but the deteriorating weather caused the recall of the 1st Bomb Division to look for secondary targets. Each Squadron had a PFF ship and it was used to bomb the marshalling yards at Munster through the 10/10th's undercast. The Luftwaffe didn't show up, making it another month free from Jerry fighters. That couldn't be said for the flak - it was always over, under or all round the formation, and, on this day a few accurate bursts caused damage to four of the 401st B-17's. The 1st Bomb Division had been turned back by the Scouting Force, which, interestingly, were at Deenethorpe from the Sunday to the Friday of this week while their own airfield at Steeple Morden was under repair. 15 P-51's occupied dispersals 27, 28 and 33. Later in the week, on Thursday 2nd November, as P-51 Serial No. 764 was taking off on Runway No. 33, it crashed. So many people came to view the crashed aircraft that MPs were brought in to chase them off. The nine 615th crews flying the mission were: 43-38125 Stegemann, 44-6146 Cooper, 43-37551 Maire, 42-31730 Sombart, 43-38458 Hansen, 43-38077 Kochel, 42-107113 Sullivan, 43-38425 Udy, 44-8258 Konze.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - The next and last target for October was an assigned mission to furnish 36 aircraft flying as 94th CBW "A" Group to attack the oil industry at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. PFF aircraft were included in each Squadron and it became necessary to use them because of 10/10'5 clouds and the Group went to and bombed the Secondary at Munster, the target again being the marshalling yards. There were no breaks in the clouds when they bombed and the strike photos show nothing. As yet there is no evaluation concluded on the PFF work. Nothing from the Luftwaffe showed up to give another free month from the Jerry fighters although as on every mission these days Flak was seen at the target. It was very uncertain being high, low and all round and only a few bursts were accurate causing battle damage to four of the aircraft. No one was wounded and all aircraft returned safely. Major McCree was again leading the Group ably assisted as usual by Captain Currie's crew with Lt. Winn as Bombardier, Lt. Jeffrey as Navigator and Lt. Boward as Mickey Operator. Eight other 612th crews participated and completed the mission, all flying in the Low Squadron. Lt. Gibson was the Low Section Leader finishing up his combat tour. Crews: 42-102957 Currie, 42-31891 Cromer, 42-31662 Bloetcher, 42-39993 Gibson, 43-38637 Long, 42-102398 Maxwell, 43-37790 Bonney, 43-38541 Comer, 43-37628 Roadman.
source: 612th Bombardment Squadron History
44BG Mission Report - Seven 67th aircraft composed the high right squadron of the 44th's formation of 28 A/C and 2 PFFs to lead the 14th Combat Wing, last Wing in the Division to the oil refinery at Hamburg. Lt. Holmer led the 67th's section to the Primary which was Hamburg (visual) and the Secondary if PFF. Weather conditions at the IP and the interference by the preceding Wing caused the formation to break up and deviate from the briefed course. So 19 aircraft attacked the Secondary, and eight A/C dropped on a Target of Opportunity at Uterson. Bombing results at both targets were unobserved, although a preliminary analysis of the scope photos show bomb striking in the Secondary target area. No enemy aircraft were observed and flak on the target was heavy and inaccurate. One 506th Squadron plane, #44-10523 and piloted by 1st Lt. C.J. Bentcliff, was lost to causes unknown although it is believed to have been hit by flak. Immediately after bombing (1318 hours) the aircraft was seen to go into a steep bank and came out of it with a loss of altitude. The aircraft was last seen flying southwest and apparently under control. Poor visibility due to high clouds made further observation impossible, but no chutes were seen. Later, three men were reported POW, and 8 KIA The 67th planes escaped battle damage and returned safely to base at 1530 hours. Lt. Hurst and crew flew their first deputy lead, carrying 12 x 500 lb M-17s. Lt. J.A. Struthers, in A/C 2, carried 24 x 250 lb GPs dropped them from altitude of 24,000 feet. His tail gunner, S/Sgt. Allen records that the weather was cloudy, 10/10ths coverage every way one looked. Not much flak but sweated out the clouds, instead. Fighter support was excellent. The 67th planes escaped battle damage and returned safely to base at 1530 hours. Lt. Hurst and crew flew their first deputy lead, carrying 12 x 500 lb M-17s. Lt. J.A. Struthers, in A/C 2, carried 24 x 250 lb GPs dropped them from altitude of 24,000 feet. His tail gunner, S/Sgt. Allen, records that the weather was cloudy, 10/10ths coverage every way one looked. Not much flak but sweated out the clouds, instead. The 2nd Division was the only one that didn't turn back - even the escort turned around. 1st Lt. Chester L. Barefoot (Pilotage) is not shown on the Roll Of Honor. Listing now has been corrected as it has been verified that he did not survive. (1985) ******************************************************************************************************** Amended Mission Details Per the records of Lt. R. L. Aston - Navigator A/C # 42-95087 - Lt. Spagnola's Crew Mission #: 245 For the 44th On 1919-10-3044
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg