Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 712: 482 bombers and 367 fighters make PFF attacks on oil refineries and marshaling yards in W Germany; 1 bomber and 1 fighter are lost:
1. 197 B-17s are sent to hit the Oberlahnstein marshaling yard (146); 24 hit the secondary, the Koblenz marshaling yard; 2 hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17s is damaged beyond repair and 31 damaged; 1 airman is KIA. Escorting are 170 P-47s and P-51s without loss.
2. 129 B-17s are sent to hit the Buer oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen (100); 23 hit the secondary, the Rheine marshaling yard; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 7 airmen are KIA. Escorting are 52 P-51s; 1 is lost.
3. 143 B-24s are sent to hit the Bottrop oil refinery (124); 1 hit Recklinghausen, a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 39 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 98 P-47s and P-51s.
12 of 13 B-17s fly a screening mission.
31 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
The war was not over for the 303rd BG(H) airmen on this Armistice Day. The primary target was the synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen, the secondary target was the Heime marshalling yards and the last resort was the Guterslch Airfield – all in Germany. One B-17 returned early with mechanical difficulties, #42-102945 Sweet Pea, (Lt. McKinley).
All bombs were dropped on the primary target by GEE-H. In the target area were 9/10 to 10/10 low clouds with no middle or high clouds. There were dense, persistent contrails above 25,000 feet. Thirty-seven aircraft dropped 638 250-lb. H.E. M57 bombs from 27,600, 26,800 and 28,900 feet. Results were unobserved, but believed to be good. GEE-H signals in the low Squadron were weak.
Anti-aircraft gunfire in the target area was moderate and inaccurate with a few accurate bursts on the high Squadron. One high Squadron B-17 had minor damage. No enemy fighters appeared and 52 P-51s provided very good support.
Fortress #44-8422 Duffy's Tavern, 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. Paul C. Stephan, 360BS, blew up after take-off and crashed near Atchon over Much Wenlock.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 225. Two squadrons, plus two spare aircraft, attacked the synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen, despite equipment failures. The formation was led on the Gee-H bomb run by the low group deputy. Primary Target: Synthetic Oil Plant - Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Gee-H)
30 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 25. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 2. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 1 42-97824 Bills, Edgar L - Aborted Gee-H ship; lead squadron deputy; turned back at Dutch coast due to runaway prop; shaft snapped on return flight; engine burst into flames on landing; bombs jettisoned. 42-107125 Pranger, Nicholas Vincent - Gee-H ship; low squadron deputy. 44-8216 Cline, Walter W - Low squadron lead.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The entire 8th Air Force was dispatched to targets in the Ruhr area. The 388th furnished one Group flying high in the 45th A Combat Wing.
13 a/c were airborne by 0812 hours and formations were effected without difficulty. The briefed route to the target across Belguim and Luxembough was followed with one a/c aborting before the target and landing in Belgium.
Bombing was done by Groups, using Micro-H technique through 10/10th clouds. Bombs were away at 1152 hours from 26,150 feet. From the IP to the rally point, moderate flak was encountered. There was no battle damage.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1429 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
44BG Mission Report - The 67th did not participate in todays mission. Two G-H aircraft, 66th's #594 piloted by Lt. Williams; 68th's A/C #124 piloted by 1st Lt. W.D. Kelly, provided lead and squadron lead for the 392nd BG. Both attacked the synthetic oil plant at Bottrop, bombing through 9/10ths cloud cover on Gee-H, with results unobserved.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
source: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
Non-Combat Accident Reports
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31764). Organization: 551BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk. Pilot: Naylor, Arthur C. Notes: killed in a crash. Location: Great Ashfield, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/