Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 718: 172 B-17s are sent to hit the Schowen oil plant at Gelsenkirchen (61); 93 hit the secondary, the marshaling yard at Munster; 25 B-17s are damaged. Escort is 214 P-47s and P-51s; no losses. Other flights:
12 of 12 B-17s fly a screening mission. 310 P-47s and P-51s make fighter-bomber strikes agains miscellaneous targets in W Germany; 1 P-47 and 7 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
12 of 12 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 719: 6 B-17s and 7 B-24s drop leaflets on the Netherlands, France 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,
Two targets were attacked by 303rd BG(H) bombers. One Group hit the primary target at Gelsenkirchen, while another part of the formation bombed Munster by PFF when their GEE-H equipment malfunctioned. Both bomb runs were executed through 10/10 high clouds with bases at 27,000 and tops at 30,000 feet, with unobserved results. The addition of dense, persistent contrails made formation flying difficult.
The bombers dropped 807 250-lb. H.E. M57 bombs from 28,600, 27,750, 28,500, 29,300 and 27,400 feet. Moderate to intense and accurate flak resulted in three aircraft sustaining major and twelve, minor battle damage, but there were no casualties. The Luftwaffe again stood down and did not confront the 214 escorting P-51s and P-47s.
High winds interfered with the mission being flown as briefed. The entire Group had problems convening and ended up assembling over a wide area.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 227. A combination of equipment failures prevented the planned Gee-H attack on the primary target. Therefore, all squadrons of the 384th attacked the secondary PFF target. Primary Target: Synthetic Oil Plant - Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Target Attacked : Secondary (PFF): Railroad Marshalling Yards - Münster, Germany
55 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 48. Aborted - 2. Scrubbed - 4. Returned Early - 1 42-38013 Jackson, Oakley Homer - aborted, unable to locate formation after taking of late. 42-38208 Mumper, Benjamin R - Landed away at Bassingbourn, due to weather. 42-97592 Smith, Jack M - PFF ship; low squadron lead, 41st Bomb Wing "C" group. 42-98027 Gross, Kenneth E - PFF ship; group lead, 41st Bomb Wing "D" group. 42-107125 Hicks, Ralph B - Gee-H ship; low squadron deputy, 41st Bomb Wing "C" group. 43-37843 Mock, John M - Landed away at Bassingbourn, due to weather. 43-38016 Gilbert, Stanley M - Returned Early Gee-H ship; lead squadron deputy, 41st Bomb Wing "C" group. The mission commander's narrative states: "A/C 8016 (Pilot Gilbert) returned early due to engine failure. Bombs were jettisoned." According to Marion Chase, Engineer: "Five minutes before target, had a runaway prop and finally feathered it due to vibration. At 29,000 ft. we could not climb and lost our formation. Came back alone." 43-38750 Rice, Robert E - Flew entire mission, but due to mechanical failure could not release bombs; bomb load returned to base. 44-8008 Neville, Harry W - PFF ship; "C" group lead. 44-8211 Hunt, John H - Gee-H ship; lead squadron deputy, 41st Bomb Wing "D" group. 44-8401 Oosterhof, Franklin G - high squadron lead, 41st "C" group.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
Non-Combat Accident Reports
Aircraft: AT-6D (#41-34657). Organization: 338FS / 55FG of Wormingford, Essex. Pilot: Reeves, Paul R. Notes: taxiing accident. Location: Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97215). Organization: 334BS / 95BG of Horham, Suffolk. Pilot: Rensch, Harold J. Notes: crash landing. Location: Horham, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/