Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 745: 534 bombers and 690 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks and a fighter sweep in Germany; 2 fighters are lost:
1. 173 of 225 B-24s hit the marshaling yard at Bingen and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 4 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 287 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost and 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair.
2. 277 of 309 B-17s hit the Lutzel marshaling yard at Koblenz and 13 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 27 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA. Escorting are 226 P-47s and P-51s without loss.
3. 96 of 111 P-51s make a fighter sweep E of the bombers targets; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
4. 22 of 22 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,
source: Louis Hensgens 390 Bomb Group http://www.louishensgens.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 8th Air Force continued to hammer at German transportation in the Rhine Ricer Area. The 3rd Air Division attacked the freight and switching yards at Koblenz. The 2nd Division went to Bingen while the 1st Division targets were scrubbed. The 388th furnished three Groups for the 45th A Combat Wing.
34 a/c plus 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 0701 and 0738 hours. Three a/c failed to attack the target. Formations were effected without difficulty and the briefed route to the target was followed. Bombing was by Groups using Micro-H equipment. Bombs were away at 1105 hours from 27,400 feet.
Flak was meager and inaccurate and encountered in the target area only. Some V-2 contrails were seen during assembly. There was no battle damage.
S/Sgt. L. L. Curtis died of asphyxiation because of an oxygen failure.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
44BG Mission Report - After three days of enforced rest, six aircraft of the 67th along with 17 others of the 44th, led the 14th Wing and the Division on a Gee-H mission to the Bingen M/Y. Capt. McDonnell (66) led the Group in A/C #503, taking off at 0730 hours and all reached the target. Our formation started on their bomb run and picked up tracking and release signals at the I.P. at approximately three miles from the target. The Gee equipment faded in both the lead and deputy lead aircraft, and the release signal finally disappeared completely. Having already been committed to the run, the lead aircraft passed over the target and at this point decided to make a 360 degree turn and bomb on the smoke markers of the succeeding Wings. But when the turn was about 2/3rds complete, it became obvious that the smoke markers had drifted too far from the target to do-any accurate bombing. Weather scouts were called to assist in locating a Target of Opportunity but none could be found in the area. The decision was then made to return to base with bombs. Two A/C released their bombs accidentally just after the IP because of armament malfunctioning. The fighter support was excellent; one ship reported slight flak damage, but all returned to base safely. 1st Lt. Overstreet and crew attached for rations, quarters and administration. 2nd Lts. Bethel, Maynard, Miller, Hester and Morlock promoted to 1st Lt. 67th`Lt. Kleiderer and crew participated on this mission and Tail Gunner Chaffin adds: "Bingen, Germany is where the Group got E/A several days ago (2nd). We carried 44 x 100 lb demos and 2 x 200 lb incendaries. This was our first mission failure. We started with U, but while taxiing #4 engine ran away, so we changed to L and continued. When we got over the target our radio bomb refease wouldn't work, so the Group brought their bombs back. Then we had to feather one engine and were about to lose another coming back so we dropped our bombs in the Channel. Our engineer WS Ober?) worked in the bomb bay and succeeded in starting the engines again, He kept his gloves off too long and frost-bit a finger. Everything seems to have gone wrong today!"
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97286). Organization: 560BS / 388BG of Knettishall, Suffolk. Pilot: Littlejohn, John N Jr. Notes: killed in a crash. Location: Isle of Arran Scotland. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/