Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 756: 328 bombers and 45 fighters are dispatched to hit tactical targets (rail and road junctions, rail and road chokepoints and railheads) in the Luxembourg and Ehrang and Koblenz, Germany area to impede the German counteroffensive launched in the Ardennes on 16 Dec using PFF:
1. 144 of 172 B-17s hit 6 tactical targets and 24 hit the secondary target, the Koblenz marshaling yard without loss.
2. 62 of 156 B-24s hit 2 tactical targets and 82 hit the secondary target, the Ehrang marshaling yard; 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; 11 airmen are KIA.
3. The missions above are escorted by 37 of 41 P-47s; they claim 7-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-47s are damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is WIA.
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: Tactical Troop Support at Blankenheim, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 39 (358BS - 10, 359th - 10, 360th - 10, 427th - 9). Length of Mission: 6 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb H.E. M43 bombs; 12 x 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitudes;: 21,550 & 22,400 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,080 rounds.
The 303rd BG(H) B-17s took off in poor weather and experienced a 10/10 cloud undercast in the target area and along most of the route. The primary target was to support troops at Blankenheim, Germany and the secondary, to be attacked visually or by PFF, was the Koblenz marshalling yard.
Twenty-five aircraft in the high and low Squadrons dropped 299 500-lb. H.E. M43 bombs on the primary target by GEE-H with unobserved results. Thirteen aircraft of the lead Squadron dropped 155 500-lb. G.P.s with the 359BS formation from Polebrook, on what was believed to be Kall, Germany. All results were unobserved. The high Squadron, led by Lt. Roger Kuykendall, took over the Group lead from Capt. Robert J. Lynch when Lynch's GEE-H equipment temporarily failed.
No enemy aircraft or anti-aircraft fire was seen. There was no battle damage or casualties. Friendly fighter support by 37 P-51s was fair to poor. Chaff was discharged, but it was impossible to gauge its effectiveness.
Low clouds and poor visibility made it impossible for the Group to land at Molesworth. Aircraft were diverted to west England and an RAF airfield at Lyneham. Several aircraft that were flying practice flights and slow time also were diverted to other airfields. The aircraft were unable to return to Molesworth until 27 December.
44 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 12. Scrubbed - 28. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 3
12 a/c landed away because of weather.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 401st furnished the 94th "A" Group on December 19th with Lt. Col. Brown as Group Leader. The assigned target was Schleiden but due to bad weather the High and Low Squadrons became separated from the Lead. The High Squadron bombed Schleiden by Gee-H, the Lead, Koblenz by PFF and the Low, a target of opportunity at Stadtkyll. No flak or enemy air opposition was encountered. All the aircraft on return were diverted to other fields, landing safely and without casualties. The crews from the 613th on this mission were: 44-8449 Cushman, 44-6313 Bradley, 42-31072 Curran, 43-38862 Hopley, 824 Baker, 44-6132 Nielson, 42-31591 Douglas, 44-2607 Cox, 43-38160 Tausig, 43-37706 Carey. Weather Ship: Locher (a/c 42-40001).
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The 1st Bomb Division put up 172 aircraft to attack six tactical targets in the Koblenz area to impede the German offensive that was began on 16th December in the Ardennes. Attacks were made by Gee-H and H2X and the bad weather caused the Squadrons to become separated and bomb three different targets. The 40 401st aircraft, making up the 94th "A" Group, was under the command of Lt. Col. Brown with nine 614th Squadron making up the High element of each of the Squadrons. The bad weather caused the diversion of all the Group aircraft to three bases, all of them extremely short of gas. There was no air opposition or flak over the target. The 614th crews were: 43-38738 Spuhler, 42-97322 St. Aubyn, 44-6464 Richardson, 42-38330 Crozier, 43-38646 Thompson, 42-97602 White, 42-39012 Seder, 42-31662 Moran 42-38565 Babcock.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 8th Air Force went after tactical targets in an attempt to hold up the German counter-offensive launched in the Ardennes three days before. Two Gee-H ships arrived at Deenethorpe early on - just after midnight in fact - and the crews attended the briefing at 0500 hrs for 40 pilots and one weather ship crew. The weather ship, IW-L, Serial No. 42-40001 getting away by 0725 hrs with the airfield then going RED and closing down. After delays of one hour then half an hour 35 ships managed to get airborne by 1015 hrs leaving the other aircraft unable to take off. Returning from the mission, with Deenethorpe RED, the 401st ships landed at Predannick, Benson and Tangmere. The 401st furnished the 94th "A" Group, which was led by Lt. Col. E.W. Brown flying with 1st Lt. Tom Cushman. The 615th put up the High Squadron Leader, 1st Lt. R.O. Duckworth. Because of the adverse weather, Squadrons became separated in the target area. The Lead Squadron bombed Koblenz by means of PFF. The Low Squadron dropped on the smoke of another Group at Stadtkyll, as a target of opportunity. The High Squadron bombed Schleiden by means of PFF . No flak - no enemy air opposition - no casualties - no battle damage. The 615th loading list was as follows: 42-97636 Duckworth, 007 Turk, 43-38758 Wolf, 43-38125 Stegemann, 44-6146 Gerber, 42-31730 Sombart, 43-38779 Maloney, 43-38810 Jordan, 43-38425 Cracraft, 42-97664 Maire.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - Another layoff until December 19th was necessary because of the adverse weather conditions. This day the Group vas dispatched to attack the transportation facilities at Schlieden, Germany as 94th CBW "A" Group. Gee-H bombing was to be accomplished so two aircraft were included in the 36 dispatched. The Lead Squadron couldn't bomb the primary because of Gee-H malfunction and eventually bombed Coblenz, the secondary, by PFF methods with unknown results. The High Squadron was finally able to make a good Gee-H run and bomb Schlieden after having much trouble with the special equipment and losing the Lead Squadron due to extremely bad weather. The Low Squadron also lost the Group and eventually bombed with an unknown Group at Stadtkyll, a target of opportunity. Although there was no enemy opposition, either Flak or fighters, weather caused more than the usual amount of hazards that are normally expected by the crews. A diverted landing was ordered while they were still over France and finally they landed, very short of gas, at three different fields in Southern England. Captain Currie was Squadron Commander for the Low Squadron flying with Lt. Harlan,, with Captain Haberer as Lead Navigator, Lt. Fraioli as Mickey Operator and Captain Hutson as Lead Bombardier. Lt. Cromer, was his Deputy Leader and five other 612th crews completed the mission in the same Squadron. Crews: 43-37790 Schliemann, 43-38788 Bloetscher, 42-102393 Campbell, 42-107039 Thorne, 43-38733 Cromer, 44-8153 Harlan.
After a week of stand down, the group flew in support of ground troops by bombing road junctions. One plane suffered severe battle damage, and the crew was forced to bail out over Belgium. All returned safely to base. Bad weather at the base prevented the crews from landing, and they had to divert to Manston airbase. They stayed there 3 days before returning.
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-50597). Organization: 409BS / 93BS of Hardwick, Norfolk. Pilot: Marx, Robert W. Notes: killed in a take off accident. Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#44-40250). Organization: 703BS / 445BG of Tibenham, Norfolk. Pilot: Cummings, Theodore G. Notes: take off accident. Location: Tibenham, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-28455). Organization: 83FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Wade, John B. Notes: take off accident due to engine failure. Location: Duxford, Cambridgeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#44-19966). Organization: 84FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Smith, Raymond E. Notes: landing accident. Location: Duxford, Cambridgeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Mission "8th AF 756" Tactical targets in the Ardennes to impede German offensive December 19, 1944
Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Enemy Aircraft X-P-D
Enemy Aircraft (on gnd) X-P-D
USAAF Aircraft X-E-D
USAAF Personnel KIA-WIA-MIA
93BG aircraft crashes Alburgh, Norfolk 446BG aircraft abandoned near Brussels
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