The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 821: 1,383 bombers and 904 fighters are dispatched to attack oil targets in Germany; the expected clear weather does not materialize and the bombers attack secondary targets and targets of opportunity using H2X radar; they claim 4-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:

1. 474 of 949 B-17s hit the secondary target in 2 forces, the marshalling yard at Chemnitz; targets of opportunity are the Gotha marshalling yard (88), Giessen (68), Saalfeld (39), Ohrdruf (35), Eisfeld (34), Schmalkalden (32), Greiz (22), Zwickau (22), Eisenach (13), Waltershausen (12), Dirlos (12), Ostheim (12), Friedrichroda (11), Steinbach (2), Meppen (1), Reichenbach (1), Schmalkalden (1), and other (1); 3 B-17s are lost, 13 damaged beyond repair and 115 damaged; 41 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 24 MIA. Escorting are 545 of 588 P-51s; they claim 1-0-1 aircraft in the air and 3-0-0 on the ground; 4 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 7 damaged beyond repair.

2. 418 of 434 B-24s hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Magdeburg; targets of opportunity are the Meppen Bridge (1) and Quackenbruck (1); 2 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 61 damaged; 18 airmen are MIA. The escort is 235 of 262 P-51s without loss.

3. 33 of 38 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

4. 8 P-51s escort photo reconnaissance aircraft over Germany.

5. 8 P-51s escort air-sea-rescue aircraft.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,