Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 865: 429 bombers and 689 fighters are dispatched to hit oil targets in Germany; the primary target for the B-17s is the synthetic oil plant at Ruhland but weather forces them to hit the secondary target; all bombing is with H2X radar; 1 B-17 is lost:
1. 233 of 303 B-17s hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Chemnitz; targets of opportunity are Plauen (34) and Fulda (9); 1 B-17 is lost and 15 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escorting are 369 of 420 P-51s; 3 P-51s are damaged beyond repair and 1 pilot is KIA.
2. 120 of 126 B-24s hit the Harburg oil refinery at Hamburg without loss. The escort is 186 P-47s and P-51s without loss.
3. 27 P-51s attack the marshalling yard at Kreuztal; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
4. 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
5. 14 P-51s escort 4 F-5s on a photo reconnaissance mission over Germany. Mission 866: 21 of 24 B-24s bomb the Wiesbaden rail station by PFF markers during the night.
Mission 867: 9 of 11 B-24s drop leaflets in 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,
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-100334). Organization: 409BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk. Pilot: Reed, Ralph E. Notes: killed while ditching due to friendly fire. Location: Clacton-on-Sea England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4
351BG Mission Report - 45 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - The 8th Air Force dispatched its forces to attack targets at Hamburg and the Chemnitz area.
The 388th which led the 3rd Air Division, furnished three Groups for the 45th A Combat Wing. 38 a/c including 4 PFF a/c were airborne between 0540 and 0637 hours. There were no abortions on this mission. Formations were effected over the continent without difficulty and the briefed route to the target was followed. The primary target which was to be attacked only under visual conditions was cloud covered. The low Group using PFF methods attacked the railway station at Chemnitz, with bombs away at 1057 hours from 24,280 feet. The lead and high Groups attacked the marshalling yards at Plauen using PFF methods. Bombing was done by Squadrons with bombs away at 1106 hours from 25,500 feet. Lt. Kittle in a/c 42-97542, lost two engines on the bomb run, jettisoned his bombs and left the formation. He radioed that he was heading for Russia.
Several of our a/c had to land in France for gas before returning to our base. Neither flak or enemy fighters were encountered. Most of our a/c landed by 1425 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
44BG Mission Report - This our thirteenth consecutive mission and the fifteenth consecutive day that the 44th has taken off on an operational mission. It wasn't a large representation but the 44th dispatched 11 A/C, three 67th, to take part in a mission to Harburg. We formed the high right squadron of the 14th Wing, composed of three squadrons, to attack the Oil Refinery at Harburg. Our squadron was crowded and thus committed to a short bomb run, but nevertheless, we attacked the target on H2X, but with unobserved results. 1st Lt. Emmett J. Burns, 506th, led the Group. The only resistance encountered was slight but fairly accurate flak from Heligoland on the route into the target. Fighter support continues to be excellent; no aircraft was damaged. 2nd Lt. MacDougall completed his tour. Today marks another anniversary for the Squadrons. We have now completed 30 months of overseas service.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-6162). Organization: 422BS / 305BG of Chelveston, Northamptonshire. Pilot: Prokaski, Arthur R. Notes: landing accident. Location: Chelveston, Northamptonshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#42-63788). Organization: 856BS / 492BG of Harrington, Northamptonshire. Pilot: Polansky, Henry L. Notes: taxiing accident. Location: Harrington, Northamptonshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24J (#42-110156). Organization: 852BS / 491BG of North Pickenham, Norfolk. Pilot: Morris, Jonas E. Notes: taxiing accident. Location: North Pickenham, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: Mosquito XVI (#NS561). Organization: 654BS / 25BG of Watton, Norfolk. Pilot: Evans, James C. Notes: take off accident. Location: Watton, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51D (#44-63238). Organization: 82FS / 78FG of Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Platt, Robert K. Notes: killed in a take off accident-destroyed by fire. Location: Duxford/ 1mi W Sta 357 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/