Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 881: 1,256 bombers and 814 fighters are dispatched to make H2X radar attacks on U-boat yards at Kiel and Bremen and the shipyard and refinery area at Hamburg, Germany; 1 B-17 and 4 P-51s are lost:
1. 344 of 352 B-24s attack the Krupp Germania U-boat yard at Kiel; 2 B-24s are damaged. 232 P-47s and P-51s escort; 1 P-51 is lost.
2. 469 of 485 B-17s hit the Wilhelmsburg oil refinery at Hamburg; 1 other hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 41 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 10 MIA. Escorting are 252 of 265 P-51s; 2 are lost.
3. 406 of 413 B-17s hit the Deschimag U-boat yard at Bremen; 9 B-17s are damaged. 237 of 255 P-51s escort; 1 is lost.
4. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission.
5. 18 P-51s escort 6 F-5s and a Spitfire on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
6. 27 of 29 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 882: 11 of 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night without loss.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
For the first time in months, 303rd BG(H) Forts attacked the submarine pens at the German port of Bremen as the second priority (H2X) target. The first priority target was the Bremen synthetic oil plant (visual), the third was the Ahlborn airfield (visual), and the fourth was the Vechta airfield (visual). No aircraft returned early.
Thirty-nine B-17s dropped 1,429 100-lb. H.E. M30 bombs on the second priority target through 10/10 low clouds with tops at 3,000 feet. All three navigators did a good job and reported that their equipment worked very well, producing an excellent bomb run – one lead bombardier reported the best bomb run that he ever had.
Again, no enemy air opposition was encountered. Support by 237 P-51s was very good. Flak was moderate to intense in the target area, but the 303rd BG(H) encountered meager, inaccurate fire. There was no battle damage, no casualties, and all aircraft landed at Molesworth.
43 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 38. Returned To Base - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 4
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - 400 1st Division bombers attacked Bremen while 350 2nd Division bombers attacked Kiel. 450 3rd Air Division bombers attacked Hamburg using PFF methods. The 388th furnished three Groups which made up the 45th B Combat Wing and was the second Wing in the Division column.
Our 38 a/c were airborne by 1014 hours with two spares returning to base. Three other a/c flew with the 96th Bomb Group. Assembly was good, and the briefed route was followed to the target. The secondary target was attacked using PFF equipment in Group formation. Bombs were away at 1254 hours from 25,800 feet.
Flak was moderate to intense, mostly below the formation. No a/c suffered battle damage. No enemy fighters were encountered.
All a/c returned to base by 1557 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - On this operation the 401st put up the crews and aircraft to "form the 94th "B" Group of the Wing, the 613th furnishing the Low Squadron of the Group formation. Individual Squadron runs were made by PFF on the target, the naval armaments and submarine installations at Bremen. There was 10/10th's cloud cover over the target and no observations of the results were possible. Enemy opposition was absent from this mission and all the crews returned to base. The crews on this mission were: 44-6213 Baker, 43-38458 Shepard, 43-39125 Berneburg, 44-6132 Steele, 42-31730 Levy, 43-38160 Cracraft, 43-38565 Kelso, 43-37706 Eglin, 44-6146 May.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The target on this mission was the submarine pens and manufacturing plants in the area of the docks. Major D.G. McCree was the Air Commander and 38 aircraft of the 401st B.G. made up the 94th "C" Group in the Wing formation. The briefing was at 0630 hrs. and all aircraft were on their way by 1057 hrs, one crew doing a quick landing with an engine out and transferring to a spare and then rejoining the Group. Inevitably the target was covered by 10/10th's cloud and the usual PFF run was made and bombs dropped with unobserved results, although later plotting gave good reason to believe that that results were good. The meager and generally inaccurate flak from Bremen caused minor damage to seven aircraft of the Group but no injuries to any crew member. In fact this must have been one of those days when the 401st were in the wrong part of the sky. Of the 406 1st Air Division B-17's attacking Bremen only 9 received battle damage - seven of them being 401st aircraft. The 614th loading list was as follows: 42-107151 Lindsay, 43-38646 Thompson, 42-97931 Ayre, 42-97395 Sorensen, 42-97478 Fondren, 42-97602 Park, 42-97780 Gray, 43-38330 Cameron, 42-39012 Djernes, 43-37551 Jordan, 43-38425 Salisbury.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 40 crews, two of which were observer crews, were briefed for the mission to Bremen at 0630 hra, with all aircraft airborne by 1057 hrs. The submarine pens and the factories in the docks area were the primary target but the 10/10th's cloud again made it necessary to bomb by PFF. Only meagre flak was met over the target causing minor battle damage to seven aircraft. The 401st put up the 94th "B" Group. Leaders were Major D.G. McCree, Capt. A.R. Seder and Lt. A.D. Aschenbach. The 615th put up the following crews: 44-8153 Wolf, 42-102947 Knowles, 44-8033 Aschenbach, 43-38941 Hart, 44-8812 Seder.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The Sub-pens and ship building yards at Kiel was the target for today. This target which proved so costly to the Group on its trip there in May, 1943, was attacked today with comparative ease. Capt. Brownlowe, 67th, flew Group lead and Capt. O.K. Hill 506th, was deputy lead. Bomb loading was 52 x 100 lb Incendiaries. Eight of the 67th aircraft participated in the bombing by H2X through 10/10th cloud cover, with unobserved results. An excellent H2X run was made so there is optimism about the hits. The formation encountered moderate and inaccurate flak, while our fighters furnished very good support. No battle damage was reported, and all A/C returned to base safely. S/Sgt. Chaffin Adds: "The RAF knocked out completely the viaduct at Bielefeld in their first mission last night using their huge new 22,000 lb bomb."
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg