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The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 920: 1,348 bombers and 889 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants, a refinery, munitions plant and tank factory; they claim 9-3-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:

1. 229 B-17s are sent to hit the synthetic oil refinery at Zeitz using H2X radar; secondary targets hit are the oil plant at Bad Berka (29) and Gotha (20) visually; targets of opportunity are Erfurt (25) and other (8), hit visually; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 108 damaged; 1 airman is KIA; 2 WIA and 30 MIA. Escorting are 117 of 120 P-51s; 1 is lost (pilot MIA).

2. 294 B-17s are sent to hit Brandenburg (265); targets of opportunity are Stendal (9) and Salzwedel (9); they claim 0-1-0 aircraft; 1 B-17 is damaged. 207 of 221 P-51s escort claiming 5-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

3. 371 of 385 B-24s hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Brunswick; they claim 3-2-1 aircraft; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 29 MIA. The escort is 253 of 266 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 0-0-7 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).

4. 369 of 432 B-17s attack the secondary, the marshalling yard at Halle; targets of opportunity are Leipzig (8), Weimar (36), Aschersleben (7) and other (1); 37 B-17s are damaged. Escorting are 225 of 233 P-51s.

5. 8 B-17s fly a screening mission.

6. 26 of 30 P-51s fly scouting missions; they claim 1-0-1 aircraft.

7. 19 P-51s escort 8 of 10 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions.

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