Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 926: 1,431 bombers and 866 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields, a shipyard and a U-boat shipyard in Germany; they claim 30-4-30 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 bombers and 4 fighters are lost.
1. 438 B-24s are sent to hit Parchim (33) and Perleberg (29) Airfields; 97 hit Wesendorf Airfield, the secondary; attacks are visual; they claim 6-4-6 aircraft; 6 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 76 damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 59 MIA. Escorting are 324 P-47s and P-51s; the P-47s claim 14-0-20 aircraft and the P-51s claim 9-0-3 aircraft; 1 P-47 and 3 P-51s are lost. 2. 443 B-17s are sent to hit Fassberg Airfield (149); secondary targets hit are Hoya (37) and Dedelsdorf (13) Airfields; targets of opportunity are Unterluss (39) and other (24); bombing is visual; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 58 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 6 WIA and 4 MIA. The escort is 220 of 232 P-51s; 1 is lost.
3. 505 of 526 B-17s hit the Deutsche shipyard at Kiel using H2X radar; 2 others hit Eggebeck Airfield, a target of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost and 50 damaged; 27 airmen are MIA. 208 of 223 P-51s without loss.
4. 22 of 24 B-17s fly a DISNEY mission attacking the Finkenwarder U-boat yard at Hamburg without loss.
5. 19 P-51s fly a scouting mission and claim 0-0-1 aircraft.
6. 25 P-51s escort 8 F-5s and 2 P-38s on photo and radar reconnaissance missions over Germany, claiming 1-0-0 aircraft.
7. 16 P-51s escort 1 OA-10 and 2 B-17s on air-sea-rescue patrols.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
A target of opportunity was hit after bad weather turned 303rd BG(H) bombers away from their assigned targets. The Fassberg, Germany, airfield was the Field Order's first priority target (visual) and any other airfield within a specified area which could be attacked visually, the second priority target. No other targets were specified.
Forty aircraft, including the Combat Wing Scouter B-17 containing Col. William S. Raper, were dispatched. Thirty-nine aircraft dropped 304 500-lb. G.P. and 157 500-lb. M17 incendiary bombs on a factory area near Unterluss, Germany, as a second priority target of opportunity. The low and high Squadron bombs hit the factory area, while the lead Squadron bombs hit in the town. The Scouter aircraft dropped 8 500- lb. G.P. and 4 500-lb. incendiary bombs on the Fassberg airfield with unobserved results.
In the target area there were 7/10 to 10/10 low clouds with tops at 10,000 feet and occasional tops as high as 14,000 feet. Despite several bomb runs attempting to attack the first priority target, the weather conditions made visual bombing of any of the assigned targets impossible.
The enemy provided no air opposition, 151 P-51s provided good support, and the only flak encountered was meager and fairly accurate fire at Heligoland on the route into the target. Ten aircraft sustained minor battle damage. There were no casualties and all aircraft returned to Molesworth safely.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
34th BG Mission Report - Mission 157 Kiel. Command Pilot: CRABTREE. 38 planes dispatched. 37 planes dropped 108 tons on the primary target and 1 plane failed to bomb. 38 Credit Sorties. Hal Province #14.
source: 34th Bomb Group Mission List compiled by Gary L. Ferrell http://valortovictory.tripod.com
351BG Mission Report - 37 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - For the second day in a row, the 388th furnished three Groups for the 45th Combat Wing to attack Kiel. Our 38 a/c were airborne between 0720 and 0754 hours. Formations were effected and the briefed route to the target was followed. Lt. Byrom in a/c # 385, aborted and returned to base at 1035. Lt. Barringer in a/c # 552, aborted and returned to base at 1146 hours. Lt. Douglas in a/c # 322, left the formation early and returned to base at 1310 hours. Bombs were away at 1055 hours from 25,000 feet.
Our a/c returned to base and landed by 1430 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 - The April missions finally got started on April 4th when the 401st despatched the usual 36 aircraft to attack an airfield at Kotenburg, Germany or any other airfield in the area if the primary could not be attacked. In the event clouds obscured the target and the Lead end High Squadrons were unable to bomb the primary although they made several runs over the target. The LOt'! Squadron bombed an ordnance depot at Unterluss having mistaken it for an airfield. They did cause considerable damage to the buildings. No enemy fighters were seen but flak was observed at three places but none hit the Group formation and all aircraft returned to base unharmed. The eleven 613th crews on the mission were:
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The assigned target for this mission was an airdrome and engine testing shop at Rotenburg but the weather conditions forced the Group to go an ordnance depot at Unterluss in the mistaken belief that it was an airfield. The Low Squadron were the only ones to bomb this target, the other two Squadrons making several runs over the primary without being able to pick it up. Nevertheless, the Low Squadron caused considerable damage to the building at the Unterluss depot. The 38 aircraft of the Group formed the 94th "A" Group with Lt. Col. Eric de Jonckheere as Air Commander. Briefing was at 0250 hrs with all the aircraft getting airborne by 0705 hrs. Flak was observed at three different places but none of it hit the formation and all aircraft returned to Deenethorpe safely. Crews: 42-97780 Yeargan, 43-38791 Sorensen, 42-97322 Howlin, 42-38012 James, 42-102468 Gibson, 43-38565 Babcock, 42-97602 Park, 42-107151 Gray, 43-38738 Viehman, 42-97478 Stehman, 42-97931 Lindsay.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Kaltenkirchen Airfield, located 18 miles north of Hamburg, was the briefed target for today. Major Middleton flew as Command Pilot of the Group formation made up of 11 aircraft of the 67th plus 33 other 44th airplanes to lead the 14th Wing. Lt. Kleiderer led the high right squadron in the formation. A complete undercast prevailed over the continent and no visual targets could be found. Therefore, no target was bombed and the bombs were brought back to base. Only meager and inaccurate flak was encountered on the route out, and fighter support was good. All aircraft returned safely to base, and all were credited with a sortie. The following personnel completed operational tour: lst Lt's. Collins, Powell, Fisher-and Morlock; 2nd Lt's. Dunwody; T/Sg 's. Warpack, Hopper, and Harrison; S/Sgt1s. Ours, Wysocki, Cox, Sparks, and Julin. Another one of the old timers entered through the gates of matrimony today. They are gradually succumbing to the charms of the English and Scotch ladies. This time it was M/Sgt. Edward P. Hanley, long a member of the squadron, and a Flight Chief since arrival overseas. At 10 AM at the St. John Baptist Church in Norwich, Ed and Miss Jean Fleming Craig, of Crossfist, Nurikirk, Scotland took the solemn vows to love, honor and obey. Approximately 40 men from the Squadron attended the wedding. Shortly after the wedding a reception was held at the Bell Hotel. At the reception, Lt. Col. Cameron, former Squadron Commander, Major Grube, Squadron Executive and all the Crew Chiefs in Ed's flight saw to it that the bride and groom received a good send off on their honeymoon. Now the question is, who will be next???
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Wesendorf airfield
The airfield was bombed with good results. Colonel Troy Crawford, 446th CO, was flying in an RAF Mosquito as an observer. While trying to join with the group, 2 ME 262 fighter jets flew along side Colonel Crawfords plane. The RAF Mosquito, like a German ME 262, was a twin engine aircraft and, from a distance, they look a bit alike. When the crews saw what they thought were 3 ME 262s coming at them, they opened fire and did their job well, knocking the Mosquito out of the air. Colonel Crawford and his pilot parachuted to the ground and were taken prisoner. In just a week and a half, their POW camp would be liberated.
source: 486th Bomb Group web page http://www.486th.org/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Primary Target: Reinsehlen Landing Field. The 322nd flew the low squadron of the group with Lt. Johnson as the squadron leader. The #1 and #2 targets were cloud covered and the leaders of the low and high squadrons were unable to make a visual run on any airdrome in the assigned area so in accordance with orders they brought their bombs back. The lead squadron made a visual run on Fassberg A/C through 6/10 to 8/10 clouds with unobserved results. No enemy opposition was encountered.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Fassberg Airdrome Major Klette and Capt. Brubaker lead the group on a visual mission to Fassberg A/D, Germany. The lead squadron was the only one able to identify the target in time to make a run, the remaining two squadrons returned with their bombs. Results of the mission were unobserved.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - On the 4th of April we dispatched 13 A/C and crews to attack the Landing Field at Reinshahlen. Due to weather conditions the Airdrome at Fassberg was attacked. Bombing was done visually thru six to eight tenths cloud cover with unobserved results. Only the Lead Squadron bombed as the High and Low Squadrons were unable to see the target in time to make a visual run. The Squadron flew the High Squadron in the Group formation. The Group flew the 1st "C" Group. Fighter support was excellent. AA fire in the target area was nil. All Squadron A/C and crews returned safely.
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-97880). Organization: 324BS / 91BG of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Moyer, Edgar M. Notes: landing accident. Location: Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38210). Organization: 548BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk. Pilot: Ritchie, Robert G. Notes: missing due to a mid air collision. Location: North Sea. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38571). Organization: 366BS / 305BG of Chelveston, Northamptonshire. Pilot: Boller, George R. Notes: bailed out due to mid air collision. Location: Papworth/ nr England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38639). Organization: 548BS / 385BG of Great Ashfield, Suffolk. Pilot: Crimmins, Timothy E Jr. Notes: missing due to a mid air collision. Location: North Sea. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#43-38814). Organization: 336BS / 95BG of Horham, Suffolk. Pilot: Tuss, John J. Notes: forced landing. Location: Malmo Bulltofa Sweden. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 1 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#44-6578). Organization: 422BS / 91BG of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Troccoli, Joseph J. Notes: taxiing accident. Location: Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/