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 961: 605 B-17s and 584 P-51s are dispatched to make visual attacks on rail targets in SE Germany and NW Czechoslovakia; they claim 18-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s and 2 P-51s are lost:

1. 284 B-17s are sent to hit the marshaling yards at Elsterwerda (135) and Falkenberg (143); 27 are damaged. Escorting are 191 of 204 P-51s; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

2. 321 B-17s are dispatched to hit the railroad industry and rail bridge at Pirna (115) and Karlsbad (87) and the marshaling yard at Aussig (109); they claim 6-1-2 aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost and 13 damaged; 46 airmen are MIA. The escort is 197 of 206 P-51s; they claim 7-0-3 aircraft.

3. 138 of 154 P-51s fly a freelance mission in support of the B-17s.

4. 14 P-51s fly weather reconnaissance missions.

5. 6 P-51s escort 7 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).

During the night of 19/20 Apr, 11 of 16 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions to Norway; 2 B-24s are lost.

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