Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 62: 252 B-17s are dispatched against the U-boat yard at Wilhelmshaven, Germany and the port area at Cuxhaven, Germany; 218 hit the targets; we claim 85-20-24 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 8 and 62 are damaged. Casualties are 3 KIA, 20 WIA and 80 MIA. The raid on Wilhelmshaven demonstrates the difficulty of operating beyond range of fighters escort as enemy fighters attacks prevent accurate bombing of the target.
HQ 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and its 560th, 561st, 562d and 563d Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) arrive at Knettishall, England from the US with B-17s. The group will fly its first combat mission on 17 Jul 43. HQ 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and its 564th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) arrive at Hethel, England from the US with B-24s. The group will fly its first mission on 9 Jul.
The 416th Night Fighter Squadron, VIII Fighter Command transfers with Beaufighters from Honiley, England to Acklington, England.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Maj. S.L. McMillan, Deputy CO, 384BG, flew as co-pilot with Capt. Jack Roller in Low Squadron Lead B-17, #41-24605 (359BS), Knockout Dropper. Lt. Col. Charles E. Marion, CO of the 303rd BG(H), led 25 Group aircraft in taking off to bomb the shipyards at Bremen. Because of heavy cloud cover over Bremen, the secondary target at Wilhelmshaven was chosen.
Five aircraft aborted the mission. The bombers flew to the target at 25,000 feet in good weather with perfect visibility. The formation came upon heavy flak as they reached the German coast, but it caused no damage. Just prior to the bomb run, fighters came in to attack in bunches, flying through the formation, attempting to break it up and catch Fortresses out of formation. The fighters were mostly ME-109s and FW-190s and they continued their withering fire for approximately 45 minutes. Violent evasive action was necessary during this period and gunners were busier than they ever had been. Crews generally commented that the enemy's attitude was one of desperation and that they would do anything to stop the destructive 8th Air Force bombing. Although usual heavy and intense flak was being fired at the B-17s, the crew paid it little attention because of the concentrated fighter attacks. 303rd BG(H) gunners claimed ten aircraft destroyed, five probables, and three damaged. There were 18 enemy aircraft encounters, primarily from the nose.
Pappy/Good Snuf, #42-5430, 360BS, piloted by 1Lt. Rolland M. Haines, was hit by flak immediately after dropping its bombs. The Nos. 1 and 3 engines were throwing oil and power was lost. It went into a steep dive and then leveled out. At this time they were attacked by FW-190s. Shortly after the German fighter attack, seven crewmen bailed out of the stricken Fortress which crashed at Aschhausen, Germany.
No reliable observations of bombing results were available because of the smoke screen and considerable aircraft opposition. In general, results appeared to be only fair.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 19 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Two ships of 323rd squadron took part in a raid to Germany on which the primary and secondary targets were not bombed because of poor visibility and bombs were dropped ineffectively on scattered targets of opportunity in the North Germany.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on slip #3 at Bremen, Germany (U-boat construction yards). Bomb load: 10 x 500. Bombing altitude: 27,000 ft. Bombing results: Bombs dropped on targets of opportunity due to poor visibility. Time: Leave base 1500 - Target 1800 - Arrive Base - 2010. AA Fire: Meager and inaccurate. Enemy opposition: 50 E/A attacked from 1745 hours until 1845 hours. E/A consisted of FW190s, ME109s and JU88s. Attacks were not pressed. Casualties: Lt. Hubert F. Egender received an eye injury from flying glass. Damage to A/C: Slight flak damage to A/Cs 057 and 724.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Bremen - Submarine slips. - The primary target was not bombed because of cloud cover and the secondary was abandoned because of a very effective smoke screen. Results of bombing are questionable and reports on targets bombed varied including such targets as Wilhelshaven, Aurich, Waterloog, Troorf and Hague. Some reports state that bombs were dropped at a small airport N. of Norden. One crew reports of bombs dropped along a highway, making several direct hits thereon.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Very questionable. Hits reported at Korden, Hage, NE of Emden. However primary target was not attacked. Moderate heavy flak near Wilhelmshaven, meager flak in vicinity of Alte Mellum and Eckwardder horne, also Nuremberg. Heavy flak experienced at Juist Island. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 50 E/A attacked the formation from 1745 at Heligoland, to 1845 off the Frisian Islands. Attacks were moderate, however, no E/A Coming closer than 500 yards. A flight of 8 E/A attacked the nose 324th formation. A/C 797 with Capt Weitzenfeld as pilot, was severely damaged when bombs from an A/C above crashed thru the right horizontal stabilizer and sheared it off, leaving but a little less than two feet of stabilizer left on the aircraft. E/A began to pick on this A/C as it was forced out of formation by the accident. However, due to the superb flying skill of Capt. Weitzenfeld, and with the assistance of the co-pilot, Lt. Berg, the A/C was able to rejoin the formation and proceed back to base with no further damage to the A/C or the personnel.