Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 67: 275 B-17s make scattered attacks on targets of opportunity in NW Germany when primary targets at Bremen and Hamburg are obscured by clouds; 167 bomb targets and claim 62-11-40 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 18 B-17s, 1 is damaged beyond repair and another 61 are damaged; casualties are 3 KIA, 14 WIA and 172 MIA. Of 7 YB-40 escort bombers dispatched only 4 are able to accompany formations to the target area.
HQ 387th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Chipping Ongar, England from the US.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
303BG Mission Report - Target: Shipyards/Submarine Buildings at Hamburg, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 25. Crews Lost: Lt. Palmer - 7 KIA, 4 POW; Lt. Mack - 1 KIA, 9 POW; Lt. Stallings - 1 KIA, 5 WIA. Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 1 WIA. Length of Mission: 5 hours, 15 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb H.E. M43 bombs. Bombing Altitude: 19,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 41,841 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 17 Destroyed, 7 Probable, 4 Damaged.
The 303rd BG(H) dispatched twenty-five aircraft to bomb Hamburg. One B-17 returned early: #42-3192 (No Name), 358BS (Rogan). The left landing gear wouldn't retract after take-off. There was a heavy cloud cover from Molesworth to Germany. Condensation trails and the complete 10/10 overcast at 19,000 feet caused visibility to be nil. Flak experienced over the isle of Norderney and Germany was very intense and quite accurate. Fighter opposition was heavy with 60 to 100 enemy aircraft seen. There were twenty-eight encounters reported and Group claims were seventeen destroyed, seven probables and four damaged.
As a result of the poor visibility, the 103rd PBCW Groups had a difficult time maintaining their assigned formation positions. During one formation turn in heavy condensation trails, the 303rd BG(H) Group scattered. Climbing to a higher altitude, the Group leader with about six other aircraft, broke out into the clear about 19,000 feet. He was unable to see the other PBCW Groups due to the vapor trails. It became apparent that no bombing could be accomplished so a decision was made to turn out to sea. The lead ship co-pilot, Capt. Shumake, made a call in the clear on VHF radio using the 303rd BG(H) code name "Big League Six" and advised other Group aircraft of their intention. During the turn, enemy aircraft pressed attacks from all directions, attacking in Squadrons of 4, 12 and 20 aircraft.
The bulk of the Group bombs were jettisoned indiscriminately on the German coastline in the vicinity of the Frisian Islands. Two aircraft dropped their bomb loads in the Bremen area.
Two aircraft were lost: The Avenger, #42-5390, was lost to fighter action and crashed at Borgsweer, Netherlands. The Witches Tit #42-5382 was lost to anti- aircraft guns and crashed in the Oldenburg, Germany area.
Group gunners claimed seventeen enemy aircraft destroyed, seven probables and four damaged. Aircraft #42-29656 The Terrible Ten 358BS, piloted by Lt. Calvin A. Swaffer, landed at Thorpe Abbotts, 100BG and refueled before returned to Base.
The mission of 25 June to Hamburg was the first time that the 103rd PBCW team of the 303-379-384 Bomb Groups (H) flew together. They would later form the 1st Division 41CBW that was a team to the end of the war in Europe.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 17 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - Most aircraft lost in rain and heavy clouds and failed to make wing formation. Five aircraft continued following the combat wing, two bombing the primary target, and the rest bombing targets of opportunity.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 2. Most aircraft, lost in rain and heavy clouds, failed to make wing formation. Five aircraft continued following the combat wing, two bombing the primary target, and the rest bombing targets of opportunity. Primary Target: Submarine Pens - Hamburg, Germany. Target Attacked: Primary (Visual)
21 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 5. Failed To Return - 3. Aborted - 11. Scrubbed - 2. 42-5850 Smith, James W: Failed to Return - MIA e/a; lost altitude near coast of England, one engine out and smoking; cr Smallbroek, Hol; MACR 16357. 42-30026 Algar, Philip M; Aborted w windshield motor burned out; pilot lost formation when cockpit filled w smoke 42-30049 Way, John R: Failed to Return - MIA; e/a, ditched in North Sea; MACR 16349 42-30058 Frink, Horace E: Aborted with gyrocompass out and altimeter erratic; landed away at Bottisham. 42-30143 Riches, George W: Failed to Return - MIA; flak, cr Oldenburg; MACR 16378; 1st Lt. George Riches posthumous awarded Silver Star.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Five planes Capt. Birdsong, Capt. Clancy, Lt. Bennett, Lt. Silvernail, and Lt. Kethley completed sorties on a mission, which because of 10/10 weather failed to bomb the primary target at Hamburg. Bombs were released blindly over Germany. All 323rd ships returned although other groups suffered losses of 16 ships. Capt. Clancy, Lt. Miller and Lt. Ott completed their 25 operations.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Klockner Flugmotorenbau, Hamburg (Moorleth), Germany. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 - Bombing Alt.: 27,000 - Bombing. Results: None observed with the exception of convoy of 18 ships bombed by #453 and #497, one vessel smoking. Anti Aircraft Fire: Inaccurate, meager to moderate and continuous, following Fighter Opposition. 50 to 60 E/A seen - #271 reports attacks. Weather: 9/10 to 10/10. Time: 0635 (App.) to 1035 - A/C #271 landed at Bungay, refueled, returned to base 1500.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: - Hamburg was target of opportunity. - This mission was all FU; 10/10 cloud - solid. Crews claimed a variety of targets bombed, including Orchana, Frieurichskoog, Papenburg and an enemy convoy. Most crews admitted they didn't know where the hell they dropped them. Two A/C bombed a convoy of 20 to 30 ships making a direct hit on a cruiser and near misses on two E/V. Bomb load was 10 x 500 lbs.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Due to extreme undercast at the primary target most bombs were dropped on targets of opportunity in North West Germany. Bombing results could not be observed. Meager inaccurate heavy flak all along the route. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 70-75 E/A consisting of FW 190s, and Me 109s with a smattering of Ju 88s all along the route. Most of the attacks were made on other formations.