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Missions

The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Missions

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 75: Three targets in Norway are attacked. This is Eighths first mission to Norway and its longest (1,900 miles or 3,040 km round trip) to date.

1. 179 B-17s and 1 YB-40 are dispatched against the nitrate works at Heroya, Norway; 167 aircraft hit the target at 1317-1414 hours; they claim 9-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost and 53 are damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 10 MIA. Work at the plant is disrupted for 3.5 months, and unfinished aluminum and magnesium plants are damaged and subsequently abandoned by the Germans.

2. 45 B-17s are dispatched against the port area at Trondheim; 41 hit the target; they claim 4-2-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 9 are damaged; casualties are 3 WIA.

3. 84 B-17s are dispatched against the port area at Bergen; they find 10/10 cloud cover and return to base with their bombs.

Crews successfully experiment with a new assembly procedure for occasions when bad weather conditions prevent ascent in formation. Aircraft take off individually on instruments, proceed to a designated splasher beacon for group formation, and then along line of 3 splasher beacons for force assembly. The method works well and makes possible many future missions which might otherwise have been abandoned.

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