Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 79: 2 locations in Germany are the targets for this mission:
1. 167 B-17s and a YB-40 are dispatched to the shipyards at Kiel; 91 hit the shipyard at 0901 hours and 48 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 48-6-33 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-17s are lost, 2 are damaged beyond repair and 62 are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 8 WIA and 61 MIA.
2. 81 B-17s are dispatched to the Heinkel Works at Warnemunde; 54 hit the target at 0922-0924 hours; they claim 0-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost and 7 damaged; casualties are 40 MIA.
VIII Air Support Command Missions 8 and 9: 2 airfields are the target:
1. 18 B-26Bs are dispatched against Schipol Airfield at Amsterdam, The Netherlands; the mission is aborted due to a navigational error.
2. 21 B-26Bs are dispatched against Ft. Rouge Airfield, France; 19 hit the target at 1828 hours; 8 B-26s are damaged.
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: Airfield on Heligoland Island, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 20 (358BS - 3, 359th - 4, 360th - 6, 427th - 7). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Load: 250 lb British Incendiaries Bombing Altitude: 29,560 ft. Ammo Fired: 18,051 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 2 destroyed, 2 probables.
On July 28th, a day prior to Mission No. 55, the 303rd BG(H) took part in a fourth "Blitz Week" mission, though no mission credit was given. The primary target was industrial plants in Kassel, Germany, the secondary target was Muenster and the last resort was any German industrial target.
The weather over Germany was poor with a solid overcast above the formation and 8/10 to 10/10 cloud cover below. The weather got worse further into Germany. The 384th BG was the lead formation, with the 303rd BG(H) flying low and the 379th flying high. The lead Group had trouble keeping its Squadrons in formation. A number of ships aborted until only 12 were left. The Wing leader (384th BG) then aborted and the new lead ship could not keep his small, ragged formation together. Finally, the entire wing formation turned back. En route home, four Group aircraft bombed a target of opportunity at Wettrup, Germany. Eleven aircraft jettisoned their bombs in the water near Terschelling Island. No enemy aircraft were encountered and flak was meager and inaccurate. The 14 remaining Group aircraft returned to Base with no damage or casualties.
Eighth Air Force Headquarters decided not to give the 303rd BG(H) credit for this unsuccessful mission. Mission Number 55 on July 29th was the fifth "Blitz Week" raid. The 303rd BG(H) had 20 aircraft take off one minute late after the take-off time had been moved up 45 minutes. The 384th BG(H) was unable to depart on its scheduled time.
The primary target was Kiel Naval Dockyard, the secondary target was the Flensburg shipyard and the last resort was any target in the area. There were no aborted missions. Twenty aircraft attacked the last resort target and returned safely to Molesworth. Skies were heavily overcast, with a Base around 18,000 feet and a top at about 30,000 feet, stretching from the German coast. It could not be penetrated. The Combat Wing leader (379th BG) turned back and led the formation over Heligoland. Bombs were released after a manual bomb run. Forty tons of British 250-lb. incendiary bombs were released. Most bombs hit in water to the left of the airdrome target. The British bombs used did not fall according to their anticipated characteristics. Flak was moderate and inaccurate. From 45 to 50 enemy fighters were observed but their principal attacks were directed at the low 384th BG.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 19 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 12. Solid clouds at German coast prevented formations from continuing mission. Captain Ketelson led Group in an attack on a target of opportunity (Target of Opportunity), an airfield on a German coastal island. About fifty enemy fighters and moderate flak were encountered after turning back. Wing formation was described as "straggling", leaving formations vulnerable to attack. Primary Target: Naval Base - Kiel, Germany Target Attacked : Target of Opportunity (Visual): [unidentified island], Germany
21 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 13. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 3. Scrubbed - 4. 42-3074 Swank, Robert D - Aborted at 0907 hrs b/c #3 exhaust manifold blew and pressure went down to 15 inches, making it impossible to keep up w formation; bombs rtd 42-5051 Harry, William Russell - Aborted b/c of leak in oxygen system at 0740 hrs; bombs rtd; 42-29700 Roberts, James R - Failed to Return - MIA; T/Os; e/a; 42-29703 Algar, Philip M - Did not take off: aircraft apparently not in flying condition. 42-29927 Higdon, Philip E - Did not take off: aircraft apparently not in flying condition. 42-29985 Lecates, Robert L - Aborted at 0911 hrs when #1 and #2 engines lost power and could not stay w formation; bombs rtd 42-30039 Armstrong, James Edwin - Did not take off: aircraft apparently not in flying condition.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on the Kriegemarine-Werft, Kiel, Germany. Bomb load: 10 x 500. Bombing alt.: 27,000 ft. Bombing results: Good. A. A. fire: intense, accurate fire at target, meager but accurate from Flensburg; meager and inaccurate fire from South Sylt Island and Amrum Island. Fighter opposition: 30-40 ME109s, 4 FW190s, 3 JU88s met our formation at 0910 hours and left at 0955. Fighters did not press home their attacks. Casualties: Lt. Mason, Albert L., navigator A/C #973 was seriously injured by explosion of enemy shell fire. After receiving wounds, Lt. Mason continued to man nose guns until all danger of further enemy attack had passed. Lt. Rogers landed at Oulton in order that Lt. Mason could receive medical attention. Time: Leave base 0645 hrs. Target 0901. Arrived base 1211
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Squadron led the group on this mission. Very good. Many hits noted on the MPI. Target area well covered. Meager, inaccurate flak into target and on the way out. Intense accurate flak at the target. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: About 30-40 E/A were seen. E/A did not press home attacks, but preferred to stay some distance away and fire. Any attacks that were pressed home were soon broken up.