Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 83: Luftwaffe facilities in France are targetted today.
1. 179 B-17s and 1 YB-40 are dispatched to Le Bourget air depot in the Paris area; 171 hit the target at 0929-0937 hours; they claim 29-3-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost and 46 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 4 WIA and 31 MIA; this mission is escorted all the way to the target by P-47s using drop tanks.
2. 66 B-17s are dispatched to Poix and Abbeville Airfields; all 66 hit the targets at 0911-0923 hours; 38 aircraft are damaged; no casualties.
VIII Air Support Command Missions 21, 22A and 22B: Airfields in France are targetted today; no casualties.
1. 36 B-26s are dispatched to Bernay St Martin Airfield; 31 hit the target at 1117 hours; 2 aircraft are damaged.
2. 36 B-26s are dispatched to Beaumont Le Roger Airfield; 29 hit the target at 1700 hours and 3 hit Conches Airfield at 1703 hours; 3 aircraft are damaged.
3. A diversion is flown by B-26s of the 323d Bombardment Group (Medium).
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-3213). Organization: 323BS / 91BG of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Smith, Eldon J. Notes: ditched. Location: English coast/ 4mi off English Channel. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
Major Edgar E. Snyder, Jr., 427th BS Commanding Officer was on the mission flying as co-pilot with Lt. David P. Shelhamer in 359BS #41-24605 Knockout Dropper. For the second successive day, 303rd BG(H) flying Fortresses flew to France to attack German airdromes. There were no abortions and the bombers had full P-47 fighter cover all the way to the target and back. Weather on the trip was excellent and the target was visible for many miles. The formation made a straight bomb run for approximately five minutes to place their 47 3/4 tons of M31 300-lb. bombs right on the target aiming point.
Approximately 35 to 40 enemy fighters were seen, although they stayed with the formation for only a short time. Very few close attacks were made due to the escorting P- 47 fighter cover.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 21 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 16. Primary Target: Le Bourget Airport - Paris, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
20 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 18. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 1 42-3440 Higdon, Philip E - Aborted at Splasher 11 at 0830 hrs because of an excessive amount of oil coming from #2 engine, which was then feathered; bombs returned. 42-5797 Magowan, David - Failed to Return - MIA; s/d by e/a, cr Ramboville, Fr; MACR 295 42-5849 Goulder, Edmund Samuel - Pilot and co-pilot wounded in legs by shrapnel.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, three Groups from this Wing took part with the 96th Bomb Group as lead, 94th Bomb Group as high and the 388th Bomb Group as low. 23 a/c of this Group took-off by 0652 hours. Group and Wing formations were made without difficulty and the briefed course was followed. No a/c from this Group aborted so the two abortions a/c, Lts. Wick and Bliss, returned as instructed.
Enemy fighters made no attempt to molest this Group but hit the Wing formation behind ours. At the target, flak was meager and the second target moderate. 12 of our a/c suffered flak damage.
Bombing was done from 21,000 feet with poor results at Poix/Nord but very good at Abbeville/Drucat. Our Group dropped 274 100 pound GP bombs on the first target and 220 on the second target. When Lt. Bohne opened his bomb bay doors, a burst of flak caught in the bomb bay releasing 7 bombs early.
All 21 of our a/c returned to base by 1045 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
44BG Mission Report - The target for today was the Foggia North Satellite Airdrome Foggia, Italy. 25 ships of the 44th departed Benina Main by 0430 with two returning early due to mechanical trouble. 23 A/C reached the target by 1033 hours, dropping 152 x 300 lb bombs, American, fused instantaneous nose, 45 second tail delay and 2160 x 20 lb fragmentation bombs from 20,000 feet. The north half of the field was well covered by bursts. Light, scattered clouds but visibility unlimited over target. Anti-aircraft fire moderate to intense, aimed and accurate but with minor damage sustained from it. However, from 40 to 50 Me 109s, JU 88s and Me 110s attacked. Six of our aircraft shot down over the target. Two FW 190s, one Me 110, 22 Me 109s were destroyed and three Me 109s probables. 5 Me 109s damaged. Three B-24s landed at Malta and 15 landed at Benina by 1440 hours. Capt. Rebich's #1 engine was hit by flak just after bombing and Lts. Flaherty, Bridges and Comey escorted him to Sicily (66th). Planes lost: 66th's #41-23778 F Lt. Curelli & crew Lost over target 68th's #42-40373 Z Lt. E. M. Shannon Bailed out 30 mi after. 506,s #42-40778 T Lt. H. W. Austin Lost over target- 506's #42-40606 X Lt. C. A. Whitlock Over target - 4 chutes 67th's #41-24021 T Lt. C. S. Hager C/L on beach-Cape Stilo 67th's #41-24229 P Lt. L. C. Smith After target-4 to 6 chutes 67th's #41-23817 L-- Lt. W. R. Bateman Over target- no chutes
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Four planes 323rd squadron - Pilots Lieutenants Bennett, Arcaro, Smith and Von der Heyde took off on a mission to bomb aviation installations at Le Bourget Airdrome near Paris. The bombing was most successful, without loss to our group, over enemy territory. Lt. Bennett was abortive and Lt. Smith had an explosion in his ship two miles short of the French Coast. He turned back and ditched in the channel 4 miles off the English Coast. All of his crew were immediately rescued and landed at New Haven.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Squadron led the group on this mission with Major Clyde Gillespie flying in the lead ship. Excellent. Many hits in target area with heavy concentration on aiming point. Meager inaccurate flak reported on way in to target. Meager inaccurate flak reported at target. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 12 E/A were noted. Did not press home attacks due to good fighter support.