Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 100: 3 locations in France are targeted.
1. 46 of 117 B-17s hit the Nantes port area at 0813-0818 hours; they claim 22-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 41 are damaged; casualties are 13 KIA and 11 WIA.
2. 55 of 67 B-17s hit Vannes/Meucon Airfield at 0825-0826 hours; 7 B-17s are damaged.
3. 53 of 63 B-17s hit Kerlin/Bastard Airfield at 0814-0818 hours; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 is lost and 10 damaged; casualties are 10 MIA.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 101: 80 of 91 B-17s hit the port area at Nantes (61 aircraft) at 1810-1815 and Rennes/St Jacques Airfield (19 aircraft) at 1834 hours; 2 B-17s are lost, 12 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged; casualties are 12 WIA and 20 MIA.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 102: 4 of 5 B-17s of the 422d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), hit Mannheim at 2211-2222 hours with the RAF in a night attack; 1 B-17 is damaged.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
source: Marshall Stelzreide Wartime Story http://www.stelzriede.com/warstory.htm
303BG Mission Report - Target: Submarine Supply Ship in Loire River, Nantes, France. Crews Dispatched: 19 (358BS - 4, 359th - 4, 360th - 5, 427th - 6). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G. P. M-43 bombs. Bombing Altitude: 25,500 ft.
Ammo Fired: 3,960 rounds.
After the return of Group aircraft from a practice mission, Ninteen B-17s were dispatched on a return mission to Nantes, France. Four aircraft aborted.
The 303rd BG(H) formation attacked the target from 25,500 feet. There were no clouds and the three to five mile visibility was hampered by a slight haze. Forty-five tons of M-43 500-lb. bombs were dropped in the target area. The target was the U-boat supply ship Kertosono, which was moored on the west side of the Port of Maritime. The Kertosono was 471 ft. long, had a 57-ft. beam and was registered at 8,700 tons. Bombs did not hit the target ship, but heavily damaged other vessels, facilities and building in the target area.
Anti-aircraft fire at the target was moderate to intense and fairly accurate. The fire was reported as being noticeably heavier than that encountered when the target was attacked on 16 September. Flak was also seen at other locations. The VHF radios were badly jammed over France. Enemy fighter opposition numbered 10 to 15 FW-190s. No attacks were made. There were no casualties or battle damage. P-47s gave excellent close support.
All Group aircraft returned safely to England. Seven Group aircraft landed away from base for fuel. Sixteen of the aircraft and crews that flew the four-hour morning practice mission were also dispatched to fly the nearly six-hour combat mission.
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 - 384th BG Mission Number 25. The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew one group of 18 aircraft on today's mission. The specific objective was a ship believed to be a floating repair shop for submarines, located in the Nantes, France, port area. Bombs were dropped using visual aiming, with undetermined results. Primary Target: Submarine Repair Ship - Nantes, France. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
21 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 17. Failed To Return - 1. Scrubbed - 3 42-3218 Armstrong, Lloyd R - High squadron lead. 42-3429 Estes, Thomas J - Low squadron lead. 42-3441 Kelly, James H - Group deputy. 42-3459 Higdon, Philip E - Failed to Return - MIA; shot down by enemy aircraft shortly after crossing the coast of France, crashed near Pontivy, France; MACR 748. Co-pilot Ritt was pilot of a newly assigned crew, flying his first orientation flight. 42-5404 Thompson, Siguard (NMI) - Landed away at Wing. 42-29717 Bedsole, Joseph Linyer - Landed away at Wing. 42-30026 Algar, Philip M - Group lead. 42-30196 Lecates, Robert L - Landed away at Wing.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Six A/C of 323rd squadron took part on a mission to Nantes, France to bomb a new submarine supply ship. The target was covered by a dense pattern doing considerable damage to shipping and plants but missing selected target. All ships returned without loss.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on a U-Boat supply ship moored on north bank of Fort Maritime, Nantes, France. Time: Take Off 0500. Target 0818. Return 1200. Bomb Load: 18 x 500 GP. Bombing Altitude: 21,000 feet. Bombing Results: No direct hits, area was well patterned. A. A. Fire: Moderate and accurate fire at target causing some damage to our A/C. Fighter Opposition: About 50 E/A mostly FW190s and a few JU88s and Me109s, were encountered. A/C 711 damaged by flak. Hole in nose, co-pilot's window cracked, 3 holes in left wing, gas tank punctured, and right elevator had hole. A/C 057 slightly damaged by flak.
Remarks: A/C 656 turned back at 0732 hours after getting off late due to necessity of changing planes. Could not catch up with formation. A/C 178 turned back at 0715 hours when they failed to keep up with formation. A/C 778 turned back at 0721 due to oxygen system failure. #2 engine heated up. A/C 511 turned back at 0650 when #3 engine leaked oil. Ball Turret electric suit not working.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - FLYING: MISSION TO NANTES, FRANCE. Nantes: Generally described as good. Port area hit. Two hits on ship, primary target, reported. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 50 FW 190s, 2 Me 109s, and 2 Ju 88s reported. AA fire at target was moderate and accurate. Sgt. R. L. Youker, slight flak wound on right shoulder. T/Sgt. John A Capron, bullet in right fore-arm.
384BG: Nature of Accident Collision with trees and light pole. No other aircraft was involved. Cause of accident: Low flying in a high speed airplane with little time as pilot. source: _ 384BG Research Assistant
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-30647). Organization: 366BS / 305BG of Chelveston, Northamptonshire. Pilot: Drouin, Norman A. Notes: killed in a crash. Location: Chelveston, Northamptonshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/