Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 104: The port of Emden, Germany is the target. 2 of 3 H2S equipped pathfinder B-17s of the 482d Bombardment Group (Pathfinder) lead the mission. This is the first Pathfinder (PFF) mission.
1. 246 of 308 B-17s hit the Emden industrial area and targets of opportunity at 0958-1008 hours; they claim 32-7-24 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 78 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 18 WIA and 71 MIA. This mission is escorted by 262 P-47s which claim 21-2-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 1 MIA.
2. 24 B-24s fly a diversion.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 105: 4 of 5 B-17s of the 422d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), hit Hannover at 2208-2217 hours in a night raid with the RAF; 1 B-17 is lost; casualties are 10 MIA.
VIII Air Support Command Missions 73 & 74: 2 airfields in France are targeted.
1. 65 of 72 B-26s hit Beauvais/Tille airfield at 1044-1045 hours; they claim 4-6-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-26 is damaged beyond repair and 23 damaged; casualties are 4 MIA.
2. 68 of 72 B-26s hit Conches Airfield at 1729 hours; 1 B-26 is lost and 4 damaged; casualties are 6 MIA.
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: Port Area, Emden, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 20 (358BS - 6, 359th - 6, 360th - 4, 427th - 4). Crews Lost: S/Sgt. W.E. Rein wounded by flak. Length of Mission: 5 hours, 50 minutes. Bomb Load: 40 M47A1 Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitude: 25,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 6,655 rounds.
Group aircraft were loaded with 1,000-lb general purpose H.E. M-44 bombs and 100-lb M47A1 white phosphorous bombs. The 303rd BG(H) approached the target at 25,000 feet to find 7/10 to 10/10 cloud cover and eight to ten miles visibility.
Due to an extremely steep, tight left turn immediately before the target was reached to avoid a heavy cloud at the bombing altitude, the 303rd BG(H) formation was separated from the Combat Wing at the target. Bombing instructions were to adhere to the policy of dropping on the Pathfinder B-17s parachute flares with the lead Group bombing on the flares and other Groups dropping on the lead Group. The 303rd BG(H) lead ship bombardier 1Lt. Reinaldo J. Saiz, never saw bombs being dropped by the lead Group and was unable to drop his bombs. During the subsequent confusion, three Group aircraft dropped their bombs in the vicinity of the target area--two on the city of Norden, Germany, one near the Island of Borkum and two jettisoned bombs into the North Sea.
Flak over the target was meager and inaccurate. Approximately 25 enemy fighters were seen. Their attacks were not persistent due to the excellent fighter protection given the Group by P-47s. There was one slight casualty. S/Sgt. W.E. Rein, tail gunner on Lt. Brinkley's crew in #42-5483 Red Ass 360BS, was hit by a small anti-aircraft gunfire splinter.
On the return trip to Emden several B-17s were seen in distress with parachutes observed. A hastily organized air-sea rescue effort was organized to search in two areas. The emergency timing gave little time for mission preparation and organization. Gee equipment, useful in overwater searches, was missing. Crews complained that they were not provided with food. The search was unsuccessful. The next day, a second air-sea rescue search was conducted by 10 B-17s of the 358th and 427th BSs. Four areas were searched at an altitude of 300 to 500 feet. The wing of an RAF fighter and a small tethered balloon were observed. The search lasted about five hours. Returning crews suggested that further searches be conducted at an altitude of 1000 feet rather than lower altitudes.
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 26. Nineteen aircraft of the 384th Bombardment Group (H) took off for today's mission to attack the port facilities in Emden, Germany. Clouds obscured the primary target forcing the wing leaders to seek a target of opportunity. The city of Aurich, Germany, northeast of Emden, had the bad luck to be in the clear, and so received the brunt of the attack.. Primary Target: Port Area - Emden, Germany. Target Attacked : Target of Opportunity (Visual): Aurich, Germany
21 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 18. Aborted - 1. Scrubbed - 2 42-3087 Goulder, Edmund Samuel - Landed away at Snetterton Heath due to shortage of fuel. 42-3218 Armstrong, Lloyd R - Low squadron lead. 42-3440 Sprague, Alfred L - High squadron lead. 42-3441 Ogilvie, Donald Potter - Group deputy. 42-5852 Frink, Horace E - Group lead. 42-29554 Yelvington, Melton Albert - Landed away at Snetterton Heath due to shortage of fuel. 42-29809 Bedsole, Joseph Linyer - Landed away at Molesworth. 42-29927 Carter, T L (IO) - Snetterton Heath due to shortage of fuel. 42-29935 Calnon, Mark Brooks - Landed with a flat tire; ran off side of runway and saved aircraft and crew.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
source: 386th Bomb Group http://www.b26.com/historian/chester_klier
388BG Mission Report - On this mission the 388th was to lead the three Combat Wings with a Pathfinder aircraft as lead plane. However, this a/c never took-off because of difficulty with the navigational instruments. As a consequence, one of our crews took over that spot and this Group ended up leading the 2nd Combat Wing with the 96th tacked on as low Group. Twenty three a/ c took-off by 0730 hours and the briefed course was followed. Seven of our a/c aborted.
Because of clouds, ground haze, and a very successful smoke screen at Emden, the Group passed to the right of Emden and had to make a wide turn and bomb from another heading. The assigned target was the Port Area but most of our bombs landed in the city.
We had a fighter escort staying with the Group all the way, but 25 to 30 enemy a/c attacked our formation, mainly hitting the 96th which was the low Group. Our gunners claim eleven destroyed. Flak was meager and seven of our a/c received battle damage but no one was injured.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Four A/C of 323rd squadron took part on a mission to Emden, Germany. The mission was led by two B-17 pathfinders from the 92nd group equipped for marking the target for bombing through clouds. 9/10s cloud cover over the target forced this bombing method into use with doubtful results. Enemy fighters were active and eager. Sgt. Heinreitz was KIA by a 20mm direct hit. The 91st had three ships missing one of which was 2/Lt. Merritt in ship #750.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on port area, Emden, Germany. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 G.P. Bombing Altitude: 24,000 feet. Bombing Results: Dropped bombs thru overcast with aid of PFF. Results unobserved due to cloud cover. Time: Takeoff 0700. Target 1003. Return 1235. A. A. Fire: Meager and inaccurate. Enemy Opposition: 65 E/A mostly ME109 and FW190 with 2 JU88s. First attack at 0945 and continued intermittently until 1020. Casualties: A/C 624.
At approximately 1005 hours, 24,000 feet, at the target A/C 624 was seen with #3 engine on fire. When A/C opened its bomb bay doors flames enveloped radio room and pieces of the A/C began to fall. A/C went down from the left of the formation and blew up in mid-air. No less than 3 chutes were observed.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Emden: 10/10th undercast, results not observed. Black smoke seen rising from area west of railroad. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 20 to 65 Me 109s, and FW 190s were seen, and also 2 Ju 88s. Attacks were concentrated on the nose. C flight composed of 9 aircraft received most of the fighter opposition. S/Sgt. C. L. Ross, 20 mm splinter in right hand. Meager, inaccurate AA fire encountered at Rottumeroog Island, at the target and at the islands of Juist and Nordernay.