Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 116. The industrial area at Duren, Germany is the primary target. 97 of 170 B-17s hit the primary target at 1413-1416 bombing from 30,000-feet (48,000 m) because the cloud tops were at 29,500-feet (47,200 m); the 1st Bombardment Division uses Oboe PFF for the first time but the equipment fails and 60 aircraft return to base without bombing; 42 of the 1st Bombardment Divisions aircraft hit Woensdrecht Airfield in the Netherlands as a target of opportunity; and 70 B-24s fly a diversion; the totals are 4-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft claimed; 9 B-17s lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 10 damaged; casualties are 4 KIA (including 3 gunners who died from oxygen system failure), 2 WIA and 85 MIA.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 117: During the night of 20/21 Oct, 5 B-17s drop 876,960 leaflets over Roen and Paris at 2211-2217 hours.
HQ 358th Fighter Group and its 365th, 366th and 367th Fighter Squadrons arrive at Goxhill, England from the US.
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: Center of City, Duren, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 19 (358BS - 5, 359th - 6, 360th - 4, 427th - 4). Crews Lost: Lt. Hartigan, 11 crewmen; Lt. Hendry, 10 crewmen. Length of Mission: 5 hours, 15 minutes. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. bombs.
Nineteen 303rd BG(H) aircraft were dispatched with no aborted flights. All aircraft carried ten 500-lb. bombs. When approaching the enemy coast, six ME-109s came out of a cloud bank that the 303rd BG(H) aircraft were about to enter. They achieved complete surprise and the Luftwaffe attack was described by one pilot as an "ambush." The nose attacks were not seen until the ME-109s were about 500 yards from the Group formation.
Two Group aircraft were knocked down on the first pass. #41-24629 (No Name) 358BS, piloted by 1Lt. John W. Hendry, Jr., crashed near Valenciennes, France. Cannon shells from the ME-109s started a fire in the left wing gas tank. The order to bail out was given after the B-17 was in danger of quickly exploding from the gas tank fire. #42-29571, Charley Horse, 358BS, piloted by 2Lt. William R. Hartigan, crashed near Mons, Belgium. The aircraft was on fire and in a spin when last seen. It later blew up. Some parachutes were spotted.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 6 aircraft were sent on this mission. Cloud covered target - returned without bombing
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 33. The 384th Bombardment Group (H) flew as the high group of the 41st CBW. Dense clouds to 32,000' at the German border forced the Wing to turn back and seek targets of opportunity. The Wing leader made a bomb run on an unknown airfield in Occupied Territory, but the low group was directly below the 384th, so bombs were held. Primary Target: Railroad Marshalling Yards - Duren, Germany. Target Attacked : No Target Attacked
20 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 16. Aborted - 3. Scrubbed - 1 41-24557 Sundlun, Bruce George - Low squadron lead. 42-5838 Estes, Thomas J - Group lead. 42-29987 Willing, Mark S - High squadron lead. 42-30033 Kelly, James H - Group deputy.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - 19 a/c of this Group took-off between 1030 and 1042 hours. We were the lead Group of the 2nd Combat Wing of the 3rd Air Division. Formations were effected and the Wing proceeded on the briefed course to the target.
Three of our a/c aborted. Lt. Wilcox because of a broken oil cooler while over Cambridge and returned to base at 1300 hours. Lt. Olin turned back over Braintree because of a gas leak. The plane filled with fumes and he landed at 1320 hours. Lt. Eccleston because of low oil pressure in #1 engine. He landed at 1357 hours.
The remaining 16 a/c followed the briefed course to the target, which was the center of the city of Duren. Bombs were dropped on the PFF a/c which led this Group at 1412 hours from 29,000 feet. No strike photos were available due to the 10/10th cloud coverage.
Several enemy fighters were seen at a distance but did not attack. Our fighter support was P-38's and very good. Flak was meager and our a/c received no battle damage. All of our planes returned to base by 1609 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
44BG Mission Report - Again it was a diversionary sweep out over the North Sea with hopes of finding ememy shipping.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - One ship of 323rd squadron took part in a mission to Duren, Germany and after having penetrated well into enemy territory, turned back before reaching the target because of a very high solid wall of clouds estimated up to 35,000 feet.