Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 121. Two targets in Germany are hit with the loss of 8 B-17s and 3 B-24s.
1. 323 of 374 B-17s and 9 of 11 B-17 pathfinders hit the marshaling yard and oil plants at Gelsenkirchen, Germany at 1313-1350 hours; they claim 6-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 223 damaged. Casualties are 4 KIA, 35 WIA and 84 MIA. The B-17s are escorted by 47 P-38s and 336 P-47s; they claim 18-6-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 P-47s are lost and 1 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 4 MIA.
2. 104 of 118 B-24s hit the marshaling yard at Munster at 1349-1358 hours; they claim 21-3-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 43 damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 22 WIA and 31 MIA.
3. VIII Bomber Command Mission 122: 5 B-17s drop 1,004,000 leaflets over Paris, Amiens, Rouen and Caen at 1917-2005 hours; no losses or casualties.
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, Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 19 (358BS - 4, 359th - 7, 360th - 4, 427th - 4). Crews Lost: Lt. A.G. Grant, 1 crewman KIA, 9 crewmen POW. Length of Mission: 5 hours, 10 minutes. Bomb Load: 42 x M47A1 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitude: 26,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 15,485 rounds.
Nineteen aircraft were dispatched and none aborted. The 41 CBW flew in the second position rather than the third due to a timing mistake by the Wing Commander's aircraft. Bombs were released when the Wing Leader's PFF aircraft's bombs were observed. The Wing leader failed to fire a flare and give the code words for "IP" and "Bombs Away" over his VHF radio. A total of 796 65-lb. M47A1 incendiary bombs (25 3/4 tons) were released on the target from 26,500 feet. There were no clouds, but there was considerable industrial smoke and haze, an effective smoke screen. Photos indicated poor bombing results.
From ten to twenty enemy aircraft were seen, but few attacks were made on the Group. P-47 and P-38 fighter support was excellent. On the return journey, the Combat Wing leader took a course that led the formation near Antwerp and subjected the aircraft to severe flak defenses in that vicinity. There were no casualties, but fifteen aircraft received minor damage.
#41-24565 359BS fell out of formation while on the Group bomb run and followed 400 yards below and behind the formation on the return trip. It was last seen under fighter attack about 40 miles from the enemy coast at an altitude of 12,000 feet. Four parachutes were reported. The B-17 crashed near Rosenthal, Germany. S
Fifteen of the nineteen Fortresses on this mission sustained battle damage, all minor. Twelve aircraft were hit by flak, two aircraft were hit by fighters and one aircraft was hit by friendly aircraft.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 20 aircraft were sent on this mission.
42-3532 Lt. D. A. Gaylord - Crash-landed, crew safe.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 35. Primary Target: Industry - Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
22 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 21. Returned Early - 1. 42-30033 Van der Haeghen, Joseph Albert - Aborted because of oxygen failure and #3 engine not operating properly; bombed Target of Opportunity, a 30-40 ship convoy with unobserved results.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on the marshalling yards of Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Takeoff: 1001 hours. Target 1343 hrs. Return 1529 hrs. Bomb Load 42 x 100 lbs. Bombing altitude: 29,000 ft. Bombing Results: Unknown due to haze. Battle Damage: A/C #656 Flak #4 engine, minor. Fighter Support: 3 groups of P-47s and 2 Sqd. of Spits gave excellent cover. Enemy Opposition: 10-20 E/A including FW190s, Me109, Do217 and Me110s were seen. No direct attacks were made. A/A fire: Intense but inaccurate for our group at the
target. __'__inaccurate fire from the vicinities of Kaldenkirk and Tellenberg.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Large amount of smoke and fire seen in target area. Accurate results unobtainable due to industrial haze and smoke screen. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: From 10 to 20 E/F's seen consisting of FW 190's, Me 109's, Do 217's and Me 110's. No direct attacks on this group. AA fire was intense but inaccurate for our aircraft flying at altitudes from 28,500 to 29,000. Several white puffs observed above our A/C. Inaccurate AA fire reported from vicinities of Kaldenkirchen and Tilburg.
92BG Mission Report - The 92nd Bomb Group flew at 27,000 feet as the low group of the 40th Combat Wing, flying in the First Bomb Division formation. First fighter a/c seen were P-47s and they were observed in numbers of about 30-40 at about 31,000 ft. at 1304 hours, 10 miles SE of Dekooy. Thereafter, P-47s were seen in about that number until just before bombs were away at about 1346-47. For five minutes thereafter very few fighters were seen, but P-47s in number were again picked up five minutes later as the formation left the Ruhr area and continued 10-15 miles at sea on the route to base. A few P-38s were seen over the North Sea on the route home from enemy coast to English coast. The first enemy a/c were observed in the target area and then about five minutes after the target en route home for the succeeding next 15 minutes. From three to 50 e/a were reported. Almost all of these were of the single-engine variety. Most of these were identified as 190 a/c, but several were Me-109s. Three Me-210s were claimed identified, but these were quite some distance away. Most attacks on the 92nd were by 190 a/c and these occurred about ten minutes after leaving the target. Attacks were entirely individual attacks and somewhat scattered. Not more than 10-15 attacks were made on this group though up to 50 e/a were observed in the target area. Several observations were made to the effect that stragglers were again the center of great attention by e/a. One FW 190 attacking alone flew parallel and level with the formation at 1,000 yards for some time and then turned in level in a steep bank for an approach to 800 yards, firing 20ms all the way and turning back quickly at 800 yards to reach the 1,000-yard position. Approaches of this nature were made for 5-6 successive times when this e/a was shot down and the pilot bailed out. No reports of rocket or heavy gunfire were received today. The FW 190 a/c exhibited a number of yellow noses and loud, contrasting wing colors. A few 190s and 109s were dark gray on top and cream or white on the bottom. One 190 was all black. Fighter support on the whole was very good and much appreciated. Better close support rather than entirely area support is recommended by most crews. On the whole the enemy fighter defenses were considered weak. One B-17 too far away to identify further was observed by one crew to turn back into Germany at 5158-0226 at 14,000 ft and at 1443 hours. The observation was made at 15,000 ft. The B-17 appeared to be in no trouble.
source: 92nd Bomb Group web page http://92ndma.org/
92BG Mission Report - Losses: 327th Squadron, a/c B-17 G-1-VE 239831 L. Hit by flak just past the target. Finally shot down by an FW 190. Crew bailed. Navigator Lt. Bradley was taken captive and imprisoned in the Brussels Civilian Internment Camp. He escaped, along with 2nd Lt. Ford W. Babcock, who was shot down 1 January 1944, when patriots derailed the train on which they were being evacuated to Germany. The Germans abandoned the train and the prisoners.
source: 92nd Bomb Group web page http://92ndma.org/
Non-Combat Accident Reports
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-8491). Organization: 486FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk. Pilot: Frascotti, Robert C. Notes: crash belly landing out of gas. Location: Bodney/ 1 1/2mi W Sta 141 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Mission "8th AF Bomber Command Mission 121" Rail targets in Germany November 05, 1943
Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman
Enemy Aircraft X-P-D
Enemy Aircraft (on gnd) X-P-D
USAAF Aircraft X-E-D
USAAF Personnel KIA-WIA-MIA
100BG aircraft crash-lands Leiston 388BG aircraft crashes South Elham St. Cross 390BG aircraft ditches sea 351BG aircraft crash-lands Ipswich
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