Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 134: 127 of 161 B-17s and 3 of 6 B-17 PFF aircraft are dispatched to Gelsenkirchen, Germany but the malfunction of blind-bombing equipment and the weather causes the force to attack targets of opportunity on the German-Dutch border at 1241-1251 hours; 1 B-17 crashes after takeoff; the crew of 10 are KIA.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 135: 6 B-17s drop 2.316 million leaflets on Amiens and Reims, France; Brussels and Ghent, Belgium; and Amsterdam and The Hague, The Netherlands at 1915-2011 hours; no losses.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
388BG Mission Report - The 388th flew as lead Group of the 45th Combat Wing, which followed the 13th Combat Wing's formation in the Bomb Division alignment. The 388th was led by two PFF a/c from the 482nd Bomb Group, which flew the 1-1 and 1-2 positions in the lead squadron.
20 a/c of this Group plus the two PFF a/c took-off between 0830 and 0900 hours and effected formation and rendezvous without difficulty. Four of our a/c aborted as follows:
1.Lt. Pack in a/c #829, aborted at 0840 hours while still circling the field. When he had to feather the prop on #3 engine, he flew out into the Wash and jettisoned his bombs before returning to the base at 0945 hours. 2.Lt. Todd in a/c #084, aborted over the North Sea at 1114 hours from 24,000 feet when they lost oxygen to the Pilot, Navigator and Engineer. They returned to base at 1155 hours. 3.Lt. Obenschain in a/c #773, aborted over the North Sea at 1136 hours from 27,000 feet when his #2 supercharger failed. He returned to base at 1234 hours. 4.Lt. Hulcher in a/c #845, aborted over the North Sea when most of his oxygen systems failed. The pilot passed out before the plane descended to a lower altitude. They returned to base at 1318 hours.
This mission was flown at 27,000 feet. The briefed course was followed making landfall on the Dutch Coast and across the Zuider Zee to Meppel. From this point to the Dutch-German border in the vicinity of Arnhem-Nizmegen, an exceedingly irregular course was flown until bombs away. The assigned target was the Iron Foundry and the Railway marshalling yards at Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr. With a 10/10th cloud coverage and jamming at the target area, it is believed that the bombs were dropped near the Dutch border.
Meager flak was encountered but none of our a/c received battle damage. Two FW 190's were seen but did not attack. All of our a/c returned to base by 1425 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info