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Missions

The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Missions

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

VIII Bomber Command Mission 154; the port area at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are hit; 5 aircraft are lost. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are dispatched.

1. 171 of 182 B-17s dispatched to Bremen hit the target at 1159-1206 hours; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 30 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 3 WIA.

2. 367 of 403 B-17s, 93 of 107 B-24s, 12 of 12 B-17 PFF and 6 of 6 B-24 PFF aircraft are dispatched to Kiel; heavy frosting and poor visibility disrupts the formation and 78 B-17s hit targets of opportunity in Hamburg at 1300-1305 hours; the remaining aircraft hit Kiel at 1245-1317 hours; 7-3-17 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 4 B-17s and 1 B-24 are lost; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 136 B-17s and 4 B-24s are lost; casualties are 4 KIA, 16 WIA and 50 MIA.

These missions are escorted by 31 P-38s, 322 P-47s and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 is damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 1 MIA. P-51s escorting the heavy bombers reach the limit of their escort range for the first time.

VIII Bomber Command Mission 155: 5 B-17s drop 1 million leaflets on Le Mans, Rennes, Tours, Nantes and Chartres, France at 2138-2155 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,