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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 171: Various targets in France are hit; 19 B-17s and 6 B-24s are lost.

1. 200 of 236 B-17s and 57 of 60 B-24s hit the Bordeaux-Merignac, Cognac-Chateaubernard and Landes Bussac Airfields at 1211-1315 hours; they claim 17-13-27 Luftwaffe aircraft; 18 B-17s and 5 B-24s are lost, 8 B-17s and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 103 B-17s and 5 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 36 WIA and 231 MIA.

2. 57 B-17s are dispatched to hit a blockade running ship at Gironde but cannot find the target; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 5 WIA.

3. 87 of 94 B-24s hit the St Jean DAngely Airfield at 1211-1235 hours; they claim 9-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-24 is lost, 3 are damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; casualties are 10 MIA.

4. 120 of 125 B-17s hit the industrial areas at Paris-Ivry and Bois-Colombes at 1207-1227 hours; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 49 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 10 MIA. These missions are escorted by 74 P-38s, 441 P-47s and 33 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 9-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38, 2 P-47s are 1 P-51 are lost; 1 P-38 and 6 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 is damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 2 MIA.

The total bomb tonnage dropped by the Eighth Air Force in Dec 43, 13,142 tons (14,486 tonnes), for the first time exceeds that dropped by the RAF Bomber Command.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,