Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 174: 2 targets in Germany are hit; 19 bombers and 2 fighters are lost.
1. 371 of 439 B-17s and 115 of 130 B-24s are dispatched to the port area at Kiel; 7 B-17s and 34 B-24s hit targets of opportunity; they claim 4-12-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 B-17s and 6 B-24s are lost; 2 B-17s and 3 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 111 B-17s and 16 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 22 KIA, 53 WIA and 170 MIA. 70 P-38s and 42 Ninth Air Force P-51s escort; they claim 1-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 1 P-51 are lost and 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 1 WIA and 2 MIA.
2. 68 of 75 B-17s hit Munster; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 35 damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 20 MIA. 430 P-47s escort; they claim 7-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is damaged.
Mission 175: During the evening, 4 B-17s drop 800,000 leaflets on Orleans, Lorient, Rouen and Tours, France at 2005-2021 hours; no losses. This is the first CARPETBAGGER operation from Tempsford, England on this night. US airplanes begin flying supplies from UK to underground resistance forces in W Europe, this operation being coded CARPETBAGGER.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. & 42 x M47A1 Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitude: 25,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 17,925 rounds.
Thirty-eight ships were dispatched with the Group flying in two groups of aircraft in the 41st CW-B formation. The lead Group arrived over the target and found 7/10 cloud cover. They located a cloud break and bombed visually when the PFF equipment failed, releasing 138 M-43 500-lb. G.P. bombs. The bombing results were poor, photos revealed hits in the water. The lead Group made sharp turns to set up their bomb run and the low 303rd BG(H) formation of 14 B-17s could not keep up with the Wing formation. They jettisoned their 126 M47A1 65-lb. incendiary bombs.
Flak at the target was moderate, but very accurate and of heavy caliber. Twenty- one Group aircraft sustained flak damage. Ten to fifteen enemy fighters were seen and three aircraft sustained fighter battle damage. Gunners listed two enemy aircraft as destroyed and three as probable. One complete crew was missing in action. Returning aircraft contained seven casualties–two minor flak wounds and five frostbite cases. Twenty-four aircraft sustained damage, twenty-two by flak and two by enemy fighters.
#42-31526 Sweet Anna was heard giving a distress signal after it was hit by enemy fighters and left the formation. The B-17 was on its first combat mission. The aircraft ditched in the North Sea with the loss of all crewmen.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 15 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 49. Primary Target: Port Area - Kiel, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
26 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 16. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 5. Scrubbed - 4 41-24578 Outen, Charles L - Aborted because of an oxygen system failure. Bomb load jettisoned. 42-5838 Kaczaraba, William (NMI) - Failed to Return LSqLd; MIA; e/a; cr Kalunborg, Dk; MACR 1483 42-29632 Poole, George I - Aborted because all four engines were "running very rough." Bomb load returned. 42-31045 Covington, Royston Truitt - aborted because of an oxygen system failure. Bomb load returned. 42-37727 Hines, James W - Joined mission but aborted because aircraft needed "excessive power settings ... to stay in formation." Bomb load jettisoned. 42-37885 Lotz, William H - did not take off due to "technical failures." Bomb load was "Nickles."
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - On this mission the 388th put up two Groups in the 45th
"B" Combat Wing. The "A" Group led the "B" Wing with the "B" Group as low Group.
21 A/C plus one PFF in the "A" Group took-off at 0711 hours and 21 A/C of the "B" Group by 0815 hours. 2 a/c from the "A" Group and 3 a/c from the "B" Group aborted with mechanical problems. Formations were effected with some difficulty due to darkness and after getting in Wing formation, proceeded to the Target as briefed. The bombs were dropped on the PFF ship due to the full cloud cover over the Target.
There was no fighter opposition, and crews gave high praise on the superb fighter escort.
Meager flak was encountered at Rheime and over the Target which was very accurate to course and altitude. 30 a/c suffered flak damage of which 5 were major.
36 of our A/C landed at base by 1313 hours and Lt. Campbell, a/c 42-37853, crash-landed at Eastchurch. All members of the crew are safe.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 19 crews were briefed for this mission at 0400 hrs with some aircraft taking off late and then returning to base. Eventually only ten 401st aircraft attacked the target. On the way to the target the 612th's C.O., Major M. Martin, was forced to ditch in the North Sea on what the Royal Navy called one of the coldest days of the winter. Capt. Garland, the pilot, set the Fortress down near two British trawlers but it was an hour before the crew were picked up. Lt. Floyd C. Howe, the bombardier, died just after being picked up and Sgt. Ralph D. Newton, engineer, was washed away and his body never recovered. The only 615th crew on this mission was: 42-31072 Kaminski.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 612BS Mission Report - 2nd Lt. Howe and S/Sgt. Newton were killed in a ditching operation in the North Sea while on a mission to Kiel, Germany. Major M.K. Martin, then Squadron Commander was among the remaining persons rescued at sea.
44BG Mission Report - 67 squadron accompanied the 44th in a bombing mission to Kiel, Germany. Four of the 67th aircraft departed this base at 0800 hrs, but three A/C abortive. Only one plane reached the objective and returned to base at 1500 hours. Leading the Wing with 19 aircraft the Group dropped their bombs with unobserved results. However, the 66th Sq. states that the bombs hit north and east of the city. The mission itself was uneventful from the standpoint of enemy air attacks and flak action, but other Groups experienced fierce air attacks as well as flak. The Group was largely hampered by the intense coldness - several crew members were the victims of frost- bite, especially on the face and on the hands. Cpl. Bagen sent from duty to sick quarters.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
445BG Mission Report - Target: Kiel, Germany - Port Area, Docks and Submarine Pens. A/C Took Off: 27. A/C Bombed Target: 16. A/C Lost: 0
source: 445th Bomb Group http://445bg.org
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Kiel
13 planes bombed the city of Kiel, with 11 more experiencing mechanical problems which forced their return before they could accomplish their mission objective. One crewman died from a lack of oxygen. Bombs were believed to have hit the city itself and its surrounding areas. There was moderate-heavy flak, but chaff dropped by lead planes reduced its severity.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Between the hours 0802 and 0825, 4 January 1944, 21 A/C of the 447th Bombardment Group (H) took off. The Group leader considers that their work was excellent.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Eight 323rd ships participated in a mission to Kiel, Germany. They had a good escort of American fighters, which seemed to have kept the enemy fighters from giving our ships any trouble. The flak was moderately heavy but inflicted little damage to our planes. Our ground crews soon made them ready for another mission the next day. Such events tend to raise morale among all the men both ground and air echelons. While no enemy planes were shot down by our gunners, the primary purpose of the mission was accomplished. We dropped our bombs on the target and returned safely without loss of ships or personnel. Flying personnel, who did not participate in today's mission, took training on the ground. The basic policy is to stress training so as to enable each individual to be occupied in developing his ability to the highest degree as well as building morale. A man on the ground doing nothing while his comrades are in the air slugging it out with the enemy is far from happy. He should have something to occupy his mind until the ships come home.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Kiel, Germany. Bomb Load: 21 x I.B. and 42 x U47. Bomb Altitude: 24,200 - 27,500. Bombing Results: Generally unobserved due to smoke screen at target. Time: Take off 0745-0756. Target 1137. Ar. Base 1422 - 1504. A.A. Fire: Moderate and accurate at target, meager elsewhere. Casualties: Five men suffered slight frost bites.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Kiel - Center of city. - P.F.F. attack through 10/10ths undercast -results reported to have been good causing heavy damage to dock area and center of town. Sgt. Wallace J. Payne received the purple heart as a result of a cold injury of both feet and fingers of left hand, causing wounds as an indirect result of enemy action.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Crews reported fires and smoke in target area. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None recognized. However one crew reported 3 Me 110's. Meager, inaccurate AA fire reported from vicinities of Westerheaver, Schleswig and Eckernfords. At target AA fire was moderate and rather accurate. A/C 929 left formation at 5440 N-0900E to preserve gas. The Bomb Bay doors stuck and the Selector Handle was frozen so it could not be moved from locked position to selective, resulting in jettisoning of their bombs.