Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General Eighth Air Force, in a memo to Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower, agrees that any increase in air commitments to N Africa must necessarily be made at the expense of US forces in the UK as US forces in other theaters are considered irreducible.
Mission 18: 31 of 33 B-17s and 12 of 14 B-24s attack the U-boat base at Saint Nazaire, France from reduced altitude; only 1 of the 12 B-24s bombing from 17,500 to 18,300 feet (5,334 to 5,578 m) suffer AA damage, but 31 B-17s at 7,500 to 10,000 feet (2,286 to 3,048 m) lose 3 of aircraft and have 22 damaged by AA fire, 1 airman KIA, 11 WIA and 32 MIA; this ends the experiment with low-level attacks of heavy bombers, against submarine bases.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
44BG Mission Report - This mission represented the first mission the 44th Gp. actually dropped bombs on enemy-held lands. The 68th had the honor to represent the entire Group on this mission with six aircraft. The target was attacked from a height of 17,000 feet at about 1405 hours. The target was hit with two crews claiming direct hits and two others state that their bombs fell on the dock area near the Lock Gates. Fires and heavy, billowing smoke belched forth from the area. This mission also was the first to provide a baptism of enemy flak which was moderately heavy but inaccurate. All A/C returned to the base without damage, but wiser in what to expect.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Thirteen (13) from the 91st Bombardment Group (H), two (2) ships and complete crews of 323rd squadron, pilots Lt. Charles R. Giauque and Lt. Martin W. McCarty Jr., participated in a Bombing mission against Enemy Submarine Docks and Pens at St. Nazaire, in occupied France. Due to our skill in making approach to vicinity of target, the enemy was taken by surprise and failed to get his Pursuit Planes in action against us. However, Flak from the ground defenses was quite heavy. A shell exploded in bombardiers compartment of Lt. McCarty's ship, fatally wounding Lt. Louis B. Briglia, Bombardier, who expired during the night, after ships had returned to their Base. Sgt. William W. Dunnavant was severely wounded in action and his ship severely damaged. Ships landed in Exeter, Southwest England, for purpose of refueling. Mission was quite successful.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Attacked one of best defended gun positions in Europe from altitudes of 8,000 to 10,000 feet. Casualties heavy but objective wiped out with fine precision bombing. Lt. Louis D. Briglia, 323rd, died from his wounds on 9 Nov.1942 at 2040 hours, the first man to lose his life in combat with the 91st.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - The Squadron supplied 2 of 14 (13 over target) aircraft furnished by the Group. Both aircraft went over the target and successfully bombed the pin point objective. Aircraft #447 piloted by Lt Swais with Col. Wray led the Group and was the first over the target the flak at the target was the heaviest experienced by the Group to date but in spite of this no aircraft were lost although several crewmembers were seriously injured, and one Bombardier was killed. S/S Herbert E. Fisher of A/C #447 was unfortunate enough to have the lower part of his right ear shot off. This raid was commonly called the suicide raid as it was at low altitude instead of high altitude and subjected the Group to both light and heavy flak. The aircraft just pushed through one barrage after another and everyone feels that the Group was fortunate to come through with its aircraft. The reports of returning crews were glowing with reference to bombing results as the locks were reported blown up. The PRU photos, however disproved these reports proving that 1,000 pound bombs were not quite heavy enough to put the lock gates out of commission. Heavy flak on the bombing run was also a good deterrent and sighting may have been a bit erratic. No enemy aircraft were encountered on this trip.