Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 206: 553 of 671 B-17s hit the port area at Wilhelmshaven, Germany; another 56 hit the Emden area; and 1 hits Oldenburg; 1.8 million leaflets are dropped by B-17s; 193 B-24s are dispatched but they abort the mission over the Zuider Zee due to clouds; 0-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 47 B-17s are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 9 WIA and 42 MIA. Escort is provided by 74 P-38s, 508 P-47s of the Eighth and Ninth Air Force and 50 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 8-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 P-47s and 1 P-51 are lost, 3 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 13 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 9 MIA.
Mission 207: 7 of 7 B-17s drop 420 bundles of leaflets on Paris, Rouen, Amiens, Reims, Orleans and Rennes, France at 2110-2146 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,
303BG Mission Report - Target: U-Boat Facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany (PFF). Crews Dispatched: 39. Crews Lost: Capt. G.A. White, 10 KIA. Length of Mission: 6 hours, 20 minutes. Bomb Load: 6 & 12 x 500 lb G.P. bombs (6 w/bomb bay tanks). Bombing Altitudes: 28,000 ft and 28,300 ft. Ammo Fired: 5,450 rounds.
Thirty-nine aircraft were airborne. The 303rd "A" Group had two aircraft abort due to engine failures. The "B" Group had eight abortions: two had mechanical difficulties, one radio operator and one waist gunner passed out and five lost the formation over the North Sea.
Meager and inaccurate flak was seen only over the target. "Chaff" spoiled the anti- aircraft gunner's aim, helping the Group considerably. No enemy fighters were seen and good fighter support was present. The entire continent had 10/10 cloud cover combined with turbulent air, making formation flying difficult. Bombing was done from 28,000 feet and 76 1/2 tons of 500-lb. M43 bombs were dropped.
#42-37927 (No Name) ditched in the North Sea with the loss of all crewmen–all on their first mission. It was last seen after leaving the target, peeling off from the formation as if to penetrate the overcast individually. It rolled over on its back and headed straight down. No bodies were recovered.
39 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 36. Aborted - 3 41-24560 Allison, Earl Thomas - Aborted b/c #2 supercharger was out and gave no pressure; bombs rtd 42-3259 Laboda, Joseph S - turned back at 1008 hrs, two miles south of Cromer, b/c #1 prop ran away and had to be feathered; controls worked loosely and prop would not unfeather; 12x500GP rtd 42-31495 Herbert, Joseph R - Ball turret gunner D.I. Collins fell through ball turret at 1232 hrs, 12,000ft, over enemy territory; he was not wearing a parachute.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished two Groups for this PFF mission. The "A" Group was lead and the "B" Group low in the 45th Combat Wing formation. The 45th Combat Wing was the 2nd Wing in the 3rd Air Division which preceded the 1st Division over the same target. The 2nd Air Division went to Emden.
43 a/c took-off between 0731 and 0801 hours. The 44th a/ c took-off late (#909), and caught the formation before it left the English Coast. One a/c aborted.
All of our a/c had to climb through an overcast, assembling above it to effect Combat Wing formations. Weather was a constant threat to the successful completion of the mission. 10/10th clouds covered the route over the Continent, and the temperature was extremely low. Due to the clouds being at a greater altitude than anticipated, the formation climbed to 28,000 feet before getting above them. This caused bombs to be dropped 6,000 feet higher than briefed. The actual route to and from the target was about 30 miles South of the briefed course. Bombs were dropped on the PFF a/c at 1105 hours from 28,000 feet on a mag heading of 18 degrees.
Flak over the target was moderate and the Group received several accurate bursts at Wangerooge. 8 of our a/c received minor flak damage. Lt. Davis, Navigator on Lt. Ramsey's crew, was seriously wounded when hit by flak on the route home, and later died after being admitted to the 231st Station Hospital.
No enemy fighters were seen on this mission.
All 43 a/c returned to base between 1345 and 1431 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Operations for February began on the 3rd of the month with a mission to Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The specific target in Wilhelmshaven was the site of the submarine activity where the construction of U-boats was in progress. The Group was the Low Box in the Wing formation and the 613th new as the Low Squadron of the Group. Enemy opposition both from the ground and in the air was practically nil due to 10/10s undercast and, by the same token, bombing results were unobserved. The following crews participated: Vokaty, Stelzer.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The target for the first operation for the month of February was the U-boat construction yards at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The 401st flew as the Low Box in the Wing formation. Very little enemy air or ground opposition was observed because of the 10/10ths undercast, and, because of this, bombing results by PFF were unobserved. The following crew were on this mission: Weber, Garland, Smith, Arneson, Stimson, Kirkhuff.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - 32 aircraft were briefed for this mission at 0430 hrs. 28 aircraft took off in very bad weather conditions and 8 of them failed to find the Group formation and eventually returned to base. The Air Commander for the mission was Capt. D.E. Silver. Some indication of this day'o very bad weather can be judged from the events in the 2nd Air Division. 193 aircraft became airborne but 140 of them returned to base. The other 53 went on but eventually abandoned the mission over the Zuider Zee due to high cloud. The loading list for the Squadron was as follows: Rumsey, Wysocki, Grinham, Dempsey, Gardner, Trimble, Smith (614BS), Scharff (613BS).
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
447BG Mission Report - At the 0530 briefing the forty crews (including two PFF crews) learned that the target was to be the port city of Wihelmshaven on Germanys north coast. Two B-17s from each of the First and Third Divisions were lost, none of the 447th. The Luftwaffe did not present much opposition. The bombers claimed only one probable. The fighters downed 8 German fighters with a loss of 9 of their own.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Nine 323rd crews were briefed and took part in a mission against Wilhelmshaven, Germany, where large submarine and shipping facilities are located. Two ships aborted, that is, they failed to go over the target. One due to mechanical difficulty and the other, being late in taking off, was unable to catch the formation. Enemy opposition was slight, either from weakness at that point or for fear 323rd guns and the fighter escort which went along to deal with them in case they did start a fight.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Bomb Load: 42x47 - 21x47 Inc. Bombing Altitude: 29,500. Bombing Results: Unobserved - 10/10 undercast. Time: Take off 0840. Target 1125. Ar. Base 1437. A/A Fire: Meager to moderate and accurate following fire at the target. A/C 333 suffered major flak damage. The excellent fighter support all along the route seemed to be the highlight of this mission.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Brunswick Aircraft Components Factory. 10/10ths undercast. Bombing results unobserved. Thirty to fifty E/A attacked. Air to air bombing was reported and parachute bombs were described dropping ineffectively from enemy aircraft. Anti-Aircraft fire was meager to moderate and inaccurate. Soupy weather undoubtedly was the major factor in preventing good fighter support.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Mission to Wilhelmshaven, Germany. Wilhelmshaven: Unobserved due to 10/10 clouds. This group bombed on PFF. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None encountered. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Crews unanimous, praised their Fighter Support, some saying that it was best so far. P-47's, P-38's and P-51's came in as briefed. Good, close cover maintained all along route, in and out, and excellent area cover was afforded at the target. Meager, inaccurate AA fire was reported from vicinity of Eigmond. Bursts were black with a few white puffs. At the target, AA fire was meager and extremely accurate. Tracking fire used thru overcast.
Aircraft: B-17F (#42-30732). Organization: 534BS / 381BG of Ridgewell, Essex. Pilot: Hytinen, Harold R. Notes: crash landing. Location: Alconbury, Cambridgeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24D (#41-24192). Organization: 328BS / 93BG of Hardwick, Norfolk. Pilot: Roberts, Robert W. Notes: killed in landing accident. Location: Hardwick, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-24H (#41-28641). Organization: 732BS / 453BG of Old Buckenham, Norfolk. Pilot: Turner, John R. Notes: missing in service [often a macr]. Location: Old Buckenham, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-74640). Organization: 370FS / 359FG of East Wretham, Norfolk. Pilot: Hipsher, Charles W. Notes: crashed out of gas. Location: RAF Oulton/Sta 2 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75450). Organization: 487FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk. Pilot: Ellison, Charles E. Notes: crash belly landing out of gas. Location: Calthorpe, N Aylsham England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-7938). Organization: 62FS / 56FG of Debden, Essex. Pilot: Fields, James E. Notes: crashed belly landing. Location: Halesworth/ 5mi E England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-6521*). Organization: 311FRS / 27ATG of . Pilot: Bos, John H. Notes: killed in a crash. Location: Renfrow Scotland. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Mission "8th AF Fighter Command Fighter Operation 233" Fighter support for 8th AF 206 February 03, 1944
Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman