Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 208: 589 B-17s and 159 B-24s are dispatched to attack industry and railroad yards at Frankfurt/Main, Germany; 346 B-17s and 27 B-24s hit the target; due to weather and navigational problems, 122 B-17s hit Giessen, 51 B-17s hit Wiesbaden, 17 B-24s hit the Trier area, 15 B-24s hit the Arloff area, 2 B-24s hit the Russelheim area, 1 B-24 hits Grafenhausen, 1 B-24 hits Darmstadt, 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 hit Koblenz and 26 B-24s and 23 B-17s hit unknown targets; they claim 4-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 18 B-17s and 2 B-24s are lost, 2 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 359 aircraft are damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 20 WIA and 203 MIA. Escort is provided by 56 P-38s, 537 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 44 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 8-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 is lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-38s and 4 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 1 MIA.
Mission 209: 7 of 7 B-17s drop 319 bundles of leaflets on Lorient, Tours, Nantes, Raismes, Lille and Cambrai, France and Antwerp, Belgium at 2102-2132 hours without loss.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
source: 100th Bomb Group web page http://www.100thbg.com/
303BG Mission Report - Target: City area, Frankfurt, Germany (PFF Bombing). Crews Dispatched: 38 (358BS - 7, 359th - 11, 360th - 10, 427th - 10). Crewmembers Lost or Wounded: 3 crewmen experienced frostbite. Length of Mission: 7 hours, 15 minutes. Bomb Load: 21 & 42 65 lb M47A1 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: A Group, 25,000 ft; B Group, 24,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 5,620 rounds.
The Continent had 8/10 to 10/10 cloud cover with light non-persistent contrails above 22,000 feet. Sixty-five-lb. M47A1 incendiary bombs were dropped from 25,000 feet by PFF. Aircraft with bomb bay tanks carried 21 bombs, all other aircraft carried 42 bombs. Flak was moderate to intense, both enroute and at the target. Thirteen aircraft in each Group suffered flak damage. Very few enemy aircraft were seen, and those observed were at a distance too great to be identified. Friendly fighter support was not seen until after the bomb run, when fighters provided good coverage. Three men suffered frostbite, one of which was severe. There were no losses.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
351BG Mission Report - 23 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 58. Primary Target: Alfred Taves Main Works: Aircraft Parts Plant - Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (PFF)
38 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 30. Aborted - 8 42-3087 Jorgenson, Henry (NMI) - aborted at 1108 hrs b/c #2 supercharger surged and ran away and was uncontrollable; bombs rtd 42-29554 Lovell, James MacNaughton - aborted at 1029 hrs b/c there was no boost on #3 supercharger, #4 supercharger ran away, and #3 engine was smoking; rtd bombs 42-29809 Heffley, Farris Ormond - aborted as 1014 hrs b/c #2 and #4 superchargers were uncontrollable; 21 M47A1 rtd 42-30026 Clayton, John E - aborted at 1035 hrs b/c #2 prop and supercharger ran away at altitude; rtd bombs 42-37776 Wilson, William M - aborted at 1113 hrs b/c #2 supercharger went wild at 26,000ft at 1015 hrs and #2 prop fluctuated, so that #3 engine began to deteriorate and vibrate badly; 42x100GP jettisoned in Channel 42-37801 LaSeur, William Veryle - Aborted at 1055 due to uncontrollable #2 supercharger 42-37848 Knapp, Paul B - aborted at 1044 just off The Naze b/c #2 and #3 engines were smoking and the gas mixture was set too rich; rtd bombs 42-37974 Ashcraft, Archie B - aborted at 1105 hrs b/c all four superchargers (electronic) were not giving the required pressure; bombs rtd 42-39809 Bennett, Phillip N - carried and dropped Nickles as well as incendiaries
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - For this mission the 388th furnished two Groups plus 2 a/c which flew with the 96th Bomb Group. The "A" Group was lead in the 45th "A" Combat Wing with the "B" Group flying as low Group in the same formation. Our a/c flying with the 96th BG, flew in the high squadron of their "B" Group which was the low Group in the 45th "B" Combat Wing. The 45th Combat Wing was the first Wing of the 3rd Air Division which followed the 1st Division over the target. The 2nd Air Division attacked Russelsheim.
The 452nd Bomb Group, the new Group in the 45th Combat Wing, was assigned a military installation in Northern France for its first mission.
19 a/c plus 2 PFF a/c of the "A" Group and 20 a/c of the "B" Group took-off between 0827 and 0855 hours. 3 a/c from "A" Group and 1 a/c from "B" Group aborted for mechanical reasons. Lt. Land in a/c #907, which was to have flown with the 96th Bomb Group, also aborted due to mechanical reasons and landed at Great Ashfield at 1043 hours.
The remaining a/c effected formations without difficulty and followed the briefed route to the target. Just before the IP the PFF a/c which was leading the "A"' Group encountered trouble with #1 enginethe prop would not feather and eventually froze, a malfunction of the bomb bay doors prevented them from opening, and the PFF equipment went out. The deputy PFF a/c then took the lead. Due to the above problems, the formation passed Frankfurt, then made a 180 degree turn to the left, coming back on a heading of 312 degrees for three minutes before releasing its bombs. Bombs were away at 1207 hours from 23,000 feet. The lead PFF a/c (Col. David) then dropped out of the formation and returned alone. The lead navigators are of the opinion that Frankfurt was not bombed but Giessen, a city of 43,000 population, which is 20 miles north of Frankfurt.
Intense flak was encountered at several points. At Koblenz, flak was moderate, Frankfurt, moderate to intense and the Ruhr Valley-Bonn-Cologne area was intense and accurate. 33 of our a/c suffered flak damage.
Neither of our Groups were attacked by enemy fighters. Two single engine a/c were seen to attack straggling B-17's without success.
Lt. Moretti, suffered minor face injuries from flak, 1 A/C is missing. Lt. Montgomery, who left the formation shortly after bombs away because of engine trouble, landed at Manston and all crew members are safe. The rest of our A/C returned to base by 1507 hours.
Lt. DeJean, in A/C 42-31781, received a direct hit of flak on the right wing just before bombs away causing the right aileron and stabilizer to be blown off. The plane flipped on its back and went down with right wing in flame and disappeared in the clouds at 16,000 feet.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - On 4th February the Squadron was dispatched on a mission to Frankfurt, Germany. The Group was Lead Box of the Wing and the Squadron flew as the High Squadron in the Group formation. Visual bombing was not done due to 8/10's to 10/10's undercast, consequently the results could not be observed. No enemy air opposition was encountered but moderate to intense flak persisted at the target area
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - An engineering works at Frankfurt, Germany, was the target on this mission, and was led by Major A. Brooks. Owing to 8/10ths to 10/10ths undercast visual bombing was not possible so a PFF run was made. No results were observed and no enemy air opposition was met. On the other hand the flak encountered was moderate to intense in the target area and the Group was tracked by it for about 30 minutes. The Group was the Lead Box of the Wing formation. All the crews returned safely, and were: Stine Davies Walsh C.E. Wilson Cammack Stimson Chapman Zitkovic.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - This was a major 8th A.F. attack on Frankfurt with the three Air Divisions putting up 748 aircraft with a cover of 637 escorting fighters. The 401st's 6~are in this raid was 31 B-17's under the command of Major W.T. Seawell. Again the weather was very bad with 10/10th's overcast over the target. Before reaching the target the PFF ship leading the 401st aborted, so the Group carried on and began dropping their bombs intermittently over the general area of the target. The Group Bombardier, Capt. A.C. Kuenning, waited until they got into a flak area, which they guessed was somewhere in "Happy Valley", and then let them go. Lt. C.A. Lewis, the pilot of Major Seawell's aircraft, found himself on his own and joined another Wing, only to find that they were heading right up the Ruhr Valley, which was no doubt the heaviest flak belt in the world at that time. It was about half an hour before they were free of the flak and heading for home. The 615th loading list was as follows: 42-31091 Dempsey, 42-31069 Wysocki, 42-31485 Lewis, 42-37833 Rumsey, 42-37843 Christensen, 42-40002 Gardner, 42-31037 Grinham.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
A total of 841 bombers from 15 combat wings dropped more than 900 tons on the Frankfurt area. Heavy overcast and winds made navigation difficult. Because of this, many planes bombed on targets of opportunity. Black Widow (42-7542) was shot down by fighters, with 5 crewmen killed and 5 taken prisoner. One of the crewmen was not killed by the crash, but was machine-gunned by a fighter pilot while parachuting.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Frankfurt, Germany was the object of attack once more. This target had been high on our list for several days. Perhaps fate decided this as its day to be plastered by our bombers for all in 323rd squadron went over the target and dropped their bombs with fairly good results. Very little enemy opposition was encountered except for flak coming up around the target area. It did very little damage to our ships and none to personnel. In the past, this has been known as a "rough one" due to enemy fighters in that area, but now it seems to a lot of the men as a sort of "milk run" mission.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Frankfurt, Germany. Bomb Load: 12x500 and 6x500. Bombing Altitude: 25,000. Bombing Results: Unobserved, 10/10 undercast. Time: Take off 0810. Target 1205. Ar. Base 1500. A/A Fire: Meager to moderate and inaccurate at target. Intense flak encountered over the Ruhr. A/C 634 was hit in tail assembly by escape hatch of lead A/C. A/C 815 aborted due to fuel transfer failure. A/C 996 aborted due to #3 engine failure. Lt. Col. Alford in lead PFF A/C failed to return. The entire group feels the loss of a fine leader.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Frankfurt Center of Industrial area. This was the second heavy daylight attack on Frankfurt within a week. Over 800 bombers attacked. Enemy fighter opposition weak, but cross winds forced bombers to fly over flak concentrations with some casualties and considerable battle damage resulting. Bombing results were unobserved, dropping through 10/10 undercast on P.F.F. A/C 771 was last seen under control near Antwerp. No information on 803. Lt.Col. Alford and Capt. Williams (Group Op. Officer and Gp. Nav. Officer) missing on P.F.F. ship which was seen in distress but under control just West of Rhur.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Mission to Frankfurt, Germany. Frankfurt: Unobserved, dropped on PFF. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None encountered. FIGHTER SUPPORT: Good, enroute to the target and over the target. Lack of fighter support on the way back was due, undoubtedly, to variation in the route. Enroute to target, meager, inaccurate AA fire reported from vicinities of Gilze Rijen and Tilburg. Meager, accurate AA fire was reported from vicinities of Roermond, Aachen, and Duron. AA fire at the target was meager to moderate and inaccurate for our aircraft.. On the return journey, meager, inaccurate AA fire was reported from the vicinities of Hochheim, Koblenz and Aachen. From this point our formations flew directly over the Ruhr, encountering an intense barrage plus continuous tracking fire. 10 Men Missing in Action. MIA: A/C 771. No definite information about A/C 771, except that it was last seen near Antwerp, apparently in no distress but flak in vicinity.