Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Missions 237, 238 and 239 are flown today against targets in France; 7 B-17s are lost. Heavy clouds cause over half the bombers dispatched to return without bombing.
Mission 237: 49 of 81 B-24s hit the Ecalles sur Buchy V-weapon sites; 1 B-24 is damaged. Escort is provided by 61 P-47s.
Mission 238: 258 B-17s are dispatched against V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais; 109 hit the primary target, 10 hit a road junction E of Yerville, 7 hit a rail siding SW of Abbeville and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-17s are lost and 75 damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 63 MIA. Escort is provided by 81 P-38s, 94 P-47s and 22 P-51s; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-51s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.
Mission 239: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Amiens, Rennes, Paris, Rouen and Le Mans, France at 2023-2055 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,
303BG Mission Report - Target: Bois/Coqueral--"Crossbow" Targets (V-2 Rocket Sites). Crews Dispatched: 23 (358BS - 5, 359th - 7, 360th - 4, 427th - 7). Crews Lost: 1Lt. Shoup crew - 7 KIA, 2 EVD, 1 POW. Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 3 crewmen wounded. Length of Mission: 4 hours, 45 minutes. Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 14,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,160 rounds.
Twenty-three aircraft were airborne and dispatched. Each Group was ordered to fly alone and Squadrons were directed to bomb individually against the missile launching sites. Fighter support was excellent and gave complete area coverage over enemy territory. No enemy aircraft were seen.
Over France, there were 6/10 to 8/10 low clouds, with the base at 2,500 feet and tops at 7,000 feet. Visibility was only one to two miles in haze. The target was reached at approximately 1500 hours and because of the time and position of the sun, there were deceiving, long ground shadows.
The High Squadron dropped 96 500-lb. bombs from 14,000 feet. One aircraft that took off late flew and bombed with the 379BG. The lead and low Squadrons (13 aircraft) failed to bomb when weather prevented them from seeing the target. The Lead Squadron made nine bomb runs–the low and high two.
Anti-aircraft fire was encountered for almost the entire time that the Group was over enemy territory. Flak over the target area was intense and extremely accurate at the low altitude flown. Two Group aircraft suffered major flak damage and fourteen minor damage. Three crewmen were wounded by flak.
#42-5306 (No Name) was lost just after the Group's second bomb run. The right wing came off after being hit by flak and the aircraft went down in a slow spiral. The nose broke off while the aircraft was spinning, ejecting 2Lt. Byron F. Clark and 1Lt. Charles J. McClain. S/Sgt. Nick Asvestos went out the waist gun window. The rest all died in the crash near Translay, 13 kilometers southwest of Abbeville, France.
Sixteen aircraft sustained flak damage, two major and fourteen minor.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 68. Primary Target: V-1 Site - Preuseville, France. 42-31058 Rinne, Austin Dean - Failed to Return - MIA; Went down in Fr between IP and target w one engine smoking badly and in flames; no flak or fighters encountered up to that point; ten chutes seen; one did not open; a/c seen to hit ground; cr Forges-les-Laux, Fr; MACR 2937
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Noball target
The failure of both GH planes caused the mission to be scrubbed
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 1100 hours. The target was Noball No. 74 (Bois de la Justice) in the Pas de Calais. General Purpose bombs were the weapons for the day. Take off started at 1330 hours and the Group achieved the planned bombing altitude of 12,000 feet as the 447th reached the French coast. Two crews from the 447th were lost, Lt. C.W. Harris crew from the 709th and Lt. R.E. Fouts crew from the 711th. Both went down due to fighter attack. The First Division had 85 planes effective out of 134 ships dispatched. The Second Division dispatched 81 planes with only 49 effective. The first plane landed back at Rattlesden at 1630 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
Notes: Target list incomplete; A/C numbers approximate