Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 247: 502 B-17s are dispatched to hit industrial areas in the suburbs of Berlin; bad weather forces aircraft to either turn back or hit targets of opportunity and only 1 wing attacks the primary target and a total of 249 bomb. 15 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 120 damaged; casualties are 3 KIA, 11 WIA and 141 MIA. Targets: 100 hit Bonn, 35 hit Cologne, 33 hit Dusseldorf, 30 hit Berlin/Klein Machnow, 7 hit Frankfurt and 33 hit other targets of opportunity. B-24s were also dispatched but abort because of the weather. Escort is provided by 86 P-38s, 563 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 121 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; 24 fighters were lost. Details are: 1. P-38s: 4 lost, 2 damaged beyond repair, 1 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 4 MIA. 2. P-47s claim 3-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 4 P-47s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; casualties are 3 MIA. 3. P-51s claim 5-2-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 16 MIA.
CARPETBAGGER operations are flown during the night of 4/5 Mar.
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: Bonn and Ko?ln, Germany. Crews Dispatched: 27 (358BS - 6, 359th - 7, 360th - 7, 427th - 8). Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 6 crewmen were frostbitten. Length of Mission: 5 hours, 40 minutes. Bomb Load: "A" - 10 x 500 G.P.; "B" - M47A1 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitudes: "A" - 26,700 ft; "B" - 24,800 ft. Ammo Fired: 1,070 rounds.
Seventeen 303BG-A main formation B-17s and ten 360BS B-17s flying with the High Squadron of the 305/303BG Composite Group took off. Five aircraft aborted. Fourteen 303BG Main "A" Group aircraft dropped 140 500-lb. G.P. bombs on a target of opportunity believed to be Ko?ln (Cologne). Six 360BS B-17s dropped 252 M47A1 incendiary bombs on a target of opportunity believed to be Ko?ln or Bonn. Both Groups dropped on the PFF aircraft and bombing results could not be observed through the overcast. Bombs were dropped from 26,500 and 25,000 feet.
Flak was moderate to intense and accurate. Fifteen B-17s suffered flak damage. Four enemy aircraft were seen, but there were no attacks on the 303rd BG(H) formations. Six crewmen suffered frostbite. All aircraft returned safely. Good fighter support was furnished.
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 71. Primary Target: Industry - Berlin, Germany, Target Attacked : Target of Opportunity (Visual): City - Bonn, Germany
22 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 12. Failed To Return - 3. Aborted - 7 42-31364 West, George B - Aborted at 1035 hrs; a/c took off late and was unable to locate the grp formation due to poor visibility 42-31495 Foster, James E - Aborted at 1018 hrs b/c #2 & #3 engines were running rough, were smoking and detonating; tack and manifold pressure oscillated 42-31606 Lovvorn, Hollie Ray - Failed to Return LSqLd; MIA; left formation at 1156 hrs right after bombs away going down under control, apparently in good condition and covered by friendly fighters; flak, cr Bonn; MACR 2739. 42-32007 Cosentino, George (NMI) - Failed to Return - MIA; in formation at bomb release at 1157 hrs; flak, cr Ransart, Bel; MACR 2740 42-37792 Pryor, Raymond T - Aborted at 1010 hrs b/c engineer was knocked out while fixing the ball turret; when azimuth power switch was released, it caused the turret to swing around and hit the engineer in the head; he was taken to Thrapston Hospital for observation; 10x500GP rtd to base 42-37801 Smith, Roger Clement - Aborted at 0955 hrs; oxygen failure; dropped from 350 lbs to 250 lbs in 30 mins without use; BL ret. 42-38014 Jorgenson, Henry (NMI) - Aborted at 1010 hrs b/c fuel transfer pump was inoperative 42-38112 Thompson, Siguard (NMI) - Aborted at 1048 hrs b/c #1, #2, & #3 engines were smoking very badly after piling excessive manifold pressure for 30 minutes; a/c was vibrating very badly; 10x500GP and one smoke bomb rtd to base 42-39991 Carpenter, Walter Richard - Failed to Return - MIA; was seen in formation at bombs away; at 1202 a/c peeled off and left formation under control; all engines were running, but one may have been hit by flak; last seen going down still under control; flak, cr Lahr, Ger; MACR 2741 42-97449 Daskey, Kendall (NMI) - Aborted at 1007 hrs (Clacton); oxygen failure; filler line on ball turret was torn off; BL ret.
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - On this mission, the 388th furnished one Group plus the lead and low squadrons of the Composite Group. The 452nd Bomb Group furnished the high squadron in the Composite Group.
32 a/c plus one PFF a/c took-off by 0850 hours with 12 a/c aborting because of weather or mechanical reasons. Formations were effected with difficulty again due to the weather conditions. The PFF a/c aborted just before reaching the enemy Coast and the Composite Group took over the lead of the 45th Combat Wing. The mission was aborted at 1158 hours at 24,000 feet near Koblenz, Germany. Lt. Kiersted and Lt. Ranton left the formation and returned alone and were attacked by enemy a/c, one of which was destroyed by our gunners.
All remaining a/c returned to base by 1443 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Target: Erkner. The following crews of the 613th participated in this mission: Stann, Stelzer, Scharff, Vokaty, Sharp, Livingstone, Shotts. On this operation the formation encountered a front shortly after arriving in enemy territory. The front extended up to 25,000 feet and at the order of the Division Air Commander the formation started a search for a target of opportunity. Cologne was selected and bombing was done by Pathfinder methods. Moderate flak which was fairly accurate was encountered at the target, however no enemy aircraft were observed throughout the mission. All crews returned safely.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - Because the first attempt to bomb the ball bearing works at Erkner had failed on the previous day, a second attempt was to be made on the 4th. The mission was led by Lt. Col. A. Brooks and 33 aircraft of the Group furnished the Lead Box of the 94th Wing and the Lead and Low Squadrons of the High Box of the same formation. On this second attempt the formation encountered a front shortly after arriving in enemy territory that extended up to 25,000 It. The Division Air Commander gave orders for the formation to search for a target of opportunity and they selected Cologne, bombing it by PFF methods. Moderate flak was encountered at the target but no enemy aircraft were observed. Seven crews from the 614th were: Weber, Wilson, Shaw, Smith, Chapman, Stine, Stimson.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - PFF aircraft to lead the mission on this Saturday morning came into Deenethorpe at 0300 hrs, the lead crew always having a special briefing half an hour before the normal crew briefing. 35 crews were then briefed at 0430 hrs with 33 aircraft eventually taking off at 0918 hrs an even longer time than usual between briefing and take-off. The 401st put up the Lead Box and the Low Squadron in a Composite Combat Wing with Lt. Col. A. Brooks as Air Commander. The briefed target was again Berlin, with the 401st assigned MPI at Erkner but a front extending up to 25,000 feet used up a lot of oxygen and gas so the Divisional Commander abandoned the mission to Erkner and bombed Cologne by PFF. Over 1,000,000 leaflets were also dropped on Cologne. The 615th, flying the High Squadron, put up the following crews: Gould, Dempsey, Trimble, Campbell, Kolb, Post.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
source: 457 Bomb Group http://www.457thbombgroup.org
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Berlin, Germany was again the target, but due to unfavorable weather conditions, the bombing was not considered successful. Seven ships from 323rd squadron participated - all returned safely. Two of them failed to reach the target area, one of which did not get far enough into enemy territory to be allowed credit for a sortie.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Raid on Germany. Adverse weather forced abandonment of attack on primary and secondary targets, which were in the Berlin area. Seven 323rd A/C dropped bombs on targets of opportunity believed to be Cologne at 1245 hours from altitudes of 23,000 to 27,000 feet. A/C 610 (324th ship) was late in taking off and could not catch our formation. The formation he joined turned back at 1045. No E/A were seen. No claims were made. Fighter support was very good on the way in and as
long as the formation proceeded on the briefed route.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: City of Cologne ( Last resort ) For the second day in a row, weather forced the cancellation 324th attack on Berlin and causes our A/C to bomb Cologne with results unobserved. The 3 Division managed to reach Berlin and dropped the first American bombs on rd the German Capital. Enemy opposition for our A/C was nil.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Mission to Cologne, Germany. Note: Adverse weather conditions forced abandonment of attack on briefed targets in Berlin Area. However, bombing was carried out on Target of Opportunity believed to be Cologne. Unobserved due to 10/10 undercast. Bombed target of opportunity with PFF. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: None sighted. FIGHTER ESCORT: Support was good all the way in and as long as the formation proceeded on course. Some crews reported seeing an occasional friendly fighter on the return journey. At the target, both black and white bursts were reported as intense and rather accurate.
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31155). Organization: 711BS / 447BG of Rattlesden, Suffolk. Pilot: Anderson, James M. Notes: forced landing due to engine failure. Location: Friston England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-17G (#42-31187). Organization: 401FS / 91BG of Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Garrett, Donald W. Notes: forced landing. Location: Newmarket/nr England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: B-26B (#41-34893). Organization: 311FTS / 27ATG of Prestwick, Scotland. Pilot: Creech, Burl L. Notes: killed in crashed on take off. Location: Maghaberry, Northern Ireland England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-38J (#42-67279). Organization: 338FS / 55FG of Nuthampstead, Hertfordshire. Pilot: Bone, Howard J. Notes: killed in a crash. Location: Anstey/ 1mi SE Sta 131 England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-74643). Organization: 63FS / 56FG of Halesworth, Suffolk. Pilot: . Notes: take off accident. Location: Halesworth, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75121). Organization: 61FS / 56FG of Halesworth, Suffolk. Pilot: Smith, Leslie C. Notes: take off accident. Location: Halesworth, Suffolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 2 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-47D (#42-75152). Organization: 376FS / 361FG of Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire. Pilot: Lane, Howard A. Notes: crash landing. Location: Bottisham, Cambrdigeshire England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 4 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-6569). Organization: 486FS / 352FG of Bodney, Norfolk. Pilot: Corcoran, Martin E. Notes: crash landing. Location: Bodney, Norfolk England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-6770). Organization: 335FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex. Pilot: Schlegel, Albert L. Notes: landing accident. Location: Debden, Essex England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 3 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Aircraft: P-51B (#43-6786). Organization: 336FS / 4FG of Debden, Essex. Pilot: Richards, Robert H. Notes: killed in a forced landing explosion. Location: Framlingham/ 5mi W England. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5 source: Aviation Archaeology http://www.aviationarchaeology.com/
Mission "8th AF Fighter Command Fighter Operation 260" Fighter support for 8th AF 247 March 04, 1944
Primary source for mission statistics: Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger A. Freeman