Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews, USAAF, assumes command of the European Theater of Operations, US Army.
VIII Bomber Command Mission 33: 65 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 21 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the Hamm, Germany marshaling yards. The B-24s turn back before hitting the Dutch coast when the temperature drops below the lowest limit of the thermometers (-40 degrees C). Heavy clouds cover Hamm so three of four B-17 groups (39 B-17s) attack the marshaling yard, port area and industries in Emden, Germany between 1200 and 1215 hours local dropping 92.25 tons of bombs. We claim 25 enemy fighters destroyed, 8 probably destroyed and 6 damaged; 5 B-17s are lost; human casualties are 17 WIA and 50 MIA. Bombers are opposed for the first time by Ju 88 and Me 110 twin-engine fighters. The 4th Fighter Group dispatches 21 Spitfire Mk Vs on uneventful fighter patrols and an air-sea rescue search.
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: Industrial Targets NW of Osnabruck, Germany Crews Dispatched: 13 (358BS - 4, 359th - 4, 360th - 1, 427th - 3). Crews Lost: Capt. Cole - 3 KIA, 6 POW, 1 WIA/POW/DOW Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 1 WIA. Length of Mission: 5 hours plus. Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lbs M43. Bombing Altitude: 19,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 20,991 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 8 Destroyed, 1 Probable, 2 Damaged.
The primary target was the Hamm, Germany, marshalling yards; secondary, Osnabruck, Germany marshalling yards; and last resort, any industrial plant. Fourteen aircraft prepared for take-off. B-17 #42-2973 failed to take off because of brake failure. Thirteen B-17s took off between 0902 and 0910. Six aircraft aborted the mission.
Six aircraft reached the target area and found 8/10 to 10/10 cloud cover and poor visibility at 21,000 feet. The last resort target was bombed by five aircraft with 15 tons of 500 lb. bombs. No results could be observed. Slight to heavy intense black flak was encountered at unidentified points. Temperatures over the target were -40E centigrade-- the limit of the B-17's thermometer.
Twenty-five to fifty enemy aircraft were observed: single-engine ME-109s and FW- 190s and, for the first time, twin-engine ME-110s and JU-88s. There were five to twenty encounters over the mainland and far out to sea. Eight aircraft were claimed as destroyed, one as a probable, and two damaged. Eight crewmen were injured--five from frostbite and three from enemy machine gun and flak fire. None were hospitalized.
There was one aircraft lost. B-17F #41-24569, Memphis Tot, 427BS-V, was last seen turning out of formation somewhere near Leeuwarden. Badly damaged, the B-17 ditched in the Zuider Zee off the coast of the Netherlands.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306th Bomb Group Mission Report TARGET
Hamm, Germany marshalling yards
INFORMATION IN DETAIL
17 A/C - no aborts. One A/C landed at Bungay due to engine out and prop malfunction.
RESULTS OF BOMBING
Bombed on lead plane into clouds. Primary, Secondary and Last Resort: 1153 - 1207 from 21000 ft
9/10 clouds and smoke screen at target prevented observing results.
Overcast, target appeared to be railroad yard.
Primary overcast; secondary had a few breaks in clouds.
Reber reported forecast poor.
Slight and inaccurate flak continuously over continent.
ENCOUNTERS AND CLAIMS
50 single-engine and 10 twin-engine fighters
Maliszewski ball turret gunner Bowles frozen hands - in hospital
Hennessey ball turret gunner froze hands and feet - in hospital.
Crews saw B-17 spinning straight down about 10 minutes before target abt 1156
Lambert report 3 B-17s hit: 1 at 1140 near Osnabruck went down in spin; 1 hit near bomb release point; 1 going down with fighters on him near coast on way out - prob in water
Malszewski saw convoy of ships off Dutch coast; #2, #3 superchargers did not work
Hennessey: both nose guns out (bad adapter); one tail gun out; ball turret gun out; oxygen out on Bombardier
Reber: right nose gun blew up.
Lambert: bomb racks faulty; electric uit shorted and burned gunners foot.
Harwood: waist gunners feet frozen; #3 engine blew cylinder over target, feathered at English coast; ball turret gunner hip burn from suit.
Seelos reported no navigator in A/C; top turret, nose, waist guns out; elevator and rudder frozen solid all way in and out; ammunition corroded; electric gloves and boots bad.
Gilloogly: bomb bay doors wouldn't close - had to hand crank.
Terry: left bomb racks failed to release; salvoed; gun stoppages from corroded ammunition.
Smith noted: poor idea going over in doubtful weather
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
44BG Mission Report - Another mission to Hamm was recalled due to the extremely inclement weather that again froze too many machine guns and masks.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Five ships of 323rd squadron, piloted by Capt. Bishop, Lt.s Birdsong, McCarty, Bobrow and Ellis took part in a mission against the Hamm Marshaling Yards. Due to weather conditions alternative target of Emden was bombed. Ships were loaded with ten five hundred pound general-purpose bombs. Results of bombing considered good. Heavy enemy flak encountered. Numerous enemy fighters engaged us. Two of our ships and their crews did not return.
Believed missing as result of enemy fighter activity. Crews missing - ship 544, Pilot, Lt. Bobrow; Copilot, Lt. Saunders; Nav., Lt. Clinard; Bombardier, Lt. Andrews; Engineer T/Sgt. Bass; Asst. Engineer, T/Sgt. Wheeler; Radio Op., T/Sgt. Curb; Asst. Radio S/Sgt. Fredricks; Tail Gunner, Sgt. E. R. Campbell; Utility Gunner, Sgt. Blackburn. Ship 589, Pilot, Lt. Ellis; Copilot, Lt. Futch; Nav. Lt. Dunham; Bombardier, Lt. Biseker; T/Sgt. Demars; Asst. Engineer, S/Sgt. Gaeta; Radio S/Sgt. LaMedica; Asst. Radio Op. S/Sgt. Floyd; Tail Gunner, S/Sgt. Howard; Utility Gunner, Sgt. Mastrobaradino. S/Sgt. Hatch was wounded in action.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Group dispatched 17 A/C to attack yards at Hamm, Germany with 10/500 bombs. Take off was at 08:30 hours. 10/10 cloud was found at target and Emden was attacked through 8/10. Results could not be observed. Lt. William Beasely, with ball turret out turned back at Dutch coast and attacked enemy convoy. At 1103 hours other ships were attacked by 75-80 E/A for one hour and fifteen minutes, flak was moderately heavy and accurate. Group lost two A/C of 323rd Squadron, Lt. Ellis #589 Lt. Bogrow #544 both over Germany. Group credited with 5 E/A destroyed 2 probable. Of these S/Sgt E. Hale T.T.G. of Lt. Genheimer ship #497 was credited with destroying ME-109. Lt. Felton flying #3 position with Ellis and Bogrow had his control cables almost severed but his crew held them together until they were spliced. All 322nd returned safely.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Primary Hamm not attacked. Last resort at Emden attacked. Bombs into town but results unobserved. One A/C dropped on convoy near Zuider Zee scoring near misses.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Squadron supplied two aircraft for this mission. Hits in town and port area. Intense heavy flak at target. 70 to 80 E/A attacked Group formation for one hour and 15 minutes. Attacks were vicious and from all angles. S/ Sgt. J. W. Clifton wounded in back of head and right cheek, not seriously however.