Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 282: Airfields in France are attacked by 701 bombers. 285 of 290 B-17s hit the following airfields: St Jean D/Angely (55), La Rochell/La Leu (59), Chartres (60), Tours/Parcay Meslay Air Depot (74), Usine Liotard Air Depot (35) and targets of opportunity (2); 1 B-17 is lost and 37 damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 10 MIA. 248 of 256 B-17s hit the following airfields: Bordeaux/Merignac (123), Cayeux (118) and Chartres (7); 2 B-17s are lost and 51 damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 2 WIA and 20 MIA. All 168 B-24s hit the following airfields: Pau/Ont Long (72), Biarritz (49) and Mont de Marsan (47); 3 B-24s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 18 damaged; casualties are 20 KIA, 1 WIA and 31 MIA.
Escort is provided by 132 P-38s, 706 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 122 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; results are: P-38s: 2 lost and 1 damaged beyond repair; 2 pilots are MIA. P-47s claim 6-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-47s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 5 are MIA. P-51s claim 2-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 30-1-11 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
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: Chartres Airdrome, France. Crews Dispatched: 26 (358BS - 8, 359th - 6, 360th - 7, 427th - 7). Length of Mission: 5 hours, 10 minutes. Bomb Load: 13 x 500 lb G.P. bombs. Bombing Altitude: 18,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 390 rounds.
Twenty-eight aircraft, including two spares, took off to bomb the Chartres, France, Airdrome, an important assembly and repair depot for German fighters. Twenty B- 17s, plus two spares, flew as the lead Group of the 41 CBW and as the lead for the 1st Bomb Division. Six aircraft of the 359BS flew as the lead Squadron of the 41st CBW High Group. There were no abortions. The two spares returned early as ordered.
The aircraft experienced good visibility until the bombs dropped–a cloud drifted over the edge of the air field before the bombs hit the ground. Twenty-six aircraft dropped 336 500-lb. H.E. M43 G.P. bombs from 18,000 and 19,000 feet. Flak over the city of Chartres was meager and inaccurate, but became accurate over the airdrome target. No enemy aircraft were seen. Friendly fighter support was generally reported as good, but not up to the high standard of some recent missions. Two men were wounded. One aircraft received minor flak damage and nine major damage. No chaff was dropped.
The mission's highlight was the completion of the 75th mission of #41-24605 Knockout Dropper -- an 8th Air Force record. Pilot 1Lt. John N. Savage said the ship flew as well as any other ship he had flown. The Knockout Dropper received two small holes from flak.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 39 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - For this mission, which was visual, the 388th furnished the "A" Group and 10 A/C for the Composite "B" Group, (lead squadron and lead element of the low squadron).
10 A/C of the Composite Group took-off at 0954 hours and the 21 A/C of the "A" Group at 1019 hours. None of these planes aborted. The briefed course was followed and bombs were away from "A" Group at 1452 hours from 20,900 feet, and from the "B" Group at 1453 hours from 20,000 feet. Strike photos show that the bombs hit in the main MPI in the hanger area and fuel dump. Many fires were seen.
No enemy fighters were seen. Meager flak was over the Target area, and from flak boats in the mouth of the Girende River.
Lt. Lederman in a/c 42-30207 "Big Red", flying in the high squadron, caught fire in the radio room at 1338 hours just before the target. This a/c left the formation, circled and finally went into a steep dive. Just before the fire was seen, a red flare was fired. Six chutes were seen. The plane crashed 20 miles N.W. of Roche Sur You, France.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report Pau, France - damn near to Spain - 10 miles. Nice trip but we had a hell of a time getting formed. Joined K Group - very poor formation so we joined J Group. Nose gunner sick so Bill had to go in turret. I salvoed the bombs as toggle switch didnt work. The J group carried 500 pounders and we carried 52 x 100 pounder incendiaries, which of course hit right after the demolition bombs. Hit the target, which was a large group of buildings, and what a splash. Never saw so many fires in all my life - could see gas or ammunition dumps exploding after we left. That airfield wont be used for a long time. When we got to the Oleron Island flak guns opened up on us and knocked lead ship down - 7 chutes got out = all because we were too close to the land instead of off-shore a few more miles. When we got back to England, the whole island was fogged in. We went to Excter in West England, but that was socked in too - saw a small break in clouds and down we went. Landed at a Navy base - good chow. Sure would like to be one of those little Navy heroes. Fly at 2,000, never see any flak or fighters - just fly out over the sea for awhile and then back - do that 50 times and then go back to U. S. Came back to Hethel next day.
source: 389TH BG: Personal Mission Log of Bernard L. Prueher http://www.hrhodes.com/Mission%20Logs/mission.htm
source: 392nd Bomb Group web page http://www.b24.net/missions/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The 613th crews flew as the Low Squadron in the Composite Box and as the High Squadron in the Low Box. The following crews participated: Sharp, Vokaty, Livingstone, Jones, Scharff, Hess, Reigler, Shotts, Locher. Bombing was described as being fair inasmuch as the bombs of one short and the bombs of the other Box were only fair. About four enemy aircraft of the Fw-190 and Me-109 type were encountered. Flak was encountered enroute, however over the target there was none. Flak ranged from meager to moderate and was generally described as being accurate. All aircraft returned safely.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - This was an attack on the airfield at Tours, France, which was part of a general attack by the 8th Air Force on Luftwaffe airfields in France. Major D.E. Silver was the Group Air Commander of the 40 aircraft from the 401st taking part in this mission, eight of them coming from the 614th Squadron. The Group made up the Low and High Box of the 94th Wing. The bombing was described as Ia~r because the bombs of one Box fell short and the result of the other one was only fair. The Group reported seeing four enemy fighters of the single engine type. Flak was meager to moderate and was fairly accurate,but all the aircraft returned safely to base. 31 aircrew members were killed by flak in the 701 B-17's and B-24's over the targets. Crews: Stine, Smith, Ksieniewicz, Dawes, Cammack, Shaw, Kirkhuff, Stimson.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The 8th A.F. sent out 700 B-17's and B-24's to attack airfields in France on its 282nd mission since 17th August 1942. The 401st share was 40 B-17's, the second highest number dispatched to date, and the Air Commander for the Group was the redoubtable Group Operations Officer, Major D.E. Silver - still known as Hi Ho Silver to his many friends. Major Silver led the Low Box in the 94th CBW while the other aircraft formed the Low Box of the 94th Composite CBW. This was an attack on a FW aircraft repair works and crew observations and photo's indicated fair results. Two to four enemy aircraft were encountered with no damage reported. Fighter was observed to be excellent in the target area and during withdrawal. Intermittent flak was observed, good for height and def1ection, en route and during withdrawal from the enemy coast at La Havre. The 615th Squadron had Lt. F.D. Grinham leading the Low Squadron in the 94th CBW Box. The 615th Squadron put up the following crews: Trimble, Campbell, Kaminski, Lozinski, Christensen, Byrd, Lewis, Wysocki, Ferdyn, Post, Knight, Grinham.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Today was one of the longest missions that has been flown by this Group. The target was Mont de Marsan Airdrome located almost on the Spanish border. At this base are stationed long-range reconnaissance German aircraft. The 67th sent 10 planes along with the 44th formation, taking off at 0930 hours, reached the objective and completed the mission. The airdrome was hit visually with bomb loads of 12 x 500 lb bombs and with good results. The A/A fire was moderate and accurate, predictor control, causing the loss of one plane each by the 66th and 67th Squadrons. The 66th A/C #42-109836 piloted by 1st Lt. R.E. Harleman was hit by flak, left formation at 1438 hours with one engine out and under control, but only four men survived. The 67th plane developed engine trouble also and was forced to head for Spain. All members of the crew parachuted to safety and were interned, later to escape. The fighter support was excellent and no enemy aircraft were seen. 67th A/C #41-29554 J Hess, Harold F. 1st Lt. Pilot Terra Haute, Ind. Binswanger, Walter M. 2bd Kt, Co-pilot San Diego, Calif. Peck, Floyd C. 2nd Lt. Navigator Watten, Penna. Fisher, Albert R. Jr. 2nd Lt. Bombardier Hollis, New York Christopher, Anthony J. S/Sgt. Engineer Ipswich, Mass. Black, Peter E. S/Sgt. Radio Oper New Hyde Park, NY. Holladay, Fred R. S/Sgt. LW Gunner Tulsa, Oklahoma Bailey, Clark G. S/Sgt. RW Gunner Linworth, Ohio Bednar, Adam B. Sgt. Ball Tur. Unknown ' Butler, John M. Sgt. Tail Tur. Tifton, Georgia T/Sgt. Kipnes diary adds this to the mission: "Take-off at 0930 after a two hour delay. Target was an enemy training field 65 miles south of Bordeaux. Bomb load was 12 x 500 lb. Left English coast at Beachy Head, cut across the Brest peninsula and flew over the Bay of Biscay until we reached the Pyrenees mountains then turned east into target. Could see Spain as clear as day and the Pyrenees mountains looked like a picture postcard with it's snow capped topping. Very little flak until we hit target - then all hell broke loose. Flak hits all over the ship, but miraculously, no one was hit. "Buttons" had a close call when a piece of flak came through his top turret, hit his intercom-earphone and then buried itself in part of the gun turret. Other ships in our formation were hit even worse. Lt. Hess and crew must have been shot up badly for they left our formation and were last seen heading for Spain. Bombing results were excellent. Our old ship really surprised us as it was her 32nd mission and she performed beautifully. We hope we are still flying her on her 50th mission. (Note: M/Sgt. Frank Chowanski's ship 'Lil Cookie' later became assembly ship for 489th B.G.) We have flown four missions in five days and it is beginning to take its toll. I never thought I could ever feel this tired - I am even too tired to be frightened anymore." The weather back in England was very 'unfavorable' on the return from this mission and a 506th A/C #42-100107 was reported to have crash-landed in Sussex.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0800 hours. The main group of 21 planes were to bomb Merignac, France, an airfield west of Bordeaux located on the south Atlantic coast of France. The remaining aircraft were to bomb an airfield in central France, but due to bad weather they bombed an airfield in Chartres, France. The group going to Merignac had fragmentation bombs and those going to Chartres carried GP bombs. The first group started take off at 0956 hours and the second group started take off at 1020 hours. The bombing altitude was 22,000 feet and the weather was very clear. The target was bombed through heavy flak and on the way home Lt. Gaskell (710th) went down probably due to a hit over the target area. The first Group started landing at 1611 hours and the second Group landed at 1830 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
source: 458th Bomb Group web page http://www.458bg.com/
466th BG Mission Report "First section after two runs - bombed MPI and photos showed excellent results"; A/C MIA = 0; KIA = 20; WIA = 0; MIA = 0
source: 466th BG: Mission List (Mark Brotherton Collection)
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: St. Jean D'Angeley Airfield Crews reported all aiming points well hit as attack was made in clear weather without flak or fighter opposition. Two runs were made on target. Fighter support was excellent.