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Mission

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Missions

The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Missions

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 287: 440 bombers and 475 fighters are dispatched to bomb the chemical industry at Ludwigshafen, Germany - the largest in Europe.

1. The 245 B-17s dispatched of the lead force abandon the mission over the French coast due to heavy clouds; 7 B-17s are damaged.

2. The 195 B-24s in the second force became widely dispersed and bomb targets of opportunity; 101 hit Pforzheim; 38 hit Schaffhausen, Switzerland; 17 hit Strasbourg, France; and 9 hit Grafenhausen; Schaffhausen and Strasbourg were mistaken as German towns; they claim 1-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 42 damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 12 WIA and 113 MIA.

Escort is provided by 280 P-47s and 195 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s: P-47s claim 13-1-19 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground 2 P-47s are lost and 12 damaged, 2 pilots are MIA; P-51s claim 5-2-4 aircraft, 2 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged, 2 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,