Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 36: 71 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 18 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the locks and U-boat base at Saint-Nazaire, France; 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop 160 tons of bombs between 1052 and 1055 hours local. We claim 20 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed, 12 probably destroyed and 2 damaged; we lose 6 B-17s and 2 B-24s with 28 B-17s and 2 B-24s damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 7 WIA and 81 MIA.
Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 34 uneventful sorties on fighter patrols.
The 13th Photographic Squadron (Light), 3d Photographic Group with F-5s and L-4s transfers from Podington to Mount Farm, England.
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: Port Area, St. Nazaire, France. Crews Dispatched: 14 (358BS - 5, 359th - 3, 360th - 4, 427th - 2). Crews Lost: Two - Lt. Dunnica & Capt. Breed. Length of Mission: 5 1/4 to 5 1/2 hours. Bomb Load: 500 & 1000 lbs Demolition bombs Bombing Altitude: 25,000 to 26,500 ft. Ammo Fired: 30,119 rounds. Enemy Aircraft Claims: 4 Destroyed, 1 Probable, 1 Damaged.
Primary and secondary targets were St. Nazaire and last resort target was Keroman. Breakfast was at 0445, briefing at 0545, crews were at station at 0745, and take-offs began at 0846. Thirteen Group B-17s bombed the primary target from 25,000 feet with 31 3/4 tons of 500 and 1,000 lb. bombs. Many bomb bursts were observed in the target area, which was covered with smoke and fires. Some bursts were observed in the water. Moderate black and red flak was encountered. Twenty to fifty enemy aircraft were seen, and there were 100-137 attacks. Gunners claimed fifteen aircraft and were credited with four destroyed, one probable, and one damaged. Two 303rd BG(H) aircraft were missing: #42-2967 was shot down by enemy fighters and ditched on the Brest peninsula; #41-24541 ditched northeast of Brest. Seven men from six crews suffered frostbite and burns from defective electric clothing.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306th Bomb Group Mission Report TARGET
Port area of St. Nazaire, France
INFORMATION IN DETAIL
Take off 0825; Bombing 1052, 22300 ft
20 A/C took off; 2 abortives: 1 oxygen failure; 1 ball turret gunner sick
2 A/C did not return: Warner, Downing
RESULTS OF BOMBING
Clear over target
Very intense and accurate over St. Nazaire; little seen elsewhere
ENCOUNTERS AND CLAIMS
40-50 E/A seen
Formation attacked 1052 after leaving target to the coast; new attack in mid-Channel
Constant running attacks for most ships.
Practically all nose attacks
Ryan: saw 2 FWs go down after crossing French Coast
Riordan parts from FW blasted by element ahead narrowly missed A/C
5 casualties among 4 crews
Neck injury and cut over eye from flak.
Burn from flare explosion
Smith: navigator hit by flak
B-17 seen hit and blew up over target. 1 chute seen
B-17 seen going down in spin at same time. 4 chutes
B-17 with 2 motors out disappeared in clouds at 1156 after leaving coast
B-17 in distress over French Coast at 1153. 1 chute
Spitfire support never seen; Jones: lets have Spits when we are told we will.
Smoke screen at target not effective
Ammunition is very poor grade
Ryan A/C: serious damage to cables from flak
Buddenbaum: oxygen masks had not been cleaned since last mission
Check crew: It was hell
All A/C reported holes from flak
Youree: B-17 dropped bombs from above - took hair off our fuselage.
Salada: recommend approach target over water rather than land; ball turret would not function at high altitude
Smith: hydraulics in wing put out by flak; bombs did not drop because of hits, had to kick out.
Parker reported #1 motor almost vibrated out of wing; #2 supercharger uncontrollable; bomb sight froze up
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
44BG Mission Report - A return to St. Nazaire today with five ships of the 67th and seven of the 66th Squadron. The 68th did not participate due to the rough treatment received yesterday. Lt. Long, in aircraft #818 and Lt. Billings in aircraft #354 were involved in a mid-air collision and both crashed. Also, "Miss Dianne" was credited with five enemy aircraft destroyed, and she in turn, suffered major damage requiring nearly 36 hours to repair. Lt. Cameron's ship included.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Four ships of 323rd squadron, piloted by Capt.'s Dwyer & Clancy, Lt.s Giauque and McCarty took part in the mission to St. Nazaire locks and basin entrance for enemy submarines. Bombs were thousand pound general-purpose bombs. Bombing was very successful. Enemy A.A. fire heavy. Sixty-five enemy fighters encountered, two of which were definitely shot down.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Fifty-nine A/C of 1st Wing, 13 from 91st 3 from 322nd Squadron took off at 0830 hours with 5 x 1000 bomb load and attacked the U-boat base at St. Nazaire, France. The bombing was excellent, the flak accurate and E/A 50 or 60 in number. The group ships all returned safely but wing lost 6 fortresses. Radio operator 324th was killed for only group casualty. Group was credited with the destruction of six E/A. The 322nd ships on the raid were #139-V, Capt. Bruce Barton, #990-R Capt. R. Campbell, #543, Lt. William C. Beasley.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: St. Nazaire locks at entrance to basin. Saw many bombs hitting target. Also saw bombing of group ahead (306th and it looked perfect. Fires seen on both sides of basin. Air to air bombing attempted by FW 190's.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Good, heavy pattern over target area. Intense heavy flak over target area, not very accurate. Vicious attacks by thirty E/A from target to Guimgamp. Attacking from all angles and pressed home attacks.