Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 327: 679 bombers and 814 fighters are dispatched to bomb Berlin, concentrating on railway facilities; they claim 95-33-48 Luftwaffe aircraft; 63 bombers and 13 fighters are lost:
1. 210 of 228 B-17s bomb Berlin; 10 B-17s are lost and 150 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 7 WIA and 100 MIA.
2. 218 B-17s are dispatched to Berlin; 158 hit the primary, 24 hit Magdeburg, 10 hit Brandenburg and 4 hit targets of opportunity; 28 B-17s are lost and 161 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 20 WIA and 260 MIA.
3. 212 of 233 B-24s bomb Berlin; 25 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 121 damaged; 13 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 246 MIA. Escort is provided by 117 P-38s, 463 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 234 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; 3 P-38s and 10 P-51s are lost; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair; 7 P-38s, 16 P-47s and 7 P-51s are damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 12 MIA.
Mission 328: 4 of 4 B-17s drop 1.06 million leaflets on 21 towns in Northern France and The Netherlands without loss.
14 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions without loss.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
Aircraft: P-51B15 (#42-106828). Organization: 504FS / 339FG of Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire. Pilot: Degner, Ralph W. Notes: killed in ditching the aircraft. Location: Ipswich/ 30mi E North Sea. Damage (0-5 increasing damage): 5
303BG Mission Report - Target: City area, Berlin, Germany (PFF). Crews Dispatched: 18 + 1 Spare (358BS - 0, 359th - 7, 360th - 6, 427th - 6). Crews Lost: Lt. Bohle & Lt. Fisher. Crewmembers Lost or Wounded: Lt. Raker KIA, 1 NAV wounded. Length of Mission: 8 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: 3 x 1000 lb G.P.s + 4 X 65 lb M17 Incendiaries. Bombing Altitude: 25,900 ft. Ammo Fired: 320 rounds.
The 303rd BG(H) scheduled 21 B-17s, which included one spare and two PFF aircraft from the 305BG. Only one aircraft, #42-107147, Sweet Melody, 360BS-C (Lt. E.C. Miller), failed to take-off after the ball turret door broke off while taxiing. Two B-17s returned early: #42-37875 Empress of D Street, 427BS-A (Eisele), the No. 3 engine was throwing oil; and #42-31177 Lonesome Polecat, 359BS-L (Johnson), the ball turret door fell off over the Channel.
The inclusion of three navigators in the lead ship was a relatively new procedure. Bombs of the 303rd BG(H) were dropped from 25,900 feet. Forty-two 1,000-lb. M44 and 54 500-lb. M17 cluster bombs were released on the southeastern part of Berlin. One aircraft discharged eight containers of U.S.G.-35 leaflets (Nickels). Visual bombing was prevented by a 6/10 to 8/10 cloud cover. Lt. Harrison in Bad Penny #42-31183, 359BS-Y, flew and bombed with the 306BG formation when he was unable to assemble with the 303rd BG(H).
Four to 80 enemy fighters were reported by Group crews but there were no attacks on the 303rd BG(H) formation. Attacks were concentrated on stragglers, especially the B- 24s. There were no enemy aircraft claims. Fighter support was good up to the target with no support for about 90 minutes after bombing because the Wing was off course.
Flak was moderate to intense over the target with meager flak at scattered points along the route. Near Hannover moderate accurate flak was encountered. Fifteen aircraft sustained flak battle damage. General Travis was wounded above his eye and the lead crew reported blood all over the cockpit. He was awarded the Purple Heart. One navigator was wounded.
Two aircraft and crews were lost on the mission. #42-31241 Spirit of Wanette received a direct flak hit in the Nos. 3 and 4 gas tanks. The tanks were punctured and considerable gas was lost. The aircraft skidded out of formation, jettisoned its bombs and feathered the No. 3 prop. It crashed in the Sea of Smaland, Denmark.
#42-3158 Max straggled in the target area and was attacked by enemy fighters just before "bombs away." It was hit between the Nos. 3 and 4 engines on the trailing edge of the wing by flak and started smoking. It then straggled and was attacked by the enemy fighters. It was seen to explode in the air near Hannover, Germany.
Fifteen aircraft sustained flak battle damage, one aircraft was lost to flak and one aircraft was lost probably partially due to flak.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 17 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 98. Primary Target: Area - Berlin, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
27 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 18. Failed To Return - 1. Aborted - 4. Scrubbed - 1. Ground Spare, Unused - 3 42-38208 Bennett, Phillip N - aborted at 0926 hrs; co-pilot and navigator became violently ill; BL ret. 42-97251 Corcoran, John J - Aborted at 0915 hrs near Cromer b/c gas fumes were noted throughout the ship and gas was leaking fr rght wing 42-102442 Barad, Robert L - Aborted at 0913 hrs when tail gunner became very ill 42-102448 Bouvier, James A - Failed to Return - MIA after bombs away #3 engine was knocked out by flak and left formation w. P-47 escort; e/a, cr Berlin; MACR 4242
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - On this mission, the 388th furnished 21 A/C for the low Group of the 45th Combat Wing, and 7 A/C for the high squadron of the 452nd Bomb Group. The 452nd was the high Group in the Wing formation. 3 spare A/C also took-off for fill-ins.
31 A/C were airborne by 0653 hours and assembled in respective formations without difficulty. The Target for the entire 8th Air Force was Berlin. The briefed course was followed to the Target and six a/c aborted for mechanical reasons.
Bombing was done visually with bombs away at 1125 hours from 25,500 feet. The Primary MPI was not hit, but all of our bombs fell in the Southeast area on Tempelhof Airdrome. Some bombs fell on Potsdamer and Anhalter Railroad Stations. Two direct hits were on bridges crossing the Canal north of Potsdamer Station.
The flak at the Target and Magdeburg was very accurate resulting in the death of Lt. Miller, pilot, and S/Sgt. Boring, radioman. 8 crew members were wounded and all a/c had battle damage. No enemy a/c were encountered.
23 A/C returned to base by 1538 hours and two a/c are missing.
Lt. Walker in a/c 42-31393, was hit by flak over the target and had to I fighters and shot down. The plane crashed near Parsay. Lt. Walker was w on May 24th, nearly a month after being shot down.leave the formation. He was then attacked by enemy ounded and was found dead in a field at 0800 hours
Lt. Coyner in a/c 42-37980, was hit by fighters and crash-landed on fire 20 miles West of Ypern, Holland.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
389th Bomb Group Mission Report Happy Birthday - Berlin. Practically complete undercast until we came to target area where the clouds broke. Had a good view of city and the flak and rocket barrage they are able to throw up. What a pasting that city took today - practically the whole 8th Air Force over the city at same time. Scared hell out of me. Took a tour of Eastern Germany after dropping bombs and I soon became completely lost. Saw plenty of enemy fighters and a lot of heavies go down but our group wasnt hit. 8th A. F. lost 64 bombers out of about 900. Load - 5 x 1000 lb H. E. plus 3 x 100 lb incendiaries.
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 Squadron furnished the following crews which flew in the Low Squadron position of the Group formation; Sharp, Pruitt, O'Neil, Fitchett, Butterfoss (M.I.A.). Lt. Butterfoss and crew were lost on this operation as a result of flak. At the time they were last seen the number 1 engine was feathered, bomb bay doors were open, and the aircraft seemed to be losing both speed and altitude. During the time that the aircraft was within observation no chutes were seen to come out of the ship. Because of cloud cover over Berlin bombing was done by Pathfinder. Through breaks in the clouds crews reported seeing bomb hits on buildings in the center of the city. Other than those observations there was no other indication of the results. Although no enemy aircraft were encountered on this operation, moderate to intense flak being extremely accurate was encountered over the target. Flak bursts were reported to be larger than the usual bursts. With the exception of Lt. Butterfoss and crew all others returned to base.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - Lt. J. Reigler led the twenty-one 401st aircraft on this mission to Berlin as the Lead Box of the 94th CBW. Because of cloud cover over the German capital, bombing was done by PFF means. Through breaks in the clouds crews were able to observe bomb strikes on buildings in the center of the city. Although no enemy fighters were seen the flak was extremely accurate, knocking down three 401st ships, including the only 614th ship on the mission that day. The strength of the flak over the capital can be gauged by the fact that out of 618 over the target 63 were shot down and 432 damaged by flak. Eighteen men in the returning aircraft were killed and 38 wounded. The 614th crew on this mission was: Singleton (MIA).
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - Briefing for the 21 crews on this mission took place at 1340 hrs with Lt. B.N. Shotts taking off in the weather ship (IN-K, Serial No.42-31072 BETTY J) at 0505 Hrs. All aircraft were airborne by 1730 hrs and headed for Berlin under the command of the 94th Combat Wing Air Executive and formerly Air Executive of the 401st Group, Lt. Col. Harris E. Rogner. Because of cloud coverage of 4/10th's over Berlin, bombing was done by means of PFF, with Lt. W. Reigler, 613th pilot, leading the PFF ships. Some crew members were able to observe bomb strikes, reporting that bombs hit buildings in the center of the city. No enemy air opposition was encountered by the 401st. Moderate to intense flak was encountered to, at and from the target. The 401st Bomb Group was the Lead Box in the 94th CBW. The Group lost three B-17's - one from the 615th Squadron piloted by Capt G. Gould, who went down with the crew of 1st Lt. L.A. Mitchell. Last observations of the missing aircraft confirmed that it was still under control, two engines gone and asking for fighter support. It was believed that he did have a temporary escort but the fate of the crew was not known at that time. As far as later records show all members of this crew were made POW. The two 615th crews on this mission were: Gould, Ochsenhirt.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The battle of Berlin was resumed today when the Group was ordered to the German capitol. The Group put up 21 ships ( 8 were 67th ) with take-off at 0730 hours. All planes were over the target and bombed, but three of the Group's planes failed to return to base. (1730 hours). Three of the 67th gunners claim destroyed E/A. T/Sgt. Boman, 2nd Lt. Olpin and F/O Klemer, flying as a tail gunner, all claimed one FW 190 each. The formation encountered moderate to intense flak and approximately 30 enemy aircraft. Crews reported a good pattern of bombs, but due to an undercast results were partially unseen. Sgt. Kipnes reports that, ship "Glory Bee". Target, underground railway in the heart of Berlin. About 40 to 50 FW 190s and Me 109s attacked us persistently from the time we hit Berlin to the time we left enemy territory. Flak was extremely heavy over the target and spasmodic along the way. Our fighter support was fair, as the 44th, had an escort to the target but our fighters had to drop out because of fuel consumption. We then had to make the return trip unescorted. Many of the stragglers were picked off by enemy fighters. This day S-2 announced that the 8th AF lost 62 bombers. Our crew saw five bombers go down. Our prop (#1) ran away right over Berlin and we had to feather the engine. We sweated out gas consumption on the way back. We feared that we might possibly have to ditch in the North Sea. I sent an SOS for air-sea rescue, but could not get an acknowledgement as there were so many SOS calls being made. We did make the English coast and dropped in for a landing at the first field we saw. It was the 93rd BG at Hardwick. We landed with #2 and #3 tanks practically bone dry at 1525. Every one of our gunners got in quite a few shots at enemy fighters but made no claims". 2nd Lt. R.J. Hruby, 506th squadron, was not quite so fortunate. His aircraft #41-29513? was damaged by flak in the target area, too, and it is believed this caused a leak in either the main gas tank or gas line. The plane further had problems with #4 prop governor, and #2 engine was surging as much as 600 RPM. Despite the fact that the engineer reported all gauges registered empty on leaving the coast, Lt. Hruby determined to complete the mission and bring his aircraft and crew back. All possible equipment was thrown over-board, all engines were put on cross-feed to keep them running as long as possible. The crew took their ditching positions, but they could not contact air-sea rescue. Flying at 5500 feet and the English coast barely in view, all four engines quit. Ditching came off without a hitch, the nose buried itself for a few seconds and the plane came to rest with no visible damage. Not even the plexiglass in the nose turret was broken! The crew was uninjured. The plane sank in 15 minutes while the crew floated in their rafts for 1/2 hour before picked up by a British mine sweeper. 68th A/C #42-29471 X piloted by 2nd Lt. G.H. Sweigart - 3 POW 67th A/C #42-100279 1 "Tuffy" Schuyler, Keith C. 2nd Lt. Pilot Berwick, Penna. Officially reported POW Emerson, John F. 2nd Lt. Co-pilot Santa Monica, Ca. Officially reported POW Rauscher, Dale E. 2nd Lt. Navigator Goodland, Kansas Officially reported POW Davis, Jay L. 2nd Lt. Bombardier Cleveland, Ohio Officially reported POW Sanders, William L. S/Sgt. Engineer Karnak, Illinois Officially reported POW Rowlandq Leonard A. S/Sgt. Radio Oper Portland, Oregon Officially reported POW Renfro, George N. Sgt. LW Gunner Handley, Texas Officially reported POW Cox, George G. Sgt. RW Gunner Louisa, Kentucky Officially reported POW Schow, Harry J. Sgt. Tail Tur. Austin, Minn. Officially reported POW Reichert, Walter E. Sgt. Ball Tur. Farragut, Idaho Officially reported POW The crew of Capt. Craig was assigned and joined from 8th AF today. Today, overnight passes have come into the act again. This was good news for the boys, and most of them took advantage of it the first day. The days have been getting warmer and that is the best inducement for travel.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Berlin
22 planes dropped 1,144 bombs on the German capital city. One plane, Luck and Stuff (42-100360), was shot down after experiencing engine problems. 3 men were killed and 7 taken prisoner.
source: 467th Bomb Group web page http://www.467bg.com/
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - Industrial area of Berlin, Germany. A/C 982 turned back early when intercom system went out. A/C 673 turned back just after crossing the enemy coast due to the #1 and #2 engine trouble. Four of the A/C dropped 50 x 100 G.P. bombs with results unobserved due to 8/10 cloud. Results are believed to be good. Bombs were away from 21,500 feet. A/A fire was intense and accurate at the target. After leaving target a continuous succession of bursts were encountered ranging from moderate to intense Wittenburg. There were no direct attacks on our formation. 15 to 20 Me109s and FW190s were snooping around looking for stragglers in the Hanover area. A/C 353 was hit by flak at 1142 hours at the target. Wing caught fire, broke off and A/C exploded shortly afterward. Three (3) chutes were seen.
91st BG / 324th BS Mission Report - Target: Berlin Bridge - on Spree River. Bombing results unobserved but Berlin heavily attacked by a strong force. A/A fire accurate at target and leaving target to SW where formation got off course. Enemy opposition was nil for our aircraft. Our A/C were about 30 minutes late at target and fighter rendezvous suffered as a result.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Berlin: Results generally unobserved, but results believed to be good. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: 10 to 20 Me 109's seen at a distance, and no attacks made on this group. Intense, accurate AA fire from the target area, and the formation was off course for some time after leaving the target due to a change in winds and was subjected to a large amount of AA fire from the vicinities of Luckenwalde, Wittenberg, Dessau, Nienburg and Magdeburg.