Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 338: 591 bombers and 516 fighters are dispatched to Berlin, Brunswick and targets in C Germany; the mission is recalled due to cloud cover but 40 B-17s bomb Bergen/Alkmaar Airfield, The Netherlands; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 15 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA and 1 WIA. Escort is provided by 50 P-38s, 179 P-47s and 287 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-47s claim 8-2-5 Luftwaffe aircraft and the P-51s claim 1-0-1; 2 P-47s and 1 P-51 are lost, 3 P-47s and 2 P-51s are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 8 P-47s are damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 3 MIA.
HQ 95th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) moves from Ketteringham to Halesworth, 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: Zwischenahn Germany. Crews Dispatched: 36 (358BS - 7, 359th - 5, 360th - 6, 427th - 0). Length of Mission: 4 hours, 45 minutes. Bomb Load: 2 x 1000 G.P. bombs plus 4 x M17 Incendiary Clusters. Bombing Altitude: No Bombs Dropped. Ammo Fired: 210 rounds.
Both 303rd BG(H) formations had the Friedrichstrasse Railroad Station in Berlin as the primary target. Hannover was designated as the secondary and any German industrial area as the last resort target. Three aircraft returned early. Group aircraft took off, but returned safely after a 1st BD recall at 0956 hours. Clouds were reported as being scattered and low up to 3/10s, tops 5,000 feet, 7/10 to 9/10 middle clouds at 11,000 feet and 7/10 from 10,000 to 20,000 feet with contrails from 15,000 to 22,000 feet.
No bombs were dropped by either Group formation. The 303BG-A (41 CBW high Group) spotted a few enemy aircraft, but none attacked or were close enough for identification. Flak was observed at Ijmuiden on the coast of the Netherlands. Turn-back was at 52E 35' N - 03E 11' E. The crews in this formation were credited with a sortie. The 303BG-B (94 CBW high Group lead and low Squadrons) turned back when they were 10 to 15 miles short of the coast of the Netherlands, 10 miles south of course. The crews in this formation were not credited with a sortie and are not listed in this report.
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - The primary target Friedrichstrasse underground rail station in the heart of Berlin. Crews of the 613th flew in the Lead Squadron position of the High Box. Crews: Lenkeit, Connelly, Protz, Sharp, O'Neil, Scharff, Lew. Because of weather conditions over the continent the Wings were recalled. Along the route back a search was made for a last resort target and the result was the bombing of an enemy airdrome at Bergen/Alkmaar, Holland. Strike photos and observations made disclose that direct hits were made on hangers situated on the northerly side of the airdrome. No enemy air opposition was encountered and the only flak put up against the formation was at the enemy coast. It was described as being meager and poor for accuracy both as to altitude and deflection. All crews returned safely from this operation.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The primary targets for this mission were Berlin, Brunswick and targets in Central Germany but cloud forced the 2nd Air Division to abort the mission. The 1st Air Division, with 35 aircraft under the command of Major Seawell representing the 401st effort as the 94th "A" CBW, found the Luftwaffe base at Bergen/Alkmaar and bombed it. The strike photos and observations disclosed that direct hits were made on hangers by some 1,000 Ib G.P. bombs on the northern side of the airfield. The only enemy opposition was some meager,inaccurate flak at the coast. Crews: Kaufman, Chapman, Wilson, Walsh, Fisette Kilmer LaFevor Lincoln.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The briefed targets for this mission were Berlin, Brunswick and some targets in Central Germany, however, cloud formations from 13,000 to 23,000 feet resulted in a recall. Almost 600 four-engined bombers were on the mission but only the 401st found a target of opportunity to bomb, the airfield at Alkmaar being picked up by the Wing Leader, Major Seawell. The 35 B-17's from the Group made up the Lead and High Boxes of the 94th CBW and the 615th led the Lead Box over the target. Through breaks in the clouds two airdromes at Alkmaar were visible, and the strikes photos indicated direct hits. No enemy air opposition was encountered. The flak was described as meagre and inaccurate at landfall - the only place where bursts were seen. The Squadron put up the following crews: Wysocki, Mann, Gillespie, Parr, Trimble.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - The intended Primary target for today was Waggum, an aircraft factory four miles east of Brunswick, Germany but the mission was recalled before reaching the target due to very adverse weather. The 14th Combat Wing and the 2nd Air Division was led by the 44th Group, with Colonel Gibson in Command. The Group had 27 planes scheduled but only 14 of them were dispatched. But just after breaking the enemy coast, the formation encountered dense haze obstructing horizontal visibility. Most of our planes returned at 1140 hours, with only the crews of Lts. Ward, Standrich and Jefferson of the 67th Sq. getting credit for a sortie. Sgt. A.B. Loyless, who was on Lt. Jefferson's crew, says that his pilot said, "Since we have come this far, let's go on and get credit for a mission." So they tacked on to another Group of B-24s and followed them in. They saw more enemy fighters on this mission than on any other. The E/A attacked this Group and Sgt. Loyless says, "I had a good chance to shoot one down. Had him all lined up in my sights, pulled the trigger switch - and I was mortified, as nothing happened! Had not set up properly." Sgt. Kipnes says that the bad weather was producing heavy contrails and they could not find the 44th Group formation. Everyone seemed lost with planes flying around looking for their own formation. They finally turned back and landed at 0945 hours with the official recall being made at 0955.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg