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The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 347: 823 bombers and 668 fighters are dispatched to hit marshaling yards and airfields in France, Belgium and Luxembourg; this is the beginning of the pre-invasion bombing of enemy installations; 6 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:

1. Of 220 B-17s, 75 hit St Dizier Airfield, 53 hit Thionville Airfield and 37 hit Thionville marshaling yard, France and 53 hit Luxembourg marshaling yard, Luxembourg; 38 B-17s are damaged.

2. 242 B-17s are dispatched to bomb airfields in France; 113 hit Laon/Athies, 71 hit Juvincourt, 43 hit Laon/Couvron, 10 hit Lille/Vendeville and 1 hits Chievres; 2 B-17s are lost and 44 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 20 MIA.

3. Of 361 B-24s, 101 hit St Trond Airfield, 96 hit Florennes Airfield, 63 hit Liege marshaling yard and 6 hit Hody Airfield, Belgium and 68 hit Laon/Couvron Airfield and 10 hit Nivelles Airfield, France; 2 B-24s are lost, and 35 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 44 MIA.

Escort is provided by 144 P-38s, 277 P-47s and 247 P-51s; the P-47s claim 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-4 on the ground, the P-51s claim 1-0-0 in the air; 1 P-38 and 6 P-51s are lost; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 1 P-51 is damaged; 6 pilots are MIA.

Mission 348: 3 of 3 B-17s drop 1.34 million leaflets on 4 towns in The Netherlands and 3 in Belgium.

13 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,