Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
VIII Bomber Command Mission 38: 63 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 15 B-24s of the 2d Bombardment Wing are dispatched against the U-boat pens, port and naval facilities at Brest, France; 46 B-17s and 14 B-24s drop 155 tons of bombs on the target between 1455 and 1500 hours local; 2 B-24s are damaged; there are no casualties.
Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 40 uneventful sorties; 16 on shipping patrols and 24 as part of an escort for RAF Venturas bombing Dunkirk, France.
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: U-Boat Pens, Brest, France Crews. Dispatched: 16 (358BS - 5, 359th - 4, 360th - 4, 427th - 4). Length of Mission: 5 hours 22 minutes. Bomb Load: 5 x 1000 lb H.E. M44 bombs Bombing Altitude: 21,600 ft. Ammo Fired: 9,440 rounds.
The primary target was Brest, with no secondary or last resort targets given. Briefing was a 0900 hours by Lts. Prior, Von Schmidt and Robinson. Sixteen aircraft took off between 1220 and 1229 hours.
The Group was led by Maj. Clemmens K. Wurzbach, 358BS CO in #41-24562 Sky Wolf, with 1Lt Carl H. Morales as Copilot. One aircraft aborted the mission. Fifteen B-17s bombed the target from 21,600 feet with 37 1/2 tons of 1,000-lb. H.E. bombs. Intense black flak was encountered over the target, which was accurate as to height. Five to ten enemy aircraft were observed with few attacks. No enemy aircraft claims were made. The absence of heavy fighter attacks was attributed to the excellent quality of the RAF Spitfire escort. There were no casualties. All aircraft returned between 1733 and 1750 hours.
source: 303rd Bomb Group web page http://www.303rdbg.com/
306th Bomb Group Mission Report MISSION
VIII BC 38
U-boat pens, port and naval facilities at Brest, France
INFORMATION IN DETAIL
T/O: 1210 1211 1216
RESULTS OF BOMBING
Complete overcast the entire way
4/10 clouds at target
ENCOUNTERS AND CLAIMS
E/A up to 6 FW190
Saw 30 Spitfires after leaving target
Waist gunners needs gloves
Casey: brought bombs back as bombs would not release; had two engines out: supercharger
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
44BG Mission Report - The target for today was the port of Brest, France where there are submarine shelters, dry docks capable of handling any ship in the German Navy and other shore installations. Five 67th aircraft, along with five others from the other two squadrons were over the target and dropped their bombs. The results were generally unsatisfactory, but hits were claimed on the corner of the locks and a dock, as well as on buildings and warehouse near the docks. There were no losses. Surprisingly, the flak was light and the enemy fighters few. In addition to the missions flown (above) there were other alerts that were scrubbed to such targets as Dunkirk, Boulogne, Amiens, German raider ships, etc. The month included some of the most difficult flying weather that our airmen have faced to date, and that any missions were completed without greater losses is a tribute to their abilities. Engineering states that "shorts and /or breaks" in heating elements in the electric suits cause fabric to fire. Results were serious burns to the men, or frost bites. One of the other two planes going in search of our two missing planes was that of Captain Warne. He stated that they searched all over the North Sea for McPhillamey and Adams without seeing a trace. The search continued until darkness fell and he had to return to base that required a night landing - and reported that the field had good landing lights. NOTE:: It should be emphasized that the new machine gun oil was an absolute necessity. Most 67th aircraft were forced to carry a Thompson sub-machine gun loaded with tracers so that when the .50s froze up, the waist gunners would use the tracers to make a showing of a defense, hopefully keeping the enemy fighters at bay. Otherwise, most of our ships would have had to abort on nearly every mission due to lack of fire power, even though large quantities of ammunition was expended by most gunners firing short bursts to keep the guns warm enough not to freeze solid. Our men became so frustrated with the aborts associated with frozen guns that they chose to bluff the enemy pilots with tracers from their hand-held (and almost useless) guns. This lack of defense surely contributed to some of our early losses.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Four ships of 323rd squadron, piloted by Captains Dwyer & Bishop, Lieutenants Giauque and Birdsong took part in a raid on shipbuilding slips in Port Militaire, Brest, France. One was abortive. Thousand pound general-purpose bombs were used. Mission judged partially successful. Heavy A.A. fire encountered but their fighters were not seen. Our ships returned safely.
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - 16 A/C of 91st Group attacked Port Militaire, Brest, France at 1456 bombs with 5 x 10 G.P. bombs. Take off was at 1215 hours. Five of 322nd Squadron attacked - Capt. R. Campbell #990, Capt. Kenneth K. Wallick, #512, Lt. William Genheimer #497, Lt. William D. Beasley #545, 2nd Lt. John J. Harding #453, bombing was poor, from 23,000. Flak was moderate heavy but inaccurate. Only two E/A were sighted but none attacked.