The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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The Eighth Air Force Historical Society

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Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 353: 886 bombers and 735 fighters are dispatched to hit oil production facilities in Germany and Czechoslovakia; there is strong Luftwaffe fighter reaction and 46 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:

1. 326 B-17s are dispatched to Mersenburg (224 bomb) and Lutzkendorf (87 bomb); 1 hits Hedrongen and 1 bombs Bullstadt; 2 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 189 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 20 MIA.

2. 295 B-17s are dispatched to Brux, Czechoslovakia (140 bomb) and Zwickau (74 bomb); 11 hit Chemnitz, 14 hit Gera marshaling yard, 15 hit Hof and 4 hit targets of opportunity; 41 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 162 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 377 MIA.

3. 265 B-24s are dispatched to Zeitz (116 bomb) and Bohlen (99 bomb); 14 hit Mersenburg, 1 hits Ostend Airfield, Belgium and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-24s are lost, 5 damaged beyond repair and 61 damaged; 7 airmen are WIA and 33 MIA.

Escort is provided by 153 P-38s, 201 P-47s and 381 P-51s; P-38s claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, P-47s claim 26-0-8 and P-51s claim 33-0-3 in the air and 5-0-2 on the ground; 4 P-47s and 3 P-51s are lost and 4 P-47s and 9 P-51s are damaged; 7 pilots are MIA.

Mission 354: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 1.74 million leaflets on Denmark; 1 aircraft is damaged; 2 airmen are KIA and 3 WIA.

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,