Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 355: 749 bombers and 737 fighters hit targets in Germany; 12 bombers and 5 fighters are lost; they claim 58-5-13 Luftwaffe aircraft:
1. 289 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil targets in W Poland but clouds force 215 to bomb Stettin and 57 to hit Stralsund; 10 bombers are lost and 81 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 88 MIA.
2. 199 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshaling yard at Osnabruck; 178 hit the primary and 1 bomb a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 61 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 10 MIA.
3. 261 B-24s are dispatched to hit aviation industry targets at Tutow; 228 hit the primary and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 2 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 10 MIA.
Escort is provided by 153 P-38s, 238 P-47s and 346 P-51s; the P-47s claim 14-2-9 Luftwaffe aircraft, the P-51s claim 33-1-4; 1 P-38, 2 P-47s and 2 P-51s are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-38s and 7 P-51s are damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 5 MIA.
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: Stettin, Germany (PFF). Crews Dispatched: 13. Length of Mission: 10 hours, 10 minutes. Bomb Load: 38 x 65 lb M47A1 Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitude: 24,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 715 rounds.
Stettin, a city in eastern Germany was chosen as the last resort target after the primary at Posen, Poland and the secondary at Peenemunde, Germany were obstructed by thick clouds. The 303rd BG(H) flew as the lead and low Squadrons of the 303rd BG(H) composite Group led by Capt. Leroy E. Daub, 359BS Operations Officer. No aircraft returned early.
Bombing was accomplished from 24,000 feet, with 534 65-lb. M47A1 incendiary bombs dropped on markers released by the PFF B-17. Some of the city could be seen through the 7/10 to 10/10 cloud cover, allowing airmen brief glimpses of bombs bursting and fires starting below. Some of the flames were making good progress and smoke was beginning to rise.
Moderate and inaccurate flak was encountered at Settin, Xappeln, Politz and Juvre. Chaff did not seem to have any effect. Gunners reported from 35 to 100 enemy fighters. They started to queue up to attack when P-51s roared up, breaking up the enemy attack and shooting down several ME-109s. One airman said he saw four P-51s attack the entire group of 50 enemy fighters, shoot down five of them on the first pass, and so thoroughly break up the German formation that it never fully regained its attack plan. A few German fighters did manage to break away and attack another group, shooting down at least one Fortress. Gunners said that fighter escorts moved in and took most of the attack from the bombers.
All aircraft returned safely with no casualties, though three aircraft sustained flak damage.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 16 aircraft were sent on this mission.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
388BG Mission Report - The 388th was called upon to furnish 21 a/c plus three spares for this mission. The 388th was the lead Group for the 45th Combat Wing. The target was the railroad marshalling yards at Osnabruck. The 1st and 2nd Air Divisions were briefed on targets in northern Poland.
23 a/c were airborne between 0945 and 1002 hours, assembled in their respective formations and proceeded on the briefed course to the target. 2 a/c aborted for mechanical reasons and 2 a/c as scheduled aborts.
Weather did not affect this mission and bombs were away at 1414 hours from 25,000 feet on a mag heading of 285 degrees.
Scattered inaccurate flak was seen Bramache-Hesope airfield, Dummer Lake and Quakenbruck, Moderate and very accurate flak was encountered at the target and again at Munster.
All of our a/c returned to base by 1617 hours.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Briefed to bomb the target of Politz, Germany but due to cloud coverage proceeded to the target at Stettin and bombed through a break in the clouds. The 613th Squadron furnished the following crews to help make up this box: Tonti (MIA), Fox, Scharff, Keith. Lt. Tonti and crew were lost on this mission. The aircraft began lagging behind at the I.P. and was still behind over the target where he fired a red flare, he turned back and it was believed he headed for Sweden. One engine was smoking and he had several P-38's as escort. Chances for survival were considered excellent. Since the war report it was confirmed that this crew landed safely in Sweden and were interned. Crews stated that bombs fell in the built-up area of Stettin and observations report that results and pattern were excellent. Meager to moderate flak was observed along the route.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - Briefing on Saturday, 13th May, was at 0600 hrs with 21 crews attending and getting airborne by 0945 hrs. The primary visual target was the oil refinery at Politz, in northeastern Germany, with the city of Stettin as a secondary target to be bombed blind by PFF plane in the lead of the Wing. There was a very thick haze over the North Sea and nothing could be seen, except the sea, until they reached the Danish Coast where the pilots made their way around the peninsula and avoided the flak areas. Then"the broken undercast became solid cloud and at the I.P. the Wing Leader called for Pathfinder bombing. Because of high cirrus clouds the 401st Box were forced to drop down to the level of the lead Group and just before reaching Stettin the leader made an abrupt right turn forcing the 401st to turn right also. The 401st were now ahead of the PFF ships over the target and a break in the clouds allowed the Group Bombardier, Capt. Kuenning, to see the city in his bombsight and release. The 401st furnished the High Box for the 94th CBW and was led by Major R.J. White, 615th Squadron Operations Officer. One aircraft from the Group, piloted by Lt. Tonti, was hit by flak and after limping to the Danish Coast, escorted by friendly fighters, wisely judged that he could not make the journey back to England and so turned and made for Sweden. The Crew leading the 401st on this mission was as follows: Dempsey, Mann, Lozinski, Parr, Campbell, Post, Ochsenhirt.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - Today marks the seventh mission in a row. The 67th Squadron put up 6 aircraft to accompany the total of 17 A/C in the 44th formation, plus Capt. Hammer of the 66th in a PFF flew with the 392nd. The Primary, Tutow, is a high priority airfield and Air Park about 1 mile north of Tutow. Since 1935 Tutow has been a specialized bomber school giving instructions in all branches of bomber aircraft activities. Recently, there has been added the final assembly and testing of FW 190s with component parts coming from other areas. The target was raided on April 19th by a small force in bad weather, which inflicted slight damage and production and assembly has been restored to normal as of May 9th. Bombing, results today were from fair to good. Over 50 enemy aircraft, single engine type, were sighted and engaged by the escorting fighters. Several E/A attacked the formation head on but with no results. However, it did cost Jerry at least two fighters for those attacks on our formation. Flak was encountered at one area where it was particularly accurate - Romo Island. The Group had one turn back, from the 506th Sq. and all returned to base as 1815 hours. Sgt. Kipnes adds this: Take off at 1037 in Limpin Ole Sadie again. Good bomb results after two runs on the target. We ran into a large group of enemy fighters just before we reached our target. Our P-47s and P-51s were absolutely amazing. They knocked the "hell" out of those German fighters and kept them away from us. They certainly saved a lot of us Big Friends. Saw some exciting dogfights with fighters all over the skies. During bomb run, bomb bay safety rope came loose and wrapped around one of the bomb fins (52 x1OO M47s). I had to get out on the catwalk, without oxygen, and with bombbay doors open to unwind the rope. I needed both my hands to hold on to the catwalk supports, so I fastened the safety rope to my chute harness and walked back to the flight deck. As soon as I reached the flight deck bombs were released on the target. It sure was scary looking down from catwalk and seeing nothing but vast open skies. One new combat crew assigned and joined the 67th Squadron.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Tutow
21 planes bombed the airfield with incendiaries and 500 pounders.
source: 446th Bomb Group www.446bg.com
447BG Mission Report - Briefing was at 0730 hours and the target was the railroad yards at Osnabruck, 70 miles west southwest of Bremen. The planes were loaded with 10 500 pound GP bombs and take off started at 1000 hours. As the formation crossed the Dutch coast west of the Zider Zee they reached their bombing altitude of 24,500 feet. The flak was moderate but accurate over the target and bombing results were rated as "Good". Lt. R.D. McClintock of the 711th Squadron began trailing smoke from the No. 3 engine before reaching the target. As they left the target the plane burst into flames and went into a left hand turn. He was still under control when last seen with only one chute noticed to come from the ship. This was the only loss of the mission. Landing started at 1615 hours.
source: 447 Bomb Group Association http://www.447bg.com
source: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com
91st BG / 322nd BS Mission Report - (Politz) Stralsund. Due to unfavorable conditions at Politz, the town of Stralsund was bombed by PFF methods with unobserved results believed to have been poor to fair. No casualties, no E/A claims.