Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description
Mission 358: 888 bombers and 700 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in Germany; very heavy cloud cover forces the bombers to use H2X PFF methods; Luftwaffe resistance is heavy and 28 bombers and 19 fighters are lost; the fighters claim 77-0-33 Luftwaffe aircraft:
1. 588 B-17s are dispatched to Berlin; 495 hit the primary, 49 hit the port area at Kiel and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 16 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 289 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 16 WIA and 137 MIA.
2. 300 B-24s are dispatched to the industrial area at Brunswick; 272 hit the primary and 1 bombs a target of opportunity; 12 B-24s are lost and 64 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 8 WIA and 119 MIA.
Escort is provided by 155 P-38s, 182 P-47s and 363 P-51s of the Eighth Air Force and 264 Ninth Air Force aircraft; the P-38s claim 0-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground, the P-47s claim 29-0-16 in the air and 2-0-0 on the ground and the P-51s claim 41-0-5 in the air and 4-0-10 on the ground; 4 P-38s, 4 P-47s and 11 P-51s are lost; 2 P-38s are damaged beyond repair; 5 P-38s, 4 P-47s and 7 P-51s are damaged; 17 pilots are MIA.
Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,
German damage report (Brunswick) - ome 700 high-explosive bombs. SA field, flying east, Gliesmarode, Husarenstrasse, Kastanienallee, Altewiekring, hop garden, Helmstedter Street, Bertram Street, Koernerstrasse, Riddagshaeuser way Adolf Hitler Wall, Wilhelmitorwall, Gieseler Wall, Prinzenweg, Broitzemer Street, Julius Road, Kramer Street, Ekbertstrasse, Frankfurter Strasse, Mascherode, etc. -. Severe damage to Luther's works, Wilke-works, Karges-Hammer, Bremer & Brueckmann, station. 206 dead, 74 German, 132 foreigners. (translated from German)
source: Brunswick city website http://www.braunschweig.de/kultur_tourismus/stadtportraet/geschichte/stadtchronik.html
100th BG Crash Report - The Messie Bessie: 350BS
2nd Lt Julian P. Rogers P REC 19-May-44 Berlin
2nd Lt Robert B. Lawler CP REC 19-May-44 Berlin
2nd Lt Frederick A. Mead, Jr NAV REC 19-May-44 Berlin
2nd Lt Bertran C. Liberman BOM REC 19-May-44 Berlin
S/Sgt Dickie Kendall TTE REC 19-May-44 Berlin
S/Sgt Thomas S. Guralski ROG REC 19-May-44 Berlin
Sgt Russel E. Gately, Jr BTG REC 19-May-44 Berlin
Sgt Carroll W. Brooks WG REC 19-May-44 Berlin
Sgt Clarence F. Cherry WG REC 19-May-44 Berlin
Sgt Alfonse R. Fiore TG REC 19-May-44 Berlin
On the return flight from Berlin this aircraft had three engines knocked out by enemy aircraft. Rogers ditched in the North Sea (5448N and 0730E) at 1625 hours British Summer Time. At initial impact, the tail broke away, the second impact resulted in water entering the waist door and camera well, slightly injuring two crewmembers. All emergency equipment was lost, but an airborne lifeboat was dropped and the crew had no trouble getting underway. They were transferred to a high speed British launch.
source: Army Air Forces Online Forum http://forum.armyairforces.com/
303BG Mission Report - Target: City Area, Berlin, Germany (PFF-H2X Bombing). Crews Dispatched: 37 (358BS - 10, 359th - 9, 360th - 10, 427th - 9). Crews Lost: Lt. Roth - 10 MIA. Length of Mission: 9 hours, 30 minutes. Bomb Load: Group A - 10 x 500 lb G.P.; Group B - 42 x 65 lb M47A1 Incendiary bombs. Bombing Altitudes: Group A - 26,000 ft; Group B - 25,000 ft. Ammo Fired: 7,120 rounds.
Thirty-seven 303rd Group B-17s were dispatched to bomb military objectives in Berlin with a secondary target at Kiel, Germany. Eighteen aircraft plus two PFF aircraft from the 305BG flew as the lead 41 CBW-A Group. The remaining 17 Fortresses flew as the low 303BG-B formation.
Thirty-five aircraft dropped 170 500-lb. M43 and 744 65-lb. M47A1 incendiary bombs from 26,000 and 25,000 feet. In the target area there was an 8/10 low cloud base and the assigned target could not be seen. The lead bombardier dropped his bombs using PFF on a northwest built-up area of Berlin. Only a few enemy aircraft were seen at a distance. There were no attacks on the Group formations. Friendly fighter support was excellent. Moderate to intense and accurate flak caused six aircraft to sustain major damage and twenty, minor damage. Fourteen of these were in the Lead or A Group and twelve were in the Low or B Group. Two men received minor injuries.
#42-31386 Sky Duster, 359BS-W, received a direct flak hit just before "bombs away." Although the engine fell out, the B-17 was under control. It slipped to the right out of formation. Three parachutes were spotted. Sky Duster crashed at Berlin.
source: 306th Bombardment Group website www.306bg.org/
351BG Mission Report - 32 aircraft were sent on this mission. Two missions on this day.
source: 351st Bomb Group web page http://www.351st.org/ken.harbour
384BG Mission Report - 384th BG Mission Number 109. Primary Target: Area - Berlin, Germany. Target Attacked : Primary (Visual)
47 aircraft assigned to this mission: Completed Mission - 37. Aborted - 4. Scrubbed - 2. Ground Spare, Unused - 4 42-37982 Seamon, Grover Lawrence - Landed away Oulton due to fuel shortage 42-97188 Hall, Barney M - Aborted over field at 0930 hrs; sparkplug on #7 cylinder, #3 engine blew out; bombs rtd 42-97237 Humbles, Alfred T - Bomb bay doors stuck; could not bomb; BL ret. 42-97309 Pompe, Bernard J - aborted at 1125 hrs; could not locate grp 42-102500 Strand, Robert E - aborted at 1155 hrs; couldn't make contact w Grp
source: 384th Bomb Group web page http://384thBombGroup.com/
388BG Mission Report - The 388th furnished an A Group which as the high Group in the 13th Combat Wing, plus the lead and low squadrons of the B Group which flew as low Group in the 45th Combat Wing. The 452nd Bomb Group filled the high squadron of this formation.
20 a/c of the A Group plus 1 PFF a/c were airborne between 0900 and 0943 hours. 13 a/c of the B Group were airborne between 0840 and 0847 hours. Assembly was extremely difficult due to adverse weather. 13 a/c of the A Group aborted for mechanical or personnel reasons. 5 a/c of the B Group aborted, 4 for mechanical or personnel reasons and Lt. Salles in a/c 42-31242 after a mid-air collision. This happened when our B Group and another Group crossed each other in this bad weather. Lt. Salles crash-landed at Watton at 1123 hours. None of the crew was injured.
The briefed route was followed, but the formations were ahead of time due to the tail wind being stronger than briefed. Clouds covered the main target so PFF methods were used. Bombs were away at 1420 hours from 25,800 feet. Strike photos from the B Group show that the main pattern was on the edge of the target.
About 50 enemy fighters were seen at 1515 hours in the vicinity of Fehmarn on the route in. Neither of our Groups were attacked by these a/c. Our fighter escort immediately engaged the enemy fighters.
Flak over the target was moderate.
Lt. White in a/c 42-107160 "Little Joe" ditched at 1335 hours approximately 25 miles off Great Yarmouth. The #1 and #3 props were running away and #2 engine was running rough with little power. The entire crew was rescued by an Allied minesweeper which was in the vicinity. An Air-Sea Rescue Craft brought the crew members back to land.
source: 388th Bomb Group web page http://www.388bg.info
source: 398th Bomb Group web page http://www.398th.org/
401BG / 613BS Mission Report - Crews: Keeling, Hammond, Connolly, Shotts, Scharff. Bombing was done by means of the Pathfinder through a 4/10 cloud coverage. Bombs were observed to hit the industrial section of the shipyards along the Kiel Canal. Unusually accurate meager to moderate flak was encountered in the target area causing the loss of one ship from another Squadron and damaging 24 ships out of the entire Group. No enemy aircraft were encountered by this Group. All aircraft from our Squadron returned safely and without casualties with the exception of the ship leading the Group with Lt. Col. Brown as Group leader. Capt. Shotts of this aircraft suffered a flak wound in the leg which was serious enough to warrant hospitalization.
source: 613th Bombardment Squadron History
401BG / 614BS Mission Report - The Group furnished 37 aircraft as the Lead and High Box for the 94th CBW and bombed Kiel by PFF through 4/10ths cloud cover. The primary target had been Berlin but very heavy cloud forced part of the 1st Air Division to bomb Kiel as a secondary target. Bombs were observed to fall in the industrial section along the canal. The flak in the target area was meager but very accurate. Also wounded on this mission and consequently removed from the battles over Europe, was one of the original 401st pilots: Captain Bryan Shotts. Crews: Lincoln Risher Fisette Kilmer La FEvor Gruman Smith.
source: 614th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
401BG / 615BS Mission Report - The two PFF ships to lead the mission to Berlin arrived from the nearby base of Bassingbourne at around 2.00am, and were Dimple J and Dimple Q. 37 crews were briefed at 0500 hrs and all ships were airborne by 0918 hrs led by Lt. Col. E.~. Brown. There was broken clouds all the way to the I.P. and when the Group failed to make contact with their escort they turned around according to plan and attacked Kiel, the secondary, by PFF techniques. The 4/10ths cloud coverage allowed observations of strikes in the industrial section along the canal. Two enemy aircraft were encountered. Meagre to moderate flak was noted around the Box the 401st were flying and was unusually accurate, which resulted in a ship being lost. This was SC-N, Serial No. 42-30826, piloted by Lt. M.O. Hagan, a 612th Squadron ship. Crews: Kaminski, Mann, Lewis, Post, Parr, Trimble, Christensen, Brown, Gillespie, Knight.
source: 615th Bombardment Squadron History www.401bg.org
44BG Mission Report - After three days of rest, operations were resumed in a big way. Major Felber, flying as Command Pilot, led the Group to Brunswick, Germany. The 66th sent two PFF ships to lead the 492nd BG, and two more flew with the other 26 ships of the 44th (9 were 67th's). Brunswick is always a tough target, this time the Marshalling Yards were the center of attention. Bombing loads of 6 x 100b lb GPs were dropped, with strike photos showing hits on the target, fair results on a visual run. A field day was had at the expense of E/A by the gunners of the Group - and other Groups. No less than thirteen enemy aircraft were shot down by our gunners, four by the 68th, three by the 67th. Two others were claimed as probables, with additional planes not allowed due to circumstances that made it impossible to make accurate decisions. Approximate1y 150 E/A made attacks on the formation with no losses to the Group. Claims for destruction of E/A included S/Sgt. Joseph Mulhaney, left waist gunner on A/C #846, downed a Me 109; 1st Lt. Melvin L. McLaud, nose turret gunner on A/C #475 with another Me- 109, and T/Sgt. Clyde Nickel, top turret gunner on A/C #095 with a FW 190. The flak was heavy intense, ranging from inaccurate to accurate. All of our aircraft returned at 1600 hours. Sgt. Chase adds: "The top turret gunner got off several bursts, the empty casing clinking against one another as they fell onto the cabin deck. I crouched behind the armor plate that protected the co-pilot's back, only my helmet and eyes above the armor as I watched the action. Oh, how I wished I could shoot back please, don't let them strip my bed... Finally, I couldn't resist anymore; I just had to do something positive. As an E/A came barrelling through our formation I pulled the trigger of my Very pistol and fired a signal flare at him. Useless? Foolish? Certainly, but I did get to fire one futile shot at the enemy." Sgt. Kipnes says, "We were to have bombed PFF, but the clouds dispersed and allowed for visual bombing. We ran into the worst enemy fighter attack we have ever encountered. We counted between 150 to 200 E/A swarming all over the skies. A few minutes earlier a small group of enemy fighters lured our escort away. Minutes later we were hit by this large formation of fighters. About 10 B-24s were seen to go down. (Officially 12 lost) We were exceptionally lucky for none of the attacks were aimed directly at us. Target was well saturated with bomb hits. Lt. Rising, our bombardier, had his nose turret hit by flak, but no injuries. Landed at 1610 hours. " Captain Slough was promoted to Major. Also, Capt. Lehnhausen, 68th Squadron C.O. was the recipient of Major as of the 14th.
source: 44th Bomb Group web page http://www.8thairforce.com/44thbg
446th Bomb Group Mission Report Brunswick
Up to 200 enemy planes and intense flak made this one of the toughest missions to date. The marshalling yards and an airfield were both bombed. All 446th planes returned safely to base, but one, without use of hydraulics, crashed into an ambulance upon landing. There were no injuries reported.
source: 492 Bomb Group Mission Links http://www.492ndbombgroup.com
91st BG / 323nd BS Mission Report - Berlin, Germany. This was a successful mission. Twelve ships of 323rd squadron participated. All ships completed the mission except two:
Ship #7504 aborted due to the fact that the pilot believed he would have an insufficient amount of gasoline to complete the mission.
Ship #7563 aborted due to the fact or rather failure of the exhaust stack on #2 engine causing loss of manifold pressure and excess cylinder head temperature due to hot exhaust gasses blowing on the thermo coupler. This was an engineering abortive. Pilot and crew not held responsible.
91BG / 401BS Mission Report - Today's target was Lichtenburg in the West Central half of the city of Berlin . This Squadron provided 13 A/C and crews for the mission. We also provided part of the crew and Combat Wing Commander for the PFF Lead ship. Major J. H. McPartlin flew as Wing Commander, our group provided the lead and high groups for the 1st 'B' Combat Wing. BOMBING RESULTS: Bombing done on PFF due to clouds over target and some crews reported seeing bursts in the city. ENEMY AIRCRAFT: No attacks on this wing, but the wing to the right was attacked by from 40 to 75 E/A. FIGHTER SUPPORT: As briefed. FLAK: The only accurate AA fire for our groups was encountered at the target. CASUALTIES: 10 Officers and men Missing In Action from A/C 455. While coming into target A/C 455 had the tail surfaces shot off by AA fire. It rolled over and went down. 20 objects were seen coming from plane, it believed to be part of crew making delayed jump.