Dec, 1943 - 445BG

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Dec, 1943

Mission Summaries
Group Mission #1

MONDAY, 13 DECEMBER 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

2 missions are flown:

Mission 154:
The port area at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are hit; 5 aircraft are lost. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are dispatched.

171 of 182 B-17's dispatched to Bremen hit the target at 1159-1206 hours; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 30 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 3 WIA.

367 of 403 B-17's, 93 of 107 B-24's, 12 of 12 B-17 PFF and 6 of 6 B-24 PFF aircraft are dispatched to Kiel; heavy frosting and poor visibility disrupts the formation and 78 B-17's hit targets of opportunity in Hamburg at 1300-1305 hours; the remaining aircraft hit Kiel at 1245-1317 hours; 7-3-17 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 4 B-17's and 1 B-24 are lost; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 136 B-17's and 4 B-24's are lost; casualties are 4 KIA, 16 WIA and 50 MIA.  These missions are escorted by 31 P-38's, 322 P-47's and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 is damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 1 MIA.

P-51's escorting the heavy bombers reach the limit of their escort range for the first time.

Mission 155:
5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Le Mans, Rennes, Tours, Nantes and Chartres, France at 2138-2155 hours; no losses.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
15312--10x500lb IBUnobserved0
Group Mission #2

THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):


2 missions are flown:

Mission 156: 
The port area at Bremen, Germany is the target. 402 of 479 B-17's, 133 of 141 B-24's and 10 of 11 PFF aircraft hit the target at 1309-1322 hours; they claim 18-11-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; 10 B-17's are lost; 2 B-17's and 2 B-24's are damaged beyond repair; 128 B-17's, 22 B-24's and 5 PFF aircraft are damaged; casualties are 6 KIA, 8 WIA and 104 MIA. The mission is escorted by 31 P-38's, 131 P-47's and 39 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is lost, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 1 MIA.

Mission 157:
4 B-17's drop 1.952 million leaflets over Hanover, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; and Lille, France at 1903-1943 hours; no losses or casualties.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
24024--192x500lb GP
384x100lb IB
Unobserved0
Group Mission #3

MONDAY, 20 DECEMBER 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):


2 missions are flown:

Mission 159:
The port area at Bremen, Germany is hit. 357 of 407 B-17's, 103 of 127 B-24's and 12 of 12 PFF aircraft hit the target at 1142-1214 hours; they claim 21-14-23 Luftwaffe aircraft; 21 B-17's and 6* B-24's are lost; 3 B-17's are damaged beyond repair; 213 B-17's and 34 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 41 WIA and 270 MIA. 

Window-metal foil strips which, when dropped from an airplane, provide an echo which confuses radar locating equipment is used for the first time on an Eighth Air Force mission. This mission is escorted by 26 P-38's, 418 P-47's and 47 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 19-3-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47's and 4 P-51's are lost; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 5 MIA. Twin-engine, rocket-firing Luftwaffe fighters attack under protection of single engine airplanes.

* 445th Bomb Group suffers it's first combat loss - 2nd Lt Milton 'Buck' Patterson's aircraft is downed by flak.

Mission 160:
5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Lille and Lens, France and Ghent and Brussels, Belgium at 2005-2015 hours; no losses.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
25322--200x500 GP
400x100 IB
Unobserved1
Group Mission #4

WEDNESDAY, 22 DECEMBER 1943
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
ZONE OF INTERIOR (HQ AAF)
:

Orders are issued for General Carl Spaatz to take command of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSAFE). Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker, Eighth Air Force Commanding General, is to Command Allied Air Forces in the MTO, after remaining in the UK until mid-Jan to advise Spaatz and Lieutenant General James H Doolittle, the new Commanding General, Eighth Air Force.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

3 missions are flown:

Mission 161:
Marshalling yards at Osnabrück and Münster, Germany are targeted; 22 US bombers are lost. Heavy cloud conditions along with a malfunction of Pathfinder equipment result in a large number of heavy bombers failing to attack targets.

147 of 225 B-17's, 87 of 121 B-24's and 2 PFF aircraft hit Osnabrück at 1356-1434 hours; they claim 18-8-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17's and 12 B-24's are lost; 2 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair; and 21 B-17's and 11 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 6 KIA, 13 WIA and 160 MIA.

164 of 177 B-17's, 30 of 43 B-24's and 3 PFF aircraft hit Münster at 1353-1417 hours; 3 B-17's and 2 B-24's are lost, 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair, and 29 B-17's are damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 50 MIA.

The bombers are escorted by 40 P-38's, 448 P-47's and 28 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 15-1-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38's and 2 P-47's are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged; casualties are 4 MIA.

Mission 162:
6 B-17's drop 1.212 million leaflets on Paris, Amiens, Chartres, Orleans and Rennes, France at 1942-2018 hours; no casualties.

Mission 163:
1 B-17 drops two 2,000 pound (907 kg) general purpose bombs and 1 Photoflash on Cologne, Germany at 2020 hours; no casualties.

RAF light bombers attack numerous NOBALL (V-weapons) targets in France in conjunction with the Osnabrück-Münster raids.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
26517-4210x500 GP
Unobserved2
Group Mission #5

FRIDAY, 24 DECEMBER 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):


26 heavy bomber groups are now operational.

Mission 164:
23 V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area of France are hit. 478 of 526 B-17's 192 of 196 B-24's hit the targets at 1330-1510 hours (Bonnières-sur-Seine, France and Beauvoir, France); 2 B-24's are damaged beyond repair and 85 B-17's are damaged; casualties are 4 WIA. This is the largest number of aircraft carrying out attacks of any Eighth Air Force mission to date and the first of its major strikes against missile sites. The heavies are escorted by 40 P-38's, 459 P-47's and 42 Ninth Air Force P-51's; 2 P-38's are damaged beyond repair and 2 P-51's are damaged; no casualties.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
35-23-12276x500 GP
144x500 IB
Fair0
Group Mission #6

THURSDAY, 30 DECEMBER 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):


2 missions are flown:

Mission 169: 
The port area and oil refinery at Ludwigshafen, Germany are hit at 1156-1300 hours. 502 of 530 B-17's, 145 of 168 B-24's, and 11 of 12 PFF aircraft attack the target; they claim 12-4-9 Luftwaffe aircraft; 14 B-17's and 9 B-24's are lost, 4 B-17's and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 106 B-17's and 11 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 19 WIA and 200 MIA.  The mission is escorted by 79 P-38's, 463 P-47's and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 8-3-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 11 P-47's and 2 P-51's are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 12 MIA.

Mission 170: 
5 B-17's drop 1 million leaflets on Antwerp, Ghent, Lens, Belgium and Cambrai, France at 2319-2340 hours; no losses. 
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
23419--920x100 IB
Unobserved2
Group Mission #7

FRIDAY, 31 DECEMBER 1943
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):


Mission 171:
Various targets in France are hit; 19 B-17's and 6 B-24's are lost.

200 of 236 B-17s and 57 of 60 B-24s hit the Bordeaux-Merignac, St. Jean D'Angely, Cognac-Château Bernard and Landes Bussac Airfields at 1211-1315 hours; they claim 17-13-27 Luftwaffe aircraft; 18 B-17s and 5 B-24s are lost, 8 B-17s and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 103 B-17s and 5 B-24's are damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 36 WIA and 231 MIA.

57 B-17's are dispatched to hit a blockade running ship at Gironde but cannot find the target; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 3 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 5 WIA.

87 of 94 B-24's hit the St Jean D'Angely Airfield at 1211-1235 hours; they claim 9-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-24 is lost, 3 are damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; casualties are 10 MIA.

120 of 125 B-17's hit the industrial areas at Paris-Ivry and Bois-Colombes at 1207-1227 hours; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 49 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 10 MIA.

These missions are escorted by 74 P-38's, 441 P-47's and 33 Ninth Air Force P-51's; they claim 9-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38, 2 P-47's are 1 P-51 are lost; 1 P-38 and 6 P-47's are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 is damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 2 MIA. 

The total bomb tonnage dropped by the Eighth Air Force in Dec 43, 13,142 tons, for the first time exceeds that dropped by the RAF Bomber Command.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
2211119210x500lb GP
Excellent0
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