Feb, 1944 - 445BG

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Feb, 1944

Mission Summaries
Group Mission #16

WEDNESDAY, 2 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO):
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Marshall Josef V Stalin agrees to provide 6 bases for US aircraft in the USSR.
 
Mission 205:
95 of 110 B-24s hit V-weapon construction sites at St Pol/Siracourt and Watten, France; 2 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; casualties are 10 KIA and 19 MIA. 183 P-47s escort the B-24s without loss.
 
364th Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, transfers from Raydon to Leiston, England with P-51s; first mission is 11 Feb.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
28919--225x500lb GP
Unobserved1
Group Mission #17

THURSDAY, 3 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 206:
553 of 671 B-17s hit the port area at Wilhelmshaven, Germany; another 56 hit the Emden area; and 1 hits Oldenburg; 1.8 million leaflets are dropped by B-17s.

193 B-24s are dispatched but they abort the mission over the Zuider Zee due to clouds; 0-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 47 B-17s are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 9 WIA and 42 MIA. Escort is provided by 74 P-38s, 508 P-47s of the Eighth and Ninth Air Force and 50 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 8-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 P-47s and 1 P-51 are lost, 3 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 13 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 9 MIA.

Mission 207:
7 of 7 B-17s drop 420 bundles of leaflets on Paris, Rouen, Amiens, Reims, Orleans and Rennes, France at 2110-2146 hours; no losses.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
282---780x100lb IB
Recalled-
Group Mission #18

SATURDAY, 5 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
In view of the previous decision to concentrate most of the training activities of the Eighth Air Force in the VIII Air Force Composite Command, a decision is made to transfer HQ from Limavady, County Derry, Ireland, to Cheddington, England, to bring it closer to the combat crew training stations over which it is to be given supervision. Most of the transfer is completed between 7 and 15 Feb.
 
Mission 210:
Airfields in France are targeted. 103 B-17s are dispatched to Châteauroux/ Martinerie and Avord Airfields with 50 hitting each target; 121 B-17s are dispatched to Château dun (61 bomb) and Orleans/Bricy (60 bomb) Airfields; 182 B-17s are dispatched to Romilly-sur-Seine air depot but 133 hit Villacoublay.
 
103 B-24s are dispatched to Tours Airfield (90 bomb) and 8 hit Château dun; they claim 5-0-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 B-17s and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 39 B-17s and 31 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 15 WIA and 22 MIA.
 
Escort is provided by 92 P-38s, 496 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 46 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 6-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47s are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged; casualties are 2 MIA.
 
Mission 211:
5 of 5 B-17s drop 300 bundles of leaflets during a CARPETBAGGER mission on Ghent, Monceau-sur-Sambre, Antwerp and Brussels, Belgium at 2026-2037 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
22220--780x100lb IB
Fair-
Group Mission #19

SUNDAY, 6 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
           
Mission 212:
Airfields and V-weapon launch sites in France are targeted but weather forces 400+ bombers to abort the mission.
 
189 B-17s are dispatched against the Romilly-sur-Seine Air Depot and 60 hit St Andre de L'Eure Airfield and 40 hit Evreux/Fauville Airfield; 303 B-17s are dispatched to Nancy/Essay and Dijon/Longvic Airfields but only 60 hit Caen/Carpiquet Airfield.
 
150 B-24s are dispatched to St Pol/Siracourt V-weapon site but 37 hit Château dun Airfield and 9 hit the Eclimeux V-weapon site; they claim 3-3-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 43 B-17s and 7 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 3 WIA and 43 MIA.
 
Escorting are 85 P-38s, 506 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 47 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 11-2-3 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 2-0-7 on the ground; 3 P-38s and 1 P-47 are lost, 1 P-38 and 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 1 P-47 are damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 4 MIA.
 
Mission 213:
6 of 6 B-17s drop 363 leaflet bundles in a CARPETBAGGER mission over Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent, Liege and Monceau-sur-Sambre, Belgium at 2202-2225 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
15----150x500lb GP
Abort-
Group Mission #20

TUESDAY, 8 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 214:
53 of 54 B-24s hit the V-weapon site at Siracourt, France while 57 of 73 B-24s hit the V-weapon site at Watten, France; 41 B-24s are damaged and 10 airmen are WIA; escort is 89 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s.
 
88 of 236 B-17s hit the marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany using blind-bombing techniques; 107 other B-17s hit targets of opportunity; they claim 1-3-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 108 damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 4 WIA and 130 MIA; escort is provided by 77 P-38s, 435 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 41 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 16-1-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38s, 3 P-47s and 4 P-51s are lost, 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 4 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 9 MIA.
 
Mission 215:
6 of 6 B-17s drop 360 bundles of leaflets in a CARPETBAGGER operation over Caen, Rouen, Paris, Rennes and Amiens, France at 2106-2136 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
22715--42x2000lb GP
32x1000lb GP
Fair-
Group Mission #21

THURSDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 216:
141 of 169 B-17s hit the industrial area at Brunswick, Germany and 2 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 42-30-61 Luftwaffe aircraft; 29 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 52 damaged; casualties are 2 KIA, 3 WIA and 295 MIA; escort is provided by 64 P-38s, 357 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 45 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 56-1-40 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 0-0-2 on the ground; 5 P-38s and 4 P-47s are lost, 1 P-38 and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair and 6 P-47s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 1 WIA and 9 MIA.
 
27 of 81 B-24s hit the Gilze-Rijen Airfield, The Netherlands; dense contrails and frost prevent most aircraft from attacking; 4 B-24s are damaged beyond repair; casualties are 26 KIA and 14 WIA; escort is provided by 91 P-47s without loss.
 
Mission 217:
In a CARPETBAGGER mission, 5 of 5 B-17s drop 260 bundles of leaflets on Rennes, Caen, Rouen and Amiens, France and Antwerp, Belgium at 2111-2145 hours without loss.
 
HQ, 364th Fighter Group and 383rd, 384th and 385th Fighter Squadrons arrive at Honington, England from the US with P-38J's; first mission is 2 March.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
1156--66x500lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission #22

FRIDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 218:
94 of 201 B-24s bomb the Siracourt V-weapon site in France with PFF equipment; the remaining aircraft were assigned individual targets without PFF and were unable to locate their targets; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 17 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 1 WIA and 10 MIA; escort is provided by 85 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47's and 41 P-51s without loss.
 
The primary target for 223 B-17s is the marshalling yard at Frankfurt, Germany; 157 hit the primary, 32 hit Ludwigshafen, 19 hit Saarbrucken and 4 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 3-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 124 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 26 WIA and 51 MIA; escort is provided by 82 P-38s, 486 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47's and 38 Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 30-2-28 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 2-1-4 on the ground; 8 P-38s, 4 P-47's and 2 P-51s are lost, 2 P-47's and 1 P-51 are damaged beyond repair and 2 P-38s and 4 P-47's are damaged; casualties are 14 MIA.
 
Mission 219:
5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Ghent, Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium at 2118-2146 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
23221--276x500lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission #23

SUNDAY, 13 FEBRUARY 1944
AMERICAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS
ZONE OF INTERIOR:

The Combined Chiefs of Staff (CCS) accepts revision of the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) Plan. The targets are reduced to a number that can be decisively attacked and target lists are revised to keep up with the effort of the Germans to relocate vital industrial plants. Disruption of communication lines and reduction of the Luftwaffe are high priority aims included in the CCS directive on this date.

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

Mission 221:
V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area of France are hit.

266 of 277 B-17s hit 12 sites and 138 of 192 B-24s hit 5 sites. 12 B-24s hit targets of opportunity; they claim 0-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost, 2 B-17s and 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair, and 74 B-17s and 57 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 23 WIA and 24 MIA. Escort is provided by 189 P-47s and 43 P-51s; they claim 6-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 0-0-4 on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost and 4 P-47s damaged; no casualties.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
21-21--252x500lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission #24

TUESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 223:
52 of 54 B-24s hit V-weapon sites at St Pol/Siracourt, France; 29 B-24s are damaged; no losses or casualties.

Mission 224:
95 P-47s are dispatched to bomb 2 airfields in France but are recalled; 1 P-47 is damaged; no casualties Mission 225: 6 of 6 B-17s drop 300 bundles of leaflets on Orleans, Chartres, Cambrai, Le Mans, Lille and Reims, France at 2124-2155 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
23-23--276x500lb GP
Good-
Group Mission #25

SUNDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 226:
The Eighth Air Force begins "Big Week," attacks on German aircraft plants and airfields. For the first time, over 1,000 bombers are dispatched; 21 bombers and 4 fighters are lost hitting 3 areas in Germany, i.e.:

417 B-17s are dispatched to Leipzig/Mockau Airfield, and aviation industry targets at Heiterblick and Abtnaundorf; 239 hit the primary targets, 37 hit Bernburg, 44 hit Oschersleben and 20 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 14-5-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 17 WIA and 72 MIA.

314 B-17s are dispatched to the Tutow Airfield; 105 hit the primary and immediate area, 76 hit Rostock and 115 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 15-15-10 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 3 KIA and 60 MIA.

272 B-24s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Brunswick, Wilhelmitor and Neupetritor76 hit the primary, 87 hit Gotha, 13 hit Oschersleben, 58 hit Helmstedt and 10 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 36-13-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 10 KIA, 10 WIA and 77 MIA.

Missions 1 and 3 above are escorted by 94 P-38s, 668 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 73 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; they claim 61-7-37 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38, 2 P-47s and 1 P-51 is lost, 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair and 4 aircraft are damaged; casualties are 4 MIA.

Mission 227:
4 of 5 B-17s drop 200 bundles of leaflets on Tours, Nantes, Brest and Lorient, France at 2123-2200 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
35233--340x500lb GP
Excellent3
Group Mission #26

MONDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 228:
"Big Week" continues with 3 areas in Germany targeted with the loss of 16 bombers and 5 fighters:

336 B-17s are dispatched to the Gutersioh, Lippstadt and Werl Airfields; because of thick overcast, 285 hit Achmer, Hopsten, Rheine, Diepholz, Quakenbruck and Bramsche Airfields and the marshalling yards at Coevorden and Lingen; they claim 12-5-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 63 damaged; casualties are 4 KIA, 13 WIA and 75 MIA.

281 B-17s are dispatched to Diepholz Airfield and Brunswick; 175 hit the primaries and 88 hit Alhorn and Verden Airfields and Hannover; they claim 2-5-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; casualties are 20 KIA, 4 WIA and 57 MIA.

244 B-24s are dispatched to Achmer and Handorf Airfields; 11 hit Achmer Airfield and 203 hit Diepholz (Last Resort), Verden and Hesepe Airfields and Lingen; they claim 5-6-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 31 MIA.

Escort for Mission 228 is provided by 69 P-38s, 542 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 68 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 0-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-47s claim 19-3-14 Luftwaffe aircraft, 2 P-47s are lost, 2 are damaged beyond repair, 3 are damaged and 2 pilots are MIA; the P-51s claim 14-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft, 3 P-51s are lost and the pilots are MIA.

Mission 229:
5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Rouen, Caen, Paris and Amiens, France at 2215-2327 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
282--26780x100lb IB
Good-
Group Mission #27

TUESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

HQ VIII Bomber Command is re-designated as HQ, Eighth Air Force.

Mission 230:
"Big Week" continues with 799 aircraft dispatched against German aviation and Luftwaffe airfields; 41 bombers and 11 fighters are lost.

289 B-17s are dispatched against aviation industry targets at Aschersleben (34 bomb), Bernburg (47 bomb) and Halberstadt (18 bomb) in conjunction with a Fifteenth Air Force raid on Regensburg, Germany; 32 hit Bunde, 19 hit Wernegerode, 15 hit Magdeburg, 9 hit Marburg and 7 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 32-18-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 38 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 141 damaged; casualties are 35 KIA, 30 WIA and 367 MIA.

333 B-17s are dispatched to Schweinfurt but severe weather prevents aircraft from forming properly and they are forced to abandon the mission prior to crossing the enemy coast; 2 B-17s are damaged.

177 B-24s are dispatched but they are recalled when 100 miles (160 km) inland; since they were over Germany, they sought targets of opportunity but strong winds (90 kts) drove the bombers over The Netherlands and their bombs hit Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Deventer; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost and 3 damaged; casualties are 30 MIA.

These missions are escorted by 67 P-38s, 535 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s, and 57 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 6 are damaged; the P-47s claim 39-6-15 Luftwaffe aircraft, 8 P-47s are lost and 12 damaged, 8 pilots are MIA; the P-51s claim 19-1-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 3 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged, 3 pilot are MIA.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
282--277x120lb FB
Recalled-
Group Mission #28

THURSDAY, 24 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 233:
3rd Bomb Division (B-17) had 295 of 304 aircraft bomb Rostok and other targets of opportunity, missing their primaries (aviation industry plants at Tutow, Posen and Keising). They lost 5 aircraft and had 60 damaged.

1st Bomb Division had 238 0f 266 B-17’s bomb the aviation industry at Schweinfurt. They lost 11 aircraft and had 160 damaged.

2nd Bomb Division had 169 of 239 B-24’s bomb the aviation industry at Gotha (Gothaer Waggonfabrik A.G., aircraft factory airdrome and GAF Station). The Division lead bombardier, suffering from anoxia due to a faulty oxygen mask, mistook the town of Eisenach as the primary and 43 aircraft dropped on himDue to unforeseen winds aloft, the 445th Bomb Group arrived at their fighter cover assembly point 11 minutes early and proceeded on to the target without escort. They lost 13 of 25 aircraft in one of the longest running air battles of the war – lasting some four and a half hours. By direction of the President of the United States, the unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for their gallantry in continuing the attack and severely damaging the target.

Mission 234:
1st Bomb Division (B-17) had 5 of 5 aircraft drop 250 bundles of leaflets over Lorient, Tours, Nantes, Brest, and Reims between 2208 and 2226 hours with no losses.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
295186-
180x500lb GP
60x500lb GP
Excellent13
Group Mission #29

FRIDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Mission 235:
In the final "Big Week" mission, 4 targets in Germany are hit; 31 bombers and 3 fighters are lost.

268 B-17s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Augsburg and the industrial area at Stuttgart; 196 hit Augsburg and targets of opportunity and 50 hit Stuttgart; they claim 8-4-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost and 172 damaged; casualties are 12 WIA and 130 MIA.

267 of 290 B-17s hit aviation industry targets at Regensburg and targets of opportunity; they claim 13-1-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 82 damaged; casualties are 4 KIA, 12 WIA and 110 MIA.

172 of 196 B-24s hit aviation industry targets at Frth and targets of opportunity; they claim 2-2-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 44 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 61 MIA.

Escort is provided by 73 P-38s, 687 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 139 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-47s claim 13-2-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-47 is lost and 6 damaged, 1 pilot is MIA; the P-51s claim 12-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft, 2 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged beyond repair, 2 pilots are MIA.

Mission 236:
5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Grenoble, Toulouse, Chartres, Caen and Raismes, France at 2129-2335 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
17512--680x120lb FB
Excellent-
Group Mission #30

TUESDAY, 29 FEBRUARY 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Missions 240, 241 and 242 are flown; 1 bomber and 5 fighters are lost.

Mission 240:
218 of 226 B-17s hit aviation industry targets at Brunswick, Germany and targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost and 54 damaged; casualties are 4 WIA and 10 MIA. Escorting are 61 P-38s, 346 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 147 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; 2 P-38s are lost and 1 damaged, 2 pilots are MIA; the P-47s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-47 is lost and 1 damaged, 1 pilot is MIA; 1 P-51 is lost, the pilot is MIA.

Mission 241:
38 of 48 B-24s hit the V-weapon site at Lottinghen, France without loss. Escorting are 79 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s; 1 is lost and the pilot is MIA.

Mission 242:
5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Orleans, Lille, Reims, Cambrai and Châteauroux, France at 2025-2121 hours without loss.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
231211--132x500lb GP
unobserved-
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