Sep, 1944 - 445BG

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Sep, 1944

Mission Summaries
Group Mission # 158

TUESDAY, 5 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
3 missions are flown:
 
Mission 605:
739 bombers and 315 fighters are dispatched to SE Germany; 6 bombers are lost; during the missions, a P-51 shoots down a Swiss Bf 109 near Dubendorf.
 
203 of 218 B-17s attack a Stuttgart aero engine plant and targets of opportunity (4); 2 B-17s are lost and 109 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 147 of 160 P-51s; they claim 19-0-0 aircraft in the air and 14-0-27 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; 2 pilots are MIA.
 
277 of 303 B-17s hit a Ludwigshafen synthetic oil plant and target of opportunity (1); 2 B-17s are lost and 163 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 155 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 2 damaged.
 
183 of 218 B-24s hit Karlsruhe marshalling yard and targets of opportunity (12); 2 B-24s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 78 damaged; 22 airmen are MIA.
 
Mission 606:
143 of 143 B-17s make a visual attack on enemy positions in the Brest, France area; 2 B-17s are lost and 1 damaged; 18 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 21 of 22 P-51s without loss.
 
Mission 608:
7 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
 
46 B-24s and 2 C-47s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night; 1 B-24 is lost.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
22-10-12264x500lb GP
Poor-
Group Mission # 159

FRIDAY, 8 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

The first V-2 fired in combat explodes in a Paris suburb; the second strikes a London suburb a few hours later.
 
Mission 611:
1,070 bombers and 349 fighters are dispatched to hit industrial targets in the Mainz and Ludwigshafen, Germany area; attacks were visual at the primary targets; 10 bombers are lost:
 
348 of 384 B-17s attack the Ludwigshafen/Opau oil refinery; 5 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 185 damaged; 11 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 45 MIA. Escort is provided by 88 of 95 P-51s without loss.
 
247 of 300 B-24s hit Karlsruhe marshalling yard; 10 hit a secondary target at Ludwigshafen; 4 B-24s are lost and 92 damaged; 7 airmen are KIA, 9 WIA and 29 MIA. Escort is provided by 82 of 93 P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
 
386 B-17s are dispatched to hit an armored vehicle factory at Gustavsburg (167) and oil depot at Kassel (166); 23 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 132 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 144 of 161 P-51s without loss.
 
Mission 612:
7 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in the Low Countries, France and Germany during the night.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
30-20-10180x500lb GP
Good-
Group Mission # 160

SATURDAY, 9 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
3 missions are flown.
 
Mission 613:
68 of 72 B-17s fly Operation GRASSY to drop 180 containers of supplies to French Resistance Fighters 25 miles (40 km) S of Besancon without loss. Escort is provided by 30 of 32 P-51s without loss.
 
Mission 614:
1,140 bombers and 435 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in W Germany; the primaries are attacked by both visual and PFF means; 14 bombers and 1 fighter are lost:
 
419 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Mannheim (387); 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 5 B-17s are lost and 197 damaged; 10 airmen are WIA and 54 MIA. Escort is provided by 140 of 152 P-51s without loss.
 
337 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Mainz (265); targets of opportunity are the marshalling yard at Worms (24) and Koblenz (6); 3 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 104 damaged; 5 airmen are KIA and 33 MIA. Escort is provided by 125 of 128 P-51s without loss.
 
384 B-17s are dispatched to an armaments plant at Dusseldorf (251); targets of opportunity are Bonn (12), Leverkusen (11) and others (16); 6 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 148 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 63 MIA. Escort is provided by 142 of 155 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost.
 
Mission 618:
7 of 7 B-17s drop leaflets on Belgium, France and Germany during the night.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
40436--432x500lb GP
Good-
Group Mission # 161

SUNDAY, 10 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
4 missions are flown.
 
Mission 619:
1,144 bombers and 570 fighters are dispatched to targets in the Stuttgart, Germany area; 7 bombers are lost mostly to flak and 5 fighters are lost:
 
388 B-24s are dispatched and hit secondary targets, the marshalling yards at Ulm (247) and Heilbronn (100); 2 others bomb targets of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 65 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 10 MIA. Escort is provided by 153 P-38s and P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 1 P-38 and 3 P-51s damaged; 1 pilot is KIA and 2 MIA.
 
385 B-17s are dispatched to hit a tank factory at Nurnberg (173), Giebelstadt Airfield (112) and an aircraft components plant at Furth (60); 8 others hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost and 147 damaged; 7 airmen are WIA and 28 MIA. Escort is provided by 221 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 38-0-44 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
 
372 B-17s are dispatched to attack a motor vehicle factory at Gaggenau (140), a jet-propulsion units plant at Zuffenhausen (116) and an engine factory at Sindelfingen (73); 19 others hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost, 5 damaged beyond repair and 169 damaged; 9 airmen are WIA and 27 MIA. Escort is provided by 135 of 153 P-51s; they claim 1-1-0 aircraft in the air and 29-0-1 on the ground without loss.
 
Mission 620:
1 B-17 flies a mission to trial the GB-4 radio/visual control bomb against Duren, Germany
 
Mission 621:
3 of 3 B-17s fly a radar and photo reconnaissance mission over Germany; leaflets are also dropped.
 
6 of 7 B-17s drop leaflets on France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
 
121 of 135 P-47s strafe airfields and ground and rail traffic in a sweep over the Cologne, Frankfurt/Main, and Kassel areas; they claim 10-0-21 aircraft on the ground; 8 P-47s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; 8 pilots are MIA.
 
35 B-24s and C-47s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
391-38-456x500lb GPUnobserved-
Primary Target: Ulm Ordnance Depot - target could not be identified due to clouds
Secondary Target:  Ulm Railroad Marshalling Yard
Group Mission # 162

MONDAY, 11 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):

Two missions are flown.

Mission 623:
1,131 bombers and 440 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants and refineries in Germany; AAF encounters an estimated 525 Luftwaffe fighters; 40 bombers and 17 fighters are lost; AAF claim 115-7-23 aircraft in the air and 42-0-43 on the ground:

384 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Bohlen (75), Chemnitz (75), Brux (39) and Ruhland (22); the Chemnitz force is an Operation FRANTIC force that along with 64 P-51s, continues on and lands in the USSR; targets of opportunity are a tire plant at Fulda (66), a marshalling yard at Fulda (40) and 16 others; they claim 12-16-1 aircraft; 16 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 94 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 153 MIA. Escort is provided by 252 of 275 P-51s; they claim 57-2-12 aircraft in the air and 26-0-25 on the ground; 4 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; 4 pilots are MIA.

351 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Merseburg (111) and Lutzkendorf (96); targets of opportunity hit are Eisenach (71), Labejum (12), Rossla (6) and 25 others; they claim 1-1-2 aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 106 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 21 WIA and 120 MIA. Escort is provided by 247 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 13-0-1 aircraft in the air and 4-0-2 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 2 P-47s and 4 P-51s damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.

396 B-24s are dispatched to hit an engine factory at Hannover (88), oil refineries at Misburg (87) and Magdeburg (33) and an ordinance depot at Magdeburg (27); targets of opportunity hit are Magdeburg (70), Stendal (45), Diepholz (9) and 3 others; they claim 4-8-1 aircraft; 10 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 179 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 13 WIA and 102 MIA.

Escort is provided by 164 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 45-5-10 aircraft in the air and 12-0-16 on the ground; 10 P-51s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged; 14 pilots are MIA.

Mission 625:
6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets on France and Germany during the night.

38 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
40733--396x500lb GP
Good-
Group Mission # 163

TUESDAY, 12 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Two missions are flown.
 
Mission 626:
For the second day, 888 bombers and 662 fighters are dispatched on a major assault on the German oil industry; they are intercepted by 400-450 Luftwaffe fighters; AAF claims 81-16-20 aircraft in the air; 35 bombers and 12 fighters are lost:
 
299 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Brux (79) and Ruhland (59); targets of opportunity are Late (48), Plauen (30), Etterwinden (12), Karlsbad (11), Kitzingen (11) and others (21); PFF methods are used for all targets; they claim 14-9-7 aircraft; 19 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 94 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 171 MIA. Escort is provided by 238 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 29-2-4 aircraft in the air and 21-0-16 on the ground; 10 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.
 
348 B-17s are dispatched to hit Magdeburg/Rothensee (144), Magdeburg/Friedrichstadt (73) and Bohlen (35); targets of opportunity are Fulda (46), Molbis (11) and other (8); they bomb visually; they claim 13-5-5 aircraft; 12 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 9 WIA and 109 MIA. Escort is provided by 236 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 25-0-4 aircraft in the air and 5-0-15 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
 
241 B-24s are dispatched to hit Hemmingstedt (66), Kiel (58) and Misburg (34); targets of opportunity are Lehrte (38), marshalling yard at Northeim (12), Hannover (11), Hemmingstedt (3) and other (3); PFF was used for bombing; 4 B-24s are lost and 49 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 37 MIA.
 
Escort is provided by 105 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s without loss.
 
Mission 627:
7 of 7 B-17s drop leaflet in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
 
36 B-24s and C-47s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.

Note: The 445th was scheduled to bomb the oil works at Misburg, but were unable to bomb for reasons unknown. They did bomb the secondary target - railroad marshalling yard at Lehrte with one loss due to flak.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
243
21
252x500lb GPGood1
Primary target: Synthetic Oil Plant, Misburg, Germany; could not positively identify the target.
Secondary target: Railroad Marshalling Yard, Lehrte, Germany successfully bombed with 1 aircraft lost to flak. 
Group Mission # 164

WEDNESDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
3 missions are flown.
 
Mission 628:
1,015 bombers and 477 fighters attack oil and industrial targets in S Germany by visual means; 15 bombers and 8 fighters are lost:
 
376 B-17s are dispatched to oil refineries at Stuttgart / Sindelfingen (109) and Ludwigshafen (74); secondary targets hit are Darmstadt (95) and Wiesbaden (8); targets of opportunity hit are Mainz (22), a marshalling yard near Wiesbaden (12) and others (3); 4 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 134 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 37 MIA. Escort is provided by 73 of 74 P-47s, they claim 6-0-2 aircraft on the ground.
 
342 B-24s are dispatched to hit Schwabish Hall Airfield (65), a munitions dump at Ulm (65) and Weissenhorn (45); a target of opportunity hit is Reichelsheim (1); 4 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 127 damaged; 3 airman are WIA and 39 MIA. Escort is provided by 99 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 14-0-5 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.
 
297 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Merseburg (141) and Lutzkendorf (77); targets of opportunity hit are Giessen (17), Eisenach (12), Altenburg (7), Gera (7) and other (19); they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 145 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 67 MIA. Escort is provided by 233 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 33-0-4 aircraft in the air; 6 P-51s are lost.
 
Mission 629:
11 B-24s are dispatched on an Azon mission to the oil refinery at Hemminstedt (6); 5 hit the secondary target, ammunition dumps at Kropp.
 
Escort is provided by 15 of 15 P-51s without loss.
 
Mission 630:
8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets on the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
 
73 of 74 B-17s, escorted by 63 P-51s, continuing the UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle-bombing mission, take off from USSR bases, bomb steel and armament works at Diosgyor, Hungary and proceed to Fifteenth AF bases in Italy.

40 of 48 P-51s fly a strafing mission S of Munich hitting an aircraft dispersal area, airfield and marshalling yard; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
40129-10132x500lb GP
Very Good-
Group Mission # 165

THURSDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 644:
486 bombers are dispatched to hit targets in W Germany using PFF methods; 2 bombers are lost:
 
154 B-17s are dispatched to hit the synthetic oil plant at Ludwigshafen / Opau (147); 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 54 B-17s are damaged. Escort is provided by 39 P-38s and P-51s; 1 fighter is lost.
 
153 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Mainz (141); 52 B-17s are damaged; 2 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 34 of 35 P-51s without loss.
 
179 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Koblenz (144); 12 others hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 83 damaged; 15 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 44 of 46 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
 
90 P-47s and P-51s support the First Allied Airborne Army C-47s dropping supplies and paratroops of the Polish 1st Brigade near Driel, the Netherlands; they encounter about 50 Luftwaffe fighters, claiming 20-0-2; 3 P-47s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 2 damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
21-21--126x500lb GP
126x500lb IB
Unobserved-
Group Mission # 166

FRIDAY, 22 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 645:
661 bombers are dispatched to hit armored vehicle and motor vehicle factories at Kassel/Henschel, Germany bombing by PFF; 453 B-17s are dispatched; 410 hit the primary, 10 hit Wetzlar and 7 hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost and 104 damaged; 7 airmen are WIA and 27 MIA;
 
208 of 208 B-24s hit the primary; 3 bombers are damaged. Escort is provided by 268 of 286 P-51s; 1 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
 
The last Operations FRANTIC missions ends as 84 B-17s and 51 P-51s return to the UK from Italy; the remaining aircraft return on 8 Oct.
 
77 of 79 P-47s patrol the Arnhem, the Netherlands area; 1 P-47 is lost and 1 damaged beyond repair.
 
108 B-24s fly fuel to France.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
24123--138x500lb GP
138x500lb IB
Unobserved-
Group Mission # 167

MONDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 647:
1,306 bombers and 622 fighters are dispatched to attack marshalling yards in W Germany and the synthetic oil plant at Ludwigshafen bombed by PFF; 5 bombers and 3 fighters are lost:
 
534 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Ludwigshafen/Opau oil plant and the marshalling yard at Ludwigshafen (400); 46 others hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 86 damaged; 9 airmen are WIA. Escort is provided by 200 of 216 P-51s without loss.
 
444 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Frankfurt industrial area (410); 2 others hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost and 41 damaged; 18 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 210 P-38s and P-51s; 2 fighters are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged.
 
257 of 328 B-24s hit the Koblenz/Mosel and Koblenz/Rhein marshalling yards; 14 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 157 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 0-0-2 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 2 damaged.
 
176 B-24s on a TRUCKIN' mission fly fuel to France; 1 B-24 is lost.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
39237--324x500lb GP
120x500lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission # 168

TUESDAY, 26 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 648:
1,159 bombers and 432 fighters are dispatched to hit rail targets and armored vehicle factories in W Germany; 9 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:
 
422 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard and steel industry at Osnabruck (383); other targets hit are Rheine Airfield (10), Hesepe Airfield (3) and others (4): 2 B-17s are lost and 101 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 134 of 144 P-51s; they claim 2-0-3 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
 
274 of 317 B-24s hit the marshalling yard at Hamm and 1 hits Liesborn; 3 B-24s are lost and 53 damaged; 31 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 138 of 146 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
 
420 B-17s are dispatched to hit armored vehicle factories at Bremen (381); other targets hit are Bremerhaven (13) and other (1); 4 B-17s are lost and 208 damaged; 10 airmen are WIA and 21 MIA. Escort is provided by 133 of 142 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair.
 
Mission 649:
3 B-24s and 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
 
320 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s (P-38s from Ninth Air Force) support the First Allied Airborne Army in the Netherlands; they claim 32-1-8 aircraft in the air; 1 P-38 is lost (pilot MIA), 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 5 P-47s and 4 P-51s are damaged.
 
165 B-24s fly a TRUCKIN' mission carrying fuel to France.
 
HQ, 361st Fighter Group moves from Bottisham to Little Walden, England.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
271710--120x500lb GP
Unobserved-
Group Mission # 169

WEDNESDAY, 27 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 650:
1,192 bombers and 678 fighters are dispatched to hit industrial and transportation targets in W Germany and use PFF methods for all targets; 28 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:
 
421 of 462 B-17s hit a secondary target (Cologne) and 10 others hit Blatzheim; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 165 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA; 7 WIA and 1 MIA. Escort is provided by 221 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft in the air; 3 P-47s are damaged.
 
415 B-17s are dispatched to hit Ludwigshafen/Opau oil refinery (214) and Mainz (171); 4 others hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost and 142 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 9 WIA and 19 MIA. Escort is provided by 212 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air; 1 P-47 is damaged.
 
315 B-24s are dispatched to hit Kassel/Henschel armored vehicle plant (248); 35 also hit Göettingen; they claim 5-3-0 aircraft; 26 B-24s are lost, 6 damaged beyond repair and 41 damaged; 20 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 245 MIA. Escort is provided by 207 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 25-0-6 aircraft in the air and 5-0-1 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA), 1 P-51 damaged beyond repair, and 2 P-38s and 2 P-47s damaged.
 
Mission 651:
8 of 10 B-17s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
 
163 B-24s on a TRUCKIN' mission carry fuel to France.

Webmaster Note: Due to gross navigational and mechanical problems slaving the radar onboard the lead aircraft to the bombsight and a gross leadership failure on the part of the Command Pilot, the 445th Bomb Group formation left the protection of the main bomber stream's fighter cover and bombed what they thought was Kassel, but was really Göettingen, a town 25 miles NE of Kassel. There was 10/10 undercast so no ground references were available.

After coming off the target and following the planned route, the formation was attacked by a fighter force of approximately 150 aircraft (100 Fw-190A/8 and 50 Bf-109G). Twenty-five B-24's went down in less than 5 minutes. Only the timely arrival of friendly fighter cover were the remaining ten planes able to escape.  Three planes made forced landings behind friendly lines on the Continent (2 in France, 1 in Belgium); two planes made emergency landings at Manston, UK - an emergency strip on the English coast; one plane crashed near Old Buckingham (453rd BG) and four planes returned to Tibenham.

The noted 8th Air Force historian Roger A Freeman said this was the greatest loss suffered by a single unit on a given mission in all of World War II - 31 of 35 planes, an 88.6% loss rate!
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
394-35-210x1,000 GPUnobserved31
Image 1 - Primary Target: Henschel Tiger Tank Production Facility in Kassel, Germany.
Image 2 - Actual Target: Near Göettingen, Germany
Image 3 - Route Maps: Red line indicates planned route; White line shows 445th's route; Yellow line indicates the German fighter attacks.
Group Mission # 170

THURSDAY, 28 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 652:
1,049 bombers and 724 fighters are dispatched to hit oil and military vehicle factories in C Germany using PFF means; they claim 37-8-18 Luftwaffe aircraft; 34 bombers and 7 fighters are lost:
 
445 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Magdeburg/Rothensee oil refinery (23); 359 hit the secondary at Magdeburg and 35 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 10-7-5 aircraft; 23 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 126 damaged; 8 airmen are WIA and 208 MIA. Escort is provided by 263 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 24-0-13 aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground; 5 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 damaged; 5 pilots are MIA.
 
342 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Merseburg/Leuna oil refinery (301); 10 others hit targets of opportunity; 10 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 251 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 92 MIA. Escort is provided by 212 of 231 P-51s; they claim 2-1-0 aircraft in the air; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
 
262 B-24s are dispatched to hit the Kassel/Henschel motor transport plant (243); 1 hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 86 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 171 of 195 P-47s; 1 P-47s is lost and 3 damaged; 1 pilot is MIA.
 
Mission 653:
4 B-24s and 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
 
194 B-24s fly a TRUCKIN' mission to France with fuel.
 
The 374th, 375th and 376th Fighter Squadrons, 361st Fighter Group, move from Bottisham to Little Walden, England with P-51s.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
10-10--60x1,000lb GP
Excellent-
Group Mission # 171

SATURDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 1944
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force):
 
Mission 655:
834 bombers and 629 fighters are dispatched to make PFF attacks on marshalling yards and airfields in W Germany; 8 bombers are lost:
 
257 of 266 B-17s hit Bielefeld marshalling yard; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 24 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 28 MIA. Escort is provided by 240 P-47s and P-51s without loss.
 
255 B-24s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Hamm (206); targets of opportunity are Munster (12) and other (1); 1 B-24 is lost and 32 damaged; 10 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 170 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s without loss.
 
313 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yard at Munster (35) and Munster/Handorf Airfield (14); targets of opportunity are Munster (239) and other (1); 3 B-17s are lost and 85 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 36 MIA. Escort is provided by 177 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
 
86 of 97 P-51s fly a sweep over NW Germany; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
 
116 B-24s fly a TRUCKIN' mission carrying fuel to France.
Acft T/OAbortsOver PriOver SecOver L/RBomb LoadScoringLosses
10-10--120x500lb IB
Unobserved-
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