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8th Air Force 901

21 March 1945

Official description

Mission 901: Preparatory air operations for the forthcoming (23 Mar) crossing of the lower Rhine River by Allied ground forces begin. 1,408 bombers and 806 fighters, in conjunction with Ninth Air Force and RAF aircraft, attack jet fighter bases; with one exception, all attacks are visual; they claim 58-3-49 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s and 9 P-51s are lost: 1. 107 of 152 B-17s hit the secondary target, the tank factory at Plauen; targets of opportunity are Reichenbach (34) and other (1); they claim 3-3-3 aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost and 48 damaged. The escort is 273 of 314 P-51s; they claim 9-0-0 aircraft in the air and 3-0-0 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 2. 129 of 151 B-17s attack Hardorf Airfield; 14 others hit Vorden Airfield, a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 71 damaged. Escorting are 94 of 98 P-51s; they claim 0-0-2 aircraft in the air. 3. 214 B-17s are sent to attack the airfields at Zwischenahn (57), Marx (77) and Wittmundhafen (74); casualties for 1., 2. and 3. above are 7 WIA and 56 MIA. 108 of 109 P-51s escort and claim 2-0-8 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 4. 518 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Ahlhorn (61), Hesepe (165), Achmer (180) and Mulheim Airfield at Essen (90); 21 B-24s are damaged. Escorting are 95 of 99 P-51s; they claim 35-0-30 aircraft on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 5. 373 B-17s are sent to hit airfields at Hopsten (159 using Gee-H) and Rheine (180); targets of opportunity are the airfields at Hesepe (13) and Achmer (12); 1 B-17 is lost and 49 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 3 WIA and 9 MIA. 97 of 102 P-51s escort; they claim 6-0-0 aircraft on the ground. 6. 36 P-51s fly a sweep over Giebelstadt Airfield and claim 0-0-6 aircraft on the ground. 7. 13 P-51s escort 9 F-5s, 1 P-38 and 1 Spitfire on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany. 8. 35 P-51s fly a scouting mission.

Description

Not yet known

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. ACHMER

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. AHLHORN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

4. ESSEN/MULHEIM

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

5. GIEBELSTADT

Description

FIGHTER SWEEP

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

6. Germany

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

7. HESEPE

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

8. HOPSTEN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

9. Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

10. PLAUEN

Description

TANK FACTORY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Preparations for the forthcoming crossing (23 Mar 45) of the lower Rhine River begin. This is named OPERATION VARSITY. 1,408 bombers and 806 fighters, in conjunction with Ninth Air Force and the RAF attack jet fighter bases.

Mission Statistics

11. REICHENBACH

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

12. RHEINE

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

13. VORDEN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

14. WITTMUNDHAFEN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 711th Bomb Squadron

Mission Statistics

15. ZWISCHENAHN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • Harry Berger

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer/ Gunner | 445th Bomb Group
    Born in 1921; used to say that he was the "old guy" in his unit.. ...

  • Edward Blattner

    Military | Flight Officer | Bombardier | 447th Bomb Group
    June 1, 1922: Edward Aloysius Blattner (Nickname: "Buddy") was born in Chicago Illinois ...

  • Sabatine Branco

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator; Waist Gunner | 487th Bomb Group
    Flew 34 combat missions from 1/8/45 to 4/21/45. Most of them in a B-17G 'Dinah-Mite' #44-8694.

  • Thomas Brock

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter pilot | 339th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 505FS, 339FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 351FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission to Achmer A/D. Whilst strafing airdrome, hit in coolant system by return fire, bellied in Hopsten. Initially reported as MIA on 21-Mar...

  • Charles Bruckman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Damaged 34th BG aircraft (#43-38971) mid-air collision with Ol' Scrapiron (#42-31582). Ol' Scrapiron broke apart at the waist on 23 Mar 1945. Seven crewmen of Ol' Scrapiron killed in Action (KIA) including Bruckman. Two survived (Schlag and Shibble).

  • Varsall Cowley

    Military | Armorer Gunner | 487th Bomb Group

  • Bruce Eddy

    Military | Flight Officer | Fighter pilot | 353rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 351FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Achmer A/D Germany in P-51D 'Lil Boston Bull' 44-14569. Thought KIA crashed near Krefeld on 21-Mar-45, but later liberated Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 13955. ...

  • John Ferard

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 34th Bomb Group

  • Roy Frawley

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 486th Bomb Group

  • Donald Hamaker

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-17 Pilot/Element Leader (WWII); Command Pilot (Transport Command) | 452nd Bomb Group
    Completed 36 combat missions from February 3, (Berlin) through April 16, 1945. Piloted "Lady Gay" to bomb Chemnitz but was forced down by flak in Ghent, Bel. on February 6, 1945. All crew survived. Flew A/C back to Deopham Green following repairs. Flew...

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Aircraft

  • 42-97392

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/2/44; Kearney 16/3/44; Dow Fd 5/4/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 11/4/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 9/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 43-39056

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 20/11/44; Grenier 2/12/44; Assigned 549BS/385BG [XA-V] Gt Ashfield 3/12/44; when parked at Horsching, Austria was hit by 44-8320 on 20/5/45; Salvaged n/battle damaged 6/9/45.

  • 44-11698

    P-51 Mustang

  • 44-14569 "Lil' Boston Bull"

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 351FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Achmer A/D Germany. Crashed near Krefeld on 21-Mar-45, pilot F/O Bruce A Eddy Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 13955.

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2018 01:54:28 jhuck Changes to event
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; p. 298

Date Contributor Update
06 September 2018 01:53:05 jhuck Changes to person associations
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; p. 298

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 22:52:15 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations
Sources

Official Website of 385th Bomb Group Association Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 22:26:00 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations
Sources

Official Websiteof 385th Bomb Group Association Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2017 21:09:44 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldest child of Lester Allen Wise, B-17 (43-39056) pilot 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Group, flew on this mission from Great Ashfield, England to Zwischenahn, 21 Mar 1945.

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2017 18:09:07 Virginiawise50 Changes to event
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldest child of Lester Allen Wise

Date Contributor Update
23 March 2017 16:51:25 dwgdallas Changes to person associations, aircraft associations and media associations
Sources

The personal collection of Lt. Billy J. Murray

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 16:58:38 Lucy May Changes to event
Sources

'HARDORF' was appearing near Adelaide, Australia, so have moved it to 'Germany'.

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 16:56:13 Lucy May Changes to event
Sources

Changed location from 'MARX' to 'Wilhelmshaven, Germany'. Marx airfield was 18km south-west of Wilhelmshaven. Source: http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=13978

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:13 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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