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8th Air Force 908

23 March 1945

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description

Mission 908: The Allied ground assault across the lower Rhine River begins; 1,276 bombers and 499 fighters visually attack rail targets in W and C Germany; they claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 bombers are lost:
1. 319 B-24s are sent to hit the Rheine Bridge (79) and the Osnabruck (80) and Munster (142) marshalling yards; 2 others hit Hoya Airfield, a target of opportunity; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 95 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 3 WIA and 35 MIA. Escorting are 79 of 80 P-51s.

2. 519 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards Hengstey (113), Giesecke (91), Holzwickede (184) and the Unna yard at Dormund (38); secondary targets hit are Meschede (19) and marshalling yards at Siegen (93) and Marburg (10); targets of opportunity are Herdecke (10), Haliger (1) and Schwerte (10); 3 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 178 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 27 MIA. 82 P-51s escort.

3. 438 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Coesfeld (145), Recklinghausen (120) and Gladbeck (141); targets of opportunity are Hechfeldt (12) and the marshalling yard at Westerholt (13); 1 B-17 is lost; 3 airmen are WIA and 10 MIA. The escort is 71 of 79 P-51s.

4. 125 of 131 P-51s fly a fighter sweep of the Bremen-Kassel area; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 0-0-1 on the ground. 5. 71 of 84 P-51s fly a sweep for the Ninth AF.

6. 16 P-51s escort 15 F-5s and 4 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.

7. 25 of 27 P-51s fly weather reconnaissance missions.

Source: The Eighth Air Force Historical Society - http://www.8thafhs.org/new/incl_missions.php

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History

"2,500 Heavies Hit Reich's Industries"

"The giant Allied air onslaught on the Ruhr roared into another day yesterday as estimated 2,500 heavy bombers and fighters joined Continental-based tactical forces in blistering marshalling yards, railroad bridges and troop concentration centers in the Reich's smoldering industrial area.

The 8th Airforce led the attack with a salient of 1,250 heavies and 350 fighters which battled through intense flak to pound at ten marshalling yards and junctions in and around the Ruhr. Once again the bombers, made their assaults through ideal weather, and airmen returned with precisely drawn accounts of bombs plummeting down directly on objectives.
The Fortress and Liberators struck at yards in Osnabruck, Rheine, Munster and Coesfeld, on the northern fringe of the Ruhr; in Reckingshausen and Gladbeck, in heart of the area; and in Hengstey, Unna-Dortmund, Holzwickede and Siegen, east and southeast of the Ruhr.

Mission details

1. BREMEN-KASSEL

Description

FIGHTER SWEEP

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. COESFELD

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. DORTMUND/UNNA

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 38
Number of aircraft Effective 37
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 0
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Number of people Killed In Action 0

4. GIESECKE

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 34th Bomb Group

    34th Bomb Group

    Group
    After forming part of the American defence force, first on America's east coast and then on its west, the Group was assigned to the Eighth Air Force in April 1944 and entered combat in May 1944. The Group helped with the preparation for the Normandy...

  • 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

5. GLADBECK

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

6. HALIGER

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

7. HECHFELDT

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

8. HENGSTEY

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

9. HERDECKE

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

10. HOLZWICKEDE / 59439 Holzwickede, Germany

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

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...

Mission Statistics

11. HOYA

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

12. MARBRUG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

13. MESCHEDE

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

14. MUNSTER

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

15. OSNABRUCK

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

16. RECKLINGHAUSEN

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

457th BG MISSION NO. 216 : RECKLINGHAUSEN, GERMANY : 23 MARCH, 1945

The target was the marshalling yards at Recklinghausen. Even though these yards were last attacked by the RAF on the night of 20 March, photographs indicated all facilities were 100 Percent serviceable. The Group comprised the 94th B Combat Wing with Lt. Colonel Smith as Air Commander.

Course over England was flown as briefed until the 94th A Group swung right of course. The 457th Group followed in trail, but on course Division assembly line was flown slightly right of course and in the Division column.

Route to the IP was flown as briefed. The IP was crossed on course. Cloud coverage at the target was nil. Bombing was done visually in squadron formation. A slight ground haze and smoke caused interference in sighting. Bombs were dropped from 25,000 feet. Bomb results as shown by strike photos were excellent.

Flak was moderate, but accurate, with 25 craft sustaining damage.

Units

  • 1st Air Division

    1st Air Division

    Division
    In December 1944, the 1st Bomb Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

17. RHEINE

Description

RAIL BRIDGE

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

The Allied ground assault across the lower Rhine River begins, OPERATION VARSITY; 1,276 bombers and 499 fighters attack rail targets in Western & Central Germany. The once mighty Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe are on their last legs, victory in Europe is rapidly approaching.

Mission Statistics

18. SCHWERTE

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

19. SIEGEN

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

20. WESTERHOLT

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • John Barnes

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 95th Bomb Group
    John Barnes was born January 31, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA, the son of Leonard and Gertrude Barnes of Emporium, PA . He received his undergraduate and Ph.D from Penn State University. He served in WWII as the navigator of the “Spirit of Martinez with...

  • Jackie Bishop

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group

  • Edward Blattner

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

  • 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).

  • Frank Calicura

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-17 Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Frank Calicura served as a pilot with the 95th Bomb Group. ...

  • John Collette

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 447th Bomb Group
    Mid air collision with a 34th BG aircraft. Plane broke apart at the waist on 23 Mar 45 in 'Ol Scrapiron' #42-31582, Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Conrad

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 445th Bomb Group

  • Luis Coppola

    Military | Captain | Pilot on B-17 | 379th Bomb Group

  • Varsall Cowley

    Military | Armorer Gunner | 487th Bomb Group

  • Chester Cox

    Military | Colonel | Group Commanding Officer | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Brigadier General

Show more

Aircraft

  • 42-31582 Ol' Scrapiron

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; Paine Fd 28/11/43; Toledo 1/12/43; Felts Fd 4/12/43; Gt falls 5/12/43; Cheyenne 7/12/43; Kearney 19/12/43; Detroit 8/1/44; Montreal 10/1/44; Presque 12/1/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 23/1/44. ...

  • 43-38771

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 19/9/44; Grenier 11/10/44; Assigned PFF 534BS/381BG [GD-E] Ridgewell 6/11/44; 25m Returned to the USA Bradley 9/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 14/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 43-38971

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 24/10/44; Dow Fd 9/11/44; ...

  • 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.

  • 44-8850 Humms Bumms

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/1/45; Hunter 7/2/45; Dow Fd 19/2/45; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 21/2/45;RetUS, Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 20/12/45.

  • 44-40277 'Miss Used'

    B-24 Liberator
    Aircraft flew 64 missions with 458th and was one of the 10 original AZON/Aphrodite project** control planes. Served as 'Mother Ship' to B-17F 41-24639 'Careful Virgin' on mission to bomb Mimoyecques, France. 4-8-44. ...

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2018 20:34:21 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

owner of original copy of newspaper

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2018 20:17:41 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to person associations
Sources

https://95thbg.mmsw.eu/crew/59

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2018 20:15:43 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to event
Sources

https://95thbg.mmsw.eu/crew/59

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2018 20:12:00 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to media associations
Sources

owner of source copied material ( newspaper article)

Date Contributor Update
05 September 2018 22:12:45 jhuck Changes to person associations
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; pp. 300-301

Date Contributor Update
05 September 2018 22:09:23 jhuck Changes to event
Sources

John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; pp. 300-301

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2018 21:05:37 jhuck Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

From the personal files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2018 20:55:14 jhuck Changes to description
Sources

Entry by John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: The Eighth Air Force Historical Society - http://www.8thafhs.org/new/incl_missions.php

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History

Date Contributor Update
03 September 2018 22:07:02 jhuck Changes to event
Sources

From the files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 22:28:10 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations
Sources

Official Website of 385th Bomb Group Association Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 03:11:17 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldest daughter of Lester Allen Wise, who flew on this mission with Jack Q. Means as co-pilot.

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2017 21:16:54 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldest daughter of Lester Allen Wise, B-17 (43-39056) pilot, 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Group, flew on this mission from Great Ashfield, England to Giesecke, 23 Mar 1945.

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2017 18:15:12 Virginiawise50 Changes to event
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldest daughter of Lester Allen Wise, B-17 (43-39056), pilot of 385th Bomb Group flew on this mission to Giesecke, 23 Mar 1945

Date Contributor Update
27 May 2015 16:06:23 jdossetter Changes to event
Sources

http://8thafhs.com/missions.php

Date Contributor Update
12 May 2015 11:21:04 Lucy May Changes to event
Sources

Valor to Victory website - account of the mission: http://valortovictory.tripod.com/1945-03.htm

Date Contributor Update
29 April 2015 11:46:09 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

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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