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8th Air Force 931

7 April 1945

Official description

Not yet known

Description

1,200 Heavies Hit Reich After 1-Day Nazi Air Bid

The flaming air war which the Luftwaffe rekindled Saturday appeared yesterday to have been extinguished once more by the U.S. fighters and bomber gunners as over 1,200 Fortresses and Liberators, protected by approximately 750 fighters, bombed rail yards, airfields and oil targets in central Germany without opposition from enemy planes.

The only air activity along the route of the bombers came in the form of three training planes, which were promptly shot down by the fighters. On Saturday, when the Luftwaffe daringly attacked a force of 1,300 heavies in strong groups, fighters of the 8th downed 64 planes while bomber gunners accounted for 40, making a grand total of 104.

It was the strongest opposition thrown at the bombers since Mar. 2, when fighters and gunners knocked down 73 planes. The renewal of opposition Saturday cost the 8th 22 bombers and three fighters. Ten bombers and one fighter are missing from yesterday's missions.

Visual Bombing Over Targets

The bombers had ideal weather yesterday, with visual bombing prevailing over all targets except a rail yard at Plauen, 40 miles southwest of Chemnitz. The targets area stretched from west of Berlin to 15 miles south of Nuremberg.

Three airfields were hit, one southwest of Dessau and the other southwest and south of Nuremburg. Rail yards beside those of Plauen were at Stendal, 70 miles west of Berlin; at Hof, 15 miles southwest of Plauen; and the Eger, 30 miles southwest of Plauen.

Ordinance depot in the Bayreuth area, 40 miles northeast of Nuremberg, were pounded and another objective in the Nuremberg area was a jet-propelled repair planet at Furth, north of the city. Fifty-five miles west if Berlin, the bombers hit an oil depot at Derben.

Flak, described as meager by airmen, represented the only opposition for the day. One fighter pilot called it a quiet day everywhere in enemy territory, with 'not a thing moving.'

Heavy bombers of the 15th Air Force made their third consecutive raid on the Brenner Pass Route yesterday, besides plastering railroad bridges along the northern Italy front.

Mission details

1. BUCHEN

Description

OIL DEPOT

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. DUNEBURG

Description

EXPLOSIVES PLANT

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. FASSBERG

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

4. GUSTROW

Description

MUNITIONS PLANT

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

5. HITZACKER

Description

OIL DEPOT

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

6. KALTENKIRCHEN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

The Germans are getting very desperate throwing whatever Luftwaffe resources remaining at the bomber formations. They have very poorly trained fighter pilots with little or no combat experience and their losses are dramatic this late in the war.

Mission Statistics

7. KOHLENBISSEN

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

8. KRUMMEL

Description

EXPLOSIVES PLANT

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

A mix of 252 P-47s and P-51s provide escort. Mix not given in available data.

Mission Statistics

9. LUNDEBURG

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

10. NEUMUNSTER

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

11. PARCHIM

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

12. SALZWEDEL

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

13. SCHWERIN

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Primary – Airfield outside of Domitz (50 miles SE of Hamburg)
Secondary – Town of Schwerin, 45 miles east of Hamburg.
The mission looked like a lot of fun. No flak, bombing altitude was only 15,000 and the met. officer promised us visual conditions. The course consisted of hitting the Dutch coast about 20 miles north of Amsterdam & flying directly east over Zuyder Zee which is what the British are trying to reach at present in order to encircle Holland completely. Once on the east coast of the celebrated Zee, we whooped down toward Osnabruck and north of Hannover. Then a little further east to the primary's I.P. which was about 45 miles east of Hannover (Klotze, was the town's name) From there we cut sharply to the North into Domitz (prim.) Our course out was SW a little past Hannover, west from there (passing barely10 miles north of the Ruhr pocket) until reaching the Belgian coast, we cut up to Southwold and home.

Mission Statistics

14. UELZEN

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

15. WESENDORF

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • Elmer Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group

  • Clarence Bailey

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Member of Ford's Crew. Sgt Clarence Bailey flew 10 missions, from 04/04/1945, mission #241, to 04/20/1945, mission #254. He served as a Tail Gunner.

  • 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...

  • Maj. Ignacio Barrios

    Military | Major | Navigator | 447th Bomb Group

  • Elden Baxter

    Military | Master Sergeant | Aerial Engineer | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 327BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post War: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • Robert Birney

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator, Commanding Officer | 384th Bomb Group
    Bob Birney was assigned to the 547th Bomb Squadron on 5 February 1945 and completed 26 missions between 19 February 1945 and 20 April 1945.

  • John Burk

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 447th Bomb Group
    John McKale Burk was born 30 November 1924 in Ventnor, Atlantic County, NJ to Frederick Grater Burk (20 April 1891 Philadelphia, PA -19 June 1948 Philadelphia, PA) and Mary Cunningham McKale Burk (21 February 1895 Philadelphia, PA - 20 October 1990...

  • Frank Calicura

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

  • Raymond Carlson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 466th Bomb Group

  • Gabriel Chapra

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 95th Bomb Group

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Aircraft

  • 42-39993 'Hells Angels Out Of Chute 13', 'Grossly Inadequate'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-C] Deenethorpe 1/1/44; 118m landing accident at base with Jim Nolan 7/5/45; sal 2 SAD Watton, Nfk 8/5/45. HELL’S ANGELS OUT OF CHUTE 13 aka GROSSLY INADEQUATE. ...

  • 42-97105 Paper Doll

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Selfridge Fld 3/2/44; Dorval 4/3/44; Assigned RAF [HB-768]; transferred 561BS/388BG Knettishall 13/3/44; Missing in Action Parchim 7/4/45 with Lew Hickman, Arnold Wolf, Cawthorn Perdue, Albt Vawter, Herman Meyer (5 Prisoner of War); John...

  • 43-37864 Penny Jive

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30 May 1944; Long Beach 12 June 1944; Kearney 13 July 1944; Dow Field 3 August 1944; Assigned 391BS/34BG Mendlesham 4 August 1944. Among other pilots, 1st Lt Harold E. Dwyer flew on it on the 7 April 1945 mission. Returned to the USA...

  • 43-38229 Better Duck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/7/44; Kearney 19/7/44; Dow Fd 3/8/44; Assigned 862BS/493BG Debach 4/8/44; transferred 334BS/95BG [BG-N] Horham 1/45; with D.G. Helgeson force landed A-78 afb Florennes/Juzaine, Bel. 9/3/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 24/6/45;...

  • 43-38776 Passion Wagon/Victory Devils

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 20/9/44; Grenier 11/10/44; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Horham 13/10/44; 67m, Returned to the USA Bradley 26/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 28/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 29...

  • 43-38942 'Belligerent Beauty'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 20/10/44; Dow Fd 28/10/44; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-N] Molesworth 1/11/44; transferred 335BS/95BG [OE-Y] Horham 2/11/44; with N.W. Richardson force landed A-7 Laon AF, Fr 5/1/45; 51m, Returned to the USA Bradley 20/6/45; 4168 Base Unit...

  • 43-39014 Hot Shot Charlie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 6/11/44; Grenier 14/11/44; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-C] Bassingbourn 9/1/45; (flew two POW trips) ; 26m Returned to the USA Bradley 12/7/45; 4185 BU Independence 13/7/45; 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.

  • 44-6007 Lucky

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 2/4/44; Hunter 17/4/44; Dow Fd 30/4/44; Assigned 571BS/390BG [FC-M] Framlingham 4/5/44; suffered severe battle damaged 8/9/44 over Mainz with Edgar Moody, with two engines out landed in France, repaired and returned to base; landing...

  • 44-6968 Sonof-a-Blitz

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 3/1/45; Grenier 15/1/45; Assigned 863BS/493BG Debach 22/1/45; Returned to the USA Bradley 3/7/45; Sth Plains 4/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 19/12/45.

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 03:01:56 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

Newspaper article

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 02:42:41 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

Newspaper article

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 02:17:53 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 02:13:59 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 02:13:14 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 02:09:16 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:28:39 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2017 18:50:06 Virginiawise50 Changes to event
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldest child of Lester Allen Wise, B-17 (43-39056) pilot 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Group, who flew on this mission from Great Ashfield, England to Gustrow, 7 Apr 1945

Date Contributor Update
01 July 2017 18:46:59 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Virginia Wise, eldesthild of LesterAllen Wise B-17 (43-39056) pilot, 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Group, who flew on this mission from Great Ashfield, England to Gustrow, 7 Apr 1945

Date Contributor Update
01 December 2016 23:55:31 daveb@dalitech.com Changes to event
Sources

Information from original, hand-written combat logs of Maj. I.J. Barrios dated Feb-Apr 1945.

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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