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VIII Bomber Command 111

8 October 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The shipyards and industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission, but cloud cover causes some formations to bomb targets of opportunity. The attacking elements have been summarized below:

The first element is a combined force of 118 B-17s from: 91BG (16); 381BG (21); 351BG (19); 379BG (21); 384BG (21) and 303BG (20) dispatched to bomb the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. 105 aircraft are effective on various targets, 44 of these actually drop on Bremen. 9 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 33KIA 57POW. 2 other airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 18 are Wounded in Action (WIA). 61 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 42-2-28 of attacking German fighters. The 381BG is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for their actions on this mission.

The second element is a combined force of 56 B-17s from: 305BG (17); 306BG (20); and 92BG (19). 53 aircraft are effective on targets; 33 of these bomb the industrial area of Bremen and 19 drop on Vegesack. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 12KIA 22POW 1DIC 1EVD. 44 aircraft are damaged. 1 other airman is KIA in returning aircraft and 12 are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this element claim 24-7-17 of attacking German fighters.

The third element is a combined force of 170 B-17s from: 388BG (21); 94BG (21); 96BG (42); 385BG (22); 100BG (22); 390BG (21); and 95BG (21) dispatched to bomb any available target at Bremen, Germany. 156 aircraft are effective on some target with 97 of the 156 actually bombing Bremen, Germany. 14 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 54KIA 87POW 1EVD; 2 other aircraft are listed as returning so damaged as to be considered Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) one from 100BG (confirmed 1DOI 10RTD) and one from 95BG (actually repaired 10RTD); 110 aircraft are damaged. 21 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this element claim 84-12-33 of attacking German fighters.

NOTE: Bomber gunner claims on attacking German aircraft are most often exaggerated due to the pandemonium of the action experienced during the attacks. However, even so, the formations attacking at Bremen certainly gave the Luftwaffe a "bad day."

The fourth element was a combined force of 55 B-24s from: 389BG (18); 93BG (19); and 392BG (18) dispatched to bomb the U-Boat pens at Vegesack, Germany. 43 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 21KIA 9POW; 1 other airman in a returning aircraft was KIA and 5 were Wounded in Action (WIA). 21 aircraft were damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 17-1-7 of attacking German fighters.

Mission details

1. OLDENBURG (Target of Opportunity) / VEGESACK (Target of Opportunity) / Bremen, Germany

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

3 aircraft drop 12 X 500GP and 72 X 100 IB on Meppen, Germany as a Target of Opportunity.

Units

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group's 327th Bomb Squadron was the only Eighth Air Force squadron to fly YB-40s in combat. YB-40s were B-17s modified to fly as a heavily armed escort for other bombers. They were flown on missions between May and June 1943. Between May 1943...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 81.00
Number of aircraft Sent 56
Number of aircraft Effective 53
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 44
Number of people Killed In Action 13
Number of people Wounded in Action 12
Number of people Prisoners of War 27
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 24
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 17

2. Bremen, Germany / OLDENBURG (Target of Opportunity) / VEGESACK (Target of Opportunity)

Description

SHIP YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The 381st Bomb Group is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (2nd of 2). Clouds hamper target acquisition. 19 aircraft drop 228 x 500GP on Vegesack as a Target of Opportunity, another 18 aircraft drop 676 x 100 IB on Oldenburg as a Target of Opportunity. First use by 8th Air Force of airborne transmitters (Carpet equipment) to jam Germany radar.

Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 130.00
Number of aircraft Sent 118
Number of aircraft Effective 105
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 9
Number of aircraft Damaged 61
Number of people Killed In Action 35
Number of people Wounded in Action 18
Number of people Prisoners of War 57
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 42
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 28

3. BREMEN CITY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA and BTO

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

2nd wave on Bremen and Targets of Opportunity.

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 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...

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organisation and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29-Jun-1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28-Aug-42 to 31-Oct-42 than at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas from...

  • 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...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 233.25
Number of aircraft Sent 170
Number of aircraft Effective 156
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 14
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 110
Number of people Killed In Action 54
Number of people Wounded in Action 21
Number of people Prisoners of War 87
Number of people Returned To Duty 20
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 84
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 12
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 33

4. VEGESACK (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

First mission for 93rd Bomb Group and 389th Bomb Group since their return from North Africa. No fighter escort.

Units

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 392nd Bomb Group

    392nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 392nd Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators out of Wendling, Norfolk from August 1943 until April 1945. They were the first Group to be given B-24H Liberators, the first B-24 model that was fitted with a nose turret on the production line, an adaptation...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 143.81
Number of aircraft Sent 55
Number of aircraft Effective 43
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 21
Number of people Killed In Action 21
Number of people Wounded in Action 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 8
Number of people Returned To Duty 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 17
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

Service

People

  • Richard Bailey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Major

  • Carl Baird

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Pry crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #42-30009 'Feather Merchant'. Mission #36 to the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. MACR 1397. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft XVIIB. POW

  • Howard Ballou

    Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Sample crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29854 'Ole Flak Sack'. Mission #36 to the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. MACR 1395. Killed in Action (KIA). The aircraft went out of control, started to spin and exploded....

  • Matthew Berk

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Manchester crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29941 'Tarfu'. Mission #36 to the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. MACR 884. The aircraft was on fire and exploded, splitting in half at the ball turret. S/Sgt Berk was...

  • Robert Black

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 381st Bomb Group
    Bombardier, Cormany crew. Member of the Manchester crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #42-30864. Mission #36 to the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. MACR 885. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Charles Bliss

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel

  • Brunson Bolin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #4230831 'Lazy Baby. ' A/C landed in Switzerland, however, Lt. Bolin was ordered by the pilot to bail out and did so after getting the top turret gunner out of the A/C. He was captured by German soldiers but not before...

  • Clayton Boykin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Hartje crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29765 'Nip and Tuck'. Mission #36 to the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. MACR 883. Killed in Action (KIA). The pilot, 2Lt Hartje, reported hearing S/Sgt Boykin say his guns were...

  • Martin Brandt

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Tail gunner, Pry crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #42-30009 'Feather Merchant'. Mission 336 to the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. MACR 1397. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft XVIIB. POW

  • Donald Breeden

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Donald Paul Breeden served as pilot with the 364th Bomb Squadron of the 305th Bomb Group. His B-17 #423436 was shot down 14 October 1943 over the Netherlands and Breeden was declared Missing in Action (MIA). ...

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Aircraft

  • 42-29524 'Meathound'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 31/12/42; Salina 7/1/43; Morrison 2/12/43; Homestead 14/2/43; Assigned 423BS/306BG [RD-D] Thurleigh 2/3/43; transferred 358BS/303BG [VK-K] Molesworth 30/7/43; 25m Missing in Action Oschersleben 26/1/44 with Jack Watson (RTD-alone),...

  • 42-29765 Nip 'N Tuck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/2/43; Walker 27/2/43; Salina 10/3/43; Presque 5/4/43; Assigned 95BG SWEET 17 Framlingham17/4/43; transferred 338BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 533BS/381BG [VP-R] Ridgewell 14...

  • 42-29832 Our Mom

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/2/43; Casper 13/3/43; Smoky Hill 3/4/43; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-H] Chelveston 18/5/43 SPIRIT OF A NATION; transferred 534BS/381BG [GD-H] Ridgewell 22/8/8/43; AFSC 5/4/44; Returned to the USA Tinker 16/6/44; Memphis 13/7/44;...

  • 42-29854 Ole Flak Sack

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 26/2/43; Casper 13/3/43; Tinker 10/4/43; Memphis 17/4/43; Presque 27/4/43; Assigned 532BS/381BG [VE-B] Ridgewell 4/5/43; in landing accident at base with Leo Jarvis 7/8/43; Missing in Action 1+m Bremen 8/10/43 with Art Sample,...

  • 42-29941 Tarfu

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/3/43; Smoky Hill 26/3/43; Dow Fd 12/4/43; Assigned 337BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43 TARFU; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 535BS/381BG [MS-R] Ridgewell 15/7/43 TS TARFU; Missing in Action 15m Bremen 8/10/43...

  • 42-30009 Feather Merchant

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/3/43; Pueblo 8/4/43; Hobbs 6/5/43; Presque Is 21/5/43; Dow Fd 23/5/43; Assigned 532BS/381BG [VE-G] Ridgewell 25/5/43 with Leo Jarvis, Gene Mancinelli, Dick Riley, Bill Lockhart, Harry Seymore, Warren Heintz, Harry Strecher, Chas...

  • 42-30193 Hard Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 14/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 15/6/43. ...

  • 42-30207 Big Red

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 11/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 12/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG [ -T] Knettishall 14/6/43; Missing in Action Bordeaux 27/3/44 with Julius Lederman, Co-pilot: Waite Law, Bombardier: John Luzell (3 Prisoner of War)...

  • 42-30212 Quarterback

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 14/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 16/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 17/6/43; transferred Aphrodite project, Missing in Action V-sites, Watten 6/8/44 with Lt Joeseph P Andrecheck & T/Sgt Raymond Healy (2...

  • 42-30722 Bobby T

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 19/7/43; Grand Isle 16/8/43; Assigned 482BG Alconbury 31/8/43; transferred 534BS/381BG [GD-G] Ridgewell 20/9/43; Missing in Action 1m Bremen 8/10/43 with Capt Dexter Lishon, Co-pilot: Carlton Long, Navigator: Bob Gluck, Bombardier:...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 17:54:38 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:52:41 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 17:59:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to the statistics of the Vegesack (B-24) element per "The Mighty EIghth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 17:57:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to the 156 aircraft attacking Bremen City per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 17:55:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to the statistics of the 105 aircraft attacking the Bremen shipyards per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 17:53:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on German fighters to the statistics of the 53 aircraft attacking the Bremen industrial areas per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 17:49:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2014 11:45:44 Emily Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:16 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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