Skip to main content
Edit entry 

VIII Bomber Command 114

10 October 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission was intended to be a massive attack of 307 B-17s on the railroad facilities and waterway (canals) at Munster, Germany. This attack was to be supported by a diversion 39 B-24s. The formation was attacked by hundreds of German fighters which caused the formations to break-up and some Bomb Groups were forced to bomb targets of opportunity. The summary is as follows:

The largest formation was of 133 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division Bomb Groups: 94BG (21); 95BG (20); 96BG (21); 100BG (14); 385BG (19); 388BG (19); and 390BG (19). This formation was intercepted by swarms of German fighters, literally hundreds. 119 aircraft were effective on the target but losses were significant. 29 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) and 1 aircraft was ditched into the North Sea - 74KIA 213POW; 5EVD 10 RTD (Rescued by ASR). 1 other returning aircraft was Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 10RTD. 56 aircraft were damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was KIA and 14 were Wounded in Action (WIA). 95th BG was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for their actions in leading the raid. 390BG set the all-time record for German fighters destroyed on a single mission with a score of 60-6-8 of the attacking German fighters. All tolled the bomber gunners of this formation claimed 177-20-49 of attacking German fighters. While this total is probably exaggerated, it is a fact that the bomber gunners did significant damage to the Luftwaffe on this attack.

A second formation of 139 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division Bomb Groups was also directed to bomb at Munster, Germany, but the smoke, fire, ground haze and carnage from the attack by 3rd BD caused many in this formation to diver to targets of opportunity. The attacks made were as follows:
31 aircraft from: 91BG (10); 351BG (17) and 381BG (6) flew to Munster where 19 were effective on the target. These did not face the furious onslaught of German fighters and the fighter escort was very successful in protecting the bombers. Only 1 aircraft of this formation Failed to Return( FTR) 1KIA 8POW; 13 aircraft were damaged. 4 airmen in this formation were Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners claimed 4-1-2 of attacking German fighters.
75 aircraft from: 92BG (19); 306BG (18); 303BG (20); and 384BG (18) diverted to attack the industrial areas of Coesfled, Germany. 68 were effective on this target. 30 aircraft were damaged. 1 airmen in a returning aircraft was KIA. There were no claims in this formation.
33 aircraft from: 305BG (16) and 379BG (17) diverted to attempt to bomb the German airfield at Enschede, Holland, but the bombs fell wide and hit the town killing 155 civilians. 3 aircraft were damaged. The bomber gunners claims 2-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

The third formation of this mission was a formation of 39 B-24s from: 44BG (19); 93BG (9) and 389BG (11) dispatched to fly a diversion for the formations attacking at Munster. There were no losses or claims.

This was a very rough day for 8th Air Force with the loss of 30 aircraft, but the 183-21-51 score of the bomber gunners was impressive even if exaggerated. The Luftwaffe very definitely got a "bloody nose" on this one.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Diversion for the Munster raid.

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...

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

  • 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 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 39
Number of aircraft Effective 39

2. COESFELD (Opportunistic)

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Coesfield, Germany was a target of opportunity.

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...

  • 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,...

  • 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...

  • 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 230.65
Number of aircraft Sent 75
Number of aircraft Effective 68
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 30
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

3. ENSCHEDE (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The airfield at Enschede, Holland was a target of opportunity. The two Bomb Groups attacking missed the airfield and the bombs hit the town killing 155 civilians.

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...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 30 X 1000GP 620 X 100IB
Number of aircraft Sent 33
Number of aircraft Effective 30
Number of aircraft Damaged 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 2

4. Münster

Description

RAILROADS and WATERWAYS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The 390th Bomb Group claims the highest number of enemy aircraft destroyed on a single mission (60-6-8). A record for the 8th Air Force. The 95th Bomb Group is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (2nd of 3). Only one aircraft from 100th Bomb Group returned to base, 12 were Missing in Action (MIA) and one Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) crash-landed.

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 424.50
Number of aircraft Sent 133
Number of aircraft Effective 119
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 29
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 56
Number of people Killed In Action 74
Number of people Wounded in Action 13
Number of people Evaded 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 216
Number of people Returned To Duty 20
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 177
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 20
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 49

5. Münster, Germany

Description

RAILROADS and WATERWAYS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

One aircraft from 351st Bomb Group crashes in the sea off Covehithe counted as DBR.

Units

  • 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...

  • 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

Number of aircraft Sent 33
Number of aircraft Effective 19
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 13
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 4
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

Service

People

  • Carl Battin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator/Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    ORIGINAL CREW #29 418TH BS, 100th Bomb Group. Shot down in B-17F 42-3237 LD-R, "STYMIE" on 10 October 1943. MACR 1030

  • 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). ...

  • Eldon Broman

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 10 October 1943 in B-17 #4230272 'Fritz Blitz. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW PH

  • Webster Bull

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 22 December 1943 in B-17 #4237773 'Full House. ' Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). The plane was ditched in the Ijsselmeer, The Netherlands. AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster / Purple Heart

  • James Burch

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Born and raised in Kaufman County, Texas, Jim Burch studied for 2 years at the Terrell High School and began working as a salesman in a retail grocery in Terrell, Texas. Enlisting in April 1942, he followed Pilot training courses and was promoted to...

  • James Compton

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 384th Bomb Group
    Bailed out of B-17 42-5086 'Wahoo II' over England on return from mission to Munster railroad yards on 10 October 1943.

  • Eugene Connor

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 384th Bomb Group
    Bombardier on William E Kopf Crew, flew 4 missions in October 1943. On 10 October his B-17 #42-29557 'Yankee Girl' struck the hanger at RAF Desford returning from a mission. ...

  • Lionel Correia

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 10 October 1943 in B-17 #42-3497. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Hosea Crawford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #423436. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Richard Crown

    Military | Major | Group Bombardier | 384th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 384th BG 546th BS on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #93 dated 11 September 1943, Louis E Ritt Crew. ...

Show more

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),...

  • 42-29943 'Situation Normal'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/3/43; Smoky Hill 26/3/43; Dow Fd 31/5/43; Assigned 305BG Chelveston 15/6/43; transferred 334BS/95BG [BG-K] Alconbury 16/6/43; Framlingham 12/5/43; 335BS [OE-K] Horham 15/6/43; 12/9/43 with A.R. Witt f/d RAF Morton Calence (?); 20...

  • 42-30033 "Little America"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Sioux City 13/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 20/5/43; Assigned to the 547BS/384BG [S0-G] Grafton Underwood 24/5/43, then the 546BS [BK-G]; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Maj Maurice Stanley Dillingham, Co-pilot:...

  • 42-30181 'Herky Jerky II' 'Lover Boy'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24-Apr-43; Smoky Hill 5-May-43; Kearney 29-May-43; Atlanta 2-Jun-43; Dow Field 16-Jun-43; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-X] Framlingham 19-Jun-43 HERKY JERKY II; Horham 15-Jun-43; with force landed Framlingham AF 10-Oct-43 with Pilot R.E....

  • 42-30182 'Blondie II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/4/43; Smoky Hill 28/4/43; Walla Walla 5/7/43; Tinker 28/5/43; Smoky Hill 1/6/43; Dow Fd 6/6/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-E], then 412BS [QW-E] Horham 15/6/43; (25m), Missing in Action Emden 11/12/43 with Jack Moore, Co-pilot:...

  • 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. ...

  • 42-30213 Lil' One

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Gore 9/5/43; Sioux City 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 1/6/43; crashed on take off for Bremen after encountering mechanical problems 13/11/43 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Alvin...

  • 42-30218 'Heavenly Daze'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/4/43; Smoky Hill 14/5/43; Tinker 25/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Dow Fd 6/6/43; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-W] Horham 15/6/43; (23m), Missing in Action Emden 11/12/43 with Bob Beatty, Navigator: Dave Goss, Bombardier: Joe Forand, Radio...

  • 42-30233 'Rhapsody in Flak'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/5/43; Gore 24/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/5/43; Kearney 27/5/43; Dow Fd 2/6/43; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-X] Alconbury 16/6/43; Ground looped on return from mission 24/12/43, with John Hubbs, Co-pilot: John Evans, Navigator: A. Stachnik,...

  • 42-30235 'Lonesome Polecat' 'Zoot Suiters'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/5/43; Gore 16/5/43; Smoky Hill 17/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-L/Z] Bassingbourn 6/6/43; transferred 412BS/95BG [QW-U] Horham 16/6/43 LONESOME POLECAT; 16/9/43 with W.C. Lindley force landed Bungay Afd; 48m,...

Show more

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 17:57:52 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:59:25 Mags Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2015 23:40:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to statistics of 1BD Munster formation per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeeman.

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2015 23:39:08 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to statistic of 3BD Munster formation per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeeman.

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2015 23:36:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy fighters to statistics of the Enschede formation per "the Mighty Eighth War Diary", ROger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2015 23:34:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2015 09:39:29 jdossetter Changes to event
Sources

http://www.8thafhs.com/maps.php?lat=51.9505&lon=7.63439&target_name=MUNS...

Date Contributor Update
29 May 2015 09:38:40 jdossetter Changes to event
Sources

http://www.8thafhs.com/maps.php?lat=51.9505&lon=7.63439&target_name=MUNS...

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 20:43:13 simaguire Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

B17s Over Berlin
Ian L Hawkins

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 20:40:59 simaguire Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

B17s Over Berlin
Ian L Hawkins

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2015 20:38:24 simaguire Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

B17s Over Berlin
Ian L Hawkins

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2014 11:48:41 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'.

Share