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VIII Bomber Command 116

20 October 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The primary target for this mission is the industrial areas of Duren, Germany. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined formation of 103 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that includes: 91BG (3); 92BG (14); 303BG (19); 305BG (7); 306BG (11); 351BG (7) 379BG (17); 381BG (7); and 384BG (18). This is the first time that Oboe PFF equipment has been attempted. The equipment fails and this force does not drop their bombs. The 379BG selects the German airfield at Woensdrecht, Holland as a target of opportunity, and 17 aircraft are effective on that target. This is the only 1st Bomb Division element to drop on any target. 2 aircraft (from 303BG) Failed to Return (FTR) 3KIA 13POW 5EVD. 1 airman is KIA in a returning aircraft that had attacked at Woensdrecht.1 aircraft is damaged. The only claims by bomber gunners are those made by 303BG at 2-1-1 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The second element is a combined force of 109 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that includes: 94BG (17); 95BG (16); 96BG (21); 100BG (8); 385BG (17); 388BG (16) and 390BG (14) dispatched to bomb the industrial areas of Duren, Germany. Cloud tops at 29,500 feet forced the formation to drop from 30,000 feet. 3 airmen from 385BG died from failure of their oxygen equipment. 11 aircraft from 385BG bomb Aachen as a target of opportunity and 1 aircraft in the 385BG formation Failed to Return (FTR) 10 POW and 1 airmen of this formation was Wounded in Action (WIA); 86 aircraft were effective in bombing Duren. 6 other aircraft of this element also Failed to Return (FTR) 29KIA 16POW 5EVD 10RTD (rescued by ASR). 3 aircraft from this element returned with damage: 1 was abandoned over Beddingham, UK. 10RTD and 2 crash landed and were declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 20RTD. The bomber gunners of 385BG were the only ones that made claims on German aircraft of 2-0-0.

The third element was a combined force of 70 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (18); 93BG (17); 389BG (18) and 392BG (17) dispatched to fly a diversion. There were no losses or claims.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Diversion for Duren 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 70
Number of aircraft Effective 0

2. AACHEN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

385th Bomb Group originally despatched with 1st wave, but unable to bomb the primary at Duren, Germany, selects Aachen as a Target of Opportunity. 3 of the Killed in Action (KIA)s are 385th Bomb Group gunners who died from oxygen system failure.

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

Tonnage dropped 1.90
Number of aircraft Sent 11
Number of aircraft Effective 11
Number of people Killed In Action 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 2

3. DUREN (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Bombing altitude 30,000 feet due to clouds. First use of Oboe PFF.

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...

  • 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 209.00
Number of aircraft Sent 98
Number of aircraft Effective 86
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 7
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 10
Number of people Killed In Action 32
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Evaded 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 16
Number of people Returned To Duty 40

4. DUREN (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Oboe Pathfinder (PFF) fails and none in the second wave of bombing.

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...

  • 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,...

  • 352nd Bomb Group
  • 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...

  • 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 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 61
Number of aircraft Effective 0
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Killed In Action 10
Number of people Evaded 4
Number of people Prisoners of War 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

5. WOENSDRECHT (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

379th Bomb Group originally assigned to 2nd wave on Duren, Germany, but Oboe Pathfinder (PFF) failure makes them select the airfield at Woensdrecht, Holland as a Target of Opportunity.

Units

  • 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 41.50
Number of aircraft Sent 42
Number of aircraft Effective 17
Number of people Killed In Action 1

Service

People

  • Carl Baer

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Baer crew, 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Forced to ditch in the North Sea on mission #62 to Brunswick, Germany on 30 Jan 1944 in B-17F #42-30029 'Chap's Flying Circus'. MACR 2495. Lt Baer radioed that they were running out of fuel and may not make...

  • Richard Bailey

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

  • Aaron Becker

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator / Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 October 1943 in B-17 #42-3439. Killed in Action (KIA). Aaron Becker was a susbstitute for Pilot Charles F. Geyer's regular Radio Operator, Melvin H. Litke.

  • Barclay Beeby

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Fred Browning

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 October 1943 in B-17 #425913. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • 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

  • Charles Carlson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier, Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 October 1943 in 42-30372 'Shack Rabbit III', a B-17 on loan from the 413th Squadron. EVADED. Charles Carlson evaded capture and was helped by the Belgian evasion network "Comete". Too severely wounded, he was kept hidden in various places...

  • David Carr

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 October 1943 in B-17 #42-5913. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Cecil Clore

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Clore crew. "B" Flight Commander. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Killed in Action (KIA). Crashed shortly after TO near Hedingham on mission #56 to Kiel, Germany in B-17G #42-31278 'Mix Master'. Originally buried with the entire crew at Cambridge...

  • William Cokins

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 385th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 October 1943 in B-17 #42-5913. Prisoner of War (POW).

Show more

Aircraft

  • 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:...

  • 42-30114 'Spare Parts'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/4/43; Smoky Hill 22/4/43; Presque Is 3/5/43; Assigned 381BG Ridgewell 8/5/43; transferred 95BG Alconbury, with Don Merten crash landed base 28/5/43; MU 19/8/43 for repair; transferred RCM 335BS/95BG [BG-L] Horham 13/9/43; 1m...

  • 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...

  • 42-30372 Shack Rabbit III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/5/43; Gore 25/5/43; Gr Isle 4/6/43; Dow Fd 27/6/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-P] Snetterton 26/6/43; Missing in Action Duren 10/10/43 with Pilot Robert Z. Grimes; Co-pilot: Arthur C. Pickett; Bombardier: Charles V. Carlson;...

  • 42-3439

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 21/6/43; Redmond 14/8/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-V] Snetterton 15/8/43; ...

  • 42-5913 Shack Bunny

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 5 May 1943; Kearney 30 May 1943; Dow Field 19 June 1943; Assigned 551BS/385BG Great Ashfield 20 June 1943; Missing in Action Duren 20 October 1943 with Pilot Lyle V. Fryer; Co-pilot: Clifford G. McIlveen; Navigator: John S. Durakov...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 18:28:30 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 18:24:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 17:47:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 4. Durnen event statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
07 July 2015 17:41:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claime to Aachen statistics per "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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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