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VIII Bomber Command 121

5 November 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also targeted.

The mission consists of three elements: The first element is a formation of 193 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division including: 94BG (29); 95BG (25); a double dispatch of 43 from 96BG; 100BG (25); 385BG (24); 388BG (25); and 390BG (23) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirched, Germany. The numbers dispatched indicate this is another "maximum effort". 155 aircraft are effective on the target. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 31KIA 14POW 5EVD all lost to Anti-aircraft fire or damage therefrom. 1 aircraft with battle damage crash lands at Elmham St. Cross, UK and is considered Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 10RTD. 260 aircraft are damaged (most to to AA fire). 9 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners make no claims on enemy aircraft. The FTRs included B-17F 42-31030 "Shy Anne" from 390BG/571BS which was the last B-17F model assigned to a USAAF combat theater.

The second element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division including: 91BG (18); 92BG (22); 303BG (19); 305BG (19); 306BG (21); 352BG (18); 379BG (21); 381BG (22); and 384BG (20) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling yards at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. 186 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 8KIA 22POW. 1 battle damaged aircraft makes a crash landing at Ipswich, UK and is declared to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DRB) 10RTD. 111 aircraft are damaged (most due to AA fire). 22 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this element claim 5-1-3 of attacking German aircraft.

NOTE: 11 PFF H2X radar equipped B-17s from 482BG are dispersed among the B-17 formations to pinpoint the target and signal "bombs away" to the bombardier of the formations.

The third element is a combined force of 118 B-24 of 2nd Bomb Division including: 44BG (32); 93BG (26); 389BG (30); and 392BG (30) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling yards at Munster, Germany. 104 aircraft are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 16KIA 15POW. 7 aircraft are damaged with 22 airmen Wounded in Action (WIA). This element does not have fighter escort. The bomber gunner claim 21-4-7 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. GELSENKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

482nd Bomb Group contributes 4 Pathfinder (PFF) equipped B-17s, 3 strike the target.

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,...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 384.52
Number of aircraft Sent 184
Number of aircraft Effective 171
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 111
Number of people Killed In Action 10
Number of people Wounded in Action 22
Number of people Prisoners of War 21
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

2. GELSENKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description

OIL REFIENRY and MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

482nd Bomb Group contributes 3 Pathfinder (PFF) equipped B-17s, two strike the target. More than 500 aircraft took part in this raid. Flak is very heavy, resulting in many damaged aircraft, but fighter resistance is light. 383 fighters including 47 P-47s escort the two waves of B-17s.

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 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 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 354.78
Number of aircraft Sent 197
Number of aircraft Effective 157
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 105
Number of people Killed In Action 33
Number of people Wounded in Action 9
Number of people Evaded 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 14
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

3. Münster, Germany

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

482nd Bomb Group contributes 4 Pathfinder (PFF) equipped B-17s, 4 strike the target. One B-24 dropped 12 x 500 M50 IB on COESFELD as a Target of Opportunity, and one B-24 dropped 8 x 500GP and 16 x 100 IB on HALTERN as a Target of Opportunity.

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 284.05
Number of aircraft Sent 118
Number of aircraft Effective 104
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 43
Number of people Killed In Action 23
Number of people Wounded in Action 22
Number of people Prisoners of War 14
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 21
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 7

Service

People

  • John Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-Pilot, Butler crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS. On Mission #42, November 5, 1943 to the railroad marshalling yards at Gelsenkirchen on B-17 #42-29755 'Gremlins Delite', pilot Butler returned to base with 3 crewmen as 6 had bailed out over Southern Holland...

  • 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...

  • Barclay Beeby

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Charles Bliss

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

  • William Bramwell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 5 November 1943 in B-17 #4230789 'Flak Suit'. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Neil Brennan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Air Gunner, Togglier/Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 26 November 1943 in B-17 #4230832. Prisoner of War (POW). He was a Prisoner of War (POW) from 26 Nov. 1943 to 04 May 1945. He was at Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria. Prisoner of War (POW) no. 100388. POW

  • Conner Brewster

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator / Gunner | 100th Bomb Group
    Radio Operator Conner Brewster was killed by Flak inside B-17 42-30088 'Squawkin' Hawk II' on the Gelsenkirchen mission, November 5, 1943. Pilot William Flesh ordered a bail out after plane suffered severe bomb damage. Brewster's parachute failed to...

  • Hayden Brown

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 381st Bomb Group
    Bombardier, Butler crew. Member of the Shultz crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS. Wounded on 5 November 1943 on Mission #42 to the railroad marshalling yards at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. The pilot, Lt Butler ordered Lt Brown to bail out. He removed his oxygen mask...

  • 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

  • Phillip Burke

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Hess crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-3540 'Bacta-th'-Sac'. Mission #46 to Solinger, Germany. MACR 1660. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I, Luft III and Luft VIg (?). POW

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Aircraft

  • 41-24605 Knock-out Dropper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-R] Bangor 22-Sep-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; First 8th Air Force aircraft to complete 50, then 75 missions- 27-Mar-44; with M/Sgt Buford Pafford as crew chief; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5-Jun-44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-29755 Gremlins Delite, Last Straw

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12/2/43; Walker 27/2/43; Salina 11/3/43; Gulfport 28/3/43; Dow Fd 8/4/43; Assigned 338BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 20/4/43 LITTLE CAESER, VINI VIDI VICI; transferred 533BS/381BG [VP-Y] Ridgewell 14/7/43 GREMLINS DELITE; battle damaged...

  • 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:...

  • 42-30088 "Squawkin' Hawk II"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 12/5/43; Wendover 18/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Field 27/5/43; Assigned 349BS/100BG [XR-E] Thorpe Abbotts 9 June 1943. Severe battle damage over Stuttgart 6 September 1943 with Sumner...

  • 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...

  • 42-30213 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...

  • 42-30375 Yo-Yo --- Miss Donna Mae

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/5/43; Gore 25/5/43; Kearney 5/6/43; Dalhart 27/6/43; Gr Isle 26/7/43; with Gordon Crozier force landed Geiger 29/7/43; Patterson 8/8/43; Gr Isle 11/8/43; Presque Is 16/8/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-B] Chelveston 3/9/43;...

  • 42-30778 Old 66/Lady Margaret

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Gore 6/8/43; Pendleton 12/8/43; Reno 14/8/43; Pierre 16/8/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; crashed on take off for France 13/8/44 with Leon Sutton, Co-pilot: Harlan Thompson, Navigator: George Healy, Bombardier:...

  • 42-30789 Flak Suit

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Dyersburg 7/8/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; Missing in Action Gelsenkirchen 5/11/43 with Pilot William J. Bramwell Jr, Co-Pilot William E. Current, Navigator Charles L. Smith, Bombardier John J. Maiorca, Radio...

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43; ...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 18:08:53 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
08 July 2015 22:26:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Jul-2015. Addedbomber gunner claims to Muster element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 July 2015 22:25:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 1st BD statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 July 2015 22:23:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth 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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