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VIII Bomber Command 134

19 November 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The primary target for this mission was Gelsenkirchen, Germany by adverse weather conditions and failure of the PFF equipment caused al formations to seek out targets of opportunity along the German-Dutch border. The force was composed of 168 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 95BG (17); 100BG (21); 390BG (23); 388BG (19); 96BG (42); 94BG (18); and 385BG (21). Also included were 6 B-17s from 482BG equipped with PFF Oboe equipment - 3 of these abort. This is the last mission by 8th Air Force using PFF Oboe equipment, form now on they will use H2S and H2X radar on blind-boming operations. Only 1 aircraft is lost after sustaining a mid-air collision during assemebly and crashing at Redinfield, UK 10KIA. There are no other losses or claims.

Mission details

1. GELSENKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Includes 3 of 6 B-17s from 482nd Bomb Group equipped with Pathfinder (PFF). Equipment malfunctions and mission is forced to attack targets of opportunity along the Dutch/German border. One loss (95th Bomb Group) occurred as result of crash just after take-off. None of 94th Bomb Group despatch is effective on the target. This spells the end for Oboe-equipped missions. The 8th Air Force will now rely on H2S and H2X aircraft-carried radar for blind bombing missions. Oboe will be used by 9th Air Force with the B-26 with great success.

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...

  • 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...

  • 482nd Bomb Group

    482nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 482nd Bomb Group was a Pathfinder Group, which using radar-equipped aircraft to support bombing missions until March 1944. Aircraft from this Group went ahead of other Bombers and sent information back about the best routes to take and the extent...

  • 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 281.30
Number of aircraft Sent 167
Number of aircraft Effective 130
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 10

Service

People

  • 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

  • Kenneth Cosby

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    KOM. B17#42-31123 took off on mission to Germany. When it failed to gain flying speed and was banking to turn, it stalled and crashed at Redlingfield, Suffolk. ...

  • Richard Diete

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 95th Bomb Group
    * 20 October 1943 : B17#42-30114 ditched in North Sea. All returned. ...

  • John Gardner

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

  • Thomas Hearn

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 30 December 1943 in B-17 #4230674 'Kathy Jane III. ' Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Wendell Hulcher

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Harry Joho

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Louis Mirabel

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    * 19 November 1943 : B17#42-31123 took off on mission to Germany. When it failed to gain flying speed and was banking to turn, it stalled and crashed at Redlingfield, Suffolk. All 10 men on board killed. Full details on the crash and crew at ...

  • Herbert Moore

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Flew 2 tours with the 388th BG. total of 45 missions. Air Medal w 6/Oak Leaf Cluster; DFC

  • Emil Petersen

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator/ Aerial Gunner/ Aerial Gunner Instructor | 94th Bomb Group
    Emil Thomas Petersen, radio operator, Gunner, Gunnery Instructor missed the mission where his aircraft and all its crew members were lost as he was ill. He was then transferred to the Texas Mauler B-17 ...

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Aircraft

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-31084

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/9/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 9/10/43; Missing in Action Bremen 20/12/43 with Ken Eccleston, Co-pilot: Pete Schou, Navigator: John Dorsett, Bombardier: Tom Tollin, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Molinari, Radio...

  • 42-31123

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/9/43; Gr Island 7/10/43; Wilmington 10/10/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-J] Horham 14/10/43; [4m] crashed on take off for Gelsenkirchen 19/11/43 with Kenneth B. Rongstad, Co-pilot: Warren M. Strawn, Navigator: Richard E. Diete,...

  • 42-3291 Miss Mac

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 30/4/43; Dow Fd 13/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 14/6/43; on training mission 12/7/44 with Major Boardman Reed, Co-pilot: Major Melvin Buckner, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Paul Weathers, Radio Operator: Ora Kelsey, pass...

  • 42-37773 Full House

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 23/8/43; Assigned 410BS/94BG Rougham 10/10/43; transferred 563BS/388BG Knettishall 11/10/43; Missing in Action Munster 22/12/43 with Webster Bull, Co-pilot: Leavitt Hobbsbody recovered 11//2/44, Navigator: Albt Bendix, Bombardier:...

  • 42-5905 Just Ag

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/4/43; Sioux City 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 30/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/7/43; detailed Solignen, 30/11/43 with Paul Kelly, Co-pilot: John Corzette, Navigator: John Wiley, Bombardier: Marion Wiles, Flight...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 July 2015 18:23:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-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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