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VIII Bomber Command 138

26 November 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the target for this massive mission (largest to date) of 505 B-17s which included 14 B-17 Pathfinders from 482BG spread among the B-17 formations - 13 of these completed the mission and 7 were damaged.

This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 283 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (29); 92BG (23); 303BG (35); 305BG (22); 306BG (29); 351BG (38); 379BG (37); 381BG (29) 384BG (21) and 401BG (20). This is the first mission for 401BG. 253 aircraft are effective on the target. 19 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 57KIA 105POW 1DIC 27RTD (rescued by ASR). 4 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings 2KIA 1WIA 27RTD. 9 airmen were KIA and 31WIA in returning aircraft. 96 aircraft were damaged. Radio problems and poor formation discipline were cited as contributing factors. The bomber gunners claim 12-3-10 of attacking German fighters.

The second element was a combinded force of 107 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 95BG (6); 96BG (43); 100BG (9); 388BG (43); 390BG (6). 97 aircraft are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 28KIA 2POW. One of these from 388BG was struck by incendiaries dropped from above by a 96BG aircraft. 43 aircraft are damaged. There are no bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft in this element.

The third element is a combined force of 101 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (26); 93BG (25); 389BG (26); and 392BG (24). 77 aircraft are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 26KIA 6POW 3EVD. 1 airman is KIA and 4 others WIA in returning aircraft. The bomber gunners in this element claim 4-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

The ball bearing industries at Paris, France are the target for a combinded force of 128 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 385BG (22); 94BG (42); 390BG (21); 100BG (21); and 95BG (22). However, weather and cloud cover prevents bombing. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 18KIA 14POW 8EVD. 18 aircraft are damaged. 3 airmen in returning aircraft are WIA. The bomber gunners in this element claim 8-2-3 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. BREMEN CITY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

This is the second element to hit Bremen.

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...

  • 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 265.60
Number of aircraft Sent 114
Number of aircraft Effective 103
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 29
Number of people Prisoners of War 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

2. BREMEN CITY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

482nd Bomb Group 13 of 14 B-17s equipped with Pathfinder (PFF) are included in totals. 7 Pathfinder (PFF)-equipped are damaged. The 401st Bomb Group flies its first mission.

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...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 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...

  • 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 728.66
Number of aircraft Sent 290
Number of aircraft Effective 260
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 19
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 93
Number of people Killed In Action 71
Number of people Wounded in Action 37
Number of people Missing In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 106
Number of people Returned To Duty 45
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 12
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 10

3. BREMEN CITY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-25 Mitchell

Notes

13 B-17s and 5 B-24s drop 57 tons on Targets 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 210.84
Number of aircraft Sent 101
Number of aircraft Effective 77
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of people Killed In Action 27
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4

4. PARIS (Primary)

Description

BALL BEARING FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Complete cloud cover over target - mission aborted. No fighter escort for this element.

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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 128
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 18
Number of people Killed In Action 18
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Evaded 8
Number of people Prisoners of War 14
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

Service

People

  • Ottis Alford

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Born in 1922 in Pickton, Hopkins County, Texas. Enlisted at Tyler, Smith County, Texas on 16 Oct 1942. 2 weeks til he had to report for duty. 2 years of HS, Ht:66, Wt: 121. Married before he left for the military to Miss Grace Edwards on 26 Oct 1942....

  • Harry Allchin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Duncan crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS. Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-29506 'Full Boost!'. Mission #46 to the chemical plant at Leverkusen, Germany. Diverted to the steel works at Solinger, Germany. MACR 1578. Killed in Action (KIA)....

  • Leslie Amundson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 1091 B-17 Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 26 November 1943 in B-17 #42-29987. Prisoner of War (POW) Stalag Luft 1. MACR 1662

  • 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

  • Leo Baranik

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. On his first mission, whilst attempting repair on ball turret in B-17 42-37838 'Fancy Nancy', A/C was in collision with B-17 42-30317, ball turret was shorn off with the loss of Sgt Baranik. Killed in Action (KIA)....

  • John Baudoin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 5 January 1944 in B-17 #4230724. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Barclay Beeby

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Charles Bein

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Charles Bliss

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

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Aircraft

  • 41-24234 'Mr 5 X 5'

    B-24 Liberator
    2nd Lt Alexander Trolese, pilot of #4124234 (MR. 5 X 5), was flying close formation with the plane flown by 1st Lt J. G. Cary (#427501). Apparently, MR. 5 X 5 was caught in the propwash of the planes ahead and was forced up into a collision with ...

  • 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...

  • 42-29524 '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),...

  • 42-29694 'Southern Belle'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 5/2/43; Salina 12/2/43; Rapid City 16/2/43; Kearney 12/3/43; Morrison 29/3/43; Assigned 412BS/95BG Alconbury 5/4/43, but en route to UK had landing accident with Bill Lindley at Barcelona, Venzuela; 1m with John Storie [wia] 19/3/43;...

  • 42-29987

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 22/3/43; Cheyenne 31/3/43; Romulus 10/4/43; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-F] Chelveston 18/5/43; Transferred to the 547th Bombardment squadron, squadron code SO-Q, 384th Bombardment Group, station 106, Grafton Underwood on 19 September 1943...

  • 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...

  • 42-30778 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:...

  • 42-31035 Hang The Expense

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 7/9/43; Scott 5/10/43; Assigned 351BS/100BG [EP-E] Thorpe Abbotts 8/10/43; unofficial test flight 26//11/43 with Frank E. Valesh, Co-pilot: Russell J. Flack, Navigator: Andrew H. Campion and two American Red Cross nurses, Mary J. Cooke...

  • 42-31042 Shady Lady

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 9/9/43; Assigned 385BG Gt Ashfield 10/10/43; transferred 303BG Molesworth 19/10/43, then 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 23/10/43; 544BS/384BG [SU-L] Grafton Underwood 2/11/43; Missing in Action Bremen 26/11/43 with John Holland, Co...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 June 2017 10:13:44 general ira snapsorter Changes to media associations
Sources

Associations from 401st Bomb Group unit history .

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 20:08:17 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
14 July 2015 20:30:30 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Paris element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
14 July 2015 20:29:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to 2BD element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
14 July 2015 20:28:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to 1st BD element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
14 July 2015 20:25:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-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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