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VIII Bomber Command 161

22 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is composed of two forces directed at two separate targets, the communication centers at Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. The force attacking at Osnabruck is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 227 B-17s (2 are PFF equipped from 482BG)from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (28); 92BG (22); 303BG (20 - did not drop); 305BG (19); 306BG (21); 351BG (31 - did not drop); 379BG (21); 381BG (22); 384BG (20); and 401BG (21 - did not drop). 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 22KIA 27POW. Of 2 aircraft returing with battle battle damage, 1 crash lands at Ubbeston, UK 10RTD and the other is abandoned near Washingly, UK 10RTD, both aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR). 5 airmen are KIA and 8 are Wounded in Action (WIA) in returning aircraft. 21 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 12-2-3 of attacking German aircraft.

The second element of the force directed to Osnabruck is a force of 121 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 93BG (18); 389BG (26); 445BG (26); 446BG (25); and 448BG (26). 87 aircraft are effective on the target. 12 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 82KIA 35POW 1DIC.
1 aircraft with battle damage crash landed at Manston, UK. 1KIA 9RTD. 5 airmen in returing aircraft were Wounded in Action (WIA). 11 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claimed 6-6-3 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The force attacking at Munster, Germany is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 180 B-17s (including 3 PFF-equipped from 482BG) from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 94BG (20); 95BG (30); 96BG (27); 100BG (30); 385BG (20); 388BG (31); and 390BG (19). 164 aircraft are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 22KIA 8POW. 2 aircraft with battle damage crashlanded back in England, aircraft DBR, 10RTD. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was Wounded in Action (WIA). 29 aircraft are damaged. There are no claims on enemy aircraft.

The second element attaking at Munster is composed of 43 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (23) and 392BG (20). 30 aircraft are effective on the target. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 15KIA 5POW-1DIC. There are no claims by this element on attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. Münster, Germany

Description

COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

5 B-17s from 390th Bomb Group join with the first wave to drop 80 X 250IB on Osnabruck. 4 Pathfinder (PFF)-equipped B-17s from 482 accompany this wave, 3 are effective on the target.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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 299.59
Number of aircraft Sent 181
Number of aircraft Effective 167
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 29
Number of people Killed In Action 23
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 7
Number of people Returned To Duty 20

2. Münster, Germany

Description

COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 54.81
Number of aircraft Sent 43
Number of aircraft Effective 30
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Killed In Action 15
Number of people Prisoners of War 4
Number of people Died in Captivity 1

3. OSNABRUCK (Primary)

Description

COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Heavy cloud cover disrupts the formations. 303rd Bomb Group fails to bomb because of another formation passing underneath. 351st Bomb Group fails to bomb because of a malfunction in the lead aircraft. 401st Bomb Group fails to bomb because of a Pathfinder (PFF) breakdown. 482nd Bomb Group despatches 4 Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft to accompany this element and second wave but only two are effective on the target. A 401st Bomb Group aircraft suffered a bomb strike and was abandoned over England crashing near Washingley.

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,...

  • 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 333.82
Number of aircraft Sent 159
Number of aircraft Effective 149
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 21
Number of people Killed In Action 28
Number of people Wounded in Action 8
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 27
Number of people Returned To Duty 20
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 12
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

4. OSNABRUCK (Primary)

Description

COMMUNICATIONS CENTER

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

448th Bomb Group flies its first mission. 20 B-17s and B-24s drop 265 X 500GP on Targets of Opportunity. 488th Bomb Group loses one aircraft due to a bomb strike.

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...

  • 445th Bomb Group

    445th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 445th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Tibenham, Norfolk. The crews' first mission was bombing U-boat installations at Kiel on 13 December 1943. The Group continued to hit strategic targets in Germany, including the aircraft components factory...

  • 446th Bomb Group

    446th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 446th Bomb Group, who came to be known as "the Bungay Buckaroos" after the name of their Suffolk base, flew B-24 Liberators on strategic, support and interdictory missions over Europe. The Group led the Eighth Air Force and 2nd Bomb Division on the...

  • 448th Bomb Group

    448th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 448th Bomb Group was a B-24 Liberator Group that flew out of Seething, Norfolk. The Group flew their first mission on the 22nd December 1943 and over the next eighteen months the air crews flew 262 missions over occupied Europe. These bombing...

  • 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 197.58
Number of aircraft Sent 121
Number of aircraft Effective 87
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 12
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 11
Number of people Killed In Action 86
Number of people Wounded in Action 5
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 35
Number of people Returned To Duty 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

Service

People

  • Wendell Ackerman

    Military | Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    •Sustained Moderately Severe Frostbite over Northwestern Germany on 22 December 1943. • Transferred to the Detachment Of Patients, 303rd Station Hospital on AAF Station 106 Special Orders #178 dated 30 December 1943.

  • John Allen

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24 Pilot | 445th Bomb Group
    B-24 - #42-7554 - 8th AF, 445th BG, 702nd BS - stationed in NOV 1943 at RAF Tibenham. ...

  • George Ayers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Mickow crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #61 to Frankfurt, Germany on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37884. MACR 2241. Killed in Action (KIA). Groves, TX

  • 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

  • Kenneth Betts

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down in a frontal attack by fighters on the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-31135 'Suzy Sagtitz' crashed near Schoonebekerveld, Holland. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Turley Bird

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 379th Bomb Group
    Shot down 22 December 1943 in B-17 #4229724. Plane crashed in to North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Blankenship

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Shot down 22 December 1943 in B-17 #4229724. Plane crashed in to North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • 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

  • Julian Chandler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio operator, Mickow crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #61 to Frankfurt, Germany on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37884. MACR 2241. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. Rockmart, GA

  • Stanislaw Chmura

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 26 x combat missions. ETD ...

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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...

  • 42-30595 '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...

  • 42-30778 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:...

  • 42-30865

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/8/43; Gr Isle 31/8/43; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-G] Molesworth 18/10/43; 9m Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with Paul Campbell, Co-pilot: John Doty, Navigator: John Nothstein wia - later repatriated, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

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

  • 42-31138 Winged Fury

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/9/43; Gr Island 7/10/43; Romulus 10/10/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 15/10/43; Missing in Action Augsburg 13/4/44 with Art Nelson, Co-pilot: Art Livermore, Navigator: Maurice White, Bombardier: Bill Matuszewski, Flight...

  • 42-3184 ALIQUIPPA

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 12 March 1943; Memphis 4 September 1943; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-C/Q] Alconbury 24 April 1943. Piloted by Frederick T. Prasse on 21 July 1943 and involved in slight mid-air collision with 42-29853 (327BS/92BG - Pilot Thomas M....

  • 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...

  • 42-3363 Punchy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 25/5/43; Presque Is 2/8/43; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY-G] Thurleigh 14/8/43; Missing in Action Osnabruck 22/12/43 with Jim Winter, Co-pilot: Bob Ashley, Bombardier: Ralph Pringlechute caught on plane damage, Radio Operator: Walt Rozanski...

  • 42-37766 'Princess Pat'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 25/8/43; Scott 30/9/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-F] Horham 13/10/43; with J.W. Hargrove force landed Snetterton Heath 16/11/43; (10m), Missing in Action Munster 22/12/43 with Maurice Mangis, Co-pilot: Don Lembeke, Waist gunner: Jack...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 20:14:41 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
17 September 2015 19:13:09 theseanze Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Personal letters of Sgt. Martin J. Kilcoyne

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 20:23:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 2BD (Osnabruck) statisitics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 20:22:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 1BD (Osnabruck) statisitics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", ROger A> Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 20:20:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2014 12:19:32 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'.

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