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VIII Bomber Command 169

30 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The port area and oil refineries at Ludwigshaven, Germany are the target for this massive attack of 710 heavy bombers. The despatch includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG, 11 of these are effective on the mission, 3 are damaged, and the bomber gunners claim 1-0-1 od attacking German aircraft (this statistic has been included in the claims of 1st Bomb Division).

The mission is composed of 4 elements (2 of these are both from 2nd BD). The first element is a combined force of 289 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that includes: 91BG (26); 92BG (26); 303BG (33); 305BG (29); 306BG (27); 351BG (36); 379BG (38); 381BG (28); 384BG (25); and 401BG (21). 266 aircraft are effective on the target. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 15KIA 21POW 5EVD 9RTD (rescued by ASR). 3 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 1 on take off and 2 in crash landings upon return 5KIA 25RTD. In aircraft at returned, 5 airmen are KIA and 7are WIA. 51 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 3-1-4 (1-0-1 added from Pathfinders).

The second element was composed of a formation of 74 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 93BG (21); 44BG (28); and 448BG (25). 62 aircraft are effective on the target. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 10KIA 4POW 6RTD (rescued by ASR). 1 aircraft was Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) upon return when aircraft landed too far down the runway and struck 41-29130. Determined to be 100% pilot error. Pilot reduced to Co-Pilot and sent to a rest home. There were no other casualties or claims.

The third element was a force of 241 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 94BG (38); 95BG (38); 96BG (31); 100BG (19); 385BG (20); 388BG (36); 390BG (40); and 447BG (29). 226 aircraft were effective on the target. 9 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 27KIA 27POW (1DIC -shot trying to escape) 23EVD 4RTD (rescued by ASR). 2 battle damaged aircraft made crash landings in England upon return and were declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 20RTD. 2 airmen were KIA and another 10WIA aboard aircraft that returned. 52 aircraft were damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claimed 5-3-4 of attacking German aircraft.

The fourth element was another contingent of 94 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (24); 389BG (22); 392BG (25); and 445BG (23). 83 aircraft were effective on the target. 6 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 7KIA 34POW 12EVD 1INT. 4 airmen were KIA and 2 WIA aboard returning aircraft. 10 aircraft were damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claimed 4-0-1 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERY and PORT AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

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...

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 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 478.89
Number of aircraft Sent 241
Number of aircraft Effective 226
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 9
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 52
Number of people Killed In Action 28
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Evaded 22
Number of people Prisoners of War 27
Number of people Died in Captivity 1
Number of people Interned 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 24
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 4

2. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERY and PORT AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

482nd Bomb Group despatches 12 Pathfinder (PFF), 11 reach the target, distribution among the elements not in available data. A total of 710 aircraft are despatched.

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...

  • 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 607.85
Number of aircraft Sent 289
Number of aircraft Effective 276
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 51
Number of people Killed In Action 24
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 18
Number of people Returned To Duty 32
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 4

3. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERY and PORT AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

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...

  • 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...

  • 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 175.88
Number of aircraft Sent 94
Number of aircraft Effective 83
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 7
Number of aircraft Damaged 10
Number of people Killed In Action 14
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Evaded 8
Number of people Prisoners of War 37
Number of people Interned 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

4. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERY and PORT AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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 131.38
Number of aircraft Sent 74
Number of aircraft Effective 62
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Number of people Killed In Action 10
Number of people Prisoners of War 4
Number of people Returned To Duty 25

Service

People

  • Athen Anagnos

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Nason crew. 381st BG, 533d BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17F #42-37719 'Hellcat/Dinah Mite'. Plane crashed in Zuider Zee. MACR 1881. Killed in Action...

  • Arthur Aull

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 446th Bomb Group

  • 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

  • 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...

  • Joseph Balesh

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio operator, Duarte, E. crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Shot down in B-17 #42-39910. Mission #55 to Bordeaux, France. Attacked by fighters that blew out the plexiglass in the nose along with engines #2 & 3. Headed to Spain and bailed out with one...

  • 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

  • Raymond Beus

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Nason crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17F 42-37719 'Hellcat/Dinah Might'. MACR 1881. Plane crashed in Zuider Zee. Killed in Action (KIA)....

  • Joseph Byser

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Nason crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17F #42-37719 'Hellcat/Dinah Mite'. Plane crashed in Zuider Zee. MACR 1881. Killed in Action ...

  • 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

  • Billy Chason

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    December 1943 - January 1944. Pilot, Chason crew. 381st G, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 11 January 1944 in B-17 #42-3514 'Doll Baby'. Mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany. MACR 1978. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. ...

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Aircraft

  • 42-29963 Judy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/43; Walla Walla 28/3/43; Metropolitan 13/4/43; Dow Fd 30/4/43; Assigned 527BS/379BG [FO-I] Kimbolton 11/6/43; Missing in Action Ludwigshafen 30/12/43 with Pilot Glenn E. Camp Jr (EVD-POW); Navigator: Jarvis H. Cooper (EVD-POW);...

  • 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)...

  • 42-30249 Raunchy Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/5/43; Gore 13/5/43; Smoky Hill 14/5/43; Gt Falls 24/5/43; Kearney 30/5/43; Dow Fd 4/6/43; ...

  • 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...

  • 42-30650 DOTTY

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/7/43; Kearney 25/7/43; Dow Fd 28/7/43; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-D] Chelveston 12/8/43; slight mid-air collision 23/9/43 with Verl Fisher; 2 Base Air Depot, Lt Staughton 20/3/44; Returned to the USA 20/4/44; 4136 BU Tinker 4/6/44;...

  • 42-30674 DESTINY'S TOT, then CINCINNATI QUEEN, then KATHY JANE III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 10/7/43; Grand Isle 28/7/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-C] Horham 3/9/43 DESTINY'S TOT; then CINCINNATI QUEEN; with N.S. Rothschild force landed RAF Netheravon 4/10/43; with Rich Smith force landed Metfield AFB 16/12/43. 19m Missing in...

  • 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:...

  • 42-31083 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...

  • 42-31222 Lazy Daisy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 4/10/43; Gr Island 17/10/43; Memphis 24/10/43; Assigned 545BS/384BG [JD-D] Grafton Underwood 546 [BK-D] 23/11/43; Missing in Action Magdeburg (Berlin) 28/9/44 with Jim Brodie, Co-pilot: Lloyd Vevle, ng-Byron Atkins, Flight engineer/top...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:15:35 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 2ndBD(2nd contingent) element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:13:39 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 1stBD element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:12:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 3rdBD element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 July 2015 18:10:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "USAAF Combat Chronology", Jack McKillop

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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