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8th Air Force 178

7 January 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft.

The first element is a combined force of 172 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 358BG; 388BG; 390BG; and 447BG. 167 are effective on the target. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 11 KIA 7POW 2EVD. 2 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) of these, 1 crashes shortly after take-off at Wilby, UK but crew bale out safely - 10RTD; 1 with battle damage makes a crashlanding at Honington, UK - 10RTD. 18 aircraft are damaged. In addition to MIA aircraft casualties, 1 airman is KIA and 1 is WIA.

The second element is a combined force of 210 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; and 401BG. 184 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 10KIA 18POW. 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) shortly after take-off when it is caught in the prop wash of others in the formation. The aircraft comes apart over Lutham Bridge, UK - 6 KIA 4 bale out RTD. Other casualties in returning aircraft include 6 airmen KIA and 7 WIA. 86 aircraft are damaged.

The third element is a combined force of 120 B-24s from 2nd Air Division: 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; and 446BG. 69 are effective on the target. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 28KIA 16POW 17EVD 10INT. 2 returning aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 5KIA 10RTD. In addition, other casualties in returning aircraft were 4KIA and 5WIA. 18 aircraft were damaged.

Mission details

1. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description

I.G. FARBEN PLANT. This element is composed of B-24s from 2nd Air Division.The bomber gunners of the entire formation of B-17s and B-24s claim 30-6-17 of attacking enemy aircraft.

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

One B-24 of this element dropped on a Target of Opportunity. The 44th Bomb Group and the 448th Bomb Group abandoned the mission at the Dutch coast after failing to reach altitude and were being out-distanced by the rest of the formation. The 445th Bomb Group was commanded by MAJ James Stewart, the Hollywood actor, on this mission.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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 164.43
Number of aircraft Sent 120
Number of aircraft Effective 69
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 7
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 18
Number of people Killed In Action 32
Number of people Wounded in Action 5
Number of people Evaded 17
Number of people Prisoners of War 14
Number of people Interned 10
Number of people Returned To Duty 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 30
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 17

2. LUDWIGSHAFEN(Primary)

Description

I.G. FARBEN PLANT. This is a combined formation of B-17s from 3rd Air Division.

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 397.96
Number of aircraft Sent 172
Number of aircraft Effective 167
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 18
Number of people Killed In Action 12
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Evaded 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 7
Number of people Returned To Duty 20

3. LUDWIGSHAFEN(Primary)

Description

I.G. FARBEN PLANT. This is a combined formation of B-17s from 1st Air Division.

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Two B-17s of this element bombed Targets of Opportunity.

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...

  • 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 438.47
Number of aircraft Sent 210
Number of aircraft Effective 184
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 86
Number of people Killed In Action 21
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 22
Number of people Returned To Duty 4

Service

People

  • William Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Malleus, V. crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Credited with 1 German fighter destroyed on the 7 January 1944 Mission #58 to Ludwigshafen, Germany.

  • 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...

  • Robert Berg

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Mohnacky crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #61 to the industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-38045. MACR 2242. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft IV. ...

  • 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 ...

  • Kenneth Caldwell

    Military | Major | Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40629. Shot down by FW 190 fighters near Orleans, France on 7 Jan 44 in B-24D 42-41013 'Trouble N' Mind' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • 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. ...

  • Thomas Cobb

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    RWG, Chason crew. 381st BG, 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 XVIIB. ...

  • Joseph Connolly

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Wilson A crew. 381st BG, 534th BS. 8th AF. Shot down 7 January 1944 in B-17F #42-3078 'Winsome Winn'. Mission #58 to the IG Farben plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany. MACR 1873. Lt Connolly suffered a broken leg after bailing out. Prisoner of...

  • Robert Davis

    Military | Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Saur crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS 8th AF. Lost on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany on 11 Jan 1944. An ME109 exploded near B-17G #42-37962 'Betty Lou' and the engine split the bomber in two. MACR 1876. Killed in Action ...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24525 What's Cookin' Doc?

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-O] Presque Is 22/9/10/42; Grafton Underwood 25/9/42; transferred 547BS/384BG [SO-Y] Grafton Underwood 14/10/43; Missing in Action Ludwigshafen 7/1/44 with Walter Ernest Garner, Co-pilot: Philip Bern, Bombardier: James Daigle,...

  • 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...

  • 42-3078 'Winsome Winn'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/1/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG Dow Fd 24/4/43; 4m, transferred 100BG /43; 534BS/381BG [GD-M] 15/6/43; 2SAD 13/11/43 ret 15/11/43; ...

  • 42-31115 Hells Belles

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/9/43; Gr Island 6/10/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 25/10/43; Missing in Action Brunswick 10/2/44 with Jim Feeneynot found till 25/2/44, Radio Operator: Norman Kajut, Waist gunner: Marion Forbis,Tail gunner: Lou LeFevre (4...

  • 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...

  • 42-37839 Little Willie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 20/9/43; Gr Island 14/10/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG [ -D] Knettishall 26/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 9/3/44 with Bernie Dopko, Co-pilot: Gene Krifka, Navigator: Glenn Cederstrom, Bombardier: Bill Kelly, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-39838

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 15/9/43; Scott 22/10/43; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-Z] Horham 29/10/43; on return from Ludwigshaven 7/1/44 with Jim Conley, Co-pilot: Bill Wood, Navigator: Bob Fogaty, Bombardier: Royal Klein, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Clyde...

  • 42-40747 'Heavy Date'

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24D 42-40747 'Heavy Date' 567th BS, 389th BG, 8th AF, flew on 1st Aug 43 Ploesti oil refinery raid piloted by William M Selvidge, returning safely to Libya. ...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2015 18:52:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added 1st Air Division note to Event Details.

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2015 18:50:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added 3rd Air Division note to Event Details.

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2015 18:47:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added 2nd BD to Event Description.

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2015 18:44:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
21 December 2015 18:39:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman; casualties summed from MACRs and "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey, MBE.

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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