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8th Air Force 208

4 February 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany were focus of this mission, but other railroad marshalling yards in the area were attacked as well. Weather and navigational errors frustrate target acquisition.748 heavy bombers were despatched in a combined force from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions. Mission summary follows:

1st Bomb Division: A combined force of 287 B-17s are despatched from: 91BG; 92BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; and 482BG. 183 aircraft are effective on Frankfurt. 51 are effective on the railroad marshalling yards at Wiesbaden; Germany as a Target of Opportunity (TO); 1 bombs the railroad marshalling yards at Koblenz, Germany and 21 bomb other TOs. 11 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 29KIA 72POW 10EVD. 3 aircraft with battle damage make crash landings in England and are declared to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) - 6KIA 25RTD. 16 airmen are WIA in returning aircraft. 138 aircraft are damaged (apportioned in statistics).

2nd Bomb Division: A combined force of 159 B-24s are despatched from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 446BG; 448BG; 492BG. The despatch from 14th Combat Wing (44BG; 392BG; 492BG) aborts the mission because it failed to join the Division because the PFF aircraft faield to take off. 27 aircraft are effective on Frankfurt. 17 bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Trier, Germany as a Target of Opportunity (TO); 15 bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Arloff, Germany as a TO; 2 bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Russellheim, Germany as a TO; 1 bombs at Grafenhausen, Germany as a TO; 1 bombs at Darmstadt, Germany as a TO; 1 bombs at Koblenz, Germany as a TO; and 26 others bomb other target of opportunity. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 6KIA 14POW. 4 airmen aboard returning aircraft are WIA. 76 aircraft are damaged (apportioned in statistics)

3rd Bomb Division: A combined force of 302 B-17s are despatched from: 94BG; 95BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; and 447BG. 27 are effective on Frankfurt; 122 are effective on the railroad marshalling yards at Geissen, Germany as a Target of Opportunity (TO); 2 others bomb TOs. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 18KIA 47POW 5EVD. 2 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA. 145 aircraft are damaged (apportioned in statistics).

The combined claims of the bomber gunners of all three Air Divisions are 4-0-1 (Statistic reflected in 1BD Frankfurt element)

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

1 BD Bomb Groups attacking has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 68.95
Number of aircraft Sent 21
Number of aircraft Effective 21
Number of aircraft Damaged 13
Number of people Wounded in Action 1

2.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3.13
Number of aircraft Sent 2
Number of aircraft Effective 2

3.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 81.48
Number of aircraft Sent 26
Number of aircraft Effective 26
Number of aircraft Damaged 15

4. ARLOFF (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 47.01
Number of aircraft Sent 15
Number of aircraft Effective 15
Number of aircraft Damaged 9

5. DARMSTADT (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3.13
Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

6. FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Joined with 1st Bomb Division in attacking the marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany

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 510.52
Number of aircraft Sent 183
Number of aircraft Effective 183
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 11
Number of aircraft Damaged 138
Number of people Killed In Action 18
Number of people Wounded in Action 4
Number of people Evaded 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 47
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

7. FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Weather and navigation problems frustrate target acquisition. This is part of the campaign to destroy transportation assets in preparation for the D-Day invasion. 359 aircraft are damaged (apportionment approximated)

Units

  • 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 573.52
Number of aircraft Sent 214
Number of aircraft Effective 183
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 11
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 105
Number of people Killed In Action 40
Number of people Wounded in Action 12
Number of people Evaded 10
Number of people Prisoners of War 72
Number of people Returned To Duty 25
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

8. FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

44th Bomb Group and 392nd Bomb Group failed to join the Division and abandoned the mission because the Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft had failed to take-off.

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...

  • 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 Bombardment Group was organized on 6 April 1943 and activated on 1 May 1943 at Gowen Field, near Boise, Idaho. The initial training of the air crews took place in Florida. The entire group was assembled Wendover Field, Utah. Both air and...

  • 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 64.62
Number of aircraft Sent 96
Number of aircraft Effective 27
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 16
Number of people Killed In Action 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 9

9. GIESSEN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

3rd Bomb Division Bomb Groups attacking has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 382,35
Number of aircraft Sent 122
Number of aircraft Effective 122
Number of aircraft Damaged 69

10. GRAFENHAUSEN

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3.13
Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

11. KOBLENZ (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

3rd Bomb Division Bomb Groups attacking has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3.13
Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

12. KOBLENZ (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3.13
Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

13. RUSSELLHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 6.27
Number of aircraft Sent 2
Number of aircraft Effective 2
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Killed In Action 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 5

14. TRIER (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 53.41
Number of aircraft Sent 17
Number of aircraft Effective 17
Number of aircraft Damaged 10

15. Wiesbaden, Germany

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

1 BD Bomb Groups attacking has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 159.83
Number of aircraft Sent 51
Number of aircraft Effective 51
Number of aircraft Damaged 29
Number of people Wounded in Action 3

Service

People

  • Joseph Adams

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 446th Bomb Group
    Shot down by fighters on the return from a mission to the Marshalling Yards at Frankfurt on 4 Feb 1944 in B-24H #42-7542 'Black Widow'. Plane crashed SE of Albert, FR. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • John Alexander

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down by fighters and flak on return from mission to Frankfurt on 4 February 1944 in B-17F 42-30423. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Russell Allman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 95th Bomb Group
    Damaged by fighter attacks on the return from a mission to Klein Machow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-31299 'Junior' maintained formation until finally crashing NW of Beilen, Holland after the crew baled out. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Robert Bangs

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down by fighters and flak on return from mission to Frankfurt on 4 February 1944 in B-17F #42-30423. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Emmett Bell

    Military | Major | Bombardier | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down by fighters and flak on return from mission to Frankfurt on 4 February 1944 in B-17F #42-30423. Prisoner of War (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

  • Milo Blakely

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down by fighters and flak on return from mission to Frankfurt on 4 Feb 1944 in B-17F #42-30423. Evaded (EVD). See the story of his evasion on his page at http://www.evasioncomete.org/fblakelme.html

  • John Booth

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down by fighters and Flak on return from mission to Frankfurt on 4 February 1944 in B-17F #42-30423. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Harold Brassfield

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    On the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-37886 'Blitzing' Betsy' was severely damaged by attacks from several FW190s causing it to collide with another 388th B-17, exploding in mid-air and crashing near Emmen,...

  • John Carmody

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot, Navigator | 446th Bomb Group
    On 4 Feb 1944 shot down near Bray Sur Somme, France. "Sad Sack" 42-29147

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Aircraft

  • 41-24561 The Duchess, "Sure Stuff"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-T] Bangor 10/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; 59m transferred 1 Base Air Depot (sic),* Burtonwood 7/7/44; Returned to the USA Altus 18/8/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Altus 14/8/45. Over...

  • 41-24605 Knock-out Dropper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to the 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...

  • 42-2973 IZA VAILABLE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-G] Presque Is 27/11/42; Molesworth 13/12/42; Returned to the USA 2/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Arledge 22/11/44. IZA VAILABLE.

  • 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)...

  • 42-30423

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/5/43; Gore 31/5/43; Rapid City 16/6/43; Dow Fd 5/7/43; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-P] Alconbury 7/8/43; 326BS [JW-P]. Missing in Action Frankfurt 4 February 1944 with Pilot Lawrence H. Cook (initially evaded; arrested later); Co-pilot...

  • 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; ...

  • 42-31115 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...

  • 42-31292 Dolly

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/10/43; Grand Island 30/10/43; Wilmington 6/11/43; Assigned 569BS/390BG [CC-F] Framlingham 11/11/43; (13m) Missing in Action Frankfurt 4February 1944 with CPilot Clarence B. Strait, Co-pilot: George F. Wilson, Navigator: Joseph J....

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2016 20:52:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to name
Sources

Lee Cunnigham 1-Feb-2016. Corrected Mission Title.

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2016 20:18:08 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Feb-2016. Added combined claims of bomber gunners on enemy aircraft to Mission even 6 1BG attack on Frankfurt per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2016 20:12:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Feb 2016. Added Bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2016 20:04:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Feb-2016. Corrected number of aircraft despatched on Mission Event #2 per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", ROger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2016 20:01:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Feb-2016. Corrected number of aircraft despatched on event #1 per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2016 19:49:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman analysis of Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) and Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
28 May 2015 10:24:10 jdossetter Changes to event
Sources

http://www.8thafhs.com/missions.php

Date Contributor Update
28 May 2015 10:23:05 jdossetter Changes to event
Sources

http://www.8thafhs.com/maps.php?lat=50.0606&lon=8.24908&target_name=WIES...

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:17 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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