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8th Air Force 226 BIG WEEK - DAY 1

20 February 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is the opening salvo of the Allied Combined Bomber Offensive known officially as "Operation Argument" but remembered in 8th Air Force History as "BIG WEEK". The immediate strategic objective of this six-day operation is the degradation of the German aircraft industry, but the longer range strategic objective is to lure the Luftwaffe into commiting its resources in defending high-value German military/industrial targets in all theaters of operations over the Continent thereby destroying the Luftwaffe's resources sufficently to give the Allies air supremacy so critical to a successful invasion of the Continent.

The next four months of the war leading up to D-Day will have the primary objective of destroying the Luftwaffe and secondarily the degredation of the entire German war industry. All during 1944 the Allies will pound German cities, and while the Germans are effective in replacing aircraft lost, their ultimate defeat will be the based on the inability of the Germans to provide a steady stream of trained and experience pilots to fly their machines.

This first mission of BIG WEEK is a despatch of 1,003 heavy bombers to attack the German aircraft industry and airfields. This is the first time that the 8th Air Force has been able to assemble a 1000-plane operation. Mission Summary follows:

3rd Bomb Division: A combined force of 314 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; 452BG; and 482BG is depatched to bomb the primary target of the German aifield at Tutow, Germany. A PFF equipped aircraft failed to take-off, so the Tutow force dropped on targets in the vicinity of Tutow, Griefswald and Straslund. Targets at Poznan and Kreising were the assigned primaries for the rest of the formation but the formation leader decided the cloud cover would prevent bombing so they bombed Rostock and other T/Os. There is NO fighter escort for this element. 105 aircraft are effective on the German airfield at Tutow, Germany and surrounding areas; 76 aircraft bomb the aircraft industry at Rostock, Germany; and 155 aircraft bomb other Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 6 Aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 19KIA 30POW 1EVD 10INT (Interned in Sweden). 1 battle damaged aircraft is declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash landing at Mutford, UK - 3KIA 7RTD. 37 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners of this despatch claim 15-15-10 of attacking German aircraft.

1st Bomb Division: A combined force of 417 B-17s from: 91BG, 92BG; 303BG; 305BG, 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; and 482BG are despatched to bomb the primary targets of: the German airfield of Leipzig/Mockau and the German aircraft industry at Heiterblick, Abtnaundorf and Bernberg, Germany. 239 aircraft are effective at Leipzig/Mockau, Heiterblick and Abtnaundorf, Germany.; 37 are effective on Bernburg, Germany; 44 are effective on the industrial areas of Oschersleben, Germany as a Target of Opportunity (TO); and 20 aircraft bomb other targets of opportunity. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 15KIA 48POW 7EVD. 3 airmen were KIA and 9 other WIA in returning aircraft. 161 aircraft had battle damage. The bomber gunners of this despatch claimed 14-5-6 of attacking German aircraft.

2 aircraft with battle damage were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) - 4KIA 8WIA 6RTD. One of these DBRs was B-17G 42-31763 "Ten Horsepower", 352BG/510BS in which the pilot had been severely wounded and co-pilot killed. All of the crew baled out except the Navigator, 2LT Walter E. Truemper and Engineer/Ball Turret Gunner, SSGT Archibald Mathies, who made four desperate attempts to land the aircraft, but finally crashed and they and the pilot were killed. Both airmen were posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. The citation for 2LT Truemper may be viewed at: http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3028/truemper-walter-e.php. The citation for SSGT Mathies may be viewed at: http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2863/mathies-archibald.php

On the other DBR, Pilot, 1LT William R. Lawley flying B-17G 42-38109, 305BG/364BS was severely wounded but managed to return the battle damaged aircraft, 2 critically wounded airmen and a Waist Gunner to make a successful crash landing at Alconbury, UK. 1LT Lawley was awarded the Gongressional Medal of Honor for his actions that day. His citation may be viewed at: http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2839/lawley-william-r-jr.php

The 401BG was awarded its second Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions on this mission.

2nd Bomb Division: A combined force of 272 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; and 453BG were despatched to the primary target of the aircraft industries at Halberstadt, Germany, but the PFF equipment failed and the formation was forced to bomb the industrial areas of Oschersleben and Helmstedt, Germany as targets of last resort. The other primary targets assigned were the aviation industries at Brunswick, Wilhelmtor, Neupetritor and Gotha, Germany. 76 aircraft were effective on the aircraft industries at: Brunswick, Wilhelmtor and Neupetritor; 87 were effective on the aircraft industry at Gotha, Germany; 13 bombed the industrial areas of Helmstedt, Germany as a target of last resort; 58 bombed the industrial areas of Helmstedt as a target of last resort; and 10 bombed other Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 8 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 42KIA 35POW (1 DIC). 4 aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 10KIA 30RTD. 37 aircraft were damaged. 10 airmen in returning aircraft were WIA. The bomber gunners of this despatch claimed 36-13-13 of attacking German aircraft (claims exaggerated).

The 392nd Bomb Group and 445th Bomb Groups are both awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for thier actions in attacking the German aircraft industries at Gotha, Germany.

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 275.08
Number of aircraft Sent 115
Number of aircraft Effective 115

2.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked these targets.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 49.58
Number of aircraft Sent 20
Number of aircraft Effective 20

3.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 2nd Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 27.34
Number of aircraft Sent 10
Number of aircraft Effective 10

4. ABNAUNDORF (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

While this target was also listed as a primary, the 1st Bomb Division concentrated on Leipzig.

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 0
Number of aircraft Effective 0

5. BERNBURG (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 91.72
Number of aircraft Sent 37
Number of aircraft Effective 37
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 11

6. Brunswick, Germany

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Aircraft production plants at Brunswick, Wilhelmtor and Neupetritor are the Primary targets. Bomber gunner claims for all participants of 2BD are bundled here (totals exaggerated).

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 453rd Bomb Group

    453rd Bomb Group

    Group
    As well as strategic bombardment missions, the 453rd Bomb Group also ferried cargo on two occasions. They hauled petrol, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and dropped ammunition, food and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne...

  • 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 207.78
Number of aircraft Sent 104
Number of aircraft Effective 76
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 6
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 37
Number of people Killed In Action 37
Number of people Wounded in Action 10
Number of people Prisoners of War 30
Number of people Died in Captivity 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 36
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 13
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 13

7. GOTHA (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Originally, the aircraft factories at Halberstadt were the Primary targets. However, clouds obscured the target and the Pathfinder (PFF) equipment failed so groups diverted to other targets. The 392nd and 445th Bomb Group, flying B-24s, are awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation (1st of 1), for their participation in bombing the aircraft plants at Gotha, Germany.

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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 237.86
Number of aircraft Sent 87
Number of aircraft Effective 87

8. HEITERBLICK (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

While this target was also listed as a primary, the 1st Bomb Division concentrated on Leipzig.

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 0
Number of aircraft Effective 0

9. HELMSTEDT (Last resort)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 2nd Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 158.57
Number of aircraft Sent 58
Number of aircraft Effective 58
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of people Killed In Action 15
Number of people Prisoners of War 5
Number of people Returned To Duty 20

10. LEIPZIG/MOCKAU (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

"BIG WEEK" (Feb 20-25, 1944) begins. BIG WEEK has two objectives: Destroy German aircraft production facilities; and, draw up the Luftwaffe for destruction by fighter escort. This is the first time that over 1000 bombers are despatched. 1st Lt. William R. Lawley, 305th Bomb Group/364BS (Pilot) B-17 42-38109 is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in this action. This is the seventh CMOH awarded to a member of the 8th Air Force. The 401st Bomb Group is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (2nd of 2). Bomber gunner claims for all 1BD participants are bundled here.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 491st Bomb Group

    491st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 491st Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators in bombing missions over northern France and Germany from June 1944 until April 1945. Missions over Germany included bombing the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen. The Group was awarded a DUC...

  • 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 592.48
Number of aircraft Sent 316
Number of aircraft Effective 239
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 161
Number of people Killed In Action 19
Number of people Wounded in Action 17
Number of people Evaded 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 31
Number of people Returned To Duty 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 14
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

11. NEUPETRITOR (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined how many aircraft from 2nd Bomb Division Groups attacked this target, so totals are bundled together with Brunswick (P)

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent ND
Number of aircraft Effective ND

12. OSCHERSLEBEN (Last resort)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 2nd Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 31.68
Number of aircraft Sent 13
Number of aircraft Effective 13

13. OSCHERSLEBEN (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 109.08
Number of aircraft Sent 44
Number of aircraft Effective 44
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Killed In Action 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 17

14. ROSTOCK (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 181.79
Number of aircraft Sent 76
Number of aircraft Effective 76
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 8
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 25
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 30
Number of people Interned 10
Number of people Returned To Duty 7

15. TUTOW (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

A Pathfinder (PFF) equipped aircraft failed to take-off, so the others force dropped on targets in the vicinity of Tutow, Griefswald and Straslund. Targets at Poznan and Kreising were the assigned primaries for the rest of the formation but leader decided the cloud cover would prevent bombing so they bombed Rostock and other Targets of Opportunity. No fighter escort for this element. Bomber gunner claims for all 3BD participants are bundled here.

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...

  • 452nd Bomb Group

    452nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 452nd Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deopham Green, Norfolk, from January 1944. The air crews hit strategic sites in Germany but also supported the movement of ground forces across Europe after D-Day. On 6 June 1944 itself, the Group...

  • 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 251.16
Number of aircraft Sent 123
Number of aircraft Effective 105
Number of aircraft Damaged 37
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 10

16. WILHELMTOR (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined how many aircraft from 2nd Bomb Division Groups attacked this target, so totals are bundled together with Brunswick (P)

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent ND
Number of aircraft Effective ND

Service

People

  • Ronald Bartley

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

  • Benjamin Beauclair

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Benjamin Beauclair was Co-Pilot of B-17 "Skunkface" #42-29656 of 91st Bomb Group/322nd Bomb Squadron, shot down by fighters on a mission to Leipzig on 20 February 1944. Crashed behind the railway station at Lens, NNW of Mons, Belgium. Hit in the leg...

  • 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

  • Charles Betzel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Charles Betzel was a graduate of Davenport High School and was employed at the Iowa-Illinois Gas & Electric Co before entering the service in April 1942. Assigned to the Air Corps, he started his training at Santa Ana, California and later at Blythe,...

  • Robert Blackwell

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 8 April 1944 in B-24 #4128650 'Rooster. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Robert Blomberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 445th Bomb Group
    Shot down by fighters and crashed near Hardenburg, Holland on a mission to Gotha, GR on 24 Feb 1944 in B-24H #42-7567 'Wacky Donald'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • William Borrego

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Cogswell crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters and crashed near target on mission #68 to the airfields at Leipzig, Germany on 20 Feb 1944 in B-17F #42-3562 'AH-HA-HA'. MACR 2929. Day #1 of Big Week .Prisoner of War at Stalag...

  • 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,...

  • Edgar Burton

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 446th Bomb Group
    Flew 25 missions, ending just before D-Day. Flew on D Day just to see it. According to him, he never saw a German fighter but did see lots of flak.

  • Edwin Carmell

    Military | Colonel | Co-Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Edwin Carmell served as a co-pilot with the 563rd Bomb Squadron of the 388th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Knettishall, England. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean and Vietnamese conflicts rising to the rank of Colonel.

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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...

  • 42-29656 The Terrible Ten, Skunkface

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 2/2/43; Salina 9/2/43; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-F] Molesworth 21/3/43 "THE TERRIBLE TEN"; transferred 322BS/91BG [LG-S] Bassingbourn 5/7/43 "SKUNKFACE". Missing in Action on its 19th mission, to Aschersleben, Germany on 20 February...

  • 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:...

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

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

  • 42-31126

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 22/9/43; Harvard 9/10/43; Wilmington 12/10/43; Assigned 401BG Deenethorpe 23/12/43; transferred 560BS/388BG Knettishall /44; Bombardier: Lt Mike Chaklos (KIA-pilot was Ingebritsen) 5/1/44; Missing in Action Lutzkendorf 20/2/44 with...

  • 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...

  • 42-31741 Thunderbolt/Hi Fever

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/12/43; Kearney 30/12/43; RAF Nutts Corner 14/1/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 17/1/44; Missing in Action Liege 25/5/44 with Capt Jim Zengerle, Co-pilot: Albt Millin, Navigator: Walt Travis, Bombardier: Capt Wayne Barnett,...

  • 42-31763 Ten Horsepower

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/12/43; Gt Falls 16/12/43; Denver 21/12/43; Kearney 1/1/44; RAF Nutts Corner 14/1/44. ...

  • 42-37784 The Old Fox

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27/8/43; Scott 29/9/43; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-P] Kimbolton 19/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Wilton Gease (Prisoner of War); Co-pilot: Luciano Gastineau, Navigator: Bob Lorentz, Bombardier: Dick O’Neal, Flight engineer...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 February 2016 18:43:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Feb-2016. Correcting typo in Mission Description.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2016 21:20:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims for all 2BD participants to Brunswick element per "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2016 21:17:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims of all 1BD participants to Leipzig event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2016 21:14:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added Bomber Gunner claims of 3BD on enemy aircraft to Tutow element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2016 21:09:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman; "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey; 390BG Mission Report from Pima Air Museum, Tucson, AZ and MACR data.

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2014 10:23:05 Emily Changes to event
Sources

Moved pin from south of London to Tutow Germany

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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