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VIII Bomber Command 76

25 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission was composed of three elements. The primary targets were the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany; the shipyards at Kiel, Germany and the aircraft industries at Warnemude, Germany, but weather frustrated the effort. The first element was a combined force of 123 B-17s from: 91BG (18); 303BG (20); 351BG (20); 379BG (21); 381BG (23); and 384BG (21) dispatched to attack the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany. 68 of this force diverted to the secondary target of the shipyards at Hamburg. 14 others from 381BG dropped on Heide as a target of opportunity. and 18 other bombed various targets of opportunity. Fighter resistance is heavy. 15 B-17s from this formation Failed to Return (FTR) - 37KIA 102POW 10RTD (Rescued). The bomber gunners claim 38-6-27 of the attacking fighters.

The second element was a combined force of 59 B-17s from: 92BG (18); 305BG (20); and 306BG (21) dispatched to attack the shipyards a Kiel, Germany, but weather and assembly problems caused this element to be recalled. No losses or claims in this element.

The third element was a combined force of 141 B-17s from 94BG (20); 95BG (27); 96BG (21); 100BG (24); 385BG (28); and 388BG (21) dispatched to bomb the aircraft industries at Warnemunde, Germany but cloud cover and weather diverted most of this formation to attack the shipyards at Kiel, Germany as a Target of Opportunity. 67 were effective on Kiel while 18 dropped on Rerik/West and 33 other bombed targets of opportunity. 4 B-17s of this formation Failed to Return (FTR) - 26KIA 5POW 9RTD (Rescued). Fighter resistance against this element was lighter as they attacked about 15 minutes later than the first element. The bomber gunners claimed 6-0-0 of attacking fighters.

There was no fighter escort for any of these elements.

Mission details

1. HAMBURG (Secondary) / HEIDE (Target of Opportunity)

Description

DIESEL ENGINE WORKS/SHIP YARD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Beginning of operation GOMORRAH (RAF designation). This is the first time the 8 AF acts in concert with the RAF to hit a single target. Air Marshall Arthur "Bomber" Harris had envisioned such a strike since the Area Bombing Directive was issued by the RAF Air Staff on 14-February-1942 which stated, "The primary objective of your (RAF Bomber command) operations should now be focused on the morale of the enemy civil population, and in particular on the industrial workers." The RAF despatched a force of 347 Lancasters, 246 Halifaxes, 125 Sterlings and 73 Wellington bombers to Hamburg in the very early morning hours. The bombers were loaded primarily with incendiary bombs. The RAF losses were light with 4 Halifaxes, 4 Lancasters, 3 Sterlings and one Wellington lost. It is estimated that this RAF raid caused 1,500 civilian casualties with another 380,000 bombed out. The smoke from the fires combined with cloud cover masks the target by the time the 8 AF bombs their targets (all industrial concentrations and the SHIP YARD) at 1630-1645 hours.

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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 414.25
Number of aircraft Sent 123
Number of aircraft Effective 100
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 15
Number of aircraft Damaged 67
Number of people Killed In Action 47
Number of people Wounded in Action 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 101
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 38
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 27

2. KIEL (Opportunistic) / RERICK/ WEST (Target of Opportunity)

Description

NAVAL BASE

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Force unable to assemble because of weather. Mission abandoned.

Units

  • 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,...

  • 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 None
Number of aircraft Sent 59

3. WARNEMUNDE (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Cloud cover hampers acquisition. Balance refrain from bombing because target is in Occupied territory. 18 388th Bomb Group dropped 179 X 500GP on Rerik/ West Airfield as a Target of Opportunity. 33 others in this element dropped 220 X 500GP and 96 x 100 IB on other Targets of Opportunity

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...

  • 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 285.10
Number of aircraft Sent 141
Number of aircraft Effective 118
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 50
Number of people Killed In Action 27
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 19
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 6

Service

People

  • Joe Alexander

    Military | Major | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Alexander crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 25 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30153 "Worry Wart". Mission #12 to the Focke-Wulf factory at Hamburg. MACR 131. Flak damaged, vibrating violently over the English Channel, turned 180 degrees back to...

  • Clarence Asher

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Owen Crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 25 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29976 "Sad Sack". Mission #12 to the Focke-Wulf factory at Hamburg, Germany. MACR 128. Plane crashed into North Sea. Prisoner of War at Stalag XVIIB. Washington

  • Liston Bascom

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Owen crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 25 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29976 'Sad Sack'. Mission #12 to the Focke-Wulf factory in Hamburg. MACR 128. Plane crashed into North Sea. Evaded for 9 days until turned in by a civilian. Prisoner...

  • Robert Bederman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down on his second mission, 25 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3024 'Royal Flush' ...

  • William Bohan

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Co-Pilot (2nd Lt) | 381st Bomb Group
    May - July 1943. Co-pilot, Owen Crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 25 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29976 'Sad Sack' after attempted bombardment mission #12 on Hamburg, Germany (target: Focke-Wulf factory from 29 or 30,000 FT). MACR 128. Plane...

  • Willis Carlisle

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Fatally wounded by fighter attack in B-17 42-29866 'Judy B' on Hamburg mission. Took deflected round (ricocheted off co-pilots seat) in back. Crew fought of fighters and co-pilot returned A/C...

  • Nicholas Ciamarra

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down on his second mission, 25 July 1943 in B-17 #423024 'Royal Flush' ...

  • Chester Cox

    Military | Colonel | Group Commanding Officer | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Brigadier General

  • Henry Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 16 September 1943 AM w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

  • William Crowley

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Alexander crew. 381st BG, 532nd BS, 8th AF. Shot down 25 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30153 "Worry Wart". Mission #12 to the Focke-Wulf factory at Hamburg. MACR 131. Flak damaged, vibrating violently over the English Channel, turned 180 degrees back...

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Aircraft

  • 42-29731 Ol' Swayback, Moore Fidite

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/2/43; Walker 23/2/43; Smoky Hill 28/3/43; Presque 8/4/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43 MOOR-FIDITE; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 532BS/381BG [VE-E] Ridgewell 16/7/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-29866 'Judy B'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27/2/43; Sioux City 16/3/43; Kearney 8/4/43; Dow Fd 15/4/43; Assigned 524BS/379BG [WA-L] Kimbolton 21/4/43; Missing in Action Le Bourget 16/8/43 with Chas Biglar, Bombardier: John Boyle, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Albt Tyler,...

  • 42-29976 Sad Sack

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 20/3/43; force landed Smoky Hill, KS with Frank Spino 3/4/43; Pueblo 8/4/43; Smoky Hill 6/5/43; Dow Fd 19/5/43; Assigned 532BS/381BG [VE-Q] Ridgewell 25/5/43 with Jack Owen, Bill Bohan, Liston Bascom, Frank Ronzio, Bill Lindenmeyer,...

  • 42-30013 Lethal Lady

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/4/43; Pueblo 8/4/43; Smoky Hill 6/5/43; Dow Fd 19/5/43; Assigned 532BS/381BG [VE-E] Ridgewell 22/5/43 with Bill Moore, Dale Wendte, Phil Dreiseszun, Jim Houck, Frank Bryant, Ed Usher, Bill Kithcart, Bill Fortier, Edgerton Zahm,...

  • 42-30153 Worry Wart

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/43; Smoky Hill 24/4/43; Dow Fd 6/5/43; Assigned 339BS/96BG Andrews Fd 9/5/43 WORRY WART; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 532BS/381BG Ridgewell 16/7/43; Missing in Action 1m Hamburg (Heide) 25/7/43 with Capt Joe Alexander, Co...

  • 42-30193 Hard Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 14/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 15/6/43. ...

  • 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...

  • 42-30213 Lil' One

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Gore 9/5/43; Sioux City 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 1/6/43; crashed on take off for Bremen after encountering mechanical problems 13/11/43 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Alvin...

  • 42-3024 ROYAL FLUSH

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to the 544th Bombardment Squadron, squadron code SU-K, 384th Bombardment Group, Morrison Army Air Field, Florida on 13 March 1943, Moved to Grafton Underwood, Station 106, UK on 25 May 1943 and subsequently transferred to the 546th Bombardment...

  • 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...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 17:21:18 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
03 November 2017 04:20:35 ARowe95 Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

ARowe95

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 20:03:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to the Warnemude/Kiel element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 20:01:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Hamburg element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 20:00:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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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