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VIII Bomber Command 77

26 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German rubber industry at Hannover, Germany and the U-Boat shipyards at Hamburg, Germany are the primary focus of this mission. In addition, a German ship convoy and targets of opportunity at Wilhelmshaven and Wesermunde are bombed. The first element of 121 B-17s from: 91BG (20); 303BG (20); 352BG (24); 379BG (19); 381BG (18); and 384BG (20) are despatched to bomb the U-Boat shipyards at Hamburg, Germany. Cloud cover hampers bombing and 379BG and 384BG are unable to bomb. The 303BG lead ship commander of 303BG directs the remaining 15 B-17s in his formation (5 had aborted) to bomb the Neuhof Electric Power Station five miles from Hamburg. 14 bomb the power station, 1 drops its bombs on a boat in the Elbe river. Only 54 of the 121 despatched manage to attack. The bomber gunners claim 5-0-1 of the 20-30 attacking enemy fighters. 2 B-17s from 91BG Failed to Return (FTR) - 4KIA 6POW 10 RTD (Rescued by ASR)

The rubber industry at Hannover, Germany, is attacked by two elements. The first of these is a combined force of 60 B-17s from: 92BG (19); 305BG (20); and 306BG (21) despatched to bomb the Nordhafen rubber plant. 1 B-17 from 306BG and 2 B-17s from 95BG drop on targets of opportunity. 49 others bomb the rubber plant. 6 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) and one was Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) - 20KIA 24POW 30RTD (All rescued by ASR). 2LT John C. Morgan, 92BG/326BS is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on this mission, Ref. http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2899/morgan-john-c.php. The bomber gunners in this element claim 18-1-6 of the attacking enemy fighters.

The second element of the Hannover attack is a combined force of 61 B-17s from : 95BG (22); 96BG (18); and 388BG (21) are despatched to bomb the Continental Gummiwerke at Hannover, Germany. 96 of this force were effective on the target. 10 B-17s Failed to Return (FTR) - 34KIA 55POW 2DIC 10RTD (Rescued by ASR). The bomber gunners claim 22-8-22 of the attacking enemy fighters.

The 4BW force assembled for this mission had an additional 61 B-17 from: 100BG (20); 94BG (20); and 385BG (21) that were originally despatched to attack at Hannover, Germnay but cloud cover and smoke from RAF bombing raids the previous night obscured the target so these split off to attack Targets of Opportunity (TO's). 16 unloaded on a Germany ship convoy; 18 bombed the prot facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany; and 15 bombed aircraft factories as Wesemunde. 6 B-17s from this element Failted to Return (FTR) - 33KIA 18POW 10RTD (Rescued by ASR).The bomber gunners calim 15-1-7 of the attacking enemy fighters.

Mission details

1. HAMBURG (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

None of the 20 aircraft despatched by 384th Bomb Group are effective on the target.

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 126.25
Number of aircraft Sent 121
Number of aircraft Effective 54
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Prisoners of War 6
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

2. HANNOVER/ CONTINENTAL GUMMIWERKE FACTORY (Primary)

Description

Continental Gummiwerke rubber processing plant at Hannover.

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

2 aircraft from 95th Bomb Group drop 20 X 500GP on a Target of Opportunity.

Units

  • 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...

  • 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 7.60
Number of aircraft Sent 61
Number of aircraft Effective 44
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 10
Number of people Killed In Action 32
Number of people Wounded in Action 8
Number of people Prisoners of War 19
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 22
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 22

3. HANNOVER/NORDHAFEN FACTORY (Primary)

Description

Nordhafen rubber processing factory at Hannover, Germany

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Continuation of Operation GOMORRAH. 8th Air Force targets are all military targets with care given to avoid any collateral damage to civilians. The raids sunk 180,000 tons of shipping, and it was estimated with post-war calculations that the raids on the submarine pens diminished U-Boat production by 26 or 27 vessels. No fighter escort. Despatch of 92nd Bomb Group included two Y-B40s one of which aborts. One 306th Bomb Group aircraft drops 10 X 500GP on a Target of Opportunity.

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,...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group's 327th Bomb Squadron was the only Eighth Air Force squadron to fly YB-40s in combat. YB-40s were B-17s modified to fly as a heavily armed escort for other bombers. They were flown on missions between May and June 1943. Between May 1943...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 206.25
Number of aircraft Sent 60
Number of aircraft Effective 52
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 86
Number of people Killed In Action 11
Number of people Wounded in Action 14
Number of people Prisoners of War 24
Number of people Returned To Duty 30
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 18
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

4. WILHELMSHAVEN/ WESSERMUNDE (Opportunistic)

Description

SUBMARINE WORK PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

18 aircraft of 94th Bomb Group attack Wilhelmshaven, 15 aircraft of 385th Bomb Group attack Wessermunde, and 16 aircraft of 100th Bomb Group hit a convoy.

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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 53.10
Number of aircraft Sent 61
Number of aircraft Effective 49
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 6
Number of people Killed In Action 41
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 19

Service

People

  • Richard Bailey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Major

  • Barclay Beeby

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • William Binnebose

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Served 3 March 1942-1 January 1946. Flew 9 missions, not all on Our Bay-Bee. WIA 26 Jul 1943 B-17 #42-30274. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #4230274 'Our Bay-Bee. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag 17B, Krems. Also wounded while POW, shot when 2 other...

  • Charles Bliss

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel

  • Clarence Borchardt

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down in 42-5893 'Sad Sax' 26 July 1943. Prisoner of War (POW)

  • Carroll Briscoe

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to group on 15 Jan 1943. He was the 35th Officer to complete 25 missions. Reported on 05 Feb 1945 with the 2AF weather scouts. Retired as a Colonel from the USAF in 1972. ...

  • Claude Campbell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DSC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • Paul Casey

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Assigned to 326BS, 92BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down in B-17 42-29981 Plane ditched in North Sea. All crew rescued. 26-Jul-43. RTD Pilot of B-17 42-5801, lost on the Bochum mission, 12-Aug-43. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 656. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Frank Chapman

    Military | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Chapman, F. Crew

  • Victor Ciganek

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 26 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3119 (possibly "Frisco Jenny', better known as "Destiny's Tot"). Plane ditched in North Sea. Returned to base. Shot down again on 17 August 1943 in B-17 #42-2990 'Dame Satan. ' Prisoner of War (POW).

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Aircraft

  • 41-24417 Dixie Demo II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 14/7/42; 97BG 24/8/42; dam 21/10/42; BAD 24/10/42; 369BS/306BG [WW-M] Thurleigh /10/42; ditched North Sea, off Cromer, Nfk., 26/7/43 with Alphonse Maresh, Co-pilot: Bob Hoyt, Navigator: Jim Brown, Bombardier: Art Isaac, Flight...

  • 42-29557 Yankee Gal

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 4/1/43; Salina 12/1/43; Homestead 1/2/43; Morrison 9/2/43; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-O] Chelveston 10/2/43; transferred 547BS/384BG [SO-S] Grafton Underwood 20/9/43; battle damaged Munster 10/10/43, with Bill Kopf, Co-pilot: Alf Scott,...

  • 42-29612

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 17/1/43; Salina 26/1/43; Assigned 49BS/2BG Kearney 4/2/43; mech. failure caused taxi accident with George Robinson 13/2/43; Orlando 11/3/43; Nashville 10/4/43; Dow Fd 12/4/43; transferred 325BS/92BG [JW-J] (& 326BS) Alconbury 25/4/43;...

  • 42-29981 'Hell-Lena'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/3/43; Gore 31/3/43; Presque Is 8/4/43; Dow Fd 11/4/43; Assigned 338BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 27/4/43 HELL-LENA; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 326BS/92BG Alconbury 23/7/43; Missing in Action Hanover 26/7/43...

  • 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. ...

  • 42-30207 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)...

  • 42-30213 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...

  • 42-30282

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/5/43; Gore 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 17/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; ...

  • 42-30304 'She's My Gal'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/5/43; Gore 24/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/5/43; Kearney 26/5/43; Dow Fd 2/6/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Horham 15/6/43; 5m, Missing in Action Hanover 26/7/43 with Henry Quirk, Co-pilot: Joe Cisar, Bombardier: Ambrose Angle, Radio...

  • 42-30450 Ramsbitch

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/6/43; Gore 14/6/43; Kearney 15/6/43; Eglin 7/7/43; Dow Fd 8/7/43; Assigned 332BS/94BG Rougham 8/7/43; transferred 410BS; Missing in Action Wilhelmshafen (T/O) 26/7/43 with Gerald Smith, Co-pilot: Harry Lockwood, Navigator: Othello...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 June 2016 20:00:24 Rainer Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Various MACR

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:37:01 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2015 18:27:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-May-2015. Corrected Event deails to rubber plant; Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Hannover/Nordhafen statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2015 18:23:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-May-2014. Corrected Event details to Continental Gummiwerke; added bomber gunner claims on ene,y aircraft to Hannover/Gummiwerke statisitics, per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2015 18:16:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-May-2015. Added bomber gunners claims on enemy aircraft to statistics of the Hamburg element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2015 18:14:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary". Roger A. Freeman and the 303BG Mission Report http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/054.pdf; John C. Morgan CMOH from http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/2899/morgan-john-c.php

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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