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VIII Bomber Command 78

28 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German aircraft industry at Kassel (Fieseler works) and Oscherleben, Germany are the primary targets of this mission. 182 B-17s from: 91BG (20); 92BG (17); 303BG (20); 305BG (21); 306BG (24); 351BG (21); 379BG (19); 381BG (20); and 384BG (20) are dispatched to bomb the Fiesler works at Kassel, Germany. Weather causes 155 aircraft to abandon the mission. Only 41 are effective on the target; 2 aircraft drop on Wetrup, Germany; 16 others drop on various targets of opportunity near Kassel. 7 B-17s Failed to Return (FTR) - 24KIA 47POW. 4 B-17s are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 3WIA 37RTD. The bomber gunners claim 27-15-22 of the attacking enemy fighters.

The second element is a combined force of 120 B-17s from: 94BG (18); 95BG (20); 96BG (21); 100BG (21); 385BG (26); and 388BG (14) were dispatched to bomb the AGO Flugwerke Fw 190 factory at Oschersleben, Germany. Weather frustrated bombing efforts and only 28 of this formation were able to effectively bomb the primary. 8 aircraft from 95BG attacked Grossalsleben by mistake through a gap in the cloud cover. A total of 15 B-17s Failed to Return (FTR); 7 of these were from 96BG. 90KIA 55POW 1DIC 5EVD. The bomber gunners claimed 56-19-41 of the attacking enemy aircraft.

Mission details

1. KASSEL(Primary)

Description

FIESELER AIRCRAFT WORKS INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Bad weather hampers mission causing 155 aircraft to abort the mission. 49 hit Kassel, the primary, and 9 hit other 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...

  • 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 109.00
Number of aircraft Sent 182
Number of aircraft Effective 58
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 7
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 54
Number of people Killed In Action 24
Number of people Wounded in Action 15
Number of people Prisoners of War 47
Number of people Returned To Duty 40
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 27
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 22

2. OSCHERSLEBEN (Primary)

Description

FW190 AIRCRAFT PLANT

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

8 aircraft from 95th Bomb Group bombed Alsleben by mistake because of incorrect target identification through the clouds. None of 100th Bomb Group aircraft hit the target because of clouds. Only 28 aircraft hit the primary target. Deepest penetration to date. 105 P-47 with belly tanks escort. This is the first use of P-47 as long range escorts. Fighters from the 4th Fighter Group are the first to penetrate German airspace. Germans effective with A2A rockets. 2nd Lt. John C. "Red" Morgan (Co-pilot, 42-29802 "Ruthie II") 326BS/92nd Bomb Group is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor during this action. 3rd CMOH awarded to a member of the 8th Air Force.

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 67.90
Number of aircraft Sent 120
Number of aircraft Effective 37
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 15
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 64
Number of people Killed In Action 93
Number of people Wounded in Action 11
Number of people Evaded 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 56
Number of people Returned To Duty 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 56
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 19
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 41

Service

People

  • Howard Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 July 1943 in B-17 42-30032 'Sky Queen. ' Prisoner of War.

  • Edward Amory

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down by fighters and crashed near Leewarden in B-17 Sky Queen #42-30032. Missing Air Crew Report #15165

  • 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

  • Willis Bolton

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 96th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 July 1943 in B-17 #423345 'Paper Doll. ' Plane crashed into North Sea. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Lloyd Brooks

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 July 1943 in B-17 #4230150 'Exterminator. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • William Brown

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 July 1943 in B-17 #4230150 'Exterminator. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Lawrence Burleigh

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 July 1943 in B-17 #4230150 'Exterminator. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Carl Cameron

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight engineer, Top turret gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    April 7, 1943, B17 42-3090 'Taint-a-bird' force landed near Clonakilty, County Cork Ireland. Crew was safe. ...

  • V Chandler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down 28 July 1943 in B-17 42-29798. Prisoner of War (POW).

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Aircraft

  • 42-30033 "Little America"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Sioux City 13/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 20/5/43; Assigned to the 547BS/384BG [S0-G] Grafton Underwood 24/5/43, then the 546BS [BK-G]; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Maj Maurice Stanley Dillingham, Co-pilot:...

  • 42-30150 'Exterminator'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/43; Smoky Hill 24/4/43; Walla Walla 30/4/43; Rapid City 9/5/43; Dow Fd 24/5/43; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-S] Horham 27/6/43; 9m, Missing in Action Oschersleben 28/7/43 with Fred Hodges, Co-pilot: Jim Peacock, Navigator: Bill Grody...

  • 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...

  • 42-30219

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/4/43; Smoky Hill 12/5/43; Bangor 6/6/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-J] Horham 15/6/43; 6m, battle damaged Oschersleben 28/7/43 with Bill Thomas, rest unknown (7 Returned to Duty); Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Carl Cameron,...

  • 42-30356

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/5/43; Smoky Hill 2/6/43; Gr Isle 5/6/43; Dow Fd 20/6/43; Assigned 337BS/96BG [AW-B] 3/7/43; detailed Oschersleben 28/7/43 with Carrol Bender, Co-pilot: Lewis Feldstein, rest unknown, after jettisoning bombs in The Wash crash...

  • 42-3282

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 20/4/43; Dow Fd 21/5/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-J] Framlingham 25/5/43; Horham 15/6/43; 2m, Missing in Action Oschersleben 28/7/43 with Jim Rivers, Co-pilot: Warren Boelter, Navigator: Raul Manriquez, Bombardier: Lester Moreland,...

  • 42-5798

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 3/2/43; Rapid City 17/2/43; Brookley 12/3/43; Morrison 19/4/43; with Bill Sauer, force landed on salt flats 32 miles SE of base, TX 30/5/43; Assigned 325BS/92BG [NV-L] Alconbury ?/?/43; Missing in Action Kassel 28/7/43 with...

  • 42-5826 JERAVAD "Une Petite Peu"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 2/3/43; Walla Walla 29/3/43; Lowry 10/4/43; Presque Is 24/4/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-W] Thurleigh 7/5/43; Missing in Action Kiel 29/7/43 with Keith Conley, Co-pilot: Vince DeVos, Bombardier: Bob Sanford, Radio Operator: Frank...

  • 42-5905 Just Ag

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/4/43; Sioux City 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 30/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/7/43; detailed Solignen, 30/11/43 with Paul Kelly, Co-pilot: John Corzette, Navigator: John Wiley, Bombardier: Marion Wiles, Flight...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 17:23:34 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2017 12:53:40 CeesSteijger Changes to description
Sources

Typo

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2017 12:30:21 CeesSteijger Changes to description
Sources

Mispellings and several errors.

Date Contributor Update
10 May 2015 17:52:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Oschersleben statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 May 2015 17:49:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Kassel statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War DIary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
10 May 2015 17:47:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-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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