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8th Air Force 650

27 September 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is conducted by three elements against industrial targets, an oil refinery and an aircraft factory in Germany. A total of 1,192 heavy bombers are dispatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions:
1st Bomb Division = B-17s from 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 305BG, 306BG, 351BG, 379BG, 381BG, 384BG, 385BG, 389BG, 401BG, 457BG, and 486BG
2nd Bomb Division = B-24s from 44BG, 92BG, 93BG, 385BG, 389BG, 445BG, 446BG, 453BG, 489BG, 491BG, and 492BG.
3rd Bomb Division = B-17s from 34BG, 44BG, 95BG, 96BG, 100BG, 385BG, 388BG, 390BG, 447BG, 452BG, 486BG, 490BG, 493BG.

1st Element = A Combined force of 462 B-17 despatched by 1st BD. They attack the secondary target of the industrial areas of Cologne, Germany. 421 of 462 are effective on this target. Fighter and flak opposition on this force are light and only 1 B-17 (351BG) is damaged beyond repair. 10 B-17s from this element bomb the industrial area of Blatzheim, Germany as a target of opportunity. The bomber gunners make no claims on enemy aircraft.

2nd Element = A combined force of 415 B-17s is despatched to bomb two primary targets: the oil refinery Opau at Ludwigshafen, Germany and the railroad marshalling yards of Mainz, Germany. 214 of 415 are effective on Ludwigshafen and 171 of 415 are effective on Mainz. Only 1 B-17 (34BG) is lost to enemy action over Ludwigshafen, but 2 of the force despatched to Mainz sustain a mid-air collision during assembly, but the crews bale out successfully near Ipswich, Suffolk.

3rd Element = A combined force of 315 B-24s is despatched to bomb the Henschel aircraft factory at Kassel, Germany. 248 of 315 are effective on this target and 35 of 315 bomb the industrial area of Gottingen as a target of opportunity. The fighter opposition is intense by special Luftwaffe bomber assault units, 'Sturmgruppen' using 'Company Front' tactics of wedge formations of 8 to 16 heavily armed FW-190s. The 445th BG was wandering away from the main formation and sustained the highest loss on any BG during the war with 25 MIA 4DBR, also B-24 MIA from 491st BG. The bomber gunners claim 5-3-0 of the enemy aircraft.

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

4 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division bomb targets of opportunity in the Mainz, Germany area. Exactly which aircraft from which groups was not available in the source data: "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 12 T
Number of aircraft Sent 4
Number of aircraft Effective 4

2. BLATZHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

10 B-17s from the 462 despatched with this element bombed the industrial area of Blarzheim, Germany as a target of opportunity. No losses or claims.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 29.7 T
Number of aircraft Sent 10
Number of aircraft Effective 10

3. COLOGNE (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd BG, 303rd BG, 305th BG, 306th BG, 351st BG, 379th BG, 381st BG, 384th BG, 385th BG, 389th BG, 401st BG, 457th BG, 486th BG.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 1246.7 T
Number of aircraft Sent 462
Number of aircraft Effective 421
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 8

4. GOTTINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

35 of the 315 B-24s left the main bomber stream due to a navigation and leadership error. They were scheduled to bomb Kassel but ended up bombing Gottingen some 25 miles northeast of Kassel. 25 of the 35 445th aircraft were shot down just south of Kassel in less than 5 minutes; attacked by 6 waves of German Fw 190's and Bf 109G's. Of the remaining 10 planes, three crashed on the Continent (2 in France, 1 in Belgium). Two planes made emergency landings at Manston near Dover; one plane crashed between Tibenham and Old Buckingham air fields; and only four planes landed back at Tibenham.

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 92.5 T
Number of aircraft Sent 35
Number of aircraft Effective 35
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 25
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 5
Number of aircraft Damaged 5

5. KASSEL/HENSCHEL (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

The 445th Bomb Group suffers the highest group loss (25 MIA 4 DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR (DBR)) on a single mission on this raid.

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 707.5 T
Number of aircraft Sent 415
Number of aircraft Effective 214
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 26
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 6
Number of aircraft Damaged 41
Number of people Killed In Action 135
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 130
Number of people Returned To Duty 38

6. LUDWIGSHAFEN/OPAU (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

3rd Bomb Division was made up of B-17s is34th BG, 44th BG, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th BG, 385th BG, 388th BG, 390th BG, 447th BG, 452nd BG, 486th BG, 490th BG, 493rd BG.

Units

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    Division
    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 585.7 T
Number of aircraft Sent 415
Number of aircraft Effective 214
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 11

7. MAINZ (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

171 of 415 B-17 are effective on this target. 2 B-17s sustain a mid-air collision during assembly but one crew bales out near Ipswich, UK and the other aircraft returns to base successfully 18RTD. No other losses or claims.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 398 T

Service

People

  • Robert Atkins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Robert Atkins served as a tail gunner with the 733rd Bomb Squadron of the 453rd Bomb Group, flying missions out of Old Buckenham, England.

  • George Brand

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    2nd Lt George C Brand flew 34 missions with the 401st Bomb Group, from 6 July 1944, mission to 30 October 1944. Brand was French, but enlisted in the US Army Air Forces,

  • Paul Dickerson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 445th Bomb Group
    Flew on Isom's crew in 'Patty Girl' for the 27th September 1944 mission to Kassel. One of few crews that landed back at Tibenham that day. ...

  • Alan Finch

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 34th Bomb Group
    35 missions from June 1944 to Decmber 1944 DFC

  • Harry Freivogel

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator. B24. 2nd Air Division, 448th Bomb Group, 714 Bomb Squadron, 29 complete missions | 446th Bomb Group
    After marriage in 1941, Harry enlisted for the draft, and in his own words " being patriotic or probably knowing the regular draft would get me sooner or later and I would be drafted into the regular Army, I decided I would enlist in the Army Air Corps...

  • Ernest Fuxa

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Joined Sqd 8/16/44. Killed in Action (KIA) 10/18/44 (Leverkusen). Pilot: E. Lehnhausen. Plane was 'Flak Magnet' #4250596

  • Robert Kaufman

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 457th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 750BS, 457BG, 8AF USAAF. Survived ditching in B-17G 42-38063 'GI Virgin'.

  • Thomas Kelly

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Whitlock's crew. 30 x missions, 13 x with Whitlock. Ended Tour Duty (ETD). Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Kieffer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | B-17 Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

  • Robert Koehler

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 452nd Bomb Group
    Robert Koehler served in the US Army Air Corps from December 1943 until September 1945. He was trained to fly multi-engine aircraft and assigned to the 730 Squadron of the 452nd Bomb Group (H) based in Doupham Green, England from which he flew 35...

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Aircraft

  • 42-102430 Spam-O-Liner

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/3/44; Gr Island 13/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 545BS/384BG [JD-O] Grafton Underwood 15/4/44; transferred to 3rd Strategic Air Depot Langford Lodge training 4/3/45; transferred with the 384th Bomb Group to Istres for passenger...

  • 42-107062 Worry Bird/Miss Bea Haven

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Dow Fd 3/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25/4/44; no ops, transferred 562BS/388BG Knettishall 29/4/44 WORRY BIRD; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 29/11/45;...

  • 42-38013 "NEVADA AVENGER"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/11/43; New Castle 10/12/43; Presque Is 15/12/43; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-C] Grafton Underwood 21/1/44; sal battle damaged 27/4/44. NEVADA AVENGER. ...

  • 42-39993 Hells Angels Out Of Chute 13

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-C] Deenethorpe 1/1/44; 118m landing accident at base with Jim Nolan 7/5/45; sal 2 SAD Watton, Nfk 8/5/45. HELL’S ANGELS OUT OF CHUTE 13 aka GROSSLY INADEQUATE. ...

  • 42-50383 King Kong

    B-24 Liberator
    Robert D Russell and his crew of the 445th Bomb Group completed 10 missions aboard "King Kong". The aircraft was later lost on a mission over Kassel on 27 September 1944, while being flown by Jim Baynham and his crew.

  • 42-97105 Paper Doll

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Selfridge Fld 3/2/44; Dorval 4/3/44; Assigned RAF [HB-768]; transferred 561BS/388BG Knettishall 13/3/44; Missing in Action Parchim 7/4/45 with Lew Hickman, Arnold Wolf, Cawthorn Perdue, Albt Vawter, Herman Meyer (5 Prisoner of War); John...

  • 44-8146

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Dallas 20/6/44; Langley 6/7/44; Dow Fd 7/9/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 9/9/44; Salvaged 9AF Germany 28/2/46; RetUS, 613 BU Phillips 29/4/46.

  • 42-50811 Patty Girl

    B-24 Liberator
    Crew who flew the Liberator from Kansas to England: ...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 May 2016 04:42:53 B24Mike Changes to event
Sources

NARA records of the 445th Unit Historian

Date Contributor Update
02 May 2016 04:39:43 B24Mike Changes to event
Sources

NARA records of the 445th Unit Historian

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:42:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added Unit association to TO event.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:14:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Kassel event per " The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:10:01 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Gottingen event per "The Mighty Eight War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:03:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Ludwigshafen event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" and 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:00:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Mainz evene per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & JohnA. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 19:50:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Blatzheim event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" and "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 19:45:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2015. Added Statistics to Cologne event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 19:39:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Crafted Description per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman, "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 17:52:02 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added notes to TO event and statistics per "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop, "the Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:08 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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