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8th Air Force 244

2 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The primary targets for this mission are: the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany; and the German air depot ar Chartres, France. The mission is composed of two entierly separate forces. 327 B-17s from 1st Air Division joined by 154 B-24s from 2nd Air Division are slated to bomb at Frankfurt, Germany. 106 B-17s from 3rd Air Division are slated to bomb at Chartres, France. Mission summary as follows:

1st Air Division: 327 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG, 379BG; 381BG; 384BG, 401BG; 457BG; and 482BG are despatched to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany. Clouds frustrate bombing efforts and some formations attack other Targets of Opportunity (TOs) in the area: 101 aircraft are effective at Frankfurt-am-Main railyards; 103 bomb at Frankfurt/Offenbach as a TO; 49 bomb the industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany as a TO. 20 bomb the industrial areas of Limburg, Germany as a TO. 12 bomb the industrial areas of Fischbach as a TO; and 8 others bomb other TOs. 8 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 17KIA 48POW(1DIC) 15EVD. 1 airmen is KIA and 5 are WIA in returning aircraft. The bomber gunners of this element claim 2-0-2 of attacking German aircraft.

2nd Ari Division: 154 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 392BG; 446BG; 448BG; and 458BG are despatched to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany. This is the firct combat mission for 458BG. Cloud cover and PFF failures cause many to abandon the attempt. 36 are effective at Frankfurt, Germany; 46 other bomb other Targets of Opportunity (TOs) in the area. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 1KIA 6POW 3EVD. 4 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), 2 of these sustained a mid-air collision durning assembly - 15KOM 1RTD, 1 crashed on takeoff - 7KOM 3 INJ, and one battle damaged aircraft crash landed upon return - 10RTD. 4 airmen in returning aircraft were WIA. There were no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

3rd Air Division: 106 B-17s from: 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 100BG; 388BG; 390BG; and 452BG are despatched to bomb the German air depot at Chartres, France. 452BG took off late and was recalled before it left the Englich coast. 390BG failed to bomb because lead aircraft had a malfunction of the bomb rack. 84 aircraft are effective on the target. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 5KIA 4POW 1EVD. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was WIA. 12 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

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 19.21
Number of aircraft Sent 8
Number of aircraft Effective 8

2.

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 54.97
Number of aircraft Sent 46
Number of aircraft Effective 46

3. CHARTRES (Primary)

Description

AIR DEPOT

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

452nd Bomb Group was late in taking off due to bomb fusing problems and was recalled before leaving the English coast.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 258.20
Number of aircraft Sent 106
Number of aircraft Effective 84
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 12
Number of people Killed In Action 5
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 4

4. FISCHBACH (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

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 28.81
Number of aircraft Sent 12
Number of aircraft Effective 12

5. FRANKFURT/MAIN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Pathfinder (PFF) failures disperse the attack. Attack on Targets of Opportunity due to navigational error.

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, 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 Citations, the...

  • 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...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

  • 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...

  • 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'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 331.00
Number of aircraft Sent 135
Number of aircraft Effective 101
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 8
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 10
Number of people Killed In Action 17
Number of people Evaded 15
Number of people Prisoners of War 48
Number of people Died in Captivity 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

6. FRANKFURT/MAIN (Primary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

James Stewart, of film fame, becomes the Group Executive Officer for the 453rd Bomb Group. First mission for 458th Bomb Group. Pathfinder (PFF) failures and clouds frustrate bombing attempts.

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...

  • 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...

  • 458th Bomb Group

    458th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 458th Bomb Group (H) entered combat with the 8th Air Force in February 1944. Based at Horsham St. Faith in England, the combat crews participated in the decisive Campaigns 'Big Week', 'Big B', D-Day and the assault on Germany's oil industry waged...

  • 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 43.02
Number of aircraft Sent 108
Number of aircraft Effective 36
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of people Killed In Action 23
Number of people Evaded 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 6
Number of people Returned To Duty 13

7. FRANKFURT/OFFENBACH (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

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

457th BG MISSION NO. 5 - FRANKFURT, GERMANY

2 MARCH 1944

Eighteen aircraft were dispatched to Frankfurt to bomb the Alfred Treves factories, makers of 50% of the aircraft piston rings produced in Germany. Six wings of the 1St Air Division were dispatched to this target. The 457th comprised the 94th Combat Wing high box. Major Theodore C. Hoffman was Air Commander and Lt. Raymond A. Syptak was pilot. There was ten-tenths overcast from the French Coast to the target and return. Bombing was done by PFF at 26,000 feet. The 94th Combat Wing went in to the target with the lead and high box abreast and the low box in trail. Bomb results were not observed due to the undercast.

The formation over the target had been reduced to fourteen planes. One craft left the formation over France. Three others aborted the mission due to oxygen failure.

Light resistance by enemy aircraft and by flak was encountered. All aircraft returned and damage was slight.

Units

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 247.30
Number of aircraft Sent 103
Number of aircraft Effective 103

8. LIMBURG (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

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 48.02
Number of aircraft Sent 20
Number of aircraft Effective 20

9. LUDWIGSHAFEN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

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 117.65
Number of aircraft Sent 49
Number of aircraft Effective 49

Service

People

  • Enrico Carpini

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    My dad, Enrico 'Rick' Carpini was from Linden, NJ and served as a radio gunner on a B-17G with the 305th Bomb Group/365th Bomb Squadron. He flew 30 missions from 1/4/44-5/22/44. The pilot was John F. Schleifer from Buffalo, NY. The majority of his...

  • Charles Gordon

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Charles Gordon flew 17 missions as a navigator and 18 as a bombardier with the 44th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Shipdham, England. ...

  • Roy Island

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Russell LaCock

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Crashed at Hellesdon, Norwich after takeoff for 1st operational mission on 2 Mar 1944 in B-24H 41-28669. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: PH.

  • John Mernagh

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner; Top Turret Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Flew 50 missions from 22 December 1943 to 1 February 1945. Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal w/ 7 Oak Leaf Clusters, Distinguished Unit Citation.

  • Andrew Tolmachoff

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Andrew Tolmachoff was the youngest of eleven children born to Russian immigrant parents. After graduating from high school he had aspirations to be a major league baseball pitcher but the bombing of Pearl Harbor ended that dream. After enlisting...

Aircraft

  • 42-31969

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/1/44; Billings 14/1/44; Savannah 24/1/44; Assigned 381BG Ridgewell 6/2/44; transferred 369BS/306BG [WW-F] Thurleigh 22/2/44; Bombardier: F/O Dominic Giosso (KIA-pilot was Bill Tarr) 26/3/44; Missing in Action Berlin 8/5/44 with...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2016 19:14:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2016. Completed statistics fro 2AD based on "The Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2016 19:11:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2016. Completed statistics for 1AD element based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stand Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2016 19:06:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2016. Completed statistics for Chartres element per MACR 2886 and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan BIshop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2016 19:03:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 13:16:08 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA5.html

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 13:15:09 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA5.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:11 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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