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8th Air Force 248

5 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German airfields at Mont-de-Marsan, Cayeux and Bordeaux/Merginac, France were the primary targets for this mission. Weather and clouds frustrate bombing attempts and formations bomb other secondary targets and targets of last resort. Mission Summary follows:

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 219 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched. 63 are effective on the German airfields at Bergerac, France (Secondary); 60 are effective on the German airfield Cognac/Chateau-Bernard, France (Last Resort); 41 are effective on the German airfield at Landes-de-Bussac, France (Secondary an Last Resort); and 1 bombs the German airfield at La Roche, France. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 4KIA 4POW(1 DIC) 8EVD 6RTD (rescued by ASR). 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash on take off - 11RTD. 23 aircraft are damaged. 1 airman aboard a returning aircraft is WIA. The bomber gunners claim 14-2-5 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses or casualties.

Mission details

1. BERGERAC (Secondary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined exactly which 2nd Bomb Division Groups bombed this target so the entire 2nd Air Division participating units are included here as well as the bomber gunner claims.

Units

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 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...

  • 445th Bomb Group

    445th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 445th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Tibenham, Norfolk. The crews' first mission was bombing U-boat installations at Kiel on 13 December 1943. The Group continued to hit strategic targets in Germany, including the aircraft components factory...

  • 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...

  • 453rd Bomb Group

    453rd Bomb Group

    Group
    As well as strategic bombardment missions, the 453rd Bomb Group also ferried cargo on two occasions. They hauled petrol, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and dropped ammunition, food and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne...

  • 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 148.18
Number of aircraft Sent 62
Number of aircraft Effective 62
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 13
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5

2. BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Effective 0

3. CAYEUX (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Effective 0

4. COGNAC/CHATEAUBERNARD (Last resort)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined which 2nd Bomb Division Groups bombed this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 143.40
Number of aircraft Sent 60
Number of aircraft Effective 60

5. LA ROCHE (Last resort)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined which 2nd Bomb Division aircraft bombed this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 2.39
Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

6. LANDES/BUSSAC (Secondary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

It has not been determined which 2nd Bomb Division Groups bombed this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 98.00
Number of aircraft Sent 41
Number of aircraft Effective 41

7. MONT DE MARSAN (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Bad weather forces mission to change targets and many abort. These raids on Luftwaffe airfields are the beginnings of assuring that the Allies will have air supremacy for the D-Day invasion. Groups participating are those in 2nd Bomb Division.

Units

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 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...

  • 445th Bomb Group

    445th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 445th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Tibenham, Norfolk. The crews' first mission was bombing U-boat installations at Kiel on 13 December 1943. The Group continued to hit strategic targets in Germany, including the aircraft components factory...

  • 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...

  • 453rd Bomb Group

    453rd Bomb Group

    Group
    As well as strategic bombardment missions, the 453rd Bomb Group also ferried cargo on two occasions. They hauled petrol, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and dropped ammunition, food and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne...

  • 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

Number of aircraft Sent 55
Number of aircraft Effective 0
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Evaded 8
Number of people Prisoners of War 4
Number of people Died in Captivity 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 17

Service

People

  • 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. ...

  • James Keeffe

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    James Keeffe Jr.'s biography and time in service is the subject of the book “Two Gold Coins and a Prayer” written by James H. Keeffe III, his son. It is available from a number of book outlets. ...

  • James McArthur

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944 in B-24J #42-100375. Prisoner of War (POW). ...

  • Raymond Moulton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier, Bombardier; Navigator | 389th Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak on the return from a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944 in B-24J #42-100375. Prisoner of War (POW). Flew 5 missions including Berlin and Gotha on 2/24/44. this waas the most costly mission ever flown by the 8th AF in lost planes...

  • Julius Naber

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Shot down 29 April 1944 in B-24 #4129471. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • Beauford Smith

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Beauford Smith was from the coal mining camp town of Insull, KY. He was good friends with and attended Black Star High School with Harold A. Brassfield. Brassfield was KIA on 6 March 1944 flying with the 388th BG. Smith and Brassfield were able to...

Crash sites

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2016 19:16:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2016. Added statistics to Bergerac element based on "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy" and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2016 19:10:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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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