Skip to main content
Edit entry 

8th Air Force 253

9 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Berlin is once again targeted by this mission as a secondary target. Primary target not listed in source data. All 3 Air Divisions despatch aircraft. There is very little fighter opposition. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 224 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; 457BG; and 482BG are despatched to Berlin, Germany. 208 aircraft are effective on the target; 303BG/422BS also drops 2,012,000 leaflets. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 8KIA 2POW 10INT (Sweden) 2 were lost to AA fire and the other was lost because it lost its tail due to a bomb dropped from above. 2 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DRB) 1 in a crash upon take off - 10KIA and 1 abandoned over England upon return - 10RTD. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-0 of attacking German aircraft. 3 airmen are WIA in returning aircraft. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 137 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 452BG are despatched to Berlin, Germany. 131 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1 to AA fire the other 2 in ditchings in the English Channel upon return - 10POW 20RTD (rescued by ASR). 3 airmen are WIA in returning aircraft. There are no other losses casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 165 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched to Berlin but their PFF aircraft failed and they ended up bombing anti-aircraft batteries and other industrial sites at Hannover; Brunswick and Nienburg, Germany. 150 are effective on a target. 2 aircraft with battle damage are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 20RTD. 12 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses casualties or claims.

Mission details

1. BERLIN (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Groups participating are all 3rd Bomb Division.

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...

  • 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...

  • 447th Bomb Group

    447th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces...

  • 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...

  • 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 303.50
Number of aircraft Sent 137
Number of aircraft Effective 131
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 13
Number of people Returned To Duty 36

2. BERLIN (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

401st Bomb Group, 457Bomb Group, 482nd Bomb Group. Fighter opposition is light as 808 USAAF fighters perform escort. Groups participating are all 1st Bomb Division.

457th BG MISSION NO. 10 - ORANIENBURG, GERMANY

9 MARCH, 1944

The mission called for the bombing of a Heinkel Bomber Aircraft Assembly Factory at Oranienburg, sixteen miles north of Berlin. Eighteen aircraft were dispatched. The factory produced approximately forty He-177s per month, the majority of the heavy bomber output for Germany. The 457th led the 94th Combat Wing, fourth in the Division formation. Major Henry B. Wilson was Air Commander and Lt. Raymond A. Syptak was pilot.

At the IP it was determined the undercast was such that a run should be made on Berlin, which was then carried out. Bombing was done by PFF, and the results were not observed because of the undercast. Fighter opposition was broken up by P-47s escorting the Group. Flak in the Berlin area was heavy and accounted for damage to several of the aircraft; however, none were lost to the enemy opposition.

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...

  • 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 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 498.00
Number of aircraft Sent 224
Number of aircraft Effective 208
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of people Killed In Action 18
Number of people Prisoners of War 12
Number of people Interned 10
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1

3. Brunswick, Germany

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

On target list as a secondary, but not attacked

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00

4. HANOVER (SECONDARY)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Groups participating are all of 2nd Bomb Division. They drop on anti-aircraft batteries around Berlin after their Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft failed. They also dropped 201,200 leaflets.

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

Tonnage dropped 410.50
Number of aircraft Sent 165
Number of aircraft Effective 159
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of people Evaded 4
Number of people Prisoners of War 16
Number of people Returned To Duty 20

5. NIENBURG (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

On target list as a secondary, but not attacked

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00

Service

People

  • Buenaventur Castillo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 358BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Donald Cooper

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 April 1944 in B-17 #4231691. Landed in Switzerland. Interned.

  • Wayne Danielson

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner/Airplane Armorer | 458th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) in B24 AC-42-52404. Plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

  • Bernard Dopko

    Military | Flight Officer | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    The crew baled out of B-17G #42-37839 'Little Willie' after flak set the plane on fire on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. The a/c crashed NE of Oranienburg, GR. Prisoner of War (POW). Retired from the USAF as a Captain.

  • Walter Empric

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 401st Bomb Group
    Bombardier on 1st Lt Robert O. Stine's "Shade Ruff" crew. Shot down on 11 April 1944 on his 17th combat mission in B-17G #42-39881 "Gloria J." Prisoner of War (POW). Detained as a prisoner of the government of Germany in Stalag Luft III (Sagan,...

  • Jack Fawcett

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 32 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • 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. ...

  • Peter Gudyka

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 384th Bomb Group
    Bombs from the 'High Group' knocked the tail section off B-17G #42-37781 'Silver Dollar' and crashed near Osdorf on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 3005, 21 combat missions.

  • Emmet Hardy

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Military Occupation Specialty 612 - Tail Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Bombs from the 'High Group' knocked the tail section off B-17G #42-37781 'Silver Dollar' and crashed near Osdorf on a mission to Berlin on 9 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA). Missing Air Crew Report #3005.

  • Glen Hartzell

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | general maintenance, spare bomber gunner | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

Show more

Aircraft

  • 42-30778 Old 66/Lady Margaret

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Gore 6/8/43; Pendleton 12/8/43; Reno 14/8/43; Pierre 16/8/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; crashed on take off for France 13/8/44 with Leon Sutton, Co-pilot: Harlan Thompson, Navigator: George Healy, Bombardier:...

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43; ...

  • 42-31394 Aphrodite

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/10/43; Assigned 526BS/379BG [LF-D] Kimbolton 20/1/44; transferred AFSC with Azon/Aphrodite (388BG) Knettishall 7/6/44; Missing in Action v-sites Watten, Fr; 6/8/44 with Lt J. Sollars & T/Sgt H. Graves (2 Returned to Duty); lost...

  • 42-37839 Little Willie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 20/9/43; Gr Island 14/10/43; Assigned 563BS/388BG [ -D] Knettishall 26/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 9/3/44 with Bernie Dopko, Co-pilot: Gene Krifka, Navigator: Glenn Cederstrom, Bombardier: Bill Kelly, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-39882

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 28/9/43; Harvard 14/10/43; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 1/11/43; retUS Bradley 10/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 13/7/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 19/12/45.

  • 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. ...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 September 2017 17:19:07 WWII37 Changes to media associations
Sources

711th Bombardment Squadron (H), 447th Bombardment Group (H)
B-17-G #42-39882, “My Gal” Crew
Top Left to Right: August E. Herlth, Eugene G. D'Albero, Larry S. Hatfield, Martin J. Gruber
Bottom Left to Right: William M. Lindgren, Bailey E. Swadley, Raymond L. Hayes, William H. Stoyer, Rocco J. LoCarro, Louis L. Jenkins

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2016 18:42:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims to statistics of 1AD element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeeman.

Date Contributor Update
22 February 2016 18:40:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "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
13 May 2015 13:34:37 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma10.html

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 04:24:12 466thHistorian Changes to media associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2014 10:07:20 Emily Changes to event
Sources

Moved pin from Hannover South Africa to Hanover Germany

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'.

Share