Skip to main content
Edit entry 

8th Air Force 257

13 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France are the targets for this mission. All three Air Divisions despatch aircraft but the weather is so terrible that most could not bomb a target. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 85 B-17s from: 351BG; 379BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched. Only 7 aircraft are effective on a Target of Oppostunity (TO) at Poix, France. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 10KIA 10POW. 24 aircraft are damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft is WIA. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

3rd Air Division: 42 B-17s are despatched from 3rd AD Groups but weather prevents any from bombing and all are recalled. 37 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses casualties or claims in this element.

2nd Air Division: 144 B-24s from: 93BG; 389BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; and 453BG are despatched but weather prevents any from bombing. 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash caused by Pilot enterin prop wash during assembly - 6KIA 4RTD (baled out). 13 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission details

1. PAS DE CALAIS (Primary)

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Primary targets were V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area, but cloud cover prevented all but 7 from bombing. No claims on enemy fighter by the bomber gunners.

457th BG MISSION NO. 12 - VAC-QUERIETTE, GERMANY

13 MARCH, 1944

The Group flew its first of many No Ball missions to the French Coast. The name No Ball identified the target as being the launching pad of the V-i flying bombs, which would be launched against England.

Twenty-one planes were dispatched. Captain Spencer was Air Commander and Lt. J. L. Smith, pilot. Heavy clouds prevented the bombing of the target. Some aircraft returned safely with their bomb load, while others bombed targets of opportunity. Damage was inflicted to eight aircraft by intense flak over the occupied territory of France near Abbeville. The field order for the mission was not received until 0445, and final mission data was not received until after the main briefing. Only the routes to and from the French Coast were set forth in the flight plan, leaving the course over France to the Wing and Group Commanders.

Units

  • 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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 120
Number of aircraft Damaged 61

2. Poix (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Group attacked this target.

Units

  • 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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 21.00
Number of aircraft Sent 7
Number of aircraft Effective 7
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of people Killed In Action 10
Number of people Prisoners of War 10

3. Poix (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

All Groups participating are part of 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 144
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1

Service

People

  • Robert Blackwell

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 8 April 1944 in B-24 #4128650 'Rooster. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Richard Brooke

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM, WWII Victory, EAME

  • Carl Christensen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier / L,R Waist Gunner, Nose Gunner / Togglier | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 25 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) in 42-31083; A/C exploded mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: AM, PH.

  • Leo Chruby

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 526BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Poix, FR 13-Mar-44 in B-17G 42-39980; Shot down by coastal guns and crashed just off the French coast. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 3240 ...

  • Frank Ciancia

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 526BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat mission. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph Columbo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 26 x combat missions. Flew in B-17 42-31083 'Tenny Belle' for most of his missions. ETD Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Evans

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 17 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau, Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Sole survivor, blown out of A/C with chute. Wounded in Action (WIA) RTD....

  • Paul Fetterhoff

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Flew in B-17 42-31083 'Tenny Belle' for most of his missions. ETD ...

  • Wilton Fremaux

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer / Top Turret Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Wilton Fremaux enlisted on September 14, 1942. 26 missions; B-17 Flying Fortress; T/SGT; Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner. He was from Alexandria, Louisiana. He was stationed at Kimbolton, England with the 379th Bomber Group, 524th Bomb Squadron....

  • William Ginnity

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 32 combat missions. Was on first Berlin Raid, March 1943. Flew in B-17 42-31083 'Tenny Belle' for most of his missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

Show more

Aircraft

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

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

  • 42-37784 The Old Fox

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27/8/43; Scott 29/9/43; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-P] Kimbolton 19/10/43; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Wilton Gease (Prisoner of War); Co-pilot: Luciano Gastineau, Navigator: Bob Lorentz, Bombardier: Dick O’Neal, Flight engineer...

  • 42-39932 Sweat 'er Out

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 12/10/43; Gr Island 5/11/43; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-H] Deenethorpe 2/1/44; 11 x missions; was set for mission to Bernburg 6/7/44 with Russ Lockhart, Co-pilot: Porter Ham, Navigator: Bob Grilley, Bombardier: John Jardine, Flight...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 21:08:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-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 13:47:04 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Relocated site pin.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 13:45:58 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Relocated mission pin.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 13:39:12 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma12.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'.

Share