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8th Air Force 269

20 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The industrial areas of Frankfurt and the railroad marshalling yards there are the targets for this mission. All three Air Disivisions despatch aircraft but high clouds frustrated bombing attempts and many formations abandoned the mission even after having penetrated nearly 200 miles into the Continent. Mission Summary follows:

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 122 B-17s from: 94BG; 96BG; 385BG; 388BG; 447BG and 452BG are despatched. 9 are effective on the secondary target of Frankfurt, Germany. 19 bomb the industrial areas at Bingen, Germany and 17 other bomb Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 2KIA 8POW 10RTD (rescued by ASR) 1 battle damaged aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair in a crash landing upon return - 10RTD. 44 aircraft are damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft is KIA and 8 other are WIA. The bomber gunners claim 2-0-0 of attacking German aircraft. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

1st Air Division: A combined force of 231 B-17s from: 91BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; and 401BG are despatched. 42 are effective on the secondary target of Frankfurt, Germany; 54 bomb the industrial areas of Mannheim as a Target of Opportunity (TO); 5 other aircraft bomb TOs. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 5KIA 20POW(1DIC) 1INT 1EVD. 4 aircraft with battle damage are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 1KIA 39RTD. 106 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 92 B-24s from: 93BG; 389BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; and 453BG are despatched. Only 1 aircraft is effective on the German airfield of Bretuit. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 3KIA 12POW. 15 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which 3rd Bomb Division Groups attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 34.00
Number of aircraft Sent 17
Number of aircraft Effective 17

2.

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

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

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 8.72
Number of aircraft Sent 5
Number of aircraft Effective 5

3. BINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which 3rd Bomb Division Groups attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 38.00
Number of aircraft Sent 19
Number of aircraft Effective 19

4. BRETUIT (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Groups participating are part of 2nd Bomb Division. Bombing frustrated by weather, many abort.

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...

  • 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

Tonnage dropped 2.5T HE
Number of aircraft Sent 91
Number of aircraft Effective 1
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 15
Number of people Killed In Action 9
Number of people Prisoners of War 12

5. FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

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

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 73.21
Number of aircraft Sent 42
Number of aircraft Effective 42

6. FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

High clouds and malfunction of the blind-bombing equipment cause many to abort.

457th BG MISSION NO 16 - FRANKFURT, GERMANY

20 MARCH 1944

Eighteen aircraft were dispatched to bomb the AlfredTreves plant at Frankfurt, Germany. This plant manufactured aircraft and submarine piston rings, and 75 percent of all theGermans’ hydraulic brakes. Major Fred A. Spencer was Air Commander and Lt. J. L. Smith was pilot. Weather conditions were unfavorable.

Final assembly altitude was at 17,500 feet. The clouds continued to rise over France, until there was a solid undercastwith cloud tops up to 30,000 feet. The high squadron became separated from the formation. Shortly thereafter the 457th lost the Wing formation in the haze and clouds near Frankfurt, thePFF target. The mission was abandoned and the Group returned to England. All other combat wings likewise abandoned their missions. No fighter attacks were made on the formation.

Flak was moderate and four aircraft suffered damage. In order to avoid a mid-air collision, Lt. Franklin J. Marra, copilot for Lt. Clarence E. Schuchmann, pulled back on the wheel, and, in doing so, stalled the airplane and went into a spin. After losing 16,000 feet in a matter of seconds, Lt. Schuchmann successfully brought the aircraft back undercontrol.

Notification was received on 20 March, that the APO Number for Glatton was changed from 634 to 557

Units

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 28.00
Number of aircraft Sent 86
Number of aircraft Effective 9
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 106
Number of people Killed In Action 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 8
Number of people Returned To Duty 49
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 2

7. MANNHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

High clouds and malfunction of the blind-bombing equipment cause more than 300 bomber to abort. The bombers also drop 900,000 leaflets. All Groups assigned to 1st Bomb Division participate. Losses bundled for all targets.

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...

  • 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 94.12
Number of aircraft Sent 130
Number of aircraft Effective 54
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 44
Number of people Killed In Action 6
Number of people Wounded in Action 8
Number of people Evaded 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 20
Number of people Died in Captivity 1
Number of people Interned 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

Service

People

  • James Braa

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball turret gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    James Braa served as a ball turret gunner with the 566th Bomb Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Hethel, England. He completed his tour of 30 missions between March and June 1944, flying his final two missions on D-Day.

  • John Daly

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau, Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA). No MACR Awards: AM, PH.

  • 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,...

  • 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....

  • 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....

  • Frank Hearne

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 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.

  • Joseph Jennings

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier; Navigator; Bombardier Instructor | 379th Bomb Group
    Joe Jennings served as a bombardier and navigator with the 525th Bomb Squadron of the 379th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Kimbolton, England. While Joe is at Alconbury receiving Radar training, he learns about the crash of April 11 that kills John...

  • Robert Koerber

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM, PH.

  • Adriel Langendoerfer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio man | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USSAF. FTR (FTR) in B-17 42-31083. A/C exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM, PH.

  • John MacCallum

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM, PH.

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Aircraft

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

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

  • 42-31138 Winged Fury

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/9/43; Gr Island 7/10/43; Romulus 10/10/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 15/10/43; Missing in Action Augsburg 13/4/44 with Art Nelson, Co-pilot: Art Livermore, Navigator: Maurice White, Bombardier: Bill Matuszewski, Flight...

  • 42-37953

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 26/10/43; Gr Island 9/11/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-L] Thurleigh 4/1/44; Missing in Action Brunswick 29/3/44 with Alvin Schuering, Co-pilot: Harvey Nielsen, Navigator: Jack Hamilton, Bombardier: Rob Flood, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 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. ...

  • 42-38082

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/12/43; Kearney 26/12/43; Nutts Corner, Belfast, N.I. 14/1/44; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-L] Kimbolton 29/1/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Capt Lytle Shumake, Co-pilot: George Smith, Navigator: Regis Savage, Bombardier:...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2018 00:43:27 TennyBelle Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

8th AF Database

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2016 19:32:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Mar-2016. Addedbomber gunner claims to 3AD Mission event statistics based on "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
01 March 2016 19:30:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Mar-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 14:06:56 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma16.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:12 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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