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8th Air Force 273

22 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German aviation industries at Oraneinburg and Basdorf were the intended primary target for this mission but dense cloud cover prevented the attack on these targets. The secondary target of Berlin, Germany and surrounding Targets of Opportunity (TOs) become the focus. There is very little German fighter opposition. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 287 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 401BG and 457BG are despatched. 277 are effective on the industrial areas of Berlin, Germany. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), all shot down by AA fire - 8KIA 32POW. 1 aircraft with battle damage is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash landing upon return - 5POW (baled out over Germany) 5RTD. 347 aircraft are damaged (aportioned in statistics). There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 187 B-17s from: 95BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 452BG are despatched. 183 are effective on Targets of Opportunity (TO's) in the Berlin area. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), 2 of these lost to AA fire and the third one lost to bombs dropped from above - 20KIA 10POW. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 214 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 452BG; 458BG; and 466BG are despatched. 197 are effective on Targets of Opportunity (TO's) in the Berlin area. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), 3 down to AA fire and the other two involved in a mid-air collision - 15KIA 35POW.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 Groups from either 1st Bomb Division or 3rd Bomb Division actually attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped Not determined

2. Basdorf, 16348 Wandlitz, Germany

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

It has not been determined which Groups from either 1st Bomb Division or 3rd Bomb Division actually attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped Not determined

3. BERLIN (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Berlin is the secondary target. Groups participating are all of 3rd Bomb Division. No bomber gunner claims.

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-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organisation and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29-Jun-1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28-Aug-42 to 31-Oct-42 than at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas from...

  • 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 409.19
Number of aircraft Sent 187
Number of aircraft Effective 183
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 94
Number of people Killed In Action 20
Number of people Prisoners of War 10

4. BERLIN (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Groups attacking are all part of 2nd Bomb Division. No 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...

  • 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...

  • 466th Bomb Group

    466th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 466th Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators from Attlebridge, Norfolk, during the last year of the war in Europe. The Group flew 232 missions in the course of the year and celebrated the 100th one by inviting local people onto the base to mark the...

  • 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 440.49
Number of aircraft Sent 213
Number of aircraft Effective 196
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged 108
Number of people Killed In Action 16
Number of people Prisoners of War 35

5. HEIDE (Opportunistic)

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY and 6,368,000 LEAFLETS DROPPED

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

1 B-24 drops on Heidi. Bombers also drop 6,368,000 leaflets.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 2.24
Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

6. ORANIENBURG (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Cloud cover prevents visual bombing. One bomber is damaged beyond repair and 347 others are damaged, apportionment made between B-17s and B-24s. This is the last mission for the 482nd Bomb Group. (9 Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft despatched from 482nd Bomb Group). They will be engaged in training and experimentation with H2X radar for the remainder of the war. No bomber gunner claims.

457th BG MISSION NO. 17 - ORANIENBURG, GERMANY

22 MARCH 1944

Nineteen aircraft made a return trip to the Heinkel Bomber Assembly Factory at Oranienburg, the producer of He177s, long range bombers. Captain William F. Smith was Air Commander and Lt. Brannan was pilot. The Group comprised the low box of the 94th Combat Wing.

In spite of adverse weather and adverse flight conditions (the Group getting in prop wash of another wing), bombs were dropped on Berlin, the secondary target, and good bombing results were reported. Fires were still burning from previous raids. No enemy fighter opposition was reported. Flak was intense and moderately accurate. There were no personnel casualties, and all aircraft returned safely, with seven planes having sustained damage. A 351st Bomb Group aircraft flying out of formation was seen to have been hit by bombs dropped by one of the 457th aircraft. There was a flash of flames near the rudder andhorizontal stabilizer. The craft skidded to the left and downward and was never seen again.

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...

  • 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 619.37
Number of aircraft Sent 287
Number of aircraft Effective 277
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 145
Number of people Killed In Action 8
Number of people Prisoners of War 337
Number of people Returned To Duty 5

Service

People

  • Charles Beigel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    B-24H #41-29416 'Rebel Yell' collided with another aircraft after being hit by flak over the target of Berlin and crashed W of Oranienburg, GR on 22 Mar 1944. Prisoner of War (POW). This was my first mission. Captured by Luftwaffe forces and...

  • Alvin Berg

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Gunner | 466th Bomb Group

  • Joseph Booth

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group

  • Gilley Brand

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    B-24H #41-29416 'Rebel Yell' collided with another aircraft after being hit by flak over the target of Berlin and crashed W of Oranienburg, GR on 22 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Lowell Bruhns

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 466th Bomb Group

  • 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. ...

  • Kenneth Cassada

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Tail Gunner | 466th Bomb Group
    B-24H #41-29416 'Rebel Yell' collided with another aircraft after being hit by flak over the target of Berlin and crashed W of Oranienburg, GR on 22 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Carl Christensen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier / L,R Waist Gunner, Nose Gunner / Togglier | 379th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Plane exploded mid-air near Downham Market, England.

  • Donald Cooper

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

  • Thomas Czapko

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    One of the original cadre of pilots for the 466th BG Led his crew to a successful completion of a 30 mission tour.

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Aircraft

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2018 00:45:29 TennyBelle Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

8th AF Database

Date Contributor Update
30 November 2017 02:32:50 466thHistorian Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

466th BG Archives - Official log of the 786th BS

Date Contributor Update
24 September 2016 19:35:35 466thHistorian Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

"Attlebridge Diaries" - John Wollnough
pages: 17,18,19, 212, 213

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2016 17:36:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added # aircraft damaged to Mission Summary based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2016 16:57:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added Mission Narative 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 14:10:23 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma17.html

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2014 18:17:20 466thHistorian Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

466th BG Archives

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2014 12:37:05 Emily Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date Contributor Update
07 October 2014 16:02:43 Tom Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Added aircraft 42-30301. B-17 Fortress at War, Roger Freeman 1977

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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