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8th Air Force 277

24 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is composed of two elements, one from 1st Air Division and the other from 2nd Air Division. A total of 436 hevay bombers are despatched. The primary target for 1st Air Division is the the ball bearing plants at Schweifurt, Germany. 2nd Air division's primary target is the German airfield at St. Dizier, France. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 230 B-17s from: 91BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched to bomb the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt, Germany. Heavy clouds and dense contrails cause the majority of formations to attack the secondary target of the industrial area of Frankfur, Germany. 4 flights (16 aircraft) of 1st Air Division fail to take off because of a blocked perimeter track. 60 aircraft are effective on Schweinfurt and 162 are effective on Frankfurt. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), 2 lost to a mid-air collision and 1 to enemy aircraft - 10KIA 16POW 4EVD. 3 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), 2 lost in chrashes on take off - 21KIA. One crashed into a hut killing 8 servicemen in the hut and 2 children in a nearby bungalow. 1 battle damaged aircraft was DBR in a crash landing upon return - 10RTD. 68 aircraft are damaged. 14 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 1 is WIA. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 148 B-24s from: 44BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; 458BG; and 466BG are despatched to bomb the German airfield at St. Dizier, France. 148 are effective at St. Dizier. 33 others bomb at the German airfield of Essey at Nancy, France as a secondary target. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) ditching in the North Sea, but all crew rescued by ASR - 10RTD. 24 aircraft are damaged. 3 airmen in returning aircraft are WIA. There are no other losses, causalties or claims.

Mission details

1. FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

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

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 382.00
Number of aircraft Sent 162
Number of aircraft Effective 162
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 3
Number of people Killed In Action 21
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

2. NANCY/ESSAY (Secondary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

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

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 105.00
Number of aircraft Sent 33
Number of aircraft Effective 33

3. SCHWEINFURT (Primary)

Description

BALL BEARING FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Schweinfurt was the primary target but heavy could cover and contrails cause most of the formation to bomb Frankfurt as the secondary. Groups participating are from 1st Bomb Division. No bomber gunner claims.

457th BG MISSION NO. 19 - SCHWEINFURT, GERMANY

24 MARCH 1944

The Group dispatched seventeen aircraft to the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt. The key note to the operational order read 'It is imperative that 060049/10 be destroyed’

060049 was the largest machine shop in the ball bearing works of Keigelfischer AG, and had escaped damage from previous raids. Col. Luper was Air Commander and Lt. Russell M. Selwyn, pilot. The Group comprised the high box of the 94th Combat Wing.

Bombing was carried out in a heavy undercast, and the results were not visible. No fighter opposition was reported, and flak was light. Three aircraft suffered damage, but there were no personnel casualties, and all aircraft returned to the Base.

On 24 March all members of the ground crews servicing and maintaining the aircraft received the commendation of the Commanding Officer. He commended all ground personnel for a job well done.

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, 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 Citations, the...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 130.20
Number of aircraft Sent 69
Number of aircraft Effective 60
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 68
Number of people Killed In Action 13
Number of people Evaded 4
Number of people Prisoners of War 16

4. Saint-Dizier, France

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Frankfurt is the primary target for the B-24s but the target is overcast, so the secondary targets are hit. Groups participating are 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 463.70
Number of aircraft Sent 173
Number of aircraft Effective 148
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 24
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

Service

People

  • Joseph Booth

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 389th Bomb Group

  • William Brooks

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 466th Bomb Group
    St. Dizier, France 24 Mar 1944; Brunswick, Germany 8 April 1944; Hamm, Germany 22 April 1944; Leipheim, Germany 24 April 1944; Paderborn, Germany 26 April 1944; Siracourt, France 27 April 1944; Mimoyecque, France 28 April 1944; Liege, France 1 May 1944...

  • 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. The majority of his...

  • John Clerkin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator/Assistant Group Navigator | 466th Bomb Group

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Malcolm Dike

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group

  • Clyde Draa

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    WG, Thomson crew. 381st BG, 534th BS. B-17G #42-40008 collided with another aircraft during a concentrated flak barrage on a mission to Frankfurt, GR on 24 Mar 1944 and crashed NNE of Schweinfurt, GR. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Michael Hoover

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 466th Bomb Group
    Flew 30 missions, many on 'The Lemon' DFC/ Air Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ American Campaign Medal/ WW II Victory Medal/ Armed Forces Reserve Medal/ 2 Battle Stars

  • Clinton Kraft

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Right Waist Gunner | 466th Bomb Group
    Shot down 13 May 1944 in B-17 #4129391 'Little Lulu. ' Killed in Action (KIA). PH

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Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 March 2016 17:40:01 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Frreman, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop and John A. Hey MBE and MACRS.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 14:18:14 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA19.html

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2015 01:39:09 466thHistorian Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
19 January 2015 01:33:18 466thHistorian Changes to event
Sources

466th BG Historian

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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