DOCUMENT 53492

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401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 243, 7 Apr 1945, Luneburg, Germany. Briefing was again held at an early hour--0230 hours. Pilots were briefed for a cross-wind takeoff. At 0440 hours all times were moved forward three hours, with Engines now scheduled for 0850, Taxi at 0900 and Takeoff at 0910 hours. Later, these scheduled times were delayed for still another hour, so it was not until 1047 hours that all operational aircraft were off on the mission. The two spares returned early as there were no aborts, and all operational aircraft had landed by 1859 hours--sixteen and a half hours after briefing! The 401st formed the 94th Combat Wing "C" Group on this mission, whose primary target was the airfield at Reinsehelsen. However, as the primary was not visible, the Group turned to the secondary target, the railroad marshalling yards at Luneberg. Bombing was carried out at 15,000 feet rather than the customary 25,000 feet. The Group history reports good results for the bombing and that "much of the rolling stock in the railroad yards was damaged". The only opposition the 401st faced was meager flak, which caused no damage. However, other Groups were attacked by the Luftwaffe, which was met by violent resistance on the part of both American fighter escort aircraft and bomber crews. A large number of Luftwaffe aircraft were shot down in the fray. The exceptionally long day referred to above was also the subject of comment in squadron histories.

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Units

A pathfinder B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 44-8258) of the 401st Bomb Group. Image by Robert Astrella. Written on slide casing: '48258 14 A, Mount Farm.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Diana Queen Of The Chase
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dynamite John
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Farmer's Daughter
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 614th Bomb Squadron 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: D-Day Dottie
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 613th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Baby Lu, Grin N Bear It
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron

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Mission

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