353

12 May 1944

Object Number - UPL 22015 - The Harold Tucker Crew pictured in front of "Our Baby" in Dalhart, Texas, 1944. Kneeling, from left : Pilot Harold H. Tucker; Copilot Robert A....

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 23.9 T HE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 4.6 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 220 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Notes: 3rd Bomb Division was made up of 94th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group. 3rd Bomb Division came under heavy German fighter attack, 96th Bomb Group lost 12 B-17s and 452nd Bomb Group lost 14 B-17s on theis mission

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 309 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 1.8 T HE

CHEMNITZ (Opportunistic)

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 26.2 T HE

GERA (Opportunistic)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 25.2 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 3.7 T HE

HOF (Opportunistic)

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 28.5 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 457th BG - MISSION NO. 44 - LUTZKENDORF, GERMANY 12 MAY, 1944 The long awaited blitz on the German synthetic oil refineries occasioned the largest air raid the Eighth Air Force had yet undertaken. The 45 7th furnished the lead and low boxes for the 94th B Combat Wing for the assault on Lutzkendorf, producer of 30,000 tons of petrol and diesel oil annually. The target was six miles west of Merseburg. Major Fred A. Spencer flew as Air Commander of the B lead box with Lt. Jerry Godfrey flying as pilot. Captain Jacob M. Dickinson led the B low box, with Lt. Clarence E. Schuchmann as pilot. The weather was CAVU, but ground haze and smoke Obscured visibility. Bombing results were fair. No enemy fighter opposition was encountered, and flak was moderate but accurate. Eleven craft sustained damage. On the return trip to the base, a German operated B-17 joined the formation near Coblenz and continued with the formation to Brussels. Also, the craft piloted by Lt. John Akers encountered engine trouble. His plane began to lag behind the formation and was last seen near Eisenach on the trip back to England. With only one engine providing power and flying at 1,500 feet altitude, the crew bailed out over Belgium and all were taken as POWs. Because of the seriousness of his injuries, Lt. Akers was later involved in a prisoner of war exchange through the International Red Cross and returned to the States. He was hospitalized until May 1946, when he was discharged. Although the 457th's crews saw no enemy fighters, wings of the 3rd Division met severe attacks, causing the loss of thirty- two bombers. It was reported the Luftwaffe pilots resorted to ramming the B.-17s. Total losses for the Eighth amounted to forty-two craft. The mission was the first of many to be directed against the synthetic oil refineries. Meanwhile, on the Base, a lack of military courtesy by members of the command was noted. As a consequence, classes were conducted for all personnel reported for having failed to salute. The course consisted of two one-hour lectures on military customs and courtesies. The crew of Lt John Akers was lost on this date

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 168.5 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Notes: This is the first 8th Air Force attack on oil production targets. Luftwaffe opposition is heavy. However, the missions are escorted by 735 fighters (see VIII Fighter Command FO 337) and they claim 61 enemy aircraft destroyed and 11 damaged. Albert Speer, appointed by Hitler to coordinate all wartime armament production, will later write in his memoirs that this was the date when Germany lost the war. 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group, 306th Bomb Group, 3521st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 398th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 430.4 T HE

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 29 T HE

OSTEND (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2.5 T HE

ZEITZ (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 256.4 T HE

ZWICKAU (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERIES

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 158 T HE

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 06966455
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 457th Bomb Group 748th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 0811302
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot - Flying Fortress
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36703821
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Togglier, Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 339th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38411591
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 452nd Bomb Group 728th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date2 Jun 2016 15:13:22
ContributorED-BB
Sources

Changed key image

Date20 May 2015 13:32:00
Sources

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:06
ContributorAAM
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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