458

7 July 1944

Object Number - UPL 44166 - 8th Air Force mission 458; Merseburg, Germany; July 7, 1944. 447th Bomb Group strike photo

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 22.1 T

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 42.2 T

ASCHERSLEBEN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 203.70

BERNBURG (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 256.9 T

Böhlen, Germany

Description: OIL REFINERY

Notes: 3rd Bomb Division was made up of B-17 is 94th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447TBomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group, 486th Bomb Group, 487th Bomb Group. _________________________________________________________________________ The 388th furnished 25 aircraft for this mission with the target being the synthetic oil plant at Bohlen just south of Leipzig. The A Group flew as high Group in the 45th A Combat Wing and our other 5 aircraft flew as high squadron with the 452nd B Group. 19 aircraft plus 1 PFF aircraft for the A Group took-off by 0459 hours and formations were effected without difficulty. 2 aircraft plus the PFF a/c aborted for mechanical reasons. The deputy leader then took over the lead. 2 aircraft of the B Group also aborted. The formations were about 30 minutes late in departing the English Coast. Therefore our Combat Wing did not get into its proper position. Due to the fact that the Combat Wing did not make its control points good, there was a concentration of Groups in the target area. The A Group was forced out of its bomb run by another Group and on the second bomb run the same thing happened. The lead bombardier then determined to toggle on the Group ahead with bombs away at 1003 hours from 27,000 feet. The B Group attacked the secondary target which was a synthetic oil plant at Lutzkendorf. Bombs were away at 1008 hours from 24,900 feet. 3 ME 109's were seen in the target area but did not attack. Flak was moderate in the target area. All of our aircraft returned to base by 1256 hours. (From The '388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger). __________________________________________________________________________

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 148 T

GOTTINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 39.2 T

Description: OIL REFINERY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 156.10

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 82.1 T

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 38.7 T

Leipzig, Germany

Description: BALL BEARING PLANT

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: ME-109 FACTORY TARGETED: THE 384TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H) PROVIDED THE HIGH GROUPS FOR THE 41ST "A" AND "B" COMBAT BOMBARDMENT WINGS ON TODAY'S MISSION. THE "A" GROUP ENCOUNTERED LITTLE DIFFICULTY COMPLETING THE MISSION AS BRIEFED, BUT THE STORY WAS QUITE DIFFERENT FOR THE "B" GROUP. FOLLOWING ASSEMBLY, THE 41ST "B" CBW LEADER LED THE FORMATION THROUGH A VERY HEAVY CLOUD LAYER, CAUSING THE FORMATION TO DETERIORATE. ONCE CLEAR OF THE CLOUDS, FEW 384TH SHIPS WERE ABLE TO LOCATE ANY FORMATION. THOSE WHO DID TACKED ON TO THE LOW "B" GROUP AND BOMBED THE TARGET USING PFF. IN ADDITION, TWO OF OUR SHIPS COLLIDED IN THE CLOUDY CONDITIONS, WITH FATAL RESULTS.

The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 120 T

LEIPZIG STATION (Opportunistic)

Description: RAILROAD STATION

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 46.2 T

LEIPZIG/ABTNAUANDORF (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 37 T

LEIPZIG/HEITERBLICK (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 86.8 T

LEIPZIG/MOCKAU (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 193.5 T

LEIPZIG/TAUCHA (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group, 306th Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 398th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group. 457th BG - MISSION NO. 83 -LEIPZIG GERMANY - 7 JULY, 1944 The mission to the Leipzig-Taucha Aero Engine Factory on 29 June had failed to achieve the desired destruction. The plant was assigned again as the target for the 45 7th Group while nineteen other combat wings were assigned important oil refineries and aircraft factories in the Leipzig region. Thirty-six planes formed the two high boxes in the 94th A and B Combat Wings. Captain Godfrey led the A box and Captain Syptak led the B box. Near the IP, Lt. Jack B. Owens, flying an old F Model plane, was unable to transfer fuel from his Tokyo tanks, so he jettisoned his bombs and headed for home alone. He was able to reach only as far as the North Sea, where it was necessary to ditch. The sea was running high and the plane broke up when it hit. Four of the crew were lost. The remainder were picked up later by Air Sea Rescue. The boxes in the wings took interval for a visual run on the target. There were no clouds, although some haze existed and there was a smoke screen around Leipzig. The smoke screen obscured the targets so bombing was done in the center of the smoke. Photos showed all the main buildings had received direct hits and were severely damaged. This was particularly true of the three large buildings in the open field south of the woods. One was completely destroyed and gutted by fire. After bombing, a sharp turn to the south was made to avoid the flak guns covering the center of the city. Later, when the formation turned northwest on the return route, huge columns of smoke could be seen in the distance, coming from the Leuna and Lutzkendorf refineries, and from the aircraft factories at Bernburg and Aschersleben. No enemy fighters were seen by the 457th, although one of the three task forces was engaged by 75 interceptors. Over a thousand planes were dispatched and only 37 failed to return. The refineries and aircraft factories had been severely damaged. Taucha would require no attention for a very considerable time. The crew of Lt Jack B. Owens 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: 264.1 T

Lützendorf, Weimar, Germany

Description: OIL REFINERY

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 491st Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group. after concentrating on targets in France for most of Jun 44, the 8th Air Force once again resumes its primary mission of destroying German aircraft production and oil refineries. The Luftwaffe remains strong protecting targets inside Germany, and even with outstanding escort from American fighters the Luftwaffe takes a significant toll on American bombers in this force. The bomber gunners record their first kills since 22-Jun-44.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 229.10

Description: AIRFIELD

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 43.4 T

MERSEBURG (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERY

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 105.5 T

NORDHAUSEN (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 17.5 T

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 571st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-726429
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18134873
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date3 Jun 2015 12:59:57
Sources

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

Date9 Mar 2015 11:14:04
Sources

Information sent by Dick Read relating to Arthur M. Read and the 388th Bomb Group. (From The '388th At War' by Ed Huntzinger)

Date17 Feb 2015 00:46:40
Contributormcordell4
Sources

Sortie Report. 1944-07-07; 384th BG Mission# 153; 8th AF Mission # 458. http://www.384thbombgroup.com/_content/_pages/One384thMission.php?Missi…

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:07
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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