8th Air Force 176

5 January 1944

Object Number - UPL 33770 - "Bombs dropped by planes of the 96th Bombardment Group, 8th Air Force on 5 January 1944, head for their target, the airfield at Bordeaux, France."

Description

This mission consists of five elements: The first element is a combined force of 131 B-17s are despatched by 1st Bomb Division: 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 379BG; 384BG; and 482BG to bomb the shipyards and industrial areas of Kiel, Germany. 119 are effective on the target. 5 aircraft are lost to enemy action - 17KIA 23POW 10INT. 1 B-17 from 303BG/360BS and 1 B-17 from 379BG/526BS sustain a mid-air collision during assembly - 20KIA. 3 other B-17s were involved in take-off crashes - 15KIA 15RTD. 61 aircraft were damaged; 5 airmen were WIA.

The second element is a combined force of 114 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG and 448BG depatched to also attacked the shipyards and industrial areas at Kiel, Germany. 96 aircraft are effective on the target. 5 aircraft were lost to enemy action - 41KIA 9POW; 1 aircraft was abandoned over England shortly after take-off with mechanical failures of rudder cables and landing gear - 3KOM 7RTD; another aircraft aborted the mission and returned with a full bomb load to base;this aircraft landed too far down the runway and ran off the end - 10RTD. 15 aircraft were damaged.

The bomber gunners of the two elements that went to Kiel claim 41-6-13 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The third element is a combined force of 117 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division: 94BG; 96BG; 385BG; 388BG; and 447BG despatched to bomb the German airfield of Merignac at Bordeaux, France. 112 aircraft are effective on the target. 11 aircraft are lost to enemy action - 37KIA 30POW 40EVD 3INT. 1 aircraft crashed on take-off - 10KOM; 1 aircraft with battle damage crashed on return at Badwell Ash, UK - 8KIA 1WIA. 49 aircraft were damaged and 20 additional airmen were WIA. The bomber gunners claim 50-10-9 of attacking German fighters.

The fourth element is a combined force of 79 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division; 91BG; 351BG; 381BG; and 401BG despatched to bomb the German airfield at Tours, France. 78 aircraft are effective on the target. 1 aircraft is lost to enemy action - 1KIA 6POW 3EVD. No other aircraft are damaged and no other airmen are wounded. The bomber gunners of this element claim 2-0-0 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The fifth, and last, element of this mission is a combined force of 78 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division: 95BG; 100BG; and 390BG. The ball bearing plants at Elberfield, Germany were the primary target for this mission, but the target was obscured by clouds so the following military targets of opportunity were attacked: Neuss; Geilenkirchen; Dusseldorf and Wassenburg, Germany (number of aircraft attacking each target not determined from source data). 2 aircraft from 95BG are lost to enemy action - 1KIA 16POW (2DIC) 1EVD; 1 aircraft with battle damage crash landed at RAF Tarrent Rushton - 1 airman slightly injured 10RTD. 22 aircraft were damaged and 2 airmen were WIA. The bomber gunners of this element claim 2-5-2 of attacking enemy aircraft.

Mission Details

BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC (Primary)

Description: MERGINAC AIRFIELD at Bodeaux, France

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The lead bombardier was killed in action on the bomb run and the lead was handed over to the low group.

The insignia of the 385th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 390th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 96th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 266.20
  • People killed in action: 55
  • People wounded in action: 21
  • People evaded: 40
  • Prisoners of war: 30
  • People interned: 3
  • People returned to duty: 1
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 50
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 10
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 9
  • Aircraft sent: 117
  • Aircraft effective: 112
  • Aircraft missing in action: 11
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 49

GEILENKIRCHEN (Opportunistic) / NEUSS (Opportunistic) / DUSSELDORF (Opportunistic)

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Primary target was ball bearing plants at Elberfeld, target obscured.

Official emblem of the 100th Bomb Group, approved 30 March 1944 and replaced 1957
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 390th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 194.00
  • People killed in action: 1
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • People evaded: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • People died in captivity: 2
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 5
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 78
  • Aircraft effective: 73
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 22

KIEL(Primary)

Description: SHIP YARD - INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 10 aircraft drop on Targets of Opportunity. Bomber gunner claims are the combined total of B-17 & B-24 groups attackin at Kiel.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 379th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 215.8
  • People killed in action: 52
  • People wounded in action: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 23
  • People returned to duty: 15
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 41
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 13
  • Aircraft sent: 131
  • Aircraft effective: 119
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 5
  • Aircraft damaged: 61

KIEL(Primary)

Description: SHIP YARD - INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Bomber gunner claims are recorded under the B-17 element.

The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 392nd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
A pathfinder B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-51681) of the 453rd Bomb Group flies in formation with a fellow Liberator of the 453rd and and a pathfinder Liberator of the 445th Bomb Group. Image via Alan Rowsell.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
A flight of B-24 Liberators of the 446th Bomb Group fly in formation above the clouds.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 386.8
  • People killed in action: 44
  • Prisoners of war: 9
  • People returned to duty: 17
  • Aircraft sent: 114
  • Aircraft effective: 96
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 15

TOURS

Description: AIRFIELDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The 91st Bomb Group becomes the first 8th Air Force Bomb Group to complete 100 missions.

The insignia of the 351st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 381st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Air base
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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 176.80
  • People killed in action: 1
  • People evaded: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 6
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 79
  • Aircraft effective: 78
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 10

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: 401st Bomb Group 613th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35368934
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade)
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 20273063
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-811523
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 379th Bomb Group 525th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16049064
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-686181
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Aircraft

Revisions

Date1 Dec 2015 20:56:21
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2015 Correction to personnel dispositions in Tours element based on National Archives MACR 1962.

Date1 Dec 2015 20:53:48
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2015. Added statistics for Tours element based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date1 Dec 2015 20:49:25
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2015. Added statistics to B-24 element attacking at Kiel based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey, MBE; casualties cross checked from MACR data.

Date1 Dec 2015 20:44:23
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2015. Added statictics to B-17 element attaking at Kiel based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bisho & John A. Hey, MBE; casualties cross check with MACR data.

Date1 Dec 2015 20:35:58
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2015. Added statistics to Elberfeld element based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey; casualties cross checked with MACR data.

Date1 Dec 2015 20:31:49
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2015. Added and corrected statistics for Bordeaux/Merignac based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop and John A. Hey, MBE and cross checked from MACR data.

Date1 Dec 2015 20:22:46
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham -Dec-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey, MBE.

Date28 May 2015 09:43:36
Contributorjdossetter
Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:16
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'.

8th Air Force 176: Gallery (3 items)