8th Air Force 178

7 January 1944

Object Number - UPL 44034 - 8th air force mission 178; 7/1/44; Ludwigshafen

Description

The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft.

The first element is a combined force of 172 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 358BG; 388BG; 390BG; and 447BG. 167 are effective on the target. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 11 KIA 7POW 2EVD. 2 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) of these, 1 crashes shortly after take-off at Wilby, UK but crew bale out safely - 10RTD; 1 with battle damage makes a crashlanding at Honington, UK - 10RTD. 18 aircraft are damaged. In addition to MIA aircraft casualties, 1 airman is KIA and 1 is WIA.

The second element is a combined force of 210 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; and 401BG. 184 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 10KIA 18POW. 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) shortly after take-off when it is caught in the prop wash of others in the formation. The aircraft comes apart over Lutham Bridge, UK - 6 KIA 4 bale out RTD. Other casualties in returning aircraft include 6 airmen KIA and 7 WIA. 86 aircraft are damaged.

The third element is a combined force of 120 B-24s from 2nd Air Division: 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; and 446BG. 69 are effective on the target. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 28KIA 16POW 17EVD 10INT. 2 returning aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 5KIA 10RTD. In addition, other casualties in returning aircraft were 4KIA and 5WIA. 18 aircraft were damaged.

Mission Details

LUDWIGSHAFEN (Primary)

Description: I.G. FARBEN PLANT. This element is composed of B-24s from 2nd Air Division.The bomber gunners of the entire formation of B-17s and B-24s claim 30-6-17 of attacking enemy aircraft.

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: One B-24 of this element dropped on a Target of Opportunity. The 44th Bomb Group and the 448th Bomb Group abandoned the mission at the Dutch coast after failing to reach altitude and were being out-distanced by the rest of the formation. The 445th Bomb Group was commanded by MAJ James Stewart, the Hollywood actor, on this mission.

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
The insignia of the 93rd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 164.43
  • People killed in action: 32
  • People wounded in action: 5
  • People evaded: 17
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • People interned: 10
  • People returned to duty: 5
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 30
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 17
  • Aircraft sent: 120
  • Aircraft effective: 69
  • Aircraft missing in action: 7
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 18

LUDWIGSHAFEN(Primary)

Description: I.G. FARBEN PLANT. This is a combined formation of B-17s from 3rd Air Division.

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 385th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 388th 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
The insignia of the 447th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 397.96
  • People killed in action: 12
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • People evaded: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 7
  • People returned to duty: 20
  • Aircraft sent: 172
  • Aircraft effective: 167
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 18

LUDWIGSHAFEN(Primary)

Description: I.G. FARBEN PLANT. This is a combined formation of B-17s from 1st Air Division.

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Two B-17s of this element bombed Targets of Opportunity.

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 351st Bomb Group.
  • 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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 438.47
  • People killed in action: 21
  • People wounded in action: 7
  • People evaded: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 22
  • People returned to duty: 4
  • Aircraft sent: 210
  • Aircraft effective: 184
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 86

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: 381st Bomb Group 533rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-809475
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 567th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12183535
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18193418
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33213036
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 560th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12159739
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: What's Cookin' Doc?
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
Ground crew work of the 303rd Bomb Group work on the engines of a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "The Duchess". Passed for publication 20 Jan 1944. Printed caption on reverse: 'Famous Fortresses. Associated Press Photo Shows:- Ground crewmen at work on the Fortress "Duchess", which has already been on 50 missions over enemy territory. They are (left to right, lower): Sgt. Clyde L. Dewald, of 200 E Union St., Schnykill Haven, Penn.; and Sgt. James C. Hicks, of Rowtob, Henderson, K.Y.; (Upper) Cpl. Charles
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Duchess, Sure Stuff
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Problem Child | Old Reliable
  • Unit: 547th Bomb Squadron 384th Bomb Group 305th Bomb Group Can Do
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Bad Check
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 427th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Cased Ace
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron 305th Bomb Group Can Do 422nd Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date21 Dec 2015 18:52:37
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added 1st Air Division note to Event Details.

Date21 Dec 2015 18:50:45
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added 3rd Air Division note to Event Details.

Date21 Dec 2015 18:47:18
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added 2nd BD to Event Description.

Date21 Dec 2015 18:44:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date21 Dec 2015 18:39:28
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 21-Dec-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman; casualties summed from MACRs and "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey, MBE.

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 178: Gallery (2 items)