8th Air Force 204 FIGHTER/BOMBER

31 January 1944


A combined force of 209 fighter aircraft are despatched to attack the German airfield at Gilze-Rijen, Holland. Mission summary as follows:

47 P-38s from 55FG provide a fighter sweep in the Eindehoven/Venlo/Arnhem area in advance of the attack. 6 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 5KIA 1EVD. 1 aircraft with battle damage crashes at Leiston, UK on return and is declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) - 1RTD. The fighters in this element claim 7-0-1 of attacking German aircraft.

162 P-47s from 4FG; 78FG; and 355FG participate in the operation. 75 aircraft (21 aircraft from 4FG; 35 aircraft from 78FG; and 19 aircraft from 355FG) are assigned the mission of bombing the airfield. 70 of these aircraft are effective on the target. The balance in each fighter group provide escort and top cover. Just 2 aircraft sustain damage from ground fire. The fighter escort claim 6-1-1 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission Details


Description: FIGHTER SWEEP

Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning

Notes: Fighter sweep in support of raid on Gilze-Rijen Airfield

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not Applicable
  • People killed in action: 5
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • People evaded: 1
  • People returned to duty: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 47
  • Aircraft missing in action: 6
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2



Aircraft Type: P-47 Thunderbolt

Notes: Fighter bomber mission, 4th Fighter Group (21), 78th Fighter Group (35), 355th Fighter Group (19) drop 500 GP bombs, other aircraft in each group provide escort.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 18.75
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by fighter: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 162
  • Aircraft damaged: 2


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


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 568th Bomb Squadron
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner


Date17 Jan 2016 22:18:35
ChangesChanges to name and description

Lee Cunningham 17-Jan-2016. Added Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:17
ChangesAAM ingest

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'.