8th Air Force 206

3 February 1944

Object Number - UPL 37716 - "A Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" of the 401st Bomb Group settles gracefully down to the runway at its home base in England after participating in a...

Description

The port area and Naval facilities at Wilhelmshaven, Germany was the primary target for this mission. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bomb Divisions all participated.

1st Bomb Division: A combined force of 348 B-17s were despatched from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 401BG; and 428BG to bomb that naval facilities at Wilhelmshven, Germany. 306 were effective on the target with 1 bombing on Oldenberg, German as a Target of Opportunity. 305BG/422BS also dropped 1,800,000 leaflets. 2 aircraft Failed to Return - 13KIA 7POW. 27 aircraft returned with battle damage. 7 airmen in returning aircraft were WIA. The bomber gunners claimed 0-1-0 of attacking German aircraft.

2nd Bomb Division: A combined force of 193 B-24s were despatched but 140 of these were not able to bomb the primary because of cloud cover and were recalled before reaching the enemy coast. 53 others managed to penetrate as far as Holland and had changed their target to Emden, Germany, but these also aborted the mission over the Zuider Zee. 1 aircraft was destroyed in a crash upon return when it stalled on approach. 9KOM 1RTD. There were no other casualties or claims on enemy aircraft.

3rd Bomb Division: A combined force of 323 B-17s were despatched from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; and 447BG to bomb the naval facilitied at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. 247 aircraft were effective on the target. The lead Combat Wing of this element turned to sharply at the Initial Point (IP) and 53 aircraft bombed the industrial areas of Emden Germany as a Target of Opportunity. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 20KIA. 20 aircraft returned with battle damage. 2 airmen were KIA and 2 were WIA in returning aircraft. There were no other casualties and no claims were made on enemy aircraft.

Mission Details

Description: 1,800,000 LEAFLETS DROPPED

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Dropped by aircraft from 1st Bomb Division.

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 5
  • Aircraft effective: 5

EMDEN (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 53 aircraft of the lead Combat Wing assigned to attack Wilhelmshaven as the primary turned too sharply at the Initial Point (IP) due to a Pathfinder (PFF) and navigational error, so bombed Emden as a Target of Opportunity.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 184.23
  • Aircraft sent: 53
  • Aircraft effective: 53

Emden, Germany

Description: PORT AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Only 53 of 193 B24s despatched manage to assemble and these abort the mission over the Zuider Zee because of clouds. 44th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group abandoned this mission because their Pathfinder (PFF) guide aircraft failed to take-off.

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
The insignia of the 448th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00
  • People killed in action: 9
  • People returned to duty: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 53
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

OLDENBURG (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 1.36
  • Aircraft sent: 1
  • Aircraft effective: 1

WILHELMSHAVEN (Primary)

Description: PORT AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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 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: 812.14
  • People killed in action: 22
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 267
  • Aircraft effective: 247
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

WILHELMSHAVEN (Primary)

Description: PORT AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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: 417.09
  • People killed in action: 13
  • People wounded in action: 7
  • Prisoners of war: 7
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 342
  • Aircraft effective: 306
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 27

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 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-735233
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator; Bombardier
  • 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: 95th Bomb Group 336th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-809476
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15382852
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: Tail 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

Revisions

Date26 Jan 2016 18:10:49
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Jan-2016. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to 1BD attack on Wilhelmshaven per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date26 Jan 2016 18:07:27
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Jan-2016. Corrected statsitics of 3BD attack on Emden per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date26 Jan 2016 18:05:00
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Jan-2016. Added Detailed Mission Despcription based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:17
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 206: Gallery (4 items)