8th Air Force 228 BIG WEEK - DAY 2

21 February 1944

Object Number - UPL 19445 - Flying Fortress B-17G 42-31632, 335th BS, 95th BG, 8AF. Forced landed Dubendorf, Switzerland having sustained battle damage. 24 april 1944.

Description

Day 2 of BIG WEEK is another maximum effort by 8th Air Force to bomb 6 airfields in Germany as primary targets: Diepholz, Gütersloh, Lippstadt, Werl, Achmer and Handorf. In addition the industrial areas of Brunswick city are included as a primary target. Weather and heavy fighter opposition hamper the bombing effort. The contingent from 3rd Bomb Division is the only one that has PFF aircraft so their results are better. A total of 861 heavy bombers take to the air for the attack. Mission Summary as follows:

3rd Bomb Division: 281 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 452BG are dispatched to bomb the airfield at Diepholz and Brunswick City. 175 are effective on Diepholz and Brunswick City; 88 aircraft are effective on the industrial areas of Hannover and the airfields at Alhorn and Vörden as Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 19 KIA 21 POW. 3 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), 1 with battle damage in a crash landing upon return - 10 RTD and 2 that sustain a mid-air collision during assembly - 21 KIA. 4 airmen are WIA in returning aircraft. 36 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners in this dispatch claim 2-5-2 of attacking German aircraft.

1st Bomb Division: A combined force of 336 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; 457BG and 482BG are detached to the primary German airfield targets at Gütersloh; Lippstadt and Werl, Germany but cloud cover obscures these targets and the formations seek out Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 285 aircraft are effective on the following airfields as Targets of Opportunity (TOs): Achmer, Hopstein, Rheine, Diepholz, Quackenbruck and Bramsche. In addition, the railroad marshaling yards at Coevorden and Lingen, Germany are bombed as Targets of Opportunity (TOs). This is the firs combat mission for 457BG. 9 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 24 KIA 60 POW (1 DIC) 5 RTD (rescued by ASR). 63 aircraft are damaged. 4 airmen are KIA and another 14 WIA in returning aircraft. The bomber gunners of this element claim 12-5-8 of attacking German aircraft. It is not known how many German aircraft were destroyed or damaged on the ground in these strikes, but damage to facilities runways and flak batteries was extensive.

2nd Bomb Division: A combined force of 244 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG and 453BG are dispatched to bomb the airfields of Achmer and Handorf, Germany. 11 aircraft managed to bomb the airfield at Achmer using PFF equipment; 203 others bomb the airfields at Diepholz, Vörden and Hesepe, Germany and the industrial areas of Lingen as Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 13 KIA 17 POW. 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) - 1 KIA 9 RTD. 3 airmen aboard returning aircraft are WIA. 6 aircraft are damaged. The Bomber gunners of this element claim 5-6-4 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission Details

ACHMER (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 285 B-17s of the 336 despatched manage to bomb airfields and marshalling yards. Statistics bundled.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 806.00
  • People killed in action: 21
  • Prisoners of war: 33
  • People died in captivity: 1
  • People returned to duty: 5
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 12
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 5
  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 8
  • Aircraft sent: 336
  • Aircraft effective: 285
  • Aircraft missing in action: 6
  • Aircraft damaged: 63

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 244 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division are despatched to attack German airfields at Achmer and Handorf, Germany as the primary targets. Only 11 aircraft are effective on Achmer, as clouds frustrate bombing attempts. Most divert to bomb the airfield as Diepholz, Germany as a target of opportunity.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation
The insignia of the 392nd Bomb Group.
  • 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: 28.35
  • People killed in action: 12
  • Prisoners of war: 9
  • People returned to duty: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 5
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 4
  • Aircraft sent: 42
  • Aircraft effective: 11
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 6

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 3rd Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

BRAMSCHE (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

BRUNSWICK CITY (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 3rd Bomb Division attacked this target.

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
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: Not determined
  • People killed in action: 40
  • People wounded in action: 4
  • Prisoners of war: 21
  • Aircraft sent: 193
  • Aircraft effective: 175
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 36

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

DIEPHOLZ (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 482nd Bomb Group dropped on this target. It has not been determined if other 1st Bomb Division aircraft also bombed this target.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined
  • People killed in action: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 9
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1

DIEPHOLZ (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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 448th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 523.13
  • Aircraft sent: 203
  • Aircraft effective: 203

DIEPHOLZ (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: "BIG WEEK" continues hammering German aircraft production and airfields. This 3rd Bomb Division element was the only element that had a Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft assigned, but even so, most formations had to bomb Targets of Opportunity because of cloud cover. This is the last mission flown under VIII Bomber Command structure.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 414.58
  • 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 effective: 175
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

GUTERSLOH (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The airfields at Gutersloh, Lippstadt and Werl were the primary target for 1st Bomb Division formations, but the targets were obscured by clouds. All divert to Hannover as the best target of opportunity, Others bomb Targets of Opportunity. The 457th Bomb Group flies its first mission and has its first loss. 457th BG MISSION NO. 1 - GUTERSLOH - LIPPSTADT, GERMANY 21 FEBRUARY 1944 The first mission of the 457th was flown on the second day of The Big Week to Gutersloh and Lippstadt. The total operation of the day for the Eighth Air Force was directed against Brunswick, Diephol; Achmer, Gutersloh and Lippstadt. The 457th operation was flown in two formations, A and B. The A Formation, consisting of nineteen aircraft, assigned to fly the high box in the 94th A Combat Wing, and was dispatched to Gutersloh. The B Formation consisting of seventeen aircraft, went to Lippstadt. Both were airparks for the storing of enemy fighters. The A Formation was led by Col. Luper with Lt. J. L. Smith, pilot. Major Henry B. Wilson, Deputy Group Commander, led the B Formation with Lt. Vinton H. Mays as pilot. The A Formation failed to assemble with the 94th A Combat Wing (CBW), but joined with the 41st CBW. Its target was an Airdrome near Hamm. Bombing results were nil. A complete undercast obscured the target and when the Wing Leader dropped on a target of opportunity in the target area, twelve ot the crews released bombs. The Group Leader and other planes held their bombs, and failing to find a better target, returned to the Base. A solid undercast prevented the B Formation, flying the high box of the 94th B Combat Wing, from dropping bombs as no PFF (radar equipped) aircraft was provided. The Formation leader searched for a target of opportunity. Finding none, the formation jettisoned bombs in the North Sea, a short distance from the Dutch Coast. Notwithstanding the bombing results, two significant events occurred on the mission. Lt. Llewellyn (Lew) G. Bredeson, flying aircraft No 42-31596, was shot down on the bomb run, becoming the first 457th crew to be lost in combat. The plane of Lt. Edward B. Dozier, who was to become one of the 457th's lead pilots, was attacked by four enemy fighters and was shot up so badly it had to be salvaged. The entire tail was badly damaged. Practically all the controls were gone, the oxygen system was out and the communications system was gone. In spite of the riddled condition of the ship, Lt. Dozier brought the plane back, making a good landing. The tail gunner, Sgt. Hyman Kaib, and the waist gunner, Sgt. Dwight Anderson, were credited with downing an FW-190. The radio operator, Sgt. Seymour Pliss, died from flak wounds. Lt. Dozier later was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the courage, coolness, expert skill and superior airmanship he displayed. (Compiler 's Note: Both aircraft were in the A Formation) The mission was summed up as an interesting introduction into the many factors that can complicate and affect a bombing mission in this theater. The aircraft of Lt Llewellyn Bredeson was lost on this date.

Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00
  • People killed in action: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 18
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

Handorf, Germany

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: It has not been confirmed that any 2nd Bomb Division aircraft were able bomb Hgandorf.

HANNOVER (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 88 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division Groups attack aircraft factories at Hannover, Germany as a target of opportunity.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 209.47
  • Aircraft sent: 88
  • Aircraft effective: 88

HESEPE (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 2nd Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • People killed in action: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 8
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1

HOPSTEIN (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

LINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 2nd Bomb Division attacked this target.

LINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

LIPPSTADT (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: No confirmation that any aircraft from the 1st Bomb Division element dropped on this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00

QUAKENBRUCK (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

RHEINE (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 1st Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

VERDEN (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 3rd Bomb Division attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

VERDEN (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from 2nd Bomb Division attacked this target.

WERL (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: No confirmation that any aircraft from the 1st Bomb Division element dropped on this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 6962724
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 93rd Bomb Group 328th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-752975 T42 43 A
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Navigator, bombardier, nose gunner
  • 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: 32549894
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 336th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-809476
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

Revisions

Date21 Apr 2022 03:10:40
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Corrected a typo in the Mission "Detailed description" - “marshaling" was misspelled.

Date17 Jun 2018 09:46:25
ContributorCeesSteijger
Sources

Spelling, names of targets

Date31 Jan 2018 18:20:02
Contributorwilliam henry
Sources

Correct typos

Date21 Feb 2017 03:34:29
Contributorgish1893
Sources

Glen Hartzell diary

Date9 Feb 2016 23:50:03
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims to 3BD Diephilz (primary) Mission Event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date9 Feb 2016 23:47:28
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims to 1BG Achmer Mission Event per "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman

Date9 Feb 2016 23:45:09
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims to 2BD Achmer statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date9 Feb 2016 23:42:09
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 9-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date13 May 2015 12:56:13
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA1.html

Date11 Dec 2014 10:27:48
ContributorEmily
Sources

Moved pins from the middle of the sea to Verden, Hopsten, Hesepe and Achmer Germany

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 228 BIG WEEK - DAY 2: Gallery (5 items)