8th Air Force 250

6 March 1944
B-17 Flying Fortresses, (LL-F, serial number 42-97467) of the 91st Bomb Group, (OJ-G, serial number 42-97212) of the 96th Bomb Group and (LD-D, serial number 42-39994) of the 100th Bomb Group in Sweden, 1944. Written on slide casing: 'Sweden, 297467 LL:F, 18/7/44, 297212 OJ:G, 11/4/44, 239994, LD:D 3/3/44.'

Object Number - FRE 5692 - B-17 Flying Fortresses, (LL-F, serial number 42-97467) of the 91st Bomb Group, (OJ-G, serial number 42-97212) of the 96th Bomb Group and (LD-D,...

Description

The industrial areas of Berlin and Genshagen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. A combined force of 730 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The despatch from 3rd Air Division bombs Targets of Opportunity in the Berlin area. Bomber gunner claims for the entire 3 Division formation were bundled in the source data as being 97-28-60 (probably exaggerated). A total of 69 aircraft Failed to Return, a loss rate of 9.452%. While that loss rate was considered very high, the strategy of attacking high profile targets in order to draw up the Luftwaffe does pay benefits with 179-36-93 of German aircraft claimed. It is not the loss of aircraft that is so devestating to the Luftwaffe but the loss of pilots.

Mission summary follows:

1st Air Division: A force of 262 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; 457BG; and 482BG are despatched. 248 aircraft are effective on Berlin, Germany. 19 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 60KIA 117POW(1DIC) 4EVD 10INT (Sweden). 4 aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crashes (3 on return 1 due to pilot error shortly after take off) - 1KIA 3POW (baled out over enemy territory) 1EVD 35RTD. 172 aircraft were damaged. 2 airmen in returning aircraft were KIA and another 8 were WIA.
Bomber gunner claims of 97-28-60 are bundled for all 3 Air Divisions. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 242 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 352BG are despatched. A total of 226 aircraft were effective on the industrial areas of the following German cities as Targets of Opportunity (TOs) (Source data does not state how many were effective on each target): Templin, Verden, Kalkeberge, Potsdam, Oranienburg, and Wittenberg. 34 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 95KIA 221POW(1DIC) 5EVD 20INT (Sweden). 3 aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 1KIA 7POW (baled out) 1EVD 31RTD. 121 aircraft were damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was KIA and 15 others were WIA. There are no other losses or casualties in this element.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 226 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched to bomb the aircraft factories at Genshagen, Germany. 198 aircraft are effective on the following targets (source data does not indicate how many were effective on each target: Genshagen (P); Berlin (S) and Potsdam as a Target of Opportunity (TO). 58KIA 82POW(1DIC) 6EVD 4RTD (rescued by ASR) 10 INT (Sweden). 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) when it crashed on take off with a full bomb load and explodes - 10KIA. 5 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and another 8 are WIA. There are no other losses or casualties in this element.

Mission Details

BERLIN (Secondary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

BERLIN/GENSHAGEN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Fighter opposition is some of the fiercest of the war and the 8th Air Force experiences the highest losses for a single day in combat, but the bombers and fighter escorts take a great toll of the Luftwaffe. Groups participating are those of the 1st Bomb Division. Bomber gunner claims for all attacking units are bundled under this element. 457th BG MISSION NO. 8 - BERLIN, GERMANY 6 MARCH 1944 Eighteen aircraft returned to Erkner and the V.K.F. ball bearing works for the third time. Fourteen Combat Wings were dispatched to attack Berlin targets. The Group comprised the 94th Combat Wing's high box. Captain Fred A. Spencer was Air Commander and Lt. J. L. Smith was pilot. Near Magdeburg the Group encountered heavy and vigorous enemy fighter opposition, principally by Me-210s, Me- 109s and Ju-88s. Two crews, those of Lt. Roy E. Graves and Lt. Eugene H. Whalen, were lost during the encounter. Lt. Whalen, flying in the high box, was a victim of a German Me-109 fighter; his aircraft exploded and fell into the low box, crashing into Lt. Graves. Only the tail gunner of the Graves crew survived. On reaching the IP, the groups formed in trail. When the Wing Leader dropped bombs the 457th lead plane did not observe the lead group's release. On withdrawal from the target a bomb run was made on the oil refinery at Verden, near Bremen. Results were poor. Antiaircraft opposition was heavy in the Berlin area. In addition to the two planes lost, five aircraft sustained damage from flak and one other sustained fighter damage. Crews reported observing a total of thirteen bombers in the Division formation being shot down. Sixty-nine bombers were lost in the day's operation.

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: 459.50
  • People killed in action: 63
  • People wounded in action: 8
  • People evaded: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 120
  • People died in captivity: 1
  • People interned: 10
  • People returned to duty: 35
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 97
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 28
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 60
  • Aircraft sent: 262
  • Aircraft effective: 248
  • Aircraft missing in action: 19
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 4
  • Aircraft damaged: 172

GENSHAGEN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Groups participating are those of 2nd Bomb Division.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 533.00
  • People killed in action: 83
  • People evaded: 6
  • Prisoners of war: 82
  • People died in captivity: 1
  • People interned: 10
  • People returned to duty: 4
  • Aircraft sent: 226
  • Aircraft effective: 198
  • Aircraft missing in action: 16
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 54

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

ORANIENBURG (Opportunistic)

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

POTSDAM (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

POTSDAM (Opportunistic)

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

TEMPLIN (Opportunistic)

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The 100th Bomb Group lost 15 aircraft on this raid, the highest of any group on a single mission in the 8th Air Force. They became known as "The Bloody Hundredth." Groups participating are those of 3rd Bomb Division. Statistics bundled for all 3rd Bomb Division targets. Groups participating are those of 3rd Bomb Division.

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: 655.50
  • People killed in action: 96
  • People evaded: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 221
  • People died in captivity: 1
  • People interned: 20
  • People returned to duty: 29
  • Aircraft sent: 242
  • Aircraft effective: 226
  • Aircraft missing in action: 34
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 4
  • Aircraft damaged: 121

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

WITTENBURG (Opportunistic)

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 349th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 335th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 506th Bomb Squadron
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date11 Jul 2020 23:34:40
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

Operation Research Section - HQ Eighth Air Force
Operation #250 - Combat Damage Report

Date11 Jul 2020 01:33:45
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

Operation Research Section
Headquarters Eighth Air Force
15 March 1944
Operation Number 250 - 6 March 1944

Date10 Jul 2020 17:06:56
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

Operational Research Section - HQ 8th Air Forice
Operation #250
Combat Damage Report

Date1 Mar 2016 18:52:32
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-Mar-2016. Correcting typo in Mission Summary.

Date19 Feb 2016 19:58:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunnigham 19-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims for ALL attacking units to the Berlin/Genshagen element statistics based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date19 Feb 2016 19:45:57
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman; losses and other statistics confirmed from MACRS and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date1 Jun 2015 16:43:34
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

Mighty Eighth War Diary

Date13 May 2015 13:27:58
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA8.HTML

Date5 Jan 2015 22:27:28
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

Target Berlin - Mission 250
Jeffery L. Ethell & Alfred Price

Date29 Nov 2014 02:07:00
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:11
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 250: Gallery (10 items)