8th Air Force 253

9 March 1944
A B-17 Flying Fortress of the 384th Bomb Group falls towards the ground after having its tails shot away during a mission.

Object Number - FRE 9709 - A B-17 Flying Fortress of the 384th Bomb Group, 546TH Bomb Squadron falls towards the ground after having its tail shorn off by falling bombs during...

Description

Berlin is once again targeted by this mission as a secondary target. Primary target not listed in source data. All 3 Air Divisions despatch aircraft. There is very little fighter opposition. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 224 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; 457BG; and 482BG are despatched to Berlin, Germany. 208 aircraft are effective on the target; 303BG/422BS also drops 2,012,000 leaflets. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 8KIA 2POW 10INT (Sweden) 2 were lost to AA fire and the other was lost because it lost its tail due to a bomb dropped from above. 2 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DRB) 1 in a crash upon take off - 10KIA and 1 abandoned over England upon return - 10RTD. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-0 of attacking German aircraft. 3 airmen are WIA in returning aircraft. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 137 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 452BG are despatched to Berlin, Germany. 131 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 1 to AA fire the other 2 in ditchings in the English Channel upon return - 10POW 20RTD (rescued by ASR). 3 airmen are WIA in returning aircraft. There are no other losses casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 165 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched to Berlin but their PFF aircraft failed and they ended up bombing anti-aircraft batteries and other industrial sites at Hannover; Brunswick and Nienburg, Germany. 150 are effective on a target. 2 aircraft with battle damage are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 20RTD. 12 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses casualties or claims.

Mission Details

BERLIN (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Groups participating are all 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: 303.50
  • People killed in action: 1
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 13
  • People returned to duty: 36
  • Aircraft sent: 137
  • Aircraft effective: 131
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

BERLIN (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 401st Bomb Group, 457Bomb Group, 482nd Bomb Group. Fighter opposition is light as 808 USAAF fighters perform escort. Groups participating are all 1st Bomb Division. 457th BG MISSION NO. 10 - ORANIENBURG, GERMANY 9 MARCH, 1944 The mission called for the bombing of a Heinkel Bomber Aircraft Assembly Factory at Oranienburg, sixteen miles north of Berlin. Eighteen aircraft were dispatched. The factory produced approximately forty He-177s per month, the majority of the heavy bomber output for Germany. The 457th led the 94th Combat Wing, fourth in the Division formation. Major Henry B. Wilson was Air Commander and Lt. Raymond A. Syptak was pilot. At the IP it was determined the undercast was such that a run should be made on Berlin, which was then carried out. Bombing was done by PFF, and the results were not observed because of the undercast. Fighter opposition was broken up by P-47s escorting the Group. Flak in the Berlin area was heavy and accounted for damage to several of the aircraft; however, none were lost to the enemy opposition.

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: 498.00
  • People killed in action: 18
  • Prisoners of war: 12
  • People interned: 10
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 224
  • Aircraft effective: 208
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2

Brunswick, Germany

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: On target list as a secondary, but not attacked

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00

HANOVER (SECONDARY)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Groups participating are all of 2nd Bomb Division. They drop on anti-aircraft batteries around Berlin after their Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft failed. They also dropped 201,200 leaflets.

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: 410.50
  • People evaded: 4
  • Prisoners of war: 16
  • People returned to duty: 20
  • Aircraft sent: 165
  • Aircraft effective: 159
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2

NIENBURG (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: On target list as a secondary, but not attacked

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: 06966455
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-667228
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • 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: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18193418
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator

Aircraft

Revisions

Date14 Sep 2017 17:19:07
ContributorWWII37
Sources

711th Bombardment Squadron (H), 447th Bombardment Group (H)
B-17-G #42-39882, “My Gal” Crew
Top Left to Right: August E. Herlth, Eugene G. D'Albero, Larry S. Hatfield, Martin J. Gruber
Bottom Left to Right: William M. Lindgren, Bailey E. Swadley, Raymond L. Hayes, William H. Stoyer, Rocco J. LoCarro, Louis L. Jenkins

Date22 Feb 2016 18:42:32
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims to statistics of 1AD element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeeman.

Date22 Feb 2016 18:40:17
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary:, Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date13 May 2015 13:34:37
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma10.html

Date4 Jan 2015 04:24:12
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date11 Dec 2014 10:07:20
ContributorEmily
Sources

Moved pin from Hannover South Africa to Hanover Germany

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 253: Gallery (7 items)