8th Air Force 257

13 March 1944

Description

V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France are the targets for this mission. All three Air Divisions despatch aircraft but the weather is so terrible that most could not bomb a target. Mission Summary follows:



1st Air Division: A combined force of 85 B-17s from: 351BG; 379BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched. Only 7 aircraft are effective on a Target of Oppostunity (TO) at Poix, France. 2 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 10KIA 10POW. 24 aircraft are damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft is WIA. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.



3rd Air Division: 42 B-17s are despatched from 3rd AD Groups but weather prevents any from bombing and all are recalled. 37 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses casualties or claims in this element.



2nd Air Division: 144 B-24s from: 93BG; 389BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; and 453BG are despatched but weather prevents any from bombing. 1 aircraft is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash caused by Pilot enterin prop wash during assembly - 6KIA 4RTD (baled out). 13 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission Details

PAS DE CALAIS (Primary)

Description: V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Primary targets were V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais area, but cloud cover prevented all but 7 from bombing. No claims on enemy fighter by the bomber gunners. 457th BG MISSION NO. 12 - VAC-QUERIETTE, GERMANY 13 MARCH, 1944 The Group flew its first of many No Ball missions to the French Coast. The name No Ball identified the target as being the launching pad of the V-i flying bombs, which would be launched against England. Twenty-one planes were dispatched. Captain Spencer was Air Commander and Lt. J. L. Smith, pilot. Heavy clouds prevented the bombing of the target. Some aircraft returned safely with their bomb load, while others bombed targets of opportunity. Damage was inflicted to eight aircraft by intense flak over the occupied territory of France near Abbeville. The field order for the mission was not received until 0445, and final mission data was not received until after the main briefing. Only the routes to and from the French Coast were set forth in the flight plan, leaving the course over France to the Wing and Group Commanders.

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
A pathfinder B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 44-8258) of the 401st Bomb Group. Image by Robert Astrella. Written on slide casing: '48258 14 A, Mount Farm.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 120
  • Aircraft damaged: 61

Poix (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Group attacked this target.

The insignia of the 447th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 21.00
  • People killed in action: 10
  • Prisoners of war: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 7
  • Aircraft effective: 7
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

Poix (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: All Groups participating are part of 2nd Bomb Division.

The insignia of the 389th 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
Colonel Larry Thomas of the 453rd Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Col Larry Thomas 453BG.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 144
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

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 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
  • Service Numbers: 6962724
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 14182638
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 453rd Bomb Group 732nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 34441193
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 379th Bomb Group 525th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38094689 / O-?
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

The nose art of a B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30235) nicknamed "The Zoot Suiters" of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Lonesome Polecat : The Zoot Suiters
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group 95th Bomb Group 401st Bomb Squadron 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Spook Six
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 457th Bomb Group 95th Bomb Group 335th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Tenny Belle
  • Unit: 379th Bomb Group 525th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Heaven Can Wait, Boche Buster
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Maggie
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron

Related media

  • Media Type: Document
  • Object Number: Document 23775
  • Description: Certificate showing the 33 Missions completed by Capt. William M. Bryan Jr of the 93rd Bomb Group
  • Media Type: Document
  • Object Number: Document 53040
  • Description: 401st Bomb Group, Mission No. 36, 13th Mar 1944, Gorenflos, France

Revisions

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-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.

Date
Changes
Sources

Relocated site pin.

Date
Changes
Sources

Relocated mission pin.

Date
Changes
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma12.html

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
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'.