8th Air Force 262

16 March 1944

Description

The two primary targets for this mission are: the industrial areas of Augsburg, Germany and Friedrichshafen, Germany. A combined force of 720 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The bomber gunners of the combined despatch claim 68-32-43 (probably exaggerated) of attacking German aircraft (statistic displayed with 3AD). Mission Summary follows:

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 221 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 352BG are despatched to attack at Augsburg, Germany. 188 aircraft are effective on Augsburg; 18 bomb at Ulm, Germany because they could not see the PFF markers at Augsburg, Germany. 13 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 20KIA 70POW 3EVD 28INT (Switzerland). 1 airman from a returning aircraft baled out over France and managed to evade capture - 1EVD 9RTD. 1 airman in a returning aircraft was KIA and another 8 were WIA. Bomber gunner claims (bundled for all Air Divisions) were 68-32-43 of attacking German aircraft. There ar no other losses, casualties or claims.

1st Air Division: A combined force of 280 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; 457BG; and 482G are despatched to the primary target at Augsbug, Germany. 213 are effective at Augsburg, Germany 46 bomb the industrial areas of Gesserthausen, Germany because they mistakenly identified the PFF markers at Augsburg, Germany. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 2KIA 22POW 2EVD 10RTD (rescued by ASR) 14INT (Switzerland). 2 airmen in returning aircraft are WIA. There are no other losses casulaties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 239 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched to bomb the industrial areas of Friedrickshafen, Germany. 197 are effective on the target; 12 aircraft bomb other Targets of Opportunity (TOs) in the area. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 18KIA 8POW 2RTD (rescued by ASR). 1 aircraft was Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) when it ran out of petrol and crashed at Woodchurch AF, Kent. 7KIA 3RTD. 6 airmen on returning aircraft are KIA and another 7 WIA. There are no other losses casualties or claims.

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 33.53
  • Aircraft sent: 13
  • Aircraft effective: 13

AUGSBURG (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Fighter opposition is heavy against the first groups over France and Germany. The bomber gunners take a good toll of attackers (claims probably over-stated). One Group attacked Ulm as a Tairget of Opportunity because it could not see the Pathfinder (PFF) markers at Augsburg. Groups participating are all 3rd Bomb Division.

  • 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: 433.53
  • People killed in action: 21
  • People wounded in action: 8
  • People evaded: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 80
  • People interned: 28
  • People returned to duty: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 68
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 32
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 43
  • Aircraft sent: 203
  • Aircraft effective: 188
  • Aircraft missing in action: 13

AUGSBURG (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: One squadron turned back at the French coast because it was unable to form up with the rest of its Combat Wing. 457th BG MISSION NO. 13 - LECHFELD, GERMANY 16 MARCH 1944 Eighteen aircraft were dispatched to attack the airdrome at Lechfeld, Germany, an experimental field for Messerschmidts in southern Germany. Major Francis was Air Commander andLt. Mark R. Beicher was pilot. The Group comprised the highbox in the Wing formation. A heavy undercast prevented the bombing of the primary target; however the secondary target ofAugsburg, Germany, was bombed with unobserved results.Moderate flak encountered over the target area caused damageto three planes. Several crews reported observing ground rockets being used by the Germans. On the way back to England, German fighters began attacks northeast of Paris. The aircraft piloted by Lt. Lewis W.Lennartson was attacked by enemy fighters. The craft made it to the Channel where the crew was forced to ditch about seven miles off the French coast. The crew was rescued by the British Air-Sea RescueService, bringing the entire crew to safety. The tail gunner caught a piece of flak and was the only crew member to sustain injury.Lt. Lennartson and crew became the first of the 457th crews to ditch.The Eighth had dispatched 740 bombers to various targets. Twenty-three failed to return.

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: 462.21
  • People killed in action: 2
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • People evaded: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 22
  • People interned: 14
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 234
  • Aircraft effective: 213
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 6,032,000 leaflets were also dropped by the bombers. All Groups participating are from 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: 508.06
  • People killed in action: 31
  • People wounded in action: 7
  • Prisoners of war: 8
  • People interned: 22
  • People returned to duty: 5
  • Aircraft sent: 200
  • Aircraft effective: 197
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

GESSERTSHAUSEN (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 1st Combat Bomb Wing mistook Gessertshausen for Augsburg on the Pathfinder (PFF) screen. Groups participating are from the 1st Combat Bomb Wing of the 1st Bomb Division.

The insignia of the 381st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Air base
The insignia of the 398th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 99.82
  • Aircraft sent: 46
  • Aircraft effective: 46

ULM (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 106.08
  • Aircraft sent: 15
  • Aircraft effective: 18

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: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 31037975 / O-681515
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 570th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Ball 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: 390th Bomb Group 570th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38133497
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Big Red
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 561st Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Quarterback
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Old 66/Lady Margaret
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 561st 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: Penny's Thunderhead
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 614th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date1 Feb 2018 00:35:39
ContributorTennyBelle
Sources

8th AF Database

Date14 Sep 2017 17:19:42
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

Date26 Feb 2016 17:25:00
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Feb-2016. Added combined totals of bomber gunner claims to statistics of 3rd Air Division per "The Mighty Eighth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date26 Feb 2016 17:21:33
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-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 13:51:57
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma13.html

Date13 May 2015 13:51:08
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma13.html

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:12
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'.