8th Air Force 264

18 March 1944

Object Number - UPL 13113 - 42-37793 SO-X, SPIRIT OF WINSOME WINN II. Interned in Switzerland, 18 March 1944.

Description

The German aircraft industries and aie depots are the main objectives of this mission. A combined total of 738 heavy bombers from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched to bomb the German aircraft industries at Oberpfaffenhofen and Friedrickshafen, Germany. Also on the target list is the industrial areas of Munich city and the German air depots at Lechfield and Lansburg, Germany. The mission is a very costly one for the formations of B-24s despatched from 2nd Air Division. 28 aircraft (12.33%) Failed to Return (FTR). Bomber gunner claims on emeny aircraft are bundled for all three Air Divisions as 45-10-17 (displayed in statistics of 1st AD). Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: 290 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG;306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG 384BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched. 284 aircraft are effective on the German aircraft industry at Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany and the air depots of Lechfeld and Landsburg, Germany. Also bombed was the airfied at Memmingen, Germany and other Targets of Opportunity (TOs). 305BG/422BS also drops 5,328,000 leaflets. 8 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 20KIA 9POW 47INT (Switzerland). 102 aircraft are damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft and 9 others are WIA. Bomber gunner claims of all 3 Air Divisions of 45-10-17 are stated in the statistics of this element There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 227 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; 452BG; and 482BG are despatched. 196 aircraft are effective on the targets of: the industrial areas of Munich; the aircraft industries at Oberpfaffenhofen (TO) ; and the air depot at Lechfeld (TO), Germany. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 33KIA 35POW 2EVD. Freeman lists 1 aircraft as Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) but no record supporting that could be found. 80 aircraft are damaged. 3 airmen in returning aricraft are KIA and 4 others are WIA. There are no other losses or casualties in this element.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 227 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched. 77 are effective on the primary target of the Friedrichshafen aircraft plant of Lowenthal; 38 are effective on the primary target of the Friedrichshafen aircraft plant of Manzell; 52 are effective on the primary target of the Friedrichshafen aircraft plant of Zeppelin; 22 are effective on other industrial sites at Friedrichshafen and 9 others bomb Targets of Opportunity (TOs) in the area. 28 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 81KIA 85POW 2EVD 115 INT (Switzerland). 3 aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crashes upon return - 6KIA 2POW (baled out over enemy terrirtory) 22RTD. 60 aircraft are damaged. 6 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 9 other WIA. There are no other losses or casualties in this element.

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

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

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

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: 23.07
  • Aircraft sent: 9
  • Aircraft effective: 9

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN / LOWENTHAL (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 5,230,000 leaflets were also dropped by the bombers. One of the Missing in Action (MIA)s is COL Joseph A. Miller, CO of the 453rd Bomb Group. He is replaced the next day by COL Ramsey D. Potts, Jr. 392nd Bomb Group loses 14 aircraft, a devastating loss. All Groups participating are from 2nd Bomb Division. Losses from all targets bundled.

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: 187.35
  • People killed in action: 93
  • People wounded in action: 9
  • People evaded: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 87
  • People interned: 115
  • People returned to duty: 22
  • Aircraft sent: 155
  • Aircraft effective: 77
  • Aircraft missing in action: 28
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 60

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN / MANZELL (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 97.39
  • Aircraft sent: 38
  • Aircraft effective: 38

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN / ZEPPELIN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 135.84
  • Aircraft sent: 53
  • Aircraft effective: 53

FRIEDRICHSHAFEN CITY (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 56.39
  • Aircraft sent: 22
  • Aircraft effective: 22

LANDSBERG (Primary)

Description: AIR DEPOT

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 457th BG MISSION NO. 14 - LANDSBERG AM LEC GERMANY 18 MARCH 1944 Cloud cover having prevented destruction of the German aircraft factories and airfields in southern Germany two days ago, a second attempt was made with thirteen Combat Wings,with 738 bombers dispatched. The 457th launched eighteen aircraft to bomb a high priority twin engine airfield at Landsberg am Lec, Germany.Col. Luper led the Group and the 94th Combat Wing. After reaching the French Coast, the formation ran into moderate but very accurate flak, which knocked the Deputy Leadship out of formation. As the formation reached the IP it was apparent that visual bombing conditions prevailed. Since Col.Luper was flying a PFF ship and the Deputy Lead was no longer in formation, the lead of the high box, the 401st, was called to assume lead. Bombing results were not good. Immediately after leaving the target, the low group was attacked by about thirty FW- 1 90s and Me-I 09s, coming in from the nose and four to fifteen abreast. Flak was encountered on the return trip over France,causing damage to some of the craft. A total of fourteen planes sustained damage. The high squadron leader, Lt. Leonard P.Soenke, had 126 holes in the tail section, cutting the controlcables, and eight holes in the wings of the craft.All craft returned to the Base except Lt. Edward B.Dozier’s plane, which was forced to land at another base.Forty-three of the Eighth Air Force bombers were lost,including sixteen which landed or crashed in Switzerland.

The insignia of the 351st Bomb Group.
  • 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

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined
  • People killed in action: 15
  • Prisoners of war: 5
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

Description: AIR DEPOT

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

LECHFELD (Primary)

Description: AIR DEPOT

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It can only be confirmed that aircraft from 351st Bomb Group attacked this target.

The insignia of the 351st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined
  • People killed in action: 6
  • Prisoners of war: 4
  • People interned: 10
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

MEMMINGEN (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

MUNICH CITY (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 482nd Bomb Group are Pathfinders.

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: 453.00
  • People killed in action: 6
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • Aircraft sent: 221
  • Aircraft effective: 196
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 80

OBERPFAFFENHOFEN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It can only be confirmed that aircraft from 91st Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group and 390th Bomb Group attacked this target. Number attacking has not been determined.

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 390th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • People killed in action: 35
  • People wounded in action: 4
  • People evaded: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 21
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5

OBERPFAFFENHOFEN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: All Groups of 1st Bomb Division participate except 482nd Bomb Group. Fighter resistance by the Luftwaffe is heavy and the anti-aircraft fire is dense. The bombers will focus on destroying German aircraft production while at the same time entice the Luftwaffe into the air for destruction by the fighters. Even so the bomber gunners take an impressive toll on the German fighters. The fighters are now being employed primarily with interception and search-and-destroy tactics, as mandated by GEN Doolittle, rather than merely as escort for the bombers. Air superiority by D-Day is the primary goal. Bomber gunner claims of 45-10-17 from all three Air Divisions are bundled under this Mission Event.

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: 583.00
  • People killed in action: 4
  • People wounded in action: 9
  • People interned: 37
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 45
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 10
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 17
  • Aircraft sent: 290
  • Aircraft effective: 284
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged: 102

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: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36703821
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Togglier, Waist 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: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18193418
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • 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

Aircraft

Revisions

Date7 Mar 2018 01:41:56
ContributorJennings
Sources

Joseph W. Jennings Military Papers - 1943-1945

Date1 Feb 2018 00:39:14
ContributorTennyBelle
Sources

8th AF Database

Date14 Sep 2017 17:20:18
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

Date1 Mar 2016 18:56:55
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 1-May-2016. Correcting typos in Mission Summary.

Date28 Feb 2016 18:16:26
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Feb-2016. Added bomber gunner claims of all three ADs to statistics of Oberpfaffenhofen element #14 based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date28 Feb 2016 18:11:31
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-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 and MACRS.

Date13 May 2015 13:54:54
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma14.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'.

8th Air Force 264: Gallery (3 items)