8th Air Force 273

22 March 1944
A B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Ruth L", flown by Lieutenant NL Young, of the 96th Bomb Group flies through a cascade of bombs released by another Fortress over Oranienburg, Germany. Strike camera photo. Handwritten caption on reverse: '22/3/44. Looks like JW code - 92BG? [sic]Supposedly Bremen raid but bombs look like M47.'

Object Number - FRE 4023 - A B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Ruth L", flown by Lieutenant NL Young, of the 96th Bomb Group flies through a cascade of bombs released by another...

Description

The German aviation industries at Oraneinburg and Basdorf were the intended primary target for this mission but dense cloud cover prevented the attack on these targets. The secondary target of Berlin, Germany and surrounding Targets of Opportunity (TOs) become the focus. There is very little German fighter opposition. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 287 B-17s from: 91BG; 92BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 401BG and 457BG are despatched. 277 are effective on the industrial areas of Berlin, Germany. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), all shot down by AA fire - 8KIA 32POW. 1 aircraft with battle damage is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in a crash landing upon return - 5POW (baled out over Germany) 5RTD. 347 aircraft are damaged (aportioned in statistics). There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 187 B-17s from: 95BG; 95BG; 96BG; 100BG; 385BG; 388BG; 390BG; 447BG; and 452BG are despatched. 183 are effective on Targets of Opportunity (TO's) in the Berlin area. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), 2 of these lost to AA fire and the third one lost to bombs dropped from above - 20KIA 10POW. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 214 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 389BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 452BG; 458BG; and 466BG are despatched. 197 are effective on Targets of Opportunity (TO's) in the Berlin area. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), 3 down to AA fire and the other two involved in a mid-air collision - 15KIA 35POW.There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from either 1st Bomb Division or 3rd Bomb Division actually attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

Basdorf, 16348 Wandlitz, Germany

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: It has not been determined which Groups from either 1st Bomb Division or 3rd Bomb Division actually attacked this target.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: Not determined

BERLIN (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Berlin is the secondary target. Groups participating are all of 3rd Bomb Division. No bomber gunner claims.

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: 409.19
  • People killed in action: 20
  • Prisoners of war: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 187
  • Aircraft effective: 183
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged: 94

BERLIN (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Groups attacking are all part of 2nd Bomb Division. No bomber gunner claims.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 440.49
  • People killed in action: 16
  • Prisoners of war: 35
  • Aircraft sent: 213
  • Aircraft effective: 196
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5
  • Aircraft damaged: 108

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY and 6,368,000 LEAFLETS DROPPED

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 1 B-24 drops on Heidi. Bombers also drop 6,368,000 leaflets.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2.24
  • Aircraft sent: 1
  • Aircraft effective: 1

ORANIENBURG (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Cloud cover prevents visual bombing. One bomber is damaged beyond repair and 347 others are damaged, apportionment made between B-17s and B-24s. This is the last mission for the 482nd Bomb Group. (9 Pathfinder (PFF) aircraft despatched from 482nd Bomb Group). They will be engaged in training and experimentation with H2X radar for the remainder of the war. No bomber gunner claims. 457th BG MISSION NO. 17 - ORANIENBURG, GERMANY 22 MARCH 1944 Nineteen aircraft made a return trip to the Heinkel Bomber Assembly Factory at Oranienburg, the producer of He177s, long range bombers. Captain William F. Smith was Air Commander and Lt. Brannan was pilot. The Group comprised the low box of the 94th Combat Wing. In spite of adverse weather and adverse flight conditions (the Group getting in prop wash of another wing), bombs were dropped on Berlin, the secondary target, and good bombing results were reported. Fires were still burning from previous raids. No enemy fighter opposition was reported. Flak was intense and moderately accurate. There were no personnel casualties, and all aircraft returned safely, with seven planes having sustained damage. A 351st Bomb Group aircraft flying out of formation was seen to have been hit by bombs dropped by one of the 457th aircraft. There was a flash of flames near the rudder andhorizontal stabilizer. The craft skidded to the left and downward and was never seen again.

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: 619.37
  • People killed in action: 8
  • Prisoners of war: 337
  • People returned to duty: 5
  • Aircraft sent: 287
  • Aircraft effective: 277
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 145

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
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O 696680
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 787th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33342849
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade)
  • Role/Job: 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: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-742671
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date1 Feb 2018 00:45:29
ContributorTennyBelle
Sources

8th AF Database

Date30 Nov 2017 02:32:50
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Archives - Official log of the 786th BS

Date24 Sep 2016 19:35:35
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

"Attlebridge Diaries" - John Wollnough
pages: 17,18,19, 212, 213

Date3 Mar 2016 17:36:48
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added # aircraft damaged to Mission Summary based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date3 Mar 2016 16:57:41
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added Mission Narative 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 14:10:23
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma17.html

Date11 Dec 2014 18:17:20
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Archives

Date13 Nov 2014 12:37:05
ContributorEmily
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date7 Oct 2014 16:02:43
ContributorTom
Sources

Added aircraft 42-30301. B-17 Fortress at War, Roger Freeman 1977

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 273: Gallery (4 items)