8th Air Force 277

24 March 1944

Description

This mission is composed of two elements, one from 1st Air Division and the other from 2nd Air Division. A total of 436 hevay bombers are despatched. The primary target for 1st Air Division is the the ball bearing plants at Schweifurt, Germany. 2nd Air division's primary target is the German airfield at St. Dizier, France. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: A combined force of 230 B-17s from: 91BG; 303BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched to bomb the ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt, Germany. Heavy clouds and dense contrails cause the majority of formations to attack the secondary target of the industrial area of Frankfur, Germany. 4 flights (16 aircraft) of 1st Air Division fail to take off because of a blocked perimeter track. 60 aircraft are effective on Schweinfurt and 162 are effective on Frankfurt. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR), 2 lost to a mid-air collision and 1 to enemy aircraft - 10KIA 16POW 4EVD. 3 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), 2 lost in chrashes on take off - 21KIA. One crashed into a hut killing 8 servicemen in the hut and 2 children in a nearby bungalow. 1 battle damaged aircraft was DBR in a crash landing upon return - 10RTD. 68 aircraft are damaged. 14 airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 1 is WIA. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 148 B-24s from: 44BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 446BG; 448BG; 453BG; 458BG; and 466BG are despatched to bomb the German airfield at St. Dizier, France. 148 are effective at St. Dizier. 33 others bomb at the German airfield of Essey at Nancy, France as a secondary target. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) ditching in the North Sea, but all crew rescued by ASR - 10RTD. 24 aircraft are damaged. 3 airmen in returning aircraft are WIA. There are no other losses, causalties or claims.

Mission Details

FRANKFURT (Secondary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

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: 382.00
  • People killed in action: 21
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 162
  • Aircraft effective: 162
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 3

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 105.00
  • Aircraft sent: 33
  • Aircraft effective: 33

SCHWEINFURT (Primary)

Description: BALL BEARING FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Schweinfurt was the primary target but heavy could cover and contrails cause most of the formation to bomb Frankfurt as the secondary. Groups participating are from 1st Bomb Division. No bomber gunner claims. 457th BG MISSION NO. 19 - SCHWEINFURT, GERMANY 24 MARCH 1944 The Group dispatched seventeen aircraft to the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt. The key note to the operational order read 'It is imperative that 060049/10 be destroyed’ 060049 was the largest machine shop in the ball bearing works of Keigelfischer AG, and had escaped damage from previous raids. Col. Luper was Air Commander and Lt. Russell M. Selwyn, pilot. The Group comprised the high box of the 94th Combat Wing. Bombing was carried out in a heavy undercast, and the results were not visible. No fighter opposition was reported, and flak was light. Three aircraft suffered damage, but there were no personnel casualties, and all aircraft returned to the Base. On 24 March all members of the ground crews servicing and maintaining the aircraft received the commendation of the Commanding Officer. He commended all ground personnel for a job well done.

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: 130.20
  • People killed in action: 13
  • People evaded: 4
  • Prisoners of war: 16
  • Aircraft sent: 69
  • Aircraft effective: 60
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged: 68

Saint-Dizier, France

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Frankfurt is the primary target for the B-24s but the target is overcast, so the secondary targets are hit. Groups participating are 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
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: 463.70
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 173
  • Aircraft effective: 148
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 24

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: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-807969
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 466th Bomb Group 489th Bomb Group 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy) 785th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 785th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-692287 and 35714917
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 2nd Bomb Division 20th Combat Bomb Wing 448th Bomb Group 712th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-809318
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 305th Bomb Group Can Do 365th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date6 Mar 2016 17:40:01
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Frreman, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop and John A. Hey MBE and MACRS.

Date13 May 2015 14:18:14
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/MA19.html

Date19 Jan 2015 01:39:09
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date19 Jan 2015 01:33:18
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Historian

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'.