8th Air Force 280

26 March 1944
Airmen and ground crew of the 448th Bomb Group carefully transfer a flak casualty through the waist gun window of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Official caption printed on image: '(GM-11-2-448)(26-3-44)(Flak Casualty).' Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Col Patterson.'

Object Number - FRE 1796 - Airmen and ground crew of the 448th Bomb Group carefully transfer a flak casualty through the waist gun window of a B-17 Flying Fortress. Official...

Description

9 V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise, France area and 7 V-Weapon sites in the Cherbourg, France area are the targets of this mission. A combined force of 573 heavy bombers from all three Air Divisions are despatched. Mission Summary follows:

1st AIr Division: 243 B-17s from: 91BG; 303BG; 306BG; 351BG; 379BG; 381BG; 384BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched to bomb V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. 234 aircraft are effective on targets. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 9KIA 31POW. 3 aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crash landings upon return - 30RTD. 134 aircraft are damaged, 1 airman in a returning aircraft is KIA and 10 others are WIA. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

2nd Air Division: A combined force of 185 B-24s from: 44BG; 389BG; 392BG; 445BG; 448BG; 453BG; and 458BG are despatched to bomb V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. 138 are effective on a target. 1 Aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 10KIA. 38 aircraft are damaged. 1airman in a returning aircraft is KIA and 5 others are WIA. There are no other losses casulaties or claims.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 145 B-17s from: 94BG; 95BG;96BG; 388BG; 390BG;447BG and 452BG are despatched to bomb 7 V-Weapon sites in the Cherbourg area of France. There are no losses. 64 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

Mission Details

CHERBOURG (Primary)

Description: V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: No bomber gunner claims. Seven sites are hit in this raid. Groups participating are part of 3rd Bomb Division.

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
The insignia of the 452nd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 325.37
  • Aircraft sent: 145
  • Aircraft effective: 128
  • Aircraft damaged: 64

PAS DE CALAIS (Primary)

Description: V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Nine sites are hit in this raid. No bomber gunner claims. All Groups from 1st Bomb Division participate except 92nd Bomb Group which stands down. 457th BG MISSION NO. 20 - WATTEN, FRANCE 26 MARCH 1944 The Group dispatched thirty-six aircraft to the No Ball anti-invasion fortification at Watton, France, a repeat of mission No. 15. Lt. Col. Wilson was Air Commander and Lt. J. L. Smith, pilot. The weather was clear; bombing results were poor. No enemy fighters were sighted; however, there was intense flak over the target. The lead craft had an engine knocked out on the bomb run, causing it to lose both altitude and power. There were no personnel casualties and all planes returned safely, although many received flak damage. Crew members witnessed a B-17, from another group, explode after taking a direct flak hit. The thirty-six craft put aloft by the Group represented a new high for one mission. The only other occasion to date was the first mission when the A and B Formations were flown. The post exchange announced the opening between hours of 1800 and 2200 daily, except Sunday, of the new beverage bar. One bottle of Coca-Cola per person per week could be purchased by submitting the ration card and paying the nominal sum of three pence for the product. (Same price as back home!)

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: 594.83
  • People killed in action: 10
  • People wounded in action: 10
  • Prisoners of war: 31
  • People returned to duty: 30
  • Aircraft sent: 243
  • Aircraft effective: 234
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 3
  • Aircraft damaged: 134

PAS DE CALAIS (Primary)

Description: V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: No bomber gunner claims. All Groups are part of 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: 350.80
  • People killed in action: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 185
  • Aircraft effective: 138
  • Aircraft missing in action: 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 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36703821
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Togglier, Waist Gunner
  • 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: 95th Bomb Group 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18193418
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 568th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32686782
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator

Aircraft

Revisions

Date6 Mar 2016 19:02:53
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date13 May 2015 14:21:37
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma20.html

Date13 Nov 2014 12:38:30
ContributorEmily
Sources

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

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 280: Gallery (3 items)