8th Air Force 554

15 August 1944

Object Number - UPL 6600 - B-24H-15-DT #41-28932 Ramblin' Wreck Code: 6L-E 466th BG - 787th BS Shot Down 15 August 1944

Description

Airfields in NW Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium are the primary targets for this mission. 8th Air Force despatches a total of 932 aircraft. The raid is coordinated with 1,000 Royal Air Force (RAF) heavy bombers and Mosquitos attacking 9 airfields in the Netherlands and Belgium.

219 B-17s are despatched from 1st Bomb Division Bomb Groups i.e. 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 306BG, 381BG and 398BG (exact number from each Group not available in source data). 108 bomb the German airfield of Ostheim at Cologne, Germany; 65 bomb the German airfield Eschborn at Frankfurt, Germany; 38 bomb the German airfield at Wiesbaden, Germany; and 3 hit other targets of opportunity in the area. 9 B-17s from 303BG are MIA in the attack on Wiesbaden. 1 B-17 from 303BG and 1 from 306BG are DBR and 86 B-17s are damaged

350 B-24s are despatched by 2nd Bomb Division Bomb Groups i.e. 44BG, 389BG, 445BG, 446BG, 453BG, 458BG, 466BG, 467BG, 489BG, 492BG (exact number from each Group not available in source data). All targets are airfields: 91 bomb Wittmundhaafen; 90 bomb Zwischenhahn; 67 bomb Vechta; 54 bomb Plantlunne; and 10 bomb Hopstein. 4 B-24s from 466BG are MIA and 6 are damaged. This force is joined by the 1000 bombers despatched by the RAF.

298 B-17s are despatched by 3rd Bomb Division Bomb Groups i.e. 94BG, 95BG, 96BG, 100BG, 385BG, 390BG, 447BG. 388BG & 452BG stand down. All targets are airfields. 109 bomb Handorf; 104 bomb Venlo; 75 bomb Twente/Enschade; and 3 bom other targets of opportunity. 2 B-17s from 398BG are MIA, 6 are damaged.

65 B-24s are despatched by 3rd Bomb Division Bomb Groups i.e. 4BG, 486BG, 491BG, 493BG. 59 bomb the German airfield Juzaine at Florennes, Belgium; 1 bombs a target of opportunity. 1 B-24 from 493BG is MIA on Florennes, 3 are damaged.

OTHER EVENTS on this date: OPERATION DRAGOON begins at 0415 hours as British and American paratroops are deployed near Le Muy, France. The invasion is carried out mainly by 7th US Army and Free French forces under the command of General Alexander Patch. They are up against the German 19th Army under the command of Lt. Gen. Friedrich Wiese. The naval bombardment immediately preceding the invasion causes great confusion among the Germans and resistance is light. The main objective of the invasion is the capture of the port city of Marseilles. Thereafter force will proceed up the Rhone River valley to Lyon also spreading east towards the Italian border. Once Lyon is captured, the forces will continue North up the Saone River to Dijon. Long range objective is to link up with Patton's 3rd Army to cut off German forces remaining in Western France. By the end of the day 94,000 troops and 11,000 vehicles are safely ashore.

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: These were targets of opportunity in the vicinity of Florennes, Belgium attacked by B-24s from 3rd Bomb Division. The Bomb Groups that participated in this element were from 4BG, 486BG, 491BG and 493BG but exactly which aircraft and from which Group that actually bombed this target has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2.5 T
  • Aircraft sent: 1
  • Aircraft effective: 1

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: These targets of opportunity were all in the Frankfurt/Wiesbaden area and attacked by 3 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division the Groups that participated were 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 306BG,381BG, 398BG. The exact aircraft that made these and their respective Bomb Groups has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 3 T
  • Aircraft sent: 3
  • Aircraft effective: 3

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: These targets of opportunity were all in the Handorf/Venlo/Enschede area of Holland. 3 B-17s of 3rd Bomb Division made the attacks. The Groups that participated were: 94BG, 95BG, 96BG, 100BG, 385BG, 390BG, 447BG, but which B-17s from which Groups actually made these attacks has not been determined.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 7.5 T
  • Aircraft sent: 3
  • Aircraft effective: 3

COLOGNE/OSTHEIM (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Ostheim airfield was bombed by a force of B-17s from 1st Bomb Division. 1BD despatched a total force of 219 B-17s of which 108 bombed this target. Exactly which Groups attacked this target has not been determined. Claims on enemy aircraft are based on Roger A. Freeman data but are listed under this target only for statistical purposes.

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: 274 T
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 4
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 219
  • Aircraft effective: 108

FLORENNES/JUZAINE (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 3rd Bomb Division was made up of B-24s is 34th BG, 486th BG, 491st BG, 493rd BG. 65 B-24s were despatched in this force and all had Florennes as the target. 59 were effective and 1 hit a Target of Opportunity in the area.

The insignia of the 34th Bomb Group
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation
A diagrammatic layout of AAF Station 174 - the USAAF codename for Sudbury airfield - while the 486th Bomb Group were stationed at the airbase as of the 22 June 1944.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 493rd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 146.3 T
  • People evaded: 6
  • Prisoners of war: 3
  • Aircraft sent: 65
  • Aircraft effective: 59
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1

FRANKFURT/ESCHBORN (Primary)

Description: Eschborn airfield at Frankfurt, Germany is the target.

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 1st Bomb Division despatches at total force of 219 B-17s against three airfield targets at: Cologne/Ostheim; Frankfurt/Eschborn; and Wiesbaden. 65 are effective on Frankfurt. 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 306BG, 381BG, 398BG participated but exactly which Group(s) bombed this target has not yet been determined.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 187.5 T
  • Aircraft sent: 219
  • Aircraft effective: 65

Handorf, Germany

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 3rd Bomb Division despatches 298 B-17s against 1 airfield in Germany and 2 airfields in Holland: Handorf, Germany; Venlo, Holland and Twente/Enschade, Holland. 94th BG, 95th BG, 96th BG, 100th BG, 385th BG, 390th BG, and 447th BG participated. Exactly which Group(s) attacked which targets has not been fully determined. 109 of the force despatched are effective on Handorf. The "Pictorial History of the 447th BG" shows a reproduction of the Operational Chart that says 41 B-17s from this Group went to Handorf and 41 were effective

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 390th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation
The insignia of the 447th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 274 T
  • Prisoners of war: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 298
  • Aircraft effective: 109
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1

Description: NAVAL BASE

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: This is an APHRODITE Project mission. B-17 42-30039 "Liberty Belle" 388BG/APH was packed with high-explosives and employed as a radio-controlled flying bomb.

The insignia of the 388th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 1
  • Aircraft effective: 1
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: The airfield at Hopstein was bombed as a target of opportunity by 10 of 350 B-24s despatched by 2nd Bomb Division. The exact Group that bombed this target has yet to be documented.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 28.5 T
  • Aircraft sent: 350
  • Aircraft effective: 10

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: The airfield at Plantlunne, Germany was bombed by 54 of 350 B-24s despatched by 2nd Bomb Division. The exact Group(s) that attacked this target has not yet been documented.

The insignia of the 448th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 132.2 T
  • Aircraft sent: 350
  • Aircraft effective: 54

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The airfield at Twente/Enschade, Holland is bombed by 75 of 298 B-17s despatched by 3rd Bomb Division. The exact Group(s) that made the attack has yet to be documented here.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 177.T T
  • Aircraft sent: 298
  • Aircraft effective: 75

VECHTA (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: The airfield at Vechta, Germany is bombed by 67 of 350 B-24s despatched by 2nd Bomb Division. The exact Group(s) that attacked this target has yet to be documented.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 190.7 T
  • People killed in action: 18
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • People evaded: 7
  • Prisoners of war: 15
  • Aircraft sent: 350
  • Aircraft effective: 67
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged: 6

VENLO (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The airfield at Venlo, Holland is bombed by 104 of 298 B-17s despatched by 3rd Bomb Division. The exact Group(s) that made the attack have not yet been documented here, but 1 B-17 from 385th BG is MIA.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 207 T
  • People evaded: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 8
  • Aircraft sent: 298
  • Aircraft effective: 104
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1

WIESBADEN (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 1st Bomb Division despatched a force of 219 B-17s. Of the 219 that were despatched to bomb the airfield at Wiesbaden, Germany 38 were effective and 37 of those were from 303BG. 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 306BG, 381BG and 398BG participated in the force. 303BG despatched a total of 39 B-17s that day, 37 hit the target but 9 were MIA.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 108 T
  • People killed in action: 29
  • People wounded in action: 8
  • People evaded: 11
  • Prisoners of war: 46
  • People died in captivity: 1
  • People returned to duty: 13
  • Aircraft sent: 219
  • Aircraft effective: 38
  • Aircraft missing in action: 9
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 2nd Bomb Division despatches a force of 350 B-24s against 5 airfields in Germany (number effective in parentheses: Wittmundhafen (91); Zwischenhahn (90);Vechta (67); Plantlunne (54); Hopstein (10). 44th BG, 389th BG, 445th BG, 446th BG, 453rd BG, 458th BG, 466th BG, 467th BG, 489th BG, and 492nd BG participated. Exactly what Group(s) attacked which targets has not yet been determined. This mission is also accompanied by 1000 RAF bombers. No data on targets hit, losses, etc. of RAF force. 491st Bomb Group performs move on this date. Bomber Gunner claims are based on Roger A. Freeman data and are listed on this mission for statistical purposes.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation
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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 204.7 T
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 350
  • Aircraft effective: 91

Bad Zwischenahn, Germany

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: The airfield at Zwischenahn (Bad Zwischenahn) is bombed by 90 of 350 B-24s despatched by 2nd Bomb Division. The exact Group(s) that made the attack has not yet been documented.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 233.6 T
  • Aircraft sent: 350
  • Aircraft effective: 90

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: 458th Bomb Group 752nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-717-025
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier/Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-809346
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 336th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36688087
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 466th Bomb Group 786th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-767974
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot/Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 427th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36800318
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date21 May 2017 05:52:18
ContributorClark B
Sources

Clark Beyer

Date25 Jan 2017 23:05:53
Contributorcmckeever
Sources

Daughter - Carol Rollinger McKeever

Date28 Jul 2016 23:05:12
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

466th BG Archives - 786th BS Combat Crew Mission Record chart

Date10 Oct 2015 02:13:09
Contributor466thHistorian
Sources

Attlebridge Diaries - John Woolnough

Date25 Apr 2015 17:39:32
Contributorscooter6793
Sources

Update

Date8 Feb 2015 22:22:18
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Feb-2015. Corrected typos in overall Mission Description.

Date8 Feb 2015 22:08:30
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Feb-2015. Corrected typo in Mission description for Mission event #1.

Date8 Feb 2015 22:04:43
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Feb-2015. Deleted 303rd Bomb Group from those participating at Cologne as 303rf BR Mission Report states that all 39 aircraft despatched by 303rd were destined for Wiesbaden. Only 37 of the 303rd compliments was effective on Wiesbaden.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:50:19
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:45:45
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to Venlo event per MACR 7907.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:38:18
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, added Mission Notes and Statistics to Venlo event per MACR 7907.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:30:08
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Statistics to Florennes event per MACR 7819.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:26:06
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to the Bad Zwischenahn event. Sources are the same as those cited in other entries.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:18:47
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission Notes and Statistics to Vechta event. See previous sources cited.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:11:27
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Edited Mission Notes and Statistics. See prior sources cited.

Date7 Feb 2015 21:06:02
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Fev-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to Hopstein event.

Date7 Feb 2015 20:59:42
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type; Edited Notes and Statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date7 Feb 2015 20:04:45
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Edited Wittmundhafen event.

Date7 Feb 2015 19:44:08
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims on enemy aircraft based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date7 Feb 2015 19:30:15
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to Wiesbaden event. "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman; 303rd BG Mission Report for 14-Aug-44.

Date7 Feb 2015 18:39:53
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type and Note to Heligoland event per "The B-17 Flying Fortress Story" Roger A. Freeman with David Osborne.

Date7 Feb 2015 18:28:09
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added BGs participating Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to Handorf event.

Date7 Feb 2015 17:58:01
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added Aircraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to Frankfurt mission event. See previous sources cited.

Date7 Feb 2015 17:45:44
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added AIrcraft type, Mission notes and Statistics to Florennes Event. See source information previously cited on this entry.

Date7 Feb 2015 17:34:35
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added noted and Mission statistics to Mission Event #5. See previous entries for sources cited.

Date7 Feb 2015 17:26:39
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Moved note from Mission Event #4 to OTHER EVENTS in overall description, added Aircraft type attacking.

Date7 Feb 2015 17:23:38
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Feb-2015. Added OTHER EVENT to Description.

Date6 Feb 2015 22:35:08
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Edited Noted on Mission event #3 and statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date6 Feb 2015 22:26:48
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Edited Statistics on Mission Event #1.

Date6 Feb 2015 22:25:07
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Added Notes to Mission Event #2.

Date6 Feb 2015 22:20:31
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Edited Mission Event 2 per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date6 Feb 2015 22:14:31
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Edited Mission event 1 based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date6 Feb 2015 22:04:13
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Corrected map location for Zwischenahn to Bad Zwisschenahn

Date6 Feb 2015 21:54:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Feb-2015. Detail Description of Mission Narrative based on "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop and "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:07
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 554: Gallery (14 items)