8th Air Force 650

27 September 1944

Description

This mission is conducted by three elements against industrial targets, an oil refinery and an aircraft factory in Germany. A total of 1,192 heavy bombers are dispatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions:
1st Bomb Division = B-17s from 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 305BG, 306BG, 351BG, 379BG, 381BG, 384BG, 385BG, 389BG, 401BG, 457BG, and 486BG
2nd Bomb Division = B-24s from 44BG, 92BG, 93BG, 385BG, 389BG, 445BG, 446BG, 453BG, 489BG, 491BG, and 492BG.
3rd Bomb Division = B-17s from 34BG, 44BG, 95BG, 96BG, 100BG, 385BG, 388BG, 390BG, 447BG, 452BG, 486BG, 490BG, 493BG.

1st Element = A Combined force of 462 B-17 despatched by 1st BD. They attack the secondary target of the industrial areas of Cologne, Germany. 421 of 462 are effective on this target. Fighter and flak opposition on this force are light and only 1 B-17 (351BG) is damaged beyond repair. 10 B-17s from this element bomb the industrial area of Blatzheim, Germany as a target of opportunity. The bomber gunners make no claims on enemy aircraft.

2nd Element = A combined force of 415 B-17s is despatched to bomb two primary targets: the oil refinery Opau at Ludwigshafen, Germany and the railroad marshalling yards of Mainz, Germany. 214 of 415 are effective on Ludwigshafen and 171 of 415 are effective on Mainz. Only 1 B-17 (34BG) is lost to enemy action over Ludwigshafen, but 2 of the force despatched to Mainz sustain a mid-air collision during assembly, but the crews bale out successfully near Ipswich, Suffolk.

3rd Element = A combined force of 315 B-24s is despatched to bomb the Henschel aircraft factory at Kassel, Germany. 248 of 315 are effective on this target and 35 of 315 bomb the industrial area of Gottingen as a target of opportunity. The fighter opposition is intense by special Luftwaffe bomber assault units, 'Sturmgruppen' using 'Company Front' tactics of wedge formations of 8 to 16 heavily armed FW-190s. The 445th BG was wandering away from the main formation and sustained the highest loss on any BG during the war with 25 MIA 4DBR, also B-24 MIA from 491st BG. The bomber gunners claim 5-3-0 of the enemy aircraft.

Mission Details

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 4 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division bomb targets of opportunity in the Mainz, Germany area. Exactly which aircraft from which groups was not available in the source data: "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 12 T
  • Aircraft sent: 4
  • Aircraft effective: 4

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 10 B-17s from the 462 despatched with this element bombed the industrial area of Blarzheim, Germany as a target of opportunity. No losses or claims.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 29.7 T
  • Aircraft sent: 10
  • Aircraft effective: 10

COLOGNE (Secondary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd BG, 303rd BG, 305th BG, 306th BG, 351st BG, 379th BG, 381st BG, 384th BG, 385th BG, 389th BG, 401st BG, 457th BG, 486th BG.

  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 1246.7 T
  • People killed in action: 4
  • People wounded in action: 7
  • People evaded: 1
  • People returned to duty: 8
  • Aircraft sent: 462
  • Aircraft effective: 421
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

GOTTINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 35 of the 315 B-24s left the main bomber stream due to a navigation and leadership error. They were scheduled to bomb Kassel but ended up bombing Gottingen some 25 miles northeast of Kassel. 25 of the 35 445th aircraft were shot down just south of Kassel in less than 5 minutes; attacked by 6 waves of German Fw 190's and Bf 109G's. Of the remaining 10 planes, three crashed on the Continent (2 in France, 1 in Belgium). Two planes made emergency landings at Manston near Dover; one plane crashed between Tibenham and Old Buckingham air fields; and only four planes landed back at Tibenham.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 92.5 T
  • Aircraft sent: 35
  • Aircraft effective: 35
  • Aircraft missing in action: 25
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 5
  • Aircraft damaged: 5

KASSEL/HENSCHEL (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: The 445th Bomb Group suffers the highest group loss (25 MIA 4 DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR (DBR)) on a single mission on this raid.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 707.5 T
  • People killed in action: 135
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 130
  • People returned to duty: 38
  • Aircraft sent: 415
  • Aircraft effective: 214
  • Aircraft missing in action: 26
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 6
  • Aircraft damaged: 41

LUDWIGSHAFEN/OPAU (Primary)

Description: OIL REFINERY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 3rd Bomb Division was made up of B-17s is34th BG, 44th BG, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th BG, 385th BG, 388th BG, 390th BG, 447th BG, 452nd BG, 486th BG, 490th BG, 493rd BG.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 585.7 T
  • Prisoners of war: 11
  • Aircraft sent: 415
  • Aircraft effective: 214
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1

MAINZ (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 171 of 415 B-17 are effective on this target. 2 B-17s sustain a mid-air collision during assembly but one crew bales out near Ipswich, UK and the other aircraft returns to base successfully 18RTD. No other losses or claims.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 398 T

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: 445th Bomb Group 703rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-722971
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 336th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36688087
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date2 May 2016 04:42:53
ContributorB24Mike
Sources

NARA records of the 445th Unit Historian

Date2 May 2016 04:39:43
ContributorB24Mike
Sources

NARA records of the 445th Unit Historian

Date18 Feb 2015 20:42:32
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added Unit association to TO event.

Date18 Feb 2015 20:14:16
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Kassel event per " The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 20:10:01
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Gottingen event per "The Mighty Eight War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 20:03:47
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Ludwigshafen event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" and 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 20:00:58
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Mainz evene per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & JohnA. Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 19:50:43
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Blatzheim event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" and "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 19:45:57
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2015. Added Statistics to Cologne event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 19:39:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Crafted Description per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman, "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date18 Feb 2015 17:52:02
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added notes to TO event and statistics per "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop, "the Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:08
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'.