8th Air Force 851

27 February 1945

Description

1,107 bombers and 745 fighters are dispatched to hit road and rail communications at Halle and Leipzig using H2X radar

Mission Details

Halle / Leipzig

Description: Road and rail communications at Halle and Leipzig are attacked using H2X Radar, fighter aircraft provide escort for the bomber force.

The insignia of the 8th Air Force.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Command
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2728.7
  • People missing in action: 20
  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 83
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by fighter: 19
  • Aircraft sent: 1852
  • Aircraft effective: 1752
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 7

Halle / Leipzig

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2728.7
  • People killed in action: 3
  • People missing in action: 18
  • Aircraft sent: 1107
  • Aircraft effective: 1062
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 7

Leipzig Communications Centres (Secondary) / Targets of Opportunity

Description: The First Bomb Division are attack their Secondary target of Leipzig to bomb Communication Centres. 4 Aircraft bomb targets of opportunity.

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The whole of the 1st Bomb Division were dispatched on this mission, with the exception of the 305th Bomb Group.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 926.0
  • People killed in action: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 378
  • Aircraft effective: 366

Fighter Escort

Description: 246 P-51 Mustangs provide Fighter Escort for B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 1st Bomb Division attacking Leipzig

Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang

Danish civillians inspect the wreckage of a crashed B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-107082) of the 379th Bomb Group. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'St Heddinge 13th May 1944 at 18:30 Hrs. 8th AAF, 1st Air Division, 41st Combat Wing, 379th Bombardment Group, Squadron?.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 246
  • Aircraft effective: 218

Halle Marshaling Yards (Primary) / Bitterfeld Marshaling Yard (Opportunistic) / Targets of Opportunity

Description: The 2nd Bomb Division are dispatched to Halle to bomb Marshaling Yards, 21 aircraft bomb Bitterfield opportunistically, while 3 others bomb Targets of Opportunity

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: All groups of the 2nd Bomb division participated in the mission.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 780.5
  • People killed in action: 1
  • People missing in action: 18
  • Aircraft sent: 351
  • Aircraft effective: 338
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 4

Fighter Escort

Description: P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs provide fighter escort for B-24 Liberators of the 2nd Bomb Division attacking Halle.

Two airmen of the 466th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Division
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Mission Statistics

  • People missing in action: 2
  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 46
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by fighter: 3
  • Aircraft sent: 215
  • Aircraft effective: 196
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

Leipzig Communication Centres (Primary) / Targets of Opportunity

Description: B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 3rd Bomb Division attack their primary target of communications centres in Leipzig, 3 aircraft bomb targets of opportunity.

Notes: The 96th, 100th, 385th and 487th Bomb Groups did not participate in the mission.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 1022.2
  • People killed in action: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 378
  • Aircraft effective: 358
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 3

Fighter Escort

Description: P-51 Mustangs provide Fighter Escort for B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 3rd Bomb Division attacking Leipzig

Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang

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

Mission Statistics

  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 37
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by fighter: 16
  • Aircraft sent: 243
  • Aircraft effective: 235

Photo Recconnaissance

Description: 2 F-5 Lightning's and 2 Spitfires of the 7th Photographic Reconnaissance Group were dispatched on photo reconnaissance duties over Eastern Germany

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 4

Fighter Escort

Description: 13 P-51 Mustangs provide Fighter Escort for the Photographic Reconnaissance Aircraft flying over Eastern Germany

Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 13
  • Aircraft effective: 13

Scouting Force

Description: 28 P-51 Mustangs are dispatched as a Scouting Force

Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 28
  • Aircraft effective: 28

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 701st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 39911604
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Nose Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 445th Bomb Group 702nd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer/ Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 445th Bomb Group 701st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35331002
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 445th Bomb Group 701st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-2072788
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator / Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 546th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19094252 at enlistment, then 0-737629
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date15 Jan 2019 15:37:28
ContributorEmily
Sources

Restored information removed by User Vitkvage2LtB24PilotStanleyFamily from mission record to ensure that the record reflects the experience of the whole 8th Air Force rather than that of one group.

Mission name, number, narrative and details from:
Freeman, Mighty Eighth War Diary
8th Air Force Historical Society

Date28 May 2018 18:08:52
Sources

Official Military reports and records. First hand account by Pilot.

Date28 May 2018 18:04:59
Sources

Military Records and First hand report from Pilot.

Date28 May 2018 18:02:50
Sources

First hand report from Pilot and military records/reports.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:09
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'.