8th Air Force 908

23 March 1945
media-35178.jpeg UPL 35178

Owner of source material

Object Number - UPL 35178

Description

Narrative - Official Air Force Mission Description



Mission 908: The Allied ground assault across the lower Rhine River begins; 1,276 bombers and 499 fighters visually attack rail targets in W and C Germany; they claim 1-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 bombers are lost:

1. 319 B-24s are sent to hit the Rheine Bridge (79) and the Osnabruck (80) and Munster (142) marshalling yards; 2 others hit Hoya Airfield, a target of opportunity; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 95 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 3 WIA and 35 MIA. Escorting are 79 of 80 P-51s.



2. 519 B-17s are sent to hit marshalling yards Hengstey (113), Giesecke (91), Holzwickede (184) and the Unna yard at Dormund (38); secondary targets hit are Meschede (19) and marshalling yards at Siegen (93) and Marburg (10); targets of opportunity are Herdecke (10), Haliger (1) and Schwerte (10); 3 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 178 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 27 MIA. 82 P-51s escort.



3. 438 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards at Coesfeld (145), Recklinghausen (120) and Gladbeck (141); targets of opportunity are Hechfeldt (12) and the marshalling yard at Westerholt (13); 1 B-17 is lost; 3 airmen are WIA and 10 MIA. The escort is 71 of 79 P-51s.



4. 125 of 131 P-51s fly a fighter sweep of the Bremen-Kassel area; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air and 0-0-1 on the ground. 5. 71 of 84 P-51s fly a sweep for the Ninth AF.



6. 16 P-51s escort 15 F-5s and 4 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.



7. 25 of 27 P-51s fly weather reconnaissance missions.



Source: The Eighth Air Force Historical Society - http://www.8thafhs.org/new/incl_missions.php



Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History









"2,500 Heavies Hit Reich's Industries"



"The giant Allied air onslaught on the Ruhr roared into another day yesterday as estimated 2,500 heavy bombers and fighters joined Continental-based tactical forces in blistering marshalling yards, railroad bridges and troop concentration centers in the Reich's smoldering industrial area.



The 8th Airforce led the attack with a salient of 1,250 heavies and 350 fighters which battled through intense flak to pound at ten marshalling yards and junctions in and around the Ruhr. Once again the bombers, made their assaults through ideal weather, and airmen returned with precisely drawn accounts of bombs plummeting down directly on objectives.

The Fortress and Liberators struck at yards in Osnabruck, Rheine, Munster and Coesfeld, on the northern fringe of the Ruhr; in Reckingshausen and Gladbeck, in heart of the area; and in Hengstey, Unna-Dortmund, Holzwickede and Siegen, east and southeast of the Ruhr.

Mission Details

BREMEN-KASSEL

Description: FIGHTER SWEEP

COESFELD

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

DORTMUND/UNNA

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 38
  • Aircraft effective: 37
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 2

GIESECKE

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

The insignia of the 34th Bomb Group
  • 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

GLADBECK

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

HECHFELDT

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

HENGSTEY

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

HERDECKE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

HOLZWICKEDE / 59439 Holzwickede, Germany

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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

HOYA

Description: AIRFIELD

MARBRUG

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

MESCHEDE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

MUNSTER

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

OSNABRUCK

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

RECKLINGHAUSEN

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 457th BG MISSION NO. 216 : RECKLINGHAUSEN, GERMANY : 23 MARCH, 1945 The target was the marshalling yards at Recklinghausen. Even though these yards were last attacked by the RAF on the night of 20 March, photographs indicated all facilities were 100 Percent serviceable. The Group comprised the 94th B Combat Wing with Lt. Colonel Smith as Air Commander. Course over England was flown as briefed until the 94th A Group swung right of course. The 457th Group followed in trail, but on course Division assembly line was flown slightly right of course and in the Division column. Route to the IP was flown as briefed. The IP was crossed on course. Cloud coverage at the target was nil. Bombing was done visually in squadron formation. A slight ground haze and smoke caused interference in sighting. Bombs were dropped from 25,000 feet. Bomb results as shown by strike photos were excellent. Flak was moderate, but accurate, with 25 craft sustaining damage.

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
Unofficial emblem of the 457th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

RHEINE

Description: RAIL BRIDGE

Notes: The Allied ground assault across the lower Rhine River begins, OPERATION VARSITY; 1,276 bombers and 499 fighters attack rail targets in Western & Central Germany. The once mighty Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe are on their last legs, victory in Europe is rapidly approaching.

SCHWERTE

Description: BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

SIEGEN

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

WESTERHOLT

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

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 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12120324 / O-835109
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13178814 / O-716614
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37705979
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot, Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 612th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36864214
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Little Kenny
  • Unit: 544th Bomb Squadron 384th Bomb Group
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Farmer's Daughter
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 614th Bomb Squadron 615th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Damn Yankee
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: D-Day Dottie
  • Unit: 401st Bomb Group 613th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Pretty Baby
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 336th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

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owner of original copy of newspaper

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owner of source copied material ( newspaper article)

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Contributorjhuck
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John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; pp. 300-301

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Contributorjhuck
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John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields; pp. 300-301

Date
Contributorjhuck
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From the personal files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

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Contributorjhuck
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Entry by John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: The Eighth Air Force Historical Society - http://www.8thafhs.org/new/incl_missions.php

Source: THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History

Date
Contributorjhuck
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From the files of John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

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ContributorVirginiawise50
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Official Website of 385th Bomb Group Association Database-Missions

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ContributorVirginiawise50
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Virginia Wise, eldest daughter of Lester Allen Wise, who flew on this mission with Jack Q. Means as co-pilot.

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ContributorVirginiawise50
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Virginia Wise, eldest daughter of Lester Allen Wise, B-17 (43-39056) pilot, 8th Air Force, 385th Bomb Group, flew on this mission from Great Ashfield, England to Giesecke, 23 Mar 1945.

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ContributorVirginiawise50
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Virginia Wise, eldest daughter of Lester Allen Wise, B-17 (43-39056), pilot of 385th Bomb Group flew on this mission to Giesecke, 23 Mar 1945

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Contributorjdossetter
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ContributorLucy May
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Valor to Victory website - account of the mission: http://valortovictory.tripod.com/1945-03.htm

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Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

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ContributorAAM
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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 908: Gallery (7 items)