VIII Bomber Command 111

8 October 1943
B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 388th Bomb Group fly over Nazi smoke screens. Printed caption on reverse: '73228 AC- The Nazis have released smoke screens in an effort to hide their railroad yards as Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" fly over the target at Bremen, Germany, prior to the release of the bombs. 8 October 1943.'

Object Number - FRE 1498 - B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 388th Bomb Group fly over Nazi smoke screens. Printed caption on reverse: '73228 AC- The Nazis have released smoke...

Description

The shipyards and industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission, but cloud cover causes some formations to bomb targets of opportunity. The attacking elements have been summarized below:

The first element is a combined force of 118 B-17s from: 91BG (16); 381BG (21); 351BG (19); 379BG (21); 384BG (21) and 303BG (20) dispatched to bomb the shipyards at Bremen, Germany. 105 aircraft are effective on various targets, 44 of these actually drop on Bremen. 9 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 33KIA 57POW. 2 other airmen in returning aircraft are KIA and 18 are Wounded in Action (WIA). 61 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 42-2-28 of attacking German fighters. The 381BG is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for their actions on this mission.

The second element is a combined force of 56 B-17s from: 305BG (17); 306BG (20); and 92BG (19). 53 aircraft are effective on targets; 33 of these bomb the industrial area of Bremen and 19 drop on Vegesack. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 12KIA 22POW 1DIC 1EVD. 44 aircraft are damaged. 1 other airman is KIA in returning aircraft and 12 are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this element claim 24-7-17 of attacking German fighters.

The third element is a combined force of 170 B-17s from: 388BG (21); 94BG (21); 96BG (42); 385BG (22); 100BG (22); 390BG (21); and 95BG (21) dispatched to bomb any available target at Bremen, Germany. 156 aircraft are effective on some target with 97 of the 156 actually bombing Bremen, Germany. 14 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 54KIA 87POW 1EVD; 2 other aircraft are listed as returning so damaged as to be considered Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) one from 100BG (confirmed 1DOI 10RTD) and one from 95BG (actually repaired 10RTD); 110 aircraft are damaged. 21 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this element claim 84-12-33 of attacking German fighters.

NOTE: Bomber gunner claims on attacking German aircraft are most often exaggerated due to the pandemonium of the action experienced during the attacks. However, even so, the formations attacking at Bremen certainly gave the Luftwaffe a "bad day."

The fourth element was a combined force of 55 B-24s from: 389BG (18); 93BG (19); and 392BG (18) dispatched to bomb the U-Boat pens at Vegesack, Germany. 43 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 21KIA 9POW; 1 other airman in a returning aircraft was KIA and 5 were Wounded in Action (WIA). 21 aircraft were damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 17-1-7 of attacking German fighters.

Mission Details

OLDENBURG (Target of Opportunity) / VEGESACK (Target of Opportunity) / Bremen, Germany

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 3 aircraft drop 12 X 500GP and 72 X 100 IB on Meppen, Germany as a Target of Opportunity.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 81.00
  • People killed in action: 13
  • People wounded in action: 12
  • Prisoners of war: 27
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 24
  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 7
  • Enemy aircraft probably destroyed by fighter: 17
  • Aircraft sent: 56
  • Aircraft effective: 53
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged: 44

Bremen, Germany / OLDENBURG (Target of Opportunity) / VEGESACK (Target of Opportunity)

Description: SHIP YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The 381st Bomb Group is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (2nd of 2). Clouds hamper target acquisition. 19 aircraft drop 228 x 500GP on Vegesack as a Target of Opportunity, another 18 aircraft drop 676 x 100 IB on Oldenburg as a Target of Opportunity. First use by 8th Air Force of airborne transmitters (Carpet equipment) to jam Germany radar.

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 381st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Air base
The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 130.00
  • People killed in action: 35
  • People wounded in action: 18
  • Prisoners of war: 57
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 42
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 28
  • Aircraft sent: 118
  • Aircraft effective: 105
  • Aircraft missing in action: 9
  • Aircraft damaged: 61

BREMEN CITY (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA and BTO

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 2nd wave on Bremen and Targets of Opportunity.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 233.25
  • People killed in action: 54
  • People wounded in action: 21
  • Prisoners of war: 87
  • People returned to duty: 20
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 84
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 12
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 33
  • Aircraft sent: 170
  • Aircraft effective: 156
  • Aircraft missing in action: 14
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 110

VEGESACK (Primary)

Description: U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: First mission for 93rd Bomb Group and 389th Bomb Group since their return from North Africa. No fighter escort.

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
The insignia of the 93rd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 143.81
  • People killed in action: 21
  • People wounded in action: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 8
  • People returned to duty: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 17
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 7
  • Aircraft sent: 55
  • Aircraft effective: 43
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged: 21

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: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 39535449
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 351st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot, Pilot, Mission
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 510th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32478396
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer
A bomber crew of the 388th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30177) nicknamed "Charlene". Printed caption on reverse: '61552 AC- Crew of the 562nd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group, beside the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Charlene". England. 30 August 1943. Standing left to right are: 2nd Lt John N Harlan, Boise, Idaho; 1st Lt Charles Bliss, Los Angeles, California; 2nd Lt Vernon D Dunkin, Columbus, Ohio; 2nd Lt Bernard J Quenneville, Hadley, Mass. Kneeling left to right: S/Sgt Ro
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-52478
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date31 Jan 2018 17:54:38
Contributorwilliam henry
Sources

Correct typos

Date15 Jan 2016 19:52:41
ContributorMags
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date3 Jul 2015 17:59:17
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to the statistics of the Vegesack (B-24) element per "The Mighty EIghth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date3 Jul 2015 17:57:09
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to the 156 aircraft attacking Bremen City per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date3 Jul 2015 17:55:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to the statistics of the 105 aircraft attacking the Bremen shipyards per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date3 Jul 2015 17:53:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on German fighters to the statistics of the 53 aircraft attacking the Bremen industrial areas per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date3 Jul 2015 17:49:58
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date13 Nov 2014 11:45:44
ContributorEmily
Sources

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

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:16
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'.

VIII Bomber Command 111: Gallery (13 items)