VIII Bomber Command 116

20 October 1943
media-15002.jpeg UPL 15002 Original caption : "A bomber crew of the 96th Bomb Group led by Second Lieutenant Charles Geyer, with their B-17 Flying Fortress." Picture taken on 3 October 1943.
Détails : Front row, left to right : Pilot Charles F. Geyer ; Co-Pilot Robert P. Surdez Jr, Bombardier Donald O. Mills, Navigator William J. Doherty. Back row, left to right : Ball Turret Gunner Edward L. Lantron, Radio Operator Melvin H. Litke (*), Tail Gunner James A. Parker, Top Turret Gunner Frank J. Killarney, Left Waist Gunner Alexander J. Guilianelli and Right Waist Gunner Everett J. Missey (*).
(*) Melvin Litke and Everett Missey were not on board Geyer’s 42-3439 on the 10 October mission when that aircraft was shot down. They had been replaced for that mission by, respectively, Aaron M. Becker and Charles R. Randel, who were both killed. Everett Missey was killed on the 16 December mission and Melvin Litke finished his tour with 50 missions to his credit.

Détails on personnel in crew picture

Object Number - UPL 15002 - Original caption : "A bomber crew of the 96th Bomb Group led by Second Lieutenant Charles Geyer, with their B-17 Flying Fortress." Picture taken on 3...

Description

The primary target for this mission is the industrial areas of Duren, Germany. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined formation of 103 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that includes: 91BG (3); 92BG (14); 303BG (19); 305BG (7); 306BG (11); 351BG (7) 379BG (17); 381BG (7); and 384BG (18). This is the first time that Oboe PFF equipment has been attempted. The equipment fails and this force does not drop their bombs. The 379BG selects the German airfield at Woensdrecht, Holland as a target of opportunity, and 17 aircraft are effective on that target. This is the only 1st Bomb Division element to drop on any target. 2 aircraft (from 303BG) Failed to Return (FTR) 3KIA 13POW 5EVD. 1 airman is KIA in a returning aircraft that had attacked at Woensdrecht.1 aircraft is damaged. The only claims by bomber gunners are those made by 303BG at 2-1-1 of attacking enemy aircraft.



The second element is a combined force of 109 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that includes: 94BG (17); 95BG (16); 96BG (21); 100BG (8); 385BG (17); 388BG (16) and 390BG (14) dispatched to bomb the industrial areas of Duren, Germany. Cloud tops at 29,500 feet forced the formation to drop from 30,000 feet. 3 airmen from 385BG died from failure of their oxygen equipment. 11 aircraft from 385BG bomb Aachen as a target of opportunity and 1 aircraft in the 385BG formation Failed to Return (FTR) 10 POW and 1 airmen of this formation was Wounded in Action (WIA); 86 aircraft were effective in bombing Duren. 6 other aircraft of this element also Failed to Return (FTR) 29KIA 16POW 5EVD 10RTD (rescued by ASR). 3 aircraft from this element returned with damage: 1 was abandoned over Beddingham, UK. 10RTD and 2 crash landed and were declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 20RTD. The bomber gunners of 385BG were the only ones that made claims on German aircraft of 2-0-0.



The third element was a combined force of 70 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (18); 93BG (17); 389BG (18) and 392BG (17) dispatched to fly a diversion. There were no losses or claims.

Mission Details

Description: DIVERSION

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Diversion for Duren raid.

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 44th 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: 0.00
  • Aircraft sent: 70

AACHEN (Opportunistic)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 385th Bomb Group originally despatched with 1st wave, but unable to bomb the primary at Duren, Germany, selects Aachen as a Target of Opportunity. 3 of the Killed in Action (KIA)s are 385th Bomb Group gunners who died from oxygen system failure.

The insignia of the 385th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 1.90
  • People killed in action: 3
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 11
  • Aircraft effective: 11

DUREN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Bombing altitude 30,000 feet due to clouds. First use of Oboe PFF.

Three airmen of the 100th Bomb Group, Lieutenant Kenneth Menzie, Lieutenant Donald Strout and Lieutenant Norman Scott, plan the route they will take during the next mission in their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30380). Image stamped on reverse: 'Reviewed and passed U.S. Army 23 Aug 1943 Press Censor E.T.O. U.S.A.' [stamp]'. Passed for publication 23 August 1943 INTLD 16 General Section Press Censorship Bureau '[stamp], 'Associated Press' [stamp] and '280035.' [Censor no.] Printed caption on reve
  • 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
A bomber crew of the 94th Bomb Group stand with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30200) nicknamed "Slo Time Sally" and a bomb inscribed 'Special delivery to Hitler'. Inscription on bomb reads: 'Special delivery to Hitler, From Peggy of St. Louis.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 209.00
  • People killed in action: 32
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • People evaded: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 16
  • People returned to duty: 40
  • Aircraft sent: 98
  • Aircraft effective: 86
  • Aircraft missing in action: 7
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 3
  • Aircraft damaged: 10

DUREN (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Oboe Pathfinder (PFF) fails and none in the second wave of bombing.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Unofficial emblem, 305th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Official insignia of the 306th Bomb Group, approved 6 January 1943, and updated 2 October 1951.
  • 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: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00
  • People killed in action: 10
  • People evaded: 4
  • Prisoners of war: 8
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 61
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2

WOENSDRECHT (Opportunistic)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 379th Bomb Group originally assigned to 2nd wave on Duren, Germany, but Oboe Pathfinder (PFF) failure makes them select the airfield at Woensdrecht, Holland as a Target of Opportunity.

The insignia of the 379th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 41.50
  • People killed in action: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 42
  • Aircraft effective: 17

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

People

Argentos, James 18108164 T/Sgt. 367th BS 306th BG Air Corps
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group 367th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18108164
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 535th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-735735
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 96th Bomb Group 413th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 12155334
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator / Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 560th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16066310 / O-735023
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 390th Bomb Group 569th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33236651
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Damn Yankee
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron 306th Bomb Group 423rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Little Audrey
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group 384th Bomb Group Base Air Depot 1 368th Bomb Squadron 544th Bomb Squadron
A 365th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group B-17 Flying Fortress (XK-R, serial number 41-24578) taxiis to take off from Chelveston airbase. Passed for publication 30 Jun 1943. Handwritten caption on reverse: '124578, XK:R.' Printed caption on reverse: 'At A Fortress Station In Britain. From an American base in Britain the Flying Fortresses carry out operational activities which result in terrible blows against the German industrial war machine. This series of pictures shows scenes at a Flying Fortresses stati
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Problem Child : Old Reliable
  • Unit: Base Air Depot 1 547th Bomb Squadron 384th Bomb Group 305th Bomb Group 367th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Knock-out Dropper
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 358th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date
Contributorwilliam henry
Changes
Sources

Correct typos

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 4. Durnen event statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claime to Aachen statistics per "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
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'.

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