VIII Bomber Command 121

5 November 1943
media-15228.jpeg UPL 15228 The crew of "Flak Suit" in Texas, 1943. Back row, from left to right Hank C. Johnson, George Watt, Albertus Harrenstein, Leslie E. Meader, Joseph A. Sage and John M. Craig. Front row : William J. Bramwell Jr, William E. Current, Charles L. Smith and John J. Maiorca.

NARA WWII Enlistment records
NARA WWII POW records
MACR 3137
Escape & Evasion Reports
Wiast Gunner George Watt's book "Escape from Hitler's Europe : An American Airman Behind Enemy Lines".

Object Number - UPL 15228 - The crew of "Flak Suit" in Texas, 1943. Back row, from left to right Hank C. Johnson, George Watt, Albertus Harrenstein, Leslie E. Meader, Joseph...

Description

Having had good success with P-38 escorts and limiting penetration depth into Germany this mission is directed at the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. In addition the marshaling yards at Munster, Germany are also targeted.



The mission consists of three elements: The first element is a formation of 193 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division including: 94BG (29); 95BG (25); a double dispatch of 43 from 96BG; 100BG (25); 385BG (24); 388BG (25); and 390BG (23) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling yards and oil refinery at Gelsenkirched, Germany. The numbers dispatched indicate this is another "maximum effort". 155 aircraft are effective on the target. 5 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 31KIA 14POW 5EVD all lost to Anti-aircraft fire or damage therefrom. 1 aircraft with battle damage crash lands at Elmham St. Cross, UK and is considered Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) 10RTD. 260 aircraft are damaged (most to to AA fire). 9 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners make no claims on enemy aircraft. The FTRs included B-17F 42-31030 "Shy Anne" from 390BG/571BS which was the last B-17F model assigned to a USAAF combat theater.



The second element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division including: 91BG (18); 92BG (22); 303BG (19); 305BG (19); 306BG (21); 352BG (18); 379BG (21); 381BG (22); and 384BG (20) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling yards at Gelsenkirchen, Germany. 186 are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 8KIA 22POW. 1 battle damaged aircraft makes a crash landing at Ipswich, UK and is declared to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DRB) 10RTD. 111 aircraft are damaged (most due to AA fire). 22 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this element claim 5-1-3 of attacking German aircraft.



NOTE: 11 PFF H2X radar equipped B-17s from 482BG are dispersed among the B-17 formations to pinpoint the target and signal "bombs away" to the bombardier of the formations.



The third element is a combined force of 118 B-24 of 2nd Bomb Division including: 44BG (32); 93BG (26); 389BG (30); and 392BG (30) dispatched to bomb the railroad marshaling yards at Munster, Germany. 104 aircraft are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 16KIA 15POW. 7 aircraft are damaged with 22 airmen Wounded in Action (WIA). This element does not have fighter escort. The bomber gunner claim 21-4-7 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission Details

GELSENKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 482nd Bomb Group contributes 4 Pathfinder (PFF) equipped B-17s, 3 strike the target.

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 351st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 379th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 384.52
  • People killed in action: 10
  • People wounded in action: 22
  • Prisoners of war: 21
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 5
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 3
  • Aircraft sent: 184
  • Aircraft effective: 171
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 111

GELSENKIRCHEN (Primary)

Description: OIL REFIENRY and MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 482nd Bomb Group contributes 3 Pathfinder (PFF) equipped B-17s, two strike the target. More than 500 aircraft took part in this raid. Flak is very heavy, resulting in many damaged aircraft, but fighter resistance is light. 383 fighters including 47 P-47s escort the two waves of B-17s.

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 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
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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 354.78
  • People killed in action: 33
  • People wounded in action: 9
  • People evaded: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 197
  • Aircraft effective: 157
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 105

Münster, Germany

Description: MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 482nd Bomb Group contributes 4 Pathfinder (PFF) equipped B-17s, 4 strike the target. One B-24 dropped 12 x 500 M50 IB on COESFELD as a Target of Opportunity, and one B-24 dropped 8 x 500GP and 16 x 100 IB on HALTERN as a Target of Opportunity.

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: 284.05
  • People killed in action: 23
  • People wounded in action: 22
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 21
  • Enemy aircraft destroyed by fighter: 4
  • Enemy aircraft probably destroyed by fighter: 7
  • Aircraft sent: 118
  • Aircraft effective: 104
  • Aircraft missing in action: 3
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 43

Connections

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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: 388th Bomb Group 560th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16066310 / O-735023
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-736612
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
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: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Damn Yankee
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron 306th Bomb Group 423rd Bomb Squadron
Corporal Murray S. Pearl, of the 303rd Bomb Group, with a B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-24565) nicknamed "Idaho Potato Peeler". Image stamped on reverse: ‘Copyright Current Affairs Ltd.’ [stamp], ‘Passed for Publication 28 Jan 1943. [stamp] and ‘245656.’ [Censor no.] Printed caption on reverse: 'Cpl. Murray S. Pearl, serving with the U.S.A.A.F in a bomber squadron, appreciates the heavy fur-lined jerkin issued to him, for, in private life, he was a fur manufacturer at 222 West 28th Stre
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Ramblin Wreck / Idaho Potato Peeler
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Sunrise Serenader
  • Unit: 305th Bomb Group 384th Bomb Group 365th 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

Revisions

Date
Contributorwilliam henry
Changes
Sources

Correct typos

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Jul-2015. Addedbomber gunner claims to Muster element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 1st BD statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth 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'.

VIII Bomber Command 121: Gallery (4 items)