VIII Bomber Command 143

30 November 1943
B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 385th Bomb Group fly in formation. Passed for publication 15 Nov 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'U.S. Flying Fortresses In Action. Here is a series of pictures taken of Flying Fortresses over enemy territoty[sic] during a recent raid. These four engined "giants" are doing a good job with their successful daylight operations, and every bomb dropped is helping to speed up the end of the war. Photo Shows:- Aerial scenes of Fortresses over enemy territory in formation and in f

Object Number - FRE 7692 - B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 385th Bomb Group fly in formation. Passed for publication 15 Nov 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'U.S. Flying...

Description

This mission is directed at a single target - the industrial areas of Solingen, Germany. The mission consists of three elements. The first element is a force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (24); 92BG (20); 303BG (20); 305BG (16); 306BG (22); 351BG (34); 379BG (22); 381BG (22); 384BG (20); and 401BG (21). Only 1 aircraft from 303BG is effective on the target because of thick could formations, the rest are recalled. 1 aircraft explodes over Heldon, UK on return. 10KIA. 3 aircraft are damaged. There are no bomber gunner claims from this element.

The second element is a combined force of 128 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included 94BG (32); 95BG (20); 96BG (14); 100BG (18); 385BG (13); 388BG (12); and 390BG (19). 78 aircraft are effective on the target. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 7KIA 13POW 6RTD (rescued by ASR). 2 airmen are KIA and 10 are WIA in returning aircraft. 6 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 1-0-0 of attacking German fighters.

NOTE: the above formations were supported by 3 PFF equipped B-17s from 482BG. Only 1 was effective the other two were recalled.

The third element is a small force of 29 B-24s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (24) and 389BG (5). Heavy cloud cover over the target prevented any bombing. Ther were no losses or claims in this element although 10 airmen were WIA in returning aircraft.

Mission Details

SOLINGEN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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: 221.55
  • People killed in action: 16
  • People wounded in action: 6
  • Prisoners of war: 13
  • People returned to duty: 6
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 128
  • Aircraft effective: 78
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 6

SOLINGEN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Includes 3 Pathfinder (PFF) B-17s. 270 B-17s and all the B-24s abort due to cloudiness that prevents assembly. One B-17 hits Welmerskirchen with 8 X 500Gp and 20 X 100 IB. Only 303rd Bomb Group hits the target with one aircraft.

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 379th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 2.80
  • People killed in action: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 224
  • Aircraft effective: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 3

SOLINGEN (Primary)

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Unable to assemble properly, mission scrubbed.

The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 0.00
  • Aircraft sent: 29

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: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35447653
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 561st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37111609
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade)
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 335th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13057861
  • Highest Rank: Master Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer/Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 560th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 39538486
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 561st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37187168
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator

Aircraft

Revisions

Date20 Sep 2016 23:33:08
Contributorhermanns
Sources

Liberty Belle (42-30096) crashed while returning from this mission

Date14 Jul 2015 21:52:29
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 3BD element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date14 Jul 2015 21:51:00
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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 143: Gallery (1 items)