VIII Bomber Command 156

16 December 1943
A crashed B-17 Flying Fortress of the 384th Bomb Group , Cottishall, December 1943. Handwritten caption on reverse: '798, CH. Crash, Cottishall, 12/43.'

Object Number - FRE 4893 - A crashed B-17 Flying Fortress of the 384th Bomb Group , Crashed at Coltishall, UK, 16 December 1943. 42-29733 SU-D, LOUISIANA PRUCHASE Battle...

Description

This is a massive mission of 631 heavy bombers directed at the port area of Bremen, Germany. The force of 631 included 1 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG dispersed among the attacking formations. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a formation of 239 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 94BG (39); 95BG (40); 96BG (36); 100BG (24); 385BG (21); 388BG (39); and 390BG (40). 219 aircraft are effective on the target. This element encounters the brunt of fighter attacks. 9 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 71KIA 19POW. The 96BG loses 7 aircraft. 5 aircraft are lost to mid-air collisions. 1 aircraft returning with battle damaged is abandodned by the crew over Silver Fox Farm, Norfolk, UK 10RTD. 70 aircraft are damaged. 5 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners in this formation claim 17-11-11 of attacking German aircraft.

The second element is a force of 141 B-24s of 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (22); 93BG (26); 389BG (28); 392BG (17); 445BG (24); and 446BG (24). This is the first combat mission for 446BG. 133 aircraft are effective on the target. There are NO combat losses in thie formation but 2 retuning aircraft are Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) in crashlandings 6KOM in the crash 4POW and 10RTD. 22 aircraft are damaged. 3 airmen in returing aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). There are no claims on enemy aircraft from the bomber gunners of this element.

The third element is a force of 240 B-17s of 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (27); 92BG (20); 303BG (19); 305BG (23); 306BG (20); 351BG (35); 379BG (23); 381BG (31); 384BG (22); and 4O1BG (20). 173 aircraft are effective on the target. Only 1 aircraft of this element Failed to Return (FTR) 6KIA 2POW 2EVD. 1 aircraft sustained battle damage and crash landed at RAF Colitshall 10RTD but aircraft was declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR). 52 aircraft are damaged. There are no other casualties. The bomber gunners of this element claim 1-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

This mission was supported by fighters including 39 P-51s. Fighter escort is beginning to make a big difference in heavy bomber losses as only 10 of the 631 Failed to return and 5 of these were due to mid-air collisions for a loss rate of 1.584%. The tide is turning and the Luftwaffe is being decimated, but there is still a significant fight ahead.

Mission Details

Bremen, Germany

Description: SHIP YARDS

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: 520.13
  • People killed in action: 72
  • Prisoners of war: 19
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 17
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 11
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 11
  • Aircraft sent: 238
  • Aircraft effective: 219
  • Aircraft missing in action: 9
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 67

Bremen, Germany

Description: SHIP YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 5 B-17s and two B-24s drop 56 X 500GP and 132 X 100 IB on Targets of Opportunity. (not included in totals). 351st Bomb Group and 401st Bomb Group do not have any aircraft effective on the target.

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: 434.63
  • People killed in action: 6
  • People evaded: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 2
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 251
  • Aircraft effective: 183
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 61

Bremen, Germany (2AD Primary Target)

Description: SHIP YARDS

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 446th Bomb Group flies its first mission.

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
A pathfinder B-24 Liberator (serial number 42-51681) of the 453rd Bomb Group flies in formation with a fellow Liberator of the 453rd and and a pathfinder Liberator of the 445th Bomb Group. Image via Alan Rowsell.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
A flight of B-24 Liberators of the 446th Bomb Group fly in formation above the clouds.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 367.5
  • People killed in action: 5
  • People wounded in action: 8
  • Aircraft sent: 141
  • Aircraft effective: 131
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • 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 534th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18042331
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • 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 412th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18193418
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15382852
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-686181
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Aircraft

Revisions

Date26 Jul 2015 22:02:43
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 1BD statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date26 Jul 2015 22:00:43
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to 3BD statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date26 Jul 2015 21:22:37
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date28 Mar 2015 23:00:47
ContributorB24Mike
Sources

Source document: Eighth Air Force Combat Chronology
Source document: 2nd Air Division Mission Report obtained from the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, AL.

Date28 Mar 2015 22:00:18
ContributorB24Mike
Sources

Source document: 2nd Air Division Mission Report obtained from the Air Force Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, AL.

Date26 Feb 2015 14:29:27
ContributorAnonymous
Sources

Son

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 156: Gallery (4 items)