VIII Bomber Command 60

21 May 1943
An Airman of the 305th Bomb Group in his quarters Passed for publication 2 Jun 1943. Handwritten caption on reverse: '2/6/43.' Printed caption removed from reverse. On reverse: Daily Sketch, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].

Object Number - FRE 4319 - Lieutenant Colonel John De Russey of the 305th Bomb Group in the base hospital after being wounded on a mission over Kiel, 21 May 1943. Passed for...

Description

The German naval and port facilities at Wilhelmshaven and Emden, Germany are the two primary targets for this mission. Once again, there is a two-fold strategic objective: entice the Luftwaffe to commit its fighter forces; and further degrade the naval and port facilites supporting the German U-Boat fleet. A combined force of 98 B-17s is despatched from: 91BG (21); 303BG (19); 305BG (18); 306BG (21); and 351BG (19) to attack the harbour facilities at Kiel, Germany. The Germans know this is a high priority objective for the Allies and have no choice but to vigorously defend it. 77 of the 98 B-17s are effective on the target. The cost is high, at about 7% of the attacking force. 7 B-17s MIA. However, the bomber gunners claim 47-5-17 on the attacking fighters.

A second combined force of 63 B-17s is despatched from: 92BG (6); 94BG (20); 95BG (15) and 96BG (22). 96BG abandoned the mission because of formation assembly problems so none of that group were able to bomb. 46 of the 63 B-17s are effective on the target. Once again the cost is high with nearly 8% of the force shot down. 5 B-17s are MIA, 3 from the 94BG, or 15%. The bomber gunners claim 31-6-6 of the attacking fighters.

While these attacks are achieveing moderate success on the naval facilities, they are taking a toll on the Luftwaffe. However, the 7-8% loss rate among the bomber crews is of great concern, especially on the morale of the bomber crews. Based on the cumulative losses on 8th Air Force bomber crews to this date, the chances of a crew completeing 25 missions has dropped to 41.97%

Mission Details

EMDEN (Primary)

Description: U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 94th Bomb Group one B-17 crash-landed at North Weald, UK, aircraft DBR. 96th Bomb Group one B-17 Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) at base.

  • 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
The insignia of the 96th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 111.00
  • People killed in action: 39
  • People wounded in action: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 13
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 63
  • Aircraft effective: 46
  • Aircraft missing in action: 5
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 9

WILHELMSHAVEN (Primary)

Description: NAVAL BASE

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: German fighters fire air-to-air rockets. There is no fighter escort on this mission. One 306th Bomb Group was down at sea, but crew of 10 rescued after spending 30 hours in a dinghy. Not included in Missing in Action (MIA) mission count. 306th had 4 aborts.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 193.00
  • People killed in action: 44
  • People wounded in action: 9
  • Prisoners of war: 28
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 98
  • Aircraft effective: 77
  • Aircraft missing in action: 7
  • Aircraft damaged: 24

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: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 324th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-793974
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 322nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 14049756 / O-437941
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18057056 / O-724591
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 324th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19122414
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-727183
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot/Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date15 Jan 2016 19:13:04
ContributorMags
Sources

303RD BG Web Page

Date4 Jan 2015 19:57:47
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Jan-2014. Added description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman; Chances of completing a 25-mission tour calculated by Mr. Cunningham based on the cumulative statistics of number of bombers despatched versus number MIA.

Date4 Jan 2015 19:44:32
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Jan-2014. Added description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date13 Nov 2014 11:11:17
ContributorEmily
Sources

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

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:17
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'.

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