VIII Bomber Command 76

25 July 1943

Object Number - UPL 7577 - 42-3204, ROYAL FLUSH, 384th Bombardment Group. 546th Squadron

Description

This mission was composed of three elements. The primary targets were the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany; the shipyards at Kiel, Germany and the aircraft industries at Warnemude, Germany, but weather frustrated the effort. The first element was a combined force of 123 B-17s from: 91BG (18); 303BG (20); 351BG (20); 379BG (21); 381BG (23); and 384BG (21) dispatched to attack the diesel engine works at Hamburg, Germany. 68 of this force diverted to the secondary target of the shipyards at Hamburg. 14 others from 381BG dropped on Heide as a target of opportunity. and 18 other bombed various targets of opportunity. Fighter resistance is heavy. 15 B-17s from this formation Failed to Return (FTR) - 37KIA 102POW 10RTD (Rescued). The bomber gunners claim 38-6-27 of the attacking fighters.

The second element was a combined force of 59 B-17s from: 92BG (18); 305BG (20); and 306BG (21) dispatched to attack the shipyards a Kiel, Germany, but weather and assembly problems caused this element to be recalled. No losses or claims in this element.

The third element was a combined force of 141 B-17s from 94BG (20); 95BG (27); 96BG (21); 100BG (24); 385BG (28); and 388BG (21) dispatched to bomb the aircraft industries at Warnemunde, Germany but cloud cover and weather diverted most of this formation to attack the shipyards at Kiel, Germany as a Target of Opportunity. 67 were effective on Kiel while 18 dropped on Rerik/West and 33 other bombed targets of opportunity. 4 B-17s of this formation Failed to Return (FTR) - 26KIA 5POW 9RTD (Rescued). Fighter resistance against this element was lighter as they attacked about 15 minutes later than the first element. The bomber gunners claimed 6-0-0 of attacking fighters.

There was no fighter escort for any of these elements.

Mission Details

HAMBURG (Secondary) / HEIDE (Target of Opportunity)

Description: DIESEL ENGINE WORKS/SHIP YARD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Beginning of operation GOMORRAH (RAF designation). This is the first time the 8 AF acts in concert with the RAF to hit a single target. Air Marshall Arthur "Bomber" Harris had envisioned such a strike since the Area Bombing Directive was issued by the RAF Air Staff on 14-February-1942 which stated, "The primary objective of your (RAF Bomber command) operations should now be focused on the morale of the enemy civil population, and in particular on the industrial workers." The RAF despatched a force of 347 Lancasters, 246 Halifaxes, 125 Sterlings and 73 Wellington bombers to Hamburg in the very early morning hours. The bombers were loaded primarily with incendiary bombs. The RAF losses were light with 4 Halifaxes, 4 Lancasters, 3 Sterlings and one Wellington lost. It is estimated that this RAF raid caused 1,500 civilian casualties with another 380,000 bombed out. The smoke from the fires combined with cloud cover masks the target by the time the 8 AF bombs their targets (all industrial concentrations and the SHIP YARD) at 1630-1645 hours.

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
The insignia of the 381st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Air base
The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 414.25
  • People killed in action: 47
  • People wounded in action: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 101
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 38
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 27
  • Aircraft sent: 123
  • Aircraft effective: 100
  • Aircraft missing in action: 15
  • Aircraft damaged: 67

KIEL (Opportunistic) / RERICK/ WEST (Target of Opportunity)

Description: NAVAL BASE

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Force unable to assemble because of weather. Mission abandoned.

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: None
  • Aircraft sent: 59

WARNEMUNDE (Primary)

Description: AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Cloud cover hampers acquisition. Balance refrain from bombing because target is in Occupied territory. 18 388th Bomb Group dropped 179 X 500GP on Rerik/ West Airfield as a Target of Opportunity. 33 others in this element dropped 220 X 500GP and 96 x 100 IB on other Targets of Opportunity

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
  • 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: 285.10
  • People killed in action: 27
  • People wounded in action: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 3
  • People returned to duty: 19
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Aircraft sent: 141
  • Aircraft effective: 118
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 50

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 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-401542
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 39173560
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-735967
  • 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: 36324682
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Aerial Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer

Aircraft

Revisions

Date31 Jan 2018 17:21:18
Contributorwilliam henry
Sources

Correct typos

Date3 Nov 2017 04:20:35
ContributorARowe95
Sources

ARowe95

Date8 May 2015 20:03:57
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to the Warnemude/Kiel element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date8 May 2015 20:01:55
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Hamburg element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date8 May 2015 20:00:10
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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'.

VIII Bomber Command 76: Gallery (2 items)