VIII Bomber Command 81

12 August 1943
A B-17 Flying Fortress of the 100th Bomb Group that has crash landed. Written on slide casing: 'Raunchy crash TA.'

Object Number - FRE 5906 - A B-17 Flying Fortress of the 100th Bomb Group ran off the end of the runway due to battle damage and no breaks. Flown by Capt. Sam R. Turner....

Description

This mission is separated into two elements. The first element is a combined force of 183 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division: 91BG (22); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (20); 351BG (21); 379BG (21); 381BG (20); and 384BG (20) are dispatched to bomb the synthetic oil refineries at Bochum, Gelsenkirchen and Recklinghausen, Germany. This is the first daylight operation by VIII Bomber Command into the Ruhr Valley -- subsequently dubbed by bomber crews as "Happy Valley". The bombers had to fly unescorted to their targets but were met on the way out by P-47s. The formations got badly scattered on the way in and many were forced to bomb targets of opportunity due to clouds, smoke and evasive action from the high concentrations of anti-aircraft batteries protecting these targets. Both fighter opposition and flak were heavy. 133 of the bombers were effective on some target but many were not able to bomb their primary assignments. Bomber losses are significant with 23 Failing to Return (FTR) and 3 are so damaged that they are determined to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR). 384th Bomb Group (target Recklinghausen) sustains the loss of 5 aircraft. Total casualties in this formation are: 83 KIA, 49WIA, 154 POW, 1 DIC and 27 RTD (in DBRs). The bomber gunners claim 25-5-11 of the attacking German fighters.

The second element is a formation of 147 B-17s from: 94BG (21); 95BG (21); 96BG (21); 100BG (21); 385BG (21); 388BG (21); and 390BG (21) dispatched to bomb the industrial areas of Bonn, Germany. This is the first mission from 390th Bomb Group. 110 of these aircraft are effective on Bonn and other targets of opportunity in the area. Only 2 Fail to Return (FTR) - 5 KIA, 14 POW, 1 EVD. 1 from 390BG Returned to Base (RTB) but was so damaged it was declared Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR), all ten crewmen Returned to Duty (RTD). The bomber gunners claim 4-2-2 of attacking enemy fighters.

Mission Details

Bochum, Germany / Recklinghausen, Germany (Primary) / Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Description: SYNTHETIC OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The Ruhr is targeted with concentration on manufacturing and synthetic oil facilities. Some B-17s become separated and bomb targets of opportunity instead.

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: 307.00
  • People killed in action: 83
  • People wounded in action: 49
  • People evaded: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 154
  • People died in captivity: 1
  • People returned to duty: 19
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 25
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 5
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 11
  • Aircraft sent: 183
  • Aircraft effective: 133
  • Aircraft missing in action: 23
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 103

Bonn, Germany (Primary)

Description: MANUFACTURING PLANTS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The 390th Bomb Group flies its first mission. 16 aircraft dropped on the leader when an enemy aircraft forced him to jettison his bombs while on the bomb run. 4 aircraft dropped 40 x 500GP 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
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: 253.13
  • People killed in action: 6
  • People wounded in action: 7
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 4
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 147
  • Aircraft effective: 110
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 69

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: 379th Bomb Group 526th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32404571
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • 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: 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 327th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13033792
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 326th Bomb Squadron 327th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37264777
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner/Waist Gunner

Aircraft

Revisions

Date31 Jan 2018 17:29:49
Contributorwilliam henry
Sources

Correct typos

Date12 Jun 2016 09:47:37
ContributorRainer
Sources

Updated unit connections to correspond with narrative

Date12 Jun 2016 09:47:09
ContributorRainer
Sources

Updated unit connections to correspond with narrative

Date12 Jun 2016 09:43:32
ContributorRainer
Sources

Linked 42-30057

Date12 Jun 2016 09:42:26
ContributorRainer
Sources

Updated location

Date12 Jun 2016 09:32:53
ContributorRainer
Sources

Corrected typo

Date12 Jun 2016 09:27:21
ContributorRainer
Sources

Various MACR

Date15 May 2015 18:26:19
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Bonn statistics per "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date15 May 2015 18:25:18
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-May-2015. Added DIed in Captivity statistic to Bochum/Gelsenkirchen/Recklinghausen element statistics per "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date15 May 2015 18:22:34
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Bochum/Gelsenkirchen/Recklinghausen statistics based on "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date15 May 2015 18:20:18
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date15 May 2015 18:17:44
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", Roger A. Freeman.

Date15 May 2015 18:16:32
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty EIghth War Dairy", 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 81: Gallery (7 items)