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8th Air Force 650

27 September 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is conducted by three elements against industrial targets, an oil refinery and an aircraft factory in Germany. A total of 1,192 heavy bombers are dispatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions:
1st Bomb Division = B-17s from 91BG, 92BG, 303BG, 305BG, 306BG, 351BG, 379BG, 381BG, 384BG, 385BG, 389BG, 401BG, 457BG, and 486BG
2nd Bomb Division = B-24s from 44BG, 92BG, 93BG, 385BG, 389BG, 445BG, 446BG, 453BG, 489BG, 491BG, and 492BG.
3rd Bomb Division = B-17s from 34BG, 44BG, 95BG, 96BG, 100BG, 385BG, 388BG, 390BG, 447BG, 452BG, 486BG, 490BG, 493BG.

1st Element = A Combined force of 462 B-17 despatched by 1st BD. They attack the secondary target of the industrial areas of Cologne, Germany. 421 of 462 are effective on this target. Fighter and flak opposition on this force are light and only 1 B-17 (351BG) is damaged beyond repair. 10 B-17s from this element bomb the industrial area of Blatzheim, Germany as a target of opportunity. The bomber gunners make no claims on enemy aircraft.

2nd Element = A combined force of 415 B-17s is despatched to bomb two primary targets: the oil refinery Opau at Ludwigshafen, Germany and the railroad marshalling yards of Mainz, Germany. 214 of 415 are effective on Ludwigshafen and 171 of 415 are effective on Mainz. Only 1 B-17 (34BG) is lost to enemy action over Ludwigshafen, but 2 of the force despatched to Mainz sustain a mid-air collision during assembly, but the crews bale out successfully near Ipswich, Suffolk.

3rd Element = A combined force of 315 B-24s is despatched to bomb the Henschel aircraft factory at Kassel, Germany. 248 of 315 are effective on this target and 35 of 315 bomb the industrial area of Gottingen as a target of opportunity. The fighter opposition is intense by special Luftwaffe bomber assault units, 'Sturmgruppen' using 'Company Front' tactics of wedge formations of 8 to 16 heavily armed FW-190s. The 445th BG was wandering away from the main formation and sustained the highest loss on any BG during the war with 25 MIA 4DBR, also B-24 MIA from 491st BG. The bomber gunners claim 5-3-0 of the enemy aircraft.

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

4 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division bomb targets of opportunity in the Mainz, Germany area. Exactly which aircraft from which groups was not available in the source data: "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 12 T
Number of aircraft Sent 4
Number of aircraft Effective 4

2. BLATZHEIM (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

10 B-17s from the 462 despatched with this element bombed the industrial area of Blarzheim, Germany as a target of opportunity. No losses or claims.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 29.7 T
Number of aircraft Sent 10
Number of aircraft Effective 10

3. COLOGNE (Secondary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd BG, 303rd BG, 305th BG, 306th BG, 351st BG, 379th BG, 381st BG, 384th BG, 385th BG, 389th BG, 401st BG, 457th BG, 486th BG.

Units

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 1246.7 T
Number of aircraft Sent 462
Number of aircraft Effective 421
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 8

4. GOTTINGEN (Opportunistic)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

35 of the 315 B-24s left the main bomber stream due to a navigation and leadership error. They were scheduled to bomb Kassel but ended up bombing Gottingen some 25 miles northeast of Kassel. 25 of the 35 445th aircraft were shot down just south of Kassel in less than 5 minutes; attacked by 6 waves of German Fw 190's and Bf 109G's. Of the remaining 10 planes, three crashed on the Continent (2 in France, 1 in Belgium). Two planes made emergency landings at Manston near Dover; one plane crashed between Tibenham and Old Buckingham air fields; and only four planes landed back at Tibenham.

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 92.5 T
Number of aircraft Sent 35
Number of aircraft Effective 35
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 25
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 5
Number of aircraft Damaged 5

5. KASSEL/HENSCHEL (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

The 445th Bomb Group suffers the highest group loss (25 MIA 4 DAMAGED BEYOND REPAIR (DBR)) on a single mission on this raid.

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 707.5 T
Number of aircraft Sent 415
Number of aircraft Effective 214
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 26
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 6
Number of aircraft Damaged 41
Number of people Killed In Action 135
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 130
Number of people Returned To Duty 38

6. LUDWIGSHAFEN/OPAU (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

3rd Bomb Division was made up of B-17s is34th BG, 44th BG, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th BG, 385th BG, 388th BG, 390th BG, 447th BG, 452nd BG, 486th BG, 490th BG, 493rd BG.

Units

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    Division
    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 585.7 T
Number of aircraft Sent 415
Number of aircraft Effective 214
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 11

7. MAINZ (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

171 of 415 B-17 are effective on this target. 2 B-17s sustain a mid-air collision during assembly but one crew bales out near Ipswich, UK and the other aircraft returns to base successfully 18RTD. No other losses or claims.

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 398 T

Service

People

  • William Aaron

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator, Top Turret Gunner | 445th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 09/27/44 Shot down on Kassel mission crashed at Krauthausen in B-24 #42-51355

  • Louis Ajello

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 445th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down on Kassel mission and crashed at Krauthausen in B-24 #42-51355

  • Truman Armstrong

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 445th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Shot down on Kassel mission and crashed at Krauthausen in B-24 42-51355

  • Arnold Asheim

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • Robert Atkins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Robert Atkins served as a tail gunner with the 733rd Bomb Squadron of the 453rd Bomb Group, flying missions out of Old Buckenham, England.

  • William Atkinson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group

  • Robert Ault

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 445th Bomb Group
    Shot down near Gnebenaeau on 9/27/44 in B-24 #42-50961, Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Dale Avers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

  • Philbert Azevedo

    Military | Sergeant | Engineer, Top Turret Gunner, Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • Laurence Barben

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 445th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Shot down on Kassel mission crashed at Krauthausen in B-24 #42-51355

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Aircraft

  • 42-102393 Diana Queen Of The Chase

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Hunter 22/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-R] Deenethorpe 16/4/44; 111m, Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal...

  • 42-102398 Dynamite John

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/2/44; Gr Island 22/3/44; Grenier 20/4/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-H] Deenethorpe 13/5/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 6/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 8/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in...

  • 42-102430 Spam-O-Liner

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/3/44; Gr Island 13/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 545BS/384BG [JD-O] Grafton Underwood 15/4/44; transferred to 3rd Strategic Air Depot Langford Lodge training 4/3/45; transferred with the 384th Bomb Group to Istres for passenger...

  • 42-102674 Packawalup III

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/3/44; Kearney 12/4/44; Grenier 29/4/44; Assigned 94BG Rougham 1/5/44; transferred 615BS/401BG [IY-M] Deenethorpe 19/5/44; battle damaged Frankfurt 5/11/44, force-landed at Great Dunmow, U.K. after sustaining extensive battle...

  • 42-102947 D-Day Dottie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/4/44; Kearney 2/5/44; Grenier 26/5/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-S] 27/5/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman...

  • 42-107062 Worry Bird/Miss Bea Haven

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/2/44; Rapid City 2/3/44; Dow Fd 3/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25/4/44; no ops, transferred 562BS/388BG Knettishall 29/4/44 WORRY BIRD; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 29/11/45;...

  • 42-107084 'Betty's Revenge'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 16/2/44; Kearney 22/3/44; Grenier 3/4/44; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-G] Deenethorpe 16/4/44; Missing in Action Politz, Poland 7/10/44 with Alex Harasym, Clarry Barsuk, Glen Topic, Jarvis Friduss, Emanuel Saylor, John Bailey, George Capps ...

  • 42-107113 'Miss Aldaflak' 'Section 8'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 24/2/44; Gr Island 7/3/44; Grenier 5/4/44; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-J] Deenethorpe 2/5/44; 612BS [SC-O]; Returned to the USA Bradley 6/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for...

  • 42-107151 Cover Girl

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 7/3/44; Kearney 22/3/44; Grenier 7/4/44; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-B] Deenethorpe 15/4/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 42-31077 Pakawalup II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/9/43; Scott 21/10/43; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-A] Deenethorpe 26/10/43; transferred 615BS [IY-A]; Missing in Action Munster 30/9/44 with Tom Davis, Co-pilot: Alan Newcomb, Navigator: Herb Corwin, Bombardier: Henry Kaczorowski,...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 May 2016 04:42:53 B24Mike Changes to event
Sources

NARA records of the 445th Unit Historian

Date Contributor Update
02 May 2016 04:39:43 B24Mike Changes to event
Sources

NARA records of the 445th Unit Historian

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:42:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added Unit association to TO event.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:14:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Kassel event per " The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:10:01 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Gottingen event per "The Mighty Eight War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:03:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Ludwigshafen event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" and 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 20:00:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Mainz evene per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & JohnA. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 19:50:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added note and statistics to Blatzheim event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" and "Losses of the 8th & 9th AIr Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 19:45:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2015. Added Statistics to Cologne event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman and "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 19:39:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Crafted Description per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman, "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop, "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2015 17:52:02 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 18-Feb-2015. Added notes to TO event and statistics per "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop, "the Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:08 AAM AAM ingest
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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