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883

12 March 1945

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Heavies Hit Near Rhine, Along Baltic

Well over 3,500 heavy bombers and fighters of the 8th and 15th Air Force and the RAF roared over Germany yesterday in attacks that shook the Reich from the Rhine to the Oder and south to Vienna,

The Tremendous blow, spearheaded by the 8th in an assault that spreadeagled both Eastern and Western fronts, gave direct aid to the U.S. and Russian troops battling on both approaches to the heart of Germany.

Half the forces of 1,350 Fortresses and Liberators and 750 escorting fighters split to attack naval and military installations at the Baltic port of Swinemunde. 35 miles north of Stettin, and marshalling yards at six towns in an area about 60 miles long parallel to the Rhine and 40 to 60 miles east of the river opposite Cologne and Coblenz.

RAF Smashes Dortmund

While the 8th was blasting its string of targets in the Rhineland, more than 1,000 Halifaxes and Lancasters of the RAF, protected by a screen of Spitfires and Mustangs, struck 40 miles to the north, bombing the communications center of Dortmund, 15 miles east of Essen, which was still smoking from the RAF's raid the previous day.

The 15th's effort, fashioned by Forts and Libs and a strong shield of fighters, was directed at oil installations in the Vienna area.

The attack on Swinemunde was the closest blow to the Eastern Front the 8th has yet delivered. It fell only 16 miles from where Marshall Zhukov's forces are striking for Baltic port of Stettin. Plans for the attack were laid after photo reconnaissance three days ago showed the one-time seaside resort on the Oder estuary teeming with activity.

Clouds Obstruct View

Specific targets attacked were not disclosed and results were not observed because of heavy cloud. But the port is known to be a strong naval base, with shipyards and oil storage depots, and a likely base for the pocket battleship Adm. Sheers and U-boats which may have left the East Baltic.

The marshalling yards opposite the Rhine were at Siegen, Betzdorf, Dillenburg, Wetzler, Friedburg and Marburg. Here, too, as over Swinemunde, there was heavy cloud. Bombardiers used instruments over the targets.

One bomber and three fighters failed to return.

Last night, German radio broke out with ringing Achtungs, describing a strong force of fast enemy bombers approaching the Hanover-Brunswick area_"bomb alley" to Berlin_ indicating that Mosquitoes were out to hit the capital for the 21st successive night.

Mission details

1. BETZDORF

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. DILLENBURG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. FRANKFURT

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

4. FRIEDBERG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

A nix of 192 P-47s and P-51s provide escort. Mix not given in available data.

Mission Statistics

5. HUSUM

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

6. MARBURG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

7. SIEGEN

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

8. SWINEMUNDE

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS & PORT

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

Mission Statistics

9. WETZLAR

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • Louis Abdallah

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | waist gunner, toggelier, B-17 | 452nd Bomb Group

  • Jesse Adcock

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | B-17 Toglier in WWII; Aircraft Maintenance until 1967 retirement | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned Dec 1944. Flew 55+ missions in B-17 as togglier. Adcock grew up on a farm in Ellisville, Mississippi, USA. He was career Air Force, retiring in 1967 as a Chief Master Sergeant (CMSAF). Born 3/8/1924 Died 3/16/2017

  • Cecil Adkisson

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

  • Harry Ahlers

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 21 x combat missions. Awards: AM (2OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Allan Ainley

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 28 x combat missions. Michael Kochel crew. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (4OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (3 x Battle Stars)

  • Ora Akins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 37 x Combat missions. Carl Djernes crew. ETD Awards: AM (5OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (3 x Battle Stars).

  • James Allcroft

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator-Mechanic-Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Millard French crew. Completed 36 combat missions. Awards: AM (5OLC), GC, WWII Victory, EAME (3 x Battle Stars).

  • John Althoff

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot, Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • Howard Anderson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • John Anderson

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 21 x combat missions. Harry Ahlers crew. Awards: AM (2OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star).

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Aircraft

  • 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...

  • 42-102947 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...

  • 42-107151 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)...

  • 42-31662 'Fancy Nancy IV'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 2/12/43; Kearney 17/12/43; Romulus 6/1/44; Kearney 7/1/44; Memphis 9/1/44; Presque Is 10/1/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-B] Deenethorpe 31/1/44; 134m crash landed Polebrook 22/4/44, Salvaged 1 SAD Troston. FANCY NANCY IV.

  • 42-31730 'Morning Star', 'Tail End Charlie'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 10/12/43; Kearney 27/12/43; RAF Nutts Corner 15/1/44; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-B] Deenethorpe 31/1/44; 613BS [IN-O]; 112m, Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 7/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 9/6/45; 4100 BU Patterson 9/10...

  • 42-31891 The Shape

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 31/12/43; Kearney 12/1/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-P] Deenethorpe 15/2/44; Returned to the USA 121 BU Bradley 1/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 8/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • 42-37788 HELL'S MESSENGER

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/8/43; Scott 16/9/43; Assigned 544BS/384BG Grafton Underwood 7/11/43; transferred 547BS [SO-N]; transferred to 364FG Leiston, Sfk, UK. 11/43; Returned to the USA Bradley 14/7/45; 4185 BU Independence 17/7/45; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-97322 Mister Completely, Home James

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/2/44; Dow Fd 7/3/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 1/5/44; no ops, transferred 614BS/401BG [IW-D] Deenethorpe 21/5/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 5/7/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 21/10/45; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-97395 Chute The Works

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/2/44; Kearney 17/3/44; Grenier 6/4/44; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-F] Deenethorpe 16/4/44; mechanical fault, with Dave Stauffer, caused fire and burnt out at RAF Saltby 25/43/45; 111m, Salvaged 2 SAD 25/3/45. CHUTE THE WORKS.

  • 42-97478 Shade Ruff #2

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/11/43; Wendover 12/12/43; Nutts Corner, Belfast, N. I. 20/1/44; Assigned 748BS/457BG Glatton 9/1/44; 749BS; transferred 614BS/401BG [IW-Q] Deenethorpe 11/3/44. ...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 03:35:35 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

Newspaper article

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 03:09:02 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to media associations
Sources

Owner of source material (newapaper) corresponding with date of mission

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:50:37 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description and media associations
Sources

fixed errors

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:40:25 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

https://95thbg.mmsw.eu/crew/59

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:39:30 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

owner of source material (newspaper)

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 03:58:00 Virginiawise50 Changes to event
Sources

Official 385th Bombardment Group website Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 03:56:45 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Official 385th Bombardment Group website Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
06 July 2016 02:40:35 jjaustin0308 Changes to event
Sources

My Grandfather flew in this Mission on 12 Mar 1945:
http://www.351st.org/loadlist/search.php

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:09 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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