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353

12 May 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Not yet known

Mission details

1.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 23.9 T HE

2.

Description

BOMB TARGETS OF OPPORTUNITY

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 4.6 T HE

3. BOHLEN (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 220 T HE

4. BRUX (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

3rd Bomb Division was made up of 94th Bomb Group, 95th Bomb Group, 96th Bomb Group, 100th Bomb Group, 385th Bomb Group, 388th Bomb Group, 390th Bomb Group, 447th Bomb Group, 452nd Bomb Group. 3rd Bomb Division came under heavy German fighter attack, 96th Bomb Group lost 12 B-17s and 452nd Bomb Group lost 14 B-17s on theis mission

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 309 T HE

5. BULLSTADT (Opportunistic)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 1.8 T HE

6. CHEMNITZ (Opportunistic)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 26.2 T HE

7. GERA (Opportunistic)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 25.2 T HE

8. HEDRONGEN (Opportunistic)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 3.7 T HE

9. HOF (Opportunistic)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 28.5 T HE

10. LUTZKENDORF (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

457th BG - MISSION NO. 44 - LUTZKENDORF, GERMANY

12 MAY, 1944

The long awaited blitz on the German synthetic oil refineries occasioned the largest air raid the Eighth Air Force had yet undertaken. The 45 7th furnished the lead and low boxes for the 94th B Combat Wing for the assault on Lutzkendorf, producer of 30,000 tons of petrol and diesel oil annually. The target was six miles west of Merseburg. Major Fred A. Spencer flew as Air Commander of the B lead box with Lt. Jerry Godfrey flying as pilot. Captain Jacob M. Dickinson led the B low box, with Lt. Clarence E. Schuchmann as pilot.

The weather was CAVU, but ground haze and smoke Obscured visibility. Bombing results were fair. No enemy fighter opposition was encountered, and flak was moderate but accurate. Eleven craft sustained damage.

On the return trip to the base, a German operated B-17 joined the formation near Coblenz and continued with the formation to Brussels. Also, the craft piloted by Lt. John Akers encountered engine trouble. His plane began to lag behind the formation and was last seen near Eisenach on the trip back to England. With only one engine providing power and flying at 1,500 feet altitude, the crew bailed out over Belgium and all were taken as POWs. Because of the seriousness of his injuries, Lt. Akers was later involved in a prisoner of war exchange through the International Red Cross and returned to the States. He was hospitalized until May 1946, when he was discharged.

Although the 457th's crews saw no enemy fighters, wings of the 3rd Division met severe attacks, causing the loss of thirty- two bombers. It was reported the Luftwaffe pilots resorted to ramming the B.-17s. Total losses for the Eighth amounted to forty-two craft.

The mission was the first of many to be directed against the synthetic oil refineries.

Meanwhile, on the Base, a lack of military courtesy by members of the command was noted. As a consequence, classes were conducted for all personnel reported for having failed to salute. The course consisted of two one-hour lectures on military customs and courtesies.

The crew of Lt John Akers was lost on this date

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.

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 168.5 T HE

11. MERSEBERG (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

This is the first 8th Air Force attack on oil production targets. Luftwaffe opposition is heavy. However, the missions are escorted by 735 fighters (see VIII Fighter Command FO 337) and they claim 61 enemy aircraft destroyed and 11 damaged. Albert Speer, appointed by Hitler to coordinate all wartime armament production, will later write in his memoirs that this was the date when Germany lost the war. 1st Bomb Division was made up of 91st Bomb Group, 92nd Bomb Group, 303rd Bomb Group, 305th Bomb Group, 306th Bomb Group, 3521st Bomb Group, 379th Bomb Group, 381st Bomb Group, 384th Bomb Group, 398th Bomb Group, 401st Bomb Group, 457th Bomb Group.

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 430.4 T HE

12. MERSEBERG (Secondary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 29 T HE

13. OSTEND (Opportunistic)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 2.5 T HE

14. ZEITZ (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

2nd Bomb Division was made up of 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group, 392nd Bomb Group, 445th Bomb Group, 446th Bomb Group, 448th Bomb Group, 453rd Bomb Group, 458th Bomb Group, 466th Bomb Group, 467th Bomb Group, 492nd Bomb Group.

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 256.4 T HE

15. ZWICKAU (Primary)

Description

OIL REFINERIES

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 158 T HE

Service

People

  • Joseph Acker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 29 x combat missions. Bill Trimble crew. Failed to Return (FTR) Bordeaux-Mérignac airfield in B-17 42-40002 19-Jun-44; force landed Le Pouyau. Evaded capture (EVD) ...

  • John Akers

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot - B-17 Flying Fortress | 457th Bomb Group
    John Akers Jr grew up in Greenville, TX on a cotton farm. Graduated High School May 1939. His days consisted of working the cotton farm with 2 mules and picking the cotton. After seeing the events of Pearl Harbor during his time in the civilian...

  • Joseph Amber

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier, Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 612BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Don Currie crew. 38 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star).

  • William Ameen

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group

  • Placido Andrade

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 452nd Bomb Group
    Placido was one of 5 sons of Placido and Diluvina Andrade, a 5-Blue Star Family from Los Angeles, CA. Placido and his brothers, Albert-USA, Leonard-USA, Alfred-USA, and Danny-USN, all served during World War II. Placido was an original crew member of ...

  • Milford Andrews

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 96th Bomb Group
    Shot down 12 May 1944 in B-17 #4297167. Killed in Action (KIA). Purple Heart

  • Robert Andrus

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down 28 May 1944 in B-17 42-31034 'Bonnie Donnie. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • William Asbell

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 615BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. Bill Trimble crew. Awards: DFC, WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star). Post war: Served in Korean and Vietnam conflicts.

  • Robert Atkins

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 452nd Bomb Group
    Robert Atkins was Radio Operator on B-17 #42-39941 'Lucky Lady', shot down over Southern Belgium on 12 May 1944. Evaded. AM/ ETO w/ 3 battle stars

  • Richard Autry

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 390th Bomb Group
    Crew Number 51

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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...

  • 42-102581 Lonesome Polecat

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/3/44; Kearney 1/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-L] Deenethorpe 29/4/44; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Paul Scharff, Co-pilot: Chas Eckert, Bombardier: Bob Hoover, Waist gunner: Roscoe Tomlinson (4 Killed in...

  • 42-102584 Bottled in Bond

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/3/44; Gr Island 1/4/44; Grenier 7/4/44; Assigned 332BS/94BG [XM- ] Rougham 8/4/44; Missing in Action Brux 12/5/44 with Tom Williams, Co-pilot: Edwin Waite, Navigator: Joe Davis, Bombardier: Lew Ranck, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-107017

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/1/44; Kearney 1/2/44; Presque Is 5/3/44; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 6/3/44; Missing in Action Liege 25/5/44 with Bill Warren, Bombardier: Jerome Fontaine (2 Killed in Action); Navigator: Gene McClellan, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-107047 The Doodle Bug

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 6/2/44; Grenier 3/3/44; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-M] Horham 17/3/44; with R.V. Mercer force landed Framlingham AFB 25/12/44 with engine failure; battle damaged Berlin 3/2/45 with H. Palmer; force landed Charleroi, Bel; 97m, repaired & ret...

  • 42-107123

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 2 March 1944; Kansas City 7 March 1944; Grenier 21 April 1944. Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 25 April 1944 (no operations). Transferred 339BS/96BG [BX- ] Horham 28 April 1944. Missing in Action Brux, Czechoslovakia, 12 May 1944 with Pilot...

  • 42-107189 7th Son

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 18/3/44; Kearney 29/3/44; Dow Fd 6/4/44; Assigned 339BS/96BG [QJ-M] Snetterton 11/4/44; Missing in Action Brux 12/5/44 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Horace Duncan, Navigator: Garnett Nelson, Bombardier: Jack Russell, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-31069 'LITTLE MOE'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43; Scott 20/10/43; Assigned 615BS/401BG [IY-K] Deenethorpe 11/11/43; Missing in Action Kassel 28/9/44 with Ed Aves, Co-pilot: Clayton Crunk, Navigator: Ralph Mezydlo, Bombardier: John MacDougall, Flight engineer/top turret...

  • 42-31315 Liberty Run

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/10/43; Gr Island 1/11/43; Romulus 18/11/43; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-C] Deenethorpe 23/12/43; Missing in Action Bordeaux 19/6/44 with Garrett Filemyr, Co-pilot: Herb Claxton, Navigator: Ed Robinson, Bombardier: Bob Monteil, Flight...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 June 2016 15:13:22 ED-BB Changes to media associations
Sources

Changed key image

Date Contributor Update
20 May 2015 13:32:00 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission details added courtesy of Diane Elizabeth Reese from 457th Bomb Group Mission Documents. http://www.457thbombgroup.org/

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:06 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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