44th Bomb Group Mission Number 15

Date City Country Target
7/28/1943 Kassel / Oschersleben Germany Aircraft Components Plant

Unofficial Mission Summary 

(ODR) Industrial Plants located at Kassel and Oschersleben.

Lead Group: 384th Bombardment Group (H) AAF
High Group: 379th Bombardment Group (H) AAF
Low Group: 303rd Bombardment Group (H) AAF

Excerpts from Intelligence reports:

302 B-17's were dispatched to attack industrial plants located at Kassel and Oschersleben. 49 B-17's succeeded in bombing the Spinnfaser A.G. at Kassel with fair results while 28 attacked the aircraft assembley plant at Oschersleben. 17 A/C attacked opportunity targets in NW Germany with unobserved results. Both formations of A/C encountered intense and aggresive e/a opposition. While flak was intense over Kassel, it did not constitute a serious threat over Oschersleben. Withdrawal support was furnished to the bombers by P-47's of the VIII Fighter Command and 10 Squadrons of Spitfires. 22 B-17's were lost on this mission against claims of 83-34-63.

At Target there was 3/10 stratocumulus, no medium, 7/10 cirrus, above 25,000 feet. Visibility 4 to 5 miles in heavy haze making target difficult to identify. Target of opportunity Munster Area.

Nineteen of our aircraft were airborne to bomb the Fieseler Flugzeugwark at Kassel-Waldau, German, July 28, 1943.

None of our planes reached the target because the Wing Leader turned back upon reaching Damme, Germany.

For the first time in our experience a rocket projectile was fired at us. It exploded about the height of our formation and burst like a "bread-basket" or "molotov cocktail" bomb. From it came thin rods about eight inches long and clusters of disks much like a pile of clay pigeons stuck to-gether. They exploded upon contact. One piece of steel from the projectile is 17 inches long, 8 inches wide and 1/3 of an inch think. It entered plane 997, Lieut. Ashley, in back of the pilots seat. It tore a hole about 4 feet by 5 feet in the fuselage, causing the oxygen system to explode, and destroying the inverter in the A.F.C.E.

Another piece of this projectile about 9 inches long and 3 inches wide entered A/C 9830 but did not cause much damage.

There was also air to air bombing, the explosion of which could be plainly heard above the roar of the motors.

Fifteen of our planes suffered battle damage, two were undamaged, one is missing and one plane aborted.

There was no evidence of friendly fighter support.

Five of our aircraft jettisoned their bombs due to battle damage, to enable them to return, and thirteen of our A/C brought their bombs back: 16 x 250 British incendiary bombs carried by missing plane 796 are unaccounted for.

Our A/C 145 reported a B-17 that came in from 6 o'clock below, almost circled the formation and then returned to Germany.

Reason's for failure to bomb: 124 a/c failed to bomb - 27 because of mechanical or equipment failures, 94 abandoned mission because of weather, 2 because of personnel failures and 1 was lost before reaching target.

RETURNED WITH BOMBS

379th Bombardment Group - 10 Missing - 8 Slightly Wounded, 2 Seriously Wounded
18 B-17's Abortive, class B (Weather, enemy action)
1 B-17 Abortive, class A (Mechanical, equipment
and personnel failures)
 
 
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