351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #137

Credited Mission #131

DATE: 31 May 1944
Target:  Airdrome, Luxeuil, France
Briefing Outline:
  1. Airplane and Crew Assignment Check.
  2. Time Schedule:
     High Box
    Stations   –0715
    Start Engines –0725
    Taxi     –0735
    Take Off   –0750
    Last Take Off –____

  3. Targets:
    Primary: Luxeuil [France] A/D [Airdrome]
    Secondary: St. Dizier [France] A/D [Airdrome]
    Last Resort: Any A/D not near built up area that can be attacked without disrupting fighter support.

  4. Loading:
    351 “A”: Maximum [Number of] M-47 I.B.’s [Incendiary Bombs]
    351 “B”:
    Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets] in Ship # - None
    Chaff: 144 units of emergency chaff.

  5. Gasoline Loading: 2200 gallons

  6. Wing Formation94th (A) CBW94th (B) CBWComp. GroupComp. CBW

  7. Division Formation:
    PositionCBW [Combat Wing]TargetDeparture Time at Coast
    Lead40th "A"Strasbourg M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard]0930 – North Foreland
    2nd1st "A"Mulhouse M/Y0932
    3rd94thLuxeuil A/D0934
    4th40th "B"Strasbourg M/Y0936
    5th1st "B"Mulhouse0938
    6th41st CWColmar M/Y0940
    2nd Division
    3rd Division0930 – Great Yarmouth
    Marauders(3rd Div. B-24)1014 - Orford Ness
    RAF [Royal Air Force]

    Remarks: 2 min. interval between C.B.W.

  8. Fighter Cover:
    • See Pilot's Flimsy [Reference Sheet given to each pilot.]
      Base Reference Altitude – 20,000 ft.

  9. Group Assembly:

  10. Navigator - _____
  11. S-2 - _____
  12. Weather - _____
  13. Special Instructions to Navigators, Bombardiers and Radio Operators:
    Bombardiers – May choose alternate M.P.I. [Mean Point of Impact] in Marshalling Yard if assigned M.P.I.’s are obscured by smoke.
    Luxeuil A/D is highest priority A/D in this area.
  14. Squadron Leaders and Group Deputy report to Target Room. All but Pilots Dismissed.
  15. (A) Code Words –
    PFF Bombing –None
    Visual Bombing -I.P. – Coca Cola
    Authenticator –Red Hat
    Recall -Rin-Tin-Tin
    Weather Code -VAIBT – Cutter Y - Yoke
    Release "CHAFF" -Tin Hat

    (B) Call Signs:
    Call SignFlaresRemarks
    351st AWoodcraft RedG [Green]
    351st B
    401st AWoodcraft WhiteR [Red]
    401st B
    457th AWoodcraft BlueR-Y [Red Yellow]
    457th B
    1st C.B.W.Swordfish
    40th C.B.W.Fox Hole
    41st C.B.W.Cowboy
    Composite C.B.W.Smokestack (1st CBW “B”)

    U.S. FightersBalance one
    R.A.F. Fighters
     BombersVinegrove 1-3
    U.S. Grnd. ControlColgate
    R.A.F. Grnd. Control

    Control Points:Fighter Reference Points:
    0 – Splasher #7G - Zwolle
    1. N. Foreland - 0 – hrW - Dummer Lake
    2. 51°08 – 02°40E - 0 + 17I - Hamm
    3. 50°00 – 07°00E - 0 + 75T - Strasbourg
    4. 48°22 – 05°40E - 0 + 167H - Mulhouse
    5. 50°29 – 05°10E - 0 + 209R - Metz
    _____O - Reims
    _____P - Charleroi
    _____S - Paris
    Remarks: ____

    Colors of the Day
    0800 - 1400YYWF
    1400 - 2000GYSY

    (E) Ships To Monitor [Radio Channels A, B, C & D]
    1. - All ships except following:
    2. - H-798 [This A/C Was replaced by 42-38028 Q (Condon)]
    3. - (8th AF) A-560 (9th AF) N-169
    4. - All ships available on return except Lead & Deputy Lead which have 9th AF Crystal in “D” Channel.
  16. Let-Down on Deenethorpe Buncher, if overcast.
    351st A   30° Mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
    401st A   360° Mag.
    457th A   15° Mag.
  17. Flying Control. –
    1. Taxi Plan.
    2. Emergency Fields. - Manston – 51°21'N.–01°21'E.
    3. Landing Aids.
  18. Special Instructions:
    1. Spares turn back at Enemy Coast.
    2. Vertical interval between boxes will be 600 ft. after leaving assembly area.
    3. Camera Ships – T-384, F-124, P-193 will leave formation at Mid-Channel and “hot-foot” it home with strike photos.
    4. Only Gp. Leader and deputy leader can call fighters on Channel “C” or “D”. Ships in distress will call on “A” or “B” to leader, and he in turn will transmit message to fighters.

Operations Narrative:
  1. General Narrative. Fourteen aircraft, including two flying spares, took off at 0750-0759 hours and proceeded to the Deenethorpe buncher for a normal buncher assembly at 9,000 feet. The 351st Group furnished the High Group of three four ship Squadrons and two spares. No difficulties were encountered in the assembly and departure was made in CBW formation two minutes late. The flight plan was followed quite closely over England. The slight variations are indicated on the Track Chart. Departure from the English coast was made at 17,500 feet and one minute late. Upon reaching the enemy coast, the formation was a thousand feet above the briefed altitude and had to climb an additional 3,000 feet more to clear the bad weather ahead. The presence of unfavorable weather made it impossible to follow the flight plan exactly. After passing over the front, the formation let down to the bombing altitude of 18,500 feet. Weather was CAVU [Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited] in the target area.
     Moderate flak was encountered about twenty minutes before the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run]. Just before the IP was reached, the groups took their interval for bombing. A good bomb run was made. All aircraft were flying a good formation and photographs and observers indicate good bombing results.
     After leaving the target, the High Group had to increase airspeed in order to catch the Lead Group. Once again, the briefed route was followed as closely as weather would permit. It was necessary to climb to 27,000 feet. The enemy coast was crossed at 26,000 feet and the return to base was made without further incident. Landings by the twelve returning aircraft were carried out at 1402-1435 hours.
  2. Aircraft Not Attacking. Fourteen aircraft took off and formed the High Group formation as indicated on the diagram of Formation at Take-Off. Two aircraft were scheduled as flying spares and returned to base as planned when there were no unfilled positions in the formation.
     The remaining twelve aircraft continued as indicated in the General Narrative and attacked the primary target. The formation at the time of attack was the same as that indicated on the diagram of Formation Over Target.
  3. Aircraft Lost. No aircraft were lost on the Mission of 31 May, 1944.
  4. Group Leader. Captain Daniel E. McCafferty, flying in A/C 42-31879, led the High Group of the 94th CBW.

No. of A/C Scheduled - Less two flying spares12
No. of A/C Taking Off - Less two flying spares12
No. of A/C Attacking - Less two flying spares12
No. of A/C Not Attacking - Less two flying spares0
No. of Sorties - Less two flying spares12
No. of A/C Lost - Less two flying spares0

[Signed] Clinton F. Ball, Lt. Colonel, Air Corps, Operations Officer

Bombardier’s Narrative:

Group: 351st
Target: Luxeuil, France
Method of Bombing: Visual
Altitude: 18,500’
Direction of Attack: 295° Mag. Heading
Wind Direction: 210°
Wind Velocity: 47 MPH
Bombardier’s Narrative: The High Box, 351st Bombardment Gp (H) [Heavy], bombed the primary target at Luxeuil, France. A good interval was taken and we bombed third. Bombs were away at 1212½ on Mag. Heading of 295°. The two Groups ahead covered their M.P.I. [Mean Point of Impact] and heavy smoke was rising as our bombs fell. The pattern starts at the edge of the smoke and extends on through covering the M.P.I. A large explosion can be seen on the M.P.I. A turn was made to the right after “bombs away”.

[Signed:] Robert E. Lee, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Bombardier - 1st Lt. Lee, Robert E.  Pilot - 1st Lt. Dixey, Joseph R. Navigator - 1st Lt. Roberts, William N.
Aircraft B-17G   879-Q  Take-off - 0750 Landed - 1428
Objective - Luxeuil, France
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - As briefed
Initial Point -As briefed
Method of Attack - Group
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 12   Composite Group - ____
Number A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: One
Deflection and Range Sighting, Group: _____   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - ____    Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 100 LB. M47A1 I.B. [Incendiary Bomb]
Number of Bombs Loaded - 42   Released - 42
Fusing, Nose - Instantaneous   Tail - ___
Synchronization - On
Information at Release Point:

Altitude of Target - 910Magnetic Heading Ordered 300° Actual 295°
True Altitude Above Target - 18,470’True Heading 289°
Indicated Altitude - 18,500’Drift, Estimated 2° Right - Actual 10° Rightt
Pressure Altitude of Target +890True Track 275°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 8158
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150 M.P.H.B.S. Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 177 M.P.H.Time of Release 1212½
Ground Speed Est. 197 Actual 190Length of Bombing Run - 6 min.
Wind Direction Metro - 154° Actual - 210°Intervalometer Setting - Salvo
Wind Velocity Metro 15 k Actual 47 mph C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] X [Used]
D.S. - 142  Trail - 150   ATF - 37.65A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .42 Actual .46 Manual Pilot - ____

Type of Release - Salvo
Point of Impact If Seen - Yes - Good
Mean Temp. Metro +6.5 Actual +6.5
Winds - Altitude - 18,500 Ft.  Direction - Metro 150°  Actual 210°  Velocity - Metro 15 k  Actual 47 mph
Temp C. - Metro -27° C. Actual -16° C.

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The target for this group was the A/D at Luxeuil, France. Photo coverage was good.
  2. The incendiary bombs of this group fell into the smoke of preceding groups. Bomb bursts are seen on the ground, and flashes seen through the smoke indicate that the main concentration is on the briefed target. The pattern stretches for 3,737 feet and crosses the main hangar line and into the barracks area. There is possible damage to their hangars and the barracks area. A definite explosion is seen from a refueling point.
    1. The approximate pattern is 3,737 feet by 1,137 feet.
[Signed:] Thomas L. Cooper, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Group PI [Photo Intelligence] Officer

Intelligence S-2 Reports:
  1. No leaflets were carried.
  2. Preliminary review of photos shows our incendiaries walking into the smoke surrounding the hangar area.
  3. No enemy aircraft were seen, and no E/A [Enemy Aircraft] claims are being submitted. No tactics report is forthcoming.
  4. At Dunkirk on the way in there was meager inaccurate flak, and also at Brussels, Yvoir, and Liege, where bursts were fairly accurate for altitude but poor for deflection. At what appeared to be an enemy camp at approximately 48°12’N-08°25’E. [2 miles South East of Schramberg, Germany], there was moderate and very accurate continuous following flak.
  5. The group was forced to ascend to 27,000 feet in order to get over what appeared to be a stationary front. After passing this front the group let down to bombing altitude and found the weather over the target area to be CAVU [Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited].
  6. At an approximate position of 48°14’N-08°22’E. [1 mile North West of Schramberg, Germany] a military camp with numerous barracks was observed. Much shipping activity was noted on the Rhine River, near Basel. At Baden-Baden a new high tension line was noted.
  7. PFF units were not employed. Fighter support was excellent. C-1 equipment [Autopilot] was used and functioned well.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

A.A. Gunfire (Flak) Report:

1. Target: Assigned - Luxeuil, France Bombed - Luxeuil, France
2. Route as Flown. - As briefed.
3. Weather Conditions - A. at Target. - Clear  B. En route - 10/10 cloud at French coast, breaking to 1/10 a few miles inland.
4. Were our A/C "Seen" or "Unseen" targets? (a) At Target - Seen (b) Enroute - seen, except at French coast.
 Any Condensation Trails? - Over clouds in French coastal area only.
5. Description of Flak, including type of Fire Control: Nil
6. Flak encountered or observed en route. (In the order experienced) -
 Dunkirk, 0950, 19,500’ -- Meager, inaccurate.
 Brussels, 1018, 20,000’ -- Meager, inaccurate.
 Yvoir, 1025, 21,000’ -- Meager, inaccurate.
 Liege, 1037, 21,000’ -- Meager, height good, deflection poor.
 48°12N–08°25E, 11:34, 21,000’ -- Moderate, accurate.
 All flak continuous following.
7. Was Chaff carried? - No  How discharged? ____
8. Position of Group - High
9. Group – 351st  A/C over enemy terr. – 12, A/C damaged – 2, A/C lost to flak – 0, Time over Target – 1212½ , 
Time of bombs away – 1212½ , Height – 18,500’, Axis of attack – 295° Mag.  Bomb run – 6 min.
10. Comments - Phenomena: 10. The very accurate flak encountered at approximately 4812 – 0825 [Just south of Schramberg, Germany] came from what appeared to be an army camp; two of our ships were damaged and one man wounded at this point.

Combat Crew Comments:

    508th Squadron
A/C 384-T: Carbohydrate rations are very poor. – Entire Crew.
A/C 028-Q: One B-17 Group (Cow-Boy) gave his course, altitude and position over VHF and directly thereafter flak appeared. – Lt. Condon.
  Would like to know the reason why, after aborting from the mission, crew is required to go back into the air and fly until mission is completed, regardless of cause of abortive. – All Crew Members.
  Group leaders did a very good job. – Lt. Leewer.

    509th Squadron
A/C 169-N: One crew shooting at P-47’s. – Entire Crew.
  Very poor lead. – Lt. Medick.
  Enlisted men’s chow poor; it was good a week ago. – Entire Crew.
A/C 914-S: Ball turret is in need of repair, and the interphone does not work; this is second day and hasn’t been fixed yet. – Sgt. Murray.
  Men would like a 48 hour pass – it has been 5 missions since last one. – Entire Crew.

    510th Squadron
A/C 560-A: We had French toast again; later scrambled eggs and potatoes were served. – Entire Crew.

[Signed] Robert P. Ramsey, Captain, Air Corps, Group S-2 [Intelligence]

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives:
    1. Airplane No. 42-97252, 510th Squadron returned early as planned.
    2. Airplane No. 42-31714, 511th Squadron returned early as planned.
  2. Battle Damage:
    1. Airplane No. 42-37845, 509th Squadron. Small flak tear in skin of left stabilizer tip. Small flak hole on top of left wing outer panel, skin and corrugation damaged. Flak hole in top of wing near #4 Engine, skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank damaged. Flak hole through left wing outer panel, skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank damaged. Two small flak holes on leading edge of left wing outer panel near tip, skin damage only. Small flak hole in skin of fuselage near base of dorsal fin.
    2. Airplane No. 42-39914, 509th Squadron. Two small flak holes through left wing outer panel, skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank damaged. Small flak hole through wing rear of #3 Engine, skin, corrugation and stringer damaged. Flak hole through right horizontal stabilizer, skin and channel damaged. Flak tear in skin of left life raft compartment, skin and raft damaged. Flak hole in left side of Navigator’s compartment, skin, altimeter and airspeed indicator damaged.
    3. Airplane No. 42-31560, 510th Squadron. Fabric of right and left elevators torn by flak. Small flak hole through left flap behind #1 Engine, skin, corrugation and channel damaged. Small flak hole through left aileron, fabric damaged only. Small flak hole in skin of left bomb bay door. Flak hole in skin of fuselage and chaff chute, skin, chute and stringer damaged. Small flak hole in left side of Navigator’s compartment, skin damage only. Small flak hole underside of right wing outer panel, skin and corrugation damaged.
    4. Airplane No. 42-31875, 511th Squadron. Small flak hole in left side of fuselage above horizontal stabilizer, skin and tail tire damaged. Small flak hole in tip of left wing outer panel, skin, corrugation and Tokyo tank damaged. Two small flak holes behind #2 Engine, skin and corrugation damaged. Flak hole in radio room window just forward of escape hatch.

[Signed:] Carl A. Ekblad, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Armament Report:
  1. The following armament malfunctions were reported on the Mission of 31 May, 1944.
    1. A/C 42-38028 – The Bombardier reported that the Intervalometer did not work. Bombs were toggled with no delay in release. Investigation shows that 24 stations were released with the Intervalometer and 4 stations select. A faulty A-2 release on station 20 has been replaced.
    2. A/C 42-97169 – An empty link caught in the azimuth gear train of the chin turret, causing it to slow down.
    3. A/C 42-39914 – Bomb bay doors had to be cranked up. Bomb bay door motor burned out.
    4. A/C 42-31384 – The left chin turret gun did not fire. A check shows belt stud was jammed against the receiver due to the gun having been improperly assembled.
  2. Two (2) all electrical aircraft participated in the mission.
  3. A total of 2,430 rounds of .50 Caliber ammunition was expended.
[Signed:] Michael Steele, CWO, USA, Group Armament Officer

Disposition of Bombs:

1. Following is the disposition of bombs loaded for the Mission of 31 May, 1944.

Main BombfallOver TargetBombingNumberSizeType Fusing: Nose Tail
(Luxeuil A/D)1212500100 lb.M-47-A1Instantaneous
Total Bombs Dropped500100 lb.M-47-A1Instantaneous
Bombs Brought Back by 2 Flying Spares84100 lb.M-47-A1Instantaneous
TOTAL BOMBS LOADED584100 lb.M-47-A1Instantaneous

[Signed:] Robert B. Stratton, Captain, Air Corps, Statistical Officer

Deficiencies and Disabilities:

1. The following deficiencies and disabilities were determined from interrogation.

510th Bombardment Squadron.
A/C 560 F-2 Jacket burned out. – T/Sgt. Falcey.

[Signed:] Ernest J. Cater, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Group Equipment Officer

Aircraft Returning Early:

Aircraft No. 97252 Squadron - 510   Pilot - Lt. Auten
Time of Abortive - 0946  Location when Aborted - Mid-Channel
Reason - Spare Plane – Turned back as briefed.
Disposition of Bombs: Brought back
Altitude At Time of Aborting: 17,000’
Enemy Opposition Encountered - None
Remarks: F/S [Flying Spare]
[Signed] Charles H. Auten, 1st Lt., A.C.

“J” Form:
  1. Call Letter and Last Four numbers of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th "A" Combat Wing   High Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 1879–Q
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 1384–T, 9914–S, 7169–N, 7845–F, 7193–P
    Sqdn 510th A/C: 7515–L, 7196–M, 1560–A, 7124–F, 8028–Q, (7252–K Spare)
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 1875–P, (1714–R Spare)
    P.F.F. Sqdn ___ A/C: ___

  2. Target: Z-726
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T WVH R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T LCX R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T NXO R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T MVO R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. a. High Box: Taxi – 0735; Take-Off – 0750; E.T.D. Field – 0750
    b. ____ Box: Taxi – ____; Take-Off – ____; E.T.D. Field – ____
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    093416,000 Ft North Foreland
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    095118,600 Ft 51°08'N-02°40'E [Koksijde, Belgium]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    134118,600 Ft 51°08'N-02°40'E [Koksijde, Belgium]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    135711,000 Ft North Foreland
  9. E.T.R.[Estimated Time of Return] Base: 1425 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: High Box
    508 Squadron: Maximum [Number of] M-47A1's IB's [Incendiary Bombs]
    509 Squadron: Maximum [Number of] M-47A1's IB's [Incendiary Bombs]
    510 Squadron: Maximum [Number of] M-47A1's IB's [Incendiary Bombs]
    511 Squadron: Maximum [Number of] M-47A1's IB's [Incendiary Bombs]

  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2200 Gallons
  13. Group Leader:
    a. High Box: Name: Daniel E. McCafferty Rank: Capt. A/C: 1879-Q  Sqdn. 508th
    b. ____ Box: Name: ___ Rank: ___ A/C: ___ Sqdn. ___
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)
  15. Actual Times Off and Return by Squadrons and A/C Letters:
  16. Lead Box
    SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.SquadronA/C No. & LetterA.T.O.A.T.R.

    Report Compiled By John Maksimik, S/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
High Group Formation Take–Off
508th Squadron
A/C 42-31879 Q
A/C 42-38028 Q
A/C 42-31875 P
A/C 42-31384 T
510th Squadron509th Squadron
A/C 42-37515 L
A/C 42-39914 S
A/C 42-31560 A
A/C 42-97196 M
A/C 42-37845 F
A/C 42-97169 N
A/C 42-107124 F
A/C 42-97193 P
A/C 42-97252 K Spare
D.W. Smith
A/C 42-31714 R Spare

High Group Formation Over–Target
508th Squadron
A/C 42-31879 Q
A/C 42-38028 Q
A/C 42-31875 P
A/C 42-31384 T
510th Squadron509th Squadron
A/C 42-37515 L
A/C 42-39914 S
A/C 42-31560 A
A/C 42-97196 M
A/C 42-37845 F
A/C 42-97169 N
A/C 42-107124 F
A/C 42-97193 P

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0900  Briefing: 0430  Stations: 0700  Start Engines: 0710  Taxi: 0720  Take-off: 0735  Leave Base:____  [Breakfast: 0330]

 [Wounded - 1]
The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
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