351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #143

Credited Mission #137

DATE: 7 Jun. 1944
Target: Falaise, France
Briefing Outline:
  1. Airplane and Crew Assignment Check.
  2. Time Schedule:
     ____ Box
    Stations   –0855
    Start Engines –0905
    Taxi     –0915
    Take Off   –0930 First A/C [Aircraft]
    Last Take Off –____

  3. Targets:
    Primary: Falaise
    Secondary: None
    Last Resort:

  4. Loading:
    351 “A”: 12 x 500#
    351 “B”:
    Nickels [Propaganda Leaflets] in Ship # - J-971 - K-557
    Chaff: ____

  5. Gasoline Loading: Normal 1700 gallons

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

  7. Division Formation:
    PositionCBW [Combat Wing]TargetDeparture Time at Coast
    Lead41st A
    2nd41st B
    2nd DivisionSame Area
    3rd DivisionSame Area
    RAF [Royal Air Force]

    Remarks: ____

  8. Fighter Cover:
    • [Force][Latitude & Longitude][Call Sign]
      _________ Area support to E – S + W  Balance 

  9. Group Assembly:

  10. Navigator - _____
  11. S-2 - _____
  12. Weather - _____
  13. Special Instructions to Navigators, Bombardiers and Radio Operators:
    No flares after Eng. Coast. - Red Combination for distress.
    IFF will be wired in OFF position.
    There must be NO early releases.
    NO test firing of guns. - Leave guns in receivers until landing.
    Will call pilots on R/T before landing.
  14. Squadron Leaders and Group Deputy report to Target Room. All but Pilots Dismissed.
  15. (A) Code Words –
    PFF Bombing –____
    Visual Bombing -____
    Authenticator –Star Dust
    Recall -Charley Victor Oboe Peter
    Weather Code -Partnership X
    Release "CHAFF" -Tin Hat

    (B) Call Signs:
    Call SignFlaresRemarks
    351st ANormal
    351st B
    401st A
    401st B
    457th A
    457th B
    1st C.B.W.
    40th C.B.W.
    41st C.B.W.
    Composite C.B.W.

    U.S. FightersBalance
    R.A.F. Fighters
     BombersVinegrove One Three
    U.S. Grnd. ControlColgate
    R.A.F. Grnd. Control

    Control Points:Fighter Reference Points:
    Remarks: ____

    Colors of the Day
    0200 – 0800GGCD
    0800 – 14000GYHW
    1400 – 2000R-RRIN

    (E) Ships To Monitor [Radio Channels A, B, C & D]
    1. - All except
    2. - H-798, A-702
    3. - A-238, B-349
    4. - ___
  16. Let-Down on Deenethorpe, if overcast.
    351st A   20° Mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
    351st B   __° Mag. [Magnetic Compass Heading]
    401st A   __° Mag.
    457th A   __° Mag.
  17. Flying Control. –
    1. Taxi Plan.
    2. Emergency Fields. Tangmere 50°51’N-00°42’W
    3. Landing Aids.

  18. Special Instructions:
    Lead & deputy take-off 3 mins. early to be sure to be at buncher first.
    Hales #5 – wait 3 min. after Q-879 before take-off.
    Assembly – T/O [Take-off], climb for two minutes, turn to 90°, fly to 00° 10’ W, then south on line Spl. 16 to Spl. 9 to _____ ft., & back to Deenethorpe buncher.
    2 mins. between C.B.W.’s. Co-P – Take interval at Eng. Coast.
    Camera ships – peel out at Eng. Coast & return individually. Condon - B-349, Medick - X-926, Adamiak - D-524
    Spare – Sutton – Turn right at Eng. Coast & return home.
    Stay on top if no holes & let down over Deenethorpe at 20°.

Teletype Message:

 Following message received:
 The following message will be read to all crews at next briefing after receipt:
 The Eighth Air Force is currently charged with a most solemn obligation in support of the most vital operation ever undertaken by our Armed Forces. It will be necessary during certain stages to attack with tremendous intensity the area immediately in front of our advancing troops. Because of the intensity required, no other agency except the Eighth Air Force can undertake the task. The required materials and skill are ours, yet it must be recognized that bombardment accuracy has never faced a more severe test. Every individual keenness, every refinement of technique, and every aid to accuracy must be exploited so that the pattern of our attack is exactly as ordered, and that there are no gross or avoidable errors to bring disaster to our troops on the ground. The necessary hazards have been accepted. They can be minimized only through exalted performance on the part of our Air Leaders and Bombardiers. I have every confidence in you.

Message to be Read:

 The following teletype received from 8 AF forwarded for your information and compliance.
 The Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary Force has directed that the following instructions be brought to the attention of every member of air crews fighting over Europe:
 Humanity and the principles for which we fight demand that pilots be scrupulous in avoiding any but military targets; nothing must be done which will betray the trust vested in us by oppressed peoples of Europe or prejudice our good name in the eyes of our friends still dominated by Nazi tyranny; enemy airmen escaping by parachute are not legitimate military targets and may not be deliberately attacked.

Operational Narrative – Lead Combat Box:
  1. General Narrative. Nineteen aircraft, including the PFF ship and a flying spare, took off at 0930 – 0943 hours for the Mission of 7 June, 1944. The group assembled at the briefed altitude. The assembly was somewhat confused when the 41st Combat Wing flew across the buncher, but afterwards it was possible to assemble and depart from the buncher on time. The combat wing assembly was made very well.
     The briefed course was followed with little variation as to route. The formation was one minute late in departing from the English Coast and reached the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] twenty-seven minutes later, four minutes behind time. Bombing interval was taken by the groups while still over the channel.
     A long run was made on the target (ten minutes). Small corrections were made, the last being a very gradual and deliberate correction. The GH navigator claimed that a good run was made on the target. GEE fixes by several aircraft indicated that bombing results should have been good. The target was completely overcast.
     The high box made a 360° turn at the target, and so put itself twenty minutes behind the rest of the combat wing assembly. This was done to permit a second run on the target.
     The low box had taken a five minute interval for bombing. The lead box made a 360° turn after leaving the French coast in order to pick up the Low Box.  The bomber strike was sent by the Lead aircraft on Channel B to Cycle Relay.
     The return trip was flown nearly as briefed, being slightly behind because of the 360° turn executed off the French coast.
     Let down was made on the Deenethorpe buncher from 6,500 to 2,000 feet. All aircraft returned to base, and landings were made at 1501 – 1525 hours.
     Fighter support had been promised the high box during its second run. No enemy aircraft were seen. No flak was seen other than three bursts to the rear of the formation which were poor for deflection and good for altitude. [At 49°44’N-00°16’E handwritten in]
  2. Aircraft Not Attacking. All of the aircraft taking off, except the flying spare, continued on the Mission as indicated in the General Narrative. Two aircraft were over the target but failed to bomb. The Group Armament Officer indicates that in both instances the bombardier failed to turn on the bomb bay rack selector switches. The aircraft and pilots were: 42-97252 - Lt. Cesarini, 43-37524 - Lt. Adamiak
  3. Aircraft Lost. No aircraft were lost on the Mission of 7 June, 1944.
  4. Combat Wing Air Commander. Lt. Col. Clinton F. Ball, flying in the PFF Aircraft, led the 94th Combat Wing Formation.

No. of A/C Scheduled - Less One Flying Spares17
No. of A/C Taking Off - Less One Flying Spares17
No. of A/C Attacking15
No. of A/C Not Attacking - Less One Flying Spares 2
No. of Sorties15
No. of A/C Lost0
NOTE: The above summary does not include the PFF aircraft.

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

Bombardier’s Narrative:

Group: 351st
Target: Falaise, France
Method of Bombing: “G.H.” [radio navigation system]
Altitude: 20,000’
Direction of Attack: 271° Mag. Heading
Wind Direction: 350°
Wind Velocity: 50 MPH
Bombardier’s Narrative: The 351st Bombardment Gp. (H) dropped their bombs on the “G.H.” ship that was flying in the Lead position of this group. Bombs were away at 1210 on a Magnetic Heading of 271°. Results were not observed.

[Signed:] Thomas E. Trolinger, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Deputy Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Bombardier - 1st Lt. Trolinger, Thomas E.  Pilot - 1st Lt. Dixey, Joseph R. Navigator - 2nd Lt. Shafer, Robert C.
Aircraft B-17G   879-Q  Take-off - 0930 Landed - 1500
Objective - Falaise, France
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - Center of town.
Initial Point - As ordered.
Method of Attack - Group
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 18   Composite Group - ____
Number A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: PFF
Deflection and Range Sighting, Group: P.F.F.   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - P.F.F.    Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 500 LB. AN M-43
Number of Bombs Loaded - 12   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - PFF [(G.H.) handwritten in]
Information at Release Point:

Altitude of Target - + 162Magnetic Heading Ordered 263° Actual 271°
True Altitude Above Target - 19,789’True Heading 287°
Indicated Altitude - 20,000Drift, Estimated 16° Left - Actual __°
Pressure Altitude of Target + 162True Track ___°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 9,215'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150 M.P.H.B.S. Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 205 M.P.H.Time of Release 1210
Ground Speed Est. 189 Actual 166Length of Bombing Run - 10 min.
Wind Direction Metro - 358° Actual - 350°Intervalometer Setting - Salvo
Wind Velocity Metro 58 Actual 50 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] X [Used]
D.S. - 144.3  Trail - 50   ATF - 56.73A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .47 Actual P.F.F. Manual Pilot - ____

Type of Release - Salvo
Point of Impact If Seen - 10/10 Clouds
Mean Temp. Metro -6 Actual -6
Winds - Altitude - 20,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 358°  Actual 350°  Velocity - Metro 58  Actual 50
Temp C. - Metro -6° C. Actual -6° C.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Combat Crew Comments:

    508th Sqdn.
A/C 702-A Chow was good this morning – hit the spot. – Sgt. Bluxome.

    509th Sqdn.
A/C 926-X All crew members want to know whether they or armament pulls the guns.
A/C 144-R Assembly was poor – could not see the flares. – Lt. Trombley.
A/C 748-V Would like soup for meals more often. – F/O Overmyer.

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

Armament Report:
  1. The following armament malfunctions were reported on the Mission of 7 June, 1944.
    1. A/C 43-37524 – (All Electrical) The navigator-bombardier admits he failed to turn on the bomb bay selector switches, with the result that no bombs could be dropped. Bombs were returned to base.
    2. A/C 42-97252 – (All Electrical) Bombs were returned to base. After checking the ship, it is the opinion of the Group Armament Officer that the bombardier failed to turn on the bomb bay rack selector switches. This was the crew’s first mission.
    3. A/C 42-97202 – (All Electrical) Two bombs failed to release in salvo as briefed, and were returned to base. A faulty A-4 release was found to be the cause, and has been replaced.
  2. Nine (9) all electrical ships were on the Mission.
[Signed:] Michael Steele, CWO, USA, Group Armament Officer

Disposition of Bombs:

1. Following is the disposition of bombs loaded for the Mission of 7 June, 1944.

Main BombfallOver TargetBombingNumberSizeTypeFusing: NoseTail
(Falaise)1717164500 lb.GP1/101/40
[Written in by hand]15(154)
Total Bombs Dropped164500 lb.GP1/101/40
[Written in by hand](154)
Brought Back by Flying Spare12500 lb.GP1/101/40
[Written in by hand] & Rack Malfunctions(38)
TOTAL BOMBS LOADED176500 lb.GP1/101/40
[Written in by hand](192)

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

Deficiencies and Disabilities:

1. Following interrogation a negative report is hereby submitted for operational mission of the above date.

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

“J” Form:
  1. Call Letter and Last Four numbers of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th Combat Wing   Lead Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: 1879–Q, 7798–H, 1702–A, 7349–B, 7557–K, 2971–J
    Sqdn 509th A/C: 9914–S, 7216–U, 7144–R, 7202–Z, 7926–X, (1384–T Spare)
    Sqdn 510th A/C: 7252–K, 7196–M
    Sqdn 511th A/C: 1238–A, 1748–V, 2952–H, 7524–D
    P.F.F. Sqdn 360 A/C: 7405–H

  2. Target: 21/Q/3 ILL47
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T WEP R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T RYA R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T NJB R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T MET R/T PARTNERSHIP
    Squadron360 [PFF] [Call Sign]W/T UFS R/T Toy Doll
  4. a. Lead Box: Taxi – 0915; Take-Off – 0930; E.T.D. Field – 0930
    b. ____ Box: Taxi – ____; Take-Off – ____; E.T.D. Field – ____
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    113220,000 Ft Brighton
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    115020,000 Ft 49°40'N-00°10'W [17 miles NW of Le Havre, France]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    123220,000 Ft 4900'N-01°34'W [Near Hauteville-sur-Mer, France]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    134314,000 Ft Portland Bill
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1436 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "N"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: Lead Box
    508 Squadron: 12 x 500 # GP [General Purpose] 1/10 x 1/40 (Nickels 2471-J, 7557-K)
    509 Squadron: 12 x 500 # GP [General Purpose] 1/10 x 1/40
    510 Squadron: 12 x 500 # GP [General Purpose] 1/10 x 1/40
    511 Squadron: 12 x 500 # GP [General Purpose] 1/10 x 1/40

  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: Normal Gallons
  13. Group Leader:
    a. Lead Box: Name: Clinton F. Ball Rank: Lt. Col. A/C: 7405-H  Sqdn. 360th (PFF)
    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.
    360 PFF7405–H________524–D________

    Report Compiled By John Maksimik, S/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
Group Formation Take–Off
508th Squadron
A/C 42-97405 H PFF
A/C 42-97798 H
A/C 42-31879 Q
A/C 42-31702 A
A/C 42-31238 A
A/C 42-97349 B
510th Squadron509th Squadron
A/C 42-102952 H
A/C 42-39914 S
A/C 42-97252 K
A/C 43-37524 D
A/C 42-97216 U
A/C 42-31748 V
A/C 42-97196 M
A/C 42-97144 R
A/C 42-102971 J
A/C 43-37557 K
A/C 42-97926 X
A/C 42-97202 Z
A/C 42-31384 T Flying Spare

Group Formation Over–Target
508th Squadron
A/C 7405 H PFF
A/C 42-97798 H
A/C 42-31879 Q
A/C 42-31702 A
A/C 42-31238 A
A/C 42-97349 B
510th Squadron509th Squadron
A/C 42-102952 H
A/C 42-39914 S
A/C 42-97252 K
A/C 43-37524 D
A/C 42-97216 U
A/C 42-31748 V
A/C 42-97196 M
A/C 42-97144 R
A/C 42-102971 J
A/C 43-37557 K
A/C 42-97926 X
A/C 42-97202 Z

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 1200 DBST [Double British Standard Time]  Briefing: ____  Stations: 0855  Start Engines: 0905  Taxi: 0915  Take-off: 0930  Leave Base: 0930

 [Wounded - 0]
The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
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