march 1944

December 1943 January 1944 February 1944 March 1944
April 1944 May 1944 June 1944 July 1944
August 1944 September 1944 October 1944 November 1944
December 1944 January 1945 February 1945 March 1945
April 1945      

  No.26    03/03/44   BERLIN - RECALL

Wake-up was at 0345 hours.  Our target was an aviation industry plant in "Big B", Berlin.  This was to be the first 8th Air Force attack on Berlin.  The bomb load was incendiary and GP bombs.  Take off started at 0745 hours and all planes were in the air by 0804 hours.  Three aircraft aborted over England due to mechanical problems.  In route the contrails from the planes ahead were very heavy.  Then the First Combat Wing decided to abort and did a 180 degree turn and flew through the Fourth Combat Wing.  A 94th BG plane collided with a 91st BG plane and the debris damaged Lt. Graham's  aircraft (710th) causing it to go down.  Lt. Ralston's plane (710th) was also damaged.  The Group started landing back at base at 1350 hours.

  No.27    03/04/44   BERLIN - RECALL

Briefing was at 0530 hours.  The target was again Berlin and the target was industrial areas in the Berlin area.  The planes were loaded with GP and incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0800 hours.  The bombing altitude of 24,000 feet was achieved by the time the Group reached the Belgian coast at the mouth of the Rhine.  Due to the tops of the clouds the Groups altitude steadily increased to 30,000 feet.  The decision was made to abort the mission with nine planes bombing targets of opportunity.  The first plane landed at 1415 hours.  Lt. Guyer's ship from the 708th did not return.

  No.28    03/06/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0530 hours.  The target were industrial plants in the suburbs of Berlin.  GP and incendiary bombs were the weapons with take off starting at 0807 hours.  Soon after assembly had started the German Radar began to pick up the formations and they knew the Group was on their way.  At 21,000 feet the bombers were attacked by German fighters.  Lt. Smith's aircraft was badly damaged so he aborted the missions and headed for home.  An 88mm shell then hit Lt. Socolofsky's plane Dottie Jane (708th) killing their radioman Alton Moore. They turned for home landing safely at Rattlesden.  The bomber force lost a total of 53 B-17's and 16 B-24's.  The results of the bombing was rated at "fair".  Landing started at 1622 hours.

 

No.29    03/08/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0630 hours.  The mission  was to bomb the VKF ball bearing factory at Erkner on the southeast edge of Berlin. The planes were loaded with 170 demolition and 150 incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0850 with all ships airborne in 11 minutes.  Bombing altitude was 22,000 feet with clear weather.  The trip was uneventful for the 447th.  The first returning 447th B-17 landed at 1745 hours.

 

No.30    03/09/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0500 hours.  The target was the Brandenburg Gate at the center of Berlin.  The weapons were 500 pound GP bombs, incendiary bombs and leaflets.  Take off started at 0740 hours.  339 B-17's from the First and Third Divisions were in this mission to bomb Berlin.  The bombing altitude was 24,000 feet and bombing was done in wing formation.  6 B-17's and 2 B-24's were lost.  447th planes started landing at 1640 hours.  Lts. McGuire and Jurnecka ditched their planes in the North Sea.

 

No.31    03/11/44   MUNSTER

Briefing was at 0400 hours.  The target was the marshalling (railroad) yards at Munster.  The weapons for the mission were 42 100lb incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0630 hours.  The bombing altitude was 22,000 feet and the flak was heavy.  On return over the North Sea, Lt. H.W. Overdorf from the 710th went down in flames.  This was the 447th's only loss.  The Group began landing at 1230 hours.

 

No.32    03/13/44   NOBALL NO. 74 BOIS DE LA JUSTICE

Briefing was at 0600 hours.  The target was Noball #74 at  Bois de la Justice, France.  The planes were loaded with GP bombs and take off started at 0830 hours.  The 447th crossed the French coast at 12,000 feet and clouds were heavy.  Accurate flak was encountered and only 17 First Division B-17's dropped their bombs.  The remainder of the bombers dropped their bombs over the English Channel.  Landing started at 1300 hours.

 

No.33    03/15/44   BRUNSWICK

Briefing was at 0400 hours.  The target were aircraft plants in the Brunswick area.  The planes carried GP and incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0640 hours.  Bombing altitude of 20,500 feet was reached over the Dutch coast and over the target flak was light.  There were no losses and landing started at 1355 hours.

 

No.34    03/16/44   AUGSBURG

Briefing was at 0430 hours.  The target was an aircraft plant deep in southern Germany at Augsburg.  The weapons were GP and incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0710 hours.  The bombing altitude of 19,000 feet was reached as the Group passed over the coast of the Netherlands.  Shortly after going into Germany, the Luftwaffe hit with multiple waves of Messerschmidt Bf-109's and FW-190's.  Lt. W.G. Huckins of the 711th was seen going down.  Landing at Rattlesden started at 1625 hours.

 

No.35    03/18/44   MUNICH

Briefing was at 0645 hours.  The target was the center of Munich, Germany.  The planes were loaded with GP and incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0915 hours.  The bombing altitude of 19,000 feet was reached over the Belgian coast and the Group encountered Messerschmidt Bf-109's and FW-190's over Germany.  The flak at the target was heavy.  All the 447th planes returned landing at 1855 hours. 

 

No.36    03/20/44   FRANKFURT

Briefing was at 0500 hours.  The target was a propeller plant at Frankfurt, Germany.  Take off started at 0915 hours and the assembled force was made up of 445 heavies.  The mission was aborted due to heavy cloud cover so most of the force dropped their bombs over the North Sea.  The 447th started landing at 1330 hours with no losses.

 

No.37    03/22/44   BERLIN

Briefing was at 0600 hours.  The target was an aircraft plant at Oranieburg in the Berlin area.  Each plane carried 42-hundred pound incendiary bombs.  Take off started at 0831 hours.  The bombing altitude of 21,000 feet was reached as the Group crossed over the Danish peninsula.  The target area was heavily cloud covered so a new course was set for the secondary target, Berlin.  The flak was extremely heavy "so thick you could walk on it", Doyle Shields.  Over the target Lt. E.W. Stull, 710th, had his vertical stabilizer blown off and they went down out of control.  The planes started landing at 1640 hours back at Rattlesden.

 

No.38    03/23/44   BRUNSWICK

The crews were awakened at 0200 hours for briefing.  The target was aircraft plants near Brunswick and Munster.  The weapons for this mission were GP bombs.  Take off started at 0615 hours.  During assembly two planes aborted the mission.  Bombing altitude was 21,000 feet and the target was heavily cloud covered so the secondary target, Brunswick, was selected.  The 447th had no losses and landing started at 1245 hours.

 

No.39    03/26/44   NOBALL NO. 93 LA SORELLERIE

Briefing was at 1000 hours.  The target was Noball #93 (V-1) site in Cherbourg area.  The weapons were GP bombs and take off started at 1230 hours.  The bombing altitude was 19,500 feet, bombs were released over the target and the planes made a sharp turn away from the anti-aircraft guns to head safely home.  Landing started at 1635 hours.

 

No.40    03/27/44   MERIGNAC, CHARTRES

Briefing was at 0800 hours.  The main group of 21 planes were to bomb Merignac, France, an airfield west of Bordeaux located on the south Atlantic coast of France.  The remaining aircraft were to bomb an airfield in central France, but due to bad weather they bombed an airfield in Chartres, France.  The group going to Merignac had fragmentation bombs and those going to Chartres carried GP bombs.  The first group started take off at 0956 hours and the second group started take off at 1020 hours.  The bombing altitude was 22,000 feet and the weather was very clear.  The target was bombed through heavy flak and on the way home Lt. Gaskell (710th) went down probably due to a hit over the target area.  The first Group started landing at 1611 hours and the second Group landed at 1830 hours.

 

No.41    03/28/44   CHARTRES

Briefing was at 0800 hours.  The target was the airfield at Chartres, 44 miles southwest of Paris.  The weapons were GP bombs and take off started at 1035 hours.  The Group released their bombs over the target and returned home.  Landing started at 1615 hours with no losses.

 

No.42    03/31/44   LUDWIGSHAFEN

Briefing was at 0400 hours.  Take off started at 1630 hours and the Group climbed to their bombing altitude which was reached as they crossed the Belgian coast south of Ostend.  The weather got bad so the decision to abort was made.  Shortly after aborting the mission Hamp Morrison's plane of the 710th was hit in the tip of the left wing.  The bombs were dropped into the North Sea.  The Group started landing at 1000 hours with no losses.