351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #255

Credited Mission #248

DATE: 6 Jan. 1945
Target: Bombed Secondary Target,
Road Bridge at Bonn, Germany
Briefing Outline:

    1. TARGETS: 
    2. Visual Primary: Rail Center at Euskirchen [Germany]
    3. PFF Primary: Road Bridge over Rhine at Bonn [Germany]
    4. Visual Secondary: ____
    5. PFF Secondary: ____
    6. Last Resort: Any military target not prohibited by regulations.

    Zero Hour: - 0930
    Stations: - 0735
    Start Engines: - 0745
    Taxi: - 0755
    Take Off: - 0810
    Target Time: - ____
    ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:
    - ____

      Gasoline 2,500 Gallons

     Lead - 12 x 500# G.P. [General Purpose] 1/10 – 1/40 [Fuses]
     High - Same
     Low - Same
     Composite - ___

  3. Intervalometer Settings: Visual – Salvo. P.F.F. – 30 FT.

  4. Chaff: [Release chaff] 2 mins. after IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] [& continue] for 23 mins.

  5. Disposition of Forces [Bomb Group]TargetTime of Departure
    "A" Gp. in 94 CBW
    [Combat Bomb Wing]
    457th Kempenich, Comm. Center 
    "B" Gp. in 94 CBW 401stKempenich, Comm. Center
    "C" Gp. in 94 CBW351stRail Center - Euskirchen
    1 Div. Lead40thRodenkirchen & Koln
    2nd CBW1stKoln
    3rd CBW41stKoln
    4th CBW94thKempenich & Euskirchen
    2nd Div.360 A/CE. & S. of 1st Air Division Targets
    3rd Div.13 Grps.E. & S. of 1st Air Division Targets

    PFF A/C to fly as: Lead & Deputy Lead Sqdn and Lead of High Squadron.

    REMARKS: Lead ship is Triangle P [A/C] Letter Z, number 8027
     2 minute interval between CBW's [Combat Bomb Wings].

  6. Fighter Cover: 6 Gps. of P-51’s; 1 Grp P47's.

  7. Other Forces: ____

  8. Assembly:
    Lead at15,000'feet on Kings Cliffe Buncher
    High at16,000'feet onKings CliffeBuncher
    Low at14,000'feet onKings CliffeBuncher
    401st at15,000'feet onCottesmoreBuncher
    457th at15,000'feet onGlattonBuncher
    Composite at____feet on____Buncher
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: ____
    Division Assembly Line: Clacton on out.

  9. Navigator - _____

  10. S-2 - _____

  11. Weather - _____

  12. Special Instructions:
     a. Type of Bombing Formation - Normal
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of each sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
     They are: Lead - P-038, High - H-435, Low - O-595
     c. Camera A/C   K-252, J-978, V-854
      to return at  ____
     d. Spares to turn back at Continental Coast
     e. REMARKS: Buckeye White will scout out target & will drop chaff.
      41st CBW approaches from Sudbury.
      40th CBW approaches from Braintree.
      1st CBW approaches from Wickford


    351stWoodcraft CharlieRG [Red Green]Dennis
    401stWoodcraft BakerRYSilver
    457thWoodcraft AbleRYMaj. Stann
    1st Div. Air CommanderLt. Col. ChalfantFoxhole Able
    94th CBW Air CommanderStann

    FightersBalance 3-5
    BombersVinegrove 3-11
    Grnd. ControlMohair

    Control Points:Fighter Reference Points:
    C.P. 1 - ClactonE - Strassburg
    C.P. 2 - 51°14’N-02°55’EX - Frankfurt
     [Ostend, Belgium]P - Mannheim
    C.P. 3 - 50°35’N-05°00’EO - Coblenz
     [Hanret, Belgium]R - Trier
    _____T - Koln
    Remarks: Reference Altitude: 22,000’

  14. Ships To Monitor [Radio Channels A, B, C & D]
    1. Channel “A” - All except:
    2. Channel “B” - Gonske N-665, Smith U-591, Butler C-753
    3. Channel “C” - 67th F.W. [Fighter Wing] Brooks G-862
    4. Channel “C” - 8th A.F. [Air Force] Lawson H-280
    5. Channel “D” - All available except Leads & Q-080

    1. Runway on Take Off. ____
    2. Expected Runway on return. ____
    3. Emergency Airfields on Continent. ____

Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 6 January, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The secondary target at Bonn, Germany was attacked by PFF methods.
    2. Force: 94th "C" Group. Thirty-eight aircraft, including one GH aircraft, two PFF ships and two flying spares, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th "C" Group was briefed to fly as the last group in the Division Formation. Its actual position was next to last, as the 94th "B" Group flew on its wing.
    4. Lead Teams:
      Group Lead
      Air Commander: Captain Lee H. Dennis
      Pilot:Captain James M. Gibbons
      Navigator:1st Lt. Benton F. Love
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Frederick S. Ralph

      High Squadron
      Leader: Captain Paul G. Anderson
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Paschel M. Huff
      Navigator:2nd Lt. Melvin L. Ouder
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. Mart G. Smith

      Low Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Charles E. Daugherty
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Billy J. Maddux
      Navigator:1st Lt. Elver F. Huntley
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Donald H. Stump
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The assembly was carried out without difficulty at the briefed altitude of 15,000 feet over the Kings Cliffe buncher.
    2.  Route Over England: The formation departed from the assembly area on time (0930). The briefed route was followed to Crowland, which was reached on time and on course. After leaving Crowland, the formation flew to the left of the briefed course in order to get into position behind the 94th "A" and "B" Groups, and also to keep the formation out of the sun. The briefed route was contacted at Ipswich, which was reached two minutes late (0956). Clacton, the departure point, was reached at 1000, one minute late. Faulty information on winds was provided by the weather ship and is believed responsible for the formation being late at the departure point. However, the preceding formations were also behind time.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The 94th "C" Group departed from the coast at the briefed point, but flew to the right of course in order to permit the 94th "B" Group to come up and take its briefed position behind the 94th "A" Group. The 94th "B" Group failed to get into position, and instead, flew on the wing of the 94th "C" Group. The Belgian coast was crossed at the briefed point in following the Division column. The briefed route had not been flown by the 94th "C" Group in the attempt to make room for the 94th "B" Group in the Division column.
    4.  Flight to Target: The Division column was followed in a divergency to the north of course which took the formation north of Brussels. The briefed IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was reached at 1102 - five minutes late, at an altitude of 25,000 feet, the briefed height.
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: A GH run was started on the assigned primary target, but after 6½ minutes, the GH equipment was found to be inoperative. It was decided that by changing the heading slightly, the secondary target at Bonn, Germany, could be attacked by PFF methods.

      The bombing was done in group formation, the High and Low Squadrons dropping on the Lead Squadron. The briefed IP had been used for the attack on the secondary target. No interference was encountered on the bomb run. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] functioned satisfactorily. The High Squadron PFF aircraft gave returns near the target, and so all aircraft had to bomb on the lead ship.
    6.  Flight From Target: After attacking the secondary target, the 94th "C" Group flew on the outside of the course which had been briefed for the primary target. The 40th Combat Wing was contacted south of the IP and the 94th "C" Group flew with it on the withdrawal. The briefed route was contacted to the southeast of Brussels and was followed to the coast. The briefed departure point from the Belgian coast was reached twenty-one minutes late (1241), at an altitude of 12,000 feet. The 94th "C" Group flew to the north of the briefed course in crossing the channel in search of a hole in the undercast through which it could let-down. VHF conversation with Cycle Relay [a radio relay station] indicated that the best altitude at that point would be 5,000 feet. A 360° turn was made in mid-channel, and a slow let-down was made. The formation flew between the middle and low clouds to the English coast. The English coast was reached at Ipswich at 4,000 feet, and the briefed route was followed to base. The High and Low Squadrons went to their respective stand-off areas. A normal let-down procedure had been followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Very Good.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. Meager inaccurate flak was met at the target and in the Koblenz area. No enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather in the Koblenz area. No enemy aircraft were encountered. The weather in the target area was ten-tenths and seven to nine-tenths en route. Medium and persistent contrails were encountered in the target area. The Scouting Force was contacted and provided helpful weather information.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack. The flying spares remained with the formation.

  [Signed] Carl C. Hinkle, Jr., Major, Air Corps, Operations Officer

Statistical Summary:
Lead BoxHigh BoxLow BoxTOTAL
No. of A/C Failing to Take Off0000
No. of A/C Airborne13*131238
No. of A/C Airborne Less Unused Spares13*131238
No. of A/C Sorties13*131238
No. of A/C Attacking13*131238
No. of A/C Not Attacking0000
Name of Primary Target
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Secondary TargetBONN, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target13*131238
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 154 x 500# GP  155 x 500# GP  142 x 500# GP  451 x 500# GP 
Name of Last Resort Target (LRT)
(A) No. of A/C Attacking LRT
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Target of Opportunity (T.O.)
(A) No. of A/C Attacking T.O.
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
No. of A/C Lost - Total0000
No. of A/C Lost - Flak
No. of A/C Lost - Flak and E/A
No. of A/C Lost - Enemy Aircraft
No. of A/C Lost - Accident
No. of A/C Lost - Unknown
Time of Take Off080508060808
Time of Attack111611161116
Average Time of Flight5:536:306:24
Altitude of Release23,730’24,330’22,700’
Enemy Resistance – AA Intensity & AccuracyMEAGER AND INACCURATE
Enemy Resistance – Fighter0000
Enemy Resistance – Bombers0000
U.S. A/C Engaged by Enemy Aircraft0000

* - Includes one GH aircraft from the 384th Bomb Group.

PFF A/C were borrowed from Groups as follows: None
PFF A/C were loaned to Groups as follows: None

GH A/C 8027 from 384th Bomb Group flew in Lead Squadron.


Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 6 Jan. 1945
Field Order # 599
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th "C" Group
Target - Bonn, Germany
  1. Type of Bombing (Visual, PFF or Combined)?  PFF
  2. Did Squadron perform own sighting operation, bomb on smoke marker, or was bombing done in Group Formation? Bombing was in group formation on the Lead Squadron. The High and Lead Squadron dropped on a Mag. [Magnetic] heading of 054° at 1116 hours.
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. 10/10
  5. If Visual, when was MPI identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? PFF
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? None
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? Yes
  8. Any other factors affecting accuracy? None
  [Signed] Frederick S. Ralph, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Lead Squadron, 94th CBW "C" Group Bombardier - 1st Lt. Ralph, Frederick S.
Pilot - Capt. Dennis, L.H. & Capt. Gibbons, J.M.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Love, Benton F., Jr.

Aircraft B-17G   Z-027  Take-off - 0821 Landed - 0216 [1416]
Objective - Bonn, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - PFF
Initial Point - As Briefed
Method of Attack - Group
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 36   Composite Group - ____
Number A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: ____
Deflection and Range Sighting, Group: One   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - __   Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 12 x 500 Lb. G.P.[General Purpose] AN-M43 & Markers
Number of Bombs Loaded - As Above   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - On

Information at Release Point:  Bombing was in Group Formation.

Altitude of Target - 560Magnetic Heading Ordered 062° Actual 061°
True Altitude Above Target - 23,730True Heading 054°
Indicated Altitude - 25,000Drift, Estimated 17° Right - Actual 12° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target +400True Track 066°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 10690'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 222KTime of Release 1116
Ground Speed Est. 202 Actual 214Length of Bombing Run - 47 N.M. [Nautical Miles]
Wind Direction Metro - 350° Actual - 345°Intervalometer Setting - 30 Feet
Wind Velocity Metro 60 Actual 46 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 130.8  Trail - 57   ATF - 40,54A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .43 Actual .465 Manual Pilot - _____

Type of Release - Train
Point of Impact If Seen - Unobserved
Mean Temp. Metro -19.5 Actual -20
Winds - Altitude - 24,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 350°  Actual 345°  Velocity - Metro 60  Actual 46
Temp C. - Metro -41° C. Actual -41° C.

Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. No leaflets were carried on today's mission.
  2. Our three squadrons bombed on the lead PFF a/c, attacking the secondary target at Bonn. Mickey [Radar] returns show that bombs of all three squadrons dropped to the north of the target.
  3. No enemy opposition was met on today's mission.
  4. Meager inaccurate flak was met at the target and in the Koblenz area.
  5. The weather in the target area was 10/10ths and 7-9/10ths enroute [sic]. Medium and persistent contrails were encountered in the target area.
  6. Contrails of a possible V-2 was observed to come up from approximately 5015 N - 0705 E at 1138 hours. Another contrail was observed at 1159 hours which appeared to come up from approximately 5035 N - 0600 E.
  7. The high squadron PFF a/c gave weak returns near the target; so all a/c of this group bombed on the lead PFF a/c which worked well. Fighter support was good. None of our a/c is missing. The Scouting Force was contacted and their information proved helpful to this group.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Combat Crew Comments:

    509th Squadron:
A/C 410-A Lead and Low Squadrons flew too close and too level today, giving a great deal of prop wash. - Lt. Hammett
A/C 640-C Squadron lead was good; Group lead was exceptionally good. Lt. Foreman did a very good job of formation flying. - Lt. Walker.
A/C 078-G On the way to the coast an entire group, markings unknown, cut right through our formation. - Lt. Mueller.
A/C 591-U A/C P-843 dropped one bomb late and it passed within 20 feet of our nose. - Lt. H. Smith. (Lt. Johnson, pilot of A/C P-843, stated that he had not yet gone into turn when last bomb was kicked out and that he checked the formation for planes underneath before dropping.)

    510th Squadron:
A/C 461-T I think it would be much better to land with your back to the sun in hazy conditions, provided there is no wind. - Lt. Gottschalk.

    511th Squadron:
A/C 130-K There should be a longer interphone cord for waist gunner, so that he can move to both guns. - Lt. Mahnke.

  [Signed:] Benjamin T. Jeremiah, 2nd Lt, Air Corps, Ass't. S-2 [Intelligence] Officer.

“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th Combat Wing "C" Group   Lead Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: (Z–8376 PFF),
    Sqdn 509th A/C: None
    Sqdn 510th A/C: B–6610, G–7862, H–8280, K–7252, L–7515, M–9001, N–7665, P–8038, S–7512, T–8461 (R–1714 Spare)
    Sqdn 511th A/C: None
    Sqdn 544th A/C: (Z–8027 GH 384th Bomb Group)

    b. 94th Combat Wing "C" Group   Low Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: A–8410, B–7349
    Sqdn 509th A/C: C–8640, F–6566, G–6078, M–7964, O–2595, P–7843, T–1384, V–7854, U–8591
    Sqdn 510th A/C: D–7957
    Sqdn 511th A/C: None

    c. 94th Combat Wing "C" Group   High Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: (U–8374 PFF), C–8753, J–7978, K–8130, (M–7900 Spare)
    Sqdn 509th A/C: C–8640, T–1384,
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: A–8428, C–8694, F–7705, H–8435, J–6579, M–8650, N–8592, Q–8080
  2. Target: GSGS 4416
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T JXJ R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T SQB R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T NMC R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T MXJ R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0755; Take-Off – 0810; E.T.D. Field – 0810
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    095917,000 Ft Clacton
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    102021,000 Ft 51°14'N-02°55'E [Ostend, Belgium]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    121910,000 Ft 51°14'N-02°55'E [Ostend, Belgium]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    12555,000 Ft Felixstowe
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1335 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "G"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    Low Squadron: 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    High Squadron: 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2500 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Dennis A/C No & Sqdn. Z-8027 GH (544)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Daugherty A/C No & Sqdn. D-7595 (510)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Anderson A/C No & Sqdn. U-8374 PFF (508)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)

Report Compiled By L.A. Curley, T/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
94th CBW "C" Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
A/C 44-8027 Z GH
A/C 42-38038 P
A/C 44-8376 Z
A/C 43-37515 L
A/C 44-6610 B
A/C 43-37665 N
A/C 44-8280 H
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 43-38461 T
A/C 42-31714 R Spare*
A/C 42-97252 K
A/C 43-37862 G

[* - Spare Aircraft stayed with the formation and bombed the target.]

94th CBW "C" Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
511th Squadron
P.G. Anderson
A/C 44-8374 U PFF
A/C 43-38435 H
A/C 43-38080 Q
A/C 43-37705 F
A/C 43-38694 C
A/C 43-38130 K
A/C 44-6579 J
A/C 43-38753 C
A/C 43-38650 M
A/C 43-38428 A
A/C 43-37900 M Spare*
A/C 43-37978 J
A/C 43-38592 N

[* - Spare Aircraft stayed with the formation and bombed the target.]

94th CBW "C" Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
509th Squadron
A/C 43-37957 D
A/C 43-37595 O
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 43-38640 C
A/C 44-6566 F
Smith, H.F.
A/C 43-38591 U
A/C 43-37964 M
Johnson, E.G.
A/C 42-97843 P
A/C 44-8410 A
A/C 44-6078 G
A/C 43-37854 V
A/C 42-31384 T

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0930 BST [British Standard Time]  Briefing: ____ Stations: 0735 Start Engines: 0745 Taxi: 0755 Take-Off: 0810  Leave Base: 0810 

[Wounded On Mission: 0]
The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
Please contact us with your comments and corrections.