351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #274

Credited Mission #267

DATE: 19 Feb. 1945
Target: Power Station, Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Bombed - R.R. Marshalling Yard, Munster, Germany

    1. TARGETS: 
    2. Visual Primary and GH target for today is: Power Station, Gelsenkirchen [Germany]
    3. PFF Primary: Munster [Germany] Transportation
    4. Visual Secondary: ____
    5. PFF Secondary: ____
    6. Last Resort: Rheine [Germany] M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard]

    Zero Hour: - 1230Stations: - 0955
    Start Engines: - 1005Taxi: - 1025
    Take Off: - 1040Last Take Off: - 1150
    Target Time: - 1425ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - 1630
    Depart English Coast at: 1303at Felixstowe

     Gasoline: 2,500 Gallons
     Bombs:12 x 500# G.P. [General Purpose] 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]

  3. Intervalometer Settings: Visual – Salvo. P.F.F. – 100 FT.

  4. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] & continue for 20 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 504 units.

  5. Disposition of Forces:

    3 Divisions will be dispatched. The 1st Air Division will depart England 3rd preceded by 2nd Division and followed preceded by the 3rd Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 4 CBW's of 3 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    Lead1stAttackingDortmund (Fuel)
    2nd40thAttackingBochum (Fuel)
    3rd41stAttackingGelsenkirchen (Fuel)
    4th94thAttackingGelsenkirchen (Power Station)
    2nd Division targets areJugenthal, Siegen & Meschede
    3rd Division targets areOsnabruck, Rheine & Wesel

  6. Fighter Cover: 4 Gps. of P-51's - Close Support for 94th A & B, 1 Group P-51's - (Balance 3-4 [Call Sign]), 2 Groups P-51's will Free Lance in Target Area & drop chaff.

  7. Assembly:
    Lead at18,000'feet on Kings Cliffe BuncherRed-GreenFlares
    High at19,000'feet onKings CliffeBuncherGreen-GreenFlares
    Low at17,000'feet onKings CliffeBuncherRed-RedFlares
    401st at ____ feet on ____ Buncher ____ Flares
    457th at18,000'feet onGlattonBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: Spalding - Watton - Lavenham - Felixstowe
    Division Assembly Line: Felixstowe to Coast of Holland
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 22,000

  8. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft Baker (Maj. Roper)
    457thWoodcraft Able
    1st Div. Air CommanderMaj. Thompson Able Leader)
    94th CBW Air CommanderCapt. Dozier (Woodcraft Able Leader)

  9. Navigator - _____

  10. S-2 - _____

  11. Weather - _____

  12. Communications - _____

  13. Flying Control - _____

  14. Special Instructions:
     a. Type of Bombing Formation - Normal
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of each sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
     c. Camera A/C   A-465, A-428, F-705
      return at   Discretion of Air Commander
     d. Spares to turn back at 04° East.
     e. PFF A/C fly as deputy of Lead & Lead of High
     f. GH A/C fly as Lead of Group
     g. REMARKS:  We are Vinegrove 3-11 [Call Sign]
      8 - P-51's - Buckeye Red [Call Sign] will scout route & target weather per S.O.P. [Standard Operating Procedure]. Every effort
      will be made to send control point timings correctly.


Operational Narrative,
  1. Date of Mission - 19 February, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked: The secondary target at Munster, Germany was attacked by PFF methods.
    2. Force: 94th “B” Group. Thirty-nine aircraft, including one GH ship, three PFF ships, and three flying spares, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th “B” Group flew in its briefed position as the last group in the First Division Formation.
    4. Lead Teams
      Group Lead
      Air Commander: Lt Col James T. Stewart
      Pilot:Captain James M. Gibbons
      Navigator:1st Lt. Benton F. Love
      Bombardier:1st Lt Frederick S. Ralph

      High Squadron
      Leader: Captain Harvey F. Powell
      Pilot:1st Lt. Clinton W. Hammond
      Navigator:1st Lt Harry U. Perry
      Bombardier:1st Lt Edward H. Anderson

      Low Squadron
      Leader: Major Jerome H. Geiger
      Pilot:1st Lt Robert S. Parnell
      Navigator:1st Lt Elmer T. Nelson, Jr
      Bombardier:1st Lt Frank H. Reising
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The assembly of the 94th “B” Group was carried out at the briefed altitude of 10,000 feet without difficulty. The High Squadron, because of contrails, found it necessary to assemble at 22,000 feet. No difficulty was caused in doing this. The Lead and Low Squadrons were able to move up to the High Squadron after their assembly.
    2.  Route Over England: Departure from the assembly point, the Kings Cliffe buncher, was made on time (1227). After leaving the assembly point, the 94th “B” got into position behind the 94th “A” without difficulty and followed it to the departure point. The briefed route was not closely followed over England in doing so, the formation going to the north of the turn at Watton and flying to the east of the briefed point between Watton and the departure point. The departure from the English coast was made to the left of the briefed point in order to keep in trail of the preceding formation. The turn to the left at that point caught the High Squadron unawares, and as a result, it was unable to maintain its position in the formation. Departure from the English coast was made at 1301½, 1½ minutes early, at an altitude of 21,000 feet, 1,000 feet above the briefed altitude. The increase in altitude was necessary because of clouds at the briefed height.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The formation gradually closed into the briefed route after departing from the English coast left of the briefed point. Before reaching the coast of Holland, the 94th “A” performed a double drift which permitted the High Squadron to catch up and regain its position in the formation. The Dutch coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 25,300 feet, 700 feet below the briefed altitude. At that point the formation was two minutes late (1342). The 94th “B” Group was in its proper position as last group in the Division Column.
    4.  Flight to Target: The briefed route was followed to the left inside of the coast. It was determined that the primary target was overcast, and as the GH equipment in the lead aircraft was inoperative, the decision was made to attack the secondary target at Munster by PFF methods. The IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] used was slightly to the north and east of the one briefed for the primary target. This point was reached 33 minutes early (1411) at the briefed altitude of 26,000 feet.
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The secondary target at Munster, Germany, was attacked. Shortly after take-off, the Gee equipment in the lead aircraft burned out. It was possible for the bombardier to crank in a visual assist shortly before bombs away, when a break in the clouds permitted identification of the MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. Some difficulty was encountered by the aircraft of another formation which had completed its run on the target and returned to the briefed route through the 94th “B” Group. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] functioned satisfactorily. The selected IP was to the north and east of the briefed point.
    6.  Flight From Target: After attacking the secondary target, the formation returned to the briefed route, contacting it at the point designated as the IP for the primary target. The briefed route was followed with only slight divergency in the flight to the Dutch coast. Departure from the coast was made at an altitude of 20,000 feet and to the right of the briefed course. The formation flew the briefed route on the flight across the channel. The English coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 6,000 feet. The briefed course was closely followed in the return to base. It was possible to let-down by squadrons through a break in the clouds shortly before reaching base. The High and Low Squadrons went to their respective stand-off areas while the lead aircraft led the Lead Squadron over the field and landed at Molesworth. Landings were carried out without difficulty. A normal let-down procedure had been followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Very Good.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Flak at the target was moderate to meager and accurate. Weather at the target was extremely hazy, with 8 to 9/10th clouds. The target itself could be seen but the city was well covered. The Weather Scouting Force was contacted and its information was accurate.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack.

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

351st Bombardmant Group
Lead BoxHigh BoxLow BoxTOTAL
No. of A/C Failing to Take Off0000
No. of A/C Airborne13*131339
No. of A/C Airborne Less Unused Spares12121236
No. of A/C Sorties12121236
No. of A/C Attacking12121236
No. of A/C Not Attacking0000
Name of Primary Target
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target12121236
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Secondary TargetMUNSTER, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target12121236
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 141 x 500# GP  143 x 500# GP  143 x 500# GP  427 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 Off103610371045
Time of Attack142114211421
Average Time of Flight5:586:075:54
Altitude of Release26,620’27,030’25,960’
Visual or PFFPFF with Visual Assist
Enemy Resistance – AA Intensity & AccuracyMeager to Moderate and Accurate
Enemy Resistance – Fighter0000
Enemy Resistance – Bombers0000
U.S. A/C Engaged by Enemy Aircraft0000
Degree of SuccessHeavy DamageNo DamageHeavy Damage

* - Includes one (1) GH A/C [Aircraft] 44-8256 Borrowed from 303rd Group.

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

GH Aircraft of 351st Group[POSITION]
44-8376Deputy Lead
42-97701High Sqdn Lead
44-8374Low Sqdn Lead

Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 19 Feb., 1945
Field Order # 634
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th "B" Group
Target - M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard] at Munster, Germany
  1. Type of Bombing (Visual, PFF or Combined)?  PFF with visual assist
  2. Did Squadron perform own sighting operation, bomb on smoke marker, or was bombing done in Group Formation? Bombing was in Group Formation; Low M.H. [Magnetic Compass Heading] was 052° @ 1421 hours, High M.H. was 052° @ 1421 hours
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. 9/10
  5. If Visual, when was MPI [Mean Point of Impact] identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? MPI was identified shortly before "Bombs Away".
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? Aircraft returning from bombing run turned through our formation.
  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:

I certify that this 12E Form is complete and accurate.
[Signed] William B. Lyttle, Captain, Air Corps, Group Bombardier.

Lead Squadron, 94th "B" Group Bombardier - 1st Lt. Ralph, Frederick S.
Pilot - Lt Col Stewart, J.T. & Capt. Gibbons. J.M.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Love, Benton F., Jr.

Aircraft B-17G   Y-256  Take-off - 1037 Landed - 1645
Objective - M/Y at Munster, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - As Briefed   (PFF with visual assist.)
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 - 10 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 - 500'Magnetic Heading Ordered 167° Actual 043°
True Altitude Above Target - 26,620True Heading 038°
Indicated Altitude - 26,000Drift, Estimated 4° Right - Actual 3° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target -469True Track 041°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 14,573'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 228KTime of Release 1421
Ground Speed Est. 251 Actual 203Length of Bombing Run - 40 miles
Wind Direction Metro - 30° Actual - 12°Intervalometer Setting - 100'
Wind Velocity Metro 20 Actual 23 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 122.3  Trail - 59   ATF - 43.53A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .54 Actual 51 Manual Pilot _____

Type of Release - Train - 100'
Point of Impact If Seen - Unobserved
Mean Temp. Metro -9 Actual -9
Winds - Altitude - 26,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 30°  Actual 12°  Velocity - Metro 30  Actual 23
Temp C. - Metro -36° C. Actual -34° C.

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this group attacked as a secondary target the Railway Center at Munster, Germany. Photo cover is complete for all squadrons but haze and cloud make plotting of individual hits impossible.
  2. The patterns of the lead and the low squadrons merge and form a heavy concentration of bombs on the extreme southern junction of the M/Y [Marshalling Yard]. The pattern crosses the important shunting neck and rail over the rail bridge at the junction of the Wesel – Dortmund – Hamm R.R. and damage should be heavy. Other damage will result from hits in the M/Y and possible damage to bridges leading under the M/Y. The combined patterns are 5360 feet south of the briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact].
  3. The pattern of the high squadron fell slightly to the right and short of the lead and low squadrons. The main concentration fell in open fields 11,200 feet south of the MPI and 5,200 feet south of the lead and low squadrons. No damage will be done.
  [Signed:] Thomas L. Cooper, Captain, Air Corps, Group P.I. [Photo Intelligence]

Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. No leaflets were carried on today's mission.
  2. The three squadrons of this group attacked as a Secondary Target the Railway Center at Munster, Germany. Bombing was done in Group formation by PFF methods with a three to five second visual assist. Photos show the pattern of the Lead and Low Squadrons falling together on and around the important Wesel – Dortmund railway junction at the extreme south end of the M/Y [Marshalling Yard]. This is one and one quarter miles south of the briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact] but damage to the railway yard should be heavy. The pattern of the High Squadron can be seen approximately one half mile to the right of the other two squadrons with little damage.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. Flak at the target was moderate to meager and accurate with what is believed to have been continuous following fire control. The only other flak encountered was a few bursts over the Front Lines, fired from an undetermined position.
  5. Weather at the target was extremely hazy, with 8 to 9/10 clouds. The target itself could be seen but the city was well clouded over.
  6. There were no observations of military importance.
  7. Two PFF and one Gee-H A/C were employed by this Group and the equipment of each worked well. Fighter support was very good. The Scouting Force was contacted and its information was accurate. None of our A/C are missing.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Combat Crew Comments:

    508th Squadron:
A/C 435-H We had no rations this morning; someone apparently took two, as there was not enough for all aircraft. - Lt. Wiese.
A/C 954-G We were cut out on bomb run by another group, and this spoiled our bomb pattern. - Lt. Futcher.

    509th Squadron:
A/C 964-M Our bombs were dropped while the squadron was executing a turn. - Lt. Smith.
A/C 955-L Lead of the High Squadron was flying too low during assembly, causing us to fly through clouds. - Lt. Parker.

    510th Squadron:
A/C 610-B The weather ship gave us wrong advice for assembly. - Lt. Oakes.

    511th Squadron:
A/C 280-H The Low Box flew directly beneath the Lead at bombs away. Our bombs fell through their formation, but luckily none
      were hit. - Lt. Lawson.

  [Signed:] Charles a. Hillway, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Ass't. S-2 [Intelligence] Officer.

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives and Flying Spares:
    1. Airplane No. 42-97258, 508th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    2. Airplane No. 44-6156, 509th Squadron returned early as planned.
    3. Airplane No. 44-6565, 511th Squadron returned early as planned.
  [Signed:] John W. Freeman, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. R-156 Squadron - 509  Date - 19 Feb. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive Flying Spare
    2. Place and altitude 26,000' 52°35'N - 4°00'E
    3. Time 1337
    4. Position in formation Spare
    5. Disposition of bombs Returned
    6. Remarks ____
    7. Time & Date dispatched ____
      (Pilot's Signature) Robert K. Potter

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. P-258 Squadron - 508  Date - 19 Feb. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive [Flying Spare]
    2. Place and altitude ____
    3. Time ____
    4. Position in formation ____
    5. Disposition of bombs ____
    6. Remarks ____
    7. Time & Date dispatched ____
      (Pilot's Signature) ____

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. Q-565 Squadron - 511  Date - 19 Feb. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive [Flying Spare]
    2. Place and altitude ____
    3. Time ____
    4. Position in formation ____
    5. Disposition of bombs ____
    6. Remarks ____
    7. Time & Date dispatched ____
      (Pilot's Signature) ____

“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th Combat Wing "B" Group   Lead Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: (Z–8376 PFF),
    Sqdn 509th A/C:
    Sqdn 510th A/C: A–8465, B–6610, G–7862, H–8280, M–9001, N–7665, P–8038, S–7512, T–8461
    Sqdn 511th A/C: D–6082, (Q–6565 Spare)
    Sqdn 359th A/C: (Y–8256 GH From 303rd Group),

    b. 94th Combat Wing "B" Group   Low Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: (U–8374 PFF), B–7349, G–8954, K–8130, L–7956, O–8277, Q–8799, Y–6108, (P–7258 Spare)
    Sqdn 509th A/C: None
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (L–8045 PFF)

    c. 94th Combat Wing "B" Group   High Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C:
    Sqdn 509th A/C: (B–7701 PFF), C–8640, F–6566, L–2955, M–7964, O–8920, P–7843, T–8666, V–7854, Z–7696, (R–6156 Spare)
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: A–8428, C–8694
  2. Target: GO-1041B
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T MDM R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T SDZ R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T RFW R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T NHU R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 1025; Take-Off – 1040; E.T.D. Field – 1040
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    1306 130320,000 Ft Felixstowe
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    134426,000 Ft 52°44'N-04°38'E [Camperduin, Netherlands]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    1515 151822,000 Ft 52°44'N-04°38'E [Camperduin, Netherlands]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    1601 16005,000 Ft Cromer
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1634 1630 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  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: Lt. Col. Stewart A/C No & Sqdn. Y-8256 GH (359 Sqdn - 303 BG)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Maj. Geiger A/C No & Sqdn. U-8374 PFF (508)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: 1st Lt. Powell A/C No & Sqdn. B-7701 PFF (509)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)

Report Compiled By ____

Formation Chart:
94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off & Over Target
510th Squadron
A/C 44-8256 Y GH
A/C 42-38038 P
A/C 44-8376 Z PFF
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 44-6610 B
A/C 44-8280 H
A/C 42-38461 T
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 44-6082 D
A/C 43-37862 G
A/C 44-6565 Q Spare
A/C 43-38465 A
A/C 43-37665 N

[Lt Rebo, the flying spare returned as planned.]

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off & Over Target
509th Squadron
A/C 42-97701 B PFF
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38640 C
Johnson, E.G.
A/C 43-38920 O
A/C 42-97843 P
A/C 43-37964 M
A/C 43-37854 V
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 44-6156 R Spare
A/C 43-38694 C
A/C 43-38428 A

[Lt Potter, the flying spare returned as planned.]

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off & Over Target
508th Squadron
A/C 44-8374 U PFF
A/C 43-38435 H
A/C 43-38691 B
A/C 43-97349 B
A/C 43-38592 N
A/C 43-38130 K
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 43-38277 O
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 42-97258 P Spare
A/C 43-38799 Q
A/C 43-37705 F

[Lt James, the flying spare returned as planned.]

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 1230 BST [British Standard Time]  Briefing: Enlisted Men 0700; Officers 0730 Stations: 0955 Start Engines: 1005 Taxi: 1025 Take-Off: 1040  Leave Base: 1040 [Breakfast: Enlisted Men 0600; Officers 0630]

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