351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #275

Credited Mission #268

Date: 20 Feb. 1945
Target: R.R. Marshalling Yards, Nurnberg, Germany

    1. TARGETS: 
    2. Visual Primary GH target for today is: [Plan] "A" - Rositz - [Plan] "B" - Nurnberg [Germany]
    3. PFF Primary: ____
    4. Visual Secondary: ____
    5. PFF Secondary: [Plan] "A"- Nurnberg - [Plan] "B" - Nurnberg [Germany]
    6. Last Resort: [Plan] "B" Stuttgart or Zwickau [Germany]

    Zero Hour: - 1000Stations: - 0745
    Start Engines: - 0755Taxi: - 0815
    Take Off: - 0830Last Take Off: - ____
    Target Time: - ____ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - ____
    Depart English Coast at: "A" 1020 - "B" 1029at Clacton

     Gasoline: 2,780 Gallons
     Bombs:All A/C: 18 x 250 G.P. [General Purpose] 1/10 Nose x 1/40 Tail [Fuses]

  3. Intervalometer Settings: Visual – Salvo on Plan "A" Visual Plan "B" - 30' P.F.F. Plan "A" or "B" –30 FT.
  4. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 8 mins. before Target - continue 15 mins.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 504 units.
  5. Disposition of Forces:

    3 Divisions will be dispatched. The 1st Air Division will depart England 1020 preceded by 2 Division and followed by the 3 Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 4 CBW's of 3 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    Lead94th AAttacking"A" Rositz - "B" Nurnberg
    2nd41st AAttacking"A" Rositz - "B" Nurnberg
    3rd41st CAttacking"A" Plauen - "B" Nurnberg
    4th40th AAttacking"A" Nurnberg - "B" Nurnberg
    2nd Division targets are"A" Magdeberg and Nurnburg - "B" Nurnberg
    3rd Division targets are"A" Ruhland and Nurnburg - "B" Nurnberg

  6. Fighter Cover: 1 Gps. of P-51's for Close Support
       Balance 2-1 callsign for Plan "A"
       Balance 3-1 callsign for Plan "B"

  7. Assembly:
    Lead at6,000'feet on Kings Cliffe BuncherRed-GreenFlares
    High at7,000'feet onKings CliffeBuncherGreen-GreenFlares
    Low at5,000'feet onKings CliffeBuncherRed-RedFlares
    401st at7,500'feet onCottesmoreBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    457th at6,000'feet onGlattonBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: Watton - Sudbury - Clacton
    Division Assembly Line: Clacton to North Foreland to 51°13’N-02°55’E [Ostend, Belgium]
    1 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 23,000'

  8. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft Able)
    401stWoodcraft Baker
    457thWoodcraft Charlie
    1st Div. Air CommanderCol. Burns
    94th CBW Air CommanderCol. Burns

  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   P-038, Q-799, M-964
      return at   Continental Coast Out [bound]
     d. Spares to turn back at 05° East.
     e. PFF A/C fly as Lead and Deputy Lead of Lead Sqdn., Lead of High Sqdn. and Low Sqdn.
     f. GH A/C fly as ____
     g. REMARKS: 
      Guns will be test fired - Gunners will not fire into friendly aircraft.
      Remind Pilots and Navigators that Airspeed Check is to be made on all ships


Operational Narrative – 94th “C” CBW:
  1. Date of Mission - 20 February, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The PFF secondary target at Nurnberg, Germany, was attacked.
    2. Force: 94th “A” Group. Thirty-nine aircraft, including four PFF ships and three flying spares, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th “A” Group flew in its briefed position as the Lead Group of the First Division until just before reaching the coast of Belgium on the route to the target. Bad weather resulted in it being preceded by two other groups on the flight to the target.
    4. Lead Teams
      Division Lead
      Air Commander: Colonel Robert W. Burns
      Pilot:Captain Clifford T. Pryor
      Navigator:Major Ralph W. Menees
      Bombardier:Captain Warren C. Steitz

      High Squadron
      Leader: Captain Evan A. Poston
      Pilot:1st Lt Robert S. Parnell
      Navigator:1st Lt Albert W. Luich
      Bombardier:1st Lt George H. Plaut

      Low Squadron
      Leader: Captain Wendell Secrest
      Pilot:2nd Lt Joseph E. Parker
      Navigator:1st Lt Howard S. Love
      Bombardier:1st Lt Leonard L. Schuler, Jr.
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The 94th “A” Group had been briefed to form over the King’s Cliffe buncher at 6,000 feet. The weather ship, however, advised assembling at briefed plus nine. Upon reaching the assembly area, the Division Leader decided to assemble at the briefed altitude plus six. The assembly was carried out without undue difficulty.
    2.  Route Over England: The briefed route was closely followed. The departure from the assembly area was made one minute late (0925) at an altitude of 12,000 feet. Watton was reached three minutes early (0942) and shortly afterwards a double drift was made to lose time. Clacton the briefed departure point from the English coast, was reached 30 seconds late (1009½) at an altitude of 13,200 feet. The altitude briefed for that point was 10,000 feet, but due to weather, it was necessary to fly above it.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The briefed Division Assembly Line was flown. Upon reaching a point just off the Belgian coast, it was found that the formation could not climb fast enough [sic] to keep out of the clouds at an altitude of 17,000 feet. The entire group was soon in the clouds. After attempting to fly through the clouds for three or four minutes, Buckeye was contacted. He announced that he was at the reference altitude plus two and was above the clouds. The Division Leader decided to make a 360° climbing turn in order to get at that altitude. Two 360° turns were made and the formation broke into the clear at about 20,000 feet. The group had been scattered while flying through the clouds, but soon reassembled. The Belgian coast was crossed at the briefed point 12½ minutes late at an altitude of 20,000 feet, 4,000 feet above the briefed altitude. At that point no groups were observed behind the 94th “A” Group.
    4.  Flight to Target: The briefed route was followed with little divergency. It was necessary to fly slightly to the left of the briefed course between Bruges and Brussels because of weather. It was later necessary for the formation to go to 26,000 feet over the continent because of weather. Other groups were seen breaking through the undercast. At 5024-0900 it was necessary to deviate to the right of course and cut off the sharp right turn before the target. Two other groups were observed ahead, and this move was made in order to get ahead of them. The briefed IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was reached nine minutes late (1228) at an altitude of 26,000 feet, 1,000 feet above the briefed altitude.
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The PFF secondary target at Nurnberg was attacked. Bombing was done in group formation. The briefed IP was reached after having flown to the right of the briefed course. The MPI [Mean Point of Impact] was observed 30 seconds before “bombs away” and it was possible to get a visual assist. Slight interference was encountered when a formation passed under the 94th “A” just before bombs were released. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] functioned satisfactorily. It is believed that the 94th “B” and “C” Groups attacked the target ahead of the 94th “A” Group.
    6.  Flight From Target: After Bombing, the briefed route was followed. However, a wind shift soon took the formation to the right of course. The navigator discovered the change and returned the formation to the briefed route. Contrails from fighters and two preceding groups made visibility very poor. The Division Leader decided that it would be impossible to get above the contrails and the clouds and so went down through the soup, hoping to find better flying conditions. This was carried out in the vicinity of Metz, at which point the formation also went to the right of the briefed course in an attempt to avoid weather on the briefed route. The formation also went to the right of the briefed route. The formation broke out of the soup just before the departure from the Belgian coast and followed a gradual let-down through successive cloud layers. Departure from the Belgian coast was made to the right of the briefed point at an altitude of 9,000 feet. It was necessary to stay slightly to the right of the planned route in crossing the channel because of weather. The English coast was crossed to the right of Felixstowe at an altitude of 2,000 feet. The briefed course was contacted in the vicinity of Cambridge and was followed to base. The High and Low Squadrons went to their respective stand-off areas before landing. A normal let-down procedure had been followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Very Good.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Meager to moderate, accurate flak was encountered at the target. The Scouting Force was contacted and furnished accurate weather information. Three aircraft were unable to assemble with the 94th “A” Group because of clouds and so joined the 398th, 92nd, and 379th Groups. One aircraft of the 381st Group attacked with the 94th “A” Group.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: One aircraft returned to base early. Two flying spares returned as planned.

  [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 Airborne13131339
No. of A/C Airborne Less Unused Spares12131237
No. of A/C Sorties (Effective)12131136
No. of A/C Attacking12131136
No. of A/C Not Attacking0011
Name of Primary Target
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Secondary TargetNURNBERG, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target12131136
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 213 x 250# GP  225 x 250# GP  196 x 250# GP  634 x 250# 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 Off081608170818
Time of Attack123712371237
Average Time of Flight8:128:218:00
Altitude of Release26,050’26,400’24,766’
Enemy Resistance – AA Intensity & AccuracyMEAGER TO MODERATE AND ACCURATE
Enemy Resistance – Fighter0000
Enemy Resistance – Bombers0000
U.S. A/C Engaged by Enemy Aircraft0000

One A/C flew and bombed with 379th Bomb Group
One A/C flew and bombed [with] 398th and 92nd Bomb Groups

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


Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 20 Feb., 1945
Field Order # 635
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th CBW "A" Group
Target - M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard] at Nurnberg, 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 at 1237 hours; Low's M.H. [Magnetic Heading] was 177°, High's M.H. was 175°.
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. 9/10 - 10/10
  5. If Visual, when was MPI identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? MPI [Mean Point of Impact] was observed 30 seconds before "Bombs Away".
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? A friendly formation passed under our formation just before "Bombs Away".
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? Yes
  8. Any other factors affecting accuracy? None
  [Signed] Warren C. Steitz, Captain, Air Corps, Group Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

I certify that this 12E Form is complete and accurate.
[Signed] Warren C. Steitz, Captain, Air Corps, Group Bombardier.

Lead Squadron, 94th "A" Group Bombardier - 1st Lt. Allan D. Behrendt
Pilot - Col. Burns, R.W. & Capt. Pryor, C.T.
Navigator - Maj. Menees, Ralph W.

Aircraft B-17G   X-664  Take-off - 0815 Landed - 1627
Objective - M/Y at Nurnberg, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - 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 - 16 x 250 Lb. G.P.[General Purpose] and 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 - +1020Magnetic Heading Ordered 167° Actual 167°
True Altitude Above Target - 26,050True Heading 170°
Indicated Altitude - 26,000Drift, Estimated 5° Right - Actual 3° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target +324True Track 173°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 14,104'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - Modified - A.G.LD.
True Air Speed - 228KTime of Release 12371
Ground Speed Est. 270 Actual 296Length of Bombing Run - 37 miles
Wind Direction Metro - 330° Actual - 350°Intervalometer Setting - 30 Feet
Wind Velocity Metro 35 Actual 63 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 121.5  Trail - 95   ATF - 43.58A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .58 Actual .56 Manual Pilot ____

Type of Release - Train 30'
Point of Impact If Seen - Unobserved
Mean Temp. Metro -28 Actual -28
Winds - Altitude - 26,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 330°  Actual 350°  Velocity - Metro 35K  Actual 63K
Temp C. - Metro -38° C. Actual -36° C.

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this group attacked the PFF Secondary target at Nurnberg, Germany. Photo cover is incomplete as clouds and haze obscure ground detail.
  2. The position of bombs away can be plotted and using information furnished by the lead bombardier an approximate point of impact can be plotted. This indicates that the bombs landed in the southern half of the city approximately one mile south of the PFF MPI. This section is thickly congested with industries, R.R. works, and residences and damage should be heavy.
  [Signed:] Thomas L. Cooper, Captain, Air Corps, Group P.I. [Photo Intelligence]

Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. No leaflets were carried by this Group.
  2. The three squadrons of this group attacked the secondary target at Nurnburg, Germany. Bombing was done in Group formation by PFF methods with a ten second visual assist. Photos show the target obscured by 9/10 cloud and ground haze. There is some ground detail visible at bombs away and an estimated point of impact would place the bomb pattern in the area of the PFF MPI [Mean Point of Impact. This agrees with the plots of the PFF operators.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. Meager to moderate, accurate flak encountered at Nurnburg. On the route out meager, accurate flak was encountered along the Rhine River south of Strassbourg.
  5. A front was encountered on the route in to the target at approximately 3 degrees East. Weather over the primary target was 10/10 with slight breaks which necessitated this group to make a PFF run on the Secondary target.
  6. There were no observations of military importance.
  7. Four PFF A/C were employed by this group. All equipment worked well and all Mickey [Radar] Operators believed a very good bomb run was accomplished with bomb fall close to the assigned MPI. A slight visual assist was accomplished during a ten second interval. Fighter support was very good. The Scouting Force was contacted and it furnished accurate information. None of our A/C are missing. Three of our A/C, unable to assemble with our group because of clouds joined the 398th, 92nd, and 379th. These A/C were 465-A, with the 398th, 665-N with the 92nd, and 280-H with the 379th. A/C 883 of the 381st Group bombed with our group.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Combat Crew Comments:

    509th Squadron:
A/C 156-R  Would like to have the Lead call out the control points. - Lt. Minton.
      Should call out changes in assembly altitude more than once. - Lt. Potter.
A/C 461-T  Element lead in low section of this squadron was very poor; we were flying instruments at 120 mph air speed.
      - Lt. Haskins.

  [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. 44-6566, 509th Squadron, returned early. Pilot stated that smoke appeared in cockpit. Investigation revealed that the hot air heater duct was cracked at the secondary heat exchanger. Charred insulation was the cause of the smoke. By closing off heater, Pilot could have operated aircraft satisfactorily and proceeded in mission.
    2. Airplane No. 43-38640, 509th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    3. Airplane No. 43-38435, 511th Squadron, returned early as planned.
  [Signed:] John W. Freeman, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. H-8435 Squadron - 511 - Lead  Date - 20 Feb. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive F/S [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. F-6566 Squadron - 509 - Low  Date - 20 Feb. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive Short circuit in electrical system or heater was on fire - Ship was full of smoke.
    2. Place and altitude 51°03'-03°04'E 16,000'
    3. Time 1054
    4. Position in formation #2 High element Low Box
    5. Disposition of bombs BB [Brought Back]
    6. Remarks ____
    7. Time & Date dispatched 1315 - 20 Feb, '45
      (Pilot's Signature) Raymond H. Mueller

“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    a. 94th Combat Wing "A" Group   Lead Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: (X–8664 PFF)
    Sqdn 509th A/C: (A–8358 PFF)
    Sqdn 510th A/C: G–7862, P–8038, S–7512
    Sqdn 511th A/C: A–8428, C–8694, F–7705, J–6579, N–8592, Q–6565, U–7216, (H–8435 Spare)

    b. 94th Combat Wing "A" Group   Low Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: None
    Sqdn 509th A/C: F–6566, L–2955, M–7965, O–8920, R–6156, T–8666, V–7854, Z–7696, (C–8640 Spare)
    Sqdn 510th A/C: A–8465, N–7665
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (O–8455 PFF), B–8691

    c. 94th Combat Wing "A" Group   High Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: B–7349, G–8954, K–8130, L–7956, O–8277, P–7258, Q–8799, Y–6108
    Sqdn 509th A/C:
    Sqdn 510th A/C: (X–8468 PFF), H–8280, K–7252, M–9001, (L–7515 Spare)
    Sqdn 511th A/C: None
  2. Target: "B" GH-632
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T SDQ R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T LUF R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T NMY R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T PJT R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0815; Take-Off – 0830; E.T.D. Field – 0830
  5. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
  6. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    103916,000ft51°13'N-02°55'E [Ostend, Belgium]
  7. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    15075,000ft51°13'N-02°55'E [Ostend, Belgium]
  8. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1625 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "G"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 18 x 250 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    Low Squadron: 18 x 250 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    High Squadron: 18 x 250 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2780 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Col. Burns A/C No & Sqdn. X-8664 PFF (508)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Secrest A/C No & Sqdn. O-8455 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Poston A/C No & Sqdn. X-8468 PFF (510)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)

Report Compiled By Maksimik, John, S/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
94th "A" Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
511th Squadron
Col. Burns–Pryor
A/C 44-8664 X PFF
A/C 43-38592 N
Anderson, P.G.
A/C 44-8358 A PFF
A/C 43-38428 A
A/C 43-37862 G
A/C 44-6565 Q
A/C 43-38694 C
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 43-37705 F
A/C 44-6579 J
A/C 43-38435 H Spare
A/C 42-38038 P
A/C 42-97216 U

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

94th "A" Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off
508th Squadron
A/C 44-8468 X PFF
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 42-97252 K
A/C 43-38130 K
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 43-38277 O
A/C 44-8280 H
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 43-37515 L Spare
A/C 43-38799 Q
A/C 42-97258 P

94th "A" Group High Squadron Formation Over–Target
508th Squadron
A/C 44-8468 X PFF
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 42-97252 K
A/C 43-38130 K
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 43-38277 O
A/C 43-37515 L
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 43-38799 Q
A/C 42-97258 P

[Lt Harkins flew & bombed with 379th Bomb Group. His position was filled by Lt Dunn, the flying spare.]

94th "A" Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8455 O PFF
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 43-38691 B
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38920 O
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 43-38461 T
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-37665 N
A/C 43-38640 C Spare
A/C 43-38465 A
A/C 43-37964 M

94th "A" Group - Low Squadron Formation Over–Target
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8455 O PFF
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 43-38691 B
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38920 O
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 43-38461 T
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-37665 N
A/C 43-38640 C Spare
A/C 43-38465 A
A/C 43-37964 M

[Lt Mueller aborted. His position was filled by Lt Potter.]
[Lt Potter's position was filled by Lt Smith.]
[Lt Blaney flew and bombed with 92nd Bomb Group]
[Lt Rebo flew and bombed with 398th Bomb Group]
[Lt Quinn, the flying spare, returned as planned]

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 1000 BST [British Standard Time]  Briefing: Enlisted Men 0445; Officers 0515 Stations: 0745 Start Engines: 0755 Taxi: 0815 Take-Off: 0830  Leave Base: 0830 [Breakfast: Enlisted Men 0345; Officers 0415]

[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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