351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #293

Credited Mission #286

 
DATE: 14 Mar. 1945
Target: R.R. Marshalling Yard at Lohne, Germany
 
BRIEFING OUTLINE

  1. Ask 508th, 509th and 510th Operations representatives if their crews are all present.

  2. Read Special briefing poop.

  3. TARGETS:
    1. The Visual Primary for today is: [Target #] 1 & 2 Lohne [Germany] Ry [Rail yard] Center
    2. PFF Primary: [Target #] 4 Osnabruck [Germany] M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard]
    3. Visual Secondary: [Target #] 3 Osnabruck [Germany] M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard]
    4. PFF Secondary: ____
    5. Last Resort Target: ____

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information:

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:
    Zero Hour: - 1200Stations: - 1005
    Start Engines: - 1015Taxi: - 1035
    Take Off: - 1050Last Take Off: - 1210
    Intercept Group atBeachy Headat10,000 ft.
    Target Time: - 1520ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - 1739
    Depart English Coast at: 1254at Beachy Head

    Time on oxygen: 3:40 hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

  7. Loadings:
     Gasoline: 2,500 Gallons
     Bombs: 34 x 100# G.P. No Nose x 1/40 Tail [Fuses] Plus 2 M-17 IB's [Incendiary Bomb]

  8. Intervalometer Settings: Visual, H2X or GH - Minimum

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 7 mins before Target - Continue for 12 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 288 units.

  10. Disposition of Forces:

    3 Divisions will be dispatched. The 1st Air Division will depart England 2nd preceded by 3rd Division and followed by the 2nd Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 4 CBW's of 3 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    Lead1stAttackingTactical Target - Bridge
    2nd41stAttackingTactical Target - Bridge
    3rd94thAttackingLohne - Railway Center
    4th40thAttackingLohne - Railway Center & Hildesheim
    2nd Division targets areIn the Arnsberg Area
    3rd Division targets areIn the Hannover Area

  11. Fighter Cover: 8 Gps. of P-51's - We have one group for close support of 94 A, B & C - Balance 2-5 [Call Sign]
        1 Group, Balance 1-9, will free Lance in General Target Area.

  12. Assembly:
    Lead at6,000feet on Kings Cliffe BuncherRed-GreenFlares
    High at7,000feet onKings CliffeBuncherGreen-GreenFlares
    Low at5,000feet onKings CliffeBuncherRed-RedFlares
    401st at6,000feet onCottesmoreBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    457th at6,000feet onGlattonBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: Redhill A/D [Airdrome] to Beachy Head
    Division Assembly Line: Beachy Head to 50°32’N-01°36’E [Le Touquet, France]
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 24,000'
    Bombing altitude: 23,000'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 030 degrees.

  13. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft Baker
    401stWoodcraft Able
    457thWoodcraft Charlie
    1st Div. Air CommanderBrig. Gen. Gross - Swordfish - Able
    94th CBW Air CommanderMaj. De Jonckheere

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - D-082, S-512, U-591; "C" - 8th A.F. - X-579; "C" - 67th Fighter Wing - O-277.
    Other Communications information will be found on the flimsy.

  15. FLYING CONTROL: _____

  16. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:
     a. Type of Bombing Formation - Normal, By Group unless otherwise specified by Col. Stewart in event of visual bombing.
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of each Sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
      The A/C are: Y-108, T-156, O-920
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: G-954, C-020, C-640
     d. Camera A/C: P-258, A-465, D-193
      return at  _____
     e. Spares to turn back at _____
     f. PFF A/C fly as Lead & Deputy Of Lead Sqdn. & Lead of Hi & Low Sqdn.
     g. GH A/C fly as Lead & Deputy Of Lead Sqdn. Are Combination A/C [GH & PFF]
     h. REMARKS: 
       4 P-51's, Buckeye Blue [Call Sign], will Scout Weather.
       Out Target Code is D-Dog.

  17. You are reminded not to discuss the target. EXERCISE ALL SECURITY MEASURES.


  BRIEFING OFFICER: HAVE YOU READ SPECIAL BRIEFING POOP??


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 14 March, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The primary target at Lohne, Germany was attacked visually.
    2. Force: 94th “B” Group. Thirty-eight aircraft, including two GH ships borrowed from the 303rd Group, two PFF ships, and two flying spares, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th "B" Group flew in its briefed position as the eighth group in the First Division Formation.
    4. Lead Teams
      Group Lead
      Air Commander: Lt. Col. James T. Stewart
      Pilot:Captain Clifford T. Pryor
      Navigator:1st Lt. Norman L. Gootee
      Bombardier:Captain John J. Schadegg

      Low Squadron
      Leader: Captain Harvey W. Powell
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Paschel M. Huff
      Navigator:1st Lt. Harry U. Perry
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Edward H. Anderson

      High Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. James J. Cronin
      Pilot:F/O Phillip A. Frank
      Navigator:1st Lt. Howard S. Love
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Leonard L. Schuler
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The formation assembled as briefed over the Kings Cliffe buncher at the briefed altitude of 6,000 feet. No difficulty was encountered, the group being well-formed before the departure from the buncher was made.
    2.  Route Over England: Departure from the assembly area was made on time and on course (1152). The formation soon got into position behind the 94th “A” Group and followed it for the remainder of the flight to the Division Assembly Line. Variances from the briefed route were slight and were made in order to keep in trail behind the preceding formation. The briefed departure point from the English coast was reached on time (1254) and at the briefed altitude of 10,000 feet.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The departure from the English coast was made on time and on course. The 94th “B” Group was in its briefed position as the eighth group in the First Division Formation. Due to the fact that the 94th “B” Kept in the Division Column, it crossed the French coast to the left of the briefed point. The French coast was crossed at an altitude of 11,500 feet, 1,500 feet above the briefed height. The climb to bombing altitude had been started early (at mid-channel) in order to allow more time and an easier ascent.
    4.  Flight to Target: The formation flew slightly to the left of the briefed course in following the Division Column. The briefed route was contacted while still over friendly territory, however, and was followed with minor divergencies to the turn before the IP. It has been necessary for the formation to make two double drifts to the right in order to maintain the interval between itself and the 94th “A” Group. One was made at the French coast and the second in the vicinity of 03°00’E. It was necessary for the formation to fly to the right of the planned course on the last leg to the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] as it was echeloned to the right on the 94th “A”. It made a correction to the left and reached the IP at the briefed altitude of 23,000 feet. At that point the formation was one minute late (1507).
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: Before reaching the IP, the formation was advised by the Weather Scouting Force to start a GH run, which, it was reported, would end visually. The recommendation was followed with good results.

      The primary target at Lohne, Germany, was attacked visually. Each squadron performed its own sighting operation. The briefed turn was made at the IP. The GH curve was followed from the IP to the target. The lead bombardier was able to pick up the briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact] when the formation was about ten miles from the target. Some difficulty was encountered on the bomb run from prop wash from the 94th “A” Group.

      The Low Squadron identified the MPI while about eight miles from the target. The High Squadron identified it from the bursts of previous bombings.

      In all cases the C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] was used and functioned satisfactorily. Visibility in the target area was poor due to haze. Results are believed to be good to excellent.
    6.  Flight From Target: The primary target had been attacked at the briefed time (1520). After bombing, it was necessary for the formation to deviate from the briefed route in order to perform evasive action. This took the group to the left o f the briefed route after the target and later to the right of course. The formation flew to the right of the briefed course in Division Column for the remainder of the flight to the Dutch coast, which was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 18,000 feet. The briefed route was followed to the right on the flight across the channel and the English coast was crossed at the briefed point of entry (Cromer) at an altitude of 8,000 feet and five minutes early (1703). The two GH aircraft left the formation just off the English coast and flew a direct route to the 303rd Group base. The group flew the briefed route to base, the High and Low Squadrons going to their respective stand-off areas before landing. A normal let-down procedure was followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Good.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Moderate and fairly accurate flak was encountered at the target. There were no clouds en route. Haze with visibility of three to five miles was encountered over the target. Pathfinder units were employed for navigational aid only and all sets worked well. The Weather Scouting Force was heard by this Group rather faintly and the information was relayed back. There were no failures to attack.

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


STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
DIVISION FIELD ORDER NUMBER 656
351st Bombardment Group
Lead SquadronLow SquadronHigh SquadronTOTALS
Borrowed Aircraft2000
No. of Aircraft Failing to Take Off0000
No. of Aircraft Sorties13121338
No. of Aircraft Airborne Less Unused Spares13121338
No. of Aircraft Credit Sorties13121338
No. of Effective Sorties13121338
No. of Non-Effective Sorties0000
Name of Primary TargetLOHNE, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target13121338
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 435 x 100# GP 
26 x 500 IB
 398 x 100# GP 
24 x 500 IB
 440 x 100# GP 
26 x 500 IB
 1273 x 100# GP 
76 x 500 IB
Name of Secondary Target
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
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 MIA - Total0000
No. of A/C MIA - Flak
No. of A/C MIA - Flak and E/A
No. of A/C MIA - Enemy Aircraft
No. of A/C MIA - Accident over Enemy Terr.
No. of A/C MIA - Other and Unknown
Time of Take Off104510481047
Time of Attack152015211521½
Total Time for Mission89:0585:2090:58365:13
Altitude of Release (Indicated)23,000’22,400’23,600’
Visual, H2X, Gee-H, M-H, Eagle, or CombinationVisualVisualVisual
Enemy Resistance – AA Intensity & AccuracyMODERATE AND ACCURATE
Enemy Resistance – Fighter0000
Enemy Resistance – Bombers0000
U.S. A/C Engaged by Enemy Aircraft0000
Number of Passes made by Enemy Aircraft0000
Degree of SuccessESTIMATED TO BE GOOD TO EXCELLENT

2 A/C borrowed as follows: GH Aircraft from 303rd Bomb Group. 44-8568 Lead and 44-8038 Deputy Lead. Both aircraft were flown by 351st Bomb Group Crews.
__ A/C loaned as follows: None




Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 14 March, 1945
Field Order # 656
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 511th Sqdn. 351st Gp.
Target - Lohne, Germany - Marshalling Yards
  1. Type of Bombing (Visual, PFF or Combined)?  G H and Visual combined
  2. Did Squadron perform own sighting operation, bomb on smoke marker, or was bombing done in Group Formation? Squadron made own sighting operation.
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. Visibility poor due to haze.
  5. If Visual, when was MPI identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? 10 miles from target.
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? Slight prop wash from 94th "A"
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? Yes
  8. Any other factors affecting accuracy? None
  [Signed] Capt John J. Schadegg

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Lead Squadron
Bombardier - Capt. John J. Schadegg
Pilot - Capt. C.T. Pryor
Navigator - Lt. N.L. Gootee

Aircraft B-17G   X-568  Take-off - 1045 Landed - 1735
Objective - Lohne, Germany Marshalling Yards
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - Center of M/Yds.
Initial Point - As Briefed
Method of Attack - Squadron
No. of Attacking A/C in Group: - 12   Composite Group - ____
Number A/C Dropping Bombs by own Sighting Operation: One
Deflection and Range Sighting, Group: One   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - One   Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 34 x 100# G.P.[General Purpose] 2 M-17's and Smoke Markers
Number of Bombs Loaded - As Above   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - None   Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - On

Information at Release Point:  Bombed in Squadron Formation.

Altitude of Target - 170 FeetMagnetic Heading Ordered 357° Actual 341°
True Altitude Above Target - 32,371'True Heading 335°
Indicated Altitude - 23,000'Drift, Estimated 3° Right - Actual 1° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target -285True Track 336°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 9,278.4'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 219KTime of Release 1520
Ground Speed Est. 192 Actual 196Length of Bombing Run - 37 N.M.
Wind Direction Metro - 330° Actual - 330°Intervalometer Setting - Minimum
Wind Velocity Metro 23 Actual 23 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - Yes/td>
D.S. - 125.7  Trail - 112   ATF - 42.16A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .39 Actual 42.5 Manual Pilot - ____

Type of Release - Train
Point of Impact If Seen - Unobserved
Mean Temp. Metro -7° Actual -6°
Winds - Altitude - 24,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro330°  Actual 330°  Velocity - Metro 23K  Actual 23K
Temp C. - Metro -31° C. Actual -28° C.



Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this group attacked the Marshalling Yard at Lohne, Germany. Photo cover is incomplete for the low and high squadrons because of the long angle of trail of the type of bombs dropped. The target area is covered by haze and accurate assessment of strikes if difficult.
  2. The bombs of the lead squadron can be seen landing on and around the briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. Approximately 20% of the bombs landed on the M/Y [Marshalling Yard] and damage to rolling stock should be heavy. The pattern measures 2250 feet by 1687 feet with the center of the pattern slightly short (South) of the briefed MPI. Approximately 85% of the bombs are within 1000 feet and 100% within 2000 feet of the aiming point.
  3. A partial pattern of the low squadron can be seen approximately 2000 feet to the right (East) of the briefed pattern MPI. Smoke obscures the main part of the pattern but it is certain that a great percentage of the bombs fell on the M/Y.
  4. Incomplete camera coverage and smoke prevent getting a plot of the high squadron. From the position of bombs away and the smoke markers it is estimated that the high squadron pattern will fall to the right of the lead and low squadron. This would place it near the Eastern choke point of the M/Y.
  [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 bombed the Primary target, the railway center at Lohne, Germany in squadron formation. The first part of the bomb run Gee-H equipment was used, and about 10 or 12 miles away from the target the bombardiers took over and bombing was done visually. Photos are of poor quality because of ground haze; accurate assessment is difficult. However, the pattern of the lead squadron can be seen hitting on and around the briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact] with good results. Smoke markers indicate that the low and high squadrons fell slightly right (East) of the MPI, but there will be some hits on the M/Y [Marshalling Yard]. The target area is smoking from previous bombing. Overall results are estimated to be good to excellent.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. Moderate and fairly accurate flak, apparently in the form of two predicted concentrations, was encountered at the target. The only other flak throughout the mission was at the Rhine River, SE of Koblenz, where it was meager and fairly accurate.
  5. There were no clouds en route; haze with visibility three to five miles was encountered over the Continent. On the route out 2-4/10 clouds, contrails moderate to dense and persistent at 20,000 to 23,000 feet altitude.
  6. At 5044N 0819E the river in this area was colored red, believed to be coming from a factory nearby. 20 to 25 barges were observed on the Rhine River at 5013N 0738E, south of Koblenz at 1432 hrs.
  7. Pathfinder units were employed for navigational aid only and all sets worked well. Fighter support was good. The Scouting Force was heard by this Group rather faintly and the information was relayed back however, and proved to be effective. None of our a/c is missing.


Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge



“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: A–8410, C–8753, D–6082, G–8954, L–7956, O–8277, P–7258, Q–8799, X–6579, Y–6108, (H–8412 Spare)
    Sqdn 509th A/C: None
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: None
    Sqdn 358th - 303rd GP: (X–8568 GH)
    Sqdn 427th - 303rd GP: (Z–8038 GH)

    b. 94th Combat Wing "B" Group   Low Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: None
    Sqdn 509th A/C: C–8640, D–7193, F–6566, G–8617, M–7964, O–8920, P–6907, R–6156, U–8591, V–8070, Z–7696
    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:
    Sqdn 510th A/C: A–8465, B–6610, C–9020, D–8694, H–8280, K–7252, L–7515, M–9001, N–7665, S–7512, T–9156, (O–8435 Spare)
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (V–8079 PFF)
  2. Target: GH-440
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T NLP R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T SBG R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T PMZ R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T WQU R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 1035; Take-Off – 1050; E.T.D. Field – 1152
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    125410,000 Ft Beachy Head
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    131410,000 Ft 52°34'N-01°36'E [Reedham, England]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    161920,000 Ft 52°44'N-04°38'E [Camperduin, Netherlands]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    17086,000 Ft Cromer
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1739 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "G"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 34 x 100 G.P. - No Nose x 1/40 Tail - Plus 2 M17 I.B.'s [Incendiary Bombs]
    Low Squadron: 34 x 100 G.P. - No Nose x 1/40 Tail - Plus 2 M17 I.B.'s
    High Squadron: 34 x 100 G.P. - No Nose x 1/40 Tail - Plus 2 M17 I.B.'s
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2500 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Col. Stewart A/C No & Sqdn. X-8568 GH (358)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Powell A/C No & Sqdn. L-8045 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: 1st Lt. Cronin A/C No & Sqdn. V-8079 PFF (511)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)
    None

Report Compiled By Maksimik, John, S/Sgt.



Formation Chart:
94th "B" Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
508th Squadron
Stewart–Pryor
A/C 44-8568 X GH & PFF
Rohr
A/C 44-6108 Y
Trapp–Lafave
A/C 44-8038 Z GH & PFF
Hansen
A/C 43-38954 G
Sugg
A/C 44-8410 A
Hart
A/C 43-38277 O
Bennett
A/C 43-37956 L
Drought
A/C 44-6579 X
Sandel
A/C 44-6082 D
Dunn
A/C 43-38753 C
Mordecai
A/C 44-8412 H Spare
Barnard
A/C 43-38799 Q
Ryan
A/C 42-97258 P

[Lt Mordecai, the flying spare, stayed with the formation]

94th "B" Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
Cronin–Frank
A/C 44-8079 V PFF
Thomas
A/C 43-39156 T
Peterson
A/C 43-38694 D
Brooks
A/C 44-6610 B
Blaney
A/C 43-39001 M
Adams
A/C 42-97252 K
Haskins
A/C 43-37512 S
Oen
A/C 43-37515 L
Bone
A/C 43-37665 N
Rebo
A/C 43-39020 C
Kirkland
A/C 43-38435 O Spare
Gottschalk
A/C 44-8280 H
Dahlborg
A/C 43-38465 A

[Lt Kirkland, the flying spare, stayed with the formation]

94th "B" Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
509th Squadron
Powell–Huff
A/C 44-8045 L PFF
Mueller
A/C 43-38920 O
Smith
A/C 43-37964 M
Potter
A/C 44-6907 P
Whittaker
A/C 44-8617 G
Hampton
A/C 43-38591 U
Drake
A/C 43-38640 C
Sexton
A/C 43-37696 Z
Thomson
A/C 44-6156 R
Gattens
A/C 43-38070 V
Day
A/C 44-6566 F
Workman
A/C 42-97193 D


Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 1200 BST [British Standard Time]  Briefing: ____ Stations: 1005 Start Engines: 1015 Taxi: 1035 Take-Off: 1050  Leave Base: 1050 

[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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