351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #296

Credited Mission #289

DATE: 18 Mar. 1945
Target: R.R. Marshalling Yard, Berlin, Germany

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

  2. Read Special briefing poop.

    1. The Visual Primary for today is: #1 Berlin [Germany] M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard]
    2. PFF Primary: #2 Berlin M/Y
    3. Visual Secondary: #3 any military target in area
    4. PFF Secondary: ____
    5. Last Resort Target: #4 - Wittstock A/D [Airdrome]

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information: Route Buncher C-10 next point Buncher C-4

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:
    Zero Hour: - 0900Stations: - A-0625; B-0430
    Start Engines: - A-0635; B-0440Taxi: - A-0655; B-0450
    Take Off: - A-0710; B-0500Last Take Off: - ____
    Intercept Group atCromerat____ ft.
    Target Time: - ____ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - ____
    Depart English Coast at: ____at _____

    Time on oxygen: __ hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

  7. Loadings:
     Gasoline: 2,780 Gallons
     Bombs: All A/C [Aircraft] 12 x 100 G.P. 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses] Plus 8 M-17 IB [Incendiary Bomb]
    [A/C] O-435 delay-action 144 Hr.

  8. Intervalometer Settings: 100'

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] for 18 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 432 units.

  10. Disposition of Forces:

    __ Divisions will be dispatched. The 1st Air Division will depart England 1st followed 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:
    2nd Division targets areBerlin
    3rd Division targets areBerlin

  11. Fighter Cover: 10 Gps. of P-51's - 8 Groups Close Support. Two groups target and area cover.

  12. Assembly:
    Lead at10,500feet on Kings Cliffe BuncherRed-GreenFlares
    High at11,500feet onKings CliffeBuncherGreen-GreenFlares
    Low at9,500feet onKings CliffeBuncherRed-RedFlares
    401st at10,500feet onCottesmoreBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    457th at9,000feet onGlattonBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: Bodney - Felixstowe
    Division Assembly Line: Cromer to 52°42’N-04°37’E [Hargen aan Zee, Netherlands]
    1 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 25,000'
    Bombing altitude: 26,500'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 30 degrees.

  13. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft Able
    401stWoodcraft Charlie
    457thWoodcraft Baker
    1st Div. Air CommanderMaj. Bean
    94th CBW Air CommanderLt. Col. Stewart

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - X-579, Z-696, S-512; "C" - 8th A.F. - M-900; "C" - 67th Fighter Wing - Y-108.
    Other Communications information will be found on the flimsy.

  15. FLYING CONTROL: _____

     a. Type of Bombing Formation - Normal
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of each sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
      The A/C are: Lead - U-813, Low - U-591, High - B-610
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: Lead - M-900, Low - C-640, High - C-020
     d. Camera A/C: Lead - Q-799, Low F-566, High H-280
      return at  [Plan A] - 04°00'E; [Plan B] Enemy lines
     e. Spares to turn back at ____
     f. PFF A/C fly as - Lead & Deputy - Lead Sqdn., Lead of High & Low Sqdn.
     g. GH A/C fly as - ___
     h. REMARKS: 
       Russian Recognition - Basic Dip L wing 3-5 times; 2nd Rock wings 3-5 times
       Route to C-10, Base, Leicester, Splasher #11, 4900-0130, Buncher C-10
       Y - Ops B-349 and L-955
       Spot Jammers - Y-108, G-954, P-907, M-964, A-465, K-252

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


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 18 March, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The secondary target (No. 2 Berlin) was attacked by PFF methods.
    2. Force: 94th “A” Group. Thirty-eight aircraft, including four PFF ships and two flying spares were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th “A” Group flew as the tenth group in the First Division Formation, its briefed position.
    4. Lead Teams
      Wing Lead
      Air Commander: Lt Col James T. Stewart
      Pilot:Captain Clifford T. Pryor
      Navigator:1st Lt. Normal L. Gootee
      Bombardier:Captain John J. Schadegg

      Low Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Joseph E. Parker
      Pilot:1st Lt. Harry C. Olsen
      Navigator:1st Lt. Edward J. Lefevre
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Edward H. Dengel

      High Squadron
      Leader: Captain Benjamin F. Nay
      Pilot:1st Lt. George A. Patterson
      Navigator:F/O Leon R. Phelps
      Bombardier:F/O Leonard L. Lesch
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The formation assembled over the Kings Cliffe buncher at the briefed altitude of 10,500 feet; and no difficulty was encountered, although several groups did fly through the assembly area.
    2.  Route Over England: Departure from the buncher was made at the briefed time (0826) at the briefed height of 10,500 feet. The planned route took the formation off the English coast to 53°20’N - 00°50’ E. This point was reached two minutes early (0850). It was apparent that the formation would reach Control Point #1 early, so double drifts were executed which permitted the formation to fall in behind the 40th Combat Wing in its briefed position. In order to lose time and not to interfere with the 40th “C” Group at Control Point #1, the formation stayed to the left of the briefed route and gradually closed into the Division Assembly line east of Control Point #1. When the formation had passed Cromer, it was at an altitude of 15,000 feet, 500 feet below the briefed altitude. The planned climb was considered too fast for the length of the flight from the assembly area to Control Point #1.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The briefed Division Assembly Line was not contacted until the formation was one-third of the way across the channel. From that point, however, it was closely followed, and the climb was made at a rate that would keep the 94th “A” in the proper position in respect to the 40th “C” Group. The Dutch coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 19,000 feet, 3,500 feet below the briefed height, and two minutes late (0941).
    4.  Flight to Target: The Division Column was followed in the flight to the target. The formation flew to the left of the briefed course from the Dutch coast to 07°30’E. From that point to the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run, variances were minor. Cirrus fog was encountered before reaching the IP, and as it appeared to extend from 21,000 to 29,000 feet, the Wing Leader did not attempt to climb over it. The briefed IP was reached at an altitude of 26,000 feet, 500 feet below the briefed altitude, eight minutes late (1111). The formation essed through the fog to fly in the clearer spots as much as possible.
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The Weather Scouting Force had announced that the target was overcast, and so the run was made in group formation. The formation increased its altitude while on the bomb run to the briefed bombing altitude of 26,500 feet. The target was found to be three to four-tenths overcast. Sudden breaks appeared in the cloud cover in the vicinity of the MPI [Mean Point of Impact] but were too late to permit the bombardiers to put visual settings in the bomb-sight. However, a visual assist was possible at the last moment before bombs were released.

      The briefed turn at the IP was made. No difficulties were encountered on the bomb run by the Lead and Low Squadrons. The low section of the High Squadron found it necessary to fly to the side of the formation in order to avoid contrails on the bomb run. The target was attacked in group formation. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] was used and functioned satisfactorily.
    6.  Flight From Target: After bombing, the formation flew to the right of the briefed course in evasive action, returning to the briefed course at 12°00’. The Division Column was followed on the withdrawal, and as a result, the formation went to the south of the briefed course from 10°30’E to 08°15’E. No difficulty was encountered in making this divergency from the planned route. After the briefed curse was contacted, it was closely followed to the Dutch coast, which was crossed at an altitude of 18,000 feet at the briefed point. In the flight to the English coast, it was necessary to fly to the right of course in the Division Column. The High and Low squadrons went to their respective stand-off areas and landings were carried out without difficulty. A normal let-down procedure had been followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Good. Appeared as briefed.
    8.  Comments: No Aircraft were lost. Jet propelled aircraft were observed along the route and over the target area, but no attacks were made on this group. Moderate and fairly accurate flak was encountered in the vicinity of the target. Ten-tenths undercast occurred along the route until 10°--‘E was reached. At that point, the coverage thinned out to three to four-tenths. A heavy haze with moderate to thick contrails further impeded observation in the target area.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack. The two flying spares returned as planned.

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

351st Bombardment Group
Lead SquadronLow SquadronHigh SquadronTOTALS
Borrowed Aircraft0000
No. of Aircraft Failing to Take Off0000
No. of Aircraft Sorties13121338
No. of Aircraft Airborne Less Unused Spares12121236
No. of Aircraft Credit Sorties12121236
No. of Effective Sorties12121236
No. of Non-Effective Sorties0000
Name of Primary TargetBERLIN, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target12121236
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 135 x 100 GP 
96 x 500 IB
 142 x 100 GP 
96 x 500 IB
 141 x 100 GP 
96 x 500 IB
 418 x 100 GP 
288 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 Off070507080706
Time of Attack112111211121½
Total Time for Mission103:19101:52103:37308:48
Altitude of Release (Indicated)26,500’26,500’26,000’
Visual, H2X, Gee-H, M-H, Eagle, or CombinationH2X WITH VISUAL ASSIST
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

____ A/C borrowed as follows: None
____ A/C loaned as follows: None

Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 18 March, 1945
Field Order # 660
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th CBW "A" Group
Target - #2 Target, Transportation Facilities in Berlin, 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? Lead Sqdn. made the PFF run with visual assist. Low Sqdn. dropped on the lead at 1121 on M.H. [Magnetic Compass Heading] of 147° and High's was 145° at 1122.
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. 7/10
  5. If Visual, when was MPI identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? H2x - MPI [Mean Point of Impact] was not actually seen until after "Bombs Away".
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? None
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? C-1 Pilot was used.
  8. Any other factors affecting accuracy? None
  [Signed] John J. Schadegg, Captain, Air Corps, Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

Lead Squadron, 94th CBW "A" Group
Bombardier - Capt. Schadegg, John J.
Pilot - Lt. Col. Stewart, J.T. & Capt. Pryor, C.T.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Gootee, Norman L.

Aircraft B-17G   L-045  Take-off - 0700 Landed - 1528
Objective - Transportation Facilities in Berlin, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - Number 2 target by H2X with Visual assist.
Initial Point - As Briefed
Method of Attack - Bombing was in Group Formation on the Lead Squadron
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 100 Lb. G.P.[General Purpose] & 8x M17 I.B.'s [Incendiary Bombs]
Number of Bombs Loaded - As Above   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - On

Information at Release Point:  High's M.H. [Magnetic Compass Heading] of 145° @ 1122 and Low's was 147° at 1121.

Altitude of Target - 115'Magnetic Heading Ordered 113° Actual 141°
True Altitude Above Target - 26,112True Heading 138°
Indicated Altitude - 26,500Drift, Estimated 13° Right - Actual 3° Left
Pressure Altitude of Target +258True Track 135°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 16,637.3'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 220KTime of Release 1121
Ground Speed Est. 262 Actual 298Length of Bombing Run - 42 Miles
Wind Direction Metro - 350° Actual - 330°Intervalometer Setting - 100'
Wind Velocity Metro 60 Actual 60K C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 1185  Trail - 114   ATF - 45.00A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .55 Actual .62 Manual Pilot ____

Type of Release - Train 100'
Point of Impact If Seen - Unobserved
Mean Temp. Metro -__ Actual -__
Winds - Altitude - 20,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 350°  Actual 330°  Velocity - Metro 60  Actual 60K
Temp C. - Metro -45° C. Actual -43° C.

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this Group, the “A” Group of the 94th Combat Wing, bombed in group formation by H2X with visual assist the No. 2 target, transportation facilities in Berlin, Germany. Photo cover is fair, but cloud undercast and haze make assessment of damage difficult.
  2. An incomplete pattern of several bursts from the lead and low squadrons can be plotted one and one-quarter miles south of the briefed MPI in a small marshalling yard.
  3. The actual point of impact of the bombs of the high squadron, which dropped later than the other squadrons, cannot be plotted. However, bombs away is pin-pointed over the briefed MPI and the probable impact will be three miles SE of this point in a wooded section of the city.
  [Signed:] Howard L. Schnur, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Group Asst. P.I. [Photo Intelligence]

Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. No leaflets were carried by this Group.
  2. The three squadrons of this Group formed the 94th “A CBW [Combat Bomb Wing]. Bombing was accomplished by PFF methods with a visual assist; all squadrons dropping in group formation off the smoke markers of the lead aircraft. Sudden breaks occurred in the 3-4/10ths undercast just over the target area, enabling the bombardiers to pick up recognizable landmarks in the vicinity of our briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. However, these breaks occurred too late in the bomb run to allow for visual settings in the bomb-sight. Estimates of the results place bomb impacts a little SE of the MPI of our No. 2 target, transportation facilities in Berlin, Germany. Undercast and haze make damage assessment from photos difficult.
  3. Jet propelled aircraft were occasionally observed along the route and over the target area, but no attacks were reported. No claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. Moderate fairly accurate flak was encountered over a wide area in the vicinity of the target, lasting for approximately fifteen minutes. On the way in, there was meager inaccurate flak in the vicinity of Wittenberge and Neuruppin. On the way out from the target there were about eight accurate bursts in the vicinity of Zehdenick.
  5. 10/10ths undercast occurred along the route until 10 degrees east, at which point cloud-coverage thinned out to a 3-4/10ths layer. A heavy haze with moderate to thick contrails further impeded observation in the target area.
  6. Three medium sized boats were reported near a pen in the vicinity of 5240-0536.
  7. Four PFF aircraft were employed by this Group on today’s mission; three of the four worked efficiently, while the Mickey equipment in the lead aircraft of the low squadron went out immediately following take-off. Fighter support was good, and appeared as briefed. The Scouting Force was contacted and reported accurately weather conditions existing in the target area. One B-17 from the group ahead was seen going down in flames over the target area; five chutes were reported. None of our aircraft is missing.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives and Flying Spares:
    1. Airplane No. 42-97258, 508th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    2. Airplane No. 43-37665, 510th Squadron, returned early as planned.
  [Signed:] John W. Freeman, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. P-258 Squadron - 508  Date - 18 March 1945
    1. Reason for abortive Flying Spare
    2. Place and altitude 3 Mile from Dutch coast 20,000 Ft.
    3. Time 0938
    4. Position in formation Spare
    5. Disposition of bombs Back to Base.
    6. Remarks High element of high sqdn was always dragging. Group as whole looked fine.
    7. Time & Date dispatched ____
      (Pilot's Signature) Virgil J. Westercamp

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. N-665 Squadron - 510 - High  Date - 18 Mar. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive Flying Spare
    2. Place and altitude 52°49'N 04°07'E
    3. Time 0938
    4. Position in formation Spare
    5. Disposition of bombs ___
    6. Remarks Formation Fair
    7. Time & Date dispatched ____
      (Pilot's Signature) Maurice E. Bone

“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: A–8410, B–7349, G–8954, K–8130, L–7956, M–7900, Q–8799, U–8813, X–6579, Y–6108, (P–7258 Spare)
    Sqdn 509th A/C: None
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (H–8780 PFF), (L–8045 PFF),

    b. 94th Combat Wing "A" Group   Low Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: None
    Sqdn 509th A/C: A–8428, C–8640, D–7193, F–6566, G–8617, L–2955, M–7964, P–6907, T–8666, U–8591, Z–7696
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (Y–7651 PFF)

    c. 94th Combat Wing "A" Group   High Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: None
    Sqdn 509th A/C: None
    Sqdn 510th A/C: A–8465, B–6610, C–9020, F–7124, H–8280, K–7252, L–7515, M–9001, 0–8435, S–7512, T–9156, (N–7665 Spare)
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (V–8079 PFF)
  2. Target: GH-5507
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T PDX R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T JLX R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T MXY R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T PCF R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0655; Take-Off – 0710; E.T.D. Field – 0826
  5. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    090315,500 Ft Cromer
  6. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    093922,500 Ft 52°42'N-04°37'E [Hargen aan Zee, Netherlands]
  7. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    135523,500 Ft 52°42'N-04°37'E [Hargen aan Zee, Netherlands]
  8. Time:Height:  Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    14446,000 Ft Cromer
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1517 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "N"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 12 x 100 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 Plus 8 M17 IB [Incendiary Bomb]
    Low Squadron: 12 x 100 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 Plus 8 M17 IB [Incendiary Bomb]
    High Squadron: 12 x 100 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 Plus 8 M17 IB [Incendiary Bomb]
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2780 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Col. Stewart A/C No & Sqdn. L-8045 PFF (511)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Parker A/C No & Sqdn. Y-7651 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Nay A/C No & Sqdn. V-8079 PFF (511)
  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 and Over Target
508th Squadron
A/C 44-8045 L PFF
A/C 43-38813 U
A/C 44-8780 H PFF
A/C 44-8410 A
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 43-37900 M
A/C 44-6579 X
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 42-97258 P Spare
A/C 43-38130 K
A/C 44-6156 R

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

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
A/C 44-8079 V PFF
A/C 44-6610 B
A/C 43-37515 L
A/C 43-39020 C
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 43-38465 A
A/C 42-107124
A/C 42-38038 P
A/C 43-39156 T
A/C 43-37665 N Spare
A/C 43-38435 O
A/C 44-8280 H

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

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
509th Squadron
A/C 42-97651 Y PFF
A/C 43-38591 U
A/C 43-37964 M
A/C 44-6907 P
A/C 44-8617 G
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 43-38640 C
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 42-97193 D
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38428 A
A/C 44-6566 F

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0900 BST [British Standard Time]  Briefing: Enlisted Men 0345; Officers 0415 Stations: 0625 Start Engines: 0635 Taxi: 0655 Take-Off: 0710  [Breakfast: Enlisted Men 0245; Officers 0315]

[Wounded On Mission: 1]
The above records were obtained at the National Archives Records Administration and have been declassified by authority NND 745005
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