351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #304

Credited Mission #297

DATE: 28 Mar. 1945
Target: Air Armaments Factory, 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: Ordnance Works, Berlin [Germany]
    2. PFF Primary: Ordnance Works, Berlin [Germany]
    3. Visual Secondary: ____
    4. PFF Secondary: Air Armaments, Berlin [Germany]
    5. Last Resort Target: Stendal or Gardegen [Germany] Airdrome

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information:

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:

    Zero Hour: - 0900Stations: - 0655
    Start Engines: - 0705Taxi: - 0720
    Take Off: - 0735Last Take Off: - 0850
    Intercept Group atCromerat 10,000 ft.
    Target Time: - 1135ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - 1500 Approx.
    Depart English Coast at: 0920at Cromer @ 10,000'

    Time on oxygen: 4½ hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

  7. Loadings:
     Gasoline: Maximum Gallons
     Bombs: Lead & Low 6 x 500 G.P. 1/10 x 1/100 [Fuses] + 4 M-17 IB [Incendiary Bomb]
    High 6 x MK XII (500) Plus 4 M-17 IB's

  8. Intervalometer Settings: 140'

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 10 mins before Target - Continue for 18 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 432 units.

  10. Disposition of Forces:

    2 Divisions will be dispatched. The 1st Air Division will depart England ___ preceded by 3rd Division and followed by the ___ Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 4 CBW's of 3 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    4th94thAttacking(401, 351, 457) Berlin
    2nd Division targets are____
    3rd Division targets are14 Groups on ____

  11. Fighter Cover: 7 Gps. of P-51's

  12. Assembly:
    Lead at7,500feet on Kings Cliffe BuncherRed-GreenFlares
    High at8,500feet onKings CliffeBuncherGreen-GreenFlares
    Low at6,500feet onKings CliffeBuncherRed-RedFlares
    401st at9,000feet onCottesmoreBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    457th at9,000feet onGlattonBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: 5315, 0055 - Cromer
    Division Assembly Line: Cromer on out
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 24,000'
    Bombing altitude: 25,000'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 30 degrees.

  13. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft Baker
    401stWoodcraft Able
    457thWoodcraft Charlie
    1st Div. Air Commander____
    94th CBW Air CommanderMaj. McCree

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - U-591, S-512, K-130; "C" - 8th A.F. - R-156; "C" - 67th Fighter Wing - T-666.
    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: M-964, Low - B-610, U-813
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: P-907, N-169, C-020, M-900, C-753
     d. Camera A/C: A-428, K-252, C-753
      return at  Dutch Coast out [bound]
     e. Spares to turn back at 04° East.
     f. PFF A/C fly as Gp Lead, Gp Deputy, High & Low Sqdn Lead
     g. GH A/C fly as ____
     h. REMARKS: 
       Buckeye Red [Fighter Call Sign] to scout weather
       Buckeye Blue to scout Target
       Russian - Dip left wing 3-5 times - Rock wings 3-5 times
       (Note on Loading)

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


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 28 March, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The No. 2 target, Berlin, Germany, was attacked by H2X methods.
    2. Force: 94th “B” Group. Thirty-eight aircraft, including four H2X ships and two flying spares, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th "B" Group was scheduled to fly as the eleventh group in the Division Formation. However, due to difficulties offered by the weather, it is believed that this formation was the twelfth and last group in the attacking force.
    4. Lead Teams
      Group Lead
      Air Commander: Captain Donald A. Gaylord
      Pilot:Captain James M. Percell
      Navigator:1st Lt. John W. Bury
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Eldon L. Stear

      Low Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. George A. Patterson
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Harold A. Schulte
      Navigator:F/O Leon R. Phelps
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. Leonard L. Lesch

      High Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Morris G. Turner
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Boleslau Lipski
      Navigator:2nd Lt. John H. Brandon
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. Patrick J. Finnegan
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The aircraft took off from base and made to the flight [sic] to the assembly area individually. The flight was made by the lead aircraft with little variance from the briefed route. Recommendation was received from the weather ship that assembly could best be made at an altitude of 14,000 feet. The Group Leader, however, announced that he preferred to assemble at 18,000 feet. This decision was approved at first by the weather ship, but it later again recommended 14,000 feet as the assembly altitude. However, upon attempting to fly at 14,000 feet, it was found necessary to go through a good deal of soup. Further conversation with the weather ship resulted in 20,000 feet being decided upon as the assembly height.
    2.  Route Over England: The Lead aircraft found several ships of the formation in the assembly area when it arrived there (Buncher B-56, 50°52’N - 04°26’E) [Brussels/Evere, Belgium]. The deputy aircraft had not heard the conversation between the lead ship and the weather ship, and so was not aware of the change in the assembly altitude. Bad weather, however, forced the aircraft to fly above the briefed altitude of 15,000 feet over the buncher, and as a result, the assembly as made at 20,000 feet. The deputy started forming the group while circling the buncher. Upon arriving, the lead ship found it impossible to catch the formation in time. The formation left the assembly area with the deputy aircraft in the lead. The lead aircraft was joined by only one wing ship. The lead aircraft, after not having been unable [sic] to contact the deputy over VHF, left the buncher five minutes late (0853) at an altitude of 20,000 feet.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The lead aircraft found it necessary to deviate from the briefed route in order to avoid weather and also to gain time in the hopes of locating the group formation. The weather ship recommended a climb to 24,000 feet in order to get above a cloud shelf on the briefed route. The climb was made to and altitude of 25,000 feet. The rest of the formation had followed the deputy leader in the departure from the buncher. The 94th “B” got into position behind the 94th “A” Group and followed it. The 94th “B” was then believed to be in the twelfth position in the Division Column.
    4.  Flight to Target: After divergency from the briefed route because of weather, the Lead aircraft contacted it at 50°38’N - 07°58’E at an altitude of 25,000 feet, 4,000 feet above the briefed altitude. The briefed route was paralleled to the right of course in order to avoid weather on the briefed route. Southwest of Kassel, two groups were seen. Upon approaching, one was identified as the 94th “B” Group and the leader took his position in the formation. After the lead ship got into formation, the briefed route was followed with little divergency. Some difficulty was encountered from an unexpected wind shift, but was quickly overcome. The formation was then flying above the cloud cover and had no difficulty in flying a good formation. The briefed IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was reached at the briefed altitude of 25,000 feet two minutes late (1046).
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: No information as to the weather in the target area had been received from the Weather Scouting Force. However, the 94th “A” Group reported that the preceding groups had bombed by H2X, and so it was decided that a mickey [Radar] run would be made. Bombing was done in group formation. The briefed turn was made at the IP. No interference was encountered on the bomb run. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] functioned satisfactorily.
    6.  Flight From Target: After bombing, the formation made its briefed right turn from the target and cut inside of the next turn in order to fly abreast of the 94th “C” Group. The message from Division was received instructing the groups to withdraw on the entry route rather than on the previously planned course. The withdrawal was made behind the preceding groups, and divergencies from the briefed course were made in order to stay in the Division Column. Cycle Relay [a radio relay station] and the Weather Scouting Force recommended a let-down which would bring the formation into the English coast at 4,000 feet. The front lines were crossed at an altitude of 19,000 feet. It was possible to let-down without too much difficulty through the layers of clouds. The briefed route was contacted inside of the front lines and followed with slight variance. An altitude of 4,000 feet was reached before departing from the French coast. As more difficulty was expected from the weather on the flight to the English coast, the Grop Leader informed the squadrons to fly in trail. The French coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 2,000 feet. Upon reaching the English coast, the formation spread out upon contacting thicker weather, and was gradually forced to split up. The lead aircraft followed the briefed route to the right in the flight to base. The individual aircraft returned to base and landings were carried out.
    7.  Fighter Support: Good.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Moderate and accurate flak was encountered in the target area. The Weather Scouting Force did not supply weather information for the target area. One aircraft was unable to locate the formation and attacked Hanover with a Third Division group. Two aircraft of the 457th Group flew with the 94th “B”.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack. One flying spare returned as planned.

  [Signed] Robert B. Stratton, Captain, Air Corps, Statistical 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 Spares13121237
No. of Aircraft Credit Sorties13121237
No. of Effective Sorties13121237
No. of Non-Effective Sorties0000
Name of Primary Target (#1)BERLIN, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Secondary Target (#2)BERLIN, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target12121236
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 70 x 500 GP 
46 x 500 IB
 72 x 500 GP 
48 x 500 IB
 72 x 500 GP 
48 x 500 IB
 214 x 500 GP 
142 x 500 IB
Name of Last Resort Target (LRT) (#3)
(A) No. of A/C Attacking LRT
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Target of Opportunity (T.O.) (#4)HANOVER, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking T.O.11
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs6 x 500 GP
4 x 500 IB
A/C could not locate formation and
bombed with 3rd AD Group (486th)
6 x 500 GP
4 x 500 IB
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 Off063006330632
Time of Attack10:5810:5810:58
Total Time for Mission111:28102:24110:00323:52
Altitude of Release (Indicated)25,000’24,500’25,600’
Visual, H2X, Gee-H, M-H, Eagle, or CombinationH2XH2XH2X
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

Two Aircraft of 457th Group also attacked with this formation (F-528 & N-394)

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

Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 28 March, 1945
Field Order # 671
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th "B" Group
Target - Berlin, Germany - Number 2 Target
  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 at 1058 on the Lead Sqdn. High's M.H. [Magnetic Compass Heading] was 148° and Low's was 149°.
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. 10/10
  5. If Visual, when was MPI [Mean Point of Impact] 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] Eldon L. Stear, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Lead Bombardier

Combat Bombing Flight Record:

I certify that this 12E form is complete and correct.
Warren C. Steitz, Captain, Air Corps, Group Bombardier.
Lead Squadron, 94th "B" Group
Bombardier - 1st Lt. Stear, Eldon L.
Pilot - Capt. Purcell, James M.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Barg, John W.

Aircraft B-17G   J-468  Take-off - 06:35 Landed - 1530
Objective - Berlin, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - As Briefed - PFF
Initial Point - As Briefed
Method of Attack - Bombing was in Group Formation on the Lead at 1058
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 - 6 x 500 Lb., G.P.'s [General Purpose] & 4 x M17 I.B.'s [Incendiary Bomb]
Number of Bombs Loaded - As Above   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/100
Synchronization - On

Information at Release Point:  High's M.H. [Magnetic Compass Heading] was 148° and Low's was 149° @ 1058.

Altitude of Target - +110Magnetic Heading Ordered 136° Actual 150°
True Altitude Above Target - 25,000True Heading 146°
Indicated Altitude - 25,000Drift, Estimated 5° Left - Actual 5° Left
Pressure Altitude of Target -80True Track 141°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 12,500'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 228KTime of Release 10:58
Ground Speed Est. 210 Actual 213Length of Bombing Run - 35 N.M. [Nautical Miles]
Wind Direction Metro - 190° Actual - 186°Intervalometer Setting - 140 Feet
Wind Velocity Metro 20 Actual 22 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 127  Trail - 57   ATF - 41.80A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .44 Actual .50 Manual Pilot - _____

Type of Release - Train 140'
Point of Impact If Seen - Unobserved - PFF
Mean Temp. Metro -11 Actual -10
Winds - Altitude - 25,000 Ft.  Direction - Metro 190°  Actual 186°  Velocity - Metro 20  Actual 22
Temp C. - Metro -37° C. Actual -30° C.

Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. No leaflets were carried by this Group on today's mission.
  2. The three squadrons of this Group formed the 94th “B” CBW, the eleventh group of the 1st Air Division, and attacked by PFF [Pathfinder Force] methods the No. 2 target, the Air Armaments factory at Berlin, Germany. Photos show 10/10 clouds at bombs away but later pictures show enough ground detail to identify the target area. No bursts are seen but an estimated point of impact would place the bombs within a radius of 1500 yards of the assigned target. Mickey [Radar] Operators also estimate that the bombs fell into the target area.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. Moderate accurate flak in groups of four to six bursts was encountered over the target. There were about eight to twelve bursts in the vicinity of Kassel and five to six bursts over Brandenburg. Meager accurate flak was encountered in the vicinity of Hahndorf.
  5. 10/10 clouds were encountered to as far in as seven degrees, after which they became six to eight tenths. There were 9/10 clouds at the target. These weather conditions did cause some deviations from the briefed course and they will be explained in paragraph 8.
  6. At an approximate position of 5132 N – 0905 E, at 1150 hours the M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard] at Korback were crowded with wagons.
  7. Four PFF A/C were employed by this group and the equipment of each worked well; they were used during the bombing run and as navigational aids. Fighter support was good. This Group was unable to contact the Scouting Force. None of our A/C are missing but one, 082-D, landed at Wittering because of hydraulic difficulties. Our A/C N-169 was unable to find our formation during assembly due to heavy clouds, and flew with the 486th Group of the Third Division to bomb Hannover. Two A/C of the 457th Group flew in our formation; A/C 528-f flew in No. 4 position of the low element of the High Squadron, and N-3394 flew in No. 4 position in the Lead Squadron.
  8. Weather conditions forced this group to climb to 20,000 feet for assembly. At Control Point No. 1 a 360 degree turn was executed in order to permit the Low Squadron to catch up with the Lead and High and the formation was five minutes late departing this point. The formation left the briefed route, and avoided flying over the D.R. point near 8 degrees, 40 minutes E, picking up two minutes of the lost time. The route was flown as briefed from this point to the target and bombing was done three minutes late. The No. 2 target, the Air Armaments factory at Berlin, was bombed by PFF methods in Group Formation. All the PFF equipment worked well. The turn after bombs away was cut short and at approximately 11 degrees 30 minutes E the formation was back on the route that was flown on the way to the target. The rest of the route was flown without incident, with the group letting down to 22,000 feet soon after bombs away. They continued to let down until they were at 4000 feet over the English Coast. At the English Coast the weather forced the group to break up, and the A/C [aircraft] proceeded directly to Base. (Bombing was done from the briefed altitude of 25,000 feet.)

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives:
    1. Airplane No. 43-38277, 508th Squadron returned early as planned.
  [Signed:] John W. Freeman, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

Abortive Report
Aircraft No. O-277 Squadron - ____ Date - 27 Mar. 1945
    1. Reason for abortive Flying Spare
    2. Place and altitude 50°25'N 07°E
    3. Time 0925
    4. Position in formation Diamond in high flight of high squadron
    5. Disposition of bombs B.B. [Brought Back]
    6. Remarks Full - good [formation]
    7. Time & Date dispatched ____
      (Pilot's Signature) Clifford R. Mordecai

“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: None
    Sqdn 509th A/C: A–8428, C–8690, D–7193 - Spare, F–6566, M–7964, N–7169, 0–8920, P–6907, R–6156, T–8666, U–8591
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (D–8664 PFF), (J–8468 PFF)

    b. 94th Combat Wing "B" Group   Low Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: None
    Sqdn 509th A/C: None
    Sqdn 510th A/C: B–6610, C–9020, D–8694, G–7862, K–7252, M–9001, Q–6565, S–7512, T–9156, V–7705
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (L–8045 PFF), G–8872

    c. 94th Combat Wing "B" Group   High Squadron - 351st Group
    Sqdn 508th A/C: A–8410, D–6082, G–8954, H–8412, K–8130, L–7956, M–7900, O–8277 Spare, Q–8799, U–8813, Y–6108
    Sqdn 509th A/C:
    Sqdn 510th A/C: None
    Sqdn 511th A/C: (B–7701 PFF), C–6952
  2. Target: GN-5065
  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 – 0620; Take-Off – 0635; E.T.D. Field – 0848
  5. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    Not Applicable
  6. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    Not Applicable
  7. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    125122,000 Ft53°13'N-04°52'E [Southern End of Vlieland Island, Netherlands]
  8. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    13385,000 FtCromer
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1404 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 6 x 500 G.P. 1/10 x 1/100 Plus 4 M-17 I.B.'s
    Low Squadron: 6 x 500 G.P. 1/10 x 1/100 Plus 4 M-17 I.B.'s
    High Squadron: 6 x MK 12-2 Plus 4 M-17 I.B.'s
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2780 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Gaylord A/C No & Sqdn. J-8468 PFF (511)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Patterson A/C No & Sqdn. L-8045 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Turner A/C No & Sqdn. B-7701 PFF (511)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)

Report Compiled By I.C. Muesing, S/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
94th "B" Combat Bomb Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8468 J PFF
A/C 43-37964 M
A/C 44-8664 D PFF
A/C 44-6907 P
A/C 43-38920 O
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 42-97169 N
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38591 U
A/C 43-38640 C
A/C 42-97193 D Spare
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-38428 A

94th "B" Group Lead Squadron Formation Over–Target
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8468 J PFF
A/C 43-37964 M
A/C 44-8664 D PFF
A/C 44-6907 P
A/C 43-38920 O
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 42-97193 D
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38591 U
A/C 43-38640 C
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-38428 A

[Lt Brennan flew with 486th Group of the 3rd Division and Bombed Hannover. Lt Cole, the flying spare, flew in Lt Brennan's position.]

94th "B" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
508th Squadron
A/C 42-97701 B PFF
A/C 43-38813 U
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 44-8410 A
A/C 44-8412 H
A/C 43-38130 K
Hart, J.
A/C 43-37900 M
A/C 43-38799 Q
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 43-38277 O Spare
A/C 44-6952 C
Hart, G.
A/C 44-6082 D

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

94th "B" Combat Bomb Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
A/C 44-8045 L PFF
A/C 44-6610 B
A/C 43-37862 G
A/C 43-39020 C
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 43-38694 D
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 44-6565 Q
A/C 43-37705 V
A/C 43-39156 T
A/C 43-37515 L
A/C 43-38872 G

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0900 BST [British Standard Time]  Briefing: 0315 Stations: 0655 Start Engines: 0705 Taxi: 0720 Take-Off: 0735  [Breakfast: 0215]

[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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