351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #314

Credited Mission #306

DATE: 11 Apr. 1945
Target: Freiham, 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 - Freiham 9½ E - Munich [Germany]
    2. PFF Primary: #2 - Truchtlingen, [Germany] Railway Center of Ingolstad Airdrome.
    3. Visual Secondary: #3 Ingolstad H2X
    4. PFF Secondary: #4 -
    5. Last Resort Target: #5 - Any target assigned to any other force listed in the Field Order which may be attacked visually.

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information:

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:
    Zero Hour: - 1000Stations: - 0720
    Start Engines: - 0730Taxi: - 0745
    Take Off: - 0800Last Take Off: - 0830
    Intercept Group atBuncher Y-35at 9,000 ft.
    Target Time: - 1257ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - 1657
    Depart English Coast Buncher at: 1046at Felixstowe

    Time on oxygen: 6 hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

  7. Loadings:
     Gasoline: 2,780 Gallons
     Bombs: 5 x 1000 G.P. 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses] - Lead & Low
    High Sqdn. 2 x 2000 G.P.'s

  8. Intervalometer Settings: Visual - Salvo; H2X - 50 Feet

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 3 [mins] after I.P. [Initial Point of Bomb Run] - [Continue] for 15 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 360 units.

  10. Disposition of Forces:

    3 Divisions will be dispatched.
    The 1st Air Division will depart England 1st followed by 2nd Division and followed 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:
    A ForceLead40th & 1st AAttackingMuhldorf
    B Force2nd1st B & C (91 - 381)Attacking____
    3rd94th (351 - 457 - 401)Attacking____
    2nd Division targets areRegensburg
    3rd Division targets areLandshut - Ingoldstad - Danauworth - Treuchtlingen

  11. Fighter Cover: 10 Gps. of P-51's - Ours Balance 1-4 [Call Sign]. Also 4 Mosquitos "Small Leak" Blue [Call Sign] rendezvous SW A at I.P.
    * P-51s Buckeye White [Call Sign] scout route departing to Fox Hole A.

  12. Assembly:
    ALead at15,000feet on Y-35 BuncherRed-YellowFlares
    High at16,000feet onY-35BuncherGreenFlares
    Low at14,000feet onY-35BuncherRedFlares
    C401st at9,000feet on____Buncher____Flares
    B457th at9,000feet on____Buncher____Flares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: at Y-35 Buncher
    Division Assembly Line: Beacon #C-1 to Beacon #C-4
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 18,000'
    Bombing altitude: 25,000'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 30 degrees.

  13. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft Able
    401stWoodcraft Charlie
    457thWoodcraft Baker
    1st Div. Air CommanderLt. Col. Graybeal - Foxhole Able [Call Sign]
    94th CBW Air CommanderLt. Col. Carter - Woodcraft Able [Call Sign]
    "B" Task Force - 91st GroupSwordfish Baker Lead

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - L-955, A-410, Q-565; "C" - 8th A.F. - B-592; "C" - 67th Fighter Wing - Z-696; "D" - All [A/C] but lead & deputy which have 8 AF crystals.
    B-592 will stand by for call from Nuthouse to VG 1-7 on Channel C. will ask for fix on Channel D - Workman - Pilot
    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: G-617, U-813, K-252
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: C-020, B-610, P-907, B-349, M-001, B-592, T-666, G-954, C-753
     d. Camera A/C: R-156, O-277, O-610
      return at  Discretion of Col. Carter
     e. Spares to turn back at ____
     f. PFF A/C fly as Lead, Deputy Lead of lead [Squadron] and Lead of High and Low Sqdns.
     g. GH A/C fly as - No G.H.
     h. REMARKS: 
       Russian Recognition - Primary Dip Right Wing 3-5 times; Basic - Dip Left Wing 3-5 times.
       Nurnburg will not be attacked in any circumstances.
       "Y" A/C = B-349, M-001
       Spot Jam = P-907, F-124, G-954, Y-108, D-694, K-242
  17. You are reminded not to discuss the target. EXERCISE ALL SECURITY MEASURES.


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 11 April, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The No. 1 Target, Freiham, Germany, was attacked visually.
    2. Force: 94th “A” Group. Thirty-eight aircraft, including four combination H2X-GH ships and two flying spares were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th "A" Group flew as the seventh group in the First Division Formation.
    4. Lead Teams
      Wing Lead
      Air Commander: Colonel Merlin I. Carter
      Pilot:Captain James M. Purcell
      Navigator:1st Lt. John W. Bury
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Eldon L. Stear

      Low Squadron
      Leader: Captain Julien C. Meadows
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Johnny E. Clark
      Navigator:Major William F. Bounds
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Robert F. Schneider

      High Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Joseph E. Parker
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Raymond J. Works
      Navigator:1st Lt. Edward J. LeFevre
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Edward H. Dengel
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: Take-off was made as planned. The aircraft proceeded individually to the continental assembly point (Buncher Y-35).
    2.  Route Over England: A layer of clouds over the buncher from 10,000 – 20,000 feet made it necessary for the 94th “A” to assemble to the southwest of the briefed point. No difficulty was encountered in this change.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: Departure from the assembly area was made on time (1046) at the briefed altitude of 15,000 feet. The briefed route was closely followed to Point C-2, which was reached three minutes early at the briefed height of 15,000 feet. The last leg of the Division Assembly Line, from Point C-2 to C-4, was flown in a dog-leg to the left of course. This maneuver permitted the 94th “A” to lose two of the three minutes that it was ahead of schedule, and also allowed the 94th “B” and “C” Groups to close up the interval. The end of the Division Assembly Line, Point C-4, was reached on an easterly heading one minute early (1135) at an altitude of 20,000 feet, 2,000 feet above the briefed height. No difficulty was encountered in taking the proper position in the Division Formation (seventh).
    4.  Flight to Target: The briefed route was followed with little divergency behind the preceding formations. The climb was made easily, and the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was reached at the briefed height of 25,000 feet one minute early (1241).
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The No. 1 Target, Freiham, Germany, was attacked visually by squadrons. The bombardiers experienced no difficulties in picking up their aiming points. In all cases the C- Pilot [Autopilot] was used satisfactorily. Photographs indicate that bombing results were good to excellent. Some evasive action was necessary at the IP, but this caused no difficulty in making the bomb run.
    6.  Flight From Target: The rally was made without difficulty. The briefed route was followed on the withdrawal behind the preceding groups. After crossing the Rhine River, the formation let-down faster than briefed in order to get under a cloud layer on the briefed route. The Division Column was followed to the right of the briefed course in friendly territory. The French coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 5,000 feet. The formation was two minutes early (1545) at that point. The briefed route was followed on the flight to the English coast, which was crossed at the planned point at an altitude of 5,000 feet. After reaching Splasher #8, the 94th “A” Group flew to the left of course directly to base, as some aircraft had reported a low gasoline reserve. After reaching base, the Air Commander sent the High and Low Squadrons 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. Moderate, fairly accurate flak was encountered in the target area, and there was flak from Munich after the turn at bombs away. The Weather Scouting Force furnished helpful weather information.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack. The two flying spares 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 Spares12121236
No. of Aircraft Credit Sorties12121236
No. of Effective Sorties12121236
No. of Non-Effective Sorties0000
Name of Primary Target - #1FREIHAM, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target12121236
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 60 x 1000# GP  60 x 1000# GP  10 x 1000# GP 
20 x 2000# GP
 130 x 1000# GP 
20 x 2000# GP
Name of Secondary Target
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Last Resort Target (LRT)Pathfinder Aircraft used as follows:
(A) No. of A/C Attacking LRT2 B-17G HO1 B-17G HO1 B-17G HO4 B-17G HO
(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 Off075608000758
Time of Attack125412541254
Total Time for Mission109:36107:34109:31326:41
Altitude of Release (Indicated)25,000’25,700’24,400’
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 SuccessGood to Excellent

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

Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 11 April, 1945
Field Order # 684
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th "A" Group
Target - #1. Underground Oil Storage at Freiham, Germany
  1. Type of Bombing (Visual, PFF or Combined)?  Visual
  2. Did Squadron perform own sighting operation, bomb on smoke marker, or was bombing done in Group Formation? Squadron performed own sighting operation.
  3. Was turn made at briefed I.P.? Yes
  4. Cloud coverage and visibility. CAVU [Ceiling And Visibility Unlimited]
  5. If Visual, when was MPI [Mean Point of Impact] identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? MPI [Mean Point of Impact] could be seen for 10 miles.
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? None
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? Fair
  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 "A" Group
Bombardier - 1st Lt. Stear, Eldon L.
Pilot - Col. Carter, M.L., & Capt. Purcell, J.M.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Bury, John W.

Aircraft B-17G   08:00  Take-off - 0830 Landed - 17:00
Objective - Priority #1, Underground Oil Storage Depot at Freiham, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - As Briefed
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: ____
Deflection and Range Sighting, Group: One   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - __   Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 5 x 1000 Lb. AN-M44 G.P.[General Purpose] & Markers
Number of Bombs Loaded - As Above   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - On

Information at Release Point:  

Altitude of Target - 699Magnetic Heading Ordered 056° Actual 040°
True Altitude Above Target - 23,627True Heading 035°
Indicated Altitude - 25,000Drift, Estimated 12° Right - Actual 7° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target +1,592True Track 042°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 12,448'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 219KTime of Release 12:54
Ground Speed Est. 229 Actual 260Length of Bombing Run - 23 N.M. [Nautical Miles]
Wind Direction Metro - 320° Actual - 275°Intervalometer Setting - Salvo
Wind Velocity Metro 40 Actual 45 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 132.4  Trail - 43   ATF - 40.00A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .52 Actual .52 Manual Pilot ____

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this Group attacked as a priority 1 target the underground oil storage depot at Freiham, Germany. Photo cover is complete for all squadrons.
  2. The lead squadron bombs fell into the target area with the main concentration slightly right of the assigned MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. The entire pattern landed in the storage area and a cluster of bombs scored a “shack” on the MPI. The pattern is 2294 feet by 2165 feet. Percentages are 32% for 1000 feet and 100% for 2000 feet.
  3. The low squadron bombs hit in the target area. The pattern is tight and the concentration centers on the MPI. The pattern is 1948 feet by 1515 feet and the percentages are 98% for 1000 feet and 100% for 2000 feet.
  4. Smoke obscures the pattern of the high squadron. Four bursts can be plotted and these indicate that the high squadron bombs fell into the target area.
  [Signed:] Thomas L. Cooper, Captain, Air Corps, Asst. Group S-2; P.I. [Photo Intelligence]

Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. No leaflets were carried by this Group.
  2. This Group was the 94th “A” CBW [Combat Wing] and bombed the airfield at Freiham, Germany, by squadrons and with individual sightings. Photos show that bombing was good to excellent, with the bombs of all three squadrons falling into the target area. The MPI [Mean Point of Impact] was covered by bursts and the immediate surrounding area has been blanketed with bombs.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. Moderate fairly accurate flak was encountered at the target, and there was flak from Munich after the turn at bombs away. Meager accurate flak was encountered on the way in over Pforzheim, and there was moderate fairly accurate flak from Stuttgart both on the way in and on the way out.
  5. A cloud layer of from 6-8/10ths clouds at medium altitudes in the assembly area forced assembly to be made slightly higher and to the SW of the briefed area. Weather proved of little hinderance [sic] on the route in to the target, and conditions were clear in the target area. A cloud layer extending from the Rhine River west made it necessary to let down lower than was briefed, but was not a particular hazard to formation flying.
  6. The M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard] at Ulm, Germany, appeared to be filled with railroad traffic.
  7. The four PFF A/C [Pathfinder Force Aircraft] which flew with this Group were used for navigational purposes only, and all equipment worked well. Scouting Force furnished helpful weather information. The fighter support was very good. An A/C from Ridgewell flew along behind this Group from the Rhine River to a point about 30 or 40 miles from the target, dropped his bombs at approx. 1243 hours, and appeared to be heading towards the south as he pulled away with no damage visible. None of our A/C is missing.
  8. Take-off and flight to the assembly area on the continent was as briefed, but very slightly ahead of time schedule. A layer of clouds at around 10 to 14,000 feet caused assembly to be made slightly to the SW and above the briefed point and altitude. After assembly the route was flown generally as briefed except for one double drift to the left to gain proper interval between groups, at approx. 7 degrees East. The Group continued about two minutes ahead of schedule, made the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] good, and bombed the No. 1 target visually and by individual squadrons. The route back from the target was flown as briefed except for a slight deviation to the right around 8 degrees East, let-down west of the Rhine was lower than briefed because of a low cloud layer in that area. The let from let-down area to base was flown at about 5,000 feet and with slight deviation to the west of course over the last fifty miles of the flight.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives and Flying Spares:
    1. Airplane No. 42-97216, 510th Squadron, returned early as planned.
    2. Airplane No. 42-38038, 510th Squadron, returned early as planned.
  [Signed:] John W. Freeman, Captain, Air Corps, Group Engineering Officer

“J” Form:
  1. Last Four numbers and Call Letter of A/C in each Squadron:
    94th Combat Wing "A" Group
    1A - LEAD Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C:
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: B–8592, C–8640, G–8617, H–6952, L–2955, P–6907, R–6156, T–8666, Z–7696
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: L–7515, (L–7515 Spare)
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (P–8867 PFF), (H–8780 PFF)

    1B - LOW Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C:
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C:
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: B–6610, C–9020, D–8694, G–7862, H–8280, K–7252, M–9001, Q–6565, S–7512, T–9156, V–7705,
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (A–8358 PFF)

    1C - HIGH Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C: A–8410, B–7349, C–8753, G–8954, H–8412, O–8277, P–7258, Q–8799, U–8813, X–6579, Y–6108
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C:
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: (U–7216 Spare)
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (U–8374 PFF)
  2. Target: GQ-2015
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T TDW R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T UDT R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T SND R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T NVX R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0745; Take-Off – 0800; E.T.D. Field – ____
  5. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
  6. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
  7. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    15475,000 Ft50°42'N-01°33'E [Mont Soleil, France]
  8. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    16005,000 FtDungeness
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1657 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "H"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 13 A/C - 5 x 1000 Lb. G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]
    Low Squadron: 12 A/C - 5 x 1000 Lb. G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    High Squadron: 13 A/C - 2 x 2000 Lb. G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2500 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Col. Carter A/C No & Sqdn. P-8867 PFF (511)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Capt. Meadows A/C No & Sqdn. A-8358 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Parker A/C No & Sqdn. U-8374 PFF (511)
  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
509th Squadron
Col. Carter–Purcell
A/C 44-8867 P PFF
A/C 44-8617 G
A/C 44-8780 H PFF
A/C 44-6907 P
A/C 43-38592 B
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 44-6952 H
A/C 43-37515 L
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 42-38038 P Spare
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 43-38640 C

[Lt Hauck, the flying spare, returned early as planned.]

94th "A" Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
A/C 44-8358 A PFF
A/C 42-97252 K
A/C 43-38694 D
A/C 43-39020 C
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 43-37705 V
A/C 44-8280 H
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 44-6565 Q
A/C 43-39156 T
A/C 43-37862 G
A/C 44-6610 B

94th "A" Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
508th Squadron
A/C 44-8374 U PFF
A/C 43-38813 U
A/C 44-8412 H
A/C 43-38753 C
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 42-97258 P
A/C 44-6579 X
A/C 44-8410 A
A/C 43-38799 Q
A/C 42-97216 U Spare
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 43-38277 O

[Lt Sprecher, the flying spare, returned early as planned.]

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 1000 DBST [Double British Standard Time]  Briefing: Enlisted Men 0445; Officers 0515 Stations: 0720 
Start Engines: 0730 Taxi:0745 Take-Off: 0800 [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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