351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #315

Credited Mission #307

DATE: 14 Apr. 1945
Target: Fort De Royan at Royan, France

  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, Fort De Royan at Royan, France
    2. PFF Primary: ____
    3. Visual Secondary: ____
    4. PFF Secondary: ____
    5. Last Resort Target: Any target of 1st, 2nd or 3rd Division - Visual Only

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information:

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:
    Zero Hour: - 0730Stations: - 0450
    Start Engines: - 0500Taxi: - 0515
    Take Off: - 0530Last Take Off: - 0650
    Intercept Group atBeachy Headat 6,000 Ft.
    Target Time: - 1123ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - 1345 +
    Depart English Coast at: 0738at Beachy Head

    Time on oxygen: 1:45 hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

  7. Loadings:
     Gasoline: 2,780 Gallons
     Bombs:12 x 500 G.P.

  8. Intervalometer Settings: Salvo

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 5 mins before for 6 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 144 units.

  10. Disposition of Forces:

    3 Divisions will be dispatched.
    The 1st Air Division will depart England 3rd preceded by ___ Division and followed by the ___ Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 3 CBW's of 3 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    2nd Division targets are____
    3rd Division targets are____

  11. Fighter Cover: ____

  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: Brandon on to Beachy Head
    Division Assembly Line: Beachy Head on out
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 17,000'
    Bombing altitude: 18,000'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 30 degrees.

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

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - L-515, Z-696, Q-799; "C" - 8th A.F. - C-020; "C" - 67th Fighter Wing - M-001.
    Other Communications information will be found on the flimsy.

  15. FLYING CONTROL: _____

     a. Type of Bombing Formation - By Squadrons
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of Lead Sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
      The A/C is: O-694
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: Z-198, C-020, B-592, G-954
     d. Camera A/C:  U-216, B-592, L-130
      return at  49°30'N on way out
     e. Spares to turn back at Go On IN
     f. PFF A/C fly as Lead, Deputy, High & Low
     g. GH A/C fly as ____
     h. REMARKS: 
       4 Mosquitos at IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run]
       8 P-51's 20 min. ahead
       Do not salvo bombs on France

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


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 14 April, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The No. 1 target at Royan, France, was attacked visually by squadrons.
    2. Force: 94th “A” Group. Thirty-eight aircraft, including two H2X ships, Two combination H2X - GH aircraft, and two flying spares, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th "A" flew in its briefed position as the Lead Group of the First Division Formation.
    4. Lead Teams
      Division Lead
      Air Commander: Lt. Col. John B. Carraway
      Pilot:Captain Norman A. Trapp
      Navigator:1st Lt. John C. Talbott
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Clarence L. Hunter, Jr.

      Low Squadron
      Leader: 2nd Lt. John H. Hart
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Joseph Y. Cooley
      Navigator:F/O Harry C. Bliele
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Leonard L. Schuler

      High Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Morris G. Turner
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Boleslau Lipske
      Navigator:2nd Lt. John H. Brandon
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. Patrick J. Finnegan
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The assembly was started over the King’s Cliffe buncher at the briefed altitude of 6,000 feet. The darkness caused some difficulty, and at a result, the formation was unable to completely form before the briefed departure time.
    2.  Route Over England: Departure from the assembly area was made on time (0626) at the briefed height of 6,000 feet. At that time it was not completely light and all of the aircraft had not taken their proper positions in the formation. The briefed route was followed after departing from the buncher, but when it was found that the formation was gaining time, the turns were made outside of the planned course. All aircraft were in formation or in sight when Point D was reached. The last aircraft took its place in the formation shortly before Control Point #1 was reached. Control Point #1 was reached a few seconds early at the briefed height of 6,000 feet.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The briefed route was followed without difficulty. The following groups of the 94th Combat Wing were seen in proper formation, and other groups were heard announcing their arrival at Control Point #1 on time. As the winds were not as briefed, the formation gained time in the flight to the target. The French coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 6,000 feet, the briefed height at 0800, 3 minutes early.
    4.  Flight to Target: No difficulties were encountered in the flight to the target. It became necessary to start the climb earlier than briefed in order to avoid clouds encountered on the briefed route, after reaching Control Point #3. The Weather Scouting Force was contacted shortly before the formation reached the turn into the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run]. It announced that the No. 1 target was open and could be attacked visually. The IP was reached as briefed at the planned bombing altitude of 18,000 feet. At that point the formation was 21 minutes early (1049).
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The No. 1 target was attacked visually by squadrons. Due to the presence of smoke from previous bombings by aircraft of the Second and Third Divisions, the mickey [Radar] set was used as a check before reaching the target.
       It was possible for all three lead bombardiers to make a visual sighting on the assigned aiming point before reaching the target area. The High Squadron lead bombardier experienced some difficulty from smoke in the target area and was unable to identify the MPI [Mean Point of Impact] until 20 seconds before the BRL [Bomb Release Line] was reached. The Low Squadron experienced a little trouble from prop wash of the Lead Squadron. The IP was reached from right of course. In all cases the C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] was used satisfactorily.
    6.  Flight From Target: The rally after the target was made without difficulty. The Briefed route was followed with little divergency on the withdrawal. he formation let-down to 10,000 feet shortly after leaving the target area, and later descended to 8,000 feet in order to get under cloud seen ahead on the briefed route. The French coast was crossed at the briefed point at an altitude of 7,500 feet and 16 minutes early (1228). The briefed route was followed to the English coast, which was crossed at an altitude of 4,000 feet. The briefed route was followed to the tight of course in the flight to base, the formation keeping sufficiently close to it to avoid the balloon barrages. The High and Low Squadrons were sent to their respective stand-off areas before landing. A normal let-down procedure had been followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Not Seen.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. No enemy aircraft of flak was encountered. The weather Scouting Force was contacted and furnished adequate weather information. Check points for bombardiers were impossible with the IP being in the water, hence making synchronization more difficult.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack. Two flying spares remained with the formation and attacked.

  [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 Sorties12131338
No. of Aircraft Airborne Less Unused Spares12131338
No. of Aircraft Credit Sorties12131338
No. of Effective Sorties12131338
No. of Non-Effective Sorties0000
Name of Primary TargetROYAN, FRANCE
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target12131338
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 141 x 500# GP  150 x 500# GP  155 x 500# GP  446 x 500# 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)
(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 Off052505250527
Time of Attack1102½1104½1103
Total Time for Mission98:06110:49107:45316:40
Altitude of Release (Indicated)18,000’17,400’18,600’
Visual, H2X, Gee-H, M-H, Eagle, or CombinationVisualVisualVisual
Enemy Resistance – AA Intensity & AccuracyNONE
Enemy Resistance – Fighter0000
Enemy Resistance – Bombers0000
U.S. A/C Engaged by Enemy Aircraft0000
Number of Passes made by Enemy Aircraft0000
Degree of SuccessGOOD RESULTS

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

Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 14 April, 1945
Field Order # 687
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th "A" Group
Target - Priority #1, Fort De Royan at Royan, France
  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 identified while 10 miles away.
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? None
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? Yes
  8. Any other factors affecting accuracy? None
  [Signed] Clarence L. Hunter, Jr., 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. Hunter, Clarence L., Jr.
Pilot - Lt. Col. Carraway, J.B. & Capt. Trapp, H.A.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Talbott, John G.

Aircraft B-17G   M-846  Take-off - 0530 Landed - 1345
Objective - Priority #1, Fort De Royan at Royan, France
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 - 12 x 500 Lb. AN-M43 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 - 0Magnetic Heading Ordered 056° Actual 039°
True Altitude Above Target - 18,700True Heading 030°
Indicated Altitude - 18,000Drift, Estimated 3° Left - Actual 8° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target -211True Track 038°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 9,911'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 200KTime of Release 11:02:30
Ground Speed Est. 226 Actual 194Length of Bombing Run - 42 N.M. [Nautical Miles]
Wind Direction Metro - 210° Actual - 336°Intervalometer Setting - Salvo
Wind Velocity Metro 25 Actual 23 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 148.8  Trail - 48   ATF - 35.61A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .59 Actual .53 Manual Pilot ____

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this Group attacked the priority No. 1 target at Royan, France. The target was an old fort, modernized to act as a heavy gun position. Photo cover is complete for all squadrons.
  2. The bombs of the lead squadron fell slightly short of the MPI [Mean Point of Impact], with approximately 15% of the bombs hitting inside the fort. There are two possible direct hits on the central building (MPI) and other installations are covered by bursts. The pattern is 1,050 feet by 1,225 feet. Percentages are approximately 99.8% for 1000 feet and 100% for 2,000 feet.
  3. The bombs of the low squadron fell into the target area with the main concentration slightly left and short of the MPI. Smoke partially obscures the pattern, but bursts can be seen near the fort installations. The approximate pattern is 1,360 feet by 1,020 feet, and percentages are 97% for 1,000 feet and 100% for 2,000 feet.
  4. The high squadron pattern fell short of the target area and the majority of the bombs fell into water. The pattern is 2,127 feet by 1,665 feet. Percentages are 08% for 1,000 feet and 60% for 2,000 feet.
  [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, flying as the 94th “A” Group, led the 1st Air Division and bombed the No. 1 target, a fort at Royan, France visually and by individual sightings of the three squadrons. Photos show the bombing results to be generally good. The bombs of all squadrons fell into the target area with the main concentrations slightly short (SW) of the assigned MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. The outer fort area is well covered by bursts and there are possible direct hits on the central building.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. No flak was encountered or observed.
  5. Weather generally proved no hindrance to the flying of the mission as briefed. There were no clouds in the target area and visibility there was from 20 to 30 miles. On return there were 10/10 low clouds over England but no difficulties were experienced in the let-down.
  6. There were no observations of military importance.
  7. The equipment of the four PFF A/C employed by this group operated satisfactorily and was used for navigational purposes only. No fighter support was observed although friendly Mosquitos were seen as briefed. The Scouting Force was not seen but was heard over VHF [Radio] and furnished correct and helpful weather information. None of our A/C are missing.
  8. Assembly was as briefed and route to the target was also as briefed except for the fact that, due to a difference in winds from those briefed, this group was ahead of schedule three minutes at Control Point One, ten minutes at Control Point Two and twenty and one half minutes early at the target. The IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] was made good and bombing of the No. 1 target was done visually and by individual squadrons. The return route from the target was generally as briefed, and the group continued early, being sixteen minutes ahead of schedule at Control Point Four. From Point Four the next leg was cut short as the Group flew slightly to the east of course and on in to Base with a normal let-down procedure.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

“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: None
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: None
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: A–8465, C–9020, D–8694, G–7862, H–8280, L–7515, M–9001, Q–6565, S–7512, U–7216
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (U–8374 PFF), (M–8846 PFF)

    1B - LOW Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C: A–8410, B–7349, D–6082, G–8954, H–8412, K–8130, L–7956, P–7258, Q–8799, U–8813, X–6579, (Y–6108 Spare)
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: None
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: None
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (D–8664 PFF)

    1C - HIGH Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C: None
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: A–8428, B–8592, C–8640, D–7193, F–6566, G–8617, H–6952, L–2955, R–6156, T–8666, Z–7696, (N–7169 Spare)
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: None
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (H–8780 PFF)
  2. Target: 33
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T WUD R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T JSD R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T LSS R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T THQ R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0515; Take-Off – 0530; E.T.D. Field – 0626
  5. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    07386,000 FtBeachy Head
  6. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    08036,000 Ft49°53'N-00°46'E [Veules-les-Roses, France]
  7. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    12446,000 Ft49°22'N-00°49'E [Near Rouen, France]
  8. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    13166,000 FtSelsey Bill
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1405 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "N"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 12 A/C - 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]
    Low Squadron: 13 A/C - 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]
    High Squadron: 13 A/C - 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2780 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Col. Carraway A/C No & Sqdn. M-8846 PFF (511)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Hart A/C No & Sqdn. D-8664 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Turner A/C No & Sqdn. H-8780 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" Combat Bomb Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
Lt. Col. Carraway–Trapp
A/C 44-8846 M PFF
A/C 43-38694 D
A/C 44-8374 U PFF
A/C 43-39020 C
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 43-37862 G
A/C 43-37515 L
A/C 44-8280 H
A/C 44-6565 Q
A/C 43-38465 A
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 42-97216 U

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
508th Squadron
Hart, J.H.
A/C 44-8664 D PFF
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 42-97258 P
A/C 43-38799 Q
A/C 42-97349 B
A/C 44-8410 A
Hart, G.A.
A/C 44-8412 H
A/C 43-38813 U
A/C 44-6082 D
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 44-6108 Y Spare
A/C 43-38130 K
A/C 44-6579 X

[Lt Mika, the flying spare, remained with the formation and attacked the target.]

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8780 H PFF
A/C 44-8617 G
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 44-6952 H
A/C 43-38640 C
A/C 43-38428 A
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 42-97169 N Spare
A/C 43-38592 B
A/C 42-97193 D

94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation Over Target
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8780 H PFF
A/C 44-8617 G
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 44-6952 H
A/C 43-38640 C
A/C 42-97193 D
A/C 44-6156 R
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 43-38666 T
A/C 43-38592 B
A/C 43-38428 A
A/C 42-97169 N

[Lt Bird and Lt Hauck exchanged positions.]
[Lt Krier, the flying spare, remained with the formation and flew behind the Low Low Element and attacked the target.]

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0730 DBST [Double British Standard Time]  Briefing: ____ Stations: 0450 
Start Engines: 0500 Taxi:0515 Take-Off: 0530

[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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