351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #319

Credited Mission #310

DATE: 18 Apr. 1945
Target: R.R. Marshalling Yard at Traunstein, Germany

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

  2. Read Special briefing poop.

    1. #1 The Visual Primary target for today is:  M/Y at Traunstein [Germany]
    2. #2 Visual:  M/Y at Freising [Germany]
    3. #3 H2X: M/Y at Freising [Germany]
    4. PFF Secondary: ____
    5. Last Resort Target: There will be no bombing of targets of opportunity

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information:

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:
    Zero Hour: - 0930Stations: - 0835
    Start Engines: - 0845Taxi: - 0900
    Take Off: - 0915Last Take Off: - 1000
    Intercept Group atDungenessat 6,000 Ft.
    Target Time: - 1437ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - 1909
    Depart English Coast at: 1109at Dungeness

    Time on oxygen: 3½ hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

  7. Loadings:
     Gasoline: 2,780 Gallons
     Bombs:12 x 500 G.P. 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses] - All A/C [Aircraft]

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

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 5 mins before Target - for 8 minutes.
        Each A/C [Aircraft] will carry - 216 units.

  10. Disposition of Forces:

    3 Divisions will be dispatched.
    The 1st Air Division will depart England 3rd preceded by 2nd & 3rd Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 3 CBW's of 3 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    Lead94th A, BAttackingTraunstein - Freising
    2nd94th C, 40th AAttackingTraunstein - Freising
    3rd40th B, C, 1st A, BAttackingRosenheim - Freising
    2nd Division targets arePassau - Klatory
    3rd Division targets areKolin - Geske Budejovice

  11. Fighter Cover: 2 Gps. of P-51's - Our Close Support is 1 Group - Balance 4-1 [Call Sign]
    2 Groups P-51's, Wabash 1 & 3 will Free Lance in 1st & 3rd Division Target Area.
    1 Group P-47's will Free Lance in 2nd Division Target Area

  12. Assembly:
    Lead at5,000feet on Kings Cliffe BuncherRed-GreenFlares
    High at6,000feet onKings CliffeBuncherGreen-GreenFlares
    Low at4,000feet onKings CliffeBuncherRed-RedFlares
    401st at5,000feet onCottesmoreBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    457th at5,000feet onGlattonBuncherRed-YellowFlares
    Combat Wing Assembly Line: Thetford - Splasher #8 - Dungeness
    Division Assembly Line: Dungeness to 50°15’N-04°00’E [Louvroil, France]
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 22,000'
    Bombing altitude: 18,000'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 30 degrees.

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

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - G-954, G-617, T-156; "C" - 8th A.F. - D-082; "C" - 67th Fighter Wing - L-956.
    Other Communications information will be found on the flimsy.

  15. FLYING CONTROL: _____

     a. Type of Bombing Formation - 10 Ship Squadron
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of Lead Sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
      A/C G-954
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: ____
     d. Camera A/C: M-957, V-070, A-465
      return at  Enemy Coast Out [Bound]
     e. Spares to turn back at ____
     f. PFF A/C fly as Group Lead, Deputy Lead, High & Low Sqdn. Lead
     g. GH A/C fly as ____
     h. REMARKS: 
       No Flying Spares. Two Special Ground Spares.
        Col. Marion of 1st Division will be flying a scout aircraft today. A Mosquito with Blue Wings & Fuselage & Red Tail Surfaces.
        He may be encountered at any point along Route or in target area.
       Scouting Force will be Buckeye Red & Buckeye Blue [Call Signs]

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


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 18 April, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The No. 1 priority target, the marshalling yards at Traunstein, Germany, was attacked visually by squadrons..
    2. Force: 94th “C” Group. Thirty aircraft, including two H2X and two Combination H2X-GH aircraft, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The briefed position, third group in the Division Column, was flown.
    4. Lead Teams
      Group Lead
      Air Commander: Major John D. Gorham Jr
      Pilot:Captain Frank H. Wilcox
      Navigator:1st Lt. Rolland X. Madsen
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Jack P. Austin

      Low Squadron
      Leader: 2nd Lt. Howard B. Grigsby
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Thomas P. McMullin
      Navigator:2nd Lt. Joseph Gaestel
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. William F. Craven

      High Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Joseph E. Parker
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Autrey L. Lowe
      Navigator:1st Lt. Edward J. Lefevre
      Bombardier:1st Lt. Edward H. Dengel
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: No difficulties were encountered in carrying out the briefed assembly at 5,000 feet altitude over the Kings Cliffe buncher.
    2.  Route Over England: The assembly area was departed on time, but all control points in the route over England were made to the outside of course in order to permit the 94th “B” Group, which had departed its assembly point late, to take up its proper position in the wing formation behind the 94th “A” Group. Control Point #1, Dungeness, was reached one minute late (1110) at the briefed altitude of 6,000 feet.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: The briefed Division Assembly Line was flown. No difficulties were encountered by the 94th “C” Group, which was in its briefed position as the third formation in the Division Column.
    4.  Flight to Target: The Division Column was followed on the flight to the target, which accounts for any minor variances from the briefed course. Some essing was necessary in order to maintain the proper interval behind the preceding groups; however, no serious difficulties were encountered, and control points prior to the IP [Initial Point of Bomb Run] were reached from one to four minutes early. On the last leg of the flight before the IP, meager, accurate, continuous following flak was encountered, necessitating evasive action which took the formation to the south of course. The briefed IP was reached one and one-half minutes late (1424½) at the briefed altitude of 18,000 feet. The Weather Scouting Force had reported visual bombing conditions.
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The No. 1 priority target, the marshalling yards at Traunstein, Germany, was attacked visually by squadrons. The lead mickey [Radar] operators began the run in each instance, but as the target became visible, the bombardiers took over and made a visual sighting on the briefed MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. Five-tenths cloud coverage with tops from 1000 to 1400 feet was reported in the target area, and the 94th “A” and “B” Groups had been unable to sight the primary. The obscuring cloud had moved from over the target by the time the 94th “C” Group was making its run, and the briefed MPI was identified 30 to 120 seconds before bombs away. Photos show the overall bombing results to be excellent. The only interference during the run was prop wash encountered by the Low Squadron just before bombs away. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] was used without malfunction in each case.
    6.  Flight From Target: The rally was made without difficulty and the formation took up a course somewhat to the right of the briefed route in order to permit an undisturbed bomb run for the 94th “A” and “B” Groups which were attacking the No. 2 target. The 94th “C” rejoined the Division Column after the two preceding groups had attacked, and followed them on the withdrawal. Any deviations from course were made in order to remain in the Division Formation. The continental coast was crossed slightly to the north of course, and the English coast was reached at the briefed point at an altitude of 4,500 feet. The briefed route was followed to the Thames River, from which point a direct route to base was flown. The Low and High Squadrons were sent to their respective stand-off areas before landing. A normal let-down procedure had been followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: Good
    8.  Comments: No aircraft are missing. No flak was encountered in the target area; however, in the area of the IP, meager, accurate, continuous following flak was encountered. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Information from the Weather Scouting Force was accurate.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack. No flying spares had been scheduled.

  [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 Sorties10101030
No. of Aircraft Airborne Less Unused Spares10101030
No. of Aircraft Credit Sorties10101030
No. of Effective Sorties10101030
No. of Non-Effective Sorties0000
Name of Primary Target #1TRAUNSTEIN, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target10101030
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 117 x 500# GP  119 x 500# GP  19 x 500# GP  355 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)Pathfinder Aircraft used by 351st Bombardment Group
(A) No. of A/C Attacking LRT1 B-17G SH
1 B-17G HO
1 B-17G HO1 B-17G SH
(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 Off091009130912
Time of Attack14391439½1440½
Total Time for Mission98:2899:4399:39297:50
Altitude of Release (Indicated)18,000’17,400’18,850’
Visual, H2X, Gee-H, M-H, Eagle, or CombinationVisualVisualVisual
Enemy Resistance – AA Intensity & AccuracyMEAGER 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 SuccessEXCELLENT

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

Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 18 April 1945
Field Order # 691
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th "C" Group
Target - Priority #1 M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard] at Traunstein, 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. Some cloud coverage
  5. If Visual, when was MPI [Mean Point of Impact] identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? Target located at beginning of run and the MPI was identified 40 seconds before "Bombs Away".
  6. Any Interference on Bomb Run? None
  7. Did C-1 [Autopilot] function satisfactory? Yes
  8. Any other factors affecting accuracy? None
  [Signed] Jack P. Austin, 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 "C" Group
Bombardier - 1st Lt. Austin, Jack P.
Pilot - Maj. Gorham, J.D. Jr. & Capt. Wilcox, F.H.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Madsen, Rolland X.

Aircraft B-17G   J-468  Take-off - 0915 Landed - 1900
Objective - Priority Target #1, M/Y at Traunstein, 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: - 10   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]
Number of Bombs Loaded - As Above   Released - Same
Fusing, Nose - 1/10   Tail - 1/40
Synchronization - On

Information at Release Point:  

Altitude of Target - 1,968Magnetic Heading Ordered 039° Actual 040°
True Altitude Above Target - 16,615True Heading 036°
Indicated Altitude - 18,000Drift, Estimated 2° Right - Actual 6° Right
Pressure Altitude of Target 1,649True Track 042°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 7,809.1'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 200KTime of Release 14:38:45
Ground Speed Est. 188 Actual 184Length of Bombing Run - 34 Miles
Wind Direction Metro - 295° Actual - 063°Intervalometer Setting - Minimum
Wind Velocity Metro 23K Actual 15K C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 158.5  Trail - 47   ATF - 33.44A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .51 Actual .47 Manual Pilot ____

Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this Group attacked the priority No. 1 target at Traunstein, Germany. The aiming point was a 10 track siding in the M/Y [Marshalling Yard] and bombing was done visually with each squadron making its own bomb run. Photo cover is fair with the target area and bomb patterns obscured by smoke and clouds.
  2. The lead squadron’s bombs fell into the target area and covered the MPI [Mean Point of Impact]. The complete pattern is approximately 3000 feet by 2000 feet with percentages of 75% for 1000 feet and 100% for 2000 feet.
  3. The bombs of the low squadron fell into the target area with the main concentration 500 feet south of the MPI. The complete pattern is obscured by clouds but it measures approximately 1930 feet by 1230 feet with percentages of 95% for 1000 feet and 100% for 2000 feet.
  4. The bombs of the high squadron landed squarely on the MPI and the pattern measures 2000 feet by 1520 feet. The percentages are 98% for 1000 feet and 100% for 2000 feet.
  [Signed:] Howard L. Schnur, 1st Lt., Air Corps, Asst. Group 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 “C” Group and bombed visually by squadrons the No. 1 target, the M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard] at Traunstein, Germany. Photos show the overall results to be from very good to excellent. The bombs of the lead squadron landed approximately 800 feet West of the MPI [Mean Point of Impact] with several sticks cutting the tracks in the sidings. The bombs of the low and high squadrons landed on the MPI with a majority of the bombs within the M/Y for excellent results.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. There was no flak at the target. Meager accurate continuous following flak was encountered at 4728 N – 1158 E and at 4735 N – 1210 E. What was apparently a new, unbombed manufacturing plant was observed one and one half miles NE of Noordlingen.
  5. There were 4 to 6/10 low cloud in the target area.
  6. An A/F [Air Field] at 4819 N – 1157 E with approximately 25 S/E [Single Engine] and one T/E [Twin Engine] A/C [Aircraft] was observed at 1455 hours from an altitude of 17,000 feet. A M/Y filled with much rolling stock was observed at 4833 N – 1047 E. What was apparently a new, unbombed manufacturing plant was observed one and one half miles NE of Noordlingen.
  7. Four PFF A/C [Aircraft] were employed by this group as navigational aids and the equipment of each worked efficiently. Fighter support was good. The information received from the Scouting Force was found to be accurate but it was received a little late. None of our A/C are missing.
  8. Assembly was as per SOP [Standard Operating Procedure] and the group departed the Buncher on time and on course. We left Control Point One a minute early and from this point to the IP the formation was three to six minutes ahead of schedule but on course. The remainder of the route was flown as briefed with bombing done visually by squadrons from the briefed altitude. Let-down was as per SOP.

Track Chart:
Click on Chart to Enlarge

Mission Summary Report:
  1. Abortives and Flying Spares:
    1. None
  [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: D–6082, G–8954, H–8412, J–7978, L–7956, M–7957, X–6579, Y–6108
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: None
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: None
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (J–8468 PFF), (M–8846 PFF)

    1B - LOW Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C: None
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: A–8428, B–8592, F–6566, G–8617, H–6952, L–2955, O–8920, V–8070, Z–7696
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: None
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (H–8780 PFF)

    1C - HIGH Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C: None
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: None
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: A–8465, B–6610, C–9020, D–8694, M–9001, Q–6565, S–7512, T–9156, V–7705
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (Z–8774 PFF)
  2. Target: GSGS-4416
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T PVM R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T JRY R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T NGZ R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T MMT R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0900; Take-Off – 0915; E.T.D. Field – 1000
  5. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    11096,000 FtDungeness
  6. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    11186,000 Ft50°46'N-01°36'E [Wimereux, France]
  7. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    17586,000 Ft50°46'N-01°36'E [Wimereux, France]
  8. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    18085,000 FtDungeness
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1909 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "N"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 10 A/C - 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]
    Low Squadron: 10 A/C - 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    High Squadron: 10 A/C - 12 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    ___ Squadron:
  12. Fuel Load of each A/C: 2780 Gallons
  13. Leaders:
    Lead Sqdn: Rank & Name: Major Gorham A/C No & Sqdn. J-8468 PFF (511)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Grigsby A/C No & Sqdn. U-8374 PFF (511)
    High Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt Parker A/C No & Sqdn. Z-8774 PFF (511)
  14. Passengers, if any: (Full Name, Rank, A/C and Squadron Passenger flying with)

Report Compiled By Lopatin, Sol, T/Sgt.

Formation Chart:
94th "C" Combat Bomb Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
508th Squadron
Maj. Gorham–Wilcox
A/C 44-8468 J PFF
A/C 43-38954 G
A/C 44-8846 M PFF
A/C 44-6108 Y
A/C 44-8412 H
A/C 43-37956 L
A/C 44-6579 X
A/C 44-6082 D
A/C 43-37957 M
A/C 43-37978 J

94th "C" Combat Bomb Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
509th Squadron
A/C 44-8374 U PFF
A/C 43-37696 Z
A/C 43-38592 B
A/C 43-38428 A
A/C 44-6952 H
A/C 42-102955 L
A/C 44-8617 G
A/C 44-6566 F
A/C 43-38070 V
A/C 43-3892O O

94th "C" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
A/C 44-8774 Z PFF
A/C 44-6610 B
A/C 44-6565 Q
A/C 43-39020 C
A/C 43-39001 M
A/C 43-37512 S
A/C 43-39156 T
A/C 43-38694 D
A/C 43-38465 A
A/C 43-37705 V

Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0930 DBST [Double British Standard Time]  Briefing: Enlisted Men 0545; Officers 0615 Stations: 0835 
Start Engines: 0845 Taxi:0900 Take-Off: 0915  [Breakfast: Enlisted Men 0445; Officers 0515]

[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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