351st Bomb Group

Polebrook, England

Group Mission #320

Credited Mission #311

 
DATE: 20 Apr. 1945
Target: R.R. Marshalling Yard, Brandenburg, Germany
 
BRIEFING OUTLINE

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

  2. Read Special briefing poop.

  3. TARGETS:
    1. The Visual Primary for today is: Brandenburg [Germany] M/Y [Marshalling Yard]
    2. PFF Primary: Brandenburg [Germany] M/Y
    3. Visual Secondary: ____
    4. PFF Secondary: ____
    5. Last Resort Target: ____

  4. S-2 [Intelligence] Information:

  5. Weather:

  6. Time Schedule:
    Zero Hour: - 0730Stations: - 0605
    Start Engines: - 0615Taxi: - 0630
    Take Off: - 0645Last Take Off: - ____
    Intercept Group at____at ____
    Target Time: - ____ETR [Estimated Time
       of Return]:

    - ____
    Depart English Coast at: 1245at Felixstowe

    Time on oxygen: __ hours

    TIME TICK [Set your watches.]

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

  8. Intervalometer Settings: Visual or GH - Minimum, H2X - 50 Feet.

  9. Chaff: Commence discharge of chaff at - 9 mins before Target - 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 3rd preceded by 3rd Division and by the 2nd Division.
    1st Division will dispatch 3 CBW's of 8 Groups each.
    The order of attack in the 1st Division will be:
    Lead1st CBWAttackingBrandenburg
    2nd94th CBWAttacking(A & B) Brandenburg - (C) Seddin M/Y
    3rd41st CBWAttacking(A) Seddin - (B & C) Treunbritzen
    4th___Attacking ____
    2nd Division targets areM/Y's Regensburg Area
    3rd Division targets areM/Y's Neuruppin, Oranienburg

  11. Fighter Cover: 4 Gps. of P-51's ours Balance 2-2 [Call Sign] also Free - Lance (Mabash) in Brandenburg area
    4 P-51 Buckeye Red [Call Sign] - Scouting target weather - 35 min. before - 4 Mosquitos - Small Leak Blue [Call Sign] will act as Screening Force in 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: Buncher to Mendlesham
    Division Assembly Line: Clacton to Dutch coast
    2 minutes interval between Groups.
    Reference altitude: 25,000'
    Bombing altitude: 25,000'
    Point for instrument let-down Kings Cliffe magnetic heading of 30 degrees.

  13. Call Signs:
    351stWoodcraft A - Able
    401stWoodcraft B - Baker
    457thWoodcraft C - Charlie
    1st Div. Air CommanderMaj. Klette - SWF "A"
    94th CBW Air CommanderMaj. Hinkle

  14. The following ships will monitor [Radio Channels]- "B" - M-691, B-610, Q-799; "C" - 8th A.F. - A-428; "C" - 1st Air Div. Fighter Wing - C-640.
    Other Communications information will be found on the flimsy.

  15. FLYING CONTROL: _____

  16. SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS:
     a. Type of Bombing Formation - Normal Bomb Run will be started on GH
      Bombardiers may select nonobscured MPI's [Target] if MPI obscured.
     b. Bombardier and Navigator of the #3 A/C of Lead sqdn. report to Photo Lab.
      A/C: M-691
     c. Ball Turret Gunners of the following A/C report to Photo Lab: ____
     d. Camera A/C: V-070, S-512, G-954
      return at  Discretion of Group Leader
     e. Spares to turn back at ____
     f. PFF A/C fly as Deputy Lead
     g. GH A/C fly as Combination H2X & GH fly as Group Lead, High & Low Sqdn. Lead
     h. REMARKS: 
       Col. Ball will observe formation in his P-47.
       Stripped-down B-17 will fly with 1st CBW. Marked (Triangle L) Red vertical stripe. Call [sign] A-1
       Weather A/C Partnership S.
       We are Vinegrove 2-3.
       Stripped-down B-17 with 41st Wing - C within large red triangle - has comouflage paint.

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


  BRIEFING OFFICER: HAVE YOU READ SPECIAL BRIEFING POOP??


Operational Narrative.
  1. Date of Mission - 20 April, 1945.
    1. Target Attacked:  The No. 2 target Brandenburg, Germany, was attacked by GH methods with a visual assist.
    2. Force: 94th “A” Group. Thirty aircraft, including three combination H2X-GH ships and one H2X ship, were dispatched.
    3. Position: The 94th "A" Group flew in its briefed position as the third group in the First Division Formation.
    4. Lead Teams
      Wing Lead
      Air Commander: Lt Col Carl C. Hinkle Jr
      Pilot:Captain Jay H. Maish
      Navigator:1st Lt. Norman L. Gootee
      Bombardier:Captain John J. Schadegg

      Low Squadron
      Leader: 2nd Lt. Paul F. Drake
      Pilot:F/O William A. Yardley
      Navigator:2nd Lt. Orval J. Shirley
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. John H. Leavitt

      High Squadron
      Leader: 1st Lt. Morris G. Turner
      Pilot:2nd Lt. Walter W. Love
      Navigator:2nd Lt. John H. Brandon
      Bombardier:2nd Lt. Patrick J. Finnegan
  2. Narrative.
    1.  Squadron and Group Assembly: The assembly was carried out as planned over the Kings Cliffe buncher at the briefed altitude of 5,000 feet.
    2.  Route Over England: Departure from the assembly area was made one minute late (0746) at the briefed height. The briefed route was closely followed, and check points were reached at the proper altitude with only slight variance between the briefed and actual times. Control Point #1 was reached one minute late (0825) at the briefed height of 5,000 feet.
    3.  Division Assembly Line: No difficulty was met in falling into the proper position behind the 1st “B” Group in the Division Column. The briefed Division Assembly Line was followed to the right of course in following the preceding groups. The Belgian coast was crossed slightly to the right of course at the briefed altitude of 5,000 feet. At that point the formation was one minute late (0858). The 94th “A” Group was in its briefed position (third) in the Division Column.
    4.  Flight to Target: Inside the coast, the formation flew to the right of the briefed course in following the Division Column. At approximately 05° 30’ E, the planned course was contacted and followed closely to Control Point #3, which was reached two minutes late (0946) at the briefed height of 17,000 feet. The first portion of the flight from Control Point #3 to Control Point #4 was flown to the right of course in Division Column. The briefed route was contacted before the formation passed Hanover, and was closely followed to the target. Control Point #4 was reached three minutes early (1054) at an altitude of 26,000 feet, 1,000 feet above the altitude planned for that point. This increase in altitude had been made in accordance with the suggestion of the Weather Scouting Force. The briefed route was closely followed to the IP, which was reached three minutes early (1059). The formation was still 1,000 feet above the briefed bombing altitude of 25,000 feet.
    5.  Description of Bombing Run: The No. 2 target, Brandenburg, Germany, was attacked in squadron formation by GH methods. It was possible for each of the three lead bombardiers to make a visual assist a few seconds before bombs were released. Dense haze at the bombing altitude made any sighting impossible until the formation was nearly up to the BRL [Bomb Release Line]. The C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] was used and functioned satisfactorily in each instance.

       One squadron of the 94th “B” Group paralleled the 94th “A” Group on the bomb run and eventually passed in front of it to bomb the target before the lead squadron of the 94th “A”. Another squadron of the same group was flying a collision course with the Low Squadron of the 94th “A” on the bomb run, and at the last minute, dived below the low Squadron. This forced the Low Squadron to climb and deviate to the left of course.
    6.  Flight From Target: After bombing, the formation reassembled without difficulty and started the withdrawal as the Lead Group in the Division Column. The course flown was to the right of course between 10°00’E and 08°00’E because of a wind shift, and then to the left of course to 06°00’E, where the briefed course was contacted and followed to the departure point from the Belgian coast. That point was reached eighteen minutes early (1326) at the briefed altitude of 5,000 feet. The briefed route was followed on the flight across the channel and the English coast was crossed at the proper point at an altitude of 5,000 feet. The formation flew inside of the briefed route in the flight to base. The High and Low Squadrons were sent to their respective stand-off areas before landing. A normal let-down procedure was followed.
    7.  Fighter Support: As briefed.
    8.  Comments: No aircraft were lost. No enemy aircraft were encountered. Continuous following flak was observed on the bomb run shortly before bombs away. It was not accurate for this formation, but apparently was for the preceding group. The information from the Weather Scouting Force was received in sufficient time, but it is felt that the report should have been more complete and recommended that the attack be made from the briefed altitude minus three or four, which would have been below the haze and would have permitted a visual run. As previously indicated, the only report from the Weather Scouting Force recommended at increase in altitude to 26,000 feet, where the haze made visual sighting impossible until the target was reached.
    9.  Aircraft Not Attacking: There were no failures to attack.

  [Signed] Robert B. Stratton, Captain, Air Corps, Statistical Officer


STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF OPERATIONS
DIVISION FIELD ORDER NUMBER
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 #1BRANDENBURG, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Primary Target
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs
Name of Secondary Target #2BRANDENBURG, GERMANY
(A) No. of A/C Attacking Secondary Target10101030
(B) No., Size & Type Of Bombs 100 x 500# GP  100 x 500# GP  100 x 500# GP  300 x 500# GP 
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.)Pathfinder A/C were employed as follows:
(A) No. of A/C Attacking T.O.1 B-17G HO
1 B-17G SH
1 B-17G HO1 B-17G HO3 B-17G HO
1 B-17G SH
(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 Off064006430641
Time of Attack
Total Time for Mission79:0981:1180:03240:23
Altitude of Release (Indicated)
Visual, H2X, Gee-H, M-H, Eagle, or CombinationGEE-H 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
Degree of SuccessFAIRGOODPOOR

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




Lead Bombardier’s Narrative:
Date - 20 APRIL 1945
Field Order # 693
Squadron or Group - Lead Sqdn., 94th CBW "A" Group
Target - PRIORITY #2, M/Y [RR Marshalling Yard] at BRANDENBURG, Germany
  1. Type of Bombing (Visual, PFF or Combined)?  "G.H." with Visual Assist
  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. Cloud Coverage was about 5/10th.
  5. If Visual, when was MPI [Mean Point of Impact] identified? If not actually seen, how was it located? MPI was seen about 20 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] John J. Schadegg, Captain, 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 CBW "A" Group
Bombardier - Capt. Schadegg, John J.
Pilot - Maj. Hinkle, C.C. & Capt. Maish, J.H.
Navigator - 1st Lt. Gootee, Norman L.

Aircraft B-17G   P-867  Take-off - 0645 Landed - 1443
Objective - Priority #2, M/Y at Brandenburg, Germany
Aiming Point (MPI) [Mean Point of Impact] - "G.H." with Visual Assist
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: ____.   Composite Group - ____
Range Sighting only, Group - __   Composite Group - ____
Bombs, Types and Sizes - 10 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 - 100Magnetic Heading Ordered 163° Actual 190°
True Altitude Above Target - 26,381True Heading 186°
Indicated Altitude - 26,000Drift, Estimated 2° Right - Actual 4° Left
Pressure Altitude of Target -138True Track 182°
Altimeter Setting 29.92Actual Range 18,102'
Calculated Indicated Air Speed - 150KBomb Sight Type - M-9
True Air Speed - 224KTime of Release 1109
Ground Speed Est. 317 Actual 275Length of Bombing Run - 47 N.M. [Nautical Miles]
Wind Direction Metro - 350° Actual - 345°Intervalometer Setting - Minimum
Wind Velocity Metro 75 Actual 50 C-1 Pilot [Autopilot] - X [Used]
D.S. - 125.9  Trail - 59   ATF - 42.05A-5 Pilot _____
Tan. D.A, Est. .71 Actual .64 Manual Pilot ____


Preliminary Damage Assessment:
  1. The three squadrons of this Group, forming the “A” group of the 94th Combat Wing, bombed the No. 2 target, a transshipment shed in the M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard] at Brandenburg, Germany. Bombing was done by GH with the lead and low bombardiers making a visual assist of approx. 15 seconds. Photo cover is good, although the target area is smoked over.
  2. The bombs of the lead squadron hit 2000 feet southwest of the MPI [Mean Point of Impact], with the main concentration in an open field and several bursts cutting the railroad tracks. The pattern is 2455 feet by 2455 feet, and the percentages are 60% within 2000 feet, with no bombs within 1000 feet.
  3. The low squadron pattern is obscured by smoke, but a heavy concentration of bombs can be seen on the MPI. There should be a high percentage of bombs within 1000 feet and damage to storage sheds and sidings in the area will be severe.
  4. The bombs of the high squadron landed in an open field 2000 feet from the target. No damage will be done. The pattern is 2500 feet by 1920 feet, and the percentages are 03% within 1000 feet and 50% within 2000 feet.
  [Signed:] Edward L. Schnur, 1st lt., Air Corps, Asst. Group P.I. [Photo Intelligence]


Narrative Teletype Report:
  1. This Group carries no leaflets.
  2. The three squadrons of this Group formed the “A” Group of the 94th Combat Wing and bombed the No. 2 target, a transshipment shed in the M/Y [R.R. Marshalling Yard] at Brandenburg, Germany. Bombing was done by GH with the lead and low bombardiers making a visual assist of approx. 15 seconds. Photo cover is good, although the target area is smoked over from previous bombing. The bombs of the lead squadron hit 1000 feet southwest of the MPI [Mean Point of Impact], with the main pattern in an open field and several bursts cutting the railroad tracks. The low squadron pattern is obscured by smoke, but some bursts can be plotted 500 feet from the MPI. The bombs of the high squadron landed in an open field 1800 feet south of the No. 2 target. No damage will be done.
  3. No E/A [Enemy Aircraft] were encountered and no claims [of enemy aircraft being shot down] are being submitted.
  4. There was continuous following flak when our formation was on the bomb run approximately two minutes before bombs away, not accurate for our planes but apparently fired accurately at the group ahead of us.
  5. Cirrus clouds from 4 to 8/10ths, with bases at 26,000, were encountered along the route. Heavy ground haze intermixed with dense persistent contrails prevented a visual run on our No. 1 target.
  6. There were no observations of military importance.
  7. Four PFF aircraft were employed with the equipment working satisfactorily, being used for navigational purposes only. The GH equipment in the lead, low, and high squadrons worked efficiently and was used for bombing. Fighter support was as briefed. The information received from the Scouting Force (Buckeye Red) was adequate for the GH run. A visual run would have been attempted, had Buckeye Red, recommended let-down below the cirrus haze to briefed altitude minus three or four instead of the suggested run at briefed altitude plus one. None of our aircraft is missing. One of 94th “B” group A/C was struck by flak at approx. 5230-1227, five miles NW of target at about 1106 hours. It was seen to explode at approx. 15,000 feet, with three to possibly five chutes seen.
  8. Assembly over King’s Cliffe buncher was accomplished without any difficulty and departure was as per SOP [Standard Operating Procedure], with this Group reaching Clacton, Control Point 1, on time and on course. Control Point 2 was reached one minute late and on course, with the coast being crossed as briefed. The ascent was started as per SOP [Standard Operating Procedure], with this Group bombing the No. 2 target by GH with a 15 second visual assist, by individual squadrons at an altitude of 25,000 plus one, as recommended by Buckeye Red. The high squadron of the 94th “B” CBW, flying a collision course with this Group, interfered on the bomb run with the low squadron, causing a scattered formation at bombs away. All equipment used on the bomb run worked well. Let-down and return was uneventful and as per SOP.


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: A–8428, C–8640, D–7193, M–8691, P–6907, U–7381, V–8070, Z–7696
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: None
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (M–8846 PFF), (P–8867 PFF & GH)

    1B - LOW 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, L–7515, M–9001, Q–6565, S–7512, T–9156
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (U–8374 & GH)

    1C - HIGH Squadron - 351st Group
     (A) Sqdn 508th A/C: B–7349, C–8753, G–8954, H–8412, M–7957, Q–8799, U–8813, X–6579, Y–6108
     (B) Sqdn 509th A/C: None
     (C) Sqdn 510th A/C: None
     (D) Sqdn 511th A/C: (H–8780 PFF & GH)
  2. Target: GN-3781
  3. W/T and R/T Operational Call Sign of each Squadron:
    Squadron508 [Call Sign]W/T PWP R/T CARLTONSquadron510 [Call Sign]W/T MLM R/T TIPSTAFF
    Squadron509 [Call Sign]W/T WAL R/T HOTMINTSquadron511 [Call Sign]W/T KQZ R/T PARTNERSHIP
  4. Taxi – 0630; Take-Off – 0645; E.T.D. Field – 0745
  5. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (OUT)
    08245,000 FtClacton
  6. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (IN)
    08575,000 Ft51°32'N-03°25'E [Westkapelle, Netherlands]
  7. Time:Height:Place of Crossing Enemy Coast: (Out)
    13445,000 Ft51°32'N-03°25'E [Westkapelle, Netherlands]
  8. Time:Height:Place of Crossing English Coast: (IN)
    14265,000 FtClacton
  9. E.T.R.(Estimated Time of Return) Base: 1510 Hours
  10. MF/DF [Medium Frequency/Direction Finder] Section: "G"
  11. Bomb load of Each A/C: "A" Lead Box
    Lead Squadron: 10 A/C - 10 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40 [Fuses]
    Low Squadron: 10 A/C - 10 x 500 G.P. - 1/10 x 1/40
    High Squadron: 10 A/C - 10 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 Hinkle A/C No & Sqdn. P-8867 PFF (511)
    Low Sqdn: Rank & Name: Lt. Drake A/C No & Sqdn. U-8374 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)
    None

Report Compiled By Sol Lopatin, T/Sgt.



Formation Chart:
94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - Lead Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
509th Squadron
Major Hinkle–Maish
A/C 44-8867 P PFF & GH
Deal
A/C 43-38691 M
Patterson–Frank
A/C 44-8846 M PFF
Potter
A/C 44-6907 P
Cole
A/C 42-97193 D
Brereton
A/C 43-38640 C
Ware
A/C 43-38428 A
Day
A/C 43-37696 Z
Langille
A/C 43-38070 V
Klassen
A/C 42-97381 U


94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - Low Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
510th Squadron
Drake–Yardley
A/C 44-8374 U PFF & GH
Owre
A/C 43-38694 D
Ketelsen
A/C 43-38465 A
Adams
A/C 43-39020 C
Haft–Dahlborg
A/C 43-39001 M
Streetman
A/C 44-6610 B
Ransom
A/C 44-6565 Q
Bone
A/C 43-39156 T
Schweiger
A/C 43-37512 S
Wilber
A/C 43-37515 L


94th "A" Combat Bomb Group - High Squadron Formation at Take–Off and Over Target
508th Squadron
Turner–Love
A/C 44-8780 H PFF & GH
Fernbach
A/C 44-6108 Y
James
A/C 44-8412 H
Sprecher–Dunn
A/C 43-38753 C
Mordecai
A/C 42-97349 B
Cook
A/C 43-38813 U
Clarac
A/C 43-38799 Q
Ryan
A/C 43-37957 M
Fromme
A/C 43-38954 G
Banda
A/C 44-6579 X


Time Schedule:
Zero Hour: 0730 DBST [Double British Standard Time]  Briefing: Enlisted Men 0230; Officers 0300 Stations: 0605 
Start Engines: 0615 Taxi:06300 Take-Off: 0645  [Breakfast: Enlisted Men 0130; Officers 0200]

[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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