Costly 8th AF missions

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Pacific Historian
Jun 4, 2005
Orange County, CA
Ive been going through my 8th AF mission book and started looking more closely at some of the missions that were costly for this AF.

Hopefully Erich has corresponding info and can shed more light on what happened.

June 20 1944:
1965 bombers dispatched with 1607 bombing their targets.
50 bombers shot down with the 2nd Air Divisions B24's hit the hardest. 34 bombers were shot down or missing. The target was the city of Politz, which is on the Baltic, NE of Berlin. Whats interesting is 20 out of the 34 bombers missing crash landed in Sweden. They probably thought the damage to their craft was to great to fly the distance back to Britain.

The 492nd BG had the worst of it. 14 shot down and another 6 flew to Sweden.
interesting sys, will have to do a little diggin on that.

the 492nd by the way ended it's day time activities after the terrible onsluaght of JG 3 and JG 300 SturmFw's on 7-7-44 over Oschersleben but that is another story where 56 bombers were shot down confirmed.

are wanting to list as many 8th AF disasters as possible here ?

although in June the primary for most of the German Geschwadern was defence of the Normandie countryside the twin engine ZG units were still hot and heavy on the bomber formations.

~ E
Erich, any information you have about these aerial battles for both sides is always welcome.

Regarding this mission, what were the Luftwaffe loss's?
funny I had not checked my database for 20 of June but 2nd BD going for Pölitz and Ostermoor were confronted by the twin engines of Bf 110G-2's and Me 410's and lost 34 bombers just to these a/c alone. be back with more; 205 heavy bombers were damged to varying degree.

P-38's seem to have put in scores of 28 Luftw downed while escorting the B-24's while losing 3 of their own. I./JG 1's Fw 190A-8's claimed for the day 8 P-38's, while the total from US sources lost for the date was 4 Lightnings.
Heres more info about the 8th AF missions for June 20 1944

This was mission 425

1st BD (B17's) hit oil and industrial targets in Hamburg.

2nd BD (B24's) hit both V1 sites at Pas De Calais and also Politz/Ostermoor.

3rd BD (B17/B24) hit industrial targets in the Magdeberg/Misburg/Fallersleben/Konigsburg and Hannover area

1st BD = 7
2nd BD = 1 and 34
3rd BD = 7

Fighter group claims (totals for all groups escorting a BD)
1st BD 144 fighters assigned = 0 (P38/P47)
2nd BD 271 fighters assigned = 28 claims plus 3 loss's (P38/P51) (plus 3 claims and 1 loss for Pas De Calais mission)
3rd BD 222 assigned = 10 claims for 1 loss (P38/P47/P51)

Fighter Group claims (total although figures dont match above)
4th = 9.5
78th = 3
352nd = 4
355th = 13
357th = 5
359th = 1
8th AF mission 353

1st BD targets were oil targets at Merseberg and Lutzkendorf
326 B17's dispatched and two shot down

2nd BD targets were oil targets at Zeitz and Bohlen
265 B24's dispatched and three shot down

3rd BD targets were oil targets at Zwickau and Brux
295 B17's dispatched and a whopping 41 shot down
Loss's for 3rd BD were:
94th - 2
95th - 1
96th - 12
100th - 2
385th - 2
388th - 1
390th - 0
447th - 7
452nd - 14

Fighter statistics:
8th AF
153 P38's 2 claims with zero loss's
201 P47's 26 claims with 4 loss's
381 P51's 33 claims with 3 loss's

9th AF (under control of 8th AF)
245 P38's and P51's 9 claims with 3 loss's
When you look at the fighters claimed it really is not a suprise. 381 P51s claime 33 Luftwaffe fighters with 3 losses. Numerical Superiority. Then again though, throughout history that is how wars are won! :D
I am sure it is quite a bit. 351 US fighters vs. 75 to 100 (if that many) German fighters is pretty lopsided. Its like getting into a fight with 5 guys. You will get one or two of them but in the end they pounce and get you.
interesting as I have this mission marked as 8th AF 425 and 426 as there were two missions

8th AF fighters claimed 41-2-19 for a loss of 8 and 1 cat E. also 8th AF fighters claimed 18 kills on the ground.

I have penciled in a notation that 2nd BD B-24's lost 34 all to the ZG's. Sadly I have nothing as to claims from the ZG's on this date. Except it was a mix of Bf 110G-2's and Me 410's.

June is so overshadowed with the Normandie battles that the Heavy bomber missions have been overlooked.

will do further digging least on Luftw twin engine losses
Erich, there were 2 missions that day. Mission 426 invloved 417 bombers attacking the V-Sites at Pas De Calais area. Only one 489th B24 was lost on the mission.

Do you have any information on the May 12 1944 mission?
3BD reported some 300 Luftw a/c attacking them in the Zwickau/Brux and chemnitz areas with 41 bombers dropped. will have to hunt again for Luftw foramtions, this might be an easier one to access. German claims are some 72 US a/c shot down
popped this up. Luftwafe lost 28 KIA and 24 wounded with 79 craft shot down and damaged. some 22 Luftw. gruppen involved on the 12 of May 44
Great info Erich. Thanks.

I'm wondering though, when the Luftwaffe reported a pilot as wounded in action, did they have different catagories of this? Like a severley wounded pilot who's flying days were over, and a pilot with wounds that just grounded him a for a couple of weeks?
On this date, the 8th AF was up in force with aircraft industrial and airfields as the briefed targets

1st BD had 290 B17's bombing Oberpfaffenhofen aircraft industrial area, and the Lechfield and Landsberg airfields.
Only eight loss's.

2nd BD had 221 B17's bombing Munich city, Oberpfaffenhofen aircraft industrial area, and the Lechfield airfield.
Only seven loss's.

3rd BD had 227 B24's bombing the Fredrichshafen/Lowenthal, Fredrichshafen/Manzell and Fredrichshafen/Zepplin aircraft industrial area's.
28 loss's were recorded. The 44th BG had eight MIA and the 392nd had 14 MIA (although two f them were due to a midair collision over France with no Luftwaffe activity).

Interesting enough, two B17's and 12 B24's (including six 44th BG and two 392nd BG B24's) sought sanctuary in Switzerland

Fighter groups present (includes double sorties for 3 P47 and 1 P51 groups):
113 P38 sorties, with 11 claims for 5 loss's
598 P47 sorties, with 2 claims for 2 loss's
214 P51 sorties, with 25 claims for 6 loss's

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