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WWII Combat Chronology – 4 August 1944

In researching the missions of the 384th Bomb Group, and particularly the John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron, I looked for information regarding the actions of the entire 8th Air Force, of which the 384th was a part, for the dates on which the Buslee and Brodie crews participated in combat missions.

There are two (and maybe more I haven’t discovered yet) very good resources online for WWII Combat Chronology. Both are very good historical records of Army Air Force missions for the duration of World War II.

Both of these resources list the various theaters of operation and the various branches of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) that served them, not just the 8th AAF in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). Both chronologies are quite complete and present a wealth of information.

One was authored by Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller. Carter and Mueller compiled their U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 for the Center for Air Force History in Washington, DC. I believe the first edition was published in 1973. It and subsequent editions are available in print through various used book sources online. The 1991 edition is available to view online and download in pdf format here.

Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945, as described in the preface,

is concerned primarily with operations of the US Army Air Forces and its combat units between December 7, 1941 and September 15, 1945. It is designed as a companion reference to the seven-volume history of “The Army Air Forces in World War II,” edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. The research was a cooperative endeavor carried out in the United States Air Force historical archives by the Research Branch of the Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center.

The second chronology I found online was compiled by Jack McKillop of Rutgers University. McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces can be found online in multiple formats starting with an Index here, with links to each month of combat operations. At the bottom of the Index list are two alternate formats, (1) alltxt.zip (the entire text available for download in one zip file), and (2) html (which leads to another list of all months of combat operations in html format for viewing onscreen, and includes two additional links for download of ZIP archives, one in html format and one in simple text format).

Both combat chronologies are excellent sources of information regarding combat missions in World War II and I thank the authors for sharing them online.

I am presenting a series of articles, starting with this one, based on the entries from both Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces, but concentrating solely on the operations of the 8th Army Air Forces. I will also concentrate on the dates of missions on which the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew participated, and the particular mission in which they participated when the 8th AAF flew multiple missions the same day.

The statistics of other dates and missions and of other branches of the American Air Forces and theaters of operation of World War II are available through the links provided in this article to these two sources for those interested.

I will add a new installment to the series every few weeks. For today’s installment, see below for the 4 August 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and James Brodie participated.


WWII Combat Chronology – Friday, 4 August 1944

384th BG Mission 171/8th AF Mission 514 to Peenemünde, Germany.

Target: CROSSBOW (V-Weapons) Rocket Research & Development Complex.

The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and James Joseph Brodie of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission. Brodie, in combat training, flew with the Jesse Maxey crew. The remainder of Brodie’s crew did not participate in this mission.

Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:

In late morning and mid-afternoon raids, over 1,250 HBs attack 4 oil refineries, 4 aircraft factories, 4 A/Fs, Peenemunde experimental establishment, and torpedo plants in Germany, 2 coastal batteries in Pas de Calais area, and 2 V-weapon sites, 2 A/Fs, a M/Y, a railroad crossing, and a bridge in NW France. All of the Eighth’s 15 ftr gps spt the operations, flying 782 sorties. HBs claim 3 airplanes destroyed and ftrs claim 39 destroyed in air and 15 on ground. Strafing claims include numerous items of rolling stock. 14 HBs and 15 ftrs are lost during the day.

Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown:

  1. Mission 514 to strategic targets in Germany, in which the Buslee crew and James Brodie participated
  2. Mission 515, the first APHRODITE mission flown using 4 radio-controlled war-weary B-17’s as flying bombs to V-weapon sites
  3. Mission 516 to V-weapon sites in France

Mission 514: 1,307 bombers and 746 fighters are dispatched to strategic targets in Germany; 15 bombers are lost:

  • Of 358 B-17s, 181 hit Hamburg oil refineries, 50 hit Bremen oil refineries, 23 hit Nordhof Airfield, 22 hit Ostend, Belgium coastal defenses, 14 hit Einswarden and 7 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 0-4-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 8 damaged beyond repair and 196 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 63 MIA. Escort is provided by 234 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 38-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 9-0-1 on the ground; 2 P-47s and 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 2 P-47s and 2 P-51s are damaged.

  • Of 425 B-27s, 221 hit Peenemunde, 110 hit Anklam Airfield and 70 hit Anklam aircraft factories; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 94 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 40 MIA. Escort is provided by 223 of 250 P-51s; they claim 4-0-4 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground; 9 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 is damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is KIA.

  • Of 446 B-24s, 148 hit Rostock aviation factories, 89 hit Kiel, 88 hit Schwerin aviation factories, 71 hit Wismar aviation factories, 12 hit Schlutup, 11 hit Warien and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 4 B-24s are lost and 114 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 40 MIA. Escort is provided by 209 P-38s and P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost and 1 P-38 is damaged; 1 pilot is KIA.

  • Of 78 B-24s, 39 hit Husum Airfield and 29 hit Hemmingstedt/Heide oil refinery without loss.

Links / Sources

Except for entries from Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021


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