I am continuing my series of articles based on the entries from 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. Both combat chronologies are excellent sources of information regarding combat missions in World War II and I thank the authors for sharing them online.
These articles are concentrated on the operations of the 8th Army Air Forces on the missions on which the John Oliver Buslee crew and James Joseph Brodie crew of the 384th Bomb Group participated. 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.
Today’s installment is the 8 August 1944 mission in which the Brodie crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Tuesday, 8 August 1944
384th BG Mission 175/8th AF Mission 530 to Bretteville-sur-Laize, France.
Target: Military and Tactical, Enemy Strong Points.
The James Joseph Brodie of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission. The Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron did not participate.
Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:
Shuttle mission continues as B-17’s with P-51 escort, leave bases in USSR. While 36 hit Buzau A/F others hit A/F at Zilistea. No ftrs are encountered during mission. 359 B-24’s from UK bomb 10 Vweapon sites and 4 A/Fs in NE France. 6 P-51 gps provide escort. 2 gps bomb and 3 gps strafe rail facilities and rail and motor transportation with good results. 497 B-17’s bomb troop concentrations and strongpoints and T/Os S of Caen. 2 P-51 gps give spt, 1 later strafing traffic in Rouen area. 10 HBs and 4 P-51’s are lost, mostly to AA fire. 4 gps of FBs (163 planes) strafe and bomb M/Ys, a bridge, and T/Os N and W of Dijon and in Paris-miens-Saint-Quentin area. Eighth AF during the day and RAF during 7/8 Aug drop over 5,200 tons of bombs, mainly in spt of Canadian First Army (accompanied by a Polish armd div) offensive toward Falaise.
Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Shuttle missions continue as 78 B-17s with 55 P-51s escort, leave bases in the USSR to hit airfields in Rumania; 38 hit Bizau and 35 hit Zlistea; no Luftwaffe fighters are encountered during the mission and the force flies to Italy.
Three missions are flown:
- Mission 530 to airfields and V-weapons sites in France
- Mission 531 to bomb enemy troop concentrations and strongpoints south of Caen
- Mission 532 to drop leaflets in France during the night
Mission 531: 681 B-17s and 100 P-51s are dispatched to bomb enemy troop concentrations and strongpoints south of Caen.
- 25 Canadian soldiers are killed and 131 wounded by short bombing
- 231 B-17s hit Cauvincourt, 99 hit Bretteville-sur-Laise strongpoint, 99 hit St Sylvain strong point, 67 hit targets of opportunity and 1 hits Gouvix strongpoint
- The B-17s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft
- 7 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 294 damaged
- 8 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 35 MIA
- Escort is provided by 91 of 100 P-51s
- The P-51s claim 4-1-6 aircraft
- 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA)
- 41 of 50 P-51s escort RAF Coastal Command Beaufighters on a convoy strike in Norway
- 3 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged
- 1 P-51 pilot is WIA and 3 MIA
- 175 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s fly a fighter-bomber mission against the railroad N and W of Dijon
- 2 P-47s and 2 P-51s are lost
- 1 P-38, 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are lost
- 5 (fighter) airmen are MIA
384th Bomb Group records state that their Mission 175 was 8th Air Force Mission 530, however, Jack McKillop’s volume records 8th Air Force Mission 531 as the mission of the day flown by the B-17 heavy bombers, not Mission 530. Therefore, I have included McKillop’s information for Mission 531 here rather than 530.
- Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945
- Jack McKillop’s Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces
Except for entries from Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 and McKillop’s Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021