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 12 August 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Saturday, 12 August 1944
384th BG Mission 178/8th AF Mission 545 to La Perthe, France.
Target: German Air Force (Luftwaffe) “Landing Ground.”
The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission.
Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:
Shuttle-bombing mission UK-USSR-Italy-UK is completed. Of 72 B-17’s taking off from Fifteenth AF bases in Italy, 3 have various problems. The others bomb Toulouse/Francazal A/F and then proceed to UK. 62 P-51’s (part of the shuttle-mission force) and 43 from UK provide escort. No aircraft are lost. 70 HBs and 58 P-51’s land in UK. 5 HBs and 6 P-51’s, either left in Italy or returning there during mission, subsequently return to UK. Over 500 other HBs attack 7 A/Fs and M/Ys in the Paris area. 6 ftr gps provide escort, 1 escorts Ninth AF MBs. 2 of the gps afterwards strafe transportation tgts. In 2 operations nearly 900 FBs attack transportation tgts in NE France, a large number of which are bombed with good results by over 700, at a loss of 13 ftrs.
Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown.
- Mission 545, visual attacks on the Metz marshalling yard and airfield in C and E France.
- Mission 546, leaflet drop in France during the night.
- 220 P-47s and P-51s attack transportation targets in NE France; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 3 are damaged beyond repair.
- 1 fighter group escorts Ninth Air Force B-26s.
- The 850th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 490th Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Harrington to Eye, England with B-24s.
The shuttle-bombing mission UK-USSR-Italy-UK is completed; of the 72 B-17s taking off from Fifteenth AF bases in Italy, 3 have various problems; the others bomb Toulouse/Francazal Airfield, France and then proceed to the UK; 62 P-51s (part of the shuttle-mission force) and 43 from the UK provide escort; no aircraft are lost; 70 B-17s and 58 P-51s land in the UK; 5 B-17s and 6 P-51s, either left in Italy or returning there during this mission, subsequently return to the UK.
Mission 545: 577 bombers and 436 fighters are dispatched to make visual attacks on the Metz marshalling yard and airfield in C and E France; 3 bombers and 3 fighters are lost (number in parenthesis are the number of bombers attacking the target):
276 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Mourmelon (75), Laon/Athies (63), Laon/Couvron (61) and Juvincourt (52); 3 B-24s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 46 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA, 7 WIA and 32 MIA.
301 B-17s are dispatched to hit airfields at Chaumont (72), Buc (67), La Perthe (58) and Etampes/Mondesir (12); 69 hit the Metz marshalling yard; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair and 28 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA and 1 WIA. The 2 groups above are escorted by 386 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA).
- The Buslee crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 178/8th AF Mission 545
- 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