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 24 August 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and Brodie crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Thursday, 24 August 1944
384th BG Mission 183/8th AF Mission 568 to Merseburg, Germany.
Target: Oil Industry, a Synthetic Oil & Chemical Plant.
The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and the James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission.
Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:
Almost 400 HBs attack armament factory and 17 oil installations, aircraft assembly plants and aero engine works and over 20 T/Os in Germany, losing 27 HBs, but claiming 10 enemy airplanes destroyed. VIII FC flies over 600 sorties in spt of mission, claiming 10 combat victories. 4 gps strafe A/Fs near Brandenburg and Nordhausen, an M/Y near Brunswick, and the Neuenhaus-Nordhorn area. Ground tgts destroyed include 14 airplanes, 7 locomotives, trucks, and boats.
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 568, visual attacks on strategic targets in Germany. The Buslee and Brodie crews participated in this mission.
- Mission 569, a leaflet drop on Brest, France during the night.
Mission 568: 1,319 bombers and 739 fighters are dispatched on visual attacks on strategic targets in Germany with some PFF on targets of opportunity; 26 bombers and 4 fighters are lost; targets are (numbers in parenthesis indicate bombers attacking):
433 B-24s are dispatched to attack aviation industry targets at Brunswick/Waggum (125), Brunswick/Querum (99) and Hannover/Langenhagen (72) and an oil refinery at Misburg (88); 5 others hit targets of opportunity; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft; 5 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 183 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 54 MIA. Escort is provided by 248 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; they claim 2-0-0 aircraft in the air and 8-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged; 1 pilot is MIA.
451 B-17s are dispatched to hit Merseburg oil refinery (185), Weimar (129) and Kolleda Airfield (30); targets of opportunity hit are airfields at Goslar (37), Nordhausen (11), Vorden (11) and Stade (2), and Leipzig (10) plus 7 others; they claim 10-3-3 aircraft; 16 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 189 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 39 WIA and 148 MIA. Escort is provided by 121 of 152 P-51s; they claim 4-0-1 aircraft without loss.
383 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil industry targets at Brux (139), Ruhland (135) and Freital (65); 15 hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 143 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 18 MIA. Escort is provided by 240 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-0 aircraft in the air and 6-0-0 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 is damaged.
43 of 52 B-24s hit Kiel/Walther; 3 others hit Hemmingstedt Airfield and 2 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 32 damaged; 27 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 17 of 17 P-51s without loss.
- The Buslee crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 183/8th AF Mission 568
- 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