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WWII Combat Chronology – 26 August 1944

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 26 August 1944 mission in which the Brodie crew participated.


WWII Combat Chronology – Saturday, 26 August 1944

384th BG Mission 185/8th AF Mission 576 to Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

Target: Oil Industry, the Buer Synthetic Oil Plant.

The James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission. The John Oliver 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:

HBs are dispatched in 4 operations against tgts in France and Germany. In first operation 95 B-24’s bomb synthetic oil plant at Ludwigshafen, M/Ys at Ehrang and Konz-Karthaus, and other tgts at Alzey and Meisenheim. 2 ftr gps fly spt, with 1 gp later strafing Speyer A/F. In second operation 171 B-17’s escorted by 1 P-51 gp bomb 8 gun positions at Brest while clouds prevent over 150 other HBs from bombing. In the third operation over 400 B-17’s and B-24’s bomb 2 synthetic oil plants, 2 oil refineries, a fuel depot, 2 A/Fs, and T/Os in NW Germany. 7 ftr gps escort, with 1 gp later conducting strafing attacks. In last operation an attack by 30 B-17’s against 3 liquid oxygen plants in Belgium is aborted because of thick haze. 1 P-51 gp gives uneventful spt.

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

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)

STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 8 missions are flown (numbers in parenthesis indicate number of bombers attacking).

  1. Mission 575 to attack gun batteries in the Brest, France area.
  2. Mission 576 to attack oil refineries, fuel stores, and chemical works in Germany. The Brodie crew participated in this mission.
  3. Mission 577, an AZON bomb mission to the Moerdijk rail bridge in the Netherlands. Clouds prevent the attack.
  4. Mission 578 to liquid oxygen plants in Belgium. Aborted due to clouds.
  5. Mission 579, a special bomb test using Micro H radar against aviation industry targets at Meaulte, France.
  6. Mission 580, a Micro H test mission and leaflet drop.
  7. Mission 581, to provide aid to Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command.
  8. Mission 582, a leaflet drop in France and Belgium during the night.

Also, 183 P-47s and 206 P-51s attack transport targets in Belgium, E France and W Germany; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 2 P-47s and 7 P-51s are lost and 9 P-47s and 6 P-51s are damaged; 1 pilot is WIA and 8 are MIA.

Mission 576: 588 bombers and 402 fighters attack oil refineries, fuel stores and chemical works in Germany; 10 bombers and 3 fighters are lost:

  1. 109 B-24 are dispatched to the chemical works at Ludwigshafen (41); secondary targets hit are marshalling yards at Ehrang (33) and Kons/Karthaus (8); 11 others hit Alzey and 2 hit other targets of opportunity; 7 B-24s are lost and 53 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 3 WIA and 70 MIA. Escort is provided by 77 of 81 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost.

  2. 259 B-17s are dispatched to oil refineries at Gelsenkirchen/Buer (89) and Gelsenkirchen/Nordstern (85); 19 hit Deelen Airfield, a secondary target, and 11 hit targets of opportunity; 3 B-17s are lost and 89 damaged; 5 airmen are WIA and 26 MIA. Escort is provided by 159 P-47s and P-51s without loss.

  3. 220 B-24s are dispatched to Dulmen fuel dump (73) and oil refineries at Salzbergen (71) and Emmerich (36); 36 others hit Eindhoven Airfield; 2 B-24s are damaged. Escort is provided by 129 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-38 and 1 P-51 are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.

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 Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021


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