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 3 September 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Sunday, 3 September 1944
384th BG Mission 187/8th AF Mission 602 to Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Target: Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.
Today was George Edwin Farrar’s (my dad and waist gunner on the Buslee crew) twenty-third birthday.
The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission. The James Joseph Brodie crew of the 545th Bomb Squadron did not participate.
Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:
Over 300 B-17’s bomb Ludwigshafen/Opau synthetic oil plant. 5 escorting P-51 gps claim 7 combat victories. Nearly 400 B-17’s bomb 16 gun batteries and def installations in Brest area, escorted by P-51 gp, which claims 7 aircraft destroyed. 3 P-47 gps strafe transportation tgts in Tilburg, Namur and Cologne areas. Bad weather cancels FB mission against strongpoints in Brest area. Over 50 B-24’s fly supplies to Orleans/Bricy A/F.
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 601 to gun batteries and defensive installations in the Brest, France area.
- Mission 602 (not identified by number in this volume) to the Ludwigshafen/Opau synthetic oil plant in Germany.
Also P-47’s strafe transportation targets in the Tilburg, the Netherlands, Namur, Belgium, and Cologne, Germany areas; B-24’s and C-47’s fly Carpetbagger missions during the night.
Mission 602: 345 B-17s are dispatched to bomb the Ludwigshafen/Opau synthetic oil plant in Germany (325); 1 hits a target of opportunity and 5 drop leaflets; 1 B-17 is lost and 103 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 233 of 254 P-51s; they claim 7-0-1 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA) and 2 damaged.
- The Buslee crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 187/8th AF Mission 602
- 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