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 September 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and Brodie crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Friday, 8 September 1944
384th BG Mission 189/8th AF Mission 611 to Ludwigshafen, Germany.
Target: Industry, the I. G. Farben Chemical Works.
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:
About 950 HBs escorted by 7 P-51 gps attack an oil refinery, M/Y, tank and armored vehicle factory, and ordnance plant in the Rhineland, plus 11 T/Os. 22 HBs are lost. 2 P-51 gps strafe tgts in Heidelberg-Darmstadt-Wurzburg and Frankfurt/Main-Koblenz areas, while 5 FB gps strafe and bomb rail transportation E of the Rhine. Over 100 B-24’s fly ‘trucking mission,’ carrying supplies to battle area.
Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
ETO: The first V-2 fired in combat explodes in a Paris suburb; the second strikes a London suburb a few hours later.
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 2 missions are flown:
- Mission 611 to industrial targets in the Mainz and Ludwigshafen, Germany area (B-17’s); to the Karlsruhe marshalling yard (B-24’s); and an armored vehicle factory at Gustavsburg (B-17’s). The Buslee and Brodie crews participated in this mission.
- Mission 615, a leaflet drop to the Low Countries, France, and Germany during the night.
Also, VIII Fighter Command fighter missions:
- P-38’s strafe and bomb rail transportation E of the Rhine River.
- P-47’s and P-51’s strafe targets in the Heidelberg-Darmstadt-Wurzburg and Frankfurt/Main-Koblenz areas.
And a C-47 flies a CARPETBAGGER mission in France and B-24s fly TRUCKIN’ mission to Orleans/Bricy Airfield, France.
Mission 611: 1,070 bombers and 349 fighters are dispatched to hit industrial targets in the Mainz and Ludwigshafen, Germany area; attacks were visual at the primary targets; 10 bombers are lost:
348 of 384 B-17s attack the Ludwigshafen/Opau oil refinery; 5 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 185 damaged; 11 airmen are KIA, 15 WIA and 45 MIA. Escort is provided by 88 of 95 P-51s without loss.
247 of 300 B-24s hit Karlsruhe marshalling yard; 1 hits a secondary target at Ludwigshafen; 4 B-24s are lost and 92 damaged; 7 airmen are KIA, 9 WIA and 29 MIA. Escort is provided by 82 of 93 P-51s; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair.
386 B-17s are dispatched to hit an armored vehicle factory at Gustavsburg (167) and oil depot at Kassel (166); 23 others hit targets of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 132 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 9 MIA. Escort is provided by 144 of 161 P-51s without loss.
- The Buslee crew’s and Brodie crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 189/8th AF Mission 611
- 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