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 11 September 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and Brodie crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Monday, 11 September 1944
384th BG Mission 192/8th AF Mission 623 to Lützkendorf & Merseburg, Germany.
Target: Oil Industry, an Oil Refinery.
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:
The Eighth begins another FRANTIC shuttle-bombing mission, as 75 B-17’s with 64 P-51’s attack armament plant at Chemnitz, and land at USSR bases. I P-51 is lost. FRANTIC mission lasts until 17 Sep and takes the planes from UK to USSR to Italy to UK. Over 850 other HBs, escorted by 14 ftr gps, bomb 6 synthetic oil plants, an ordnance depot, an engine works, a M/Y, a tire plant, and numerous other scattered T/Os, along with several German cities. An estimated 525 ftrs attack the formations or are engaged by Eighth AF planes. 52 HBs and 32 ftrs are lost. HBs claim destruction of 17 ftrs while the US ftrs claim 116 in the air and 42 on the ground.
Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): Two missions are flown.
- Mission 623 to synthetic oil plants and refineries in Germany. The Buslee and Brodie crews participated in this mission.
- Mission 625, a leaflet drop on France and Germany overnight.
Also, B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.
Mission 623: 1,131 bombers and 440 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants and refineries in Germany; AAF encounters an estimated 525 Luftwaffe fighters; 40 bombers and 17 fighters are lost; AAF claim 115-7-23 aircraft in the air and 42-0-43 on the ground:
384 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Bohlen (75), Chemnitz (75), Brux (39) and Ruhland (22); the Chemnitz force is an Operation FRANTIC force that along with 64 P-51s, continues on and lands in the USSR; targets of opportunity are a tire plant at Fulda (66), a marshalling yard at Fulda (40) and 16 others; they claim 12-16-1 aircraft; 16 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 94 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 4 WIA and 153 MIA. Escort is provided by 252 of 275 P-51s; they claim 57-2-12 aircraft in the air and 26-0-25 on the ground; 4 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; 4 pilots are MIA.
351 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Merseburg (111) and Lutzkendorf (96); targets of opportunity hit are Eisennach (71), Labejum (12), Rossla (6) and 25 others; they claim 1-1-2 aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 106 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 21 WIA and 120 MIA. Escort is provided by 247 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 13-0-1 aircraft in the air and 4-0-2 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 2 P-47s and 4 P-51s damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
396 B-24s are dispatched to hit an engine factory at Hannover (88), oil refineries at Misburg (87) and Magdeburg (33) and an ordinance depot at Magdeburg (27); targets of opportunity hit are Magdeburg (70), Stendal (45), Diepholz (9) and 3 others; they claim 4-8-1 aircraft; 10 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 179 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 13 WIA and 102 MIA. Escort is provided by 164 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 45-5-10 aircraft in the air and 12-0-16 on the ground; 10 P-51s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged; 14 pilots are MIA.
- The Buslee crew’s and Brodie crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 192/8th AF Mission 623
- 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, 2022