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 13 September 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and Brodie crew participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Wednesday, 13 September 1944
384th BG Mission 194/8th AF Mission 628 to Merseburg, Germany.
Target: Oil Industry, the Leuna Synthetic 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:
70-plus B-17’s, escorted by a P-51 gp, continuing UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle-bombing mission, take off from USSR bases, bomb steel and armament works at Diosgyor and proceed to Fifteenth AF bases in Italy. 750-plus HBs from UK bomb 3 synthetic oil plants, 2 aero engine factories, 3 M/Ys, n A/F, motor works, ordnance depot, fuel depot, and several cities and isolated T/Os in C and SW Germany. 11 ftr gps escorting later strafe A/Fs and miscellaneous ground tgts. 28 Hbs and 9 P-51’s are lost. P-51’s claim 33 aircraft destroyed in the air and 2n on the ground. A P-51 gp sweeping S of Munich strafes aircraft dispersal area, A/F and a M/Y.
Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces entry:
EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO)
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 3 missions are flown.
- Mission 628 to oil and industrial targets in S Germany. The Buslee and Brodie crews participated in this mission.
- Mission 629, an Azon mission to the oil refinery at Hemminstedt.
- Mission 631 to drop leaflets on the Netherlands, Belgium, and Germany.
Also, B-17s, escorted by P-51s, continuing the UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle-bombing mission, take off from USSR bases, bomb steel and armament works at Diosgyor, Hungary and proceed to Fifteenth AF bases in Italy.
And P-51s fly a strafing mission S of Munich hitting an aircraft dispersal area, airfield and marshalling yard.
Mission 628: 1,015 bombers and 477 fighters attack oil and industrial targets in S Germany by visual means; 15 bombers and 8 fighters are lost:
376 B-17s are dispatched to oil refineries at Stuttgart/Sindelfingen (109) and Ludwigshafen (74); secondary targets hit are Darmstadt (95) and Wiesbaden (8); targets of opportunity hit are Mainz (22), a marshalling yard near Wiesbaden (12) and others (3); 4 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 134 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 37 MIA. Escort is provided by 73 of 74 P-47s, they claim 6-0-2 aircraft on the ground.
342 B-24s are dispatched to hit Schwabish Hall Airfield (65), a munitions dump at Ulm (65) and Weissenhorn (45); a target of opportunity hit is Reichelsheim (1); 4 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 127 damaged; 3 airman are WIA and 39 MIA. Escort is provided by 99 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 14-0-5 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.
297 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Merseburg (141) and Lutzkendorf (77); targets of opportunity hit are Giessen (17), Eisenach (12), Altenburg (7), Gera (7) and other (19); they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 145 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 67 MIA. Escort is provided by 233 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 33-0-4 aircraft in the air; 6 P-51s are lost.
- The Buslee crew’s and Brodie crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 194/8th AF Mission 628
- 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