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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 5 August 1944 mission in which the Buslee crew and James Brodie participated.
WWII Combat Chronology – Saturday, 5 August 1944
384th BG Mission 173/8th AF Mission 519 to Langenhagen, Germany.
Target: German Air Force (Luftwaffe), a Luftwaffe Controlling Station.
The John Oliver Buslee crew of the 544th Bomb Squadron and James Joseph Brodie of the 545th Bomb Squadron participated in this mission. Brodie, in combat training, flew with the John Herzog crew. The remainder of Brodie’s crew did not participate in this mission.
Carter and Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945 entry:
In the morning 1,062 HBs strike Magdeburg-Brunswick-Hannover region, bombing oil, aircraft, and engine works and A/F. 14 ftr gps provide spt, 657 airplanes completing sorties. The HBs and ftrs encounter about 100 ftrs and claim 30 destroyed. The ftrs of 6 gps fly strafing missions against highway and rail trafflc and several A/Fs. 14 HBs and 6 ftrs are lost. During afternoon 38 B-17’s, escorted by P-51 gp bomb 6 V-weapon sites and an A/F in France. No losses are suffered.
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 519 to strategic targets in Germany, in which the Buslee crew and James Brodie participated
- Mission 520 to V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais
- Mission 522 to drop leaflets in the Netherlands and France during the night
- 19 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.
- In England, HQ 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy) moves from North Pickenham to Harrington; and the 406th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VIII Air Force Composite Command [attached to 801st Bombardment Group (Provisional)], moves from Harrington to Cheddington with B-24s.
Mission 519: In the morning, 1,171 bombers and 646 fighters are dispatched to attack strategic targets in the Magdeburg-Brunswick-Hannover region of Germany including oil refineries and tank and aircraft production; 13 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:
Of 215 B-17s, 93 hit Magdeburg/Neustadt, 87 hit Magdeburg/Krupp, 14 hit Helmstedt Airfield and 6 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 3-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17s are lost and 189 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 28 MIA. Escort is provided by 174 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 19-1-7 aircraft in the air and 1-0-2 on the ground; 1 P-38 and 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 P-38 and 5 P-51s are damaged; 1 pilot is KIA and 1 WIA.
70 of 78 B-24s hit Halberstadt Airfield and 1 hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost and 7 damaged; 9 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 41 of 47 P-47s; they claim 4-0-1 aircraft.
Of 452 B-24s, 98 hit Brunswick Aero-Engineering, 85 hit Fallerslaben, 69 hit Brunswick/Wilhelmitor, 65 hit Brunswick/Me 110 Assembly Plant, 44 hit Brunswick/Bussing, 30 hit Brunswick aircraft components factory, 9 hit Goslar Airfield and 8 hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 147 damaged; 13 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 55 MIA. Escort is provided by 172 of 188 P-51s; they claim 5-0-1 in the air and 3-0-3 on the ground; 1 P-51 is damaged.
Of 426 B-17s, 176 hit Nienburg, 143 hit Hannover/Langenhagen Airfield, 72 hit Dollbergen and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 130 are damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 15 MIA. Escort is provided by 186 of 197 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged; 2 pilots are MIA.
Links / Sources
- The Buslee crew’s participation in 384th Bomb Group Mission 173/8th AF Mission 519
- Kit C. Carter and Robert Mueller’s U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II Combat Chronology 1941 – 1945
- Jack McKillop’s USAAF Chronology: 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 USAAF Chronology: Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces © Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2021