a. Take off was commenced at 0715 and assembly was affected on the 466th Bomb Group at 16,500 feet over Splasher 5. flying on the high right position. This Squadron consisted of fourteen (14) aircraft, which departed a few minutes late from Splasher 5 and remained late throughout the mission.
b. The Enemy Coast was crossed several minutes late. Flak was more noticeable than usual, but inaccurate, cloud coverage being 10/10th. During the penetration there seemed to be considerable "S"ing" on the part of the Wing Leader. The bomb run began on a heading of approximately 120 degrees, but the formation must have been blown to the right since the city was crossed about five miles south of the target and bombs were released while in a left turn. The lead bombardier synchronized for range only as we crossed the target. No reason was apparent for missing the target as we were visual most of the time from the I. P. to the target.
c. After a turn to the south and another to the west, the formation began to do considerable "S'ing" and flying to the north. This was done in an area of considerable flak, the Wing leader apparently following a formation of B-17's. The protracted flying to the north seemed to delay us sufficiently that fighter cover was inadequate on the route back. The Enemy Coast was crossed at a point north of Amsterdam with no flak apparent. Landing was at 1530.
d. Flak over the target seemed to be somewhat scattered and mostly below our altitude of 24,500 feet. The intensity was much less than might have been expected over such a target. Enemy fighters were seen to attack the Wing ahead approximately 40 minutes before target time, with several B-24's being knocked out in one pass by several aircraft, many bursts of flashing explosives being observed between Hanover and the Zinder Zee when about 25 Enemy Aircraft were seen to attack the low left group of the lead B-24 wing, One bomber dropped out and descended to right of course, smoking, after the attack.
e. The Second Squadron of the 467th Bomb Group, also consisted of fourteen (14) aircraft flew high right on the 458th Bomb Group and the route followed and bombing accomplished was mainly as outlined above. However this squadron was continuously sandwiched between the lead squadron of the 458th and the low squadron of the 466th. During the return the 466th let flown to 15,00 feet, but the 458th refused to let down that far below the briefed altitude and again the 467th squadron was between the two.
a. One aircraft in the 467th squadron flying with the 466th Bomb Group, the Deputy Leader, carrying the 788th Squadron Commander and the Group Bombardier, was hit by flak in the target area, losing an engine. Due to losing al his fuel, this aircraft was abandoned in the vicinity of the Zinder Zee after reports of Enemy Aircraft attacking.
a. Twenty eight (28) aircraft took off and were dispatched. Twenty five (25) of these attacked the target. Two aircraft (H42-52530 and H41-28695) returned shortly after reaching the Enemy Coast with supercharger trouble. One ship (H41-28749) was shot down by Enemy Aircraft prior to reaching the target..
b. A detailed report of aircraft not attacking has been submitted separately.
b. The formation in which the Second Squadron was flying was attacked by Enemy Fighters between the Wing I. P. and the Group I. P. One aircraft (H41-28749,) flying on the left wing of the squadron leader, had the number four engine and most of the right vertical stabilizer shot off. Seven parachutes were seen in the area. Another aircraft (H41-28730) was lost in the target area but no one observed him leave as he was flying in the trail position.
WALTER R . SMITH, JR
Major, Air Corps........