Merseburg
Wednesday, 13 September 1944


NOTE: Ellipses (...) denote words that were unreadable.
Serial numbers have been omitted.

Note: Field order is listed as both 495 or 595 in various places within this report.


Narrative Report
Memo - A/C Returning Early and A/C Not Attacking Primary
Crew Comments, Suggestions to CO
Memo - Lead Bombardier's Report
Confidential Priority
Handwritten Page (Notes on route, flak)
Statistical Report
Summary on Eyewitness Accounts
Report on AA Gunfire
Flash Report
A Second Flash Report
H2X Report
Report on AA
PFF Bombing Report, Lead Group
PFF Bombing Report, Low Group
PFF Interrogtaion Form
Formation
Alert Form
General Information from Teletype
Annex 2
Fighter Escort Info
Handwritten Notes
Enemy Aircraft Claim Reports
Aborts/Early Returns
Missing in Action
Debriefing Reports, 325th Squadron
Debriefing Reports, 326th Squadron
Debriefing Reports 327th Squadron


Narrative Report

  1. No leaflets carried.

  2. Crews report good bombing results in primary visual target area. Two heavy black columns of smoke arising 6,000-7,000 feet were reported. Strike photos confirm crews' reports. 10 a/c attacked targets of opportunity at Lich, Giessen, Leipzig and Altenburg with reported good results. Strike photos reveal only the Giessen area where hits are evident for a large group of buildings.

  3. Forward on previous teletype.

  4. From Wiesbaden observed at Merseburg inaccurate, moderate, black and white continuously pointed. At Leipzig intense, accurate flak, continuously pointed.

  5. Over the target NIT low or middle clouds and 1/10 cirrostratus above 30,000 feet. Visibility aloft 15 miles in haze. Downward visibility 15 miles. Dense and persistent contrails at 26,000 feet.

  6. (1)    30 barges were observed moving north on Rhine River at Koblenz.
    (2)    Smoke screens were observed over Frankfurt, Weißenfels.
    (3)    A large factory was seen Soalburg from 29,100 feet at 5030-1132E.

  7. The 92nd group flew as the lead and low groups of the 40A CBW with the lead group bombing their primary target visually at Merseburg and the low group bombing in the Altenburg area. Friendly fighter support was excellent; however, the low group was subjected to several concentrated e/a attacks. A/c 250 from this group was seen to be knocked out of formation with one engine feathered near Eisenach by e/a. Another of our a/c, #389 was seen to explode 10 east of Merseburg after a direct flak hit. Five of our a/c are missing, which includes two previously mentioned. Buckeye weather force was not in operation today.

-----

Narrative Report Paragraph 3

3. M. The lead group reports no fighters seen and no attacks. With the low group it was a different story in that Meiningen area at 1205 6:00 attack by 2 ME 109s firing rockets was reported. These a/c rode out on the wings of our a/c out of effective recognition range and simulated the tactics of our Mustang escort. This tactic was employed for some ten minutes prior to the actual attack. The lead a/c of the high squadron reports two attacks. Six ME 109s were first sighted at 1215 hours, position 5055N-1120E and flew with our formations until 1245 hours 5055N-1010E. The first attack was 1230 hours, position 5050N-1040E when two 109s swung around from 9:00 6:00 and attacked from low to high. These two e/a were camouflaged olive drab. Both e/a broke up and to left chandelled and dived down. One, however, was shot down. The other made another 6:00 low attack and turned out to 3:00 having pressed home his attack to w/i 25 feet of the observing a/c. Observers report e/a made a very effective use of persistent contrails. One e/a is claimed as destroyed.


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Memo: A/C Returning Early and A/C Not Attacking Primary

Subject:    A/C Returning Early and A/C Not Attacking Primary

To:    Group Operations Officers, 92nd Bomb Group (H)

From:    Robert E. Tauscher, S-2

  1. A/c # 535 F 326 Bomb Squadron took off at 0647 and proceeded to 5144-0055W where at 0745 at 7,000 ft this a/c left formation because the number one prop was windmilling. Proceeding to 5217-0245E this a/c dropped its bombs at 0910 and returned to base, landing at 1019. Abort; no sortie.

  2. A/c # 156 E, 325th Bomb Squadron took off at 0650 and proceeded to 5200-0149E where at 0843 and at 10,000 ft this a/c left the formation due to feathered engine. After dropping its bombs at 5235-0210E this a/c returned direct to base, landing at 1110. No sortie-- abort.

  3. A/c 479 L, 327th Bomb Squadron took off at 0700 and proceeded in formation to 5028-0835E where it left the formation because its #2 supercharger was inoperative and its #1 supercharger was "weak". This a/c then proceeded to target of opportunity-- Giessen-- (5035-0840E) on which it dropped its bombs. After bombs away this a/c proceeded to 5015-0740E and then direct back to base where it landed at 1248. Sortie; early return.

  4. A/c 872 F 326 Bomb Squadron took off 0655 and proceeded in formation to a point 14 minutes before the IP where it left the formation due to an engine failure. On the route back an approximate reciprocal of the route in Prozneck, a target of opportunity at 5042-1135E was bombed at 1055. This a/c then continued on its reciprocal of the route in and landed at base at 1400. Sortie; early return.

  5. A/c 181 X 327th Bomb Squadron took off at 0655 and proceeded to 5025-0850E where at 1027 and at 25,700 feet, straggling 10 miles behind the rest of the a/c it left the formation because it could not develop up sufficient power to climb w/the rest of the a/c. This a/c then made a bomb run on Lich, 5032-0848E, dropping its bombs on this target of opportunity at 1027. ...this a/c proceeded alone to 5013-0740E and then to Ostend, reentering the English coast at Clacton. From Clacton this a/c flew direct to base landing at 1249. Sortie; early return.
Signed Robert E. Tauscher, Capt. S-2 officer


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Crew Comments, Suggestions to CO

A negative report is submitted.
Tauscher


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Memo:  Lead Bombardier's Report

To:    Group Bombardier, This Station

... Officer, This Station

  1. Lead group 40th A Combat Wing
    a.    Synchronized on briefed MPI #19ILL. /14.
    b.    None
    c.    4/10 cloud cover over target caused some difficulty in picking out MPI
    d.    None

  2. Low group 40th A Combat Wing
    Negative report due to lead a/c is MIA

from Tauscher


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Confidential Priority

To COMBOMDIV 1 ATT: A-2 from Brousseau BOMGR92

e/a attacked this mission of 13 Sept 1944

A negative report is submitted

Signed Tauscher


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Handwritten Page

Orfordness to 5115-0255 to 5027-0534 to 5010-0730 to 5028-0941 to 5022-1041 to 5025-1145 to 5018-1137 to 5026-1150 to 5044-1152 to 5058-1148 to target to 5112-1130 to 5113-1026 to 5055-0843 to 5015-0740 to 5029-0534 to 5115-0255 to Clacton

Lead

Merseburg, Leipzig, Lich, M___burg... [Merseburg again?]..., Altenberg

Handwritten on the back:

A Report on Flak

1123 meager to moderate no target b & w cpf
1143 Leipzig int v b cpf
  Frankfurt-- dbf        
1015 Wiesbaden meager no b cpf
  ...Nastatten        


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... Summary on Eyewitness Accounts

Group:   92
Squadron:   326
A/c:   281
Mission Date:   13 Sept
1st Pilot:    Donald M. Cooke - 1 Lt.
Destination:   Merseberg

  1. Position of missing aircraft when last sighted or contacted:   Lt. Donlon C 389

    (a) by coordinates:   10 miles due east of Merseburg
    (b) approximate altitude:   25,000
    (c) last sighted:   heading 200
    (d) If out of formation, approximate distance from formation: answer:   information Thomas Wood: off to one side

  2. Describe enemy opposition (intensity of flak, intensity and method of enemy fighter attack, etc., with particular ... to missing aircraft):   very accurate and intense flak

  3. Description of extensive damage to missing aircraft (including fires, explosions, etc.):   ship broke in half; fire in radio room; full tail of ship was ablaze; ship blew up 1,500 feet below this a/c

  4. If a/c was out of control, describe appearance:   tail twisted off; pieces floated down

  5. If distressed a/c was out of formation, was it last seen w/escort:   --   If so, give distinguishing markings of fighter group as noted.   --

  6. Number of parachutes seen and description of jumps:   no chutes seen

  7. Any other remarks not covered by above:

  8. Any other remarks not covered by above:   13 September

    Eyewitnesses:
    S/Sgt. S. M. Sanger Sgt. a/c 281
    Lt. Jas. A. McAteer 2 Lt. a/c 281
    Masson, Bernard J. Lt. a/c 281
    Smith, Arthur M. Lt.a/c 281

[Signed by] Capt. Albert Lundt
S-2


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Report on AA Gunfire
  1. Prozneck 5042-1135
    Leipzig
    Merseburg
    Altenburg
    Giessen
    Lich

  2. Route out:   followed low group as briefed to Weiszenfel as to 5119-1205 to 5120-1219 to 5105-1230 (360 turn to right) to Altenburg to 5050-1220 to 5038-1120 to 5045-0933 to 5013-0840 to 5005-0642 to 5004-0552 to Ostend.

    Lead group Orfordness to 5115-0255 to 5027-0534 to 5010-0730 to 5028-0941 to 5022-1041 to 5025-1145 to 5018-1137 to 5026-1150 to 5044-1152 to 5058-1148 to target to 5112-1130 to 5113-1026 to 5055-0843 to 5015-0740 to 5029-0534 to 5115-0255 to Clacton

  3. Conditions
    1. At target:   0/10 with 15 mile visibility
    2. On route:   ...

  4. Were our a/c "seen" or "unseen" target?
    1. At target:   seen
    2. At route:   seen

    Any condensation trails?   Dense, persistent contrails.

  5. Description of flak at target in method of fire control if possible.
    1. Merseberg:   moderate inaccurate black and white continuously pointed
    2. Leipzig:   intense accurate black continuously pointed

  6. Flak encountered or observed on route:  Eisenbaden:  observed
    1. [typed in]  ... one a/c to flak in Leipzig area (after IP)
      five a/c hit by flak after bombs away before rally point
      three a/c hit by flak before bombs away in Leipzig area

  7. Was chaff carried?  Was it used?  As briefed, if not, how was it used?  Observations of crew:
    10 a/c discharged 33 88 units between 1115 hours and 1145 hours.
    6 a/c used carpet.

  8. Position of group in combat wing:   40th A CBW lead and low groups.

  9. Details:
    At group, number of a/c over enemy territory. A/c hit by flak Lost to flak TOT Height Axis of attack Bomb run
    9 (lead) 9 (Merseberg) 0 1123 29,000 ft. 010° 335°
    1 (Leipzig)
    10 (low)
    2 (Merseberg)
    7 (Altenberg)
    1 1143 25,000 ft. 213° 210°
    1 Giessen 0 0 1038 25,000 ft. 203° 203°
    1 Lich 0 0 1027 25,600 ft. 350° 350°
    Prosneck 1 1 1055 23,000 ft. 180° 180°
    Totals
    22
    9 [sic] 1 [sic]        

  10. Unusual phenomena:
    What is described as a red flare in the middle of a flak area at Merseburg at 1120 hours. This resembles a red stick six feet long. It continued bursting, never diminishing in colour and was seen to hit ground still burning.

Note: four a/c were lost to reasons unknown.


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Flash Report


low group
eight Donlon...
Zuck... [hole through the page]

two early return
10 a/c

Flash Report

2.  102nd CBW only...
  1. Approximately number of a/c attacking primary target:   2

  2. Aprox. number attacking secondary:   

  3. Last resort:

  4. Target of Opportunity:  8 Altenburg, 1 94th wing a/c

  5. Reason for attacking target of opportunity:

  6. # of a/c known to be missing:  1
    # unaccounted for:  4

  7. Bombing Results:
    a - good
    b - fair
    c - poor   x (T/O)
    d - unobserved   (primary)

  8. Weather (very brief):
    clear. 3/4/10 cumulus area

  9. Flak:
    barrage very accurate
    ...
    Target of Opportunity: Leipzig...

    Enemy aircraft opposition:
    Six ME 109s tail attacks for five minutes on tail and 9:00

  10. Friendly fighter support:
    very good going in to just southeast of Eisenach at about 12:30 hours

Phoned to CBW 1600 hours by PHB

TGF flight after target until after we got out.

Then we...lead group 40A Boles-Parkinson 8+ 2 pff
two aborts


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Flash Report
to 102 CBW
  1. Approximately number of a/c attacking primary target:   9

  2. Aprox number attacking secondary:

  3. Last resort:

  4. Target of Opportunity:  Prosneck 5032-1135 and 1055 23,000

  5. Reason for attacking target of opportunity:

  6. # of a/c known to be missing:  0
    # unaccounted for:

  7. Bombing Results:
    a - good   x
    b - fair
    c - poor
    d - unobserved

    In smoke - picked out A/P

  8. Weather (very brief):
    Merseburg open-- 4-5/10 high cumulus

  9. Flak:
    moderate at target; meager at Wiesbaden

    Enemy aircraft opposition:   none

  10. Friendly fighter support:
    damn good everywhere-- everywhere

Phoned to CBW 1600 hours by PHB


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Last updated 4-6-09 1847 edt (2347 z)


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