Mission Details for Merseburg (#118)



Number: 118
Date: 7/29/1944 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Lt. C.J. Parr
Crews Briefed: 39
Details: Synthetic oil production facilities

Flying Control

Runway: 23
Engines: 0550 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan23.jpg
Taxi: 0605
Take Off: 0620
E.T.R.: 1407
Notes: Briefing took place at 0250 hours, and by 0654 hours 38 operational aircraft were airborne. However, one of the lead aircraft salvoed its bombs on Runway 33 and was unable to take off, and another lead aircraft was forced to land at Polebrook with one engine feathered. Visibility was very poor with mist and rain, and several aircraft returning early were diverted to other airbases. All but one of the remaining aircraft had landed by 1449 hours, and the missing aircraft reported landing at Framlingham with minor battle damage at 1500 hours.


Aircraft: 38
Lost Over Continent: 0
Lost Other: 0
Summary: The 401st provided three Boxes of 12 aircraft each, comprising the 94th Combat Wing "C" unit, on a second attack on synthetic oil facilities at Merseburg. Lt. C. J. Parr took over as Air Commander when the mission leader and deputy leader were both forced to abort due to mechanical failure.
The weather was so bad in the assembly area that some aircraft were unable to form up and aborted the mission, returning to diversion airfields.
The remaining aircraft, making up the Lead and Low Boxes, found the target obscured by undercast, haze and smoke. However, not having PFF equipment (the two ships having such equipment had aborted), the bombardier visually synchronized on reference points that enabled him to drop in the smoke arising at the approximate location of the MPI. Strike photos disclosed huge columns of black smoke rising to 20,000 feet. Lt. Parr was commended for a splendid job of leadership after taking over the Group Lead when the two assigned lead ships were forced to abort.
No enemy aircraft were observed, and flak was moderate except for a short but accurate burst over the target, which cased major damage to two aircraft and minor damage to 20 others.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants