Mission Details for Merseburg (#164)



Number: 164
Date: 11/2/1944 12:00:00 AM
Commander: Maj. A.H. Chapman
Crews Briefed: 39
Details: I.G.Farben synthetic oil plant

Flying Control

Runway: 5
Engines: 0810 Thumbnail image for /Images/Takeoff/Plan05.jpg
Taxi: 0825
Take Off: 0840
E.T.R.: 1609
Notes: Briefing took place at 0530 hours. All operational aircraft but one, which had lost its hydraulics, were airborne by 0945. Two of the three spares returned early as planned. A scouting force P-51, stationed temporarily at Deenthorpe, crashed on take-off, Flying Control reporting: "Crash alarm put through with good results, but too goddam many people not affected were out on the runway! Had them chased off by the M.P.'s.
All but one operational aircraft had returned by 1606 hours.


Aircraft: 39
Lost Over Continent: 1
Lost Other: 0
Summary: The 401st put up the three squadrons forming the 94th Combat Wing "A" Group on this mission. Because of clouds over the target, bombing was conducted by PFF (Radar)techniques. As usual for oil targets, Merseburg was heavily defended, and flak was intense and accurate. As a result B-17 No. 43-38159 ("Wolf Pack"), piloted by Lt. H. L. Oas, was shot down, having taken a direct hit in the No. 3 engine. The pilot was able to parachute to safety, but all other members of the crew were killed or missing in action. Two other 401st ships received major battle damage and 25 received minor damage.
While the 401st was not attacked by enemy fighters, other Groups were less fortunate. Some 10 to 20 Me 109's attacked the Group following the 401st, and several German jets were seen in the distance. Of the 210 B-17's in the formation attacking Merseburg, 26 were shot down and 153 received battle damage.

Mission Assignments

Squadron Participants