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883

12 March 1945

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Heavies Hit Near Rhine, Along Baltic

Well over 3,500 heavy bombers and fighters of the 8th and 15th Air Force and the RAF roared over Germany yesterday in attacks that shook the Reich from the Rhine to the Oder and south to Vienna,

The Tremendous blow, spearheaded by the 8th in an assault that spreadeagled both Eastern and Western fronts, gave direct aid to the U.S. and Russian troops battling on both approaches to the heart of Germany.

Half the forces of 1,350 Fortresses and Liberators and 750 escorting fighters split to attack naval and military installations at the Baltic port of Swinemunde. 35 miles north of Stettin, and marshalling yards at six towns in an area about 60 miles long parallel to the Rhine and 40 to 60 miles east of the river opposite Cologne and Coblenz.

RAF Smashes Dortmund

While the 8th was blasting its string of targets in the Rhineland, more than 1,000 Halifaxes and Lancasters of the RAF, protected by a screen of Spitfires and Mustangs, struck 40 miles to the north, bombing the communications center of Dortmund, 15 miles east of Essen, which was still smoking from the RAF's raid the previous day.

The 15th's effort, fashioned by Forts and Libs and a strong shield of fighters, was directed at oil installations in the Vienna area.

The attack on Swinemunde was the closest blow to the Eastern Front the 8th has yet delivered. It fell only 16 miles from where Marshall Zhukov's forces are striking for Baltic port of Stettin. Plans for the attack were laid after photo reconnaissance three days ago showed the one-time seaside resort on the Oder estuary teeming with activity.

Clouds Obstruct View

Specific targets attacked were not disclosed and results were not observed because of heavy cloud. But the port is known to be a strong naval base, with shipyards and oil storage depots, and a likely base for the pocket battleship Adm. Sheers and U-boats which may have left the East Baltic.

The marshalling yards opposite the Rhine were at Siegen, Betzdorf, Dillenburg, Wetzler, Friedburg and Marburg. Here, too, as over Swinemunde, there was heavy cloud. Bombardiers used instruments over the targets.

One bomber and three fighters failed to return.

Last night, German radio broke out with ringing Achtungs, describing a strong force of fast enemy bombers approaching the Hanover-Brunswick area_"bomb alley" to Berlin_ indicating that Mosquitoes were out to hit the capital for the 21st successive night.

Mission details

1. BETZDORF

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

2. DILLENBURG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

3. FRANKFURT

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

4. FRIEDBERG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

A nix of 192 P-47s and P-51s provide escort. Mix not given in available data.

Mission Statistics

5. HUSUM

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

6. MARBURG

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

7. SIEGEN

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

8. SWINEMUNDE

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS & PORT

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

Mission Statistics

9. WETZLAR

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

Not yet known

Notes

Not yet known

Mission Statistics

Service

People

  • Louis Abdallah

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | waist gunner, toggelier, B-17 | 452nd Bomb Group

  • Jesse Adcock

    Military | Chief Master Sergeant | B-17 Toglier in WWII; Aircraft Maintenance until 1967 retirement | 96th Bomb Group
    Assigned Dec 1944. Flew 55+ missions in B-17 as togglier. Adcock grew up on a farm in Ellisville, Mississippi, USA. He was career Air Force, retiring in 1967 as a Chief Master Sergeant (CMSAF). Born 3/8/1924 Died 3/16/2017

  • Robert Atkins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 453rd Bomb Group
    Robert Atkins served as a tail gunner with the 733rd Bomb Squadron of the 453rd Bomb Group, flying missions out of Old Buckenham, England.

  • John Barnes

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 95th Bomb Group
    John Barnes was born January 31, 1922 in Philadelphia, PA, the son of Leonard and Gertrude Barnes of Emporium, PA . He received his undergraduate and Ph.D from Penn State University. He served in WWII as the navigator of the “Spirit of Martinez with...

  • Peter Brennan

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Togglier | 388th Bomb Group

  • Max Bunin

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot | 95th Bomb Group

  • Frank Calicura

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-17 Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Frank Calicura served as a pilot with the 95th Bomb Group. ...

  • Luis Coppola

    Military | Captain | Pilot on B-17 | 379th Bomb Group

  • Wilfred Cullerne

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 336BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Holzwickede 23-Mar-45. Mid air collision with B-17 44-8754, crashed Campsea Ash, Suffolk. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: AM (3 OLC), PH.

  • John Ferard

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 34th Bomb Group

Show more

Aircraft

  • 43-38736 Maiden America

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 14/9/44; Grenier 27/9/44; Assigned 548BS/385BG [GX-P] Gt Ashfield 1/10/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 24/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 26/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 28...

  • 43-38776 Passion Wagon/Victory Devils

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 20/9/44; Grenier 11/10/44; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Horham 13/10/44; 67m, Returned to the USA Bradley 26/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 28/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 29...

  • 43-38933 Dear Mom II/Weary Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 14/10/44; Dow Fd 26/10/44; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 29/10/44; while on navigation exercise 17/5/45 with H.J. Cole, cp V. Ferguson, two navigators and two grounded crew, on as makeshift ttg and r/op (6 Killed in Action); crash...

  • 44-6509

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 28/8/44; Grenier 15/9/44; Assigned 748BS/457BG [H] Glatton 30/9/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; Sth Plains 13/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 25/11/45.

  • 44-6838 Spirit of Martinez, Cal's Rascals

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 27/11/44; Grenier 16/12/44; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-E] Horham 1/1/45; battle damaged Chemnitz 6/2/45 with D.V. Tregoning, force landed B-53, Merville, Bel. then rep; 53m, Returned to the USA Bradley 21/6/45; Sth Plains 23/6/45;...

  • 44-8604 Section Eight

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 31/10/44; Grenier 15/12/44; Dow Fd 15/12/44; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-X] Horham 17/12/44;with Bill Dunwoody force landed B-53 Merville Afd, Bel. 19/3/45; battle damaged Holzwickede 23/3/45 with Bill Dunwoody, Co-pilot: M. Burrows,...

  • 44-8652 Drive It Home

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/11/44; Hunter 12/12/44; Dow Fd 17/12/44; Assigned 369BS/306BG Thurleigh 6/1/45; Salvaged 9AF Germany 31/7/46. DRIVE IT HOME!

  • 44-8709 Joltin' Joe

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/11/44; Hunter 20/12/44; Grenier 6/1/45; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-J] Thorpe Abbotts 8/1/45; transferred as PFF 336BS/95BG [ET-F] Horham 23/1/45; 13m, Returned to the USA Morrison 20/10/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold...

  • 42-95021 San Antonio Rose

    B-24 Liberator

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 03:35:35 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

Newspaper article

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 03:09:02 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to media associations
Sources

Owner of source material (newapaper) corresponding with date of mission

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:50:37 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description and media associations
Sources

fixed errors

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:40:25 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

https://95thbg.mmsw.eu/crew/59

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 00:39:30 spiritofmartinez45 Changes to description
Sources

owner of source material (newspaper)

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 03:58:00 Virginiawise50 Changes to event
Sources

Official 385th Bombardment Group website Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2017 03:56:45 Virginiawise50 Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Official 385th Bombardment Group website Database-Missions

Date Contributor Update
06 July 2016 02:40:35 jjaustin0308 Changes to event
Sources

My Grandfather flew in this Mission on 12 Mar 1945:
http://www.351st.org/loadlist/search.php

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:09 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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