44th Bomb Group Mission Number 12

Date City Country Target
7/17/1943 Hanover Germany Aircraft Components Plant

Unofficial Mission Summary 

Primary Target: Large hangers and workshops where FW-190 are assembled and repaired, on the Airdrome at Villacoublay, France.

Airfields at Beaumont Le Roger and Bernay-St. Martin, were the secondary and last resort targets.

Mission Recalled - No Bombs Dropped - Turned back at Hasselt, Holland

379th Group - Lead Group
Composite Group - High

Comment Group Leader: (exerpt from center of narrative)
I saw a three-ship formation of B-17's returning and three single B-17's over a period of 10 minutes about halfway to the enemy coast. They were returning to England, which led me to believe there was a Combat Wing ahead. This influenced me to believe that we had to proceed with the mission. We proceeded to Hasselt, Holland and encountered solid 10/10 cloud. We received, in authenticated code over WT, the order to return. 30 Fighters attacked the Low Group near the Zuider Zee. Flak was encountered at Ijmuiden. We received some attacks on our tail positions. We began let down after passing the enemy coast.

It was my conviction at the time that the mission should have been scrubbed upon reaching the enemy coast and observing weather conditions of solid overcast, and considering the fact that the Wing was made up of indefinite groups without proper target assignments. I would have made decision to return, had not 6-B-17's been noted returning, which indicated Lead Combat Wing was proceeding as scheduled. I would recommend that a mission should not procede unless it can procede as briefed.
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