486th BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)
18 September 1944
SUBJECT: Report of Operations Officer, mission of 17 September 1944, Gun Emplacements in West Holland.
TO: Commanding Officer, 486th Bombardment Group (H).
486th A Group
1. General Narrative: The 486th A Group scheduled twelve (12) a /c to fly as the fourth group (487th Group furnished the first three groups.) in the 92nd A Wing for the days operation, with all groups flying at a one (1) minute interval. Take-off was at 06300640 hours, with climb to assembly altitude of 8,000 ft. over Buncher #22 following immediately. Assembly was executed very rapidly due to excellent visibility, being complete at 0721 hours, eleven (11) minutes after the lead ship had reached assembly altitude. Many a/c had assembled on the lead during the climb. At 0733 hours, Wing assembly altitude of 10,000 ft. was reached, and, at this time, the air leader was advised that zero hour had been moved up thirty (30) minutes. After maneuvering to kill time, the formation (A Group) arrived over Splasher #7, CP A of the Wing assembly line, at 0842 hours, on time. The route out to Orfordness (CP #1) via Buncher #22 was made good, and the English Coast departed at 0859 ½ hours, one and one-half (1 ½) minutes late, at proper bombing altitude of 10,000 ft. Reason for being late at this point was due to having [been] forced off course to avoid the preceding groups prop wash.
After departing the English Coast (Orfordness was the IP for todays target), the flight on across the channel was uneventful. The target area, one of the islands of the Zuider Zee, was sighted at 0924 hours, while still over the channel. Bombing was done by six (6) a/c squadrons, with the lead squadron of A Group bombing at 0931 ½ hours, and the low squadron dropping back and branching off to the left to attack their individual target at 0930 ½ hours, one and one-half (1 ½) minutes later. A quick left turn of almost 180 degrees, brought the lead squadron out over the enemy coast at 0935 ½ hours. No rally was affected, and the lead and low squadron preceded back across the channel, in trail.
Descent had begun right after bombs away, and, as the formation crossed the English Coast at 1011 ½ hours, they were at [an] altitude of 2,000 ft. The group proceeded to home base and landed at 1026-1037 hours.
2. Aircraft Not Attacking: Twelve (12) a/c dispatched with the 486th A Group. There were no abortion and all a/c attacked in squadrons of six (6) a/c each.
3. Lost Aircraft: None.
486th B Group
1. General Narrative: The 486th B Group scheduled [twelve] (12) a/c, of which eleven (11) were airborne at 0641-0647 hours. The Group assembled at assigned altitude of 9,000 ft. by 0737 hours, at which time climb on to flight and bombing altitude was resumed. That altitude, 11,000 ft., was reached at 0735 hours. The onehalf (½) hours delay, zero hour having been changed, left B group with that much time to kill. They had kept A Group in siight constantly and merely followed their maneuver by circling in the vicinity a Buncher #22 and Splasher #7. The group went on to depart Splasher #7 at 0844 hours, one (1) minute late, cut short of Buncher #22 and arrived at the English coast (CP #1, Orfordness) at 0901 hours, two (2) minutes late.
After leaving the English Coast, there followed a direct run on to the target area. Half way across the channel, the low squadron Sed out and took proper interval in order to bomb in six (6) a/c squadrons, as specified. Bombs were away at 0933 hours for the lead squadron[,] followed by a quick turn left and back out. The low squadron, even though behind the lead, reached their target and released their bombs at 0932 ½ hours.
After the bombing, rally was affected, as briefed, and a reciprocal course flown back to the English coast and to home base; landing at 1038 to 1051 hours.
2. Aircraft Not Attacking: The 486th B Group dispatched eleven (11) a/c, all of which reached their assigned targets and attacked. A/C #944, which was scheduled to fly with the low squadron, did not take off because of a gas leak. No spare a/c was available.
3. Lost Aircraft: None
486th C Group
1. General Narrative: The 486th group scheduled twelve (12) a/c to fly as the lead crew of the 92nd B Wing for the days operation. Take-off was at 06000609 hours, and by 0650 hours, the group had completely assembled at assigned altitude of 10,000 ft. No difficulties were encountered as the group assembled very rapidly. The group formation was very good and remained consistent throughout the entire mission. There was no Wing formation. After assembly, the group began their climb to flight altitude of 14,500 ft., reaching that altitude and leveling off at 0745 hours. At this time, word was received that all timings were moved up one-half (½) hour. The Group went on to depart Buncher #22, CP A of the Wing assembly line, at 0826 ½ hours, one (1) minute early. The route out to the English Coast (Southwold CP #1) via Splasher #6 was as briefed.
CP #1 was departed at 0843 hours, one (1) minute late, and climb on to bombing altitude of 17,000 ft. was begun. At 0905 hours, while in mid-channel, bombing altitude was reached, and the group went on to cross the enemy coast at 0921 hours. The route in to the pre-IP was as briefed with the pre-IP IP leg being flown slightly right of course. The high and low squadrons took interval at this point and turned slightly short of the IP at 0949 hours to avoid a known flak area. The target had been picked up prior to this time. An excellent bomb run was made, and bombs were away at 0955 hours for the lead squadron; with the low squadron bombing less than a minute later, in trail.
After the bombing, a left turn was made to the rally point, where the low squadron cut off the lead as they turned right, off the RP, at 0958 hours. Group formation was complete before the enemy coast was crossed at 1009 ½ hours. The descent to minimum altitude was started upon leaving the enemy coast. The flight across the channel was uneventful, and the English Coast crossed at Orfordness, at 1059 hours, at altitude of 4,500 ft. Group proceeded directly to home base and landed at 1055-1104 hours.
2. Aircraft Not Attacking: The 486th C group scheduled twelve (12) aircraft, all of which reached the primary target and attacked. There were no abortions.
3. Lost Aircraft: None
486th D Group
1. General Narrative: Twelve (12) scheduled aircraft of D Group (92nd B Wing) took off at 0609-0617 hours and assembled at 11,000 ft. over the field (B-22) by 0615 hours. After completing group assembly, D Group took proper one (1) minute interval behind the lead, climbed to flight altitude with them, and remained in that position throughout the remainder of the flight to the IP. For a general narrative of that portion of the mission refer to the above report of the 486th C Group. At the IP (0952 hours), the lead and low squadrons having taken interval before the IP, proceeded to their own individual targets and attacked at 0958 hours. Because of prop wash, the low squadron had to raise its bombing altitude 300 ft. higher than was briefed.
After the bombing, rally was effected quickly as the group turned left off the target, then right to course out. Following the lead (C Group) out, the enemy coast was crossed at 1011 hours as the formation started let down and across the channel, on course. Coast was crossed at 1042 hours and the group had landed back at home base by 1105 to 1113 hours.
2. Aircraft Not Attacking: The 486th D Group scheduled twelve (12) aircraft all of which proceeded to the primary target and attacked. There were no abortions
3. Lost Aircraft: None
486th E - 487th Composite Group
1. General Narrative: The 486th Group scheduled nine (9) aircraft to fly as the last group in the 92nd B Wing formation of the days operation. Three (3) aircraft of the 487th Group filled in as the low flight of the low squadron. Take-off was at 0615-0624 hours and assembly at 12,000 ft. over Buncher #22 was complete at 0720 hours as the three aircraft from the 487th Group pulled in to group formation. E Group climbed to flight altitude of 15,000 ft. and went on to depart Buncher #22 at 0823 hours, one (1) minute early behind C and D Groups. By making a small s turn, the group was on time as Splasher #6 was crossed over, enroute [sic] to the English Coast. Departing the English Coast at 0845 ½ hours at altitude of 15,000 ft., the climb on to the bombing altitude of 18,000 ft. was begun. Reaching that altitude in mid-channel, the enemy coast was crossed at 0921 hours. Proceeding on course, the IP was reached at 0954 hours. The group had split up into squadrons for bombing prior to this time and proceeded to targets individually. Bombs were away for the lead squadron at 1002 hours, and for the low squadron at 0956 hours. The low squadron had a shorter bomb run than had the lead squadron thereby explaining the difference in bombing time.
After the bombing, rally was not affected immediately because of the shorter distance the low squadron had to travel from their target to RP, hence getting to RP first. Enemy coast was crossed over at 1015 hours after the low squadron had already proceeded out on course, however, the group reformed over the channel after the low did a 360° turn and fell into position on the lead. Let down to minimum altitude had begun upon leaving the enemy coast, and, as the English Coast was crossed at 1046 hours, they were at altitude of 5,000 ft. Proceeding directly to home base, the group landed at 1114-1121 hours.
2. Aircraft Not Attacking: The 486th E dispatched nine (9) aircraft, all of which reached the primary target. Only eight (8) attacked, however, as aircraft #005 returned bombs to base because of a burned out intervalometer.
3. Lost Aircraft: None
RICHARD B. UHLE
Major, Air Corps,