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B-17 Flying Fortresses of the Eighth Air Force Attack Bremen

Image Information
Boeing B-17F Flying Fortresses of the Eighth Air Force leave contrails as they fly towards Bremen. As part of the anti-submarine campaign in the Atlantic, Bremen‘s submarine building and bases were frequent targets of the Eighth Air Force‘s strategic bombing campaign. Due to inclement weather, only 79 of 159 B-17s, 61 of 109 Consolidated B-24 Liberators and three out of four pathfinder B-17s made it to the target. The bomber formation was unable to form up over United Kingdom due to fog, and the loose formation was attacked by 50-75 German aircraft over the target, a mix of Messerschmitt Me-109s, Me-110s, Me-210s, Focke-Wulf FW-190s, and Junkers Ju-88s. Forty-five Lockheed P-38 Lightnings escorted the bombers all the way to the target, the longest escort mission at that time. 345 Republic P-47 Thunderbolts provided short-range escorting. The bombers claimed twenty Germans destroyed, fourteen probables, and 13 damaged; the fighters claimed ten destroyed, 3 probables, and 6 damaged. Three B-17s and thirteen B-24s were shot down over the target; three B-17s and three B-24s returned to United Kingdom with such serious damage that they were written off; twelve B-17s and ten B-24s are damaged. Seven P-38s were shot down; two were so badly damaged they were written off; two P-47s were damaged. Twenty-one Americans were killed in action, 26 wounded and 171 missing, including nine fighter pilots. The 130th mission for the Eighth Air Force, the Germans employed anti-bomber rockets within the 1000-yard (914-meter) range of the bombers‘ guns for the first time. The contrails were often used by the Germans to identify and track the bombers as they came in.
Image Filename wwii0026.jpg
Image Size 146.83 KB
Image Dimensions 1485×1181
Photographer Unknown
Photographer Title
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed November 13, 1943
Location Over Bremen
City Bremen
State or Province Freie Hansestadt Bremen
Country Germany
Archive United States Air Force
Record Number
Status Caption ©2007, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Image in the Public Domain

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