On Thursday 16 March 1944, a member of the 97 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant W A Meyer, took off from Bourn in the United Kingdom. His mission is mentioned elsewhere on Back to Normandy. You can find the other details of this mission by searching here. Training and cargo flights are not seperately mentioned as a mission. The plane left at 19:20.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type III, serial JB361, code OF-B).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
15 March 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 259: 185 of 187 B-17s and 145 of 157 B-24s hit the industrial area at Brunswick, Germany and targets of opportunity; they claim 0-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 and 2 B-24s are a lost and 31 B-17s and 15 B-24s are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 4 WIA and 30 MIA.
Escort is provided by 121 P-38s and 467 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s; 4 P-38s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 4 pilots MIA; P-47s claim 39-3-13 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-0 on the ground, 1 P-47 is lost and 5 damaged, casualties are 1 MIA.
Mission 260: 8 P-47s are dispatched, 2 with 2x1,000 pound (454 kg) bombs, against an enemy barge in the Zuider Zee, The Netherlands to test the feasibility of this type of operation; near misses are scored.
Mission 261: 7 of 7 B-17s drop 350 bundles of leaflets on Rennes, Lille, Reims, Le Mans, Paris and Chartres, France at 2115-2152 hours without loss.
(Ninth Air Force): A directive states that the Ninth Air Force is released from first priority commitment to assist the Eighth Air Force.
P-51s of the Ninth Air Force, committed to the Allied Expeditionary Air Force (AEAF), will continue to escort heavy bombers when required by the Eighth Air Force.
Ninth Air Force Advanced HQ assumes the function of target selection and mission planning for the IX Bomber Command.
AEAF HQ has the authority to indicate percentage of effect to be expended on each type of target on a long-term basis.
In France, 118 B-26s attack marshalling yards at Aulnoye and Haine-Saint- Pierre and Chievres Airfield; during the afternoon, 10 B-26s using "Oboe" to test its accuracy, bomb Coxyde Airfield with poor results; dive-bombing missions using fighters begin with a 7-plane attack on Saint-Valery-en-Caux Airfield.
HQ 368th Fighter Group and 395th, 396th and 397th Fighter Squadrons move from Greenham Common to Chilbolton, England with P-47s.
16 March 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 262: 2 primary targets and targets of opportunity in Germany are attacked; fighter opposition is heavy against the first force of bombers over France and Germany; the bombers claim 68-32-43 Luftwaffe aircraft; 23 bombers and 10 fighters are lost and 179 damaged: 1.
401 of 501 B-17s hit Augsburg, 46 bomb Gessertshausen and 18 hit Ulm; 18 B-17s are lost; casualties are 1 KIA, 10 WIA and 171 MIA.
2. 197 of 213 B-24s bomb Friedrichshafen and 13 hit targets of opportunity; 5 B-24s are lost and 1 damaged beyond repair; casualties are 6 KIA, 7 WIA and 46 MIA.
Escort is provided by 125 P-38s, 608 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 135 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; claims and losses are:
1. P-38s: 1 lost.
2. P-47s claim 25-3-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 P-47s are lost and 5 damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
3. P-51s claim 53-4-16 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 P-51s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; 6 pilots are MIA.
The fighters also claim 1-0-13 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.
(Ninth Air Force): 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, moves from Chilboton to Middle Wallop, England with F-6s.
Campaign report of the RAF:
Day Operations, 1-16 March 1944
On 5 days during this period, 2 Bomber Command Oboe Mosquitos acted as 'formation leaders' for bomber units of the Second Tactical Air Force attacking flying-bomb sites. The formation bombed as soon as it saw the bombs of the Oboe Mosquito being released. There were no losses from the 10 Bomber Command sorties flown in this period.
15/16 March 1944
863 aircraft - 617 Lancasters, 230 Halifaxes, 16 Mosquitos - ordered to attack Stuttgart. The German fighter controller split his forces into 2 parts. The bomber force flew over France nearly as far as the Swiss frontier before turning north-east to approach Stuttgart. This delayed the German fighters contacting the bomber stream but, when the German fighters did arrive, just before the target was reached, the usual fierce combats ensued. 37 aircraft - 27 Lancasters, 10 Halifaxes - were lost, 4.3 per cent of the force. 2 of the Lancasters force-landed in Switzerland. Adverse winds delayed the opening of the attack and the same winds may have been the cause of the Pathfinder marking falling back well short of the target, despite the clear weather conditions. Some of the early bombing fell in the centre of Stuttgart but most of it fell in open country south-west of the city. The Akademie was damaged in the centre of Stuttgart and some housing was destroyed in the south-western suburbs.
140 aircraft - 94 Halifaxes, 38 Stirlings, 8 Mosquitos - attacked railway yards at Amiens. 2 Halifaxes and 1 Stirling lost.
22 Lancasters of No 5 Group to an aero-engine factory at Woippy, near Metz. 10/10ths cloud caused the attack to be abandoned before any bombs were dropped. No aircraft lost.
17 Mosquitos to 5 German targets and 10 Mosquitos to airfields in Holland, 2 RCM sorties, 11 Serrate patrols, 2 Stirlings minelaying off Texel, 31 aircraft on Resistance operations, 18 OTU sorties. 1 Serrate Mosquito lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,116 sorties, 41 aircraft (3.7 per cent) lost. The number of sorties flown on this night was a new record.
16/17 March 1944
130 aircraft - 81 Halifaxes, 41 Stirlings, 8 Mosquitos - repeated the previous night's attack on Amiens. No aircraft lost. The Bomber Command report again reported successful bombing.
21 Lancasters of No 5 Group, mostly from 617 Squadron, carried out a successful precision attack on the Michelin tyre factory at Clermont-Ferrand. No aircraft lost.
8 Mosquitos to Cologne and 1 to Duisburg (only Cologne was bombed), 2 RCM sorties, 2 Serrate patrols, 3 Stirlings minelaying off the Dutch coast. No losses.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
This record can also be found on the maps of Back to Normandy with Google coordinates. You can find the maps by clicking on this link on this location.
There are several possibilities to investigate the flight records on Back to Normandy. All the flights are plotted on maps, sorted "day by day", "by squadron", "by type aircraft", "by year or month", "by location" and much more! Don't miss this!!!
If you have any information that you want to share, please add your comment at the bottom of this record. Or send your information to . This information will be added to the record.
Your photos and your information are very welcome! The young do care and with your help we keep up the good work.