HEADQUARTERS 448TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (H)
23 February 1944
SUBJECT: Operations Officer's Report--Mission of 22 February 1944--Enschede, Holland
TO: Commanding Officer, 448th Bomb Gp (H)
1. General Narrative. The 448th Gp took off at 0911 to 0956 hours. Aircraft took off at 45 second intervals and proceeded on instrument take-off according to instructions in 2 BD Tactical Doctrine and proceeded to Buncher 7 for Assembly at 8,500 feet. The 448th was composed of three sections--lead, high right and low left. Group assembly was complete at 1028. Position of the 448th in Wing formation was low right on the lead group, 446th. The 93rd flew high left. The 20th CBW departed Buncher 7 in formation at 1036 enroute to Division Assembly line from Splasher 6 to Buncher 5 to Splasher 5. Between Buncher 5 and Splasher 5, clouds forced the wing to climb early. Clouds were a constant bother until 3/4 the way across the channel but group and wing formation was generally good.
The briefed route was generally followed until the time of recall, 1302. The recall was verified by the 448th at this time. The 446th leader gave instructions to the wing to bomb target of opportunity. The 448th left teh wing at this time to bomb Munster. Throug a navigational error the city of Enschede was bombed. The command pilot, pilot, navigator and bombardier of the lead ship of the 448th believed at the time of bombing that they were bombing Munster. The bombing altitude of the 448th was 17,000 feet and bombs away at 1315. Cloud cover was 1/10 to 3/10 and haze. The axis of attack was on a Mag heading of 60 degree at 160 CIAS.
After bombing a course of 293 degree Ma was taken up and held until the group approached Amsterdam at which time the Group altered course to the right to avoid the city and crossed the coast about 10 miles north of Hague. Let down to 10,000 feet about midway in the Channel and crossed the Enlish Coast about 6 miles sout of Lowestoft.
weather was bad at landing but landing was made without incident. All aircraft returned safely to base. Landing was madee from 1439 to 1532 hours.
Flak was moderate and enemy fighters were weak. Fighter cover was good.
2. Aircraft not Attacking. Thirty-five aircraft took off. Two aircraft returned early because of mechanical difficulties. Thirty-tree aircraft were dispatched and were over the target. Thirty aircraft attacked the target.
ROBERT W. SPENCE
Capt. Air Corps