trackback thursday: all-American bombing raid on Germany

Consolidated B-24 "Liberator"

Photo courtesy from the 8th Air Force History Office, found here

On January 27, 1943, the United States 8th Air Force conduced the first all-American bombing raid on Germany.

As 55 bombers targeted Wilhelmshaven, Germany, they dropped 137 tons of bombs on warehouses and industrial plants, losing three aircraft and shooting down 22 German fighters.

The 8th Air Force was activated in February 1942 as a heavy bomber force based in England. Commanded at the time by Brig. Gen. Newton Longfellow, the 8th Air Force was amazingly effective and accurate in bombing warehouses and factories in this first air attack against the Axis power.

The success of this first raid encouraged U.S. military planners to begin regular daylight bombing raids. However, these raids resulted in high casualty rates for the American soldiers involved.

 

 

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