December 25, 1944
By 387th Bombardment Group, 98th Bombardment Wing, IXth Bombardment Division (M), Ninth Air Force
1. Formation for 25 Dec. 44, 387th BG
Green Flight: Records did not identify the following as to rank and given names:
Lead A/C – Pilot Anderson, Bombardier Shannon, in A/C #684
Other A/C – Pilots Mueller, Missimer in #880, #700; and probably
Patterson in #717, instead of Moffett of #899
Briefing at 1300; Takeoff at 1432
Interrogation Form of 387-BG, 25 Dec. 44
The flight led by Anderson appeared to have been composed of Anderson, Mueller, Missimer, and Patterson. Took off at 1432; Target was St Vith; Date 25 Dec. Flight dropped 64 x 250 GPs on the target. Born was noted as a locality.
IX-BD, Photo Interpretation (First Phase Inter.)
Report by 1/Lt Ben Mann, Photo Interpretation Officer, of 398-BG (98-BW) operations of 25 Dec
Target briefed and hit – St Vith. A/C attacking – 30.
Drop at 1605. Activity at target: The target area is completely enveloped by smoke, making identification of the target on their heading extremely difficult. Results of the bombing: Box I, Flight A. Anderson-Shannon. PNB (Primary Not Bombed). Apparent misidentification of the target as primary was completely enveloped by smoke. Hits in the town of Malmedy approx. 10-3/4 mi. N of Primary.
Flights B and C of Box I attacked St Vith Box II, rot involved in Malmedy. Flight A, Morse-Britton bombed Rocherat by mistake, instead of St Vith, and that incident was referred to in the History (December) of the 387-BG.
Unsatisfactory Bombing Report.
For 387-BG, Mission of 25 Dec. 44 to St Vith. Issuing organization was not identified, but it was likely.
Box I, Flight A, Pilot Anderson, Bombardier Sharnon
Visuel Bombing. Results: PNB
Reasons for Bombing or Failure to Attack Primary: Bombardier misidentified target. Bombed town of Malmedy 12 miles N NE of St Vith. Bombardier and Navigator were both positive they were on briefed target. ‘Gee,’ box was not working well but the operator obtained a supposedly accurate fix on course 3 minutes from BRP. This fix corresponded exactly with the bombardier’s visual observation and no doubt existed as to his correct position. Snow, cover and haze made pinpoint navigation difficult. All details concerning error not yet coordinated
Group’s OPFLAH, 25 Dec
No mention of Malmedy mistake. Report mold gives the impression the primary had been bombed as briefed, with certain exceptions. One flight of 4 a/c may have bombed Born P-850940. Overlay of Mission, by 387-BG
TOT, 1600; Altitude 12,500; Weather Nil clouds, 5 mi.
IX-BD, Mission Summary (Afternoon), 25 Dec. 44. Dated 26 Dec. 44, as to Field Order #683.
St Vith (Defended Village)
387-BG: 36 a/c dispatched, 26 dropping 426 x 250 GP on and in vicinity of primary. The leader of the flight misidentified primary. This a/c plus 3 others dropped 64 x 250 GP at Malmedy – friendly territory. Bombardier and navigator believed they were synchronized on primary. ‘Gee,’ operator obtained fix 3 minutes from BRP which corresponded with visual observation. Snow cover and haze made pinpoint navigation difficult.
Box 1 – Bligh A. PNB. An apparent misidentification of target as primary was completely enveloped by smoke. Hits in the town of Malmedy approximately 10 3/4 miles NW of primary.
Other St Vith Attacks.
323-BG dropped from 40 a/c; 533 x 250 GP and 167 x WP
394-BG dispatched 39 a/c, but none bombed
Failure to Bomb
387-BG a/c Personnel, Leader misidentified primary, dropping at Malmedy – friendly territory
S/A Photo Reports
387-BG cameras operating 100%
Weather: Nil Clouds. Visibility 3-4 miles plane to ground
IX-BD. Mission Report (15-minute Report)
387-BG: 36 A/C; TOT 1500; Bombed primary; Deviation from route, etc. 850940 bombed by 1 flight