8 MARCH 1944
Mission nr. 9 Berlin
Seventeen aircraft returned to Erkner and the VK.F. ball bearing works, this time with excellent results. Ten combat wings, totaling 620 bombers of the Eighth Air Force, were dispatched, accompanied by 500 fighters, the largest number of fighter escort planes assembled to date to escort the bombers. A total of 470 bombers attacked the primary target. The 457th comprised the low box of the 94th Combat Wing. Major Francis was Air Commander and Lt. Charles D. Brannan was pilot. The route to the target was flown as briefed. The area surrounding the target was clear and bombing was visual. The factory was blanketed with bombs, which covered the target area with fire and smoke. Other smaller industrial buildings were hit and the railway station was destroyed.Again the Group was attacked by enemy fighters; however, the friendly fighter support was excellent. Anti aircraft fire was moderate, with nine aircraft sustaining damage. No aircraft were lost.The lead wing of the 3rd Air Division met fierce fighter Opposition and sustained heavy losses. A total of thirty-eight Track Chart March 8th 1944 berlin-199501421285 berlin-199501421286