23 MARCH 1944
Mission nr. 18 Lippstadt
Twenty-six aircraft returned to the air field at Lippstadt,the scene of the first operational mission, to bomb an operational fighter field. This field was used by Me-109s and I lOs, and for storage of FW-190s and Me-109s. The Group led the 94th Combat Wing, flying fourth in the Division formation. Lt. Col. Raymond L. Cobb (Wing A-3) was Air Commander and Lt. Vinton H. Mays was pilot.
Heavy clouds were encountered over the target area, forcing the Group to bomb other targets, particularly Munster. Some craft bombed targets of opportunity (Drensteinfurt). Bombing results were unobserved. Fighter opposition and flak were light. There were no personnel casualties and all planes returned to the Base. Smoke bombs carried by the lead craft exploded prematurely inside the aircraft causing discomfort to the crew.
In addition to the lead box, the Group supplied seven aircraft for a composite box that had Gutersloh for its target. It was covered with clouds and Munster was bombed as the secondaty target.
Crews reported that apparently the Germans were shooting up a shell projecting white ribbons of smoke resembling the markers dropped by PFF or lead aircraft.