Electronic Newsletter for July, 2001.

FYI:

The Reunion is scheduled for October 17th through the 21st. Details are available at the Association webpage.

An official invitation and registration letter will be mailed in early July to associate and regular members. To attend the banquet, or participate in the tour of the AF Museum at Wright-Pat AFB you need to be a member of the association, or to have a member invite you as a guest. If you are not a member, JOIN TODAY!

Bob Bee is also making available a photocopy of the association's banner. Detail are also available on the association webpage.

We are also hoping to interview vets, and get the interview on tape at the next reunion. Volunteers are needed to help conduct the interviews. We are also in need of audio equipment. If anyone would like to help out in either regard please contact me, or our secretary Robert Harper at geog@globaleyes.net

Books:

Has anyone heard about Steven Ambrose's newest project, which is to write a book about the Air War in Europe? If you have, please let me know. If you don't know who Steven Ambrose is, he is the author of a series of books about D-Day. I believe he has also written several other books on history. He is also responsible for the creation of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, LA. Their website is

http://ddaymuseum.org/home.htm

In addition to Dr Ambrose's books on D-Day, our Robert Hodges, 833rd, has also written a book entitled "The Magic 1,000 Foot Circle." I'm not sure about the publication date, but it is available in hard- or softcover. Ordering information can be obtained at:

http://www.merriam-press.com/m_024_author.htm

I have not read this book, but plan to add it to my wish list.

The Hodges' book details 8th AF mission #113, flown on 9 Oct '43 against the Focke-Wulf plant at Marienburg, Germany. This mission was held up as a classic example of daylight "precision bombing." On this mission, which was under CAVU (Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited) conditions, 60% of the bombs dropped by the 96 attacking Forts fell within 1,000 feet of the MPI (Mean Point of Impact -- the target). 83% fell within the 2,000 foot circle. The USAAF boasted about being able to drop bombs in pickle barrel from high altitude with the Norden Bombsight. This boast was a bit optimistic, especially considering the weather frequently encountered over the targets. To put this into perspective consider the following:

At the beginning of the war the RAF was only able to put 5% within a mile of the MPI using their Mk XIV bombsight. Their monthly average delivery of bombs was 1,128 tons in 1940. When the US joined the battle, this number went from nearly 6,000 tons in 1942 to 170,000 tons in 1945. >From 1 Jan '43 to 1 Oct '43 only 24% of all bomb dropped by the 8th fell within the "magic" circle (1,000'). This figure rose to 40% from 1 Oct '43 to 1 Mar '44. The USAAF expected that 40% of the bombs dropped fell within 1,500 ft of the MPI. By April of 1945 85% of the bombs dropped fell within 2,000 ft, and 59% fell within 1,000 ft.

Also, keep in mind that the targets often had to be bombed by radar. On one mission flown by B24's of the 389th BG(H) against a "NO-BALL" (V1 site) in France, using radar, resulted in only 5% within 1,000 ft, and 90% within 2,000 ft. The target was not hit. On 12 Dec '44 a mission lead by 93rd B24 radar ships resulted in complete miss. No bombs fell within the target area. Even when the conditions were ideal over the target, groups that brought up the rear had to locate the targets through the smoke and fires caused by the first groups over the target. I don't know how smoke and fire affected radar, but I'm sure it made targeting difficult.

Welcome to all the new "online" members of the association. These missives are the price you pay for contacting me; however, if you wish to be removed from my list you have but to let me know.

June | Association | August

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