Mission 7: Munster, Germany
October 10, 1943




Great Fires Left
in Munster by
Fort Raid

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B17s Battle Swarms
of Nazi Planes

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Bombers and P47s Claim
A Total of 102 Enemy
Craft Shot Down

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    Dispatches from Stockholm last night reported great fires blazing in the heart of Munster following Sunday's heavy raid by large formations of Flying Fortresses on the city of 143,000, the most important German railway head in the Ruhr and a major link with the Ruhr-Emden Canal.
    The Stockholm reports, quoting a Swedish correspondent in Berlin, said that the raid, which came on the heels of the Fortress and Liberator penetration deep into East Prussia and Poland, caught the Germans by "very great surprise."
    Fliers returning to their bases in Britain said that the entire target area was blanketed with smoke and flames and that the raid was one of the most successful day assaults ever made over Europe.

Intense Fighter Opposition

    Flak and fighter opposition was intense. The official Air Force communique claimed the Forts shot down 81 Nazi planes, while Thunderbolts, which escorted the B17s on the 850-mile round trip, destroyed 21. Against this total of 102 was the loss of 30 Forts and two P47s. Berlin radio claimed 40 Forts were shot down against a loss of 11 German fighters.
    The USAAF heavies took a well-deserved rest yesterday after their fifth big raid of the month carried them to Munster, a German Army garrison town which lies on the Dortmund-Ems canal and the Bremen-Cologne railroad -- two important arteries carrying raw materials from North Sea ports to the industrial heart of the Reich.
    As the Forts went over the target Sunday, the enemy attempted to set up a smoke shield to cover vital target areas. But something went wrong, the smoke blew in the wrong direction, and American crews reported excellent visibility for the bomb runs.

Even a Dornier as Fighter

    In contrast to some recent raids, however, the Luftwaffe threw up swarms of fighters. Even a Dornier bomber joined the interceptors, according to 2/Lt. Robert H. Winnernan, 22, of Newark, bombardier on the Slo Jo.
    In the words of one flier, the Germans were "queuing up for us," and Capt. Robert B. Brown, 22, of Houston, Tex., pilot of Cabin in the Sky, asserted:
    "You didn't have to aim; just stick your gun out the window and pull the trigger. We're claiming 12 German fighters."
    But despite the Luftwaffe's best effort, which some American fliers estimated was 200 fighters in the air, bombing results were extremely good, with 1/Lt. Harold L. Strasler, of Detroit, navigator on the Fort Romance, declaring that "there was smoke up to 5,000 feet."




Sadie Hawkins A Boon
For Luftwaffe Frauen

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    AN EIGHTH FIGHTER STATION, Oct. 11 -- One hundred German fighters by Sadie Hawkins Day is the new goal of the fighter group commanded by Col. Hubert Zemke. On Nov. 6 -- the day on which Dogpatch bachelors flee marriage-minded girls -- the Zemke high command predicts it will have boosted its present score of 86 to the century mark.
    Simultaneously with cartoonist Al Kapp's warning in "Li'l Abner" today of the impending open season on males, Col. Zemke's pilots warned Luftwaffe wives to be on the lookout for new husbands.
    The original aim of the group was "100 fighters by Christmas," but the airmen decided that was too easy and they moved the date up.
    The group has 26 days in which to shoot down the necessary 14 German fighters.



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