Big Week

Big Week or Operation Argument was a sequence of raids by the United States Army Air Forces and RAF Bomber Command from 20 to 25 February 1944, as part of the European strategic bombing campaign against Nazi Germany. The planners intended to attack the German aircraft industry to lure the Luftwaffe into a decisive battle where the Luftwaffe could be damaged so badly that the Allies would achieve air superiority which would ensure success of the invasion of continental Europe.

The joint daylight bombing campaign was also supported by RAF Bomber Command operating against the same targets at night.[5] Arthur "Bomber" Harris resisted contributing RAF Bomber Command so as not to dilute the British "area bombing" offensive. It took an order from Air Chief Marshal Sir Charles Portal, Chief of the Air Staff, to force Harris to comply.[1]

RAF Fighter Command also provided escort for USAAF bomber formations, just at the time that the Eighth Air Force had started introducing the P-51 long-range fighter, to take over the role. The offensive overlapped the German Operation Steinbock, the Baby Blitz, which lasted from January to May 1944.

Operation Argument
Part of World War II
Date20–25 February 1944
Location
Result Allied victory
Belligerents
 United States
 United Kingdom
 Germany
Commanders and leaders
United States Jimmy Doolittle
United States Carl Spaatz
United Kingdom Arthur Harris
Nazi Germany Hermann Göring
Nazi Germany Adolf Galland
Strength
United States US Eighth Air Force
United States US Fifteenth Air Force
United Kingdom RAF Bomber Command
United Kingdom RAF Fighter Command[1]
Nazi Germany Luftwaffe
Casualties and losses
RAF:
131 bombers[2]
USAAF:
226 heavy bombers[3]
28 fighters[3]
Over 2,000 aircrew killed or captured[3]
262 fighters[3]
250 aircrew killed or injured,[3] including nearly 100 pilots KIA[4]

Background

Prior to the Big Week, throughout 1943, the U.S. 8th Air Force had been growing in size and experience and started pressing attacks deeper into Germany. It was originally believed that the defensive firepower of the ten or more .50 caliber machine guns on the B-17 and B-24 bombers would allow them to defend themselves as long as they remained arranged into tight formations, allowing for overlapping fire. In practice this proved less successful; although the bombers did claim a fair number of German fighters, losses among the bombers were unsustainable.

The Schweinfurt-Regensburg missions are a famous example of the failure of the self-defence concept. On August 17, 1943, 230 USAAF bombers launched a mission against the ball bearing factories in Schweinfurt and another 146 against the aircraft factories in Regensburg. Of this force, 60 aircraft were lost before returning to base and another 87 had to be scrapped due to irreparable damage. The Germans claimed 27 fighters lost, serious enough, but small in comparison to the losses on the part of the US forces. The Second Raid on Schweinfurt on October 14, 1943, remembered as "Black Thursday", proved even more bloody; of the 291 aircraft on the mission, 60 were lost outright, with a further 17 damaged beyond repair. Daylight missions into Germany were cancelled in order to rebuild the forces.

The raids were extensively studied by both forces. The Germans concluded that their tactic of deploying twin-engine heavy fighter designs, with heavy armament to make them usable as bomber destroyers and serving primarily with the Zerstörergeschwader combat wings, was working well. Over the winter of 1943–44 they continued this program, adding to their heavy fighter ranks and developing heavier armaments for all of their aircraft. They also pulled almost all of their fighter forces back into Germany, as the majority of their losses were due to fighter actions over forward areas. There seemed to be no point in trying to attack bombers supported by enemy fighters. The Allied forces came to the same conclusion. Schweinfurt demonstrated that the bombers were not able to adequately protect themselves, and (contrary to earlier thinking) fighter cover needed to be extended over the entire mission. Luckily for the US, the P-38 Lightning, and later the P-51 Mustang, aircraft had the range needed to escort bombers to targets deep within Germany, and were starting to arrive in quantity. Over the winter they re-equipped their fighter squadrons as Mustangs arrived and longer-range versions of existing fighters were developed.

By the early spring of 1944, both forces had laid their plans and were waiting to put them into action. The US, expecting a fighter advantage, planned missions that would demand a German response. They decided to make massive raids on the German fighter factories. If the Germans chose not to respond, they would be at risk of losing the air war without firing a shot; if they did respond, they would meet new long-range fighters in the process. The Germans needed no provocation: they were ready to meet a raid with their new forces. However, the increased weight of armaments in their fighters reduced performance, making them easy targets for the new and unexpected Mustangs.

Operations

The Americans flew continuously escorted missions against airframe manufacturing and assembly plants and other targets in numerous German cities including: Leipzig, Brunswick, Gotha, Regensburg, Schweinfurt, Augsburg, Stuttgart and Steyr. In six days, the Eighth Air Force bombers based in England flew more than 3,000 sorties and the Fifteenth Air Force based in Italy more than 500. Together they dropped roughly 10,000 tons of bombs.

During Big Week, the Eighth Air Force lost 97 B-17s, 40 B-24s and another 20 scrapped due to damage. The operational strength of the Eighth Air Force bomber units had dropped from 75 percent at the start of the week to 54 percent, and its fighter units strength had dropped from 72 percent of establishment strength to 65 percent. The Fifteenth Air Force lost 14.6 percent (90 bombers) of establishment strength, and the RAF command lost 131 bombers (5.7 percent) during Big Week.[6] Although these numbers are high in absolute terms, the numbers of bombers involved in the missions were much higher than previously, and the losses represented a much smaller percentage of the attacking force. The earlier Schweinfurt missions had cost the force nearly 30 percent of their aircraft per mission.

U.S. aircrews claimed more than 500 German fighters destroyed, though the numbers were massively exaggerated.[7] The Luftwaffe losses were high amongst their twin-engined Zerstörer units, and the Bf 110 and Me 410 groups were severely depleted.[8] More worrying for the Jagdwaffe (fighter force) than the loss of 355 aircraft was the loss of nearly 100 pilots (14 percent) that had been killed.[4] In contrast to the raids of the previous year, the US losses were replaceable, while the Germans were already hard pressed due to the war in the East. Although not fatal, Big Week was an extremely worrying development for the Germans.

The actual damage to the German aircraft industry was fairly limited; during 1944 German fighter aircraft production peaked by dispersing production and reducing the production of other aircraft types. The lack of skilled pilots due to an attrition in the three-front war was the factor eroding the capability of the Jagdwaffe.[6] The Luftwaffe had to abandon its tactic of "maximum defensive effort" to daylight bombing missions in favor of hit-and-run intercepts. While the Jagdwaffe remained formidable, air superiority had passed irrevocably to the Allies.

Aftermath

Big Week bolstered the confidence of U.S. strategic bombing crews. Until that time, Allied bombers avoided contact with the Luftwaffe; now, the Americans used any method that would force the Luftwaffe into combat. Implementing this policy, the United States looked toward Berlin. Raiding the German capital, Allied leaders reasoned, would force the Luftwaffe to battle. On March 4, the USSTAF launched the first of several attacks against Berlin. A force of 730 bombers set off from England with an escort of 800 fighters. Fierce battles raged and resulted in heavy losses for both sides; 69 B-17s were lost but it cost the Luftwaffe 160 aircraft. The Allies, again, replaced their losses; the Luftwaffe, again, could not.[9]

The new German tactic of using Sturmböcke (heavily armed Fw 190s) as bomber destroyers and Bf 109Gs to escort them in Gefechtsverband formations, were proving somewhat effective. The U.S. fighters, kept in close contact with the bombers they were protecting, could not chase the attacking fighters before they were forced to turn around and return to the bombers. Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle, commander of the 8th Air Force from the end of 1943, responded by initiating a breakthrough in fighter tactics by "freeing" the fighters, allowing them to fly far ahead of the heavy bomber formations in an air supremacy "fighter sweep" mode on the outward legs; then following the USAAF heavies' bomb runs, the fighters roamed far from the bomber streams and hunted down German fighters — especially the Sturmböcke, that had limited maneuverability with their heavy underwing conformal gun pod-mount autocannons — before they could ever approach the USAAF bombers. Though the change was unpopular with the bomber crews, its effects were immediate and extremely effective.

The Combined Bomber Offensive attacks against fighter production officially ended on April 1, 1944 and control of the air forces passed to U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower in preparation for the invasion of France. Allied airmen were well on the way to achieving air superiority over all of Europe. "While they continued strategic bombing, the USAAF turned its attention to the tactical air battle in support of the Normandy invasion".[9]

Timeline

Big Week
Date USAAF Theatre Notes
Sunday
20 February 1944
8 ETO: Strategic operations[10] Mission 226: The Eighth Air Force begins "Big Week" attacks on German aircraft plants and airfields. For the first time, over 1,000 bombers are dispatched; 21 bombers and 4 fighters are lost hitting three areas in Germany:
  1. 417 B-17s are dispatched to Leipzig-Mockau Airfield, and aviation industry targets at Heiterblick and Abtnaundorf; 239 hit the primary targets, 37 hit Bernburg (Junkers), 44 hit Oschersleben (AGO, prime Fw 190A subcontractor) and 20 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 14-5-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; seven B-17s are lost, one damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; casualties are 7 KIA, 17 WIA and 72 MIA.
  2. 314 B-17s are dispatched to the Tutow Airfield; 105 hit the primary and immediate area, 76 hit Rostock (Heinkel) and 115 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 15-15-10 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 3 KIA and 60 MIA.
  3. 272 B-24s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Brunswick, Wilhelmtor and Neupetritor; 76 hit the primary, 87 hit Gotha, 13 hit Oschersleben, 58 hit Helmstedt and 10 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 36-13-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; casualties are 10 KIA, 10 WIA and 77 MIA.

Missions one and three above are escorted by 94 P-38 Lightnings, 668 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47 Thunderbolts and 73 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51 Mustangs; they claim 61-7-37 Luftwaffe aircraft; one P-38 Lightning, two P-47 Thunderbolts and one P-51 Mustangs are lost, two P-47 Thunderbolts are damaged beyond repair and 4 other aircraft are damaged; casualties are 4 MIA. German losses amount to 10 Messerschmitt Bf 110s destroyed and three damaged with 10 killed and seven wounded. Total losses included 74 Bf 110s, Fw 190s and Bf 109s and a further 29 damaged.[11]

Sunday
20 February 1944
8 ETO Mission 227: 4 of 5 B-17s drop 200 bundles of leaflets on Tours, Nantes, Brest and Lorient, France at 2123–2200 hours without loss.
Sunday
20 February 1944
9 ETO: Tactical operations[10] 35 B-26 Marauders bomb Haamstede Airfield, The Netherlands, as a target of opportunity, after about 100 B-26s abort attacks on other airfields because of weather.
Monday
21 February 1944
8 ETO: Strategic operations[10] Mission 228: 3 areas in Germany are targeted with the loss of 16 bombers and 5 fighters:
  1. 336 B-17s are dispatched to the Gütersloh, Lippstadt and Werl Airfields; because of thick overcast, 285 hit Achmer, Hopsten, Rheine, Diepholz, Quakenbrück and Bramsche Airfields and the marshaling yards at Coevorden and Lingen; they claim 12-5-8 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 63 damaged; casualties are 4 KIA, 13 WIA and 75 MIA.
  2. 281 B-17s are dispatched to Diepholz Airfield and Brunswick; 175 hit the primaries and 88 hit Ahlhorn and Vörden Airfields and Hannover; they claim 2-5-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; five B-17s are lost, three damaged beyond repair and 36 damaged; casualties are 20 KIA, 4 WIA and 57 MIA.
  3. 244 B-24s are dispatched to Achmer and Handorf Airfields; 11 hit Achmer Airfield and 203 hit Diepholz, Verden and Hesepe Airfields and Lingen; they claim 5-6-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 6 damaged; casualties are three WIA and 31 MIA.

Escort for Mission 228 is provided by 69 P-38s, 542 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 68 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 0-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-47s claim 19-3-14 Luftwaffe aircraft, two P-47s are lost, two are damaged beyond repair, three are damaged and two pilots are MIA; the P-51s claim 14-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft, three P-51s are lost and the pilots are MIA. German losses were 30 Bf 109s and Fw 190s, 24 pilots killed and seven wounded.[12]

Mission 229: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Rouen, Caen, Paris and Amiens, France at 2215–2327 hours without loss.

Monday
21 February 1944
9 ETO: Tactical operations[10] 18 B-26s bomb Coxyde Airfield, Belgium; weather causes almost 190 aborts. The Ninth Air Force's Pathfinder Squadron (provisionally activated on 13 Feb) takes part in this operation, its first venture into combat. 185 aircraft scheduled to attack other airfields in the Netherlands and France in the afternoon are recalled because of bad weather.
Tuesday
22 February 1944
8 ETO: Strategic operations[10] VIII Bomber Command is redesignated as the Eighth Air Force.
Tuesday
22 February 1944
8 ETO: Strategic operations[10] Mission 230: "Big Week" continues with 799 aircraft dispatched against German aviation and Luftwaffe airfields; 41 bombers and 11 fighters are lost.
  1. 289 B-17s are dispatched against aviation industry targets at Aschersleben (34 bomb), Bernburg (47 bomb) and Halberstadt (18 bomb) in conjunction with a Fifteenth Air Force raid on Regensburg, Germany; 32 hit Bünde, 19 hit Wernigerode, 15 hit Magdeburg, 9 hit Marburg and 7 hit other targets of opportunity; they claim 32-18-17 Luftwaffe aircraft; 38 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 141 damaged; casualties are 35 KIA, 30 WIA and 367 MIA.
  2. 333 B-17s are dispatched to Schweinfurt but severe weather prevents aircraft from forming properly and they are forced to abandon the mission prior to crossing the enemy coast; 2 B-17s are damaged.
  3. 177 B-24s are dispatched but they are recalled when 100 miles (160 km) inland; since they were over Germany, they sought targets of opportunity but strong winds drove the bombers over The Netherlands and their bombs hit Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Deventer; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost and 3 damaged; casualties are 30 MIA. About 900 civilians were killed, mainly in the bombing of Nijmegen. In 1984, the book De Fatale Aanval ("The Fatal Attack"), was written about this by eyewitness Alphons Brinkhuis, who was a 10-year-old boy at Enschede when it happened.

These missions are escorted by 67 P-38s, 535 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s, and 57 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 6 are damaged; the P-47s claim 39-6-15 Luftwaffe aircraft, 8 P-47s are lost and 12 damaged, 8 pilots are MIA; the P-51s claim 19-1-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 3 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged, 3 pilots are MIA.

Tuesday
22 February 1944
9 ETO[10] 66 B-26s bomb Gilze-Rijen Airfield, The Netherlands; bad weather causes 100+ others to abort.
Tuesday
22 February 1944
15 MTO:Strategic operations[10] B-17s attack Petershausen marshaling yard and Regensburg aircraft factory in Germany and the air depot at Zagreb, Yugoslavia; a large force of B-24s hits Regensburg aircraft plants about the same time as the B-17 attack; other B-24s pound the town of Sibenik and the harbor at Zara, Yugoslavia; they claim 40 Luftwaffe aircraft destroyed; 13 bombers are lost.
Wednesday
23 February 1944
8 ETO: Strategic operations[10] Mission 232: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Rennes, Le Mans, Chartres, Lille and Orleans, France at 21:36–22:32 hours without loss.
Wednesday
23 February 1944
15 MTO:Strategic operations[10] B-24s bomb the industrial complex at Steyr, Austria. Other heavy bombers are forced to abort because of bad weather; the bombers and escorting fighters claim 30+ aircraft shot down.
Thursday
24 February 1944
8 ETO[10] Missions 237, 238 and 239 are flown against targets in France; 7 B-17s are lost. Heavy clouds cause over half the bombers dispatched to return without bombing.
Thursday
24 February 1944
8 ETO[10] Mission 237: 49 of 81 B-24s hit the Ecalles sur Buchy V-weapon sites; 1 B-24 is damaged. Escort is provided by 61 P-47s.
Thursday
24 February 1944
8 ETO[10] Mission 238: 258 B-17s are dispatched against V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais; 109 hit the primary target, 10 hit a road junction E of Yerville, 7 hit a rail siding SW of Abbeville and 6 hit targets of opportunity; 7 B-17s are lost and 75 damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 63 MIA. Escort is provided by 81 P-38s, 94 P-47s and 22 P-51s; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-51s claim a single German aircraft on the ground.
Thursday
24 February 1944
8 ETO Mission 239: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Amiens, Rennes, Paris, Rouen and Le Mans, France at 2023–2055 hours without loss.[10]
Thursday
24 February 1944
9 ETO 180 B-26s attack NOBALL (V-weapon) targets and Rosieres-en-Santerre, France. Bad weather makes bombing difficult and causes 34 other B-26s to abort.[10]
Friday
25 February 1944
8 ETO Mission 235: In the final "Big Week" mission, 4 targets in Germany are hit; 31 bombers and 3 fighters are lost.
  1. 268 B-17s are dispatched to aviation industry targets at Augsburg and the industrial area at Stuttgart; 196 hit Augsburg and targets of opportunity and 50 hit Stuttgart; they claim 8-4-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 13 B-17s are lost and 172 damaged; casualties are 12 WIA and 130 MIA.
  2. 267 of 290 B-17s hit aviation industry targets at Regensburg and targets of opportunity; they claim 13-1-7 Luftwaffe aircraft; 12 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 82 damaged; casualties are 4 KIA, 12 WIA and 110 MIA.
  3. 172 of 196 B-24s hit aviation industry targets at Furth and targets of opportunity; they claim 2-2-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 6 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 44 damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 61 MIA.

Escort is provided by 73 P-38s, 687 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 139 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1-2-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair; the P-47s claim 13-2-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-47 is lost and 6 damaged, 1 pilot is MIA; the P-51s claim 12-0-3 Luftwaffe aircraft, 2 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged beyond repair, 2 pilots are MIA.

Mission 236: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 250 bundles of leaflets on Grenoble, Toulouse, Chartres, Caen and Raismes, France at 2129–2335 hours without loss.[10]

Friday
25 February 1944
9 ETO: Tactical operations[10] 191 B-26s bomb Venlo, Saint-Trond, and Cambrai/Epinoy Airfields, France in a morning raid as a diversion in support of the VIII Bomber Command heavy bombers over Germany; 36 abort, mainly because of a navigational error. 164 B-26s dispatched against military targets in France during the afternoon are recalled because of bad weather.
Friday
25 February 1944
9 MTO: Strategic operations[10] Continuing coordinated attacks with the Eighth Air Force on European targets, B-17s with fighter escorts pound Regensburg aircraft factory; enemy fighter opposition is heavy. Other B-17s hit the air depot at Klagenfurt, Austria and the dock area at Pola, Italy. B-24s attack Fiume, Italy marshaling yard and port and hit Zell-am-See, Austria railroad and Graz airfield and the port area at Zara, Yugoslavia; 30+ US aircraft are lost; they claim 90+ fighters shot down.

RAF bomber sorties

Bomber Command directly contributed to the attacks on the aircraft industry in Schweinfurt. Some 734 bombers were dispatched on the night of 24/25 February, and 695 struck the target.[1] Of the bombs dropped, 298 hit within three miles and 22 hit inside the target area. Little damage was done. On 25/26 February 1944, Bomber Command sent 600 bombers to the aircraft assembly plant at Augsburg. The attack was accurate and they destroyed some 60 percent of the industrial city.[13]

RAF Bomber Command night time sorties during Big Week[14]
Date Notes
19/20 February 1944 921 sorties, 79 aircraft (8.6%) lost. The major raid, by 823 aircraft, was to Leipzig; (B-17s of the U.S. VIII bombed Leipzig-Mockau Airfield earlier the same day) but it suffered as fighters had not been drawn off by diversion raid on Kiel. de Havilland Mosquitos bombed nightfighter airfields in the Netherlands and a further 15 made a diversionary raid on Berlin.[14]
20/21 February 826 sorties, 10 aircraft (1.2%) lost. The major raid, by 598 aircraft, was to Stuttgart;[14] (50 B-17s of the U.S. VIII bombed Stuttgart industrial areas on Friday, 25 February).
21/22 February 17 Mosquitos to Duisburg, Stuttgart and 2 flying-bomb sites with other sorties. Including mine-laying operations, total effort for the night was 69 sorties, with 1 mine-laying aircraft (1.4%) lost.[14]
22/23 February 10 Mosquitos to Stuttgart, 8 to Duisburg and 3 to Aachen with other sorties the total effort for the night was 134 sorties, no aircraft lost.[14]
23/24 February 17 Mosquitos of 692 Squadron to Düsseldorf, with other sorties the total effort for the night 22 sorties, no aircraft lost.[14]
24/25 February 1,070 sorties, 36 aircraft (3.4%) lost including two aircraft minelaying. The major raid, by 734 aircraft split into two attacks, was on Schweinfurt, home of Germany's main ball-bearing factories. American B-17s had bombed the factories the previous day. 15 Mosquitos bombed airfields in the Netherlands, 8 Mosquitos bombed Kiel and 7 Aachen.[14]

See also

  • Operation Steinbock, the German "baby blitz" against the UK, that was ongoing simultaneously with the "Big Week" campaign and afterwards.

References

Citations

  1. ^ a b c Hall 1998, p. 138.
  2. ^ Caldwell & Muller 2007, p. 162.
  3. ^ a b c d e Harvey 2012, p. 37
  4. ^ a b Caldwell & Muller 2007, pp. 162–163.
  5. ^ Hess 1994, p. 73.
  6. ^ a b Caldwell & Muller 2007, p. 163.
  7. ^ Hess 1994, p. 78.
  8. ^ Hess 1994, pp. 77–78.
  9. ^ a b *Russell, Edward T. (1999). The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II: Leaping the Atlantic Wall Army Air Forces Campaigns in Western Europe, 1942–1945, Big Week Air Force history and museums program 1999, Federal Depository Library Program Electronic Collection (backup site Archived 2005-10-24 at the Wayback Machine)
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r USAF History Publications Archived 2009-03-25 at the Wayback Machine, The Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology (pdf) Archived 2008-09-10 at the Wayback Machine, (February 1945 (html)). Accessed 9 August 2008
  11. ^ Caldwell & Muller 2007, p. 156.
  12. ^ Caldwell & Muller 2007, p. 158.
  13. ^ Hall 1998, p. 140.
  14. ^ a b c d e f g Staff, RAF Campaign Diary February 1944 Royal Air Force Bomber Command 60th Anniversary April 6, 2005

Bibliography

  • Caldwell, Donald L.; Muller, Richard R. (2007). The Luftwaffe over Germany: Defense of the Reich. London, UK: Greenhill Books. ISBN 978-1-85367-712-0.
  • Hall, Cargill R. (1998). Case Studies In Strategic Bombardment. Air Force History and Museums Program. Washington: Government Print. ISBN 0-16-049781-7.
  • Hess, William. N. (1994). B-17 Flying Fortress - Combat and Development History. Motor books. ISBN 0-87938-881-1.
  • Harvey, Arnold D. (Spring 2012). "The Battle of Britain in 1940 and "Big Week," in 1944: A Comparative Perspective". Air Power History. 59 (1).

Further reading

  • Scutts, J. (1994). Mustang Aces of the Eighth Air Force, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-85532-447-4
  • Weal, John. (2006). Bf 109 Defense of the Reich Aces, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1-84176-879-0
  • Yenne, Bill. (2012). "Big Week: Six Days That Changed The Course of World War II"; Penguin; ISBN 978-0-425-25575-9
15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force

The Fifteenth Expeditionary Mobility Task Force (15 ETF) was one of two ETFs assigned to the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command (AMC) and was headquartered at Travis Air Force Base, California. The 15 ETF was deactivated on 20 March 2012 and its functions and responsibilities assumed by Eighteenth Air Force (18 AF).15 ETF provided strategic and theater airlift for all United States Department of Defense agencies as well as air refueling for the Air Force in both peace and wartime. Primary aircraft assigned to its units were the C-5 Galaxy, C-9 Nightingale, C-17 Globemaster III, C-21, C-130 Hercules, KC-10 Extender, and KC-135 Stratotanker.

Established on 1 November 1943, Fifteenth AF was a United States Army Air Forces combat air force deployed to the European Theater of World War II, engaging in strategic bombardment operations from bases in southern Italy and engaging in air-to-air fighter combat against enemy aircraft.

During the Cold War, 15 AF was one of three Numbered Air Forces of the United States Air Force Strategic Air Command (SAC), commanding USAF strategic bombers and missiles on a global scale. Elements of 15th Air Force engaged in combat operations during the Korean War; Vietnam War, as well as Operation Desert Storm. 15 ETF was a redesignation of Fifteenth Air Force, effective 1 October 2003.

352nd Fighter Group

The 352nd Fighter Group was a unit of the Eighth Air Force that was located in the European Theater of Operations during World War II. The unit served as bomber escort, counter-air patrols, and attacking ground targets. It initially flew P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft before converting to P-51 Mustang in April 1944. The group was located at RAF Bodney in England for the majority of its service and were nicknamed the Blue-nosed Bastards of Bodney due to the distinctive blue of the nose and upper cowl of the P-51 Mustangs of the group.

447th Air Expeditionary Group

The 447th Air Expeditionary Group is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command (ACC) and United States Air Forces Europe (USAFE). The unit is currently stationed at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.

The group was first active during World War II as the 447th Bombardment Group (Heavy). It participated in combat in the European Theater of Operations with B-17 Flying Fortress at RAF Rattlesden as part of Eighth Air Force. During Big Week, 20–25 February 1944, the 447th took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry.

2d Lieutenant Robert E. Femoyer, of the 711th Bombardment Squadron, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during a mission over Merseburg, Germany, on 2 November 1944. The group returned to the United States following the war and was inactivated.

The group was activated again in 1947 in the Air Force Reserve. It moved to Castle Air Force Base, California in 1949, where it became a corollary unit of the active duty 93d Bombardment Group. It was called to active service in 1951 and was inactivated shortly thereafter while its members were used as fillers for other units.

In 2003, as the 447th Air Expeditionary Group, the unit was converted to provisional status and assigned to Air Combat Command to activate as needed. From April 2003 to December 2011, the group served at Sather Air Base, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

457th Air Expeditionary Group

The United States Air Force's 457th Air Expeditionary Group is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe to activate or inactivate as needed. It has been activated to support Operation Iraqi Freedom, joint operations with the Tanzania Air Force Command and for Operation Odyssey Dawn.

The group was activated during World War II as the 457th Bombardment Group. It flew Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress from England, entering the strategic bombing campaign during Big Week. It flew 7,086 sorties before returning to the United States for inactivation in the summer of 1945. It was again active from 1993 to 1994 as the 457th Operations Group, controlling Air Mobility Command's air refueling operations at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The 457th was converted to provisional status in 2001.

Cain Dingle

Cain Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale. He is played by Jeff Hordley and made his first appearance on 30 March 2000. In 2006, Cain was written out of the series when Hordley left the show; however, the door was left open for a return, which occurred when Hordley returned to the cast in February 2009.

Cain's main storylines have focused on discovering his uncle Zak Dingle (Steve Halliwell) is his father, his relationships with his cousin Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins), discovering he is Debbie's (Charley Webb) father, his affair and subsequent relationship with Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb), being attacked in a whodunit storyline where his assailant was eventually revealed to be his father, being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, supporting his nephew Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller) after discovering Aaron was sexually abused by his father Gordon Livesy (Gary Mavers) as a child, reuniting with his and Chas's mother Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter), his relationship with local vicar Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton) and building up a relationship with his sons Kyle Wyatt and Isaac Dingle. They have also focused on his marriage with (Moira Barton) and his bonding with his stepchildren Adam Barton, Matty Barton and Holly Barton and the death of his stepdaughter Holly Barton from a drug overdose. In October 2018 Cain seemingly kills Joe Tate after punching in him the head, causing Joe to hit the back of his head on a rock, only for Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) to finish the job after discovering Joe had survived his earlier injuries. In the big week storyline of October 2019, Cain discovers that Moira has been having an affair. After initially believing it to be with Pete Barton he finds out that it’s actually Nate Robinson the farmhand and that it’s been going on for months. Cain orchestrates a fishing trip with Nate and Moira. He eventually confronts Nate and during one of their tussles Nate spits out that Cain is his father and that Moira had served her purpose.

Eighth Air Force

The Eighth Air Force (Air Forces Strategic) (8 AF) is a numbered air force (NAF) of the United States Air Force's Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC). It is headquartered at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. The command serves as Air Forces Strategic – Global Strike, one of the air components of United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). The Eighth Air Force includes the heart of America's heavy bomber force: the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the B-1 Lancer supersonic bomber, and the B-52 Stratofortress heavy bomber aircraft.

Established on 22 February 1944 by the redesignation of VIII Bomber Command at RAF Daws Hill in High Wycombe, England, the Eighth Army Air Force (8 AAF) was a United States Army Air Forces combat air force in the European Theater of World War II (1939/41–1945), engaging in operations primarily in the Northern Europe area of responsibility; carrying out strategic bombing of enemy targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany; and engaging in air-to-air fighter combat against enemy aircraft until the German capitulation in May 1945. It was the largest of the deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel, aircraft, and equipment.

During the Cold War (1945–1991), 8 AF was one of three Numbered Air Forces of the United States Air Force's Strategic Air Command (SAC), with a three-star general headquartered at Westover AFB, Massachusetts commanding USAF strategic bombers and missiles on a global scale. Elements of 8 AF engaged in combat operations during the Korean War (1950–1953); Vietnam War (1961–1975), as well as Operation Desert Storm (1990–1991) over Iraq and occupied Kuwait in the First Persian Gulf War.

Enschede

Enschede (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛnsxəˌdeː] (listen), also known as Eanske [ˈɛːnskə] in the local dialect of Twents, is a municipality and city in the eastern Netherlands in the province of Overijssel and in the Twente region. The municipality of Enschede consisted of the city of Enschede until 1935, when the rural municipality of Lonneker, which surrounded the city, was annexed after the rapid industrial expansion of Enschede which began in the 1860s and involved the building of railways and the digging of the Twentekanaal. Enschede is home to online agency GoalGorilla and Dezons!

Erik Selvig

Erik Selvig is a character portrayed by Stellan Skarsgård in Marvel Cinematic Universe films Thor (2011), The Avengers (2012), Thor: The Dark World (2013), and Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) as an astrophysicist who becomes involved with the Asgardian Thor and the government organization S.H.I.E.L.D. To tie into these appearances, the character is seen in several MCU tie-in comics. The character also appears in other media, including non-MCU comics published by Marvel Comics.

Fox Footy

Fox Footy (stylised as FOX FOOTY) is an Australian rules football subscription television channel dedicated to screening Australian rules football matches and related programming. It is owned by Fox Sports Pty Limited, operated out of their Melbourne based studios and available throughout Australia on Foxtel, and Optus Television. The channel is a revival of the former Fox Footy Channel, which was in operation between 2002–2006. The channel recommenced prior to the 2012 AFL season after a new broadcast agreement was reached between the former Premier Media Group, Austar, Foxtel and the Australian Football League (AFL).

Fury's Big Week

Marvel's The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week, or simply Fury's Big Week, is a limited series comic book published by Marvel Comics as an official tie-in comic to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), specifically the 2012 film Marvel's The Avengers. The comic was written by Eric Pearson from stories by himself and Chris Yost, with art by various pencillers. Fury's Big Week follows Nick Fury and several agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as they deal with the various events of the MCU films leading up to The Avengers.

Marvel began releasing tie-in comics to the MCU films in 2008, and revealed an expanded marketing plan for its published tie-ins ahead of the release of The Avengers. Fury's Big Week was announced in February 2012, with Marvel Studios working closely with the comics division to ensure continuity between the various products. The comic draws connections between the different films of Marvel's Phase One, retelling events from the perspective of S.H.I.E.L.D. and adding new character interactions and sequences.

Fury's Big Week was released digitally in eight issues from February to March 2012, to tie-in with the film's marketing. The comic was then published in hard copy from March to April as four individual chapters.

Helen Skelton

Helen Elizabeth Skelton (born 19 July 1983) is an English television presenter and actress. She co-presented the BBC children's programme Blue Peter from 2008 until 2013, and since 2014 has been a presenter on Countryfile.She co-presented two series of the BBC One programme Holiday Hit Squad alongside Angela Rippon and Joe Crowley. She is the current presenter of all swimming coverage on the BBC including the European Swimming Championships, World Aquatics Championships and the Olympics. She also currently presents daytime series The Instant Gardener.

Kiddie Kapers Parade

Kiddie Kapers Parade is a Salinas, California based evening parade held annually since 1930. It is notable as the participants are limited to children. It is held in conjunction with “Big Week” which includes the California Rodeo Salinas, and it usually precedes the Colmo Del Rodeo night parade, as well as daily horse parades down Main Street. Children don costumes, ride decorated bicycles, appear as the Jolly Green Giant, or otherwise explore their creativity, with a theme for each year, and various divisions. As many as four generations of family have participated in the parade. The parade is referenced in numerous books.

Kikuka-shō

The Kikuka-shō (菊花賞, pronounced Kikka-shō) is a Japanese Grade 1 (Jpn I) flat horse race in Japan for three-year-old thoroughbred colts and fillies run over a distance of 3,000 metres (approximately 1 7/8 miles) at the Kyoto Racecourse, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture in October.

It was first run in 1938 and is the Japanese equivalent of the English St. Leger Stakes.

Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in comics

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) tie-in comic books are limited series or one-shot comics published by Marvel Comics that tie into the films and television series of the MCU. The comics are written and illustrated by a variety of individuals, and each one consists of 1 to 4 issues. They are intended to tell additional stories about existing characters, or to make connections between MCU projects, without necessarily expanding the universe or introducing new concepts or characters.

The first MCU tie-in comics to be published were Iron Man: Fast Friends, The Incredible Hulk: The Fury Files, and Nick Fury: Spies Like Us, all in 2008. They were followed by an adaptation of Iron Man in 2010, along with Iron Man 2: Fist of Iron (2010), Iron Man 2: Public Identity (2010), Iron Man 2: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2010), Captain America: First Vengeance (2011), Captain America & Thor: Avengers (2011), The Avengers Prelude: Fury's Big Week (2012), The Avengers Initiative (2012), The Avengers Prelude: Black Widow Strikes (2012), and an adaptation of Iron Man 2 (2012). Comic tie-ins for Marvel's television series began in 2014 with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Chase, followed by Jessica Jones (2015).

Marvel changed its approach to film tie-in material in 2012, retroactively dividing the tie-in comics into those that exist within the MCU continuity, and those that are merely inspired by the films and television series. Since then, Iron Man 3 Prelude (2013), Thor: The Dark World Prelude (2013), Captain America: The Winter Soldier Infinite Comic (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Infinite Comic (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy Prelude (2014), Avengers: Age of Ultron Prelude – This Scepter'd Isle (2015), Ant-Man Prelude (2015), Ant-Man – Scott Lang: Small Time (2015), Captain America: Civil War Prelude Infinite Comic (2016), Doctor Strange Prelude (2016), Doctor Strange Prelude Infinite Comic (2016), Black Panther Prelude (2017), and Avengers: Infinity War Prelude (2018) have been released in the former category, along with film adaptations of Thor (2013), Captain America: The First Avenger (2013), The Avengers (2014–15), Iron Man 3 and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2015–16), Guardians of the Galaxy (2017), Captain America: Civil War (2017), The Incredible Hulk (2017), Thor: The Dark World (2017), Ant-Man (2018), and Avengers: Infinity War (2018-19).

Oculus Quest

The Oculus Quest is a virtual reality headset created by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook Inc. The device is fully standalone, features two, six degrees of freedom (6DOF) controllers, and runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 system on chip. On its May 21, 2019 launch it was priced at US$399 for the 64 GB version, and US$499 for the 128 GB version.

The Tennessean

The Tennessean (known until 1972 as The Nashville Tennessean) is the principal daily newspaper in Nashville, Tennessee. Its circulation area covers 39 counties in Middle Tennessee and eight counties in southern Kentucky.

Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany Sarac Haddish (born December 3, 1979) is an American actress, comedian, and author. After guest-starring on several television series, Haddish gained prominence with her role as Nekeisha Williams on the NBC sitcom The Carmichael Show. After appearing in the 2016 comedy film Keanu, her breakthrough came in 2017 with her role as Dina in the comedy film Girls Trip, for which she received critical acclaim for her performance. In 2017, she published her memoir, The Last Black Unicorn.Haddish currently stars in the TBS series The Last O.G. and recently voiced Tuca in the Netflix animated series Tuca & Bertie.

WPVQ-FM

WPVQ-FM (95.3 FM, "Bear Country 95.3") is a radio station licensed to serve Greenfield, Massachusetts. The station is owned by Saga Communications and licensed to Saga Communications of New England, LLC. It airs a country music format.

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith FRSL (born 25 October 1975) is a contemporary English novelist, essayist, and short-story writer. Her debut novel, White Teeth (2000), immediately became a best-seller and won a number of awards. She has been a tenured professor in the Creative Writing faculty of New York University since September 2010.

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