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The WWII Bombers Of Operation Frantic Had Impact On Eastern Front

WWII

The WWII Bombers Of Operation Frantic Had Impact On Eastern Front

The WWII Bombers used during Operation Frantic in 1944 gave vital assistance to the Soviets battling on the Eastern Front.

The WWII Bombers used during Operation Frantic in 1944 gave vital assistance to the Soviets battling on the Eastern Front.

by Wil Deac

Operation Frantic was a seven-shuttle bombing series conducted by American bomb squadrons operating out of Southern Italy and Great Britain. The operation spanned roughly three months, beginning in June 1944 and ending in September. Here is a list of its major operations:

Frantic I

B-17s from the 5th Bomb Wing (2nd, 97th, 99th, and 483rd Bomb Groups) and P-51s from the 5th Bomb Wing (325th Fighter Group) of the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy.

• June 2—Italy to USSR targeting rail center at Debrecen, Hungary.
• June 6—Attack on Galati airfield, Romania.
• June 11—USSR to Italy targeting Focsani airfield, Romania.
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Frantic II

B-17s from the 13th Bomb Wing (95th, 100th, and 390th Bomb Groups) and 45th Bomb Wing (96th, 388th, and 452nd Bomb Groups), and P-51s from the 65th Fighter Wing (4th Fighter Group) of the Eighth Air Force in Great Britain.

• June 21—Britain to USSR targeting industrial complex near Berlin.
• June 22—German air raid on Poltava air base.
• June 26—USSR to Italy targeting Drohobycz, Poland, refinery. Three additional missions were flown from Italy before the aircraft returned to Britain.

Frantic III

P-38s and P-5is of the 306th Fighter Wing (14th, 31st, and 82nd Fighter Groups) of the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy.

• July 22—Italy to USSR targeting Romanian airfields.
• July 25—Attack on Mielec, Poland, aircraft plant.
• July 26—USSR to Italy targeting airfields in Romania, 98 aircraft participating.
• July 29—USSR to Italy targeting airfield in Kecskemet, Hungary; 14 aircraft participating.

The WWII Bombers used during Operation Frantic in 1944 gave vital assistance to the Soviets battling on the Eastern Front.

Frantic IV

P-38s and P-51s of the 306th Fighter Wing (52nd and 82nd Fighter Groups) of the Fifteenth Air Force.

• July 31—Italy to USSR, scattered by bad weather en route.
• August 4—Attack on Focsani, Romania, airfield and railroad facilities. Lieutenant Andrews lands his P-38 to rescue Lieutenant Willsie, whose P-38 crash-landed.
• August 6—USSR to Italy targeting Romanian airfields.

Frantic V

B-17s of the 13th Bomb Wing (95th and 390th Bomb Groups) and P-51s of the 66th Fighter Wing (357th Fighter Group) of the Eighth Air Force.

• August 6—Britain to USSR targeting aircraft plant in Poland.
• August 7—Attack on oil refinery near Trzebinia, Poland.
• August 8—USSR to Italy targeting Romanian airfields.
• August 12—Italy to Britain targeting airfield near Toulouse, France.

Frantic VI

B-17s of the 45th Bomb Wing (96th and 452nd Bomb Groups) and P-51s of the 67th Fighter Wing (20th Fighter Group) of the Eighth Air Force.

• September 11—Britain to USSR targeting arms plant at Chemnitz, Germany.
• September 13—USSR to Britain via Italy targeting Hungarian metal works.

Frantic VII

B-17s of the 13th Bomb Wing (95th, 100th, and 390th Bomb Groups) and P-51s of the 65th Fighter Wing (355th Fighter Group) of the Eighth Air Force.

• September 15—Mission aborted after takeoff because of bad weather.
• September 18—Britain to USSR, dropping supplies over beleaguered Warsaw, Poland, en route.
• September 19—USSR to Britain via Italy targeting railroad yards in Hungary. Last B-17 returned to Britain October 8, delayed by heavy battle damage.

In addition, F-5 reconnaissance aircraft using Soviet bases flew 117 sorties between June 2 and September 19, 1944, to photograph 174 targets.

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