15th AF The Fifteenth Air Force 15th AF

49th Wing Missions

It might be helpful for the novice to understand how missions were done at least in the 49th Bombardment Wing.  The Fifteenth Air Force Headquarters assigned targets to the various bomb wings the day before a mission.  The bomb wing then developed some details about that mission.  Some examples of what the bomb wing would document include the targets assigned to the other bomb wings so there wouldn't be a problem when so many aircraft were flying at the same time, how the bomb groups would form up for the mission, what the route would be to the target and return, as well as other details about the mission.  This information would be sent to the bomb groups as Operations Orders.  Each bomb group would take this information and develop a plan for carrying out the mission.  Specifically, each bomb group would assign crews and aircraft to the mission.  The crew list would be posted on the bulletin board the evening before the mission.  At a briefing the morning of a mission, the pilots would be handed a typed up sheet with all the details for the day's mission.  This typed up sheet had a couple of different names - poop sheets or pilot flimsies.  Crews were told to destroy these after a mission to keep them from falling into enemy hands.  Most were destroyed, but not all.  As a result, some of these documents have survived and included on the bomb group websites.  Following the mission, the crews were debriefed and the bomb group sent a report back to the bomb wing with the results.  This report was called the Operations Report.

Summarizing the above, every mission consisted of the Operations Order, the poop sheet or pilot flimsy and the Operations Report.  Here on the 49th Bomb Wing, you will find the first and last of these three documents.  The middle document will be on the bomb group website.

Be aware that a lot of these documents have been lost in time and are not present.

April 1944

May 1944

June 1944

July 1944

August 1944

September 1944

October 1944

November 1944

December 1944

January 1945

February 1945