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Home > Fact Sheets > Representative Missions: Rouen


Posted 12/29/2008 Printable Fact Sheet
Boeing B-17
"Yankee Doodle" commanded by Brig. Gen. Ira C. Eaker on the first B-17 bombing mission against Europe, Aug. 17, 1942. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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In brief, no bombing mission can be regarded as a single, self-contained operation. Each mission is thoroughly planned, with long-range objectives in view. Probabilities of error and minimum resultants are considered. Our strategy is based on a blueprint of scientifically calculated attrition.

When our heavy bombers led by the present Commanding General of our 8th Air Force, Ira C. Eaker, attacked the railroad yards at Rouen on August 17, 1942 -- that could be called a raid. But assaults such as the ones on the Renault works, Huls, Ploesti, Heroya, Regensburg, Marienburg, Schweinfurt or Wilhelmshaven were major battles that had to be planned as such. The effects of some of our four-hour operations are felt a great deal more keenly than a long drawn out ground struggle for a particular locality.

This report was prepared by the Army Air Forces and is dated Jan. 4, 1944.

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