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The "Magic" 1,000-foot Circle

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The "Magic" 1,000-foot Circle: Eighth Air Force Precision Bombing, Mission No. 113 of 9 October 1943

  • by Robert H. Hodges
  • A Merriam Press World War 2 History
  • 19 photos
  • 1 illustration
  • 3 maps
  • 1 diagram
  • 2 tables
  • 3 charts
Complete, very detailed account of the aerial attack by B-17 bombers of the 94th, 95th, 100th, 385th, 390th Bomb Groups against the Marienburg Focke-Wulf factory.

This raid was a prime example of the USAAF’s ability to bomb targets with precision. Also includes coverage of the follow-up raids to the same target.



  1. Foreword
  2. “Critical Week” Begins
  3. Marienburg
  4. Results
  5. Marienburg Revisited
  6. Addendum
  7. Glossary
  8. Bibliography
  9. The Author
  10. Publisher's Addendum
The various aspects of Mission No. 113 impressed the author while he was in USAAF/EFTC flight training and via press releases and the December 1943 issue of Impact, a wartime informational magazine distributed to the squadrons.

Subsequently, he flew 400 hours in B-17Gs, including 208 hours in the AF Form 5 combat category. Eighty per cent of the latter was logged in Column 22, Acting Command Pilot, with the lead crew section of the 486th Bomb Group, 4th Combat Bomb Wing, 3rd Air Division, Eighth Air Force, as 833rd Bomb Squadron air leader.

Between combat missions, he flew pre-mission weather recce, training missions for formation familiarization, instrument check rides, miscellaneous flight tests, taught ground school in B-17 cruise control, ditching and short-field landing technique, and studied mission strike photos.

While leading the 486th Bomb Group over Germany on Eighth Air Force Mission No. 928, on 5 April 1945, he was fated to be involved with one of the most accurate high altitude (above 18,000 feet) strikes carried out by a unit of the Eighth Air Force, when his lead bombardier, Captain J. J. Kane, placed 78 per cent of the group’s bombs within 1,000 feet of his briefed AP from 24,500 feet altitude—while in intense flak and using an intervalometer setting in the Norden bombsight. This “pickle-barrel” drop produced a CEP of 677 feet, a SE of 574 feet and a MRE of 719 feet.

The author holds FAA Commercial pilot’s license #30818 and grade of Major in the USAF Reserve.

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