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SORTIES
Sorties - Effective Sorties - Non-Effective Sorties (credit) - Non-Effecitve Sorties (non-credit)

Flights were classified as "Non-Effective" or "Abortive" Sorties when the target was not bombed. "Abortions" were when a single B-17 returned to Molesworth for mechanical. personnel or other reasons before reaching the target. Individual crewman were credited for the mission in most but not all instances, when the flight resulted with in actual or potential encounters with enemy fighters or flak All abortions were reviewed by the Group and Squadron Operations to determine whether mission credit for individual crewmen was approved. Sometimes only the Pilot was given non-credit for a mission that was aborted, and sometimes the entire crew, depending upon the circumstances involved.

When an aircraft aborted a mission (returned early) the Pilot, CoPilot and Navigator were required to report to Group Operations within 30 minutes of landing to fill out a preliminary abortive report and to be personally interviewed by the Deputy Group Commanding Officer or by the Group Operations Officer. The Pilot then was required to write a letter within four hours after landing stating the circumstances and obtaining indorsements. The entire file was then reviewed by the Squadron Commander for his remarks and indorsement. All Non-Effective Sorties were required to be reviewed with a written statement by the Squadron Surgeon if the abortion was for personal medical reasons and by the Engineering Officer if for mechanical problems.

The Following Standard Operating Procedure, dated 28 April 1945, rescinded previous, similar orders.


PRELIMINARY REPORT OF ABORTS FORM

C O N F I D E N T I A L

HEADQUARTERS
AAF STATION 107
APO 557, U.S. ARMY

28 April 1945

STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
NON EFFECTIVE SORTIE

  1. The following terms will apply and be used for all A/C taking off on a mission.
    1. Sortie: Any A/C taking off on a mission.
    2. Effective Sortie: Any A/C that released one of more armed bombs or markers, either by individual sighting our upon that of the formation leader, such as sighting being made with the use of sighting or radar equipment, in a deliberate attempt to destroy or mark a target.
    3. Non Effective Sortie - Credit: Any A/C that enters enemy territory and fails to release one of more armed bombs or marker by individual sighting or upon that of the formation leader.
    4. Non Effective Sortie - Non Credit: Any A/C that fails to penetrate into enemy or enemy occupied territory .

  2. The Squadron Commander of a crew which has a Non Effective Sortie whether credit or non credit is responsible that the following procedure be followed:
    1. If the crew returns before the formation, the Pilot and Navigator will report to Group Operations within 30 minutes after landing with all necessary data to fill out the preliminary report and to be personally interviewed by the Deputy Group Commander or by the Operations Officer.
    2. Whether the crew returns early or with the formation, a letter will be written by the Pilot concerned giving all necessary facts such as full A/C number, reasons for Non Effective Sortie, exact points and time of turn back if applicable, and any other items deemed essential to give a good presentation of the facts.
    3. The Squadron Operations will indorse the letter to Group Headquarters within 4 hours and attach any substantiating statements necessary. The following items will be covered in the indorsement.
      1. Results of investigation.
      2. Whether Non Effective Sortie was justified.
      3. Whether or not disciplinary action is being taken.
      4. Classification of Non Effective Sortie
        1. Personnel (Requires statement by Squadron Surgeon, if medical)
        2. Mechanical (Requires statement by Engineering Officer)
        3. Enemy action
        4. Weather
        5. Other non mechanical

BY ORDER OF LT. COLONEL SIPES

OFFICIAL
/s Louis M. Schulstad, Jr.
Major, AC
Operations Officer