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B-17 & B-24 Bombing Missons: "Target for Today" 1944 US Army Air Forces Training Film World War II

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"The 8th Bomber Command {8th Army Air Force}, stationed in England, prepares for and executes a daylight precision bombing mission on several German cities, including Brandenburg, Danzig, Goynia, and Marienburg. Reel 1, animated maps locate bombing targets. Reel 2, technicians, particularly of Operational Research, study and outline the bombing mission, Reel 3, oral and written orders follow high-level consultations on intelligence, operations, navigation, and bombing; bombs are loaded on airplanes. Reel 4, crews of planes are awakened, eat breakfast, and begin extensive briefing on their missions. Reel 5, briefings continue. Reel 6, crews arrive at air fields, receive final briefings, board planes, check equipment, and take off. The composition of a fighting "group" is described in detail. Reel 7, after being intercepted by German fighter planes, the bombers reach their targets and disburse for bombing runs. Reel 8, targets are bombed and groups reassemble for the return to England.Reel 9, planes land and crews are interrogated. Reel 10, interrogation continues and information and combat photographs are utilized in upper-echelon critiques. Reel 11 shows miscellaneous combat shots, as the narrator pays tribute to the Air Force."

USAAF Training Film TF1-3384

Public domain film from the National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).

Target for Today is a film containing United States Army Air Force combat footage of B-17 and B-24 bombers and named for the phrase used at briefings before air raids. The October 1944 footage was filmed during Eighth Air Force attacks on Nazi Germany industrial targets in Anklam, Marienburg (on the 9th), and Gdynia in occupied Poland. Prior to the combat footage, the documentary explains Operation Pointblank target selection and depicts planning, briefing, and preparation.

...Established on 22 February 1944 as a redesignation of VIII Bomber Command at High Wycombe Airdrome, England, 8 AF was a United States Army Air Forces combat air force in the European Theater of World War II, engaging in operations primarily in the Northern Europe AOR, carrying out strategic bombing of enemy targets in France, the Low countries and Germany and engaging in air to air fighter combat against enemy aircraft until the German Capitulation in May 1945. It was the largest of the deployed combat Army Air Forces in numbers of personnel, aircraft and equipment...

On 4 January 1944, the B-24s and B-17s based in England flew their last mission as a subordinate part of VIII Bomber Command. On 22 February 1944, a massive reorganization of American airpower took place in Europe. The VIII Bomber Command and Ninth Air Force were brought under control of a centralized headquarters for command and control of the United States Army Air Forces in Europe, the United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF).

VIII Bomber Command was redesignated as Eighth Air Force, with VIII Fighter and VIII Air Support Commands being brought under the command of the redesignated Eighth Air Force. This is where the present-day Eighth Air Force's history, lineage and honors derive from.

General Carl Spaatz returned to England to command the USSTAF. Major General Jimmy Doolittle relinquished command of the Fifteenth Air Force to Major General Nathan F. Twining and took over command of the Eighth Air Force from Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker at RAF High Wycombe. Doolittle of course was well known to American airmen as the famous "Tokyo Raider" and former air racer. His directive was simple: `Win the air war and isolate the battlefield'.

Spaatz and Doolittle's plan was to use the US Strategic Air Forces in a series of co-ordinated raids, code-named Operation 'Argument' and supported by RAF night bombing, on the German aircraft industry at the earliest possible date...

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