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First USAAF bombing action (29 June 1942)

29 June 1942

Official description

Captain Charles C Kegelman, flying on a mission with 12 RAF Bostons against Hazebrouck marshaling yard, France, becomes the first member of the 8th Air Force drop bombs on enemy-occupied Europe.

The first pilot fatality of the 8th Air Force in the ETO is suffered when First Lieutenant Alfred W Giacomini of the 31st Fighter Group crashes a Spitfire while landing at Atcham, England.

Description

12 Bostons assigned to RAF 226 Squadron were dispatched to bomb the railroad marshalling yard at Hazebrouck, France. One of the Bostons was flown by a Capt. Charles Kegelman and crew. This action was the first on any USAAF crew to bomb occupied Europe. Lt. Dorton was navigator or bombardier; Sgt Cunningham and Sgt. Golay were the other crew members.

Mission details

1. HAZEBROUCK

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

A-20 Havoc

Notes

No 2 Group, RAF 15th Bomb Squadron despatches one Boston (A-20) to bomb the Hazebrouk, Holland marshalling yards. RAF 226 Squadron dispatches 12 Bostons to also bomb this target. Captain Charles C. Kegelman and crew fly one of the Bostons to become the first USAAF crew to bomb Occupied Europe. No losses or casualties. Also, 1LT Alfred W. Giacomini, 31st Fighter Group becomes the first pilot fatality of the 8th Air Force in the European Theater of Operation (ETO) when his Spitfire crashes while landing at ATCHAM, England. The 31st Fighter Group did not participate in this raid.

Units

  • 15th Bomb Squadron

    15th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    The 15th Bomb Squadron flew five light bombing missions in DB-7 A-20 Bostons from the UK before being reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force at Mediouna, Algeria from 15-Oct-1942 to 1-Oct-1943. They were later absorbed by the 47th Bomb Group.

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 1
Number of aircraft Effective 1

Service

People

  • Bennie Cunningham

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 303BG. Awards: DFC.

  • Randall Dorton

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 301st Bomb Group

  • Alfred Giacomini

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 31st Fighter Group
    First 8th AF pilot fatality in the ETO. Spitfire VB EN847 stalled on approach to Atcham and crashed 1 mile east of the airfield killing Lt Alfred W Giacomini.

  • Robert Golay

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight engineer | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 301BG. Awards: DFC.

  • Charles Kegelman

    Military | Major | Pilot | 301st Bomb Group

  • Harold Radetsky

    Military | Colonel | Pilot, Squadron Commander, 15th bomb squadron
    Col. Harold A. Radetsky, USAAF. Most of his World War II years were spent overseas, initially participating as an "A-20" bomber pilot with the first U.S. military unit, 15th Bomb Squadron, to attack occupied Europe from England on July 4, 1942. The...

  • Robert Wilcox

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 351st Bomb Group
    Bob Wilcox enlisted in the National Guard at Decatur in 1941. Training as a bombardier in the Army Air Corps, he graduated from the bombardier school at Childress, Texas and was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant. Sent overseas in May 1943, he was a...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
22 August 2018 15:41:26 Emily Changes to official description, description and person associations
Sources

THE ARMY AIR FORCES IN WORLD WAR II: COMBAT CHRONOLOGY, 1941-1945 by Carter / Mueller, the Office of Air Force History,

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2015 23:17:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-Feb-2015. Added NOTE to VIEWERS by Mr. Lee Cunningham.

Date Contributor Update
05 February 2015 09:08:26 Emily Changes to description
Sources

Corrected Lt Dorton's role. According to J Tokaz (340th BG Association)- the aircraft only had a single pilot so he was likely Bombardier/ Navigator.

Date Contributor Update
17 October 2014 17:13:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Oct-2014. Roger A Freeman's "Mighty Eighth War Diary."

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:14 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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