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VIII Bomber Command 108

4 October 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is composed of five elements. The first element is a combined force of 104 B-17s from: 306BG (16); 92BG (17); 395BG (17); 303BG (19); 379BG (18) and 384BG (17) despatched to bomb the industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. 77 aircraft are effective on Frankfurt; 15 others bomb the industrial areas of Wiesbaden, Germany. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) from Frankfurt. 5KIA 35POW. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) from Wiesbaden 10RTD (rescued by ASR). All tolled 45 aircraft are damaged. 2 airmen are KIA in returning aircraft and 8 are Wounded in Action (WIA) The bomber gunners from this element claim 19-3-15 of attacking German aircraft.

The second element is a combined force of 51 B-17s from: 381BG (17); 351BG (17); and 91BG (17) despatched to bomb the city of Frankfurt. 37 aircraft are effective on the target; 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 14KIA 16POW. 1 airman is KIA in a returning aircraft and 2 are WIA; 35 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 18-8-22 of attacking German fighters.

The third element is a combined force of 115 B-17s from: 95BG (21); 100BG (25); 390BG (25); 385BG (20); and 94BG (24). 64 aircraft are effective on the industrial areas of Saarlautern, Germany; and 38 aircraft attack the German airfield at St. Dizier/Robinson, France. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 19POW 11EVD and 10RTD (rescued by ASR). The bomber gunners in this element claim 37-7-7 of attacking German fighters.

The fourth element is a combined force of 53 B017s from 96BG (35) and 388BG (18) depatched to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Sarreguemines, France and Saarbrucken, Germany. 47 aircraft are effective on these targets. There are no losses or claims, but 2 aircraft are damaged.

The fifth element is a force of 38 B-24s from 392BG (32) and 44BG (8) despatched to fly a diversion for the B-17s attacking at Franfurt, Germany. 3 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 31KIA. Another aircraft returned to base but 2 of the crew baled out over the sea and were lost. 11 airmen were wounded in returning aircraft. 19 aircraft were damaged. The bomber guuners in this element claim 13-6-3 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 392nd Bomb Group

    392nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 392nd Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators out of Wendling, Norfolk from August 1943 until April 1945. They were the first Group to be given B-24H Liberators, the first B-24 model that was fitted with a nose turret on the production line, an adaptation...

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 38
Number of aircraft Effective 38
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 19
Number of people Killed In Action 33
Number of people Wounded in Action 11
Number of people Returned To Duty 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 13
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

2. FRANKFURT CITY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

77 aircraft hit Frankfurt, Germany. Mission leaders are 100 miles off course.

Units

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group's 327th Bomb Squadron was the only Eighth Air Force squadron to fly YB-40s in combat. YB-40s were B-17s modified to fly as a heavily armed escort for other bombers. They were flown on missions between May and June 1943. Between May 1943...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 218.7
Number of aircraft Sent 104
Number of aircraft Effective 77
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 32
Number of people Killed In Action 5
Number of people Wounded in Action 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 35
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 12
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

3. FRANKFURT CITY (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 88.25
Number of aircraft Sent 51
Number of aircraft Effective 37
Number of aircraft Damaged 35
Number of people Killed In Action 15
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 16
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 18
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 22

4. SAARLAUTERN (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 168.75
Number of aircraft Sent 71
Number of aircraft Effective 67
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 5
Number of people Wounded in Action 6
Number of people Evaded 5
Number of people Prisoners of War 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 37
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

5. SARREGUEMNINES / SAARBRUCKEN (Last Resort)

Description

MARSHALLING YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 102.75
Number of aircraft Sent 53
Number of aircraft Effective 47
Number of aircraft Damaged 2

6. SAINT-DIZIER (Last Resort)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organisation and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29-Jun-1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28-Aug-42 to 31-Oct-42 than at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas from...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 85.25
Number of aircraft Sent 44
Number of aircraft Effective 38
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 14
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 23

7. WIESBADEN (Primary)

Description

INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

15 aircraft hit Wiesbaden, Germany

Units

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 46.50
Number of aircraft Sent 15
Number of aircraft Effective 15
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 15
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

Service

People

  • Jules Beck

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29870 'Big Moose.' Prisoner of War (POW). Missing Air Crew Report #1038. Earlier, on 4 October 1943 returning from a mission to Frankfurt, B17#42-30043 'Ruthless' ditched in The North Sea. The entire crew was...

  • Charles Bein

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Charles Bliss

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel

  • Robert Boylan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Yorba crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29803 'Flat Foot Floogie'. Mission #39 to the Kugel-Fisher ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. MACR 1037. S/Sgt Boylan had reported his ball turret had been hit...

  • James Burch

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 385th Bomb Group
    Born and raised in Kaufman County, Texas, Jim Burch studied for 2 years at the Terrell High School and began working as a salesman in a retail grocery in Terrell, Texas. Enlisting in April 1942, he followed Pilot training courses and was promoted to...

  • Carl Christensen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier / L,R Waist Gunner, Nose Gunner / Togglier | 379th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Plane exploded mid-air near Downham Market, England.

  • Eugene Colburn

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 351st Bomb Group
    Damaged by fighters and flak enroute on a mission to Schweinfurt, GR and crashed on the return near Amiens, FR on 24 Feb 1944 in B-17F #42-3517 'Happy Warrior'. Evaded (EVD). ...

  • Gordon Crozier

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Crozier crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37730. MACR 1877. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. ...

  • David Danneman

    Military | Sergeant | Togglier, Enlisted Nose Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29870 'Big Moose.' Prisoner of War (POW), Missing Air Crew Report #1038. POW

  • Teddy Dudziak

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 392nd Bomb Group
    Shot down 18 November 1943 in B-24 #427486 'The Shark. ' Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). AM/ PH

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Aircraft

  • 42-29524 'Meathound'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 31/12/42; Salina 7/1/43; Morrison 2/12/43; Homestead 14/2/43; Assigned 423BS/306BG [RD-D] Thurleigh 2/3/43; transferred 358BS/303BG [VK-K] Molesworth 30/7/43; 25m Missing in Action Oschersleben 26/1/44 with Jack Watson (RTD-alone),...

  • 42-30033 "Little America"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Sioux City 13/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 20/5/43; Assigned to the 547BS/384BG [S0-G] Grafton Underwood 24/5/43, then the 546BS [BK-G]; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Maj Maurice Stanley Dillingham, Co-pilot:...

  • 42-30043 Ruthless

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne to 3/4/43; Sioux City 14/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 23/5/43; Assigned to the 547BS/384BG [SO-V] Grafton Underwood on 29 May 1943; Missing in Action Frankfurt 4 October 1943 with Giles Felker Kauffman, Co-pilot: George Molnar,...

  • 42-30045 "She's My Gal" "Fight'n -'n - Bit'n"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/4/43; Sioux City 14/4/43; Kearney 3/5/43; Bangor 23/5/43; Assigned 545BS/384BG [JD- ] Grafton Underwood 29/5/43; transferred 334BS/95BG [BG-M] Horham 28/6/43 SHE'S MY GAL; ...

  • 42-30213 Lil' One

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Gore 9/5/43; Sioux City 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 1/6/43; crashed on take off for Bremen after encountering mechanical problems 13/11/43 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Alvin...

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-30645

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/7/43; Kearney 24/7/43; Dow Fd 28/7/43; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-E] Chelveston 22/8/43; Missing in Action Bremen 26/11/43 with Bob Jackman, Co-pilot: Henry Thayer, Navigator: Jesse Seeley, Bombardier: Bob Tank, Radio Operator:...

  • 42-30778 Old 66/Lady Margaret

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Gore 6/8/43; Pendleton 12/8/43; Reno 14/8/43; Pierre 16/8/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; crashed on take off for France 13/8/44 with Leon Sutton, Co-pilot: Harlan Thompson, Navigator: George Healy, Bombardier:...

  • 42-3091

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/2/43; New Castle 18/4/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-K] Framlingham 12/5/43; 5m, transferred 422BS/305BG [JJ-S] Chelveston 17/6/43; Missing in Action Frankfurt (a night mission 3/4 Oct) 4/10/43 with Tom Seay, Bombardier: Norman Sarrat...

  • 42-3269 Picadilly Willy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 15/4/43; Assigned 527BS/379BG [FO-U] Kimbolton 6/6/43; Missing in Action Schweinfurt 14/10/43 with Capt Walt Carnal, Co-pilot: Bill Davidson, Navigator: Albt Chudoba, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Dean Wyland, Radio Operator: Leon...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:48:20 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 21:04:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeeman.

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 20:37:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Jul-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims on German fighters to statistics for Saarlautern per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 20:27:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Wiesbaden statistics per "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A.Freeman

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 20:24:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Jul-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to tstatisitcs for the element attacking Frankfurt City (51) A/C per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 20:19:54 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Jul-2015. Correecting statistics on Frankfurt (Primary) attack per "the Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 20:01:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Jul-2015. Added Bomber gunner claims to the B-14 Diversion element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:16 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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