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VIII Bomber Command 13

2 October 1942

Official description

Avions Potez aircraft factory at Meaulte is bombed by 30 B-17’s. A small group attacks Saint— Omer/Longuenesse A/F. Some 400 ftr escorts provide cover which is frequently penetrated by German ftrs. The B-17’s show remarkable defensive strength.

Description

97BG and 301BG together despatch 43 B-17s to bomb the Avion Portez aircraft factory ar Meaulte, France; 97BG also despatches 6 B-17s to attack the German airfield Longuenesse at St. Omer, France which is intended as a diversion to the main attack at Meaulte, France. The diversion is escorted by 23 Spitfires from the newly formed 4th Fighter Group. In addition, 12 DB-7 (A-20) from 15th Bomb Squadron attack a ship at the docks of Le Harve, France.

Mission details

1. LE HARVE

Description

PORT AREA

Aircraft type

A-20 Havoc

Notes

A-20s attack a ship at dock in Le Harve, France. This is the last mission for the 15th Bomb Squadron. It will be reassigned to the 12th Air Force. 8th Air Force discontinues use of A-20, DB-7 in bombing raids. Light and medium bombing by these types of aircraft will be taken over by 9th AF.

Units

  • 15th Bomb Squadron

    15th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    The 15th Bomb Squadron was the first US bomb unit sent to UK. Flying personnel arrived at Newport without aircraft on 13 May 1942. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 11.00
Number of aircraft Sent 12
Number of aircraft Effective 11

2. MEAULTE

Description

AVION PORTEZ AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

A large force is dispatched against this aircraft factory in France.

Units

  • 301st Bomb Group

    301st Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 3-February-1942 at Geiger Field, Washington and equipped with B-17s. On 27-May-1942 the ground unit moved to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, and the aircraft went to Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), California for...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 68.75
Number of aircraft Sent 43
Number of aircraft Effective 32
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 5
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5

3. SAINT OMER

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

This is a diversionary raid in support of primary target of Meault.

Units

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 12.50
Number of aircraft Sent 6
Number of aircraft Effective 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 4

Service

People

  • Arthur Bouthillier

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. Awards: AM (5OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Thomas Coburn

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. Wounded in Action (WIA). ...

  • Stanislav Komarek

    Military | Major | Bombardier | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. ...

  • Robert Long

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. ...

  • Charles Paine

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. ...

  • Walter Parcells

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. Awards: AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Herbert Peterson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. ...

  • Ralph Sheeder

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Ben Taucher

    Military | Master Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. Wounded in Action (WIA). ...

  • John Thomson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 301st Bomb Group
    2 October 1942 on returning from mission to Meaulte, France, crash landed at Gatwick with landing gear retracted. 3 crew members were injured but all returned. Their plane 'Phyllis' B-17F-BO 41-24397 was salvaged. ...

Aircraft

  • 41-24397 Phyllis

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 352BS/301BG Westover 8/7/42; Chelveston 9/8/42; detailed mission to Meaulte, Fr 2/10/42; crash landed RAF Gatwick 2/10/42 with 1Lt. Charles W. Paine, Jr. Co-pilot: 1Lt Robert H. Long, Navigator: 2Lt John A. Thomson, Bombardier: 2Lt Stanley A....

  • 41-24416 'Black Diamond Express'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BS/92BG Bangor 16/7/42; 95BG Horham /43; 359BS/303BG [BN-V] Molesworth, 17/6/43; Returned to the USA Sheppard 5/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 26/10/45. BLACK DIAMOND EXPRESS.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 September 2019 13:42:21 Emily Changes to official description
Sources

Air Force Combat Chronology

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 18:45:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on Sr. Omer per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 18:44:43 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on Meault per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 October 2014 16:31:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Oct-2014. Mission description based on "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack MbKillop.

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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