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VIII Bomber Command 18

9 November 1942

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the target of this mission conducted by a combined force of 33 B-17s from 91BG and 306BG together with a combined force of 14 B-24s from 44BG and 93BG. The B-24 formation bombs from altitudes between 17,500 ft. to 18,300 ft. The B-17 formation are ordered to bomb from altitudes between 7,500 ft. to 10,000 ft. in hopes of increasing bombing accuracy and concentration on the target. The B-17 formation is pounded by anti-aircraft fire with three aircraft lost and another 22 taking damage. This is the last time heavy bombers will attempt low-level approaches.

Mission details

1. SAINT-NAZAIRE

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The B-17s try to attack from a low altitude (7,500 to 10,000 feet), lose 3 and have 22 damaged by AA fire. This ends the experiment with low-level attacks by heavy bombers against submarine pens. There is no fighter escort for this mission.

Units

  • 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,...

  • 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 68.50
Number of aircraft Sent 33
Number of aircraft Effective 31
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 22
Number of people Killed In Action 23
Number of people Prisoners of War 8

2. SAINT-NAZAIRE

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

The B-24s attack from 17,500 to 18,000 feet and only one suffers AA damage.

Units

  • 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...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 45.00
Number of aircraft Sent 14
Number of aircraft Effective 12
Number of aircraft Damaged 1

Service

People

  • Arthur Adams

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    26-Jul-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 41-24563 [PU-H] "Garbage", 303BG/360BS with crew at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK, aboard "Garbage". ...

  • John Barnett

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to group in June 1942. On 9-October-1942 his aircraft sustained major a/c damage on landing upon returning from a mission to Lille, France. ...

  • Martin Barthe

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 9 November 1942 in B-17 41-24486 'Man O War' while serving as Tail Gunner. Plane crashed in to Channel. His remains were lost at sea. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Richard Beers

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 9 November 1942 in B-17 41-24491 while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner Plane crashed 5 miles north-west of St. Nazaire, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • George Bogumill

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 9 November 1942 in B-17 41-24491 while serving as Tail Gunner Plane crashed 5 miles north-west of St. Nazaire, France. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Percy Bolinger

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was an original crew member of the group. He flew on Ralph Gaston crew. On 9 November 1942 assigned target U/B at St. Nazaire, France. On return, crashed into field beyond runway in B-17F-15-BO 41-24494. ...

  • Albert Conte

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 9 November 1942 assigned target U/B at St. Nazaire, France. On return, crashed into field beyond runway in B-17F-15-BO 41-24494. ...

  • Francis Counselman

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 9 November 1942 in B-17 41-24509 'Miss Swoose' while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. Aircraft shot down by AA fire and crashed into the sea near the target St. Nazaire, France . Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Walter Crawford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on John Barnett crew. He was considered one of the original crew members of the group. ...

  • John Creamer

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 9 November 1942 in B-17 41-24486 'Man O War' while serving as Bombardier. Plane crashed in to Channel. His remains were lost at sea. Killed in Action (KIA).

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Aircraft

  • 41-24486 Man O' War

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24486 'Man O' War' assigned 306BG/367BS Westover 17-August-42; Thurleigh 13-October-1942; Missing in Action on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. 9-Nov-1942. Hit by flak KO’d #2, with two others damaged, crashed into the...

  • 41-24491

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 15-August-1942; Thurleigh 13-Oct-1942. Missing in Action on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France 9-November-1942. 6KIA 3POW 1EVD. MACR 6012. ...

  • 41-24509 Miss Swoose

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 15-August-1942, B-17F 41-24509, 'Miss Swoose' was damaged by AA fire between the Initial Point (IP) and the target which resulted in a fire on #3 engine during mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France on 9...

  • 41-24494

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to 306BG/367BS at Westover 16-Aug-1942; Thurleigh 13-October-1942. 9-Nov-42 despatched on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France it was damaged by flak. Upon return it landed at Portreath, over-ran the runway, overran a dirt...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 October 2014 16:46:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Oct-2014. Description based on "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop.

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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