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VIII Bomber Command 2

19 August 1942

Official description

22 B-17’s drop 34 tons of bombs on Abbeville/Drucat airfield causing extensive damage. This mission is flown to occupy enemy fighters and prevent them from opposing an invasion by over 5,000 Allied troops, mostly Canadians, who raid Dieppe. Second Lieutenant Samuel F Junkin Jr of 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, flying a Spitfire in support of the amphibious raid on Dieppe, shoots down a German fighter this being the first aerial victory won by an Eighth AF fighter pilot flying from the UK.

Description

Bombers from 97th Bombardment Group are despatched to bomb the German airfield Drucat at Abbeville, France. This mission is flown to occupy the Luftwaffe and to try to prevent them from opposing the invasion of Dieppe, France by over 5,000 allied troops (mostly Canadians). 97BG also despatches 6 B-17s to fly a diversion for the Abbeville raid.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

97th Bomb Group flies a diversion for Abbeville raid.

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

Number of aircraft Sent 6
Number of aircraft Effective 6

2.

Description

FIGHTER INTERCEPT

Aircraft type

Spitfire

Notes

Scramble to intercept enemy aircraft reported off of Northern Ireland. No enemy aircraft were sighted. This is the first operation by VIII Fighter Command units under VIII Fighter Command operational control and the first operational sortie by 52nd Fighter Group. 2nd Lt. Samuel F. Junkin, 309FS/31FG (RAF), flying a Spitfire Mk V shoots down a German fighter. This is the first aerial victory by an 8AF pilot flying from the UK. VIII FC gains full control of 8AF fighter resources, until this date the VIII FC only had administrative control. It will not be until April 1943 that VIII FC will begin issuing its own Field Orders independent of RAF Fighter Command.

Units

  • 52nd Fighter Group

    52nd Fighter Group

    Group
    Two of the Squadrons of the 52nd Fighter Group flew Spitfires with RAF Fighter Command in August and early September 1942 from northern Ireland. After these preparatory missions, the Group joined the Twelfth and then Fifteenth Air Force in the...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 4

3. ABBEVILLE/ DRUCAT

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

This mission is flown to occupy the Luftwaffe and to try to prevent them from opposing the invasion of Dieppe, France by over 5,000 allied troops (mostly Canadians).

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 37.53
Number of aircraft Sent 24
Number of aircraft Effective 22
Number of aircraft Damaged 3

4. ABBEVILLE/ DRUCAT

Description

FIGHTER SUPPORT. 11 missions are flown by 31st Fighter Group using Spitfires in support of the landings at Dieppe, France. 123 aircraft participate and 8 are MIA.

Aircraft type

Spitfire

Notes

2nd Lt. Samuel F. Junkin, 309th Fighter Squadron/31st Fighter Group (RAF), flying a Spitfire Mark V shoots down a German fighter. This is the first aerial victory by an 8th Air Force pilot flying from the UK. VIII Fighter Command gains full control of 8th Air Force fighter resources, until this date the VIII Fighter Command only had administrative control. It will not be until April 1943 that VIII Fighter Command will begin issuing its own Field Orders independent of RAF Fighter Command.

Units

  • 31st Fighter Group

    31st Fighter Group

    Group
    The 31st Fighter Group only flew missions from England between June and September 1942 but during this period they supported the Dieppe raid, the assault on occupied Europe, predominantly by the Canadian army. The attack was forced into early retreat...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 123
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 8
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Fighter Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5

Service

People

  • Samuel Junkin

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 31st Fighter Group
    Aircraft sustained battle damage while supporting landings at Dieppe, France 19 August 1942 in Spitfire VB. Aircraft ditched into the English Channel and Lt. Junkin was rescued. Returned to base. Lt. Junkin was credited with an air victory of a German...

  • Ewart Sconiers

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 97th Bomb Group
    Lt Ewart Sconiers was Bombardier on B-17 41-9089 'Johnny Reb', one of the 12 B-17s participating in the first heavy bomber raid of the 8th Air Force on 17 August 1942. The target were the shipyards of Rouen/Sotteville, France. ...

  • Ed Torvea

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 31st Fighter Group
    Aircraft, a Spitfire Mk V but available records do not indicate the tail number of the aircraft he was flying. The aircraft sustained battle damage. 2Lt. Ed A. Torvea is believed to have abandoned the aircraft and was subsequently captured as a POW. He...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
18 September 2018 12:57:15 Emily Changes to official description
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
25 October 2014 20:32:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Oct-2014. Mission description based on "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop.

Date Contributor Update
20 October 2014 19:40:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to person associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Oct-2014 Connection to Lewis Wells data.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:17 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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