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VIII Bomber Command 20

17 November 1942

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The 303BG made a navigational error and was not able to find the target, so their 16 B-17s were not able to bomb. The German airfield of Maupertus at Cherbourg, France was the Primary (P) target for 6 B-24s despatched from 44BG, but the target was totally obscured by clouds, so they could not bomb. In other action, 10 B-17 despatched from 305BG fly a diversion for this St. Nazaire bombing element. This was 305BG's first mission.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Diversion for St. Nazaire raid.

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 10
Number of aircraft Effective 10

2. CHERBOURG/ MAUPERTUS (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Target obscured by 10/10 cloud cover.

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...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 6

3. SAINT- NAZAIRE (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The 303rd Bomb Group and 305th Bomb Group fly their first mission. 303rd Bomb Group was unable to find the target so none of their 16 B-17s were able to bomb. There is no fighter escort for this mission.

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...

  • 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,...

  • 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 57.50
Number of aircraft Sent 49
Number of aircraft Effective 23
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 9
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 6
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

4. SAINT-NAZAIRE (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 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 36.00
Number of aircraft Sent 14
Number of aircraft Effective 12
Number of aircraft Damaged 7

Service

People

  • Homer Allen

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Jul-42 Assigned as Navigator on B-17F 42-2967 [PU-G] "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Shak Hak" ...

  • Samuel Anderson

    Military | Captain | Lead Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F 41-24579 [PU-F] at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth UK. He was despatched on 26 Operations - 25 credited. Served as a Lead Navigator on 23 of those missions. Completed a 25-Mission tour...

  • Kenneth Aulenbach

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    B-17F 41-24496, 'Chenault's Pappy', 306BG/423BS, on which he was serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner, was attacked by FW190s after leaving the target area near St. Nazaire 17-November-1942. Killed in Action (KIA) 3 crew members were injured as the...

  • Clayton Balcombe

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    06-Mar-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 [PU-C] "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Ooold Soljer" ...

  • Keith Bartlett

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    12-Mar-42 Assigned to 303BG/360BS in B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soldier" as 2LT and Co-Pilot. Gowen Field (Boise), Idaho. ...

  • Frank Batterson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    On 23 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24580 'Hell Cat', 303BG/358BS while serving as Tail Gunner the aircraft was downed by fighters near Brest. He was able to parachute to safety and was captured as a Prisoner of War (POW). Participated in 7 Operations -...

  • Horace Bowman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    10-Sep-42 Assigned as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24603 [BN-Y] "Green Hornet", 303BG/359BS at Biggs Field, El Paso Texas and arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard that aircraft on 22-Oct-42. ...

  • Edward Bradford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    6-Mar-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F 41-24559 [PU-C], "Ooold Soljer:, 303BG 360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Ooold Soljer." ...

  • Merel Bradley

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    10-Jul-42 Assigned as the Tail Gunner of B-17F 41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. Arrived in the UK with the crew of 41-24619 aboard B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS on 28-Oct-43. B-17F 41-24619 was...

  • William Breed

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Jul-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 [PU-G] "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 24-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Pilot of "Shak Hak". ...

Show more

Aircraft

  • 41-24496 Chennault's Pappy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24496 'Chennault's Pappy' Delivered Great Falls, Montana, force landed Nashville, Tennessee with Jim Dale; repaired & assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 15-Aug-42; Thurleigh 8-Sep-42. ...

  • 41-24558 Hunga Dunga

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-25-BO 41-24558 [VK:F] "Hunga Dunga" was assigned to the 358BS/303BG [VK-F] at Bangor. Maine on 14-Oct-42; arrived at Molesworth, UK on 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action Vegasack 18-Mar-43 when it was attacked by enemy aircraft near Helgoland. Germany...

  • 41-24559 Ooold Soljer

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24559 'Ooold Soljer' was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-C] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24579 Thumper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] 17-Feb-42 Gowen Field, Idaho; Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France on 23-Jan-43. 11 man crew. Belly-landed at...

  • 41-24603 Green Hornet

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24603 "Green Hornet" [BN-Y], 303BG/359BS was assigned with a combat crew on 10-Sep-42 at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas then moved to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine 9-Oct-42; Arrived at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24606 Werewolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-27-BO 41-24606 "Werewolf" was assigned 358BG/303BG [VK-H] Kellog Field, Battle Creek, Michigan on 14-Sep-42; Arrived at Molesworth, UK 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24620 Snap! Crackle! Pop!

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24620 'Snap, Crackle, Pop' assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-D] Bangor 14-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action St Nazaire 3-Jan-43 shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed Escoublac Forest, West of St Nazaire, France. 7KIA 3POW MACR 15464....

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:08:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on 19BG,303BG,306BG St Nazaire per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 17:56:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to person associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Nov-2014. Aulenbach association.

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 17:26:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Nov-2014. Corrected place association for 93 BG.

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 17:20:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 2-Nov-2014. Description based on 'Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

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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