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VIII Bomber Command 23

23 November 1942

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target, and only 28 of the 50 are effective. Also, 8 B-24s from 93BG join the attack. There is no fighter escort and German fighter resistance is heavy on the withdrawal and 4 B-17s are listed MIA.

Mission details

1. SAINT-NAZAIRE

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

This is the last mission for the 93rd Bomb Group before being sent TDY to North Africa. There is no fighter escort for this mission.

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

Number of aircraft Sent 8
Number of aircraft Effective 8
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

2. SAINT- NAZAIRE

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Bomber crews report the Luftwaffe has changed attack tactics and are now attacking the bombers head-on, because of the lack of forward firepower on the bombers. Of the 10 B-17s despatched by 91st Bomb Group, none manage to bomb the target.

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,...

  • 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 68.50
Number of aircraft Sent 50
Number of aircraft Effective 28
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 16
Number of people Killed In Action 43
Number of people Wounded in Action 16
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2

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" ...

  • George Anderson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24479 'Sad Sack' while serving as Radio Operator. Aircarft was seen to feather #2 engine and turn back towards base. 30 miles from the English coast, German fighters shot it down and it crashed into the English...

  • 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...

  • Arthur Applebaum

    Military | Lieutenant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24479 'Sad Sack' while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner. Aircraft was seen to feather #2 engine and turn back towards base. 30 miles from the English coast, German fighters shot it down and it crashed into the...

  • John Ball

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24506 'The Shiftless Skonk' while serving as Navigator. Aircraft crashed near Watford/Leavesden on returning from a mission. Plane had been attacked by fighters.

  • 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 -...

  • Phillip Baxter

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Navigator. Killed in Action (KIA). ...

  • Leroy Bonshine

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    On 23 November 1942 in B-17 41-24506 'The Shiftless Skonk' while serving as Radio Operator, the aircraft crashed near Watford/Leavesden upon returning from a mission. Plane had been attacked by fighters. SSgt Bonshine Returned to Duty (RTD)

  • John Boomer

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 23 November 1942 in B-17 41024503 'Pandora's Box' while serving as Waist Gunner. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Paul Bouton

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 3 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24526 'Leaping Liz' while serving as Co-Pilot. Target was U/B yards (submarines) at St. Nazaire, France. Fighters attacked and plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Killed in Action (KIA) Participated in 4 Operations -...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24478

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B17F 41-24478 assigned 369BS/306BG Westover 19-Aug-42; Thurleigh 13-Oct-42; Missing in Action 23-Nov-42 while on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Flak and German fighters KO’d engines #1 & #2 and 10ft off end of left wing....

  • 41-24479 Sad Sack

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24479 "Sad Sack" Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-R] 2-September-1942; Bassingbourn 29-September-1942; Missing in Action 23-November-1942 on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. This was the 4th mission for this crew. Last seen with ...

  • 41-24503 Pandora's Box

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24503 'Pandora's Box' assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-E] Bangor 30-August-42; Bassingbourn 29-September-42; Missing in Action 23-Nov-42 while flying as Group Lead on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Enemy aircraft shot out #3,...

  • 41-24506 The Shiftless Skonk

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B17-F 41-24506 'The Shiftless Skonk; was assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-G] Bangor 2-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 29-Sep-42; Despatched on 23-Nov-1942 to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The Group was unable to bomb because of 10/10 cloud cover and headed...

  • 41-24517 Kali

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24517 [GN-O] 'Kali' 303BG/427BS assigned with crew on 1-May-42 at Alamogordo Field, Almogordo, New Mexico. Sent with crew to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine for deployment 5-Oct-42. Arrived at Molesworth, UK 24-Oct-42 ...

  • 41-24541 Spook

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24541 "Spook" was assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-G] Kellogg Fd 14-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Sep-42;The aircraft participated in 12 Operations - 4 Aborted (See Biography events) ...

  • 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...

  • 41-24566 Zombie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24566 'Zombie' [BN-W] was assigned 303BG/359BS [BN-W] at Alamogordo Field, New Mexico on 23-Jun-42. Stationed at Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, Michigan until 3-Oct-42 when it went to Bangor, Maine for deployment to England.; Molesworth 25-Oct...

  • 41-24568 Lady Fairweather

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24568 "Lady Fairweather', assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-U] Bangor 9-October-42; Molesworth 25-October-42. The original crew flew to Molesworth 24/25-Oct-42 except for Borysiewicz. The aircraft also carried as a passenger Captain Abraham Black who...

  • 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...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:31:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on 91BG, 303BG, 305BG, and 306BG At. Nazaire per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:30:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Made connection to 93BG on 1st St. Nazaire event and added aircraft type

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:18:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on 93BG St. Nazaire per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 20:35:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Nov-2014, Crew associations; Missing air Crew Report (MACR)16273

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 20:24:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Nov-2014. Update map location.

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 20:21:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Nov-2014. Missing Air Crew Report (MACR) 16273; American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).

Date Contributor Update
05 November 2014 18:13:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-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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