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VIII Bomber Command 30

23 January 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient and they divert to the secondary target of the U-Boat pens at Brest, France. 305BG despatches 22 B-17s and 18 are effective on Brest, France. The remainder of the force despatched to Lorient is comprised of 17 B-17s from 306BG; 13 B-17s from 91BG and 21 B-17s from 303BG. One of the B-17s from 303BG joins th 305BG attack on Brest. A total of 35 B-17s are effecrtive on the target at Lorient, France. 5 aircraft MIA, 2 Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR).

Also, the 44th Bomb Group despatches 17 B-24s to fly a diversion for the force attacking Lorient, France.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

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 17

2. BREST (Secondary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

305th Bomb Group was lead group on the attack to Lorient, but bombed the secondary target at Brest because condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft the Group could not hit the primary at Lorient. One of the bombs dropped on Brest pierced the tunnel joining the arsenal to the port. One B-17 from 303rd Bomb Group also bombed Brest.

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

Tonnage dropped 45.25
Number of aircraft Sent 22
Number of aircraft Effective 19
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

3. LORIENT/ KEROMAN (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

No fighter escort on 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 86.00
Number of aircraft Sent 51
Number of aircraft Effective 35
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of people Killed In Action 31
Number of people Wounded in Action 24
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 10
Number of people Died in Captivity 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 4

Service

People

  • Ralph Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • 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...

  • 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" ...

  • Dante Barron

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    24-Jul-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner with 303BG/427BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. 303BG records do not record the exact date that he arrived in the UK, but probably in Oct-42. 303BG records do not indicate that he had a permanent...

  • Frank Bartlett

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    12-Feb-42 Assigned to 303BG as an Aerial Gunner at Arrived at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 12-Jun-42 Trained at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo New Mexico. 7-Aug-42 Finished Advanced training at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas. 24-Aug-42 transferred with Ground...

  • 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 -...

  • Irwin Blankenship

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-May-1942 Assigned as and Aerial Gunner of B-17F 41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 25-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "S-for-Sugar". Apparently he and the crew were re-assigned to B-17F 41-24607 [GN-W] ...

  • 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." ...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24504 Taurus; Sad Sack

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-D] Bangor 30/8/42; Bassingbourn 26/9/42; battle damaged Ludwigshafen 22/3/43 with Chas Cliburn, who brought her back to crash landed RAF Lt Horwood, (10 Returned to Duty); 42m Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 15/3/44; en route from...

  • 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) ...

  • 41-24567 Beats Me

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24567 [PU:J] "Beats Me" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-J] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. Participated in 7 Operations - 2 Aborted (See Biography events) ...

  • 41-24569 Memphis Tot

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot: [GN:V] was assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-W] Bangor 5-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-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...

  • 41-24580 Hellcat Agnes & No Monkey Business

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24580 "Hellcat Agnes" was assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-C] Bangor 11-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-62. Participated in 6 Operations - 2 Aborts (See Biography events) ...

  • 41-24584 Susfu

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24584 "Susfu" was assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-Q] Bangor 5-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; Missing in Action 23-Jan-43 while on a mission to bomb the port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Attacked by German FW-190 fighters and crashed 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. ...

  • 41-24607 Jerry Jinx & What's Up Doc?

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24607 [GN-W] "Jerry JinX" was assigned 427BS/303BG at Bangor 24-Sep-42; Molesworth 25-Oct-42; Missing in Action 23-Jan-43 on a mission to bomb the port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Aircraft sustained damage from AA fire over the...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 20:00:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:59:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2014 19:02:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2014. Descritpion based on "The Migthy 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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