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VIII Bomber Command 36

16 February 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The port area and U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are designated as the primary target of this mission of 71 B-17s and 18 B-24s. B-17s are from 91BG (18); 303BG (15); 305BG (18); 306BG (20) of these 59 are effective on the target and 6 are lost. 91st BG reports that two of its B-17s are attacked by FW190s dropping what appear to be cluster bomb munitions just aft of the B-17s.

B-24s are from 44BG (12) and 93BG (6). Only 6 of the 12 despatched by 44BG are effective on the target and 2 are lost in a mid-air collision over the English Channel. None of the B-24s despatched by 93BG are aeffective on the target.

Mission details

1. SAINT-NAZAIRE

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

No fighter escort on this mission for any of the elements. One B-17 from 91st Bomb Group crashed on take-off - Crew OK, but bomber DBR. Luftwaffe uses time-fused fragmentation bombs dropped in clusters from FW-190 fighters.

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 143.50
Number of aircraft Sent 71
Number of aircraft Effective 59
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 6
Number of aircraft Damaged 28
Number of people Killed In Action 33
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 23
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 16
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

2. SAINT-NAZAIRE

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

2 B-24s from 44th Bomb Group sustain a mid-air collision over the English Channel near Selsey, England. None of the 6 B-24s of 93rd Bomb Group are effective at the target.

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 16.50
Number of aircraft Sent 18
Number of aircraft Effective 6
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Number of people Killed In Action 20
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
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" ...

  • 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...

  • Harold Aswell

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-40354 'Snafu' while serving as Radio Operator the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 'Texan II' 44thBG/67BS off the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex en-route to the target at St. Nazaire,...

  • Charles Austin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    1LT Charles N. Austin was originally assigned to the 92BG and arrived in England in August 1942. On 10-Feb-43 he and his crew were transferred from 92BG to 303BG/358BS as a replacement crew ans assigned to B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga". He participated...

  • 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" ...

  • 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...

  • Fred Billings

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    On 16-February-1943 in B-24D 42-0354 'Snafu' while serving as Pilot the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 'Texan II' just of the English coast near Selsey Bill, Sussex. Both aircraft exploded crashed into the English Channel...

  • 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." ...

  • 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". ...

  • George Bryan

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Prisoner of War (POW). On 16-February-1943 in B-17F 42-5175 while serving as Bombardier the aircraft was damaged by flak and 2 engines were hit on the bomb run over St. Nazaire, France. Fighters then attacked and Lt Downing gave orders to bale out....

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Aircraft

  • 41-23818 Texan II & Bela

    B-24 Liberator
    B-24F 41-23818 "Texan II" and once named "Bela" was assigned to 44BG/67BS. The aircraft was despatched to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Shortly after leaving the English coast off of Selsey Bill, Sussex, the aircraft sustained a mid-air...

  • 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...

  • 41-24611 Boomerang

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24611 "Boomerang" was assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-W] Presque Is 19-Oct-42; Grafton Underwood 25-Oct-42; flew Gen Eaker to Casablanca 15-Jan-43; Missing in Action 16-Feb-43 while on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Attacked...

  • 42-2967 Shak Hak

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak" was Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-G] Bangor 18-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 42-40354 Snafu

    B-24 Liberator
    B-14D 42-40354 "Snafu" 44BG/66BS was despatched on 16-Feb-43 to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Shortly after leaving the English coast the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-24D 41-23818 "Texan II" 44BG/67BS off Selsey Bill,...

  • 42-5058 Hun Hunter

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-5058 "Hun Hunter" was delivered Cheyenne 6-Sep-42; Presque Is 19-Oct-42; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-H] Chelveston 30-Oct-42; Missing in Action 16-Feb-43 while on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Shot down by enemy...

  • 42-5175

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-5175 was delivered at Denver 6-Oct-42; New Castle 4-Nov-42; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY- ] Thurleigh 16-Nov-42; Missing in Action 16-Feb-43 while on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St Nazaire, France. Aircraft was severely damaged by flak...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2015 17:15:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to B-24 St. Nazaire event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2015 17:14:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to B017 St. Nazaire event per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
23 December 2014 17:36:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Dec-2014. Description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2014 09:46:41 general ira snapsorter Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated media based on date of image.

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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