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VIII Bomber Command 40

6 March 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

German U-boats continue to attack convoys headed fro Great Britain in the North Atlantic with good success. Many of the U-boat packs operate from St. Nazaire, Lorient and Brest, France, so destroying harbour facilities at these locations remain a primary objective for American heavy bomber crews. On this date the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for the main formation of B-17s and in addition the harbour facilites at Brest, France become the primary target of for a formation of B-24s. The attack on Brest is considered a diversion for the main attack on Lorient.

71 B-17s are despatched to attack Lorient, France: 91BG (14); 303BG (18); 305BG (18), 306BG (21). 65 of these are effective on the target and 3 are MIA. The bomber gunners claim 7 enemy aircraft destroyed, 2 enemy aircraft probabaly destroyed; and 1 enemy aircraft damaged (7-2-1)

15 B-24s are despatched to attack the harbour facilities at Brest, France: 44BG (10) and 93BG (5) All 15 ar effective on the target and the bomber gunners claim 2-0-2 on enemy aircraft.

Mission details

1. BREST (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

This is a diversionary raid to assist the Lorient raid.

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 44.50
Number of aircraft Sent 15
Number of aircraft Effective 15
Number of aircraft Damaged 3

2. LORIENT (Primary)

Description

POWER PLANT, BRIDGE, PORT AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

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...

  • 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 162.50
Number of aircraft Sent 71
Number of aircraft Effective 65
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 8
Number of people Killed In Action 6
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 22
Number of people Returned To Duty 1

Service

People

  • 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...

  • Robert Biggs

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17F 42-5378, 306BG/367BS while serving as Co-Pilot. The aircraft had developed an oil leak in no. 3 engine over the channel, but oil pressure stayed steady so pilots continued mission toward the submarine pens at Lorient,...

  • Glenn Blakemore

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17F 42-5130 'Sweet Pea', 306BG/367BS while serving as Radio Operator. The aircraft was on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Flak caused damage to the aircraft and he baled out and was captured as a...

  • 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." ...

  • Carroll Briscoe

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to group on 15 Jan 1943. He was the 35th Officer to complete 25 missions. Reported on 05 Feb 1945 with the 2AF weather scouts. Retired as a Colonel from the USAF in 1972. ...

  • John Chapman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17F 42-5130 'Sweet Pea', 306BG/367BS while serving as Left Waist Gunner. Aircraft was on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Flak caused damage to aircraft and he baled out and was captured as a Prisoner of...

  • Harvie Collins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    23-Jun-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F 41-24620 [PU-O],"Snap!, Crackle!" Pop!" 303BG/360BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico but did not arrive at Molesworth with the rest of the crew. 303BG records do not indicate when he arrived at...

  • Robert Coltrane

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    1LT Robert A. Coltrane was assigned as a Bombardier with 1LT Charles N. Austin's crew with the 92BG (aircraft assignment has not been determined). He arrived with the crew aborad a B-17 aircraft at Bovington, UK on 18-Aug-42. On 11-Jan-43 his aircraft,...

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Aircraft

  • 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. ...

  • 42-5130 Sweet Pea

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-15-BO 42-5130 [GY:] "Sweet Pea" was delivered at Denver 29-Sep-42; Presque Isle, ME 20-Nov-42; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY- ] Thurleigh 25-Nov-42; Missing in Action on mission of 6-Mar-43 to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient. Sustained damage from...

  • 42-5262

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27-Oct-42; Bury 6-Dec-42; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] Molesworth 29-Jan-43; Missing in Action Lorient 6-Mar-43. Shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed into the Bay of Biscay, off Penmarch Point. 2KIA 8POW Missing Air Crew Report 15536. ...

  • 42-5378

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-50-BO 42-5378 was delivered at Tulsa 26-Nov-42; New Castle 11-Dec-42; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY- ] Thurleigh 1-Jan-43; Missing in Action on 6-Mar-43 on mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. The aircraft came under heavy fighter...

  • 42-5826 JERAVAD "Une Petite Peu"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 2/3/43; Walla Walla 29/3/43; Lowry 10/4/43; Presque Is 24/4/43; Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW-W] Thurleigh 7/5/43; Missing in Action Kiel 29/7/43 with Keith Conley, Co-pilot: Vince DeVos, Bombardier: Bob Sanford, Radio Operator: Frank...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 March 2015 06:09:09 NordicFox Changes to media associations
Sources

Corrected image from earlier upload

Date Contributor Update
25 December 2014 19:45:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Dec-2014. Descriptions based on 'The 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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