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VIII Bomber Command 49

4 April 1943

Official description

Not yet known


The Renault armament and motor works at Paris, France are the primary target of this mission. 97 B-17s are despached: 91BG (26); 303BG (23); 305BG (18); and 306BG (30). 85 of the 97 despatched are effective on the target. Fighter resistance is heavy and 4-B-17s are MIA and 16 are damaged. The combined claims of bomber gunners are 47-13-6 on the attacking fighters. The 305BG meets the fiercest resistance, contributing 25-6-5 to the total. The 305th Bomb Group is awarded as Disinguished Unit Citation for this action. The number of enemy aircraft destroyed (47) is probaby an exageration, as the gunners from many bombers are firing at the attacking fighters. However, the numbers give a good indication of the resistance mounted by the Luftwaffe. There is no fighter escort for this mission.

In addition to the main formation, a combined force of 25 B-24s are despatched from 2nd Bomb Wing (44BG and 93BG) to fly a diversion over the North Sea. There are no losses or claims in this group.

Mission details




Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator


Diversional sweeps over the North Sea by B-24s (44th Bomb Group and 93rd Bomb Group)


  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    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

    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 25

2. PARIS (Primary)



Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


The 305th Bomb Group is awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (1st of 2). No fighter escort on this mission.


  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb 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

    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

    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

    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 251.00
Number of aircraft Sent 97
Number of aircraft Effective 85
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 16
Number of people Killed In Action 14
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Evaded 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 26



  • Peter Branch

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #42-5344. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • 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. ...

  • Miles Cooley

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Miles Cooley was Left Waist Gunner in the 305th Bomb Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. On board B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones' on the 4 April 1943 mission to the Renault works in Paris-Billancourt. Wounded in the plane by a Flak fragment. 42-5232 was...

  • Herschel Ellis

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #425146. Prisoner of War (POW). Placed at Stalag Luft III then later moved to Stalag Luft VIIA in Mooseburg where he was liberated on April 29, 1945 by General George S. Patton. POW

  • Robert Fabec

    Military | Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Robert Fabec attended the Trinidad State Junior College in Trinidad, Colorado and graduated in 1939. He enlisted in the Air Corps in January 1942 and trained as a Bombardier. It was in that position that he flew on B-17 # 42-5232 “Available Jones” of...

  • John Farrar

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Pilot of 42-5260 "Yardbird II" on 4/4/1943

  • Clifford Fisher

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    On taking off from Gander 24 October 1942, B17F-20-BO 41-24530 deviated to the left and hit pillbox, lifted up then slid to a stop on a nearby runway. Pilot Adams and passenger McMurray were injured, Clifford Fisher safe. Aircraft extensively damaged...

  • Allen Fitzgerald

    Military | Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Allen Michael Fitzgerald (also mentioned as Michael Allen Fitzgerald) was a Right Waist gunner in the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron. Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 #42-5232 'Available Jones'. EVADED. Jumping right before Radio Operator...

  • James Gross

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Flying as a squadron lead, went down 5 April 1943 in B-17 #425072. The account in Strong's book relates that well after the bail out Gross was found standing in the radio room by TG O'Brien as 2 other crewmen were attempting to fly the plane. A...

  • John Hollenbeck

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    John Hollenbeck was Tail Gunner on B-17 # 42-5232 “Available Jones” of the 305th Bomber Group / 364th Bomber Squadron on 4 April 1943 when it was shot down over France. Landing near Rouen, France, he was captured and became a Prisoner of War (POW)....

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  • 41-24609 Holy Mackerel

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24609 'Holy Mackerel' assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-Q] Bangor 3-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. On 23-Nov-43 the aircraft flown by Maj. George L. Robinson was the lead aircraft of the 303BG formation in the attack on the U-Boat Pens at St. Nazaire,...

  • 42-5232 Available Jones

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 18 October 1942; Presque Island 26 November 1942; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-E] Chelveston 13 December 1942. Missing in Action Paris-Billancourt Renault auto works on 4 April 1943. Pilot Morris M. Jones, Co-Pilot Edward T. Logan,...

  • 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...


Date Contributor Update
29 December 2014 19:08:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 29-Dec-2014. Description based on "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop and "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:17 AAM AAM ingest

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'.