Skip to main content
Edit entry 

VIII Bomber Command 51

16 April 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German U-Boat threat to Allied ship convoys and the destruction of the harbour facilities supporting that capability are the number 1 priority of the Combined Bomber Offensive. Thus, the U-boat pens at Lorient, France and the harbour facilities at Brest, France are the primary targets for this mission. 83 B-17s are despatched to bomb at Lorient, France: 91BG (21); 303BG (21); 305BG (21) and 306BG (20). Fighter attacks, flak, and clouds frustrate the bombing effort and only 59 of the 83 aircraft depatched are effective on the target. Only 1 B-17 from 305BG is MIA, and 8 aircraft are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 9-4-2 on enemy aircraft.

A force of 25 B-24s is despatched to bomb the harbour facilities at Brest, France: 44BG (12) and 93BG (13). 19 of 25 are effective on the target but accuracy is frustrated by an effective smoke screen. Enemy aircraft and flak down 3 B-24s of 93BG. The bomber gunners claim 2-3-1 on enemy fighters.

Mission details

1. BREST (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

The attack on Brest is hampered by an effective smoke screen, no fighter escort on this mission.

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 52.00
Number of aircraft Sent 25
Number of aircraft Effective 19
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 9
Number of people Killed In Action 31
Number of people Wounded in Action 3

2. LORIENT/KEROMAN (Primary)

Description

U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

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 147.00
Number of aircraft Sent 83
Number of aircraft Effective 59
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 8
Number of people Killed In Action 5
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 5

Service

People

  • 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. ...

  • Frank Hodges

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 April 1943 in B-24 41-23732 'Liberty Lass. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Prisoner of War (POW) in Stalag Luft 3 and moved to Nuremburg 49-11. POW

  • Paul Kirken

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner / Tail Gunner | 93rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 April 1943 in B-24 41-23732 'Liberty Lass. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Killed in Action (KIA). Note: Losses and NARA spell last name with an 'e' while MACR uses an 'o'

  • Orval Mickelson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 16 April 1943 in B-24 41-23732 'Liberty Lass. ' Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Prisoner of War (POW) placed in Stalag Luft 3 and moved to Nuremburg 49-11. Retired as a Lieutenant. Col. from USAF

  • Arthur Poston

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Killed in Action (KIA) 19 May 1943 in B-17 # 4124483 'Spirit of Alcohol. ' He went to Bassingbourn from MacDill Field about November/December 1942. He was on his 16th mission. The pilot (Lt. Baxley) told his parents in a letter that they were...

  • Fred Sherman

    Military | Colonel | Pilot & Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was the 32nd officer to complete a 25 mission tour. Joined group in 15 January 1943. He flew 13 missions as C. Dale Briscoe's Co-pilot and then received his own crew in May 1943. He flew the JERAVAD "Un Petite Peu." His last mission was on 28...

  • Frank Spitznagel

    Military | Major | Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Born November 5, 1919 in Buffalo, NY. ...

  • Donald Worsley

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Lt. Don Worsley volunteered in San Francisco on March 2, 1942 at the age of 19. He was a student at Marin College. He completed Pre-Flight Bombing Training in Santa Ana in May 1942 and began Advanced Bomb Training in Victorville, CA, graduating...

Aircraft

  • 41-23732 Liberty Lass

    B-24 Liberator

  • 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
30 December 2014 19:30:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Dec-2014. Correction of typo in description.

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 19:29:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 30-Dec-2014. Description 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'.

Share