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VIII Bomber Command 66

23 June 1943

Official description

Not yet known


A combined force of 172 B-17s is despatched from 91BG (13); 92BG (14); 303BG (22); 305BG (21); 306BG (22); 351BG (20); 379BG (20); 381BG (22); and 384BG (18). Also 8 YB-40 gunships from 92BG are interspersed in the formation. The intention was for 140 B-17s to attack the air depot at Villacoublay, France and 40 to attack the German airfield at Bernay St. Martin. However, weather causes the formation to be recalled. There was a serious accident at Ridgewell (381st BG, 533rd BS) when the bomb load of the B-17 #42-30024 "Caroline" being prepared for the mission exploded. The explosion killed 22 men and 1 British civilian and damaged two other B-17s.

Mission details




Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


The 381st Bomb Group loses two aircraft destroyed on the ground when one blows up while being loaded with bombs. 23 killed plus a civilian.


  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped None
Number of aircraft Sent 40
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of people Killed In Action 23




Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


Mission recalled due to weather. 92nd Bomb Group complement includes 8 YB-40 gunships.


  • 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,...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 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...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped None
Number of aircraft Sent 140



  • Claude Campbell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: DSC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • Robert Holdom

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Holdom Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Shot down July 14, 1943 in B-17 #42-30011 "Widget". Mission #9 to the airfield at Amiens-Glisy, France. MACR 133. Killed in Action(KIA). Buried in Normandy AMC. Westchester, NY

  • Vern Iverson

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | pilot | 96th Bomb Group
    Story of "Mischief Maker" participation on 27 Aug 1943 Regensburg mission in Snetterton Falcons, pg 44.

  • Jack Kern

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

  • Robert McGuire

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Robert McGuire served as a radio operator with the 358th Bomb Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group, flying missions out of Molesworth, England. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Richard Riley

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Jarvis crew 381st BG,532nd BS. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #42-29731 'Ole' Swayback'. Mission #20 "Black Tuesday" to the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. MACR 663. #3 & #4 engines taken out by flak, feathered and left...

  • Richard Scharch

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner/Radioman | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 358BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 26 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Thomas Scott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Tail gunner, Ohl, C. Crew. 381st BG, 534th BS. Credited with one German fighter damaged on the 29 July 1943 mission.

  • Harry Smith

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Smith H. crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3220 'Damfino'. Mission #20 "Black Tuesday" to the ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. MACR 384. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft III and Stalag VIIA. Texas


  • 42-29635 Augerhead

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/1/43; Salina 7/2/43; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-M] Molesworth 26/3/43. 18 missions. Missing in Action on the mission to bomb the airfield at Amiens-Glisy, France on 31 August 1943. Pilot: William J. Monahan; Co-pilot: Louis M....

  • 42-29731 Ol' Swayback, Moor Fidite

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/2/43; Walker 23/2/43; Smoky Hill 28/3/43; Presque 8/4/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43 MOOR-FIDITE; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 532BS/381BG [VE-E] Ridgewell 16/7/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-30412 Mischief-Maker II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Plane Mischief Maker II entered combat approximately Jun43 under command of Capt V.L. Iverson after the original Mischief Maker was damaged beyond repair. After this crew completed 25 missions Maj. Iverson was retained for HQ USSTAF, the crew...

  • 42-3131 Winnie The Pooh, Flak Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/2/43; 19/4/43; Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-U] Molesworth 4/6/43; RWG Leon Kesky Killed in Action Schweinfurt 17/8/43; 40m Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with John Carothers, Co-pilot: Chas Frost, Radio Operator: George...

  • 42-5390 The Avenger

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/11/42; Salina 20/1/43; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-L] Molesworth 26/3/43; Missing in Action Wangerooge Is 25/6/43 with Joe Palmer, Co-pilot: Bob Sheldon, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Elmer Duffy, Radio Operator: Edmund Gullage,...

  • 42-5392 Stric Nine, City of Albuquerque

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 29/11/42; Salina 25/1/43. ...


Date Contributor Update
27 June 2018 04:13:16 ARowe95 Changes to description


Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:20:49 Mags Changes to aircraft associations

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
06 January 2015 20:07:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 5-Jan-2015. DEscription based on "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'.