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VIII Bomber Command 72

10 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

German airfields at Caen, Abbeville, and Le Bourget at Paris, France are the primary targets for this mission. 112 B-17s form a combined force from 91BG; 92BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG and 381BG to bomb the German airfield (Carpiquet) at Caen, France. Cloud cover and poor weather frustrates the bombing attempts. Only 34 aircraft are effective on this target. 91BG; 351BG; and 381BG are unable to bomb. The 14 aircraft contingent from 92BG includes 5 YB-40 gunships as escorts within the bomber formation. 2 of these abort. Only 1 B-17 from 91BG is lost from this element - 8KIA 2POW. The bomber gunners claim 17-7-6 of attacking enemy aircraft.

A combined force of 64 B-17s from 303BG; 379BG and 384BG are despatched to bomb the German airfield at Abbeville, France. Only 36 aircraft from this element are effective on the target, but there are no aircraft losses. 4 aircraft are damaged.

The third element of this mission is flown by a combined force of 101 B-17s despatched from 94BG; 95BG; 96BG and 100BG. Cloud cover and poor weather cause this element to be recalled over France. None of the aircraft despatched were able to bomb. 2 aircraft are lost: 1 from 95BG - 6KIA 2POW 2EVD; and 100BG - 8POW 2EVD. The bomber gunners of this element claim 24-8-7 of attacking enemy fighters.

All elements receive some fighter escort by P-47s

Mission details

1. ABBEVILLE/ DRUCAT (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

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...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group, 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 Citations, the...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    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 64.20
Number of aircraft Sent 64
Number of aircraft Effective 36

2. CAEN/CARPIQUET (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

92nd Bomb Group despatch includes 5 YB-40s are-assignedas escorts, but two abort. Their effectiveness is doubtful. None of the aircraft despatched by 91st Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group or 381st Bomb Group were effective on the target due to cloud cover. Missing in Action (MIA) aircraft from 91st Bomb Group. All elements receive fighter escort.

Units

  • 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,...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    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...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    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...

  • 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...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group's 327th Bomb Squadron was the only Eighth Air Force squadron to fly YB-40s in combat. YB-40s were B-17s modified to fly as a heavily armed escort for other bombers. They were flown on missions between May and June 1943. Between May 1943...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 74.40
Number of aircraft Sent 121
Number of aircraft Effective 34
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 33
Number of people Killed In Action 8
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 17
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

3. PARIS/LE BOURGET (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The one aircraft listed Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) (serial number 42-30305, 100th Bomb Group/349BS) to Paris actually crashed on take-off and crashed at Dickleburg, UK with 7 Killed and 3 Injured. This element abandoned the attack because of cloud cover. However, the bomber gunners claim a good toll on the Luftwaffe.

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organisation and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29-Jun-1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28-Aug-42 to 31-Oct-42 than at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas from...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped None
Number of aircraft Sent 101
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 13
Number of people Evaded 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 11
Number of people Returned To Duty 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 24
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

Service

People

  • William Binnebose

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Served 3 March 1942-1 January 1946. Flew 9 missions, not all on Our Bay-Bee. WIA 26 Jul 1943 B-17 #42-30274. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #4230274 'Our Bay-Bee. ' Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag 17B, Krems. Also wounded while POW, shot when 2 other...

  • 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.

  • John Jones

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 401st Bomb Group
    Killed in action on 10 July 1943 - "anoxic death".

  • Jack Kern

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

  • Charles Lozenski

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Airplane Armorer Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

  • 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...

  • Frank Spitznagel

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

  • Philip Spofford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Gunner | 94th Bomb Group
    Philip Spofford was born in Arlington, MA. and graduated from Arlington High School in 1941. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps one month later completing his basic training at Fort Devens, MA. At a later date he completed Armament School at Lowery...

Aircraft

  • 42-29688 Kayo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 3/2/43; Salina 10/2/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-X] Chelveston 17/3/43; transferred 546BS/384BG [BK-X] Grafton Underwood 26/8/43; then 547BS [SO-S]; 2 Base Air Depot, Lt Staughton 4/4/44; Returned to the USA Brookley 11/8/44; Homestead...

  • 42-29731 Ol' Swayback, Moore 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...

  • 42-30066 'Mugwump' aka 'Rum Boogie II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/4/43; Gore 14/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 16/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-X] Andrews Fd 2/6/43; RUM BOOGIE II; transferred 418BS/100BG [LD-U] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; as war weary F...

  • 42-30105 'Exterminator' 'Slightly Dangerous'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/4/43; Tinker 12/5/43; Lincoln 20/5/43; Bangor 23/5/43; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-R] Framlingham 6/6/43 EXTERMINATOR; Horham 12/6/43; 4m, Missing in Action Le Bourget 10/7/43 with Jim Sarchet, Co-pilot: Ron McMullen, Bombardier:...

  • 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...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:53:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims of enemy aircraft to statistics of Le Bourget/Paris element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:50:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to statistics of Caen element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
07 May 2015 20:17:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-May-2015. Added Mission 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'.

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