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VIII Bomber Command 73

14 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The German air depot at Villacoublay, France and the German airfields Amiens/Glisy and Le Bourget at Paris, France are the primary targets for this mission. These attacks are made by three separate elements: 116 B-17s are despatched from 92BG (15); 303BG (19); 305BG (20); 306BG (24); 379BG (20); and 384BG (18). 101 aircraft of this element are effective on the target. 1 B-17 from 303BG was ditched 30 miles off Shoreham and the entire crew was rescued by ASR; 1 B-17 from 305BG was shot down by enemy aircraft - 7KIA 4POW; and one B-17 from 384BG was shot down by enemy aircraft - 4POW 6EVD (No MACR issued). This formation included 5 YB-40 gunships from 92BG and did not receive fighter escort. The bomber gunners of this element claim 15-7-16 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The second element was a combined force of 64 B-17s from 91BG (20); 351BG (20); and 381BG (24) despatched to bomb the German airfield Amiens/Glisy. 53 of these aircraft were effective on the target. 1 B-17 from 381BG exploded during assembly - 6KIA 4RTD; 3 other B-17s were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) but all the crews were RTD. The bomber gunners of this element claim 9-0-2 of attacking enemy aircraft. German fighters conducted mainly head-on attacks on the bomber stream. This element received fighter escort.

The third element was a combined force of 84 B-17s from 94BG (19); 95BG (22); 96BG (21); and 100BG (22) despatched to bomb the airfield of Le Bourget at Paris, France. 52 aircraft of this element were effective on the target. 94BG sustains the significant loss of 4 B-17s - 11KIA 14POW 16EVD. The bomber gunners have a field day against the Luftwaffe, claiming 41-27-32 of the attacking enemy aircraft. This element did not have fighter escort.

Mission details

1. AMIENS/GLISY (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

381st Bomb Group had the Missing in Action (MIA), it exploded during assembly. 351st Bomb Group had a Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) crash-landing in southern England, but could not confirm tail number. This element received fighter escort.

Units

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 82.95
Number of aircraft Sent 64
Number of aircraft Effective 53
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 34
Number of people Killed In Action 16
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

2. PARIS/LE BOURGET (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

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 122.85
Number of aircraft Sent 84
Number of aircraft Effective 52
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 4
Number of aircraft Damaged 50
Number of people Killed In Action 11
Number of people Wounded in Action 16
Number of people Evaded 16
Number of people Prisoners of War 14
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 41
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 27
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 32

3. VILLACOUBLAY

Description

101 of 116 B-17s drop thier bombs on the AIR DEPOT at Villacoublay, France.

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Despatch by 92nd Bomb Group includes 5 YB-40s.

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,...

  • 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...

  • 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 232.50
Number of aircraft Sent 116
Number of aircraft Effective 101
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 67
Number of people Killed In Action 8
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Evaded 7
Number of people Prisoners of War 7
Number of people Returned To Duty 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 16

Service

People

  • William Bechter

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Holdom Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30011 "Widget". Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. MACR 133. Killed in Action (KIA). Buried in Normandy AMC. Plot H, Row 22, Grave 30. Burlingame, CA

  • 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...

  • 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. ...

  • William Burroughs

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Hedin Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS. Killed in Action, 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3223 "Red Hot Riding Hood". Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. Plane developed engine trouble and exploded over Rattlesden Base. Buried in Cambridge AMC. Plot C, Row...

  • William Coleman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Holdom Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. Shot down 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30011 "Widget". Killed in Action (KIA). Unknown burial. Hutchinson, KS

  • William Craver

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio Operator, Holdom Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30011 "Widget". Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. MACR 133. Killed in Action (KIA). Unknown burial. Warren, OH

  • Edward Decosmo

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Waist Gunner. Hedin Crew. 381st BG, 533rd BS. Killed in Action 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-3223 "Red Hot Riding Hood". Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. Plane developed engine trouble and exploded over Rattlesden Base. Unknown burial. Unknown hometown

  • Kenneth Fossan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Holdom Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30011 "Widget". Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. MACR 133. Killed in Action (KIA). Unknown burial. Willows, CA

  • Robert Gravelyn

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Co-pilot, Holdom Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 14 July 1943 in B-17 #42-30011 "Widget". Mission #9 to Amiens-Glisy, France. MACR 133. Killed in Action (KIA). Unknown burial. Grand Rapids, MI

  • Francis Green

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Left Waist Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Missing in Action (MIA) 14 July 1943 in B-17 #423330. Evaded.

Show more

Aircraft

  • 41-24577 Hell's Angels

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24577 "Hells Angels" was assigned to 358BS/303BG [VK-D] Bangor 14-Oct-42; arrived at Molesworth 24-Oct-42; in landing accident with Irl E. Baldwin 26-Apr-43; slated to RAF 100 Squadron, but retained by 803rd BS ATD (American Training...

  • 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...

  • 42-30011 Widget

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/4/43; Pueblo 8/4/43; Smoky Hill 11/5/43; Dow Fd 23/5/43; Assigned 535BS/381BG [MS-R] Ridgewell 6/4/43 with Bob Holdom, Bob Gravelyn, Bill Bechter, Jim Phillips, Bill Coleman, Bill Craver, Morris Pryor, Ray Pulliner, Ken Fossan, Jim...

  • 42-30301 Idiots' Delight

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Idiot's Delight was the first B-17 of the 94th Bomber group to survive 50 missions; not once turning back due mechanical failure. The first mission was flown July 14th 1943 and the 50th was 22nd March 1944. The 94th suffered huge casualties during this...

  • 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...

  • 42-3223 Red Hot Riding Hood

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 14/4/43; Dow Fd 23/5/4 Assigned 533BS/381BG [VP-R] Ridgewell 2/6/43 with Chas Hedin, Rudi Duncan, Frank Cappel, Dick Hanna, Bob Potts, Vivian Thomas, Stewart McDonald, Cliff Marhefke, Arnold Lorick; en route Amiens 14/7/43 caught...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:35:03 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 18:03:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 18:01:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to statistics on the Villacoublay element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:57:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
07 May 2015 21:16:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-May-2015. Edited 3rd element Mission Description to include target, "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
07 May 2015 21:08:47 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
07 October 2014 15:57:36 Tom Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Associated aircraft 42-30301. B-17 Fortress at War, Roger Freeman 1977

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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