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VIII Bomber Command 74

17 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The railroad industry at Hannover, Germany and the aircraft industry at Hamburg, Germany were the intended targets for this mission but weather caused the mission to be cancelled. The element sent to Hannover was a combined force of 207 B-17s from: 91BG (25); 303BG (27), 351BG (28); 381BG (30); 92BG (18); 305BG (26); 306BG (28); and 379BG (25). Only 91BG; 351BG and 381BG (33 total) were able to bomb targets of opportunity. One B-17 from 351BG was shot down by anti-aircraft fire while leaving the coast upon return, ditched into the sea, and crew rescued by ASR - 1KIA 9RTD. The compliment from 92BG included 2 YB-40 gunships.The bomber gunners were able claimed 32-7-3 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The element originally designated to attack at Hamburg, Germany was a combined force of 125 B-17s, but weather caused a recall of this formation also. However 84 B-17s from: 94BG (18); 95BG (23); 96BG (21); and 100BG (22) sighted a German ship convoy on the return. Only 1 B-17 from 96BG managed to drop on the convoy. Another segment of this formation: 385BG (21) and 388BG (20) attempted to bomb the Fokker aircraft factory at Amsterdam, Holland. A total of 22 aircraft attempted the bombing, but the results were highly scattered and 150 civilians were killed. 1 B-17 from 94BG was shot down by enemy aircraft near Helgoland, Island, Germany - 10KIA

Mission details

1. AMSTERDAM (Primary)

Description

FOKKER AIRCRAFT PLANT

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Target obscured - all bombs miss and 150 civilians reported killed. This element receives fighter escort.

The 388th BG started its war on 17 July 1943 with its first mission - a milk run to Amsterdam. Unfortunately for some citizens of Amsterdam, the aim was not very good. However Anne Frank could hear the bombing of this mission in her hideout and recorded it in her famous diary. The death of innocent civilians was terrible but it gave her hope of an eventual rescue of Amsterdam and the rest of Europe.

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 51.50
Number of aircraft Sent 41
Number of aircraft Effective 21
Number of aircraft Damaged 11

2. HAMBURG (Primary)

Description

AIRCRAFT FACTORY

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Aircraft factory obscured. Only one aircraft from 96th Bomb Group is able to drop its bomb load (Convoy).

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 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942; Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 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 2.50
Number of aircraft Sent 84
Number of aircraft Effective 1
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 30
Number of people Killed In Action 11
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 28
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 33

3. HANNOVER (Primary) T/Os

Description

RAIL YARDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

This is the first mission for the 388th and 385th Bomb Group. Rail Yards obscured. Targets of Opportunity bombed. No fighter escort for this mission. 92nd Bomb Group despatch included two 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,...

  • 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 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 80.50
Number of aircraft Sent 207
Number of aircraft Effective 33
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 50
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Wounded in Action 9
Number of people Returned To Duty 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 32
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

Service

People

  • Richard Bailey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Major

  • Ronald Barstow

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

  • Charles Bliss

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel

  • Edward Bruni

    Military | Major | Bombardier | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Edward Bruni graduated from St. Mary of the Mount High School in 1934. He was a winning football coach of the high school from 1937-39, together with Eppie Graner, and coached three champion teams and one co-champion team in the Catholic League. ...

  • 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.

  • Fred Champion

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier; Togglier; Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Fred Champion was assigned to the 92nd Bomb Group/407th Bomb Squadron in England. He was serving as Waist Gunner on board B-17 #42-29996 on the 17 July 1943 mission to Stuttgart, with Pilot Captain Donald G. Parker. Badly damaged by enemy fighters, the...

  • Henry Cox

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 16 September 1943 AM w/ Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Fred Dioquardo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Flew 28 combat missions. Served as ball Turret Gunner with many pilots and on many different aircraft in the 360th Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group. First mission on 4 April 1943 with John Farrar (42-5260); 2nd one with Clemens Wurzbach (41-24562);...

  • George Doyle

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • Jack Edwards

    Military | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

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Aircraft

  • 42-29858 "Murder Incorporated", then "Censored"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/2/43; Smoky Hill 22/3/43; Assigned 508BS/351BG [YB-G] Polebrook 17/5/43 MURDER INCORPORATED 31m; crashed on take off after losing engine at Oundle, near Barnwell, UK 21 February 1944, with Lt – Evans, crew ? ; 2 SAD Lt Staughton 22...

  • 42-29870 Big Moose

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/2/43; Casper 13/3/43; Metropolitan 13/4/43; Presque Is 30/4/43; Dow Fd 1/5/43; Assigned 379BG Kimbolton 2/5/43; transferred 365BS/305BG [XK-T/H] Chelveston 23/6/43; 545BS/384BG [JD-U] Grafton Underwood 29/9/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-29996 FLAG SHIP (FLAGSHIP)

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23 March 1943; Dow Field 10 April 1943; Assigned 407BS/92BG [PY-R] Alconbury 24 April 1943. Was flown by Captain Donald G. Parker on the 17 July 1943 mission to Hannover, Germany. Hit by Unteroffizier Ernst Breton of JG11, it was...

  • 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...

  • 42-30193 Hard Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 14/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 15/6/43. ...

  • 42-30212 Quarterback

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 14/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 16/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 17/6/43; transferred Aphrodite project, Missing in Action V-sites, Watten 6/8/44 with Lt Joeseph P Andrecheck & T/Sgt Raymond Healy (2...

  • 42-30213 Lil' One

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Gore 9/5/43; Sioux City 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 1/6/43; crashed on take off for Bremen after encountering mechanical problems 13/11/43 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Alvin...

  • 42-3291 Miss Mac

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 30/4/43; Dow Fd 13/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 14/6/43; on training mission 12/7/44 with Major Boardman Reed, Co-pilot: Major Melvin Buckner, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Paul Weathers, Radio Operator: Ora Kelsey, pass...

  • 42-5900 Virgin On The Verge

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 29/4/43; Sioux City 5/5/43; Smoky 9/6/43; Dow Fd 12/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 14/6/43; Salvaged NBD 1/8/44. VIRGIN ON THE VERGE.

  • 42-97760

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 16/2/44; 1SAG Langley 12/3/44; Dow Fd 29/5/44; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 31/5/44; Salvaged 9AF Germany 11/1/46.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:45:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:43:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to statistics for the Amsterdam/Convoy element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:39:39 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added Mission Description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
04 March 2015 16:30:36 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Information sent by Dick Read relating to Arthur M. Read and the 388th Bomb Group.

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2014 10:40:48 Emily Changes to event
Sources

Moved pins from South Africa to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Hamburg, Germany

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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