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VIII Bomber Command 75

24 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

Three targets in Norway are the primary targets for this first mission flown by 8th AIr Force to Norway. They are the nitrate works at Heroya and the port areas at Trondheim and Bergen. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (22); 92BG (15); 303BG (20); 305BG (19); 306BG (21); 351BG (21); 381BG (21); and 384BG (20). 167 of these aircraft are effective on the target. 92BG compliment included 1 YB-40 gunship. Fighter resistance is light and the bomber gunners claim 9-2-0 of the attacking fighters. 1 battle damaged B-17 form 381BG makes a forced landing at Vannacka, Sweden. All 10 crewmen and the aircraft are interned in Sweden. This is the first aircarft and crew to be interned in Sweden.

The second element is a combined force of 45 B-17s from: 95BG (21) and 100BG (24) despatched to bomb the port area at Trondheim, Norway. 41 of these aircraft are effective on the target. 1 battle damaged B-17 from 100BG makes a crash landing at Fraserburg Airfield, UK. All crew OK, but aircraft is considered to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) (Category E loss). The bomber gunners claim 4-2-3 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The third element is a combined force of 84 B-17s from : 94BG (21); 96BG (21); 385BG (21); and 388BG (21) were despatched to bomb the port area at Bergen, Norway. None of this force was able to bomb because the target was totally obscured by cloud cover. All returned to England with their bomb loads.

Mission details

1. BERGEN (Primary)

Description

PORT AREA

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Target obscured by cloud cover.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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 84
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

2. HERØYA (Primary)

Description

NITRATE WORKS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

This is the longest mission yet flown by the 8th Air Force (1,900 miles round trip) and the first to Norway. No fighter escort. Despatch from 92nd Bomb Group included one YB-40.

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...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 1657 X 500GP
Number of aircraft Sent 180
Number of aircraft Effective 167
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 53
Number of people Killed In Action 1
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Number of people Interned 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2

3. TRONDHEIM (Primary) / Rjukan, Norway

Description

PORT AREA
The target was briefed to members of the 95th BG as the heavy water plant at Rjukan Norway

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

All of these aircraft were equipped with long-range tanks and flew at low altitude until just off the Norway coast to conserve fuel.

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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 324 X 500GP
Number of aircraft Sent 45
Number of aircraft Effective 41
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 9
Number of people Wounded in Action 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 2
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

  • Barclay Beeby

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • 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. ...

  • Henry Cox

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

  • John Crawbuck

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Larson crew. Original member of the Tucker crew. Member of the Hagarty crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down 11 January 1944 in B-17 #42-3118 'The Green Hornet'. Mission #59 to the aircraft factories at Oschersleben, Germany. Struck by an...

  • Henry Dick

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 388th Bomb Group
    WIA. 16 Sept 1943 mission to La Pallice. FR, in B17#42-5904 'Gremlin Gus'. On return, crashed in Devonshire after scrapping a hill top. Lieutenant Dick lost a leg.

  • 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

  • Shannon Early

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    LWG, Jones Crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Damaged July 24, 1943 in B-17 #42-3217 "Georgia Rebel" and crashed in Vannacka, Sweden. Mission #11 to the chemical factories (Magnesium, Aluminum) in Heroya, Sweden. Hit by flak, #2 engine feathered and...

  • Jack Edwards

    Military | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

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Aircraft

  • 42-29633 "SpitzFire" (early 1943)

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/1/43; Salina 12/2/43; Assigned 364BS/305BG [WF-H/J/N/D] Chelveston 4/3/43. Completed missions as "Spitz Fire" under command of Lt. Frank R. Spitznagel Jr. until 8/19/43; transferred 381BG Ridgewell 11/9/43 1m; 526BS/379BG [LF-U]...

  • 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...

  • 42-30033 "Little America"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Sioux City 13/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 20/5/43; Assigned to the 547BS/384BG [S0-G] Grafton Underwood 24/5/43, then the 546BS [BK-G]; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Maj Maurice Stanley Dillingham, Co-pilot:...

  • 42-30207 Big Red

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 11/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 12/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG [ -T] Knettishall 14/6/43; Missing in Action Bordeaux 27/3/44 with Julius Lederman, Co-pilot: Waite Law, Bombardier: John Luzell (3 Prisoner of War)...

  • 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...

  • 42-30282

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/5/43; Gore 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 17/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; ...

  • 42-3217 Georgia Rebel

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/3/43; Dow 23/5/43; Assigned 535BS/381BG [MS-T] Ridgewell 24/5/43 with Osce Jones, Seth Armstead, Leon Spivey, Chas Nevius, Jim Haynie, Joe Nicatra, Alf Haugen, Chas Newcomb, Shannon Early, Maurice Kelleher. ...

  • 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...

  • 42-5826 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
03 November 2017 04:15:56 ARowe95 Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

ARowe95

Date Contributor Update
17 May 2015 21:38:55 simaguire Changes to event
Sources

Ian L Hawkins (2005). B17s Over Berlin. Washington DC: Potomac. pp100.

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 19:00:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 18:58:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

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

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 18:56:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative 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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