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VIII Bomber Command 86

24 August 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

The 8th Air Force is intent on dishing out some "pay back" to the Luftwaffe for the toll it took on bombers of the 17-Aug-43 mission to Schweinfurt/Regensburg. So, This mission has three attack elements and a diversion element. The attack elements are all directed at German airfields in France, one of which is an air depot. There are attacks in the late morning and late afternoon.

The first element is composed of 85 B-17s of the 17-Aug-43 Regensburg element that landed at bases in North Africa. The target is the German airfield of Bordeaux/Merignac, France. The Groups participating are: 94BG (17); 95BG (8); 96BG (15); 100BG (6); 385BG (13); 388BG (16); and 390BG (10). 9 aircraft had mechanical difficulties and returned to North Africa, and the 385BG formation of 13 did not attack. 58 of the 85 are effective on the target. These attacked between 1157hrs and 1200 hrs. 3 aircraft are MIA - 5KIA 3POW 6EVD 6RTD (rescued by ASR). 2 aircraft are listed as Category E losses (Damaged Beyond Repair-DBR) but one of these was a ground accident prior to take-off from Telergma when someone in the crew retracted the landing gear while the aircraft was on the hardstand. The other DBR ran out of gas while in the landing pattern at Knettishall and the pilot was forced to make a crashlandind in a nearby field. The crew were all OK. The bomber gunners of this element claimed 3-3-10 of attacking fighters.

The second attacking element was a force of 110 B-17s from: 91BG (14); 92BG (19); 305BG (18); 306BG (18); 351BG (22); 379BG (12); and 381BG (7) despatched to bomb the large German air depot at Villacoublay, France. 86 aircraft are effective on the target between 1800hrs - 1805hrs. Weather prevented 91BG from dropping. There are no losses in this element but 64 are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 1-0-1 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The third element is a formation of 42 B-17s from: 94BG (6); 95BG (7); 96BG (3); 100BG (7); 385BG (6); 388BG (6); and 390BG (7) despatched to bomb the German airfields at Conches, France and at Evereux/Fauville, France. Weather hampers bombing: none of the aircraft despatched from 94BG, 385BG and 388BG are able to bomb because of cloud cover. 22 of the 42 despatched manage to bombe the target. 1 B-17 is MIA because of a mechanical failure and is ditched into the English Channel - 1KIA 9RTD (rescued by ASR). The bomber gunners calim 0-0-2 of attacking enemy aircraft.

A force of 36 B-17s from 303BG (18); 379BG (6); and 384BG (36) are despatched to fly a diversion for the elements attacking at Villacoublay and Chonches. One aircraft aborts. There are no losses or claims.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Diversion for Villacoublay raid.

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 (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...

  • 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

Number of aircraft Sent 36
Number of aircraft Effective 35

2. BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

85 B-17s from Africa join raid, these landed there after Regensburg raid. 9 returned to African bases. 385th Bomb Group despatch was not effective in bombing the target.

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...

  • 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...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 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 141.75
Number of aircraft Sent 85
Number of aircraft Effective 58
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 40
Number of people Killed In Action 4
Number of people Evaded 6
Number of people Prisoners of War 3
Number of people Returned To Duty 26
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 10

3. CONCHES EVREUX / FAUVILLE (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELDS

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

94th Bomb Group 385th Bomb Group and 390th Bomb Group despatch are unable to effectively hit the target.

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...

  • 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...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 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 248.00
Number of aircraft Sent 42
Number of aircraft Effective 22
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 15
Number of people Killed In Action 2
Number of people Wounded in Action 9
Number of people Returned To Duty 9
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 2

4. VILLACOUBLAY

Description

AIR DEPOT

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

91st Bomb Group despatch unable to effectively hit the target

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 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 257.25
Number of aircraft Sent 110
Number of aircraft Effective 86
Number of aircraft Damaged 64
Number of people Wounded in Action 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 1

Service

People

  • Richard Bailey

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

  • Charles Bein

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Neil Brennan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Air Gunner, Togglier/Bombardier | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 26 November 1943 in B-17 #4230832. Prisoner of War (POW). He was a Prisoner of War (POW) from 26 Nov. 1943 to 04 May 1945. He was at Stalag 17B, Krems, Austria. Prisoner of War (POW) no. 100388. POW

  • 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.

  • Chester Cox

    Military | Colonel | Group Commanding Officer | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Brigadier General

  • 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...

  • John Dewey

    Military | Captain | Lead Navigator | 385th Bomb Group
    On 24 August 1943, John A Dewey and his crew were returning to their base at Great Ashfield in Suffolk from North Africa in their B-17 “Lulu Belle” after a mission over Regensburg. ...

  • 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.

  • Lady Moe Donkey

    Military | Mascot | 96th Bomb Group
    Lady Moe, a Tunisian donkey, was the mascot of the 96th Bombardment Group. ...

Show more

Aircraft

  • 41-24560 'Little Audrey'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 368BS/306BG [BO-D] New Castle 4/10/42; Thurleigh 26/10/42; transferred 369BS [WW- ]; transferred 544BS/384BG [SU-A] Grafton Underwood 5/9/43; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 15/3/44; Returned to the USA Homestead 14/5/44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 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...

  • 42-30412 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...

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 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...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 May 2017 12:34:52 ThomBear Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Added a/c 41-24560, per post-mission report.

Date Contributor Update
26 May 2015 21:04:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Villacoublay element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
26 May 2015 21:02:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Conches element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date Contributor Update
26 May 2015 21:01:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Bordeaux element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
26 May 2015 20:58:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2014 11:31:40 Emily Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:18 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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