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8th Air Force 266

19 March 1944

Official description

Not yet known

Description

V-Weapon sites in France are the targets for this mission. A combined force of 193 B-17s of 1st and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched. Mission Summary follows:

1st Air Division: 129 B-17s from: 303BG; 351BG; 379BG; 384BG; 401BG; and 457BG are despatched. 117 aircraft are effective on V-Weapon sites at Wizerneas and Watten, France. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 6KIA 4POW. 1 aircraft made forced landing in France but was later returned to England and salvaged at 1st Strategic Arms Depot at Troston, UK on 22-Apr-44 - 10RTD. 74 aircraft are damaged. 1 airman aboard a returning aircraft was WIA. There are no other losses, casualties or claims in this element.

3rd Air Division: A combined force of 64 B-17s from: 95BG; 100BG; and 390BG are despatched. 56 are effective on the V-Weapon site at Marquise/Mimoyecques, France. There ar no aircraft losses, but 14 are damaged. 1 airman in a returning aircraft is WIA. There are no othr losses, casualties or claims in this element.

Mission details

1. Watten, France

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

457th BG MISSION NO 15 - WATTEN, FRANCE

19 MARCH 1944

Twenty-four aircraft carried out a No Ball Mission to Watten, a large and important German anti-invasion fortification under construction twelve miles inland from Calais. This facilityWas considered to be one of the oldest and best developed, and possibly the most important structure of this type in the Pas-deCalais area. Major Hoffman was Air Commander and Lt. Bender was pilot.

There was no wing assembly. The Group flew west ofthe briefed course and all craft missed the target. Heavy antiaircraft fire was encountered and thirteen planes were damaged but only one seriously.This was a Sunday afternoon mission. The Group was not alerted until noon, did not take off until 1615, and returnedat 2000. It was a quiet day over the Continent. Only 193 bombers were dispatched to western France.

(Compiler 's Note: Though the site of an important anti invasion fortification, the hamlet of Walton was not shown on1944 French maps and is the subject of various spellings in mission reports.)

Units

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00

2. Wizernes, France

Description

V-1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

V-weapon sites are targeted. Groups participating are part of 1st Bomb Division. No bomber gunner claims.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 457th Bomb Group

    457th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 457th Bomb Group began combat operations during the Big Week of 20-25 February when American bombers carried out concentrated raids against German aircraft bases, factories and assembly plants. The air crews' targets on that first mission were...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 343.98
Number of aircraft Sent 129
Number of aircraft Effective 117
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 74
Number of people Killed In Action 6
Number of people Prisoners of War 4
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

Service

People

  • John Daly

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau, Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA). No MACR Awards: AM, PH.

  • William Evans

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 17 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau, Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Sole survivor, blown out of A/C with chute. Wounded in Action (WIA) RTD....

  • Calvin Fowlkes

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak burst and crashed N of St Pol, FR on a mission to Wizernes, FR on 19 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-31926 'Lovell's Hovel'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Frank Hearne

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) in 42-31083. A/C exploded mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM, PH.

  • Joseph Jennings

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier; Navigator; Bombardier Instructor | 379th Bomb Group
    Joe Jennings served as a bombardier and navigator with the 525th Bomb Squadron of the 379th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Kimbolton, England. While Joe is at Alconbury receiving Radar training, he learns about the crash of April 11 that kills John...

  • James Johnson

    Military | Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    Crash landed South of Mailly-le-Camp after being hit by flak on a mission to Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany on 16 Mar 1944 in B-17G #42-37801 'Dynamite Express'. Killed in Action (KIA). Missing Air Crew Report #3243

  • James Johnson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 384th Bomb Group
    42-31926 JD-G, "LOVELL'S HOVEL" hit by flak immediately after bombs away; later observed spiraling down with flames pouring from all parts of aircraft; four chutes emerged, with one on fire; crashed near Wavrans-sur-Ternoise, a very small village, near...

  • Robert Kinsey

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group
    Robert Sylvester Kinsey Born April 1 1924 in Oklahoma's Osage Indian Reservation in Hominy Oklahoma to Robert S. Kinsey and Olive Forsythe. His father worked for the Train Company in the Oil Fields. Later moved to Atchison Kansas were he married his...

  • Robert Koerber

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. 11 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Sorau Germany mission 11-Apr-44 'Tenny Belle' exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England. Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM, PH.

  • Adriel Langendoerfer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio man | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 525BS, 379BG, 8AF USSAF. FTR (FTR) in B-17 42-31083. A/C exploded in mid-air near Downham Market, England Killed in Action (KIA) Awards: AM, PH.

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Aircraft

  • 41-24605 Knock-out Dropper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-R] Bangor 22-Sep-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; First 8th Air Force aircraft to complete 50, then 75 missions- 27-Mar-44; with M/Sgt Buford Pafford as crew chief; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5-Jun-44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-38082

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/12/43; Kearney 26/12/43; Nutts Corner, Belfast, N.I. 14/1/44; Assigned 525BS/379BG [FR-L] Kimbolton 29/1/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Capt Lytle Shumake, Co-pilot: George Smith, Navigator: Regis Savage, Bombardier:...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
01 February 2018 00:41:53 TennyBelle Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
Sources

8th AF Database

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 17:40:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 14:01:45 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Updated pin location

Date Contributor Update
13 May 2015 14:00:38 general ira snapsorter Changes to event
Sources

Mission detail added courtesy of Diane Reese - http://www.457thbombgroup.org/Narratives/ma15.html

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:12 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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