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Leroy Lester Mace


Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. Completed tour with 8AF. Returned to 15AF for 2nd tour.

"My most memorable mission was Schweinfurt, 14-Oct-43 also known as Black Thursday. After serving 25 missions with the 8th AF I was sent home. I then went back to Italy and flew 21 missions with the 15th AF and was wounded twice, and sent home. I flew as a ball turret gunner in the famous 'knock out dropper' on my 10th (Schweinfurt) mission."

Awards: DFC, AM (5OLC), PH (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (4 battle stars), Campaign Medal.


Units served with

  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force

    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb 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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron


  • 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...


  • VIII Bomber Command 115

    14 October 1943
    This was the 2nd mission flown against the ball bearing industry at Schweinfurt, Germany and was as equally disastrous as that flown on 17-Aug-43. It came to be known as "Black Thursday". While fighter escort was dispatched, bad weather and lack of...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...


Event Location Date
Born Pekin, Illinois 8 October 1916

Son of LeRoy and Mary [McMillan] Mace.

Enlisted Peoria, IL 16 June 1942
Based Molesworth 1943 – 1944

Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF.

Died Peoria, IL 27 February 2016
Buried Glendale Memorial Gardens, Pekin, IL March 2016

Glendale Memorial Gardens
Tazewell County, IL


Date Contributor Update
14 April 2019 14:31:45 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and mission associations

Date Contributor Update
14 April 2019 13:31:57 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, nickname, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Key Image ID.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:18:42 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / friend/303rd Roster/self