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Martin E Plocher

Military

9-Feb-42 Assigned as Pilot with crew to B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK. 303BG records do not indicate that he was in the original complement of aircraft and crews of the 303BG at Molesworth, UK in October 1942. It seems likely that he and his crew were a replacement crew and were processed through one of the Combat Crew Replacment Centers prior to their assigment with the 303BG.

Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17 42-5262, 303BG/360BS while serving as Pilot. The aircraft crashed into Bay of Biscay after a FW-190 attack that knocked out engines 1 & 2. Copilot and LWG killed instantly. The other 8 survived in leaky rafts for 12 hours before a German boat hauled them aboard to become Prisoner of War (POW)s. 1LT Plocher was captured near Brest, France. MACR 15536

Participated in 4 Operations (1 was Aborted) See Biography events.
POW

Service

Units served with

  • 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...

  • 360th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 42-5262

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27-Oct-42; Bury 6-Dec-42; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] Molesworth 29-Jan-43; Missing in Action Lorient 6-Mar-43. Shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed into the Bay of Biscay, off Penmarch Point. 2KIA 8POW Missing Air Crew Report 15536. ...

  • 42-5723

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-5-VE 42-5723 [PU:D] was delivered Long Beach 30-Sep-42; Tulsa 4-Oct-42; Wayne 5-Nov-42; Salina 27-Nov-42; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-D] at Molesworth, UK 13-Feb-43; battle damaged over Vegasak on 18-Mar-43 crash landed with wheels up in field four...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 34

    14 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are once again slated at the primary target for this mission. A force of 74 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (17); 305BG (17); 306BG (20), but weather once again forces the mission to be recalled before...

  • VIII Bomber Command 37

    26 February 1943
    After 10 days of weather related delays of the bomber offensive, a mission is organised with the port facilities of Emden, Germany as the primary target. However, Emden is obscured by cloud cover and all formations divert to attack the port facilities...

  • VIII Bomber Command 38

    27 February 1943
    With weather and cloud cover continuing to frustrate bombing efforts against targets in Northern Germany, VIII Bomber Command decides to mount a raid against the harbour facilities at Brest, France. A total of 60 B-17s are destached: 91BG (18); 303BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 40

    6 March 1943
    German U-boats continue to attack convoys headed fro Great Britain in the North Atlantic with good success. Many of the U-boat packs operate from St. Nazaire, Lorient and Brest, France, so destroying harbour facilities at these locations remain a...

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...

Events

Event Location Date
Born
Assigned to Aircraft Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 9 February 1943

Assigned as Pilot, with crew, to B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK.

Mission #1, 1LT Martin E. Plocher, w/B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS - Aborted Hamm, Germany 14 February 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. Severe cold and weather forced Wing Command to recall the entier 303BG formation. RTB OK.

Mission #2, 1LT Martin E. Plocher, w/B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS Wilhelmshaven, Germany 26 February 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the naval facilities and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. RTB OK.

Mission #3, 1LT Martin E. Plocher, w/B-17F 42-5723, 303BG/360BS Brest, France 27 February 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-5723, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the port area and U-Boat pens at Brest France. RTB OK.

Prisoner of War - Camp 1 Moosburg, Germany 6 March 1943 – 13 October 43

Held at Stalag 7A, Moosburg, Bavaria until 13-Oct-43, then relocated to Stalag 17B, Braunau-Gneikendorf (near Krems) Austria until liberted by American forced on 15-Apr-45.

Mission #4, 1LT Martin E. Plocher, w/B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS Brest, France 6 March 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Aircraft was shot down by fighters but 1LT Plocher managed to ditch the aircraft into the Bay of Biscay. He and 7 other airmen were able to get in rafts and were eventually captured by the Germans. Two other crew were KIA in the attack.

Prisoner of War - Camp 2 Krems an der Donau, Austria 13 October 1943

Held at Stalag 17B, Braunau-Gneikendorf (near Krems), Austria until liberated by the 3rd Army (Patton) on 15-Apr-45.

Last Report Date - Discharged 12 June 1945

Evacuated to the United States and Discharged.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2017 10:13:31 jeremyshimmer Changes to media associations
Sources

http://www.303rdbg.com/360plocher.html

Date Contributor Update
08 February 2017 10:09:52 jeremyshimmer Changes to highest rank and events
Sources

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/pe/obituary.aspx?n=martin-e-plocher&pid...

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 23:54:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Correcting typos.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 23:20:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Correcting typos in Mission #4 note.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 23:04:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Corrected Assigned to Aircraft year date.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:46:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Last Report Date event per NARA WWII POW database.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:45:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added POW-Camp 2 event per NARA WWII POW database and historical records of Stalag 7A.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:42:55 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/020.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:33:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 27-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/018.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:30:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 26-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/017.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:28:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 14-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/015.pdf

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:24:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, 303BG Personnel Roster: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:20:59 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added CCRC into to Summary Biography.

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:15:08 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Added Participations statement to Summary Biography per http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2016 22:06:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-Feb-2016. Made connections to Place, Aircraft and Missions; Added Assignment statement and Participations statement to Summary Biography per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, 303BG Personenl Roster; http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 20:32:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Jul-2015. Added prefix to SN per MACR 15536.

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 20:14:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards and events
Sources

Lee Cunnungham 3-Jul-2015. Added Decoration and POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added unit and crew position ot Description per MACR 15536.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:19:43 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15536, 3 Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. 1, pp. 88-89 by Bishop & Hey , 303rd web site mission report

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