Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Oran T O'Connor

Military

On 23 Jan 43 in B-17F 41-24580 "Hellcat Agnes" while serving as Pilot the aircraft was shot down by enemy fighters while on a mission to Lorient, France. Was last seen with #4 engine feathered and #1 engine smoking. Went down in region between Brest and the coast ditching in the Bay of Biscay. He was able to bale out of the stricken aircraft and was captured. Prisoner of War (POW) This was mission #11 for the Group. Participated in 5 Operations - 2 Aborted (See Biography events).

NOTE: No Missing Air Crew Report was ever made to document this loss. Bishop & Hey "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" has it assigned to MACR 15473 but that is an error. MACR 15473 documents the loss of B-17F 41-24607, 303BG/427BS MIA also on 23-Jan-43.

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...

  • 358th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24580 Hellcat Agnes & No Monkey Business

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24580 "Hellcat Agnes" was assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-C] Bangor 11-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-62. Participated in 6 Operations - 2 Aborts (See Biography events) ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 25

    12 December 1942
    This mission is composed of two elements. First element: The German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a force of 78 B-17s despatched from 91BG (19), 303BG (20), 305BG (21) and 306BG (18). However, the target is...

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

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
Mission #1 1LT Oran T. O'Conner w/41-24580, 303BG/358BS Lorient, France 22 November 1942

Served as Co-Pilot on B-17F 41-24580, "Hell Cat" on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. (RTB OK). He was assigned to this aircraft as Pilot but on this mission the 358BS Designated Commanding Officer, MAJ Charles E. Marion, served as Pilot.

Mission #3 1LT Oran T. O'Conner w/B-17F 41-24580, 303BG/358BS Rouen, France 12 December 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24580 "Hell Cat", 303BG 358BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen, France. (RTB OK)

Mission #4 1LT Oran T. O'Conner w/B-1F 41-24580, 303BG/358BS - Aborted Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24580 "Hell Cat", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur Seine, France, but mechanical failures forced him to abort the mission.

Prisoner of War (POW) Zagan, Poland 23 January 1943 – 7 June 1945

Held at Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia (now Poland) mover to Nuremberg-Langwasser. Officially Returned to Military Control (RMC) 7-Jun-45.

Mission #5 1LT Oran T. O'Conner w/B1-7F 41-24580, 303BG/358BS POW Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24580 "Hell Cat", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Aircraft was shot down by enemy fighters, 1LT O'Conner baled out and was captured as a Prisoner of War (POW).

Mission #2 1LT Oran T. O'Conner w/B-17F 41-24580, 303BG/358BS - Aborted 6 December 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24580 "Hell Cat", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb he carraige and wagon works at Lille, France, but mechanical failures forced him to abort the mission. (RTB OK)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 22:21:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Aug-2015. Added connection to Mission of 6-Dec-42 per 303BG website Mission Report of 6-Dec-42, Gary Moncur, HIstorian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 22:17:53 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-AUg-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 6-Dec-42, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf. Re-numbered missions #2 thru #4 to #3 thru #5.

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 21:48:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Aug-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 404BG website Mission Reoport of 23-Jan-42, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 21:41:39 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Aug-43. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 20-Dec-42, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 21:36:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Aug-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 12-Dec-42, Gary Moncur, HIstorian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/006.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 21:30:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Aug-2015. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 22-Nov-42, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
12 August 2015 21:20:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Aug-2015. Added Operation participation to Description and clarified error on MACR 15473 per 303BG website Mission Reports, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missions.html

Date Contributor Update
22 January 2015 17:37:29 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Jan-2015. Added NOTE to Biography.

Date Contributor Update
22 January 2015 17:28:54 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 22-Jan-2015. Added decoration and POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW database; corrected SN from a zero 0 to and Oh O per MACR 15473; Made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data; Edited biography adding aircraft and crew position.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:48 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit history,  Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs by Bishop and Hey Vol. 1 p. 65-66, <

href="http://www.303rdbg.com/358o%20connor.html">http://www.303rdbg.com/358o connor.html>>

Share