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Ralph Boyd Adams

Military

Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42.

On 4-Jan-43 he was transferred to the 303BG/359BS at Molesworth, UK and promoted to Staff Sergeant. He participated in 24 missions with the 303BG/359BS (See Biography events UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

13-Jan-43 Lille; 23-Jan-43 Lorient; 27-Jan-43 Wilhelmshaven; 4-Feb-43 Hamm; 4-Mar-43 Rotterdam; 6-Mar-43 Lorient; 13-Mar-43 Amiens; 18-Mar-43 Vegesack; 22-Mar-43 Wilhelshaven; 28-Mar-43 Rouen; 31-Mar-43 Rotterdam; 4-Apr-43 Paris; 5-Apr-43 Antwerp; 16-Apr-43 Lorient; 17-Apr-43 Bremen; 14-May-43 Kiel; 15-May-43 Wilhelmshaven; 19-May-43 Kiel; 21-May-43 Wilhelmshaven; 11-Jun-43 Wilhelshaven; 22-Jun-43 Huls; 25-Jun-43 Hamburg; 26-Jun-43 Paris; 28-Jun-43 Beaumont.

AM w/ 3 Oak Leaf Cluster/ DFC/ GC

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...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group's 327th Bomb Squadron was the only Eighth Air Force squadron to fly YB-40s in combat. YB-40s were B-17s modified to fly as a heavily armed escort for other bombers. They were flown on missions between May and June 1943. Between May 1943...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24603 Green Hornet

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24603 "Green Hornet" [BN-Y], 303BG/359BS was assigned with a combat crew on 10-Sep-42 at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas then moved to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine 9-Oct-42; Arrived at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. ...

  • 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...

  • 41-24609 Holy Mackerel

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24609 'Holy Mackerel' assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-Q] Bangor 3-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. On 23-Nov-43 the aircraft flown by Maj. George L. Robinson was the lead aircraft of the 303BG formation in the attack on the U-Boat Pens at St. Nazaire,...

  • 41-24635 (The 8 BALL MK II). EIGHT BALL

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-O] New Castle 6/10/42; Molesworth 21/11/42. Flown by Captain William R. Calhoun on the 4 May 1943 mission to the Ford and General Motors works, Antwerp, Belgium, with Clark Gable on board for his first mission (slighly damaged...

  • 42-5177

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 6/10/42; New Castle 19/10/42; Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-U] Molesworth 1/2/43; battle damaged Bremen 28/11/43 with Harry Bolsover, Co-pilot: Chas Rice, Navigator: Byron Clark, Bombardier: Chas McLain, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 15

    21 October 1942
    German U-Boat pens are Lorient, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission along with the German airfield at Cherbourg, France. 93BG despatches 24-B-24s to Lorient, but cloud cover prevents them from bombing. The main attack force to Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 29

    13 January 1943
    The primary target for this mission is the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works, associated steel works and the railroad marshalling yards at Lille, France. The attacking force is composed of 72 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 303BG (19); 305BG (23) and 306BG ...

  • 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...

  • VIII Bomber Command 31

    27 January 1943
    First successful attack by 8th Air Force into Germany. The 306th Bomb Group gets the distinction of being the first American Bomb Group to drop bombs on Germany. O Original target was Vegesack but clouded over. Col. Frank Armstrong lead the group. Two...

  • VIII Bomber Command 32

    2 February 1943
    All six 8th Air Force Bomb Groups operting from Great Britain are ordered on a mission to bomb the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany. 61 B-17s and 22 B-24s are despatched but the formation runs into severe weather over the North Sea and the mission in...

  • VIII Bomber Command 33

    4 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are again designated as the primary target for this mission follwing the abortive attempt of 2-Feb-43. However, weather and extreme cold frustrate this operation also. The main attacking force consists of 65 B-17s...

Associated Place

  • Bovingdon

    Military site : airfield
    Bovingdon, in Hertfordshire (often confused with Bovington, Dorset), was built in 1941-42 as a bomber station but was never developed into a fully-fledged heavy bomber airfield as it did not have the required 2,000 yard runway. ...

  • 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 Roanoke, Virginia 18 March 1920
Mission #1, SGT Ralph B. Adams - 92BG Cherbourg, France 21 October 1942

Served as an Aerial Gunner on this mission to bomb the German airfield at Cherbourg, France. Historcally listed as being flown by the 11th Combat Crew Replacement Center which would was operated by the 92BG.

Transferred to 303BG/359BS Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 4 January 1943

Transferred to the 303BG/359BS at Molesworth, UK as an Aerial Gunner and was promoted to Staff Sergeant.

Mission #2, SSGT Ralph B. Adams, w/B-17F 41-24603, 303BG/359BS Lille, France 13 January 1943

Served as the Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24603 "Green Hornet", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the Lille Fives Locomotive Works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Mission #3, SSGT Ralph B. Adams, w/B-17F 42-5177, 303BG/359BS Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 42-5177 "Fast Worker II", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. RTB OK.

Mission #4, SSGT Ralph B. Adams, w/B-17F 41-24609, 303BG/359BS Wilhelmshaven, Germany 27 January 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24609 "Holy Mackerel", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the naval facilities and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. RTB OK.

Mission #5, SSGT Ralph B. Adams, w/B-17F 41-24635, 303BG/359BS - Aborted Hamm, Germany 2 February 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24635 "Eight Ball II", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #6, SSGT Ralph B. Adams, w/B-17F 41-24605, 303BG/359BS Osnabrück, Germany 4 February 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24605 "Knockout Dropper", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the industrial areas of Osnabruck, Germany. RTB OK.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2017 19:40:38 SavvyGA Changes to biography
Sources

Spelling amended

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2016 17:59:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Mar-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/014.pdf

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2016 17:56:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Mar-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 2-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/013.pdf

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2016 17:51:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Mar-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 237-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/012.pdf

Date Contributor Update
15 March 2016 17:45:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Mar-2016. Made connections to Aircraft 41-24605, 41-24609, 41-24635 and Missions of 27-Jan-43, 2-Feb-43 and 4-Feb-43 per 303BG wesbsite, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Reports of dates stated: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2015 22:34:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to events, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Dec-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2015 22:26:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Dec-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/010.pdf

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2015 22:17:56 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Dec-2015. Added Transferred to 303BG event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Personnel Roster: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2015 22:13:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Dec-2015. Added Mission #1 based on content of Summary Biography and added description base on my database of 8th Air Force missions.

Date Contributor Update
17 December 2015 22:05:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 17-Dec-2015. Edited Summary Biography with assignment to 303BG/359BS and promotion to Staff Sergeant; converted dates in the mission list to USAAF military-style signification DD/MM/YY; made connections to 303BG aircraft and confirmed missions.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:21:45 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / self, http://303rdbg.com/rost-ab.html">http://303rdbg.com/rost-ab.html>

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