Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Robert S O'Connor

Military

1st Lieutenant Robert S. O’Connor was born October 16, 1918. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur O’Connor. His hometown was Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He was pilot of 42-5360 "The Old faithful" on the mission of 11 June 1943.
On July 4, 1943, he was the Pilot of “The Mugger,” B-17 tail #42-5792, of the 303rd Bomb Group, 427th Bomb Squadron, when it was shot down by fighters over Laval, France on 4 July 1943. With one engine on fire, the plane crashed outside Malicorne-sur-Sarthe, France, where a monument was erected to Robert O'connor and Bombardier Richard Peterson who were killed.
Robert S. O'connor is buried at the US Military Cemetery at St. Laurent, France. Awards : Air Medal w/ 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.

Service

People

  • Fred Dioquardo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Flew 28 combat missions. Served as ball Turret Gunner with many pilots and on many different aircraft in the 360th Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group. ...

  • Donald Grant

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Donald Lawrence “Larry” Grant was born March 20, 1920 in Terre Haute, Indiana. He was the oldest of four children born to Donald Buford Grant and Altha Lena Sellars. The family moved several times around the Midwest during his youth, before finally...

  • Robert McGuire

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    Robert McGuire served as a radio operator with the 358th Bomb Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group, flying missions out of Molesworth, England. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

Show more

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

  • 42-5360 Old Faithful, War Bride

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 20/11/42; New Castle 13/12/42; Assigned 358BS/303BG Molesworth [VK-N] 8/1/43; Missing in Action [35m] Oschersleben 11/1/44 with Harry Schwaebe, Co-pilot: Harry Dumse, Navigator: Paul Degnan, Bombardier: Wilburn Wiley, Flight engineer...

  • 42-5792 The Mugger

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 28/1/43; Salina 11/2/43; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-I] Molesworth 8/4/43; Missing in Action Le Mans 4/7/43 with Bob O'Connor, Bombardier: Rich Peterson (2 Killed in Action); Co-pilot: Donovan Manifold, Navigator: Andy Halioris, Radio...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 62

    11 June 1943
    The harbour facilities, port areas and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven and Cuxhaven, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. This is the largest number of heavy bombers yet despatched on a single mission - 252. This is the first mission flown...

  • VIII Bomber Command 71

    4 July 1943
    The aircraft factories at Le Mans and Nantes, France and the lock gates and harbour facilities at La Pallice, France are the primary targets for this mission. The mission is comprised of three elements: ...

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 Milwaukee, WI, USA 16 October 1918

1st Lieutenant Robert S. O’Connor was born October 16, 1918. He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur O’Connor. His hometown was Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Died 4 July 1943

On July 4, 1943, he was the Pilot of “The Mugger,” B-17 tail #42-5792, of the 303rd Bomb Group, 427th Bomb Squadron, when it went down over Laval, France.

Buried

He is buried at the US Military Cemetery at St. Laurent, France.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 April 2015 15:30:16 ED-BB Changes to biography, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Freeman "The B-17 Flying Fortress Story"

Date Contributor Update
27 February 2015 02:05:10 WW2 Researcher Bill Beigel Changes to biography, events and aircraft associations
Sources

IDPF and/or crash report researched by Bill Beigel. IDPF donated to American Air Museum by Bill Beigel. For more information about this flyer, you may contact http://ww2research.com.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:24:09 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Bishop & Hey pp. 175-6, ABMC,

http://303rdbg.com/rost-nopq.html#N

Share