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William F Kahlden

Military

9-Feb-42 Assigned as Bombardier on 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 was part of a replacement crew and was processed through one of the Combat Crew Replacment Centers prior to his assigment with the 303BG.

6-Mar-43 Shot down in B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS while serving as Bombardier. The aircraft crashed into Bay of Biscay after a FW-190 attack that knocked out engines 1 & 2, crashing off of Penmarch Point, France. Copilot and LWG killed instantly. Kahlden and the other 7 survived in leaky rafts for 12 hours before a German boat hauled them aboard to become Prisoner of War (POW)s

Participated in 3 Operations (NO Aborts) 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 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
Assigned to Aircraft Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 9 February 1943

Assigned as Bombardier on B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS at Molesworth, UK.

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

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

Mission #2, 2LT William F. Kahlden, Jr., w/B-17F 42-5723, 303BG/360BS Brest, France 27 February 1943

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

Prisoner of War - Camp 1 Zagan, Poland 6 March 1943 – 15 January 1945

Held at Stalag Luft 3, Sagan-Silesia (now Poland). 15-Jan-45 moved to Stalag 13D Nuremberg-Langwasser.

Mission #3, 2LT William F. Kahlden, Jr., w/B-17F 42-5262, 303BG/360BS - POW Lorient, France 6 March 1943

Served as Bombardier 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 the pilot 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 90471 Langwasser, Germany 16 February 1945 – 16 April 1945

Held at Stalag 13D, Nuremberg-Langwasser. Liberated by 3rd Army 16-Apr-45.

Last Report Date - Discharged 25 May 1945

Evacuated to the US after liberated from Stalag 13D and discharged from the USAAF.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 23:19:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Correcting year date on POW Camp 1 event

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 21:25:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added Last Report date event per NARA WWII POW database records.

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 21:22:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added POW-Camp 2 event per history of Stalag III: http://www.b24.net/pow/stalag3.htm

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 21:16:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added POW-Camp 1 event based on Stalag Luft 3 history per http://www.b24.net/pow/stalag3.htm

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 21:11:00 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/020.pdf

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 21:05:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 27-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/018.pdf

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 21:03:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 26-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/017.pdf

Date Contributor Update
29 February 2016 20:57:50 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
29 February 2016 20:55:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Feb-2016. Made connections to Place, Aircraft and Missions; Added initial assignment info and Participations statement to Summary Biography per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, 303BG Personnel Roster; http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
03 July 2015 20:38:49 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations
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 to Description per MACR 15536.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:00 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15536 / MACR 15536, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. 1, pp. 88-89 by Bishop & Hey . 303rd web site mission report. / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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