Skip to main content
Edit entry 

William H Breed

Military

15-Jul-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 [PU-G] "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 24-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Pilot of "Shak Hak".

Shot down 16-February-1943 in B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS while serving as Pilot. Aircraft was attacked by fighters and crashed into the English Channel on return from a mission to St. Nazaire, France. Killed in Action (KIA). Posthumously promoted to Captain.

Participated in 6 Operations (NO aborts). See Biography events.

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

  • 41-24567 Beats Me

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24567 [PU:J] "Beats Me" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-J] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. Participated in 7 Operations - 2 Aborted (See Biography events) ...

  • 41-24579 Thumper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] 17-Feb-42 Gowen Field, Idaho; Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France on 23-Jan-43. 11 man crew. Belly-landed at...

  • 42-2967 Shak Hak

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak" was Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-G] Bangor 18-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

  • 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 36

    16 February 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are designated as the primary target of this mission of 71 B-17s and 18 B-24s. B-17s are from 91BG (18); 303BG (15); 305BG (18); 306BG (20) of these 59 are effective on the target and 6 are lost....

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 Stockbridge, Massachusetts
Assigned to Aircraft Boise, ID, USA 15 July 1942

Assigend as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 24 October 1942

Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Pilot aboard B-17F 42-2967, 303BG/360BS.

Mission #1, 1LT William H. Breed, w/B-17 42-2967, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #2, 1LT William H. Breed, w/B-17 42-2967, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #4, 1LT William H. Breed, w/B-17 42-2967, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 3 January 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-2967 "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #5, 1LT William H. Breed, w/B-17 41-24579, 303BG/360BS Lille, France 13 January 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the Lille Fives Locomotive Works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Mission #3, 1LT William H. Breed, w/B-17 41-24567, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 23 January 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24567 "Beats Me", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Killed in Action (KIA) English Channel 16 February 1943

Killed when aircraft was shot down by fighters and crashed into the English Channel. His remains have never been recovered.

Mission #6, 1LT William H. Breed, w/B-17 41-24579, 303BG/360BS - KIA Saint-Nazaire, France 16 February 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 42-2976 "Shak Hak", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. Aircraft was shot down and crashed into the English Channel and he was Killed in Action (KIA).

Commemorated Saint-James, France 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Brittany American Cemetery.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2016 22:31:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cuningham 24-Feb-2016. Completed Mission participations statement in Summary Biography.

Date Contributor Update
24 February 2016 21:51:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 16-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/016.pdf

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:33:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/010.pdf

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:28:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 3-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/009.pdf

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:25:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/004.pdf

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:23:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:20:14 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 17-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/001.pdf

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:16:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Feb-2016. Added Arrived in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, William H. Breed crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-breed.html

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:14:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Feb-2016. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, William H. Breed crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-breed.html

Date Contributor Update
13 February 2016 19:11:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Feb-2016. Added initial assignment and arrival info to Summary Biography; made connections to Aircraft (through 23-Jan-43) and Mission (through 23-Jan-43) per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, William H. Breed crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-breed.html

Date Contributor Update
19 February 2015 19:33:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Feb-2015 . Corrected SN added KIA event per MACR 15116; Added decorations and Commemorated event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record; Made connections to Place and Mission within existing website data; Added crew position and minor edits to Biography based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:28:06 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15116 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

Share