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John A. Castle

Military

17-Feb-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as pilot of "Thumper".

As Pilot of B-17F #41-24579 "Thumper" on 23-Jan-1943 he had to make a crash-landing at Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol, North Somerset, UK because the aircraft sustained severe damage on the mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. 1KOM, 4WIA 6RTD. No MACR issued. 2LT Castle Returned to Duty (RTD) after this incident and flew 2 more operations. At some point he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant, but 303BG records on thier website do not indicate when his promotion occured. Last operation was on 16-Apr-43. 303BG records do not record why he didn't fly any more missions after that date.

Participated in 8 Operations (2 aborted) UNDER CONSTRUCTION See Biography events.

Service

People

  • Cecil Craft

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner; Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oc-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper" ...

  • Kent Fitzsimmons

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    24-Jul-42 Assigned to B-17F #42-24579 'Thumper" 303BG/360BS as a Co-Pilot during Group Advanced Training at Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16-Oct-42 Arrived with B-17F #42-24579 'Thumper" aircraft at Molesworth, UK. Flew as Co-Pilot on his missions #1 -5 on ...

  • Charles Herman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-May-42 Assigned as a Navigator with the crew of Eugene E. Rochester but no record could be found concerning the aircraft assignment. 303BG website does not indicate that Eugene E. Rochester ever completed advanced flight training and there is no...

  • Meyer Levin

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper". ...

  • James Loll

    Military | Sergeant | Photographer | 303rd Bomb Group
    On 23-Jan-43 on B-17F #41-24579 'Thumper" while serving as a Photographer the aircraft sustained damage over the target at Lorient, France, but the pilot managed to fly it back to England and made a wheels-up landing Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol. He was...

  • Martin Semonick

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner; Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Tail Gunner on B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper" at Gowen Field, Boise Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper" ...

  • Louis Sinopoli

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Bombardier on B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper". ...

  • Billie Staner

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F], "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper" ...

  • Emilio Yannie

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Thumper". ...

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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

  • 41-24579 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...

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 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 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
Assigned to Aircraft Boise, ID, USA 17 February 1942

Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 16 October 1942

Arrived at Moelsworth, UK as Pilot aboard B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS.

Mission #1, 2LT John A. Castle, w/B-17F 42-24579, 303BG/360BS - Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France, but mechanical failures forced him to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #2, 2LT John A. Castle, w/B-17F 42-24579, 303BG/360BS Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #3, 2LT John A. Castle, w/B-17F 42-24579, 303BG/360BS 23 November 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #4, 2LT John A. Castle, w/B-17F 42-24579, 303BG/360BS - Aborted Lille, France 6 December 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb carriaged and wagon works at Lille, France, but mechanical failures forced him to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #5, 2LT John A. Castle, w/B-17F 42-24579, 303BG/360BS Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine France. RTB OK.

Returned to Duty (RTD) Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol, North Somerset BS40, UK 23 January 1943

Was serving as pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" 303BG/360BS when the aircraft sustained battle damage and made a crash-landing at Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol, North Somerset, UK.

Mission #6, 2LT John A. Castle, w/B-17F 42-24579, 303BG/360BS - RTB, AC DBR Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. RTB OK but aircraft had sustained battle damage, made a crash landing at Lulsgate Bottom, Bristol, North Somerset, UK and was DBR.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 March 2020 18:46:36 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 21:35:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-Jan-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 21:30:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-Jan-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 21:28:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-Jan-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 21:25:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-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
31 January 2016 21:23:24 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-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
31 January 2016 21:21:27 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-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
31 January 2016 21:18:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-Jan-2016. Added Arrived in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2016 21:13:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-Jan-2016. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 22:00:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Made connections to all mission participations (through 23-Jan-43) per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2016 21:50:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to middlename, biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2016. Added initial assignment, arrival in UK and Mission participation statement to Summary Biography per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: John A. Castle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-castle.html

Date Contributor Update
12 February 2015 22:33:36 Lee8thbuff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, service number, highest rank, role, biography, events, unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Feb-2015. New Entry. Sources: "The Losses of the 8th & 9th Air forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE and the 303rd Bomb Group website historian Gary Moncur.

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