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Ernest Herbert Lawson


Commanding Officer 305th Bombardment Group November-1943 to 18-June-1944. Shot down at Hamburg by Flak on 18-Jun-44 in B-17 42-97647. Killed while leading the whole 8th AF in strike formation. His a/c was severed midship by antiaircraft gunfire. Killed in Action (KIA) ref MACR 5939. Career pilot who made his name as a member of the USAAF Air Racing and cross-country team in the 1920s and 1930s; also pre-war test pilot.



  • Patrick McHugh

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | B-17 Gunner Left Waist & Tail | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

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Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 366th Bomb Squadron


  • 42-97647

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 17/1/44; 1SAG Langley 27/2/44; Grenier 1/4/44; Assigned 482BG Alconbury 4/44; transferred 366BS/305BG [KY-A] Chelveston 16/5/44; Missing in Action Hamburg 18/6/44 with Col Ernest Lawson (C.O.), Co-pilot: Capt Homer Claymore, Navigator:...


  • VIII Bomber Command 93

    8 September 1943
    5 B-17s from 305BG/422BS are despatched to assist the RAF with a photoflash drop over the target at Boulogne, France. There are no losses or claims.

Associated Place

  • Chelveston

    Military site : airfield
    Chelveston was adapted and expanded in preparation for the arrival of American forces. Rather than heavy bombers, the first aircraft to fly from its runways were C-47 Skytrains that were flown by the 60th Troop Carrier Group in July 1942. The first...


Event Location Date
Born San Antonio, Texas, USA 1899
Killed in Action (KIA) Hamburg 18 June 1944
Died 18 June 1944

Shot down over Hamburg.


Date Contributor Update
18 February 2019 07:54:10 miAmigo Changes to middlename and events

Date Contributor Update
18 February 2019 07:40:44 miAmigo Changes to biography

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2014 21:04:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 23-Nov-2014. Added connection to Chelveston and Mission 93 per MACR 5939.

Date Contributor Update
23 November 2014 20:33:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography

Lee Cunningham 23-Nov-2014.Added CO 305BG dates, MACR ref "The B-17 Flying Fortress Story" Roger A. Freeman & Dave Osborne.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:15 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 5939 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / Who's Who in the Eighth Air Force and/or Biographical Directory Command & Staff Officers Eighth Air Force 1942-45; MACR 5939, Heritage of Valor by Budd Peaslee book dedication