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Francis J Wachtel

Military

Shot down 30 December 1942 in B-17F 42-5078 while serving as Navigator. Plane crashed into Bay of Biscay. Killed in Action (KIA). Assigned to target submarine base at Lorient. AC was reported to have left formation to assist AC 42-2975 of the 306th BG which was attacked by fighters. The 306th bomber had joined the 305th formation after cloud cover had obscured their own squadrons. Fighters also attacked B-17 42-2975 which was shot down. Killed in Action (KIA)

Service

Units served with

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    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

Aircraft

  • 42-5078

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 42-4078 was delivered Tulsa 15-Sep-42; Presque Is 19-Oct-42; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-C] Chelveston Nov-42. Shot down 30-Dec-42 by enemy aircraft on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Crashed into the Bay of Biscay, France....

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 27

    30 December 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the target for this mission. A combined force of 77 B-17s are despatched by 91BG (19); 303BG (16); 305BG (13) and 306BG (18). Only 40 are effective on the target. All but 1 B-17 from the 18 despatched by 306BG is...

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...

Events

Event Location Date
Killed in Action (KIA) Lorient, France 30 December 1942

Killed when the aircraft was shot down by German and crashed into the sea near Lorient, France. His remains were never recovered.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2014 22:15:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Dec-2014 Added crew position to biography per 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; added decorations and Commemorated event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record; made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data.

Date Contributor Update
07 December 2014 22:14:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Dec-2014 Added crew position to biography per 'Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE; added decorations and Commemorated event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record; made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:48 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 and 9th AFs by Bishop and Heys Vol. 1 p 56 No MACR

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