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41-24561

B-17 Flying Fortress

Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-T] Bangor 10/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; 59m transferred 1 Base Air Depot (sic),* Burtonwood 7/7/44; Returned to the USA Altus 18/8/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Altus 14/8/45. Over Vegasack 18/3/43 with Capt Harry Stouse, Navigator: Jesse Elliott, brought damaged ship home with severely wounded Jack Mathis-b (awarded posthumous MOH). SURE STUFF aka THE DUCHESS.
* Air Base Depot (BAD1)

Service

Units

  • 8th Air Force

    8th Air Force


    Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945. ...

  • 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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Claude Campbell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DSC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • Adam Champagne

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Fred Dioquardo

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Flew 28 combat missions. Served as ball Turret Gunner with many pilots and on many different aircraft in the 360th Squadron of the 303rd Bomb Group. ...

  • Jesse Elliott

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    24-Jun-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F #41-24561 [BN-T] "The Dutchess", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "the Dutchess". ...

  • John Hayes

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Henry Herod

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Kenneth Hull

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Jack Mathis

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. As lead Bombardier aboard 'The Duchess,' released bombs accurately on target Vegesack after being mortally wounded in B-17 41-24561 18-Mar-43. Killed in Action (KIA) ...

  • Ralph Mcclean

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Vern Moncur

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group

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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 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • 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 25

    12 December 1942
    This mission is composed of two elements. First element: The German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a force of 78 B-17s despatched from 91BG (19), 303BG (20), 305BG (21) and 306BG (18). However, the target is...

  • 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 34

    14 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are once again slated at the primary target for this mission. A force of 74 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (17); 305BG (17); 306BG (20), but weather once again forces the mission to be recalled before...

  • 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....

  • 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 39

    4 March 1943
    After several weather-caused aborted attempts in attacking the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, the 8th Air Force is finally successful in attacking this target. A total of 71 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (18); 305BG (12) amd 306BG (21)....

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Places

  • Burtonwood

    Military site : airfield
    Built for the RAF in 1939-40, the RAF's No. 37 Maintenance Unit used the base from 1940 to 1942, before it became a joint Anglo-American maintenance and servicing airfield - a Base Air Depot. After the war it continued to be used as a maintenance and...

  • 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
Sustained heavy damage U-Boat Pens, Vegesack-Bremen, Germany 18 March 1943

Duchess would sustain heavy damage, mostly ending her career, in the same action that Lt Jack Mathis would earn his MoH.

Delivered BAD 1 7 July 1944

Moved to BAD 1*
Burtonwood Airfield

Base Air Depot

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 May 2020 14:36:29 CastleBren Changes to events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

303rd Bomb Group

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2020 09:33:35 CastleBren Changes to production block number, nicknames, markings, events, person associations and mission associations
Sources

303rd Bomb Group records

Date Contributor Update
16 February 2020 18:12:18 phil marchese Changes to description
Sources

Correction to designation/ acronym.

Date Contributor Update
15 September 2017 18:30:57 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman photo.

Date Contributor Update
15 September 2017 16:45:21 Al_Skiff Changes to production block number, manufacturer, unit associations and media associations
Sources

Roger Freeman photo.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:40:03 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log

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