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B-17 Flying Fortress

B-17F 41-24609 'Holy Mackerel' assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-Q] Bangor 3-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. On 23-Nov-43 the aircraft flown by Maj. George L. Robinson was the lead aircraft of the 303BG formation in the attack on the U-Boat Pens at St. Nazaire, France on the 4th mission for the Group. The aircraft was damaged by flak and the Navigator, Capt Harold Fulghum, thinking that the flak had killed the pilot, baled out of the aircraft and was taken Prisoner. No MACR issued.

On 4-Apr-43 the aircraft was declared Missing in Action on a mission to bomb the Renault Armament Works at Paris, France. Shot down by enemy aircraft and crashed at Bocasse, 12 miles N of Rouen, France. 6KIA 4POW MACR 15069

P 1Lt Ercil F. Eyster (KIA) CP 2Lt Fred H. Hayward (KIA)
N 2Lt John D. Shanks (KIA); B/TOG SSgt Marcus K. Davis (POW)
E/TTG TSgt Harold J Dunham (KIA); RO Sgt Edmund R. Thornton (POW)
BTG Eugene A. B. Nicosia (KIA); LWG Sgt George T. Morton (POW)
RWG SSgt Robert C. Alizer (POW); TG SSgt Floyd E. Bauer (KIA)



  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb 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


  • Ralph Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Robert Altizer

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

  • Floyd Bauer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 4 April 1943 in B-17 41-24609 'Holy Mackerel'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Richard Browning

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    28-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F #41-24565 [BN-P] "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids", 303BG/359BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 25-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Idaho Potato Peeler Kids" ...

  • William Cargill

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    15-Sep-42 assigned to B-17F #41-24609 [BN-Q] "Holy Mackerel", 303BG/359BS at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas and arrived aboard that aircraft at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. Mission participation (See Biography events - UNDER CONSTRUCTION)

  • Marcus Davis

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Bombardier, Enlisted | 303rd Bomb Group

  • Albert Diffenbach

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 303rd Bomb Group
    2-Aug-42 Assigned as a Bombardier on B-17F #41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar" at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas. 25-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "S-for-Sugar" but there is no record that he flew any missions with that aircraft. 303BG Mission Report...

  • Walter Dooley

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Shot down 14 May 1943 in B-17F 42-5243 "FDR's Potato Peeler Kids", 303BG/359BS. Battle damaged aircraft crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 15593 ...

  • Harold Dunham

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 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". ...

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  • 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 49

    4 April 1943
    The Renault armament and motor works at Paris, France are the primary target of this mission. 97 B-17s are despached: 91BG (26); 303BG (23); 305BG (18); and 306BG (30). 85 of the 97 despatched are effective on the target. Fighter resistance is heavy...


  • 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...


Event Location Date
Failed to Return (FTR) Le Bocasse, France 4 April 1943

Shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed at Bocasse, France


Date Contributor Update
18 September 2017 20:42:30 Al_Skiff Changes to media associations

Roger Freeman Photo.

Date Contributor Update
01 December 2014 18:29:30 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, markings, description, events, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 1-Dec-2014. Added 23-Nov-42 narrative to description per 303BG Mission Report of 23-Nov-42: Made place and mission connections per 303BG Mission Report of 23-Nov-42 and MACR 15609 (4-Apr-43); Formatted crew information with full proper names; MACR 15609; Edited description with military-style date designations.

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

Dave Osborne, B-17 Fortress Master Log / MACR 15069 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database