VIII Bomber Command 131

16 November 1943
A flight of B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 303rd Bomb Group fly above the clouds on their way to Norway. B-17F (BN-T, serial number 41-24561) nicknamed "The Duchess", of the 359th Bomb Squadron, is visible in the foreground. Printed caption on reverse: ' 67417 USAF - Flying high above a blanket of fleecy clouds, a formation of 8th Air Force Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortresses" drones steadily on towards the target somewhere in Norway on 16 November 1943. Air Force Photo.'

Object Number - FRE 1104 - A flight of B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 303rd Bomb Group fly above the clouds on their way to Norway. B-17F (BN-T, serial number 41-24561)...

Description

This mission was directed at targets in Norway. It was composed of three elements. The first element was a combined force of 189 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 384BG (21); 303BG (20); 379BG (22); 351BG (20); 91BG (20); 381BG (22); 305BG (23); 92BG (21); and 306BG (20) dispatched to bomb the molybdenum mine at Knaben, Norway. Neither the complement from 303BG or 91BG were able to find the target due to the nature of the terrain and the cover of snow and ice. 130 aircraft were effective on the target. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 9POW 1EVD; 7 aircraft were damaged; 1 airman in a returning aircraft was Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners claim 2-0-4 of attacking German fighters. B-17F 41-24605 "Knock-out Dropper", 303BG/359BS becomes the first heavy bomber to complete 50 missions.

The second element is a combined force of 160 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 385BG (20); 94BG (20); 388BG (19); 96BG (40); 95BG (20); 100BG (21); and 390BG (20) dispatched to bomb the hydro-electric power plant at Rjukan, Norway that the Germans were using to produce heavy water. 147 aircraft were effective on the target. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 10KIA and 1 aircraft sustained an engine fire shortly after take-off, was abandoned and crashed at Tannington, UK 2KIA 8RTD. 2 other aircraft were dmaged. the bomber gunners of this element claim 2-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

The third element was a combined force of 39 B-36s from 2nd Bomb Division that included: 93BG (14); 389BG (4); 44BG (3); 392BG (18) also dispatched to bomb the heavy water plant at Rjukan, Norway. 29 aircraft were effective on the target. There are no losses or claims.

Mission Details

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 2 B-17s dropped 24 X 500GP on Rjukan, Norway as a Target of Opportunity. B-17 serial number 41-24605 "Knock-out Dropper" logged its 50th mission, the first in 8th Air Force to do so. There is no fighter escort for this mission to Norway.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 351st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 379th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 313.00
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • People evaded: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 4
  • Aircraft sent: 189
  • Aircraft effective: 130
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 7

RJUKAN

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Official emblem of the 100th Bomb Group, approved 30 March 1944 and replaced 1957
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 385th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 388th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 390th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 355.50
  • People killed in action: 12
  • People returned to duty: 8
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 160
  • Aircraft effective: 147
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

RJUKAN

Description: INDUSTRIAL AREA

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 392nd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 93rd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 48.75
  • Aircraft sent: 39
  • Aircraft effective: 29

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 532nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-681289
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot
A bomber crew of the 388th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30207) nicknamed "Big Red.' Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Bailey Crew.'
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 561st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-793713
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 305th Bomb Group Can Do 364th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 14059607
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 335th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13057861
  • Highest Rank: Master Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer/Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 407th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 11998665 and O-674111
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

Revisions

Date31 Jan 2018 18:15:25
Contributorwilliam henry
Sources

Correct typos

Date13 Jul 2015 17:57:24
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to the statistics of 3BD Rjukan element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date13 Jul 2015 17:56:10
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jul-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to the statistics of 1BG Knaben element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date13 Jul 2015 17:54:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jul-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date13 Nov 2014 12:11:17
ContributorEmily
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:16
ContributorAAM
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

VIII Bomber Command 131: Gallery (4 items)