VIII Bomber Command 31

27 January 1943
The crew of a B-24 Liberator (serial number 41-23778) nicknamed "Jenny", of the 44th Bomb Group, return to Shipdham following a raid on Germany, 29 January 1943. 

The insignia attached to the breast of several crew members jackets has been censored. 

Image stamped on reverse: 'Barratt's Photo Press.' [stamp], 'Passed for publication 29 Jan 1943.' [stamp]. Printed caption on reverse: 'First American raid on Germany. Flying Fortresses and Liberators of the U.S. Army Air Corps Carried out their first r

Object Number - FRE 636 - The crew of the B-24D Liberator, serial number 41-23778, named, Jenny, in the 44th Bomb Group, returns to Shipdham following a raid on Germany, 27...

Description

First successful attack by 8th Air Force into Germany. The 306th Bomb Group gets the distinction of being the first American Bomb Group to drop bombs on Germany. O Original target was Vegesack but clouded over. Col. Frank Armstrong lead the group. Two 91st Bomb Group B-17s attacked Emden as a target of opportunity (included in Strike and Bomb Tonnage totals). Sgt. Maynard S. "Snuffy" Smith 423BS/306th Bomb Group (Waist Gunner on B-17 42-29649) is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action. This is the 2nd CMOH awarded to a member of the 8th Air Force but the first to an AF enlisted man. No fighter escort on this mission.

Mission Details

WILHELMSHAVEN (Last resort)

Description: NAVAL BASE

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: First successful attack by 8th Air Force into Germany. The 306th Bomb Group gets the distinction of being the first American Bomb Group to drop bombs on Germany. O Original target was Vegesack but clouded over. Col. Frank Armstrong lead the group. Two 91st Bomb Group B-17s attacked Emden as a target of opportunity (included in Strike and Bomb Tonnage totals). Sgt. Maynard S. "Snuffy" Smith 423BS/306th Bomb Group (Waist Gunner on B-17 42-29649) is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for this action. This is the 2nd CMOH awarded to a member of the 8th Air Force but the first to an AF enlisted man. No fighter escort on this mission.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 132.50
  • People killed in action: 5
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 5
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 7
  • Aircraft sent: 64
  • Aircraft effective: 53
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 32

WILHELMSHAVEN (Primary)

Description: NAVAL BASE

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: B-24s unable to locate target due to weather and poor navigation.

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

Mission Statistics

  • People killed in action: 21
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 1
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 12
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 8
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 6
  • Aircraft sent: 27
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged: 11

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13035538
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 305th Bomb Group Can Do 366th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18037114
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-791048
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
First Lieutenant Harold Beasley,of the 91st Bomb Group with his B-17 Flying Fortress. Press caption for image series: ‘EXCLUSIVE PICTURES AS CREWS RETURN FROM RAID. Night and Day air blitz of enemy continues. “Forts” smash Axis factories at Antwerp. Raid carried out by crews who took part in Paris raid previous day. The greatest air offensive in history is being carried out by the Anglo-American air forces. For 72 hours bombs have been crashing down on Hitler’s Europe in the West almost nonstop. A
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 401st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-379237
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 427th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18058462
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Spirit of 76
  • Unit: 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs 68th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Jersey Bounce
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 358th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Spook
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 358th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Hunga Dunga
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group

Revisions

Date15 Feb 2015 20:04:44
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on 44BG 93BG Wilhelmshaven per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date15 Feb 2015 20:02:34
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on 91BG-306BG Wilhelmshaven per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date21 Oct 2014 09:45:30
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Associated James Howard O'Cain based on information in his Biography from the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:17
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 31: Gallery (2 items)