VIII Bomber Command 53

1 May 1943

Description

The U-boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the primary target. 78 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (19); 305BG (21); 306BG (18). Poor weather frustrates the bombing effort and only 29 of the 78 despatched are effective on the target. The ordnance used is the 2,000 lb. general purpose bomb, the heaviest that could be carried in the B-17 bomb rack. 7 B-17s are MIA and 1 B-17 from 306th BG is Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR). This aircraft is B-17F 42-29649 aboard which is Ball Turret Gunner, Sgt Maynard "Snuffy" H. Smith who is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions this day. The citation may be viewed at: http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3004/smith-maynard-h.php. The bomber gunners claim 18-6-8 against enemy aircraft.

The main B-17 force is supported by 24 B-24s: 44BG (18) and 93BG (6) despatched to fly a diversion along the Brittany coast. No losses or claims.

Mission Details

Description: DIVERSION

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Diversion for St. Nazaire mission.

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

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 24
  • Aircraft effective: 24

SAINT-NAZAIRE

Description: U-BOAT PENS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Bad weather over target. Groups trying 2000lb "Block Busters". 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 AF enlisted man in history to win the award.

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: 57.00
  • People killed in action: 57
  • People wounded in action: 17
  • People missing in action: 3
  • People evaded: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 15
  • People returned to duty: 7
  • Aircraft sent: 78
  • Aircraft effective: 29
  • Aircraft missing in action: 7
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 20

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: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 423rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19061810
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 322nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36324682
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Aerial Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-728815
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 364th Fighter Group 1st Scouting Force 369th Bomb Squadron 384th Fighter Squadron 857th Bomb Squadron Headquarters (1st Combat Bomb Wing)
  • Service Numbers: 18052358 / O-441827
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 322nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 791278
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

Revisions

Date31 Dec 2014 18:33:12
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 31-Dec-2014. Description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman. Maynard information from "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A. Hey and Congressional Medal of Honor Society. http://www.cmohs.org/recipient-detail/3004/smith-maynard-h.php

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'.