VIII Bomber Command 72

10 July 1943

Object Number - UPL 23266 - Lt. Frank Robert Spitznagel and crew. 364th Squadron, 305th BG. Assembled June 18, 1943 in front of their B-17 #42-29633, nicknamed...

Description

German airfields at Caen, Abbeville, and Le Bourget at Paris, France are the primary targets for this mission. 112 B-17s form a combined force from 91BG; 92BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG and 381BG to bomb the German airfield (Carpiquet) at Caen, France. Cloud cover and poor weather frustrates the bombing attempts. Only 34 aircraft are effective on this target. 91BG; 351BG; and 381BG are unable to bomb. The 14 aircraft contingent from 92BG includes 5 YB-40 gunships as escorts within the bomber formation. 2 of these abort. Only 1 B-17 from 91BG is lost from this element - 8KIA 2POW. The bomber gunners claim 17-7-6 of attacking enemy aircraft.

A combined force of 64 B-17s from 303BG; 379BG and 384BG are despatched to bomb the German airfield at Abbeville, France. Only 36 aircraft from this element are effective on the target, but there are no aircraft losses. 4 aircraft are damaged.

The third element of this mission is flown by a combined force of 101 B-17s despatched from 94BG; 95BG; 96BG and 100BG. Cloud cover and poor weather cause this element to be recalled over France. None of the aircraft despatched were able to bomb. 2 aircraft are lost: 1 from 95BG - 6KIA 2POW 2EVD; and 100BG - 8POW 2EVD. The bomber gunners of this element claim 24-8-7 of attacking enemy fighters.

All elements receive some fighter escort by P-47s

Mission Details

ABBEVILLE/ DRUCAT (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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 379th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 64.20
  • Aircraft sent: 64
  • Aircraft effective: 36

CAEN/CARPIQUET (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 92nd Bomb Group despatch includes 5 YB-40s are-assignedas escorts, but two abort. Their effectiveness is doubtful. None of the aircraft despatched by 91st Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group or 381st Bomb Group were effective on the target due to cloud cover. Missing in Action (MIA) aircraft from 91st Bomb Group. All elements receive fighter escort.

The insignia of the 351st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 381st Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Air base

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 74.40
  • People killed in action: 8
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 2
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 17
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 7
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 6
  • Aircraft sent: 121
  • Aircraft effective: 34
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 33

PARIS/LE BOURGET (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The one aircraft listed Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) (serial number 42-30305, 100th Bomb Group/349BS) to Paris actually crashed on take-off and crashed at Dickleburg, UK with 7 Killed and 3 Injured. This element abandoned the attack because of cloud cover. However, the bomber gunners claim a good toll on the Luftwaffe.

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
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 96th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: None
  • People killed in action: 13
  • People evaded: 3
  • Prisoners of war: 11
  • People returned to duty: 3
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 24
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 8
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 7
  • Aircraft sent: 101
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1

Connections

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

People

Argentos, James 18108164 T/Sgt. 367th BS 306th BG Air Corps
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 367th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18108164
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 18124489
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade)
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • 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: 95th Bomb Group 334th Bomb Squadron 335th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16024974
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: waist gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer

Aircraft

Revisions

Date8 May 2015 17:53:22
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims of enemy aircraft to statistics of Le Bourget/Paris element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date8 May 2015 17:50:44
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to statistics of Caen element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date7 May 2015 20:17:52
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-May-2015. Added Mission description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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'.

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