VIII Bomber Command 75

24 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

Three targets in Norway are the primary targets for this first mission flown by 8th AIr Force to Norway. They are the nitrate works at Heroya and the port areas at Trondheim and Bergen. The first element is a combined force of 180 B-17s from: 91BG (22); 92BG (15); 303BG (20); 305BG (19); 306BG (21); 351BG (21); 381BG (21); and 384BG (20). 167 of these aircraft are effective on the target. 92BG compliment included 1 YB-40 gunship. Fighter resistance is light and the bomber gunners claim 9-2-0 of the attacking fighters. 1 battle damaged B-17 form 381BG makes a forced landing at Vannacka, Sweden. All 10 crewmen and the aircraft are interned in Sweden. This is the first aircarft and crew to be interned in Sweden.

The second element is a combined force of 45 B-17s from: 95BG (21) and 100BG (24) despatched to bomb the port area at Trondheim, Norway. 41 of these aircraft are effective on the target. 1 battle damaged B-17 from 100BG makes a crash landing at Fraserburg Airfield, UK. All crew OK, but aircraft is considered to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) (Category E loss). The bomber gunners claim 4-2-3 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The third element is a combined force of 84 B-17s from : 94BG (21); 96BG (21); 385BG (21); and 388BG (21) were despatched to bomb the port area at Bergen, Norway. None of this force was able to bomb because the target was totally obscured by cloud cover. All returned to England with their bomb loads.

Mission Details

BERGEN (Primary)

Description: PORT AREA

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Target obscured by cloud cover.

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
  • 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 returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 84
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 2

HERØYA (Primary)

Description: NITRATE WORKS

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: This is the longest mission yet flown by the 8th Air Force (1,900 miles round trip) and the first to Norway. No fighter escort. Despatch from 92nd Bomb Group included one YB-40.

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: 1657 X 500GP
  • People killed in action: 1
  • People wounded in action: 3
  • People interned: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 9
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 180
  • Aircraft effective: 167
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 53

TRONDHEIM (Primary) / Rjukan, Norway

Description: PORT AREA The target was briefed to members of the 95th BG as the heavy water plant at Rjukan Norway

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: All of these aircraft were equipped with long-range tanks and flew at low altitude until just off the Norway coast to conserve fuel.

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 95th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 324 X 500GP
  • People wounded in action: 3
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 4
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 3
  • Aircraft sent: 45
  • Aircraft effective: 41
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 9

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 560th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16066310 / O-735023
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-523642
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 100th Bomb Group 418th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer
  • 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

Aircraft

Revisions

Date3 Nov 2017 04:15:56
ContributorARowe95
Sources

ARowe95

Date17 May 2015 21:38:55
Contributorsimaguire
Sources

Ian L Hawkins (2005). B17s Over Berlin. Washington DC: Potomac. pp100.

Date8 May 2015 19:00:00
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date8 May 2015 18:58:04
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date8 May 2015 18:56:25
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative 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'.

VIII Bomber Command 75: Gallery (3 items)