VIII Bomber Command 85

19 August 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

The German airfields at Gilze-Rijen, Holland and Woensdrecht, Holland are the targets for this mission. The attacks will be made by two elements. The first element is a combined force of 125 B-17s from: 91BG (8); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (19); 306BG (20); 351BG (9);379BG (16); 381BG (7); and 384BG (7). The formation actually attacks two German airfields in Holland. 38 are effective on Gilze-Rijen and 55 are effective on Flushing. 4 B-17s Failed to Return (FTR) - 22KIA 19POW. The bomber gunners claim 29-1-2 of the attacking German fighters.

The second element is a combined force of 45 B-17s from 94BG (3); 95BG (7); 96BG (8); 100BG (7); 385BG (7) 388BG (7) and 390BG (7). Many of the B-17s that normally would have participated in this element were lost on the 17-Aug-43 mission to Regensburg or are still at bases in North Africa. Weather prevented any of this group from bombing. 1 B-17 Failed to Return (FTR) 8KIA 2POW and another caught fire during assembly and was abandoned over Wolferton, England. 3 INJ 8RTD. The bomber gunners claim 1-1-2 of enemy aircraft.

Mission Details

GILZE-RIJEN / FLUSHING (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 38 aircraft bomb Gilze-Rijen airfield and 55 bomb flushing airfield. Despatch from most groups limited because of losses suffered on the Schweinfurt raid.

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: 165.80
  • People killed in action: 22
  • People wounded in action: 9
  • Prisoners of war: 19
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 29
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 125
  • Aircraft effective: 93
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged: 42

WOENSDRECHT (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: This element aborted the mission due to weather. One loss from 96th Bomb Group when aircraft caught fire during assembly, crash-landing at Wolften Sands, England, 3 injuries but all eventually returned. Despatch limited because many of the groups' aircraft are still in North Africa or Missing in Action (MIA) on Schweinfurt raid.

  • 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: None
  • People killed in action: 8
  • Prisoners of war: 2
  • People returned to duty: 11
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 1
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 45
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • 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: 303rd Bomb Group 358th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36021848
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 351st Bomb Group 510th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 32478396
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 368th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36408642
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Air Gunner, Togglier/Bombardier
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 533rd Bomb Squadron 535th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35376557
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Black Diamond Express
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 95th Bomb Group 326th Bomb Squadron 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Eager Beaver
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 368th Bomb Squadron
Ground crew work of the 303rd Bomb Group work on the engines of a B-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "The Duchess". Passed for publication 20 Jan 1944. Printed caption on reverse: 'Famous Fortresses. Associated Press Photo Shows:- Ground crewmen at work on the Fortress "Duchess", which has already been on 50 missions over enemy territory. They are (left to right, lower): Sgt. Clyde L. Dewald, of 200 E Union St., Schnykill Haven, Penn.; and Sgt. James C. Hicks, of Rowtob, Henderson, K.Y.; (Upper) Cpl. Charles
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Duchess, Sure Stuff
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Knock-out Dropper
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: SpitzFire
  • Unit: 305th Bomb Group Can Do 379th Bomb Group 364th Bomb Squadron 526th Bomb Squadron

Revisions

Date11 May 2017 12:42:25
ContributorThomBear
Sources

added a/c 41-24487 per post mission report.

Date24 May 2015 19:50:27
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Wensdrecht element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date24 May 2015 19:49:09
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Gilze-Rijen element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date24 May 2015 19:47:47
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added bomber claims to Woensdrecht element narrative per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date24 May 2015 19:41:06
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 24-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:43:18
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 85: Gallery (2 items)