VIII Bomber Command 87

27 August 1943
B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 303rd Bomb Group line up for take off. A B-17 (VK-I, serial number 42-3064) nicknamed "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is bringing up the rear. First handwritten caption on reverse of print: '27/8/43.' Second handwritten caption on reverse: 'VK-I. 8/9/43.' On reverse: 'Confidential Until Re-Classified By Censor' [Stamp]. media-407640.jpg FRE 4251 B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 303rd Bomb Group line up for take off. A B-17 (VK-I, serial number 42-3064) nicknamed "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is bringing up the rear. First handwritten caption on reverse of print: '27/8/43.' Second handwritten caption on reverse: 'VK-I. 8/9/43.' On reverse: 'Confidential Until Re-Classified By Censor' [Stamp]. Roger Freeman Collection

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

Object Number - FRE 4251 - B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 303rd Bomb Group line up for take off. A B-17 (VK-I, serial number 42-3064) nicknamed "Yankee Doodle Dandy" is bringing...

Description

This mission is the first attack by the USAAF on suspected V-Weapon sites. The German development of pilotless winged aircraft was first divulged to the British just shortly after the beginning of World War II in two letters sent to the British embassy in Oslo by a German mathematician and physicist Hans Ferdinand Mayer on 1 and 2 November 1939. This disclosure became known as the "Oslo Report". The information was passed on to the British Intelligence group known as MI-6. The report was largely dismissed as a German attempt at misdirection. However, subsequent photographic reconnaissance by the RAF in May 1942 through May 1943 confirmed that the Germans were indeed up to something at Peenemunde that seemed to validate the Oslo Report. 

The mission of 27-Aug-43 was directed against the construction of a large blockhouse and surrounding works. In fact, these were actually German preparations for a launching site for the infamous V-2 rocket, but that exact use was not known at the time. 

The mission was composed of two elements both aimed at the construction site in and around Watten, France. The first element consisted of a combined force of 159 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (18); 306BG (18); 351BG (22); 379BG (21); 381BG (10); and 384BG (18). Intense anti-aircraft fire was directed at this element as well as a German fighter force of 20-30 aircraft. 124 aircraft were effective on the target. 4 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) - 10KIA 18POW 2EVD 10RTD (rescued by ASR). 1 airman was KIA in a returning aircraft and 18 were wounded. 1 aircraft was crashlanded at Alconbury, UK upon return and was declared to be Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) but the 10 crewmen were OK. The bomber gunners in this element claim 7-0-6 of the attacking German fighters. 

The second element was a combined force of 65 B-17s from : 94BG (11); 95BG (7); 96BG (9); 100BG (7); 385BG (12); 388BG (12); and 390BG (7). 63 of these aircraft were effective on their targets. There are no losses of claims in this element but 15 aircraft are damaged.

Mission Details

Description: V1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Three airmen of the 100th Bomb Group, Lieutenant Kenneth Menzie, Lieutenant Donald Strout and Lieutenant Norman Scott, plan the route they will take during the next mission in their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30380). Image stamped on reverse: 'Reviewed and passed U.S. Army 23 Aug 1943 Press Censor E.T.O. U.S.A.' [stamp]'. Passed for publication 23 August 1943 INTLD 16 General Section Press Censorship Bureau '[stamp], 'Associated Press' [stamp] and '280035.' [Censor no.] Printed caption on reve
  • 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
A bomber crew of the 94th Bomb Group stand with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-30200) nicknamed "Slo Time Sally" and a bomb inscribed 'Special delivery to Hitler'. Inscription on bomb reads: 'Special delivery to Hitler, From Peggy of St. Louis.'
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Aircraft sent: 65
  • Aircraft effective: 63
  • Aircraft damaged: 15

Description: V1 MISSILE SITES

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: First 8th Air Force raid on missile sites. Designated "NOBALL" sites.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Unofficial emblem, 305th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
Official insignia of the 306th Bomb Group, approved 6 January 1943, and updated 2 October 1951.
  • 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: 368.00
  • People killed in action: 11
  • People wounded in action: 18
  • People evaded: 2
  • Prisoners of war: 18
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 7
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 6
  • Aircraft sent: 159
  • Aircraft effective: 124
  • Aircraft missing in action: 4
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 83

Connections

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

People

Ten men in Air Force uniform posed in two rows in front of a military airplane.  Five men standing to the rear and five men kneeling in front.
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-665266
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
Ten men in Air Force uniform posed in two rows in front of an airplane.  Four men standing to the rear and six men kneeling in front.
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-735966
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19097344 / O-742829
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Co-Pilot
  • 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 561st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37111609
  • Highest Rank: Technician Fourth Grade
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Yankee Raider
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 544th Bomb Squadron 306th Bomb Group 368th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Little Audrey
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group 384th Bomb Group Base Air Depot 1 368th Bomb Squadron 544th Bomb Squadron
Corporal Murray S. Pearl, of the 303rd Bomb Group, with a B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-24565) nicknamed "Idaho Potato Peeler". Image stamped on reverse: ‘Copyright Current Affairs Ltd.’ [stamp], ‘Passed for Publication 28 Jan 1943. [stamp] and ‘245656.’ [Censor no.] Printed caption on reverse: 'Cpl. Murray S. Pearl, serving with the U.S.A.A.F in a bomber squadron, appreciates the heavy fur-lined jerkin issued to him, for, in private life, he was a fur manufacturer at 222 West 28th Stre
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Ramblin' Wreck : Idaho Potato Peeler
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron
A B-17 Flying Fortress (VK-D, serial number 41-24577) nicknamed "Hell's Angel" of the 358th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group in flight. Passed for publication 21 Aug 1943. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'Hell's Angel. L1721/29.' Printed caption on reverse of print: 'A Flying Fortress wearing the new recognition symbol of the U.S.A.A.F. and fitted with toughened glass "windows" in the air.' On reverse: The Aeroplane Ltd, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Hell's Angels
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 358th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Knock-out Dropper
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 359th Bomb Squadron

Related videos and documents

Revisions

Date
Contributoracbernstein1
Changes
Date
ContributorThomBear
Changes
Sources

Added a/c 41-24560 from post-mission report.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims per "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 27-May-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eight War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorEmily
Changes
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
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 87: Gallery (8 items)