VIII Bomber Command 94 OPERATION STARKEY

9 September 1943
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. UPL 65989 UPL 65989 384th Bomb Group Lead Crews / 28 July 1943/Kassel.
BACK L-R: Robert Kilmer (CP), John Barkley (N), Donald Ogilvie (P), William Wilson (B).
FRONT L-R: Francis Sylvia (FG), Emmett Hood (TT), Louis Ratkiewicz (TG), William Martin (FG), James Murray (RO), James McKeon (BT)
On

Object Number - UPL 65989 - 384th Bomb Group Lead Crews / 28 July 1943/Kassel. BACK L-R: Robert Kilmer (CP), John Barkley (N), Donald Ogilvie (P), William Wilson (B). FRONT...

Description

This mission has been named OPERATION STARKEY. It is planned as a coordinated attack of multiple bomber elements upon multiple targets and incorporates fighter escort as a rehearsal of what may be required to support an invasion of the Continent. It is the largest operation of the war to date with 330 bombers and 215 fighters participating. It is composed of 7 bomber elements. It is hoped that smaller formations of bombers directed to multiple targets will frustrate the Luftwaffe defenses and reduce bomber losses. 

The first element is a combined force of 87 B-17s from: 95BG (23); 96BG (20); 388BG (21); and 390BG (23) dispatched to bomb the industrial areas of Paris, France. Cloud cover frustrates bombing efforts at Paris and some formations attack the secondary target of the German airfield at Beaumont-sur-Oise, France. 20 aircraft are effective on the targets at Paris and 48 bomb the airfield at Beaumont. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) at Paris - 2KIA 8POW and 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) at Beaumont - 6POW 5EVD. These 2 bomber losses are the ONLY sustained by the 330 bombers dispatched. 21 aircraft are damaged and 3 airmen are Wounded in Action. The bomber gunners in this element claim 16-2-9 of attacking German aircraft. This element is the only one that draws up any significant Luftwaffe defense. This element has some fighter escort but it is limited by the range of the P-47s. 

The second element is a formation of 63 B-17s from: 94BG (21); 100BG (21); and 385BG (21) dispatched to bomb the German airfield at Beauvais/Tille, France. 59 aircraft are effective on this target. There are no losses or claims, but 6 aircraft are damaged. 

The third element is a formation of 37 B-17s from: 351BG (19) and 381BG (18) dispatched to bomb the German airfield at Lille/Nord, France. All 37 are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims, but 10 aircraft are damaged and 2 airmen are wounded. 

The fourth element is a formation of 56 B-17s from: 92BG (19); 305BG (19); and 306BG (18) dispatched to bomb the German airfield at Lille/Vendeville, France. 52 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims, but 7 aircraft are damaged. 

The fifth element is a formation of 56 B-17s from: 303BG (18); 379BG (20); and 384BG (18) dispatched to bomb the German airfield at Vitre-en-Artois, France. 51 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims. 

The sixth element is a formation of 38 B-24s from: 93BG (20) and 389BG (18) dispatched to bomb the two German airfields as St. Omer, France: Ft. Rouge and Longuenesse. 28 aircraft are effective on the targets. There are no losses or claims, but 3 aircraft are damaged and one airmen is Wounded in Action (WIA). 

The seventh element is a formation of 40 B-24s from: 44BG (19) and 392BG (21) dispatched to bomb the German airfield of Abbeville/Drucat, France. This is the first combat mission for the 392BG. 35 aircraft are effective on the target. This is the only element that does not get fighter escort, but there are no losses or claims. 

The mission is declared a large success even though the Luftwaffe does not commit any significant numbers of fighters against the various elements.

Mission Details

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: 392nd Bomb Group first mission. Operation "STARKEY".

The insignia of the 392nd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 44th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 63.00
  • Aircraft sent: 40
  • Aircraft effective: 35

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Operation "STARKEY".

The insignia of the 388th Bomb Group.
  • 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: 139.25
  • People killed in action: 2
  • People wounded in action: 3
  • People evaded: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 14
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 64
  • Aircraft effective: 48
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 15

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Operation "STARKEY".

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
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

  • Tonnage Dropped: 84.20
  • Aircraft sent: 63
  • Aircraft effective: 59
  • Aircraft damaged: 6

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Operation "STARKEY".

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: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 53.45
  • People wounded in action: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 37
  • Aircraft effective: 37
  • Aircraft damaged: 10

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Operation "STARKEY".

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 92nd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 74.52
  • Aircraft sent: 56
  • Aircraft effective: 52
  • Aircraft damaged: 7

Description: INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Operation "STARKEY", D-Day Rehearsal. 330 B-17s participate. Largest raid to date. Luftwaffe fails to commit any large force.

The insignia of the 390th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 58.00
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 6
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 2
  • Aircraft sent: 23
  • Aircraft effective: 20
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 6

/

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator

Notes: Operation "STARKEY".

The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 93rd Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 65.40
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • Aircraft sent: 38
  • Aircraft effective: 28
  • Aircraft damaged: 3

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Operation "STARKEY".

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 384th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment
The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 75.18
  • Aircraft sent: 56
  • Aircraft effective: 51

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 381st Bomb Group 534th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 39398025
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
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: 381st Bomb Group 534th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-669955
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • 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: Damn Yankee
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 545th Bomb Squadron 306th Bomb Group 423rd 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: Sky Wolf
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 358th 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
  • 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
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Contributorwilliam henry
Changes
Sources

Correct typos

Date
ContributorMags
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303rd BG Web Page

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Paris statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Beaumont statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

Lee Cunningham 5-Jun-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

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 94 OPERATION STARKEY: Gallery (2 items)