VIII Bomber Command 97

16 September 1943

Object Number - UPL 17209 - Official USAAF caption : "A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress takes off from Bassingbourne, England on its first mission using the new external bomb racks....

Description

This mission is composed of two elements: Bomb Groups from 1st Bomb Division and Bomb groups from 3rd Bomb Division. The first element is a combined force of 147 B-17s from: 91BG (18); 303BG (19); 305BG (16); 351BG (19); 379BG (19); 381BG (20); and 384BG (18). The primary targets for this mission are: the port facilities and German airfield Chateau Bougon at Nantes, France. The attacks will be made at approximately 1500hrs. 79 aircraft are effective on the port area and 51 aircraft are effective on th airfield. 7 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 24KIA, 20POW, 16EVD, and 10RTD (Rescued by ASR). 1 aircraft is declared a Category E loss (Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR); 47 aircraft are damaged and 9 airmen are Wounded in Action (WIA). The bomber gunners of this element claim 22-2-5 of attacking enemy aircraft.

The second element is a combined force of 148 B-17s from: 95BG (24); 96BG (20); 100BG (19); 388BG (18); 390BG (24); 94BG (21); and 385BG (22). The original target for this element was the aircraft factories at Bordeux, France, but cloud cover obscures the target and the formations seek out other targets: the port area of La Paillice; the German airfields of Larochelle/Laleau and Cognac/Chateaubernard, France. The Bomb Groups took off just before Noon and planned to attack at approximately 1530hrs, however weather problems and diversion to other targets delayed the attacks to 1730-1755hrs. This meant that the aircraft would be returning to their bases after dark. Neither 390BG or 385BG were able to find alternate targets and did not bomb. 93 aircraft were effective on the alternate targets. 4 aircraft are MIA; 12KIA 20POW 8RTD (Rescued by ASR). In addition, 3 other aircraft made crash landings in England 11KIA 5WIA also (1 B-17F 42-30601 "Mary Ellen II", 385BG/had a mid-air collision (10KIA) with B-17F 42-30201, 95BG (RTB)), another 4 airmen were Wounded in Action (WIA) in returning aircraft. The bomber gunners in this element claim 22-3-8 of attacking German fighters.

Mission Details

COGNAC/ CHATEAUBERNARD (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: Despatch from 390th Bomb Group and 385th Bomb Group had no aircraft effective on the target.

The insignia of the 385th 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: 52.50
  • People killed in action: 20
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Aircraft sent: 21
  • Aircraft effective: 21
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 7

LA PALLICE (Primary)

Description: HARBOUR INSTALLATION

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: The bomber gunner claims for the combined force of B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division has been included under this target.

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 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: 179.25
  • People wounded in action: 1
  • Prisoners of war: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 22
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 3
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 8
  • Aircraft sent: 127
  • Aircraft effective: 72
  • Aircraft missing in action: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 10

LA ROCHELLE/ LALEAU (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

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 388th Bomb Group.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 151.00
  • People killed in action: 14
  • People wounded in action: 5
  • Prisoners of war: 9
  • People returned to duty: 13
  • Aircraft missing in action: 2
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 2

NANTES (Primary)

Description: HARBOUR INSTALLATION

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes: 1 B-17 drops 12 X500GP on a convoy - no hits. Two Missing in Action (MIA) aircraft from 379th Bomb Group were hit by aerial bombs dropped by enemy aircraft. Bomber gunner claims for both formations attacking targets at Nantes are included in the statisics for this target.

Official emblem of the 303rd Bomb Group approved 7 November 1942.
  • Unit Hierarchy: Group
  • Air Force: Eighth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 233.96
  • People killed in action: 24
  • People wounded in action: 3
  • People evaded: 16
  • Prisoners of war: 19
  • People returned to duty: 10
  • Enemy aircrafts destroyed by bomber: 22
  • Enemy aircrafts probably destroyed by bomber: 2
  • Enemy aircraft damaged by bomber: 5
  • Aircraft sent: 96
  • Aircraft effective: 79
  • Aircraft missing in action: 7
  • Aircraft damaged beyond repair: 1
  • Aircraft damaged: 47

NANTES/ CHATEAU BOUGON (Primary)

Description: AIRFIELD

Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress

Mission Statistics

  • Tonnage Dropped: 151.04
  • Aircraft sent: 51
  • 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
A bomber crew of the 388th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 42-5906) nicknamed "Sandra Kay". Printed caption on reverse: '61482 AC- Crew of the 562nd Bomb Squadron, 388th Bomb Group, beside the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress "Sandra Kay". England, 11 August 1943. Front row, left to right: T/Sgt Herman J Ball, Milwaukee, Wisc; S/Sgt George R Martin, New Albany, Ind; S/Sgt Joshua M Lewis, Cumberland, Md; S/Sgt Otto V Kloza, Milwaukee, Wisc; T/Sgt Paul D Gomis, Reading, Penn; S/Sgt Fran
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 388th Bomb Group 562nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36243138
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade)
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer - Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 384th Bomb Group 547th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 6277281
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • 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: 379th Bomb Group 524th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-733514
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Bombardier

Aircraft

Revisions

Date26 Jun 2015 18:14:44
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims for 3rd Bomb DIvision formations to the La Pallice statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", ROger A. Freeman.

Date26 Jun 2015 18:08:36
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims for the entire Nantes attack to the statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date26 Jun 2015 18:04:30
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Jun-2015. Added Mission description basedon "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger 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'.

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