Clayton Sexton Balcombe

Military

Object Number - UPL 42270 - "Crew of the 360th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, beside the Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" "Ooold Soljer". England, 28 March 1943." Rear L-R: Lt...

6-Mar-42 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17 41-24559 [PU-C] "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Ooold Soljer".

31-Mar-42 While serving as Radio Operator on B-17 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS the aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-17F #42-29573 "Two Beauts", 303BG/358BS about an hour after take off in 10/10 cloud cover over Wellingboro, UK. "Ooold Soljer" was completely demolished and was seen to have lost its right wing from the #4 engine. TSGT Balcombe was severely injured in the collision and managed to bail out of the aircraft along with RWG SGT Tom McGriffin. The remaining 8 airmen were killed in the crash. Three airmen managed to bailed out of "Two Beauts" with 7 others killed.

From 31-Mar-43 until 6-Jun-44 TSGT Balcombe was in hospital for a time and then had a period of recovery from his injuries. He returned to combat duty on 6-Jun-44 and flew another 12 credited missions completing a 30-Mission tour on 22-Jun-44.

Mission participations (UNDER CONSTRUCTION) See Biography events.

Awards: DFC, AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME (1 x Battle Star).

Connections

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

Units served with

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

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-791048
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Ooold Soljer
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Thumper
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron

Missions

  • Date: 17 November 1942
  • Official Description: 35 HBs pound U-boat pens at Saint-Nazaire with 102 tons of bombs.
  • Date: 18 November 1942
  • Official Description: VIII BC conducts missions against 3 U-boat bases. 19 HBs attack at La Pallice, 13 at Lorient Keroman, and 19 at Saint-Nazaire.
  • Date: 6 December 1942
  • Official Description: 36 HBs attack Atelier d’Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille while a smaller group of aircraft bomb Abbeville/Drucat A/F.

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Other

Assigned to Aircraft

Boise, ID, USA 1942-03-06 Assigned as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.

Other

Arrived in UK

Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 1942-10-16 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Radio Operator aboard B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS.

Other

Mission #1, SGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Saint-Nazaire, France 1942-11-17 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #2, SGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Saint-Nazaire, France 1942-11-18 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #3, SGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Lille, France 1942-12-06 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the carriage and wagon works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Other

Promotion to SSGT

Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 1943-01-01 Effective 1-Jan-43, promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Other

Mission #4, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24579, 303BG/360BS

Saint-Nazaire, France 1943-01-03 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #5, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Lille, France 1943-01-13 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the Lille Fives Locomotive Works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #6, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Lorient, France 1943-01-23 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #7, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Wilhelmshaven, Germany 1943-01-27 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the naval facilities and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshave, Germany. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #8, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS - Aborted

1943-02-02 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, but severe cold and weather forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #9, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS - Aborted

Osnabrück, Germany 1943-02-04 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the industrial areas of Osnabruck, Germany, but mechanical failures force the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #10, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS - Aborted

Hamm, Germany 1943-02-14 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany but severe weather force Wing Command to recall the entire 303BG formation. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #11, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS - Aborted

Saint-Nazaire, France 1943-02-16 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #12, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Brest, France 1943-02-27 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the port facilities and U-Boat pens at Brest, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #13, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Rotterdam, Netherlands 1943-03-04 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rotterdam, Holland. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #14, SSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Lorient, France 1943-03-06 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #15, TSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Rouen, France 1943-03-12 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Roeun, France. RTB OK.

Other

Promoted in Rank

1943-03-08 Promoted to the rank of Technical Sergeant.

Other

Mission #16, TSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Amiens, France 1943-03-13 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Amiens, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #17, TSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Wilhelmshaven, Germany 1943-03-22 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the naval facilities and U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #18, TSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS

Rouen, France 1943-03-28 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen, France. RTB OK.

Other

Mission #19, TSGT Clayton S. Balcombe, W/ B-17F 41-24559, 303BG/360BS - Injured

1943-03-31 Served as Radio Operator on B-17F 41-24559 "Ooold Soljer", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb the shipyards at Rotterdam, Holland. The aircraft sustaiend a mid-air collision with another B-17 of 358BS. He was able to bale out but was seriously injured.

Other

In Hospital

Leicester, UK 1943-03-31 - 1944-06-01 Remains in Hospital to recover from his injuries. Returned to Duty RTD and flew another 12 missions to complete a 30-mission tour.

Born

Cosmopolis, WA 1923-01-21 Son of Maude Balcombe.

Enlisted

Seattle, WA 1941-12-11 Seattle, Washington

Died

2000-04-20

Buried

Oak Hill Memorial Park Escondido, San Diego County, CA 2014-04-23 Oak Hill Memorial Park Escondido, San Diego County, California

Revisions

Date10 Nov 2021 19:01:45
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Corrected a typo in the "Summary biography" - "severely" was misspelled.

Date28 Feb 2020 22:54:46
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added a "#" to the A/C serial number in the "Summary biography" to aid clarity.

Date30 Oct 2019 22:18:42
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Fixed typos in the "Summary biography".

Date29 Oct 2019 21:58:42
Contributorjmoore43
Sources

Added a connection to pilot Keith O. Bartlett.

Date6 Mar 2016 22:19:26
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added In Hospital event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date6 Mar 2016 22:13:32
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #19 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 31-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/027.pdf

Date6 Mar 2016 22:10:22
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #18 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 28-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/026.pdf

Date6 Mar 2016 22:08:27
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #17 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/025.pdf

Date6 Mar 2016 22:06:25
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #16 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/023.pdf

Date6 Mar 2016 22:03:22
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-43. Added Promotion in Rank to TSGT per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date6 Mar 2016 22:01:08
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016. Added Mission #15 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 12-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/022.pdf

Date6 Mar 2016 21:58:30
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Feb-2016. Added Mission #14 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/020.pdf

Date6 Mar 2016 21:54:39
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Mar-2016 Made connections to Missions of 27-Jan-42, 2-Feb-43, 4-Feb-43, 14-Feb-43, 16-Feb-43, 27-Feb-43, 4-Mar-43, 6-Mar-43, 12-Mar-43,13-Mar-43, 22-Mar-43, 28-Mar-43 and 31-Mar-43 pere 303BG wesbite, Mission Reports of dates stated: http://www.303rdbg.com/

Date25 Feb 2016 18:37:48
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Feb-2016. Added Mission #13 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Mar-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/019.pdf

Date25 Feb 2016 18:35:21
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Feb-2016. Added Mission #12 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 27-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/017.pdf

Date25 Feb 2016 18:31:11
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Feb-2016. Added Mission #11 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 16-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/016.pdf

Date25 Feb 2016 18:28:28
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #10 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 14-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/014.pdf

Date25 Feb 2016 18:24:34
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #9 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/014.pdf

Date25 Feb 2016 18:21:41
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #8 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 2-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/013.pdf

Date25 Feb 2016 18:18:52
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 27-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/012.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:55:54
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:54:14
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/010.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:51:28
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 3-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/009.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:46:35
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Promotion to SSGT event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 3-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/009.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:44:27
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:42:15
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:40:56
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gray Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 17-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/001.pdf

Date3 Feb 2016 19:34:13
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Arrived in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, HIstorian, Lewis E. Lyle crwe page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-lyle.html

Date3 Feb 2016 19:32:35
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, HIstorian, Lewis E. Lyle crwe page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-lyle.html

Date3 Feb 2016 19:29:15
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-Feb-2016. Added New Person entry; made connections to Place, Aircraft (through 23-Jan-43) and MIssions (through 23-Jan-43) per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Lewis E. Lyle crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-360-lyle.html

Clayton Sexton Balcombe: Gallery (2 items)