Clayton Sexton Balcombe

Military
media-42270.jpeg 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 George V Stallings, 1Lt Keith O Bartlett, Lewis E Lyle, Lt Milton S Fonorow, 1Lt Samuel H Anderson, Capt Percy C Young.

Front L-R: S/Sgt Clayton S Balcombe, T/Sgt Gene K Smith, T/Sgt Frederick A Hartung, S/Sgt Tom McGiffin, S/Sgt Edward A Bradford, S/Sgt Robert H Sangster, T/Sgt Woodrow W Smith.

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

A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-24559) nicknamed "Old Soljer" of the 303rd Bomb Group. Passed as censored 25 Jan 1943. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'B-17 "Old Soljer". 25 Jan 1943.' Printed caption attached: 'How The Boys Live And Work At Flying Fortress Station In England. Wide World Photo Shows:- Side view of Fortress. This one's been named "Old Soljer" by her crew, who have painted the name on the side of the fuselage, as shown here. WW/ALA. 26-1-43.' On reverse: Ministry of Information, As
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Ooold Soljer
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron
A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-24579) of the 365th Bomb Squadron, 305th Bomb Group prepares for take off. Handwritten caption on reverse: '30/6/43.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Thumper
  • Unit: 303rd Bomb Group 360th Bomb Squadron

Missions

Places

Events

Event Location Date Description

Born

Cosmopolis, WA 21 January 1923 Son of Maude Balcombe.

Enlisted

Seattle, WA 11 December 1941 Seattle, Washington

Other

Assigned to Aircraft

Boise, ID, USA 6 March 1942 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 16 October 1942 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 17 November 1942 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 18 November 1942 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 6 December 1942 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 1 January 1943 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 3 January 1943 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 13 January 1943 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 23 January 1943 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 27 January 1943 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

2 February 1943 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 4 February 1943 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 14 February 1943 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 16 February 1943 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 27 February 1943 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 4 March 1943 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 6 March 1943 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

Promoted in Rank

8 March 1943 Promoted to the rank of Technical Sergeant.

Other

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

Rouen, France 12 March 1943 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

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

Amiens, France 13 March 1943 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 22 March 1943 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 28 March 1943 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

31 March 1943 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 31 March 1943 - 1 June 1944 Remains in Hospital to recover from his injuries. Returned to Duty RTD and flew another 12 missions to complete a 30-mission tour.

Died

20 April 2000

Buried/ Commemorated

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

Revisions

Date
Contributorjmoore43
Changes
Sources

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

Date
Contributorjmoore43
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Sources

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

Date
Contributorjmoore43
Changes
Sources

Fixed typos in the "Summary biography".

Date
Contributorjmoore43
Changes
Sources

Added a connection to pilot Keith O. Bartlett.

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
Sources

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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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/

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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

Date
ContributorLee8thbuff
Changes
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)