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VIII Bomber Command 100

23 September 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission consisted of three elements, one element from 1st Bomb Division and 2 others from 3rd Bomb Division. The first element was a combined force of 177 B-17s from: 91BG (21); 92BG (19); 305BG (18); 306BG (18); 351BG (19) and 381BG (22) dispatched to bomb the port area of Nantes, France. The element was frustrated in getting in formation due to weather and as a result neither 92BG or 306BG were able to bomb. 46 aircraft were effective on the target. There are no losses but two aircraft were Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR): one from 92BG exploded during assembly 3KIA 7RTD (parachuted) and one from 305BG sustained a mid-air collision while attempting a landing at Chelveston 10KOM. 41 aircraft were damaged. 11 airmen were wounded. The bomber gunners claim 22-1-3 of attacking German fighters.

The second element was a combined force of 67 B-17s from : 95BG (22); 100BG (16); and 390BG (22) dispatched to bomb the German airfield of Vannes/Meucon, France. 55 aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims, but 7 aircraft are damaged.

The third element is a combined force of 63 B-17s from : 94BG (21); 96BG (20); and 385BG (22) dispatched to bomb the German airfield of Kerlin/Bastard, France. 53 are effective on the target. One aircraft from 96BG Failed to Return (FTR) 10KIA. The bomber gunners claim 2-0-0 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. KERLIN-BASTARD (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942. Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 155.25
Number of aircraft Sent 63
Number of aircraft Effective 53
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 10
Number of people Killed In Action 10
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 2

2. NANTES (Primary)

Description

HARBOUR INSTALLATION

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Bab weather hampers groups in finding formations. 92nd Bomb Group and 306th Bomb Group abandoned the mission.

Units

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...

  • 352nd Bomb Group
  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    The 92nd Group sometime after arrivial in the UK converted to the role of in-theater combat crew indocrination and training. For this role, the Group traded its B-17F complement and obtained the B-17E, mostly from the 97th BG which was departing for...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 134.25
Number of aircraft Sent 117
Number of aircraft Effective 46
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 41
Number of people Killed In Action 13
Number of people Wounded in Action 11
Number of people Returned To Duty 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 22
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 1
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 3

3. VANNES/MEUCON (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 165.00
Number of aircraft Sent 67
Number of aircraft Effective 55
Number of aircraft Damaged 7

Service

People

  • Brunson Bolin

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #4230831 'Lazy Baby. ' A/C landed in Switzerland, however, Lt. Bolin was ordered by the pilot to bail out and did so after getting the top turret gunner out of the A/C. He was captured by German soldiers but not before...

  • Eldon Broman

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 335BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. 23 x combat missions. Shot down 10-Oct-43 in B-17 42-30272 'Fritz Blitz'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 1118 Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), POW, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Burkot

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 455th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 334BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Completed tour. 2nd tour with 741BS, 455BG, 15AF USAAF. Awards: DFC, AM (5OLC), PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • John Channell

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Tail gunner, Noxon crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. Shot down 1 December 1943 in B-17 #42-31111 'Four Aces-Pat Hand'. MACR 1659. Killed in Action (KIA). The aircraft left formation shortly after the bomb run and was thought to be lost over the sea. Tablets of...

  • Gale Cleven

    Military | Major | Command Pilot, Pilot, Mission | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 42-3233 'Our Baby', Prisoner of War. ...

  • Cecil Clore

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Clore crew. "B" Flight Commander. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Killed in Action (KIA). Crashed shortly after TO near Hedingham on mission #56 to Kiel, Germany in B-17G #42-31278 'Mix Master'. Originally buried with the entire crew at Cambridge...

  • Harry Crosby

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Navigator | 100th Bomb Group
    RTD. B-17F #42-3393 'Just-A-Snappin'. On mission to Bremen on 8 Oct 1943 A/C severely damaged by flak and enemy fighters. A/C returned to base alone and crashed near Ludham. Harry wrote "On a Wing and a Prayer" about his experiences. ...

  • Earl DeWolf

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 95th Bomb Group
    Shot down 10 October 1943 in B-17 #42-30817 'Miss Flower III', Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • William Fowler

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 335BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Munster in B-17 42-30272 'Fritz Blitz' 10-Oct-43; shot down, baled out Haakbergen, Holland, Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 1118 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Clark (William Gable

    Military | Major | Cameraman, Gunner, Actor | 303rd Bomb Group
    Clark Gable flew at least 5 missions as Captain filming 50,000 ft of gunnery combat during 1943. He received the Air Medal for his service. 1 mission was flown with the 303rd BG. The rest were with the 351st BG in different aircraft. The film was named...

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Aircraft

  • 42-30026 BATTLE WAGON

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 1/4/43; Sioux City 13/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 20/4/43; Assigned 534BS/381BG as BATTLE WAGON but not to UK; transferred 546BS/384BG [BK-J] 29/5/43; Returned to the USA 13/7/43; 4100 BU Patterson 31/7/43; 4000 BU Patterson 5/12/43...

  • 42-30272 'Fritz Blitz'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/5/43; Gore 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 17/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-U] Horham 15/6/43; Missing in Action (21m) Munster 10/10/43 with Eldon Broman, Co-pilot: John Chaffin, Navigator: Bill Fowler, Bombardier: Paul Guiteras...

  • 42-3273 'Impatient Virgin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 18/4/43; Assigned 100BG Dow Fd 30/5/43; transferred 412BS/95BG [QW-W] Horham 15/6/43; force landed RAF St Eval ex-St Nazaire 28/6/43; crash landed Gt Ashfield ex-La Pallice 16/9/43; force landed RAF Hensridge; 31m, ex-Munster 22/12/43...

  • 42-3328 'Miss Fortune'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 10/5/43; Tinker 22/7/43; Assigned 568BS/390BG [BI-D] Framlingham 15/7/43; Missing in Action (15m) Munster 10/10/43 with Wade Sneed, Co-pilot: Darwin Michaelson, Navigator: Melvin Breckenridge, Bombardier: Lew Gardner, Flight engineer...

  • 42-5915 Cash & Carrie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 7/5/43; Denver 14/5/43; Geiger 26/5/43; Gt Falls 7/6/43; Dow Fd 13/7/43; Assigned 570BS/390BG [DI-J] Framlingham 15/7/43; Missing in Action (11m) Munster 10/10/43 with Bob McGuire, Co-pilot: Glenn Oster, Navigator: Albt Drouhard,...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 17:48:39 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
28 June 2015 20:04:21 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Kerlin element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 June 2015 20:03:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to Nantes element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
28 June 2015 20:02:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jun-2015. Added Mission Description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:16 AAM AAM ingest
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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