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VIII Bomber Command 29

13 January 1943

Official description

Not yet known


The primary target for this mission is the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works, associated steel works and the railroad marshalling yards at Lille, France. The attacking force is composed of 72 B-17s from: 91BG (13); 303BG (19); 305BG (23) and 306BG (17) of these 64 are effective on the target, 3 are MIA and 15 are damaged. The attacking element is provided a fighter escort, the first time that fighters have been specifically despatched by 8AF to support an 8AF heavy bombing mission.

The attacking formation is supported with a diversion flown by 16 B-24s despatched by 44th Bomb Group.

Mission details




Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator


Diversion for raid on Lille, France.


  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 16

2. LILLE (Primary)



Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


306th Bomb Group/369BS B-17 (serial number 41-24471, "Four of a Kind") collides with 306th Bomb Group/ 369BS B-17 serial number 41-24498 on the way out from the target.


  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    The 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on 3-Feb-1942 at Pendleton Field, Oregon. They assembled at Gowen Field, Idaho on 11-February 1942 where it conducted flight training until 12-Jun-1942. The Group then moved to Alamogordo Field, New...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    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

    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,...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 160.60
Number of aircraft Sent 72
Number of aircraft Effective 64
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 15
Number of people Killed In Action 24
Number of people Wounded in Action 9
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 15
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 4
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5



  • Ralph Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    Orginally assigned with the 92BG at Bovingdon, UK as an Aerial Gunner with the rank of Sergeant. He flew his first mission (and the only one with the 92BG) on 21-Oct-42. ...

  • Joseph Anderson

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator, Radio Operator Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 13 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24601 while serving as Radio Operator. Aircraft took a direct hit from flak over the target at Lille, France and crashed near Lo, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 13 January 1943 in B-17F 41-24601 while serving as Co-Pilot. The aircraft took a direct hit from flak over the target at Lille, France and then crashed later near Lo, Belgium. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Samuel Anderson

    Military | Captain | Lead Navigator | 303rd Bomb Group
    17-Feb-42 Assigned as Navigator of B-17F #41-24579 [PU-F] at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth UK. He was despatched on 26 Operations - 25 credited. Served as a Lead Navigator on 23 of those missions. Completed a 25-Mission...

  • Clayton Balcombe

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator | 303rd Bomb Group
    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". ...

  • Frank Bartlett

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    12-Feb-42 Assigned to 303BG as an Aerial Gunner at Arrived at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 12-Jun-42 Trained at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo New Mexico. 7-Aug-42 Finished Advanced training at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas. 24-Aug-42 transferred with Ground...

  • Keith Bartlett

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    12-Mar-42 Assigned to 303BG/360BS in B-17F #41-24559 "Ooold Soldier" as 2LT and Co-Pilot. Gowen Field (Boise), Idaho. ...

  • Harold Beasley

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Beasley's crew claimed to shoot down 4 German fighters on a mission over Paris on 4 April 1943, they then claimed a further fighter on a mission over Antwerp the following day. ...

  • Jack Belk

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-May-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner to 303BG/427BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho, with the rank of Sergeant. 303BG personnel record does not indicate that he was assigned to any particular crew at that time and does not indicate when he arrived at...

  • Clyde Bennett

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner, Top Turret Gunner ; Flight Engineer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was an original crew member. On 13 January 1943 in B-17F #41-24471 'Four of a Kind' while serving as Engineer/Top Turret Gunner the aircraft was involved in a mid air collision with B-17F #41-24498 306BG/369BS and broke in two just north of the...

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  • 41-24471 Four of a Kind

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 2-Oct-42; Missing in Action 13-Jan-43 on a mission to bomb the railroad factories of Ateliers D'Hellemmes at Lille, France. Due to a mid-air collision with 41-24498, aircraft was sliced in two...

  • 41-24498

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 23-Aug-42; Thurleigh 30-Oct42; Missing in Action 13-Jan-43 on a mission to bomb the railroad factories of Atclier D' Hellemmes at Lille, France. Aircraft sustained a mid-air collision with B-17F 41-24471 "Four of a...

  • 41-24541 Spook

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24541 "Spook" was assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-G] Kellogg Fd 14-Sep-42; Molesworth 16-Sep-42;The aircraft participated in 12 Operations - 4 Aborted (See Biography events) ...

  • 41-24558 Hunga Dunga

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-25-BO 41-24558 [VK:F] "Hunga Dunga" was assigned to the 358BS/303BG [VK-F] at Bangor. Maine on 14-Oct-42; arrived at Molesworth, UK on 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action Vegasack 18-Mar-43 when it was attacked by enemy aircraft near Helgoland. Germany...

  • 41-24559 Ooold Soljer

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24559 'Ooold Soljer' was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-C] Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24569 Memphis Tot

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot: [GN:V] was assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-W] Bangor 5-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24579 Thumper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24579 "Thumper" was assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] 17-Feb-42 Gowen Field, Idaho; Bangor 14-Oct-42; Molesworth 16-Oct-42; Aircraft damaged by AA fire and enemy fighters on mission to Lorient, France on 23-Jan-43. 11 man crew. Belly-landed at...

  • 41-24587 Bad Check

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-P] Bangor 5/10/42; Molesworth 25/10/42; Missing in Action 45m Oschersleben 11/1/44 with George McClellan, Co-pilot: Bill Fisher, ex B-26 pilot on his 1st mission, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Dave Tempesta, Radio Operator...

  • 41-24601

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-P] Presque Is 19-Oct-42; Grafton Underwood 25-Oct-42; Missing in Action on 13-Jan-43 mission to bomb the Atclier D'Hellemes railroad factory at Lille, France. Took a direct hit by flak over the target and then was attacked and...

  • 41-24603 The Green Hornet

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F #41-24603 "Green Hornet" [BN-Y], 303BG/359BS was assigned with a combat crew on 10-Sep-42 at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas then moved to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine 9-Oct-42; Arrived at Molesworth, UK on 22-Oct-42. ...

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Date Contributor Update
15 February 2015 19:51:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to event

Lee Cunningham 15-Feb-2015. Added Bomber Gunner claims to statistics on Lille per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 December 2014 22:56:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 8-Dec-2014. Description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A Freeman and "USAAF Combat Chronology" Jack McKillop.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:17 AAM AAM ingest

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'.