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VIII Bomber Command 40

6 March 1943

Official description

Not yet known


German U-boats continue to attack convoys headed fro Great Britain in the North Atlantic with good success. Many of the U-boat packs operate from St. Nazaire, Lorient and Brest, France, so destroying harbour facilities at these locations remain a primary objective for American heavy bomber crews. On this date the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for the main formation of B-17s and in addition the harbour facilites at Brest, France become the primary target of for a formation of B-24s. The attack on Brest is considered a diversion for the main attack on Lorient.

71 B-17s are despatched to attack Lorient, France: 91BG (14); 303BG (18); 305BG (18), 306BG (21). 65 of these are effective on the target and 3 are MIA. The bomber gunners claim 7 enemy aircraft destroyed, 2 enemy aircraft probabaly destroyed; and 1 enemy aircraft damaged (7-2-1)

15 B-24s are despatched to attack the harbour facilities at Brest, France: 44BG (10) and 93BG (5) All 15 ar effective on the target and the bomber gunners claim 2-0-2 on enemy aircraft.

Mission details

1. BREST (Primary)



Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator


This is a diversionary raid to assist the Lorient raid.


  • 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...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    The 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1 Mar 42 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15 May 42. the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida, to continue advanced flight training and also to fly antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico. They...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 44.50
Number of aircraft Sent 15
Number of aircraft Effective 15
Number of aircraft Damaged 3

2. LORIENT (Primary)



Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


There is no fighter escort for this mission.


  • 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 162.50
Number of aircraft Sent 71
Number of aircraft Effective 65
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of aircraft Damaged 8
Number of people Killed In Action 6
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 22
Number of people Returned To Duty 1



  • Charles Austin

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    1LT Charles N. Austin was originally assigned to the 92BG and arrived in England in August 1942. On 10-Feb-43 he and his crew were transferred from 92BG to 303BG/358BS as a replacement crew and assigned to B-17F #41-24558 "Hunga Dunga". He participated...

  • 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...

  • Bruce Barton

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Assigned to 322BS, 91BG, 8AF USAAF. Crash landed in B-17 41-24439 'Chief Sly’ while serving as pilot on return from target Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20-Dec-42. Co-pilot was 2nd Lt. Arthur J. Reynolds. Aircraft was DBR and salvaged. No injuries reported...

  • Robert Biggs

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17F 42-5378, 306BG/367BS while serving as Co-Pilot. The aircraft had developed an oil leak in no. 3 engine over the channel, but oil pressure stayed steady so pilots continued mission toward the submarine pens at Lorient,...

  • Glenn Blakemore

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Assigned to 367BS, 306BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down 6-Mar-43 in B-17 42-5130 'Sweet Pea', while serving as Radio Operator. ...

  • Edward Bradford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 303rd Bomb Group
    6-Mar-42 Assigned as an Aerial Gunner on B-17F #41-24559 [PU-C], "Ooold Soljer:, 303BG 360BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 16-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK aboard "Ooold Soljer." ...

  • Carroll Briscoe

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He reported to group on 15 Jan 1943. He was the 35th Officer to complete 25 missions. Reported on 05 Feb 1945 with the 2AF weather scouts. Retired as a Colonel from the USAF in 1972. ...

  • John Chapman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 6 March 1943 in B-17F 42-5130 'Sweet Pea', 306BG/367BS while serving as Left Waist Gunner. Aircraft was on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. Flak caused damage to aircraft and he baled out and was captured as a Prisoner of...

  • William Clancy

    Military | Major | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Clancy was assigned to the 91st Bomb Group in 1942

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  • 41-24539 Jersey Bounce

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-K] Kellogg Fd 15/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; CCRC Bovingdon 27/7/43; 384BG Grafton Underwood 22/9/43; Salvaged NBD 31/5/45. JERSEY BOUNCE.

  • 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. ...

  • 41-24561 The Duchess, "Sure Stuff"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-T] Bangor 10/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; 59m transferred 1 Base Air Depot (sic),* Burtonwood 7/7/44; Returned to the USA Altus 18/8/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Altus 14/8/45. Over...

  • 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...

  • 42-2973 IZA VAILABLE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-G] Presque Is 27/11/42; Molesworth 13/12/42; Returned to the USA 2/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Arledge 22/11/44. IZA VAILABLE.

  • 42-5130 Sweet Pea

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-15-BO 42-5130 [GY:] "Sweet Pea" was delivered at Denver 29-Sep-42; Presque Isle, ME 20-Nov-42; Assigned 367BS/306BG [GY- ] Thurleigh 25-Nov-42; Missing in Action on mission of 6-Mar-43 to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient. Sustained damage from...

  • 42-5177 'FAST WOMAN' aka 'FAST WORKER Mk II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 6/10/42; New Castle 19/10/42; Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-U] Molesworth 1/2/43; battle damaged Bremen 28/11/43 with Harry Bolsover, Co-pilot: Chas Rice, Navigator: Byron Clark, Bombardier: Chas McLain, Flight engineer/top turret gunner:...

  • 42-5262

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 27-Oct-42; Bury 6-Dec-42; Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-F] Molesworth 29-Jan-43; Missing in Action Lorient 6-Mar-43. Shot down by enemy aircraft, crashed into the Bay of Biscay, off Penmarch Point. 2KIA 8POW Missing Air Crew Report 15536. ...

  • 42-5264 Yankee Doodle Dandy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 2/11/42; Saline 15/12/42; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-J] Molesworth 1/2/43; landing accident with Bob O’Connor 31/5/43; battle damaged over Oschersleben 11/1/44 with John Henderson, Co-pilot: Walter Ames, Navigator: Warren Wiggins,...

  • 42-5341 'SCARLET HARLOT' aka 'VAT 69' aka 'VICIOUS VIRGIN'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 16/12/42; West Palm Beach 9/1/43; Assigned 427BS/303BG [GH-Q] Molesworth 7/2/43; severe battle damaged Bernberg 20/2/44 with Bob Hullar, Co-pilot: Capt Dick Dubell, Navigator: Elmer Brown, Bombardier: Jim McCormick, Flight engineer/top...

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Date Contributor Update
27 March 2015 06:09:09 NordicFox Changes to media associations

Corrected image from earlier upload

Date Contributor Update
25 December 2014 19:45:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 25-Dec-2014. Descriptions based on 'The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman

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'.