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VIII Bomber Command 59

19 May 1943

Official description

Not yet known


The German naval bases at Kiel and Flensburg, Germany are the two primary targets for this mission. A force of 123 B-17s is despatched from: 91BG (19); 92BG (10); 303BG (27); 305BG (22); 306BG (24) and 351BG (21) to bomb the naval facilities at Kiel, Germany. Dense flak and fierce fighter opposition is encountered. This has the two-fold strategic objective of drawing up the Luftwaffe for destruction of their fighters and attaking the port facilities supporting the German U-Boat offensive. 101 of 103 of the B-17s despatched are effective on the primary at Kiel. One B-17 from 351st BG drops on the secondary target for this formation, the port facilities at Flensburg, Germany and another drops on a target of last resort the Kreigsmarinewerft dock yards. 6 B-17s are MIA. The bomber gunners claim 48-7-21 on the attacking fighters.

A second formation of 64 B-17s are depatched from: 94BG (26); 95BG (15) and 96BG (23) to bomb the naval yards at Flensburg, Germany. Anti-aircraft fire and fighter opposition is also stiff aginst this formation but NO B-17s are lost and 9 are damaged. The bomber gunners claim 12-4-14 on the enemy fighters.

The 379th Bomb Group despatches 24 B-17s on a diversion for the bombers attacking at Kiel and Felnsburg. This is their first operation. They will fly their first bombing operation on 29-May-43. This diversion is escorted by 117 P-47s despatched from 4FG, 56FG and 78FG. Therer are no losses or claims in the bomber formation or among the escorting fighters.

Mission details

1. FLENSBURG (Primary)



Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


Not yet known


  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb 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...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb 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...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb 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 134.00
Number of aircraft Sent 64
Number of aircraft Effective 55
Number of aircraft Damaged 9
Number of people Killed In Action 2
Number of people Wounded in Action 4

2. KIEL (Primary)



Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


A British civilian news correspondent was killed on a 91st Bomb Group aircraft that was Missing in Action (MIA). One B-17 from 351st Bomb Group drops on Flensberg and another from 315th Bomb Group drops on Kriegmarinewerft docks. Each drop 10 X 500GP bombs (included in Kiel totals). No fighter escort on 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...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    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 236.95
Number of aircraft Sent 123
Number of aircraft Effective 103
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 6
Number of aircraft Damaged 28
Number of people Killed In Action 36
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 26




Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


24 B-17s despatched from 379BG fly a diversion for the attacks on Kiel and Flensburg, German as their first operation.

Mission Statistics

Number of aircraft Sent 24



  • Don Bader

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Part of an original contingent, Bader flew B-17 F 41-24482 'Heavyweight Annihilators' in November and December of 1942. According to Plane Names, the last mission for the plane was January 3, 1943, to St. Nazaire which the group called 'flak city'....

  • 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...

  • Claude Campbell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. ETD. Awards: DSC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • Porter Clemens

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 31 December 1943 in B-17 #42-29895 'Black Swan'. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Donald Crossley

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 333BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Crossley was credited with 12 confirmed e/a kills. A record for 8th AF gunners. ETD Awards: DFC (OLC), AM (3OLC), GC, WWII Victory, EMEA, American Campaign.

  • James Dunn

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 351st Bomb Group

  • John Egan

    Military | Major | Command Pilot, Pilot, Squadron Commander | 100th Bomb Group
    Shot down 10 October 1943 in B-17 #42-30830 "M'lle Zig Zag", Prisoner of War. ...

  • John Hardin

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    John T Hardin was a pilot with the 91st Bomb Group. ...

  • William Hatcher

    Military | Colonel | Co-Pilot; Pilot; Group Commanding Officer | 351st Bomb Group
    William Hatcher Jr was born in Grand Rapids, was brought up in Detroit’s north end and attended Northern High School. After his enlistment in the Air Corps, he followed pilot training courses and rose rapidly through the ranks. ...

  • Jack Kern

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 351st Bomb Group

Show more


  • 41-24485 Memphis Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to the 324th Bomb Squadron/91st Bomb Group [DF-A], Bangor 31/8/42; Bassingbourn 26/10/42; one of first in group to complete 25 missions; Returned to the USA Columbia 25/6/43 for nationwide war bond tour; Reconstruction Finance Corporation ...

  • 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...

  • 41-24605 Knock-out Dropper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to the 359BS/303BG [BN-R] Bangor 22-Sep-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; First 8th Air Force aircraft to complete 50, then 75 missions- 27-Mar-44; with M/Sgt Buford Pafford as crew chief; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5-Jun-44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-29635 Augerhead

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/1/43; Salina 7/2/43; Assigned 358BS/303BG [VK-M] Molesworth 26/3/43. 18 missions. Missing in Action on the mission to bomb the airfield at Amiens-Glisy, France on 31 August 1943. Pilot: William J. Monahan; Co-pilot: Louis M....

  • 42-29737 'Louise'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 11/2/43; Rapid City 22/2/43; Salina 4/3/43; Kearney 12/3/43; Assigned 92BG Alconbury 9/4/43; transferred 412BS/95BG [QW-N] Framlingham 12/5/43; with R.E. Robinson force landed Framlingham afd 17/5/43; with Robinson 19/5/43, Navigator...

  • 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,...

  • 42-5430 Pappy, Good Snuf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/12/42 ...

  • 42-5432 The Hunting Club

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/12/42; ...

  • 42-5857

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 27/3/43; Nashville 8/4/43; Assigned 324BS/91BG [DF-J] Bassingbourn 19/4/43; Missing in Action Wilhelmshaven 21/5/43 with Pilot John Miller, Co-pilot Roscoe Black, Navigator John Ragsdale, Radio Operator Oscar Stuart, Waist gunner...


Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:10:39 Mags Changes to aircraft associations

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 19:10:35 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 4-Jan-2015. Corrected typo in description.

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 19:09:01 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 4-Jan-2015. Added description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary" Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 18:47:50 Lee8thbuff Created event

Lee Cunningham 4-Jan-2015. Added Diversion event and description per "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'.