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VIII Bomber Command 69

28 June 1943

Official description

Not yet known


The primary specific target for this mission are the lock gates at St. Nazaire, France to be attacked by two separate formations and also another force is despatched to bomb the German airfield at Beaumon Le Roger, France. A formation of 120 B-17s of 1st Bomb Wing from: 91BG (20); 92BG (16); 305BG (21); 306BG (21); 351BG (20); and 381BG (22) is despatched to St. Nazaire, France. Of the 13 aircraft despatched by 92BG 6 are YB-40 gunships. This force gets a figher escort part way along the route. German fighter opposition is moderate and flak is moderate. 104 of the 120 B-17s despatched are effective on the target. 5 B-17s are MIA (4 from 351BG). The bomber gunners claim 28-6-8 of the enemy aircraft.

A second formation of 71 B-17s of 4th Bomb Wing from: 94BG (13); 95BG (21); 96BG (16); and 100BG (21) is despatched to St. Nazaire to attack approximately 15 minutes later that the the first formation. Because of the time lag, fighter resistance is light. 54 of the 71 B-17s despatched are effective on the target. 3 B-17 are MIA, all three sustaining damage from AA fire which punctures the fuel tanks and all three run out of gas and are forced to ditch into the English Channel. All three crews are rescued by ASR. There are no claims on enemy aircraft by this formation.

A force of 50B-17s from: 303BG (18); 379BG (14); and 382BG (18) is despathed to bomb the German airfield at Beaumont Le Roger, France. This formation gets a fighter escort by Spitfires from the RAF. 43 of the 50 B017s despatched are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims in this formation.

Mission details




Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


This 1st Bomb Wing element had no fighter support, but suffered no losses or casualties.


  • 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...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 103.20
Number of aircraft Sent 50
Number of aircraft Effective 43
Number of aircraft Damaged 6




Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


This 4th Bomb Wing element receives RAF Spitfire escort part way to the target. Some of the B-17s in this element were equipped with the new long range "Tokyo Tanks" , the first time they were used. All 3 95th Bomb Group Missing in Action (MIA) aircraft crews were saved by ASR.


  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb 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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 102.53
Number of aircraft Sent 71
Number of aircraft Effective 54
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 3
Number of people Wounded in Action 7
Number of people Returned To Duty 30




Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress


This 1st Bomb Wing element receives P-47 fighter escort part way to the target.


  • 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,...

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb 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

    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 197.47
Number of aircraft Sent 120
Number of aircraft Effective 104
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 5
Number of aircraft Damaged 57
Number of people Killed In Action 31
Number of people Wounded in Action 9
Number of people Evaded 2
Number of people Prisoners of War 19



  • 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'....

  • Roy Ballard

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

  • Robert Bellora

    Military | Master Sergeant | Flight Engineer/Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 335BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. ETD Awards: DFC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Benecki

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Aerial Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    18 November 1942 in 'Fury' B-17 #41-2499 bombs could not be released so were jettisoned in an open field. On return, 10 miles SW of Exeter, A/C collided with #41-24553 which was able to land safely; however Fury landed at RAF Turweston and was salvaged.

  • Everett Blakely

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot; Commanding Officer | 100th Bomb Group
    Career Officer in the USAF. ...

  • Arthur Bomberger

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner/Waist Gunner | 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 42-30231. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • 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. ...

  • Arthur Brittain

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 384th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 545BS, 384BG, 8AF USAAF. Shot down 12-Aug-43 in B-17 42-3231 'The Inferno'. Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 287 Awards: AM (OLC), PH.

  • Edward Brodnax

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    On 28 June 1943, on a mission to St. Nazaire, Edward Brodnax was flying B-17 #42-5724 'Thunderbird / Marnita No. 2' when it was hit by heavy, accurate flak. The aircraft went down in the English Channel and Brodnax died. There were only 2 survivors who...

  • Richard Carrington

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 12 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3231 'The Inferno', Prisoner of War (POW). Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel.

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  • 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...

  • 42-29557 Yankee Gal

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 4/1/43; Salina 12/1/43; Homestead 1/2/43; Morrison 9/2/43; Assigned 366BS/305BG [KY-O] Chelveston 10/2/43; transferred 547BS/384BG [SO-S] Grafton Underwood 20/9/43; battle damaged Munster 10/10/43, with Bill Kopf, Co-pilot: Alf Scott,...

  • 42-29731 Ol' Swayback, Moor Fidite

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/2/43; Walker 23/2/43; Smoky Hill 28/3/43; Presque 8/4/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43 MOOR-FIDITE; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 532BS/381BG [VE-E] Ridgewell 16/7/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-29791 Little Jimmie, Memphis Blues

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/2/43; Gore 7/3/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-Q] Alconbury 19/4/43 LITTLE JIMMIE; 335BS [OE-Q] Framlingham 12/5/43; on 17/5/43 with W.R. McPherson, Bombardier: Keith Murray wia when nose gun exploded; 336BS [ET-Q] Horham 15/6/43; ...

  • 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...

  • 42-30033 "Little America"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/4/43; Sioux City 13/4/43; Kearney 4/5/43; Bangor 20/5/43; Assigned to the 547BS/384BG [S0-G] Grafton Underwood 24/5/43, then the 546BS [BK-G]; Missing in Action Leverkusen 1/12/43 with Maj Maurice Stanley Dillingham, Co-pilot:...

  • 42-30066 'Mugwump' aka 'Rum Boogie II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/4/43; Gore 14/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 16/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-X] Andrews Fd 2/6/43; RUM BOOGIE II; transferred 418BS/100BG [LD-U] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; as war weary F...

  • 42-30284

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 10/5/43; Gore 20/5/43; Smoky Hill 21/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 334BS/95BG [BG-B] Horham 15/6/43; 2m, Missing in Action St Nazaire 28/6/43 with Sell Smith, Co-pilot: J.W. Hargrove, Navigator: Lester Moreland, Bombardier: Raoul...

  • 42-30412 Mischief-Maker II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Plane Mischief Maker II entered combat approximately Jun43 under command of Capt V.L. Iverson after the original Mischief Maker was damaged beyond repair. After this crew completed 25 missions Maj. Iverson was retained for HQ USSTAF, the crew...

  • 42-3131 Winnie The Pooh, Flak Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/2/43; 19/4/43; Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-U] Molesworth 4/6/43; RWG Leon Kesky Killed in Action Schweinfurt 17/8/43; 40m Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with John Carothers, Co-pilot: Chas Frost, Radio Operator: George...

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Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 19:26:49 Mags Changes to aircraft associations

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
08 January 2015 19:40:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to description

Lee Cunningham 7-Jan-2015. Description 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'.