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James R Van Etten

Military

15-Sep-42 Assigned as a Waist Gunner with 303BG/427BS at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas. 303BG records do not indicate that he was assigned to a particular aircraft at this time and they do not indicate when he arrived at Molesworth, UK. He served as a replacement gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot" [GN-V] 303BG/427BS on all operations in which he participated.

4 February 1943 Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS while serving as Right Waist Gunner. The mission target was Osnabruck, Germany, but crew reported guns didn't work so crew turned back. Fighters attacked and Cpt Cole crash landed in the Waddenzee, Holland. Plane broke in two in contact with the water.

Participated in 6 Operations (4 were aborted) See Biography events.

Service

People

  • Lloyd Cole

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    1-May-42 Assigned as Pilot of B-17F 41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho. 22-Oct-42 Arrived at Molesworth, UK as Pilot of 41-24569 [GN-V] "Memphis Tot" 303BG/427BS. ...

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Units served with

  • 303rd Bomb Group

    303rd Bomb Group

    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...

  • 427th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 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. ...

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 25

    12 December 1942
    This mission is composed of two elements. First element: The German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a force of 78 B-17s despatched from 91BG (19), 303BG (20), 305BG (21) and 306BG (18). However, the target is...

  • VIII Bomber Command 26

    20 December 1942
    The German Air Depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 80 B-17s despatched by 91BG (17), 303BG (21); 305BG (23) and 306BG (19). 60 B-17 are effective on the target, but 7 are MIA and 1 is DBR. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 29

    13 January 1943
    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 ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 30

    23 January 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the primary target for this mission. 305th Bombardment Group is selected as the lead group, but condensation on the bombsight of the lead aircraft in the Group prevents the 305BG from bombing Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 33

    4 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are again designated as the primary target for this mission follwing the abortive attempt of 2-Feb-43. However, weather and extreme cold frustrate this operation also. The main attacking force consists of 65 B-17s...

Associated Place

  • Molesworth

    Military site : airfield
    Molesworth was one of the early stations used by the Eighth Air Force in the UK, first occupied by the 15th Bomb Squadron’s Douglas Bostons in June 1942. Built in 1940 and extended and improved in 1942, Molesworth is most associated with the 303rd...

Events

Event Location Date
Born
Assigned to Unit Biggs Field, TX 79918, USA 15 September 1942

Assigned as an Aerial Gunner with the 303BG/427BS at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas.

Mission #1, James R. Van Etten, W/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Lille, France 6 December 1942

Served as a substitute Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the carriage and wagon works at Lille, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #2, James R. Van Etten, W/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS Rouen, France 12 December 1942

Served as a substitute Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Roeun, France. RTB OK.

Mission #3, James R. Van Etten, W/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as a substitute Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. RTB OK.

Killed in Action (KIA) Wadden Sea 4 January 1943

Killed when aircraft was shot down by German fighters and crashed into the Waddenzee, Holland. His remains have never been recovered.

Mission #4, James R. Van Etten, W/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS Lille, France 13 January 1943

Served as a substitute Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the Lille Fives, Locomotive Works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Mission #5, James R. Van Etten, W/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Lorient, France 23 January 1943

Served as a substitute Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #6, James R. Van Etten, W/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - KIA Osnabrück, Germany 4 February 1943

Served as a substitute Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the indistrial areas os Osnabruck, Germany. The aircraft was shot down and he was Killed in Action (KIA)

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 October 2019 20:15:56 jmoore43 Changes to person associations
Sources

Added a connection to Lloyd R. Cole, the pilot of A/C 41-24569.

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:25:40 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/014.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:22:25 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 4-Feb-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/014.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:18:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/011.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:16:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 13-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/010.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:13:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:06:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 12-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/006.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 22:04:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 21:53:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added Assigned to Unit per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Lloyd R. Cole crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-cole.html

Date Contributor Update
23 February 2016 21:51:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Feb-2016. Added first paragraph of Summary Biography; made connections to ALL Missions per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Lloyd R. Cole crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-cole.html

Date Contributor Update
28 January 2015 19:42:16 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 28-Jan-2015. Added decorations and Commemorated event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record; Verified SN an KIA event per MACR 15348; made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission wihtin existing website data; Added crew position to Biography.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:53 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

MACR 15348 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database

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