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James W Braa


James Braa served as a ball turret gunner with the 566th Bomb Squadron of the 389th Bomb Group, flying bombing missions out of Hethel, England. He completed his tour of 30 missions between March and June 1944, flying his final two missions on D-Day.



  • Vernal Boline

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 389th Bomb Group

  • Leo Brown

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Armorer; Waist Gunner | 389th Bomb Group
    Flew 30 missions on B-24 'The Old Veteran'

  • Donald Cutter

    Military | Gunner | 389th Bomb Group

  • William Garrett

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 389th Bomb Group
    Involved in a mid-air collision with a UC-78 while returning from an operational mission on 15 Mar 1944, B-24J #42-100351 was able to land at Hethel. RTD.

  • Frederick Heckmann

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator B-24 | 389th Bomb Group

  • Leo Oras

    Military | Lieutenant | 389th Bomb Group

  • Frederick Potter

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 389th Bomb Group

  • Ernest Vorwarb

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 389th Bomb Group

  • Mortimer Weinstein

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 389th Bomb Group

Units served with

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 566th Bomb Squadron

    566th Bomb Squadron

    Constituted 566th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 Dec. 1942. Activated on 24 Dec. 1942. Inactivated on 13 Sept. 1945. Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air...



  • 8th Air Force 252

    8 March 1944
    The VKF ballbearing factory at Berlin/Erkner is the primary target for 623 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. Fighter opposition and anti-aircraft fire are intense. There are so many formation attacking that some divert to other...

  • 8th Air Force 259

    15 March 1944
    The industrial areas of the secondary target of Brunswick, Germany. A combined force of 344 heavy bombers from 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 264

    18 March 1944
    The German aircraft industries and aie depots are the main objectives of this mission. A combined total of 738 heavy bombers from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions are despatched to bomb the German aircraft industries at Oberpfaffenhofen and...

  • 8th Air Force 269

    20 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Frankfurt and the railroad marshalling yards there are the targets for this mission. All three Air Disivisions despatch aircraft but high clouds frustrated bombing attempts and many formations abandoned the mission even after...

  • 8th Air Force 280

    26 March 1944
    9 V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise, France area and 7 V-Weapon sites in the Cherbourg, France area are the targets of this mission. A combined force of 573 heavy bombers from all three Air Divisions are despatched. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 282

    27 March 1944
    This mission might be likened to a "shotgun blast" as a combined force 714 heavy bombers are despatched form all three Air Divisions to attack 11 different German airfields and air depots in France. Mission summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 287

    1 April 1944
    The industrial areas of Ludwigshafen was the traget for this mission, but the mission was frustrated by heavy cloud cover and navigational errors that resulted in the mission going haywire. 3rd Air Division and 2nd Air Division despatch heavy bombers....

  • 8th Air Force 295

    10 April 1944

  • 8th Air Force 300

    12 April 1944

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Associated Place

  • Hethel

    Military site : airfield
    Construction of Hethel airfield began in 1941, and was finished in late 1942. The number of hardstandings was increased from the planned 36 to 50 in 1942, in order to accommodate a full heavy bomb group. The 320th Bomb Group occupied the base for ten...


Event Location Date
Born Idaho, USA 1924
Enlisted Tacoma, WA, USA 10 December 1942
Lived in Snohomish County, WA, USA


Date Contributor Update
02 March 2017 10:40:01 Lucy May Changes to biography, events and person associations

Connected up to records of Braa's crew members - names from Braa's Lucky Bastard certificate, in possession of his son Jim Braa.

Date Contributor Update
20 January 2017 16:27:15 Lucy May Changes to service number, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

NARA enlistment record:

Date Contributor Update
12 January 2017 07:19:47 jbraa Changes to nickname, role, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations

Entered by his son from data on his "Lucky Bastard Club" certificate.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:14:57 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Unit History, 389th BG Roster