Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Robert A Coltrane

Military

1LT Robert A. Coltrane was assigned as a Bombardier with 1LT Charles N. Austin's crew with the 92BG (aircraft assignment has not been determined). He arrived with the crew aborad a B-17 aircraft at Bovington, UK on 18-Aug-42. On 11-Jan-43 his aircraft, crew and the entire Group was moved to the station at Alconbury, UK. On 10-Feb-43 the crew was transferred to 303BG/358BS as a replacement crew and assigned to B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga". He participated in 9 Operations - 2 Aborted with 303BG. (See Biography events)

18-Mar-43 Shot down in B-17F 41-24558 [VK:F] 'Hunga Dunga', 303BG/358BS while serving as Bombardier. Target was submarine constructions yards at Vegesack, Germany. Killed in Action (KIA).

Service

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...

  • 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few

    Group
    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...

  • 358th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24558 Hunga Dunga

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-25-BO 41-24558 [VK:F] "Hunga Dunga" was assigned to the 358BS/303BG [VK-F] at Bangor. Maine on 14-Oct-42; arrived at Molesworth, UK on 16-Oct-42; Missing in Action Vegasack 18-Mar-43 when it was attacked by enemy aircraft near Helgoland. Germany...

  • 42-5432 The Hunting Club

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

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 34

    14 February 1943
    The marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany are once again slated at the primary target for this mission. A force of 74 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (17); 305BG (17); 306BG (20), but weather once again forces the mission to be recalled before...

  • VIII Bomber Command 36

    16 February 1943
    The port area and U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are designated as the primary target of this mission of 71 B-17s and 18 B-24s. B-17s are from 91BG (18); 303BG (15); 305BG (18); 306BG (20) of these 59 are effective on the target and 6 are lost....

  • VIII Bomber Command 37

    26 February 1943
    After 10 days of weather related delays of the bomber offensive, a mission is organised with the port facilities of Emden, Germany as the primary target. However, Emden is obscured by cloud cover and all formations divert to attack the port facilities...

  • VIII Bomber Command 38

    27 February 1943
    With weather and cloud cover continuing to frustrate bombing efforts against targets in Northern Germany, VIII Bomber Command decides to mount a raid against the harbour facilities at Brest, France. A total of 60 B-17s are destached: 91BG (18); 303BG ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 39

    4 March 1943
    After several weather-caused aborted attempts in attacking the marshalling yards at Hamm, Germany, the 8th Air Force is finally successful in attacking this target. A total of 71 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (20); 303BG (18); 305BG (12) amd 306BG (21)....

  • VIII Bomber Command 40

    6 March 1943
    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...

  • VIII Bomber Command 41

    8 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Rennes and Rouen, France are the primary targets for this mission. A formation comprised of 67 B-17s: 91BG (14); 303BG (19); 305BG (16) and 306BG (18) is despatched to bomb at Rennes. Conditions are good with no cloud...

  • VIII Bomber Command 43

    13 March 1943
    The railroad marshalling yards at Amiens/Longeau, France are the primary target for this mission but the rail line at Romescamps, the German airfield at Abbevile/Drucat and two other targets of opportunity are also bombed. 80 B-17s are despatched: 91BG...

  • VIII Bomber Command 45

    18 March 1943
    The U-Boat pens at Vegesack-Bremen are the primary target of this mission. 76 B-17s are despatched: 91BG (18); 303BG (20); 305BG (18) and 306BG (20). These are joined by 17 B-24's: 44BG (9) and 93BG (15). Of the 103 aircraft despatched 97 are effective...

Associated Place

  • Alconbury

    Military site : airfield
    Alconbury had been constructed as a satellite airfield for RAF Upwood and Wyton and was used by RAF Squadrons: Nos. 15, 40 and 156. In preparation for the arrival of American heavy bombers, the base was developed in 1942 with the runways extended. When...

  • Bovingdon

    Military site : airfield
    Bovingdon, in Hertfordshire (often confused with Bovington, Dorset), was built in 1941-42 as a bomber station but was never developed into a fully-fledged heavy bomber airfield as it did not have the required 2,000 yard runway. ...

  • 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 South Carolina 20 April 1920
Arrived at Station Bovington, Dorset, UK 18 August 1942 – 11 January 1943

Arrived with Austin crew 92BG at Bovington, UK.

Transferred with Group Alconbury, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 11 January 1943

Transferred with aircraft, crew and Group to the station at Alconbury, UK

Transferred Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 10 February 1943

Transferred with the Austin crew to 303BG/358BS and assigned to B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga".

Mission #1 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS - Aborted Hamm, Germany 14 February 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the industrial areas NW of Hamm, Germany, but weather forced the recall of all the 303BG aircraft despatched.

Mission #2 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Saint-Nazaire, France 16 February 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France (RTB OK).

Mission #3 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS - Aborted Wilhelmshaven, Germany 26 February 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany but he had a faulty oxygen mask and developed altitude sickness and the Pilot was forced to abort the mission (RTB OK)

Mission #4 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Brest, France 27 February 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Brest, France (RTB OK).

Mission #5 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rotterdam, Netherlands 4 March 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rotterdam, Holland (RTB OK).

Mission #6 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 42-5432, 303BG/358BS Lorient, France 6 March 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 425432 "The Hunting Club", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the power station and adjacent bridge at Lorient, France (RTB OK).

Mission #7 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rennes, France 8 March 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rennes, France (RTB OK)

Mission #8 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS Amiens, France 13 March 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Ameins/Longeau, France (RTB OK).

Killed in Action (KIA) Jade Bight, Germany 18 March 1943

Killed when aircraft was shot down by flak and German fighters and crashed on the sand flats of Jadebusen (Jade Bight) south of Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

Mission #9 1LT Robert A. Coltrane w/B-17F 41-24558, 303BG/358BS KIA Bremen-Vegesack, Bremen, Germany 18 March 1943

Served as Bombardier on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the submarine construction yards at Vegesack/Bremen, Germany. The aircraftr was shot down by fighters and flak. He was Killed in Action (KIA)

Buried Geestemünde, Bremerhaven, Germany 19 March 1943

Buried by the Germans in the Cemetery of Wesermunde-Geestermunde, Germany. Exact loction in cemetery not determined.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 October 2019 03:11:39 jmoore43 Changes to events
Sources

Added birth date per Find-a-grave MEMORIAL ID 43836612 .

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 23:16:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #9 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 18-Mar-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/024.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 23:12:47 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #8 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 13-Mar-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/023.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 23:10:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 8-Mar-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/021.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 23:07:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 6-Mar-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/020.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 23:03:20 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 4Mar-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/019.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 23:00:35 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website Mission Report of 27-Feb-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/018.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 22:57:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303Bg website Mission Report of 26-Feb-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/017.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 22:53:26 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303Bg website Mission Report of 16-Feb-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/016.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 22:51:06 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Mission #1 event per 303Bg website Mission Report of 14-Feb-43, Gary Moncur, Historian: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/015.pdf

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 22:46:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added Arrived at Station event and Transferred with Group based on 92BG Station assignments "USAAF Combat Chronology", Jack McKillop;

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 22:38:53 Lee8thbuff Changes to unit associations, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Maded connections to Places based on BG assigned stations; Made Connections to ALL 303

Date Contributor Update
19 August 2015 22:34:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 19-Aug-2015. Added 92BG details and assigment to 303BG based on 92BG station records, "USAAF Combat Chronology", Jack Mc Killop.

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 17:41:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Aug-2015. Added Decoration and Burial event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) database; Made connection to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data; Edited Summary Biography with A/C model letter, Radio Call Letters, Unit association and crew position, per MACR 15149. Added Burial event per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:56 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Roll of Honor, Losses of the 8th & 9th AFs Vol. I by Bishop & Hey, p. 91, 303rd web site

Share