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Robert C. Williams


Served as Pilot of B-17F 41-24496 Chennault's Pappy', 306BG/423BS. His aircraft was severely damaged by attacks of FW-190 fighters near the target of St. Nazaire, France on 17-Nov-42. Despite the severe damage which killed the Top Turret Gunner and injured 3 others on the aircraft, he managed to fly the aircraft back to England and made an emergency landing at RAF Exeter.


Units served with

  • 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,...

  • 423rd Bomb Squadron


  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

Associated Place

  • Exeter

    Military site : airfield
    A private grass airfield 1930s, and Exeter Airport 1938-39, the airfield was also used by National Air Communications (responsible for managing civil flying at the start of the Second World War). Home to part of the Royal Aeronautical Establishment and...

  • Thurleigh

    Military site : airfield
    Built for RAF use in 1941-42, Thurleigh was initially used by RAF Bomber Command before being handed over to the Eighth Air Force. Its runways and hardstandings were improved, and the B-17s of the 306th Bomb Group began using the base. It was their...


Event Location Date


Date Contributor Update
03 November 2014 10:54:50 Lucy May Changes to place associations

Associated Williams to RAF Exeter based on information in his Biography field.

Date Contributor Update
03 November 2014 10:49:32 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations

Associated aircraft B-17F 41-24496 based on information in Williams' Biography field.

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2014 18:59:59 Lee8thbuff Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, unit associations, place associations and mission associations

Lee Cunningham 2-Nov-2014. Entry based on "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces" Stan Bishop & John A.Hey MBE