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Donald H Brightbill

Military

Shot down 20 December 1942 in B-17F 41-24566 'Zombie' 303BG/360BS, while serving as Navigator on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. MACR 15593. Killed in Action (KIA). Participated in 4 Operations (1 was aborted). See Biography events.

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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24566 Zombie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24566 'Zombie' [BN-W] was assigned 303BG/359BS [BN-W] at Alamogordo Field, New Mexico on 23-Jun-42. Stationed at Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, Michigan until 3-Oct-42 when it went to Bangor, Maine for deployment to England.; Molesworth 25-Oct...

Missions

  • 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. ...

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 Reading, Pennsylvania
Assigned to Aircraft Alamogordo, NM 88310, USA 23 June 1942

Assigned as Navigator of B-17F 41-24566 "Zombie", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 25 October 1942

Arrived as Navigator with B-17F 41-24566, Zombie, 303BG/359BS at Molesworth, UK

Mission #1, 2LT Donald H. Brightbill, w/B-17F 41-24566, 303BG/359BS Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

Assigned as Navigator of B-17F 41-24566 "Zombie", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #2, 2LT Donald H. Brightbill, w/B-17F 41-24566, 303BG/359BS Lorient, France 22 November 1942

Served as Navigator on B-17F 41-24566 "Zombie", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France. RTB OK.

Mission #3, 2LT Donald H. Brightbill, w/B-17F 41-24566, 303BG/359BS - Aborted Rouen, France 12 December 1942

Served as Navigator on B-17F 41-24566 "Zombie", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the railraod marshalling yards at Rouen, France, but mechaincal failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Killed in Action (KIA) Dieppe, France 20 December 1942

Killed when the aircraft was attacked by German fighters and crashed into the English Channel near Dieppe, France. His remains were never recovered. The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) has no record that his name appears on any Wall of the Missing at any American Cemetery in Europe.

Mission #4, 2LT Donald H. Brightbill, w/B-17F 41-24566, 303BG/359BS - KIA Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as Navigator on B-17F 41-24566 "Zombie", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. The aircraft sustained heavy damag from fighters and AA fire an crashed into the English Channel on return. All crew lost. KIA.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 21:12:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 21:08:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 12-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/006.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 21:04:53 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission # 2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 21:01:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission # 1 eent per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 20:57:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography and events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Arrived in UK event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Orville S. Witt crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-witt.html

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 20:53:19 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Orville S. Witt crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-witt.html

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2015 14:54:05 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Combined two entries into a single entry. This record now includes information from the following source: MACR 15708 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database.

Correction of some typographical errors.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 21:27:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2014. Added KIA event. see previous.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 21:23:37 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2014. Added KIA event and other details per MACR 15709; made connections to Place aircraft and Mission within existing website data.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:07:33 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15708, Losses of the 8th and 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Hey and Bishop p.55

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