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Eugene W Eckard

Military

Originally assigned to the 92BG at Bovington as part 1LT Charles N. Austin's crew at Bovington, UK as an arial gunner. Aircraft assignment with the 92BG and number of missions flown with 92nd Group have not yet been determined.

The Austin crew was transferred as a replacement crew to the 303BG/358BS on 10-Feb-43 at which time SGT Eckard was assigned to B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" as a Waist Gunner. He particiapted in 9 operations (2 were aborts) with the 303BG. (See Biography Events).

Shot down by flak and fighters 18th March 1943 in B-17F 41-24558 [VK:F] 'Hunga Dunga', 303BG 358BS while serving as Left Waist Gunner. Target was submarine yards at Vegesack, Germany. Prisoner of War (POW).

POW

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

  • 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
Assigned to Group Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 10 February 1943

Assigned with the crew of 1LT Charles N. Austin from 92BG to B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS.

Mission #1 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS - Recalled Hamm, Germany 14 February 1943

Assigned as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS. Mission was to bomb the industrial areas of Hamm, Germany, mission was recalled. RTB OK.

Mission #2 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Saint-Nazaire, France 16 February 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner 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 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS - Aborted Wilhelmshaven, Germany 26 February 1943

Assigned as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. However, the bombardier suffered altitude sickness and the pilot aborted the mission. RTB OK

Mission #4 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Brest, France 27 February 1943

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17FG 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Brest, France. RTB OK.

Mission #5 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rotterdam, Netherlands 4 March 1943

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17FG 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga" on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Rotterdam, Holland. RTB OK.

Mission #6 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/42-5432, 303BG/358BS Lorient, France 6 March 1943

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 42-5432 "The Hunting Club", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the power station and adjacent bridge at Lorient, France. The crew was that of 1LT Charles N. Austin which had been flying B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga". That aircraft was not despatched as part of the formation. It is probable that it had received some minor damage on the previous mission to Rotterdam. RTB OK.

Mission #7 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Rennes, France 8 March 1943

Served as Right Waist Gunner 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 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Amiens, France 13 March 1943

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the railroad marshalling yards at Amiens, France. RTB OK.

Prisoner of War - Camp 1 Moosburg, Germany 18 March 1943 – 13 October 1943

Held at Stalag 7B, Moosburg, Bavaria. Moved to Stalag 17B, Braunau-Gneikendorf, Austria.

Mission #9 SGT Eugene W. Eckhard, w/41-24558, 303BG/358BS Bremen-Vegesack, Bremen, Germany 18 March 1943

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24558 "Hunga Dunga", 303BG/358BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat construction yards at Vegesack, Germany. The aircraft crashed on the flats of the Jadebusen (Jade Bight) south of Williamshaven and he was captured as a Prisoner of War.

Prisoner of War - Camp 2 Krems an der Donau, Austria 14 October 1943 – 3 May 1945

Held at Stalag 17B, Braunau-Genikendorf (near Krems), Austria. Liberated 3-May-45.

Last Report Date - Discharged 15 June 1945

Evacuated to the United States after his liberation from Stalag 17B and discharged from the USAAF.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2016 18:20:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added Last Report Date event per NARA WWII POW Database record.

Date Contributor Update
03 March 2016 18:16:18 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 3-May-2016. Added POW Camp 1 event per Stalag 7A records: http://www.b24.net/pow/stalag7.htm

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:53:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #9 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 18-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:49:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #8 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 13-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:45:41 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 8-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:43:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 6-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:40:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 4-Mar-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:36:51 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 27-Feb-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:32:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 26-Feb-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:29:09 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 16-Feb-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:24:31 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Mission Report of 14-Feb-43.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:19:05 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Added Assigned to Group event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Charles N. Austin crew page.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:14:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Made connections to all missions participation per research of 303BG website, Gary Moncur, historian, Misson Reports.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2015 23:10:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2015. Made connections to 92BG, Bovington and 42-5432 per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Charles N. Austin crew page.

Date Contributor Update
04 August 2015 16:58:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, role, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Aug-2015. Added Decoration and POW event per National Archives Records Administration (NARA) WWII POW 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 loss details to Summary Biography per "Losses of the 8th & 9th Air Forces", Stan Bishop & John A. Hey MBE.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:27 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

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