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VIII Bomber Command 103

26 September 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission was composed of four elements. The first element was a combined force of 55 B-17s from 91BG (19); 381BG (18); and 351BG (18) that were dispatched to attack industrial targets in and around Paris, France. As the formation approached the enemy coast the weather deteriorated and the element was recalled There were no losses or claims by this element, but 9 aircraft were damaged, one beyond repair.

The second element was a combined force of 84 B-17s dispatched from: 94BG (18); 96BG (22); 385BG (23); and 388BG (21) to bomb the German airfield at Reims/Champagne. Clouds and weather frustrated the bombing effort. The 18 from 94BG and the 23 from 385BG were unable to bomb. 40 aircraft were effective on the target. 1 aircraft sustained a mid-air collision over Bulphan, UK 10KIA 1RTD (parachuted). 1 other was Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR).

The third element was a combined force of 63 B-17s from 95BG (21); 100BG (21); 390BG (21) dispatched to bomb the vehicle factories at Meulon Les Mureaux and Citroen, France. This formation was also recalled due to weather. There were no aircraft losses or claims, but one airman was KIA in a returning aircraft.

The fourth element was a formation of 37 B-24s from 44BG (3) and 392BG (24) that were dispatched to fly a diversion for the formations which were to attack Paris and these were also recalled. There were no losses or claims.

Mission details

1.

Description

DIVERSION

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

Not yet known

Units

  • 392nd Bomb Group

    392nd Bomb Group

    Group
    The 392nd Bomb Group flew B-24 Liberators out of Wendling, Norfolk from August 1943 until April 1945. They were the first Group allocated B-24H Liberators, the first B-24 series fitted with a nose turret on the production line. The adaptation increased...

  • 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs

    Group
    The 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 15-January-1942 at McDill Field, Florida and equipped with B-24Cs. The Group moved to Barksdale Field, Louisiana and acted as a training unit for the 90th 93rd and 98th Bomb Groups and flew anti...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 37
Number of aircraft Effective 0

2. MEULAN/ LES MUREAUX

Description

MEULON LES MUREAUX and CITROEN FACTORIES

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Recalled due to weather.

Units

  • 100th Bomb Group

    100th Bomb Group

    Group
    "The Bloody Hundredth", so-called because of a reputation for losing a high number aircraft and crews, flew B-17s from Thorpe Abbotts, Norfolk. Their losses were not the highest of any Eighth Air Force Group but on several occasions the Group lost many...

  • 390th Bomb Group

    390th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 390th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Framlingham, Suffolk, between July 1943 and the end of the war in Europe. The Group was engaged in strategic missions until the invasion of Europe when its role became more of a tactical one. This...

  • 95th Bomb Group

    95th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 95th Bomb Group was the only Eighth Air Force Group to be awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, shared by all four Bomb Wing Groups, was for the bombing of an aircraft factory under intense enemy fire at Regensburg on 17 August...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 63
Number of aircraft Effective 0
Number of people Wounded in Action 2

3. PARIS (Primary)

Description

UNKNOWN TARGET

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Abandoned due to weather.

Units

  • 351st Bomb Group

    351st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 351st Bomb Group flew strategic bombing missions from their base at Polebrook, Northamptonshire from April 1943 to June 1945. The Group's most famous member was Hollywood actor Clark Gable, who flew four/ five missions with them as an observer...

  • 381st Bomb Group

    381st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 381st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Ridgewell, Essex between June 1943 and April 1945. The Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations, the first for bombing shipyards at Bremen, whilst under heavy attack, on 8 October 1943 and...

  • 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

    Group
    The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 55
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

4. REIMS/ CHAMPAGNE (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Despatch from 94th Bomb Group and 385th Bomb Group unable to bomb because of weather.

Units

  • 385th Bomb Group

    385th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9...

  • 388th Bomb Group

    388th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 388th Bomb Group flew strategic bombing mission from Knettishall, Suffolk from June 1943 to the end of the war. During this time, though, detachments were sent to Fersfield, Norfolk to conduct Aphrodite missions. In these Aphrodite missions veteran...

  • 94th Bomb Group

    94th Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 15 June 1942 at MacDill Field, Florida. Initial organization and training at Pendleton Field, Oregon on 29 June 1942. Primary flight training at Davis-Monthan Field in Arizona from 28 Aug. 42 to 31 Oct. 42; then at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas...

  • 96th Bomb Group

    96th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 96th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses to targets across occupied Europe from May 1943 to April 1945. ...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 118.00
Number of aircraft Sent 84
Number of aircraft Effective 40
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 2
Number of aircraft Damaged 21
Number of people Killed In Action 20
Number of people Returned To Duty 1

Service

People

  • Allan Alford

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    Tail gunner, Loftin crew. 381st BG, 534th BS. Shot down 9 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29958 'Battlin' Bombsprayer'. Mission #37 to the Arado Aircraft components at Anklam, Germany. MACR 886. Killed in Action (KIA). Buried in the Ardennes AMC. ...

  • Richard Bailey

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Retired from the USAF with the rank of Major

  • Roy Ballard

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

  • Hyman Beckerman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Loftin crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down 9 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29958 'Battlin' Bombsprayer'. Mission #37 to the Arado Aircraft components at Anklam, Germany. MACR 886. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft III and Stalag XIIID. ...

  • Barclay Beeby

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Paul Bensel

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group

  • Robert Boylan

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Yorba crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #42-29803 'Flat Foot Floogie'. Mission #39 to the Kugel-Fisher ball bearing works at Schweinfurt, Germany. MACR 1037. S/Sgt Boylan had reported his ball turret had been hit...

  • Melvin Breckenridge

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 390th Bomb Group
    Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #42-3310 'Blood, Guts and Rust'. Plane ditched into Mediterranean Sea. Returned to base. Shot down 10 October 1943 in B-17 #42-3328 'Miss Fortune', Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Eldon Broman

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 335BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. 23 x combat missions. Shot down 10-Oct-43 in B-17 42-30272 'Fritz Blitz'. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 1118 Awards: POW, PH, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Webster Bull

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 22 December 1943 in B-17 #4237773 'Full House. ' Plane crashed into North Sea. Killed in Action (KIA). The plane was ditched in the Ijsselmeer, The Netherlands. AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster / Purple Heart

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Aircraft

  • 42-30193 Hard Luck

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/4/43; Sioux City 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 14/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 15/6/43. ...

  • 42-30207 Big Red

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 11/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 12/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG [ -T] Knettishall 14/6/43; Missing in Action Bordeaux 27/3/44 with Julius Lederman, Co-pilot: Waite Law, Bombardier: John Luzell (3 Prisoner of War)...

  • 42-30213 Lil' One

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Gore 9/5/43; Sioux City 10/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 15/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 1/6/43; crashed on take off for Bremen after encountering mechanical problems 13/11/43 with Bob Simons, Co-pilot: Alvin...

  • 42-30272 'Fritz Blitz'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/5/43; Gore 8/5/43; Smoky Hill 17/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 335BS/95BG [OE-U] Horham 15/6/43; Missing in Action (21m) Munster 10/10/43 with Eldon Broman, Co-pilot: John Chaffin, Navigator: Bill Fowler, Bombardier: Paul Guiteras...

  • 42-30412 Mischief-Maker II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Plane Mischief Maker II entered combat approximately Jun43 under command of Capt V.L. Iverson after the original Mischief Maker was damaged beyond repair. After this crew completed 25 missions Maj. Iverson was retained for HQ USSTAF, the crew...

  • 42-30595 'Gremlin Gus II' "Olin's 69'ers"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/6/43; Smoky Hill 13/7/43; Kearney 16/7/43; Dow Fd 19/7/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 20/7/43; (34m) transferred Aphrodite project as OLIN'S 69'ERS; when War Weary, fuselage cut down and vehicle windshield fitted before open...

  • 42-30778 Old 66/Lady Margaret

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 28/7/43; Gore 6/8/43; Pendleton 12/8/43; Reno 14/8/43; Pierre 16/8/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/9/43; crashed on take off for France 13/8/44 with Leon Sutton, Co-pilot: Harlan Thompson, Navigator: George Healy, Bombardier:...

  • 42-3273 'Impatient Virgin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 18/4/43; Assigned 100BG Dow Fd 30/5/43; transferred 412BS/95BG [QW-W] Horham 15/6/43; force landed RAF St Eval ex-St Nazaire 28/6/43; crash landed Gt Ashfield ex-La Pallice 16/9/43; force landed RAF Hensridge; 31m, ex-Munster 22/12/43...

  • 42-5905 Just Ag

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 26/4/43; Sioux City 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 9/6/43; Dow Fd 30/6/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 3/7/43; detailed Solignen, 30/11/43 with Paul Kelly, Co-pilot: John Corzette, Navigator: John Wiley, Bombardier: Marion Wiles, Flight...

  • 42-5915 Cash & Carrie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 7/5/43; Denver 14/5/43; Geiger 26/5/43; Gt Falls 7/6/43; Dow Fd 13/7/43; Assigned 570BS/390BG [DI-J] Framlingham 15/7/43; Missing in Action (11m) Munster 10/10/43 with Bob McGuire, Co-pilot: Glenn Oster, Navigator: Albt Drouhard,...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 17:50:47 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
29 June 2015 18:04:46 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 29-Jun-2015. Added Mission Description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2014 11:40:13 Emily Changes to media associations
Sources

Associated Media based on images associated with missions in Freeman, The Mighty Eighth War Diary.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:16 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Lee Cunningham, 8th Air Force missions research database / Stan Bishop's 'Losses of the US 8th and 9th Air Forces', the Combat Chronology of the US Army Air Forces and the work of Roger Freeman including the 'Mighty Eighth War Diary'.

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