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VIII Bomber Command 149

5 December 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 216 B-17 from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (10); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (21); 351BG (35); 379BG (21); 381BG (30); 384BG (20); and 301BG (20) dispatched to bomb German airfields of La Rochelle-Laleu, St. Jean D'Angely, Ivry-Paris, Bois-Paris and D'Colombes, France. Weather and cloud cover totally disrupted this element and no aircraft were able to bomb. There are no losses or claims but one aircraft from 401BG crashed on take-off at Deenethorpe. 2INJ 8RTD. 1 other aircraft is damaged

The second element was a force of 92 B-24s of 2nd Bomb Division that included: 44BG (25); 93BG (24); 389BG (23); and 392BG (23) dispatched to bomb the German airfield at Cognac-Chateaubernard, France. Wethter and cloud cover frustrated this element also and only 2 B-24 from 389BG were able to drop on St. Nazaire as a target of opportunity. 1 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 9KIA 1POW; 2 airmen in returning aircraft were Wounded in Action (WIA) and 7 aircraft were damaged. There are no claims on enemy aircraft in this element.

The third element was a combined force of 236 B-17s from 3rd Bomb Division that included: 94BG (42); 95BG (24); 96BG (41); 100BG (22); 385BG (21); 388BG (46); and 390BG (40) dispatched to bomb the German air depot at Bordeaux, Merginac, France. Again, weather and cloud cover frustrated bombing attempts. Also, this element encountered fighter resistance. Only 1 aircraft from 96BG was able to bomb the target. 8 aircraft Failed to Return (FTR) 36KIA 5POW 1EVD 29RTD (Rescued by ASR). 4 airmen in returning aircraft are Wounded in Action (WIA). 1 aircraft is damaged. The bomber gunners in this element claim 21-5-5 of attacking German aircraft.

Mission details

1. BORDEAUX/MERIGNAC (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Only one aircraft from 96th Bomb Group was able to bomb in the vicinity of the target.

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 0.25
Number of aircraft Sent 236
Number of aircraft Effective 1
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 8
Number of aircraft Damaged 19
Number of people Killed In Action 38
Number of people Wounded in Action 4
Number of people Evaded 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 5
Number of people Interned 10
Number of people Returned To Duty 29
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 12
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 5
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 5

2. COGNAC/CHATEAUBERNARD (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-24 Liberator

Notes

2 from 389th Bomb Group Hit St. Nazaire as a Target of Opportunity.

Units

  • 389th Bomb Group

    389th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943...

  • 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...

  • 93rd Bomb Group

    93rd Bomb Group

    Group
    93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated 1-March-1942 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. On 15-May-1942 the Group moved to Ft. Myers, Florida to continue advanced flight training and also to fly anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico; they...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 4.00
Number of aircraft Sent 96
Number of aircraft Effective 96
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 7
Number of people Killed In Action 9
Number of people Wounded in Action 2
Number of people Returned To Duty 1

3. LA ROCHELLE/LALEU (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Weather prevents any from hitting the target. One from 401st Bomb Group crashed on take-off in Deenethorpe. All OK, but bomb load exploded causing damage to the town.

Units

  • 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...

  • 305th Bomb Group Can Do

    305th Bomb Group Can Do

    Group
    The 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), nicknamed "Can Do" was activated 1-March-1942 at Salt Lake City Air Base, Utah which was their primary training base until 11-Jun-1942 when they relocated to Geiger Field, Washington until 29-Jun-1942, then on to...

  • 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

    Group
    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,...

  • 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...

  • 379th Bomb Group

    379th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 379th Bomb Group (H) (heavy), based at Kimbolton, flew more sorties than any other Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other Group. The B-17 Flying Fortress Group was awarded two Distinguished Unit...

  • 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...

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...

  • 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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 0.00
Number of aircraft Sent 216
Number of aircraft Effective 0
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 1
Number of people Returned To Duty 10

Service

People

  • Everett Anderson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 381st Bomb Group
    Navigator, Lane crew. 381st BG, 535th BS. B-17 #42-5846 'Tinker Toy' collided with enemy aircraft on 20 December 1943. 2 ME-109's rammed the rear of the aircraft taking off most of the tail. Mission #51 to Bremen, Germany. MACR 1723. Killed in Action ...

  • George Ayers

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 381st Bomb Group
    BTG, Mickow crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #61 to Frankfurt, Germany on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37884. MACR 2241. Killed in Action (KIA). Groves, TX

  • John Baudoin

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 305th Bomb Group Can Do
    Shot down 5 January 1944 in B-17 #4230724. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Thomas Baum

    Military | Flight Officer | Co-Pilot | 389th Bomb Group
    Took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the raid on Ploesti on 1 August 1943, flying B-24 Liberator 42-40722, Shot down 5 December 1943 in B-24 42-40738, "The Oklahoman." Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Charles Bein

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | Waist Gunner | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down 20 December 1943 in B-17 #4231084. Killed in Action (KIA). AM w/ 2 Oak Leaf Cluster

  • Robert Bellora

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Flight Engineer/Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group

  • Kenneth Betts

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 388th Bomb Group
    Shot down in a frontal attack by fighters on the return from a mission to Klein Machnow, Berlin on 6 Mar 1944, B-17G #42-31135 'Suzy Sagtitz' crashed near Schoonebekerveld, Holland. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • 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

  • Julian Chandler

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 381st Bomb Group
    Radio operator, Mickow crew. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Shot down by fighters on mission #61 to Frankfurt, Germany on 29 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-37884. MACR 2241. Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft I. Rockmart, GA

  • Cecil Clore

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 381st Bomb Group
    Pilot, Clore crew. "B" Flight Commander. 381st BG, 534th BS, 8th AF. Killed in Action (KIA). Crashed shortly after TO near Hedingham on mission #56 to Kiel, Germany in B-17G #42-31278 'Mix Master'. Originally buried with the entire crew at Cambridge...

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Aircraft

  • 41-24605 Knock-out Dropper

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to the 359BS/303BG [BN-R] Bangor 22-Sep-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42; First 8th Air Force aircraft to complete 50, then 75 missions- 27-Mar-44; with M/Sgt Buford Pafford as crew chief; 1 Base Air Depot, Burtonwood 5-Jun-44; Reconstruction Finance...

  • 42-30212 Quarterback

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/4/43; Sioux City 14/5/43; Smoky Hill 11/6/43; Dow Fd 16/6/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 17/6/43; transferred Aphrodite project, Missing in Action V-sites, Watten 6/8/44 with Lt Joeseph P Andrecheck & T/Sgt Raymond Healy (2...

  • 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:...

  • 42-31083 Tenny Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 15/9/43; ...

  • 42-31084

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/9/43; Assigned 561BS/388BG Knettishall 9/10/43; Missing in Action Bremen 20/12/43 with Ken Eccleston, Co-pilot: Pete Schou, Navigator: John Dorsett, Bombardier: Tom Tollin, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe Molinari, Radio...

  • 42-31115 Hells Belles

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/9/43; Gr Island 6/10/43; Assigned 562BS/388BG Knettishall 25/10/43; Missing in Action Brunswick 10/2/44 with Jim Feeneynot found till 25/2/44, Radio Operator: Norman Kajut, Waist gunner: Marion Forbis,Tail gunner: Lou LeFevre (4...

  • 42-31138 Winged Fury

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/9/43; Gr Island 7/10/43; Romulus 10/10/43; Assigned 560BS/388BG Knettishall 15/10/43; Missing in Action Augsburg 13/4/44 with Art Nelson, Co-pilot: Art Livermore, Navigator: Maurice White, Bombardier: Bill Matuszewski, Flight...

  • 42-3131 Winnie The Pooh, Flak Wolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/2/43; 19/4/43; Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-U] Molesworth 4/6/43; RWG Leon Kesky Killed in ActionSchweinfurt 17/8/43; 40m Missing in Action Oschersleben 11/1/44 with John Carothers, Co-pilot: Chas Frost, Radio Operator: George Rajcula...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 January 2018 18:25:39 william henry Changes to description
Sources

Correct typos

Date Contributor Update
15 January 2016 20:11:18 Mags Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

303rd BG Web Page

Date Contributor Update
23 July 2015 19:40:50 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Jul-2015. Added target to Mission Narrative of 3BD per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
23 July 2015 19:38:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Jun-2015. Added bomber gunner claims on enemy aircraft to Bordeaux element statistics per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
23 July 2015 19:36:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 23-Jun-2015. Added Mission Narrative based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

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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