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VIII Bomber Command 72

10 July 1943

Official description

Not yet known

Description

German airfields at Caen, Abbeville, and Le Bourget at Paris, France are the primary targets for this mission. 112 B-17s form a combined force from 91BG; 92BG; 305BG; 306BG; 351BG and 381BG to bomb the German airfield (Carpiquet) at Caen, France. Cloud cover and poor weather frustrates the bombing attempts. Only 34 aircraft are effective on this target. 91BG; 351BG; and 381BG are unable to bomb. The 14 aircraft contingent from 92BG includes 5 YB-40 gunships as escorts within the bomber formation. 2 of these abort. Only 1 B-17 from 91BG is lost from this element - 8KIA 2POW. The bomber gunners claim 17-7-6 of attacking enemy aircraft.

A combined force of 64 B-17s from 303BG; 379BG and 384BG are despatched to bomb the German airfield at Abbeville, France. Only 36 aircraft from this element are effective on the target, but there are no aircraft losses. 4 aircraft are damaged.

The third element of this mission is flown by a combined force of 101 B-17s despatched from 94BG; 95BG; 96BG and 100BG. Cloud cover and poor weather cause this element to be recalled over France. None of the aircraft despatched were able to bomb. 2 aircraft are lost: 1 from 95BG - 6KIA 2POW 2EVD; and 100BG - 8POW 2EVD. The bomber gunners of this element claim 24-8-7 of attacking enemy fighters.

All elements receive some fighter escort by P-47s

Mission details

1. ABBEVILLE/ DRUCAT (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

Not yet known

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...

  • 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...

  • 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...

Mission Statistics

Tonnage dropped 64.20
Number of aircraft Sent 64
Number of aircraft Effective 36

2. CAEN/CARPIQUET (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

92nd Bomb Group despatch includes 5 YB-40s are-assignedas escorts, but two abort. Their effectiveness is doubtful. None of the aircraft despatched by 91st Bomb Group, 351st Bomb Group or 381st Bomb Group were effective on the target due to cloud cover. Missing in Action (MIA) aircraft from 91st Bomb Group. All elements receive fighter escort.

Units

  • 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...

  • 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...

  • 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 74.40
Number of aircraft Sent 121
Number of aircraft Effective 34
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 1
Number of aircraft Damaged 33
Number of people Killed In Action 8
Number of people Wounded in Action 1
Number of people Prisoners of War 2
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 17
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 7
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 6

3. PARIS/LE BOURGET (Primary)

Description

AIRFIELD

Aircraft type

B-17 Flying Fortress

Notes

The one aircraft listed Damaged Beyond Repair (DBR) (serial number 42-30305, 100th Bomb Group/349BS) to Paris actually crashed on take-off and crashed at Dickleburg, UK with 7 Killed and 3 Injured. This element abandoned the attack because of cloud cover. However, the bomber gunners claim a good toll on the Luftwaffe.

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...

  • 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 None
Number of aircraft Sent 101
Number of aircraft Missing In Action 2
Number of aircraft Damaged Beyond Repair 1
Number of people Killed In Action 13
Number of people Evaded 3
Number of people Prisoners of War 11
Number of people Returned To Duty 3
Enemy aircraft claimed as Destroyed by Bomber Command 24
Enemy aircraft claimed as Probably Destroyed by Bomber Command 8
Enemy aircraft claimed as Damaged by Bomber Command 7

Service

People

  • Roy Ballard

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

  • William Benecki

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Aerial Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    18 November 1942 in 'Fury' B-17 #41-2499 bombs could not be released so were jettisoned in an open field. On return, 10 miles SW of Exeter, A/C collided with #41-24553 which was able to land safely; however Fury landed at RAF Turweston and was salvaged.

  • William Binnebose

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Served 3 March 1942-1 January 1946. Flew 9 missions, not all on Our Bay-Bee. WIA 26 Jul 1943 B-17 #42-30274. Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 #42-30274 'Our Bay-Bee', Prisoner of War (POW). Stalag 17B, Krems. Also wounded while POW, shot when 2 other...

  • Claude Campbell

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 359BS, 303BG, 8AF USAAF. 30 x combat missions. ETD Awards: DSC, AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME, UN and Korean medals. Post war: Remained in USAF, serving in Korean conflict.

  • Oliver Chiesl

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator
    Oliver Chiesl was Navigator on pilot Charles L. Duncan's "Judy E" - 42-30050, shot down by fighters over Dieppe, France 10 July 1943. Captured and made a Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Robert Cozens

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot/Command Pilot | 95th Bomb Group

  • Donald Crossley

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Crossley was credited with 12 confirmed e/a kills. A record for 8th AF gunners.

  • Ernest De Los Santos

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer/Top Turret Gunner
    Ernest De Los Santos was Engineer/Top Turret Gunner on pilot Charles L. Duncan's "Judy E" - 42-30050, shot down by fighters over Dieppe, France 10 July 1943. Captured and made a Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Charles Duncan

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot
    Charles L. Duncan was pilot of "Judy E" - 42-30050, shot down by fighters over Dieppe, France 10 July 1943. Captured and made a Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Jack Edwards

    Military | Navigator | 305th Bomb Group Can Do

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Aircraft

  • 41-24561 The Duchess, "Sure Stuff"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-T] Bangor 10/9/42; Molesworth 16/10/42; 59m transferred 1 Base Air Depot (sic),* Burtonwood 7/7/44; Returned to the USA Altus 18/8/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Altus 14/8/45. Over...

  • 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...

  • 42-29688 Kayo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 3/2/43; Salina 10/2/43; Assigned 365BS/305BG [XK-X] Chelveston 17/3/43; transferred 546BS/384BG [BK-X] Grafton Underwood 26/8/43; then 547BS [SO-S]; 2 Base Air Depot, Lt Staughton 4/4/44; Returned to the USA Brookley 11/8/44; Homestead...

  • 42-2973 IZA VAILABLE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 360BS/303BG [PU-G] Presque Is 27/11/42; Molesworth 13/12/42; Returned to the USA 2/7/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Arledge 22/11/44. IZA VAILABLE.

  • 42-29731 Ol' Swayback, Moor Fidite

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 12/2/43; Walker 23/2/43; Smoky Hill 28/3/43; Presque 8/4/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG Grafton Underwood 18/4/43 MOOR-FIDITE; Andrews Fd 13/5/43; Snetterton 12/6/43; transferred 532BS/381BG [VE-E] Ridgewell 16/7/43; Missing in Action...

  • 42-30050 Judy E

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/4/43; Kearney 15/4/43; Hamilton 28/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 13/5/43; Wendover 17/2/43; Kearney 21/5/43; Dow Fd 27/2/43; Assigned 350BS/100BG [LN-X] Thorpe Abbotts 29/5/43; Missing in Action Le Bourget airfield 10 July 1943 with...

  • 42-30066 'Mugwump' aka 'Rum Boogie II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 6/4/43; Gore 14/4/43; Kearney 16/4/43; Wendover 2/5/43; Hill 16/5/43; Kearney 22/5/43; Dow Fd 30/5/43; Assigned 413BS/96BG [MZ-X] Andrews Fd 2/6/43; RUM BOOGIE II; transferred 418BS/100BG [LD-U] Thorpe Abbotts 9/6/43; as war weary F...

  • 42-30105 'Exterminator' 'Slightly Dangerous'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/4/43; Tinker 12/5/43; Lincoln 20/5/43; Bangor 23/5/43; Assigned 412BS/95BG [QW-R] Framlingham 6/6/43 EXTERMINATOR; Horham 12/6/43; 4m, Missing in Action Le Bourget 10/7/43 with Jim Sarchet, Co-pilot: Ron McMullen, Bombardier:...

  • 42-30176 'Assassin'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne, WY 22/4/43; Smoky Hill, KS 28/4/43; Walla Walla, WA 7/5/43; Smoky Hill 25/5/43; Presque Island 6/6/43; Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-P] Framlingham 5/6/43; 335BS [OE-P] Horham 15/6/43; 12m, Missing in Action Regensburg 17/8/43 with John...

  • 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...

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:53:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims of enemy aircraft to statistics of Le Bourget/Paris element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
08 May 2015 17:50:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to event
Sources

Lee Cunningham 8-May-2015. Added bomber gunner claims to statistics of Caen element per "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
07 May 2015 20:17:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to description
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-May-2015. Added Mission description based on "The Mighty Eighth War Diary", Roger A. Freeman.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:43:17 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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