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Merel D Bradley

Military

10-Jul-42 Assigned as the Tail Gunner of B-17F 41-24619 [GN-S] "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico. Arrived in the UK with the crew of 41-24619 aboard B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS on 28-Oct-43. B-17F 41-24619 was commandeered by MAJ George L. Robinson and flown with a different crew to Molesworth, UK on 25-Oct-42.

Killed in Action (KIA) in B-17F-20-BO 41-24517 'Kali' while serving as Tail Gunner. Aircraft was targeting U/B (submarine base) at St. Nazaire, France. 'Kali' encountered intense flak and fighter attacks and went down over the Atlantic.

Participarted in 7 Operations (4 were 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...

  • 358th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24517 Kali

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24517 [GN-O] 'Kali' 303BG/427BS assigned with crew on 1-May-42 at Alamogordo Field, Almogordo, New Mexico. Sent with crew to Dow Field, Bangor, Maine for deployment 5-Oct-42. Arrived at Molesworth, UK 24-Oct-42 ...

  • 41-24569 Memphis Tot

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot: [GN:V] was assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-W] Bangor 5-Oct-42; Molesworth 22-Oct-42. ...

  • 41-24587 Bad Check

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-P] Bangor 5/10/42; Molesworth 25/10/42; Missing in Action 45m Oschersleben 11/1/44 with George McClellan, Co-pilot: Bill Fisherex B-26 pilot on his 1st mission, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Dave Tempesta, Radio Operator:...

  • 42-2966

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 427BS/303BG [GN-U] Bangor 16/9/42; Molesworth 28/10/42; 1 CCRC Bovingdon 4/7/43 as trainer. Salvaged in the UK after the war, date not recorded.

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • VIII Bomber Command 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • 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. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 28

    3 January 1943
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are once again the target for this mission. This is proving to be a particularly difficult target to destroy due to its massive, reinforced concrete design. It consists of 14 individual pens connected together in...

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
Assigned to Aircraft Alamogordo, NM 88310, USA 20 July 1942

Assigned as Tail Gunner of B-17G 41-25619 "S-for-Sugar", 303BG/427BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Re-assigned to another aircraft Bangor, ME, USA 23 October 1942

Assigned as a Aerial Gunner to B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS at Dow Field, Bangor, Maine.

Arrive in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 28 October 1942

Arrived at Molesworth as the Tail GUnner on B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS.

Mission #1, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 17 November 1942

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #2, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #3, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 41-24569, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Lorient, France 22 November 1942

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24569 "Memphis Tot", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Mission #4, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 41-24517, 303BG/427BS Saint-Nazaire, France 23 November 1942

Served as Right Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24517 "Kali", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. RTB OK.

Mission #5, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 41-24517, 303BG/427BS Lille, France 6 December 1942

Served as Left Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24587 "Bad Check", 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the carriage and wagon works at Lille, France. RTB OK.

Mission #6, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS - Aborted Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 42-2966, 303BG/427BS on a mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France, but mechanical failures forced the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Killed in Action (KIA) Saint-Nazaire, France 3 January 1943

Killed when aircraft sustained damage from flak and fighter attacks and crashed into the Atlantic near the target. His remains have never been recovered.

Mission #7, SGT Merel D. Bradley, w/B-17F 41-24517, 303BG/427BS - KIA Saint-Nazaire, France 3 January 1943

Served as Tail Gunner on B-17F 41-24517 "Kali" on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France. The aircraft was attacked by German fighters over the sea on approach to the target and exploded in mid-air. The entire crew was KIA.

Commemorated Saint-James, France 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Brittany American Cemetery

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:57:10 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #7 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 3-Jan-43: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/009.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:53:12 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #6 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:49:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #5 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 6-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/005.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:44:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #4 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 23-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:40:15 Lee8thbuff Changes to events and aircraft associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:35:44 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:33:23 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 17-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/001.pdf

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:27:36 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Harry A. Robey crew pahe: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-robey.html

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:24:52 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added Assigned to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Harry A. Robey crew pahe: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-robey.html

Date Contributor Update
20 December 2015 23:21:45 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 20-Dec-2015. Added initial aircraft assigment and arrival in UK statement to Summary Biography; made connections to all Mission participations per my reasearch of 303BG Mission Reports, 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Harry A, Robey crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-427-robey.html

Date Contributor Update
13 January 2015 20:04:28 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 13-Jan-2015. Added SN and KIA event per MACR 6141; added decorations and Commemoration event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record; made connections to Place, Aircraft and Mission within existing website data; added crew position and made minor edits to biography.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:20:04 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 and 9th AFs Vol. 1 by Bishop and Hey p. 60

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