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Francis M McMurtry Jr

Military

Shot down on 20 December 1942 in B-17F #41-24566 'Zombie' while serving as Co-Pilot. Killed in Action (KIA). Originally assigned to 1LT Arthur E. Reddig's crew in B-17F #41-24568 "Lady Fairweather". Flew two missions with 1LT Reddig: 18-Nov-42 and 22-Nov-42, both missions as Co-Pilot. The 22-Nov-42 mission was aborted by 1LT Reddig. He did not fly in B-17F #41-24568 with 1LT Reddig on its fateful mission of 23-Nov-42. He sat out that mission so that Capt Charles G. Miller could fly with 1LT Reddig on his first orientation mission to combat. 1LT Reddig served as Co-Pilot on that fateful mission. Participated in 3 Operations (1 was 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...

  • 359th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft

  • 41-24566 Zombie

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24566 'Zombie' [BN-W] was assigned 303BG/359BS [BN-W] at Alamogordo Field, New Mexico on 23-Jun-42. Stationed at Kellogg Field, Battle Creek, Michigan until 3-Oct-42 when it went to Bangor, Maine for deployment to England.; Molesworth 25-Oct...

  • 41-24568 Lady Fairweather

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24568 "Lady Fairweather', assigned 359BS/303BG [BN-U] Bangor 9-October-42; Molesworth 25-October-42. The original crew flew to Molesworth 24/25-Oct-42 except for Borysiewicz. The aircraft also carried as a passenger Captain Abraham Black who...

Missions

  • 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 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. ...

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
Born Burkburnett, Texas
Commissioned 6 February 1942

Commissioned as pilot.

Assigned to Aircraft Alamogordo, NM 88310, USA 27 July 1942

Asssigned as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24568 "Lady Fairweather", 303BG/359BS at Alamogordo Field, Alamogordo, New Mexico.

Assigned to Squadron Biggs Field, TX 79918, USA 25 September 1942

Assigned to 303BG/359BS.

Arrived in UK Molesworth, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire PE28, UK 25 October 1942

Arrived as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24568 "Lady Fairweather", 303BG/359BS at Molesworth, UK.

Mission #1, 2LT Francis M. McMurtry, Jr. w/B-17F 41-24568, 303BG/359BS Saint-Nazaire, France 18 November 1942

Served as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24568 "Lady Faairweather:, 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire France. RTB OK.

Mission #2 2LT Francis M. McMurtry, Jr. w/B-17F 41-24568, 303BG/359BS - Aborted Lorient, France 22 November 1942

Served as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24568 "Lady Fairweather", 303BG/359BS on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at Lorient, France, but mechanical failures caused the pilot to abort the sortie. RTB OK.

Killed in Action (KIA) Dieppe, France 20 December 1942

Killed when aircraft was attacked by German fighters and crashed into the English Channel near Dieppe, France.

Mission #3 2LT Francis M. McMurtry, Jr. w/B-17F 41-24566, 303BG/359BS - KIA Romilly-sur-Seine, France 20 December 1942

Served as Co-Pilot of B-17F 41-24566 "Zombie", 303BG/360BS on a mission to bomb th German air depot at Rommilly-sur-Seine, France. The aircraft sustained heavy battle damage from fighters and anti-aircraft fire and crashed into the English Channel on the return. All crew lost KIA

Commemorated Neupré, Belgium 1945

Commemorated on the Wall of the Missing, Ardennes American Cemetery.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
17 February 2020 19:30:22 jmoore43 Changes to biography
Sources

Added a "#" to all the A/C serial numbers in the "Summary biography" for clarity.

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 20:17:33 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission #3 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 20-Dec-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/007.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 20:08:22 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission #2 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 22-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/003.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 20:02:04 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission #1 event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, Mission Report of 18-Nov-42: http://www.303rdbg.com/missionreports/002.pdf

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 19:57:32 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Arrived in UK event per 303Bg website, Gary Moncur, Historian, crew page of Arthur E. Reddig: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-reddig.html

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 19:54:11 Lee8thbuff Changes to events
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015, Added Assgined to Aircraft event per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, HIstorian, Arthur E. Reddig crew page: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-reddig.html

Date Contributor Update
11 December 2015 19:47:17 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography
Sources

Lee Cunningham 11-Dec-2015. Added Mission participations to Summary Biography per 303BG website, Gary Moncur, Historian, www.303rdbg.com

Date Contributor Update
12 May 2015 19:17:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to biography, events, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-May-2015. Added Commissioned and Assigned to Group events to biography; added aircraft details for 41-24568 and other information to Description. All per 303BG web site: http://www.303rdbg.com/c-359-reddig.html

Date Contributor Update
14 January 2015 15:59:42 general ira snapsorter Changes to biography
Sources

Combined two entries into a single entry. This record now includes information from the following source: MACR 15708 / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database.

Date Contributor Update
04 December 2014 21:12:29 Lee8thbuff Changes to service number, biography, awards, events, place associations, aircraft associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 4-Dec-2014. Added KIA event per MACR 15708; Added Commemoration event per American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) record. made connections to place, aircraft and mission within existing website data.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:09:49 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / MACR 15708

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