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HELL'S ANGELS vs MEMPHIS BELLE

HELL'S ANGELS WAS THE FIRST 8th AIR FORCE B-17 TO COMPLETE 25 MISSIONS
DON'T LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE
.
The 358th B-17F #41-24577 Hell's Angels, from which the Group later named itself, completed its 25th mission on 13 May 1943. It became the first 8th Air Force B-17 to complete 25 combat missions. The Memphis Belle, a 91st BG(H) B-17, sometimes reputed to claim the first 25-mission feat, completed its 25th mission on 19 May 1943, six days after the Hell's Angels. The Memphis Belle was, however, the first 8th AF B-17 to complete 25 missions and be returned to the United States. The crew that accompanied the Memphis Belle was a makeup crew of men who had completed 25 missions. It was not the original Memphis Belle, Captain Morgan crew. Hell's Angels went on to complete 48 missions and delayed returning to the United States for its own "Flag-Waving Tour" until 20 January 1944.

Compare the Numbers:

COMBAT MISSIONS FLOWN BY
303rd Bombardment Group (H) Hell's Angels & Captain Irl Baldwin
and
91st Bombardment Group (H) Memphis Belle & Captain Robert K. Morgan

MISSION
DATE
TARGET303rd BG
MISS#
HELL'S ANGELS
MISS#
CAPT BALDWIN
MISS#
91st BG
MISS#
MEMPHIS BELLE
MISS#
CAPT MORGAN
MISS#
07 Nov 42Brest------010101
08 Nov 42Brest------02----
09 Nov 42St. Nazaire------030202
14 Nov 42St. Nazaire------04----
17 Nov 42St. Nazaire0101 BR (1)01 BR (1)050303
18 Nov 42St. Nazaire02----06----
22 Nov 42Lorient0302 BR (2)02 BR (2)07----
23 Nov 42St. Nazaire04----08MAMA
06 Dec 42Lille050303090404
12 Dec 42Rouen06RP (3)--10----
20 Dec 42Romilly07----110505
30 Dec 42Lorient08FTO (4)FTO (4)1206 [B]--
03 Jan 43St. Nazaire090404130706
13 Jan 43Lille100505140807
23 Jan 43Lorient/Brest110606150908
27 Jan 43Wilhelmshaven12070716RP--
02 Feb 43Emden (Hamm)13 GA (5)GA (5)GA (5)RE (5)----
04 Feb 43Emden (Hamm)(U)14080817--09 [X]
14 Feb 43Hamm15 RE BR (6)09 RE BR (6)09 RE BR (6)18 RE (6)10 BR10 BR
16 Feb 43St. Nazaire161010191111
26 Feb 43Wilhelmshaven1711 [A]--20--12 [X]
27 Feb 43Brest1812 [A]--21--13 [X]
04 Mar 43Rotterdam / Hamm19131122--MA
06 Mar 43Lorient201412231214
08 Mar 43Rennes21151324MA [C]--
12 Mar 43Rouen221614251315
13 Mar 43Amiens231715261416
17 Mar 43RouenRE BR (7)RE BR (7)RE BR (7)RE ----
18 Mar 43Vegesack24181627----
22 Mar 43Wilhelmshaven251917281517
28 Mar 43Rouen262018291618
31 Mar 43Rotterdam2721193017 [D] --
04 Apr 43Paris(Billancourt)28222031MAMA
05 Apr 43Antwerp29232132RP19 [Y]
16 Apr 43Lorient30----331820
17 Apr 43Bremen31--22 [B]341921
01 May 43St. Nazaire32----352022
04 May 43Antwerp33242336--23 [Z]
13 May 43Meaulite3425243721 [E]--
14 May 43Kiel3526253822 [F]--
15 May 43Heligoland3627--392324
17 May 43Lorient3728--402425
19 May 43Kiel38----4125 [E]--

FOOTNOTES
[A] Hell's Angels Pilot - lstLt James H. McDonald on 26 Feb & 27 Feb 43 - Captain Baldwin on leave
[B] Memphis Belle Pilot - Lt James Vernis (Morgan Crew CoPilot) on 30 Dec 42 - Capt Morgan was sick
[C] Memphis Belle Pilot - Capt E.D. Gaitly, CoPilot & Col Stanley Wray on 08 Mar 43
[D] Memphis Belle Pilot - Capt H.W. Aycock on 31 Mar 43
[E] Memphis Belle Pilot - Lt C.L. Anderson on 13 May (Capt Morgan in London) and 19 May 43 (Capt Morgan had completed his combat tour)
[F] Memphis Belle Pilot - Lt J.H. Miller on 14 May 43 - Capt Morgan in London
[W] Captain Baldwin flew in #41-29644 Jersey Bounce, Jr. 358th BS (VK-C) on 17 Apr 43
[X] Captain Morgan flew in #41-24515 Jersey Bounce 324th BS (DF-H) on 04 Feb, 26 Feb & 27 Feb 43
[Y] Captain Morgan flew in #41-24480 The Bad Penny 324th BS (DF-C/B) on 05 Apr 43
[Z] Captain Morgan flew in #41-24527 The Great Speckled Bird 324th BS (DF-Y) on 04 May 43
FTO - Failed to take off due to mechanical problems
RE - Division recall due to bad weather
GA - Group aborted mission due to bad weather
RP - B-17 stood down while under repair
MA - Mechanical abort after takeoff before target reached
BR - Bombs returned to base
U - Exact target unknown - Group Navigator believed that six 303BG B-17s bombed Groningen
(1) Group unable to locate target - Credited mission
(2) Bomb rack malfunction over target - Credited mission
(3) Bomb release intervelometer test requested
(4) #3 Engine failed to start
(5) Recall 30-40 miles off dutch coast. Non credited crew sortie
(6) Recall between coast & Dokkum Holland - Credited mission
(7) Recall between beacon 8 & 10 - Non credited mission
(8) Weather obscured target - Credited mission