This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History

February 17th    

February 17, 1943
303rd BG: A scheduled practice mission was cancelled due to bad weather. There were strong winds and heavy overcast throughout the day.

February 17, 1943
8th AF: The Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 38 uneventful sorties on patrol during the day.

February 17, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 834: 895 bombers and 183 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants in Germany and the Frankfurt marshalling yard; deteriorating weather forces the recall of 261 B-17s and 288 B-24s; the weather was so bad that some aircraft controls froze and several had to jettison their bombs during assembly; 3 B-17s and 2 of the recalled B-24 force are lost in addition to 1 P-51. 346 B-17s are sent to hit the marshalling yard at Frankfurt (260); targets of opportunity are the Giessen marshalling yard (45), Aschaffenburg (12), Hanau (10) and other (4); 3 B-17s and 2 B-24s are lost, 1 B-17 and 1 B-24 are damaged beyond repair and 106 B-17s damaged; 17 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 38 MIA. The escort is 151 of 167 P-51s; 1 is lost (pilot MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair. 12 P-51s fly a scouting mission and 4 escort photo reconnaissance aircraft over Germany. The 862nd Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 493rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) (attached to 3rd Air Division), moves from Debach to Wormingford, England and begins flying weather reconnaissance missions with B-17s and P-51s.

8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology

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