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303rd Bomb Group (H) History

February 26th    

February 26, 1943
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 17
Target: U-Boat Yards - Wilhelmshaven, Germany (Secondary)
Crews Dispatched: 19
Length of Mission: 5 hours, 20 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lbs H.E. M43 bombs
Bombing Altitude: 24,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 20,500 rounds
View Mission Report

February 26, 1943
303rd BG: Walter Cronkite, United Press Correspondent, flew in 427BS B-17F 41-24619 "S-for-Sugar" on the mission to the Submarine Yards at Wilhelmshaven, Germany. The B-17 was attacked by German FW-190 and ME-109 fighters and intense anti-aircraft fire was encountered. His pilot was Major Glenn E. Hagenbuch, Command Officer of the 427th Bomb Squadron.

February 26, 1943
8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission 37: 76 B-17s of the 1st Bombardment Wing and 17 B-24s of the 2nd Bombardment Wing are dispatched against Bremen, Germany. The primary target is overcast so 59 B-17s and 6 B-24s attack the docks and surrounding areas of Wilhelmshaven, Germany dropping 164.25 tons of bombs between 1123 and 1125 hours local. We claim 21 Luftwaffe fighters destroyed, 9 probably destroyed and 5 damaged; we lose 5 B-17s and 2 B-24s plus 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair; casualties are 14 WIA and 73 MIA. The Luftwaffe attempts air-to-air bombing by fighter aircraft and the use of parachute bombs fired by AAA. Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly 82 uneventful sorties; 6 on shipping patrols and 76 on 3 missions escorting Venturas attacking Dunkirk, France. [NOTE: At this time, there were 3 squadrons flying Ventura Mk Is and Mk IIs assigned to RAF Bomber Command and based in Norfolk, England. No. 21 Squadron, RAF, was based at Methwold; the other 2 squadrons, No. 464 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and No. 487 Squadron, Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF), were based at Feltwell.]

February 26, 1944
303rd BG: Bad weather ends BIG WEEK, during which 26 German aircraft production related factories are hit cutting Germany's monthly production by 20 percent.

February 26, 1945
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 324
Target: Marshalling Yard at Berlin, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 39
Length of Mission: 8 hours, 40 minutes
Bomb Load: 6 x 500 lb H.E. M43 & 4 x 500 lb M17 Incendiaries
Bombing Altitudes: 25,000, 24,500 & 26,500 ft
Ammo Fired: 650 rounds
View Mission Report

February 26, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 2 missions are flown. Mission 849: 1,207 bombers and 726 fighters are dispatched to make H2X radar attacks on three Berlin rail stations; they claim 6-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17s and 3 P-51s are lost: 1. 377 B-17s are sent to hit the Schlesischer rail station (363); 1 hits Osnabruck, a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost and 21 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 18 MIA. 214 of 244 P-51s escort claiming 4-0-0 aircraft in the air. 2. 446 B-17s set out to hit the Alexanderplatz rail station (418); 4 others hit a target of opportunity; 1 B-17s is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 43 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 9 MIA. Escorting are 232 of 240 P-51s; they claim 2-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (2 pilots MIA). 3. 361 B-24s are dispatched to hit the North rail station (285); 37 hit Eberswalde, the secondary target; 4 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-24s are damaged beyond repair and 26 damaged; 3 airmen are WIA and 3 MIA. The escort is 20 P-47s and 190 P-51s. 4. 17 B-17s and 6 B-24s fly screening missions. 5. 31 of 32 P-51 fly a scouting mission. Mission 850: During the night, 12 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany; and 5 B-24s fly a CARPETBAGGER mission.

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

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