This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History
August 1, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Lieutenant General Ira C Eaker describes the mission of the VIII Bomber Command as the destruction of carefully chosen strategic targets in Europe. HQ 31st Fighter Group and 307th, 308th and 309th Fighter Squadrons move from Atcham to Westhampnett, Biggin Hill, Kenley and Westhampnett, England respectively with Spitfire Mk Vs.
August 1, 1943
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: The 577th, 578th and 579th Bom-bardment Squadrons (Heavy), 392nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrive at Wend-ling, England from the US with B-24's. The squadrons will fly their first mission on 6 Sep 43 and remain at this station until Jun 45.
August 1, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 216
Target: Airfield at Orleans/Bricy, France
Crews Dispatched: 39
Length of Mission: 5 hours, 55 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs
Bombing Altitudes: 20,900, 20,000 & 19,000 ft
View Mission Report
August 1, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 508: 1,291 bombers and 432 fighters are dispatched to attack airfields, bridges and tactical targets in France; 5 bombers and 4 fighters are lost: 1. 193 of 195 B-17s drop 2,281 containers of supplies to French Resistance forces (Operation Buick) at four locations in SE France, i.e., Chalon-Sur-Saone, the Savoie area, Haute-Savoie and W of Geneva; 5 B-17s are damaged; 3 P-51 groups furnish escort. 2. 76 of 100 B-17s bomb Tours Airfield; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged; 6 airmen are WIA and 10 MIA. Escort is flown by 51 of 53 P-51s; 2 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged beyond repair. 3. 400 of 416 B-17s attack 5 airfields and a railway bridge in the area S and SW of Paris; 112 hit Orleans/Bricy Airfield, 108 hit Chateaudun Airfield, 59 hit Melun Airfield, 58 hit Chartres Airfield, 36 hit Chartres Bridge, 15 hit targets of opportunity, and 12 hit Etampes/Mondesir Airfield; 3 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 32 damaged; 9 airmen are KIA and 27 MIA. Escort is provided by 138 P-38s and P-51s; 3 P-51s are damaged and 1 pilot is KIA. 4. 284 of 389 B-24s is dispatched to bomb targets in the Paris environs; bad weather causes 100+ aborts; 66 hit Rouen, 47 hit Melun Airfield, 44 hit Nogent Bridge, 33 hit targets of opportunity, 29 hit Orleans/Bricy Airfield, 24 hit Montereau Birdge, 12 hit Nanteuil Bridge, 12 hit Villeroche Airfield, 11 hit Coulommiers Bridge, and 6 hit Chartres Airfield; 1 B-24 is lost, 3 are damaged beyond repair and 85 damaged; 20 airmen are MIA. Escort is provided by 127 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 3-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground; 2 P-47s are lost, 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair and 3 P-47s are damaged. 5. 191 B-24s, sent against 8 V-weapon sites in NW France, runs afoul of bad weather which causes multiple aborts; 61 of the planes manage to bomb 3 sites; 5 B-24s are damaged; escort is provided by 81 of 84 P-47s. Mission 509: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets on France and Belgium during the night. In Aug, HQ 95th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) moves from Halesowrth to Ketteringham, England.
August 1, 1945
8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology
VIII Fighter Command: HQ 447th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 708th and 710th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) begin a movement from Rattlesden, England to the US with B-17s. Unit moves from England to the US in Aug 45: HQ 486th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 832nd, 833rd, 834th and 835th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) from Sudbury with B-17s; and 858th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) from Harrington with B-24s.