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

November 30th    

November 30, 1942
ETO 8th AF: In a meeting at the Air Ministry a joint decision is made on the allocation of responsibility, with the RAF to provide aerial defense of sectors in which US airfields are located while the VIII Fighter Command operates principally as escort for bomber strikes against the Continent.

November 30, 1943
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission 143. 349 B-17's, 29 B-24's and 3 PFF B-17's are dispatched to the industrial area at Solingen, Germany; 270 B-17's, the B-24's and 2 PFF B-17's abort the mission due to cloud formations which cause assembly difficulties and require flying at altitudes not feasible for the B-24's; 79 B-17's and 1 PFF B-17 use blind-bombing equipment to hit Solingen plus 1 aircraft drops on Wermelskirchen; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-17's are lost; 3 are damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged; casualties are 11 KIA, 20 WIA and 23 MIA. This mission is escorted by 20 P-38's and 327 P-47's; they claim 0-2-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 5 P-47's are lost and 1 each damaged; casualties are 6 MIA. VIII Bomber Command Mission 144: 6 B-17's drop 1.4075 million leaflets on Paris, Rouen and Tours, France; and Krefeld and Opladen, Germany during the evening; no casualties. HQ 357th Fighter Group arrives at Raydon, England from the US. HQ 361st Fighter Group and its 374th, 375th and 376th Fighter Squadrons arrive at Bottisham, England from the US with P-47's. They will fly their first mission on 22 Jan 44.

November 30, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 280
Target: Synthetic Oil Refinery at Zeitz, Germany and
Leuna Synthetic Oil Refinery at Merseburg, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 39
Length of Mission: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Bomb Load: 20 x 250 lb H.E. M57 bombs
Bombing Altitudes; 26,700, 25,100 & 27,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 500 rounds
View Mission Report

November 30, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 2 missions are flown. Mission 731: 1,281 bombers and 972 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants in SE Germany and rail targets; intense accurate flak downs 29 bombers and 3 fighters are lost: 1. 451 B-17s are sent to hit the Zeitz (132) and Bohlen (68) oil plants; 116 hit the secondary, the Leuna oil plant at Merseburg; targets of opportunity are Gotha (22), Gera (17), Rudolstadt (17), Fulda (12), Saalfeld (12), Ohrdruf (10), Meerane (6) and other (9); 11 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 287 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 16 WIA and 100 MIA. Escorting are 357 of 384 P-51s; they claim 4-0-0 aircraft in the air; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 2. 539 B-17s are sent to hit the Leuna oil plant at Merseburg (301) and the Lutzkendorf (169) oil plant; targets of opportunity are Zeitz oil plant (19), Weissenfels (9) and other (12); 17 B-17s are lost, 6 damaged beyond repair and 325 damaged; 17 airmen are KIA, 42 WIA and 295 MIA. Escorting are 452 P-47s and P-51s; 2 P-51s are damaged beyond repair. 3. 291 B-24s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Neunkirchen (180) and Homburg (104). Escorting are 56 of 60 P-47s; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA). 4. 30 of 33 P-51s fly a scouting mission. Mission 732: 7 B-17s and 6 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

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

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