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303rd Bomb Group (H) History

May 31st    

May 31, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 166
Target: Gilze-Rijen, Netherlands Airdrome
Crews Dispatched: 14
Crew Members Lost or Wounded: 1 wounded by flak
Length of Mission: 4 hours, 45 minutes
Bomb Load: 12 X 500 lb M-43 G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 20,300 ft
Ammo Fired: 205 rounds
View Mission Report

May 31, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 382: 1,029 bombers and 682 fighters attack marshalling yards and aircraft industry targets in Germany and rail targets in France and Belgium; the fighters claim 4-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground; 1 bomber and 3 fighters are lost: 1. Of 246 B-17s, 36 hit Luxeuil marshalling yard, France; 30 hit Florennes/Juzaine Airfield and 4 hit Namur marshalling yard, Belgium; 23 hit Gilze-Rijen Airfield and 12 hit Roosendaal marshalling yard, The Netherlands; and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 45 B-17s are damaged; 1 airman is KIA and 4 WIA. 2. 287 B-17s are dispatched to hit marshalling yards in Germany; 88 hit Osnabruck, 54 hit Schwerte, 52 hit Oeske and 50 hit Hamm; 1 B-17 is lost and 58 damaged; 1 airman is WIA and 10 MIA. 3. 491 B-24s are dispatched to hit rail targets in France and Belgium but are recalled due to clouds; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 7 damaged. 4. 4 of 5 B-24s hit rail bridges at Beaumont-sur-Oise and bridges at Melun without loss; Azon radio-controlled bombs are unsuccessfully used against the bridges. Escort is provided by 193 P-38s, 180 P-47s and 309 P-51s; P-38s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground with 1 P-38 being damaged; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot is MIA) and 3 are damaged; P-51s claim 3-0-1 aircraft on the ground with 2 P-51s lost (pilots are MIA). 674 Ninth Air Force fighters provide support; no claims or losses. Fighter-bomber missions against German airfields with 500 lb (227 kg) and 100 lb (45 kg) GP bombs: 1. 78 of 81 P-47s hit Gutersloh Airfield; they claim 5-1-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is damaged. 2. 35 P-38s attack Rehein/Hopsten Airfield using DROOPSNOOT methods; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft on the ground. 22 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions over France without loss.

May 31, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: HQ 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 358th, 359th, 360th and 427th Bombardment Squadrons move from Molesworth, England to Casablanca, French Morocco and begin flying troops from Europe to N Africa for return to the US with B-17s.

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

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