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

May 23rd    

May 23, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Agreement is reached on a plan to transfer the repair depot at Burtonwood, UK to US forces following a period of joint control to begin at the end of Jun 42; Burtonwood later becomes the greatest AAF depot overseas.

May 23, 1943
8th AF: The 417th Night Fighter Squadron, VIII Fighter Command based at Cranfield, England sends a detachment to Scorton, England to train with the RAF on Beaufighters.

May 23, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 158
Target: Saarbrucken, Germany (PFF)
Crews Dispatched: 26 + 2 PFF
Length of Mission: 6 hours, 45 minutes
Bomb Load: 12 x 500 lb G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 25,000 & 24,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 2,310 rounds
View Mission Report

May 23, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 364: 1,045 bombers and 562 fighters are dispatched to hit airfields and rail targets in France; 3 bombers are lost: 1. 580 B-17s are dispatched to the marshalling yard at Metz (34 bomb), Epinal (36 bomb) and Chaumont (54 bomb); airfields at Orleans/Bricy (17 bomb) and Chateaudun (18 bomb); secondary targets hit are marshalling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany (139 bomb), Bayon (12 bomb), the town of Neunkirchen, Germany (37 bomb), Caen/Carpiquet Airfield (18 bomb) and 12 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 50 damaged; 12 airmen are KIA and 4 WIA. 2. 465 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Orleans/Bricy (167 bomb), Bourges (84 bomb), Avord (88 bomb) and Etampes/Mondesir (97 bomb); 1 aircraft hits a target of opportunity; 1 B-24 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 33 damaged; 10 airmen are KIA and 10 MIA. Escort is provided by 96 P-38s, 142 P-47s and 324 P-51s; none are lost and no Luftwaffe aircraft are claimed; 1 P47 is damaged beyond repair and 1 P-47 and 1 P-51 are damaged; 644 Ninth Air Force fighters also participate with the loss of 2 P-38s and 2 P-47s. Mission 365: 103 P-51s are dispatched to bomb a railroad bridge at Hasselt, Belgium; 75 bomb escorted by 14 acting as top cover; 1 P-51 is lost, the pilot is MIA. Mission 366: 4 of 5 B-17s drop 928,000 leaflets on Belgium and The Netherlands without loss. 7 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER operations.

May 23, 1945
303rd BG: Major Roland M. Cowan was appointed Group Executive Officer, replacing Frank J. Doherty, who became Commanding Officer of the new 425th Air Service Group.

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

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