The Mission and Purposes of the www.303rdBG.com are to:
- Keep the memory and the legacy of the 303rd Bomb Group (H) alive for present and future generations, and preserve the history of the 303rd Bombardment Group (H)'s contribution to World War II.
- Provide a resource for 303rd Bombardment Group (H) members, family, friends and others to research 303rd Bomb Group personnel, aircraft and accomplishments.
- Provide a means for 303rd Bombardment Group (H) members, family and friends to locate missing comrades, contact each other and maintain and develop friendships.
- Memorialize and perpetuate the memory of 303rd Bombardment Group (H) members lost during World War II, as well as those who have since passed away.
- Provide a resource for schools and other educational institutions to learn about the WWII air war and the experiences of the men involved in preserving our democracy.
This website was conceived in response to the question posed by Ed Miller, "We should be doing much more for the 303rd BGA. Do you have any suggestions?" It was a loaded question, and I took the bait and volunteered myself for this project. When I designed the Thunderbird Web Page
, a website of this magnitude was the farthest thing from my mind.
My father, Vern L. Moncur,
was the first pilot of the
B-17G Thunderbird as a member of
the 303rd Bombardment Group (H), 359th Bombardment Squadron. Though that was before I was
born, I saw how his experiences changed his life and ours. I grew up in a home without
a driveway . . . it was the "runway."
The patch of cement next to the runway where we played basketball was the "ramp." I was an
adult before I knew "ramp" was an aviation term. Almost all our family rides were to the
airport, a tradition that has carried on to my family.
Dad's experiences as a B-17 pilot were not spoken of often in our home. His love of the B-17 was matched only by my mother's hatred of it. The war was even more difficult for her than it was for him. Mom would read the newspaper headlines about B-17s being shot down and airmen being killed and captured. She would worry and fret for two weeks until she got a letter dated after the date of the article . . . then she would go through the same thing again and again. Also, while Dad was flying combat, she lost a baby. My oldest brother, Vaun, was born and died during Dad's combat.
Although I have always loved airplanes and go to every airshow possible, my real
love of the B-17 and her crews started in September 1984, just four months before Dad died.
At a local airshow, Dad, my 11 year old son Matthew and I climbed through the
Commorative Air Force's B-17 Sentimental Journey.
Dad, with his voice quivering, showed us the controls and said, "I'm sure I could take her off, but would have a heck of a time getting back down." The tears in his eyes and the love he had for the B-17 are still etched in my mind and in my son's mind as well.
May this web page be a lasting memory to all of the dedicated airmen and support personnel who carried the 303rd Bombardment Group (H) to its highest level: to those who
gave their lives; to those who spent time in prisoner of war camps; to those
who evaded capture; and to those fortunate enough to return home.
We owe our freedom to them all. We shall never forget . . .
Gary L. Moncur
303rd BOMB GROUP (H) ASSOCIATION
Hell's Angels Newsletter
303rd BGA Reunions - A Walk Down Memory Lane
DISSOLUTION OF THE 303rd BOMB GROUP ASSOCIATION
- The 303rd Bomb Group Association Board of Directors made the difficult decision to dissolve the Association at the end of 2007. This action was necessary with the declining membership of actual 303rd Bomb Group veterans, due to age and health issues. The Grand Finale Reunion was held in September 2007. Interested 303rd BG members, family and friends are encouraged to join and to meet annually with the Eighth Air Force Historical Society.
303rd BOMB GROUP ASSOCIATION FINAL REPORT
The 303rd Bomb Group Association has sent their remaining assets,
totaling $14,663.87, to the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum. In his
November 20, 2008 letter to the Museum, 303rd BGA President Col.
William H. Cox reported:
"Our Board of Directors, meeting on August 27, 2005 voted to dissolve
the Association by December 31, 2007. The publishing and distribution
of the third and final book of Hellīs Angels Newsletters took longer
than anticipated, as did the processing required by State and Federal
agencies. We officially dissolved as an organization on August 31,
This website will remain online, under the continued direction of Gary L. Moncur.
"It was further voted by our Board that the remaining assets of the
303rd Bomb Group (H) Association, Inc. be gifted to 'The Mighty
Eighth Air Force Museum and designated for the purpose of aiding in
the acquiring, restoring, transporting, insuring or whatever else is
required to place a B-17 on permanent display at the Mighty Eighth
Air Force Museum.'"
- The 303rd Bomb Group (H) Association, Inc., was a tax exempt organization under IRS Code 501(c)(19), founded in 1975, was chartered in the State of Florida to perpetuate the history of the 303rd Bombardment Group (H) and to provide opportunities for 303rd veterans, families and friends to meet.
- There is no historical connection between the 303rd Bomb Group (H) "Hell's Angels" and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.