This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History
April 26, 1944
303rd BG: A Grapefruit Mission to Cologne, Germany was recalled in mid-channel due to bad weather. This was the first mission attempt to use the 2000 lb. GB-1 Glide Bombs (Grapefruit) shackled to external bomb racks.
April 26, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 319 Part 1: 589 bombers and 554 fighters are dispatched to targets in Germany; no claims of enemy aircraft are made; 5 fighters are lost: 1. Of 357 B-17s dispatched, 292 hit the industrial area at Brunswick, 47 hit the Hildesheim/Hannover area and 5 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 121 damaged; casualties are 9 KIA and 3 WIA. 2. The 238 B-24s dispatched to Paderborn fail to bomb because there were no PFF aircraft in the formation; 18 B-24s were damaged; 1 airman was KIA. Escort is provided by 90 P-38s, 311 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 153 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; 1 P-38 and 4 P-51s are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is KIA and 5 MIA. Mission 319 Part 2: 62 B-17s are dispatched to Cologne but are recalled at mid-English Channel because of weather; some aircraft carry 2,000 lb (907 kg) glide bombs on external racks. Escort is provided by 43 P-47s and 47 P-51s; the P-47s claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft Fighter-bomber missions: 33 P-38s (including Droopsnoot aircraft), plus escorts, hit Le Mans Airfield, France without loss; 24 P-51s, plus 4 escorts, bomb Cormeilles-en-Vexin Airfield, France without loss. Mission 320: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 800,000 leaflets on Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels, Liege and Gosselies, Belgium at 2330-2358 hours without loss. HQ 34th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Mendlesham, England from the US.
April 26, 1945
8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 970: During the night of 26/27 Apr, 6 of 8 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany; 1 B-24 crashes on takeoff. 2 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.