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303rd Bomb Group (H) History

May 9th    

May 9, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 149
Target: Marshalling Yards at Thionville, France
Crews Dispatched: 12
Length of Mission: 5 hours, 45 minutes
Bomb Load: 5 x 1000 lb G.P. bombs plus chaff
Bombing Altitude: 21,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 320 rounds
View Mission Report

May 9, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 347: 823 bombers and 668 fighters are dispatched to hit marshalling yards and airfields in France, Belgium and Luxembourg; this is the beginning of the pre-invasion bombing of enemy installations; 6 bombers and 7 fighters are lost: 1. Of 220 B-17s, 75 hit St Dizier Airfield, 53 hit Thionville Airfield and 37 hit Thionville marshalling yard, France and 53 hit Luxembourg marshalling yard, Luxembourg; 38 B-17s are damaged. 2. 242 B-17s are dispatched to bomb airfields in France; 113 hit Laon/Athies, 71 hit Juvincourt, 43 hit Laon/Couvron, 10 hit Lille/Vendeville and 1 hits Chievres; 2 B-17s are lost and 44 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 20 MIA. 3. Of 361 B-24s, 101 hit St Trond Airfield, 96 hit Florennes Airfield, 63 hit Liege marshalling yard and 6 hit Hody Airfield, Belgium and 68 hit Laon/Couvron Airfield and 10 hit Nivelles Airfield, France; 2 B-24s are lost, and 35 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 44 MIA. Escort is provided by 144 P-38s, 277 P-47s and 247 P-51s; the P-47s claim 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-4 on the ground, the P-51s claim 1-0-0 in the air; 1 P-38 and 6 P-51s are lost; 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 1 P-51 is damaged; 6 pilots are MIA. Mission 348: 3 of 3 B-17s drop 1.34 million leaflets on 4 towns in The Netherlands and 3 in Belgium. 13 B-24s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions without loss.

May 9, 1944
Allied air forces begin a campaign of large scale raids against German airfields and rail communications in France in preparation for D-Day.

May 9, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: HQ 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) and the 732nd, 733rd, 734th and 735th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) begin a redeployment from Old Buckenham, England to the US; it is only group departing by ship. During late May, the 407th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 92nd Bombardment Group (Heavy), moves from Podington, England to Istres France with B-17s.

May 9, 1945
Hermann Goering is captured by members of the U.S. 7th Army.

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

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