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

August 19th    

August 19, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Mission 2: 22 of 24 B-17s bomb Abbeville/Drucat Airfield, France at 1032-1040 hours; 3 B-17s are damaged; 6 B-17s fly a diversion and 2 airmen are WIA. This mission is flown to occupy the Luftwaffe and prevent them from opposing an invasion by over 5,000 Allied troops, mostly Canadians, who raid Dieppe, France. 123 Spitfire Mk Vs of the 31st Fighter Group support the raid on Dieppe and claim 1-1-5 Luftwaffe aircraft with the loss of 8 Spitfires (4 pilots are MIA); 2nd Lieutenant Samuel F Junkin Jr of the 309th Fighter Squadron, 31st Fighter Group, flying a Spitfire Mk V in support of the amphibious raid on Dieppe, shoots down a German fighter, this being the first aerial victory won by an 8th AF fighter pilot flying from the UK. Units arriving in England from the US: HQ 1st Bombardment Wing at Brampton Grange; 353rd and 419th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy), at Chelveston with B-17s (first mission is 2 Oct). 2nd, 4th and 5th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Group arrive at Eglinton, Co Derry, Ireland from the US (squadrons will be equipped with Spitfire Mk Vs and 2nd and 4th Fighter Squadrons will fly their first mission on 27 Aug; 5th Fighter Squadron will not fly missions).

August 19, 1943
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 61
Target: Airdrome & Storehouses at Gilze-Rijen, Holland
Crews Dispatched: 20
Crews Lost: 1Lt J.S. Nix (11 crew), 2Lt L.H. Quillen (10 crew),
6 wounded, 21 missing
Length of Mission: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Bomb Load: 24 x 100 lb H.E. M-30 G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 19,700 ft
Ammo Fired: 52,414 rounds
Enemy Aircraft Claims: 12 destroyed, 10 probable, 6 damaged
View Mission Report

August 19, 1943
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission 85: Three Luftwaffe airfields in The Netherlands are targetted: 1. 125 B-17's are dispatched to Gilze-Rijen and Flushing Airfields; 38 B-17's hit Gilze-Rijen at 1802-1814 hours and 55 hit Flushing at 1756 hours; they claim 29-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17's are lost and 42 damaged; casualties are 9 WIA and 41 MIA; this mission is escorted by 175 P-47's who claim 9-2-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is lost and the pilot is listed as MIA. 2. 45 B-17's are dispatched to Woensdrecht Airfield but weather prevents them hitting the target. VIII Air Support Command Missions 27A, 27B and 28: Three Luftwaffe air-fields in France are targetted: 1. 36 B-26's are dispatched to Amiens/Glisy Airfield; all hit the target at 1129 hours; they claim 1-0-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-26 is damaged beyond repair and 9 are damaged; casualties are 2 WIA. 2. 36 B-26's are dispatched to Poix/Nord Airfield; 35 hit the target at 1218 hours; 1 aircraft is damaged; there are no casualties. 3. 36 B-26's are dispatched to Bryas Sud Airfield but the target is obscured by cloud and the mission is aborted.

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

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