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303rd Bomb Group (H) History

April 8th    

April 8, 1942
ETO Harry L Hopkins, Special Assistant to President Franklin D Roosevelt, and General George C Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff, arrive in London for talks with British service and supply chiefs concerning the integration of US and British manpower and war production for action in Europe. General Marshall urges an offensive in the west to relieve pressure upon the USSR and promises a constant flow of US troops, including many air units, to the UK.

April 8, 1943
8th AF: In England, 56th and 78th Fighter Groups become operational. Added to the 4th Fighter Group (already operational), this enables VIII Fighter Command to increase activity and paves the way for its coming role of escorting bombers on deep penetrations into enemy territory.

April 8, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 291: 3 separate forces, a total of 664 bombers divided into 13 combat wings, escorted by 780 fighters, are dispatched against airfields in NW Germany and aircraft factories in the Brunswick area; 34 bombers and 23 fighters are lost. 1. 59 of 59 B-17s hit Oldenburg Airfield; 32 B-17s are damaged; casualties are 5 WIA. 2. 255 B-17s are dispatched to Achmer, Quakenbruck and Rheine Airfields; 83 hit Quakenbruck, 60 hit Achmer, 41 hit Rheine, 22 hit Twente Enschede, 21 hit Hesepe, 19 hit Handorf and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 4 B-17s are lost and 128 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 3 WIA and 40 MIA. 3. 350 B-24s are dispatched to aviation industry targets in Brunswick; 190 hit the primary, 59 hit Rosslingen, 48 hit Langenhagen Airfield and 6 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 58-9-32 Luftwaffe aircraft; 30 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 87 damaged; casualties are 8 KIA, 23 WIA and 300 MIA. Escort is provided by 136 P-38s, 438 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 206 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the fighters claim 88-3-46 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 49-6-38 on the ground: 5 P-38s are lost and 3 damaged, 5 pilots are MIA; 4 P-47s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 12 damaged, 4 pilots are MIA; 14 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged, 14 pilots are MIA. Mission 292: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 1 million leaflets on Liege, Brussels, Ghent, Antwerp, and Mont-sur-Sombre, Belgium at 2215-2227 hours without loss.

April 8, 1945
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 355
Target: Airfield at Schafstadt, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 34
Length of Mission: 8 hours, 31 minutes
Bomb Load: 34 X 100 lb G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitudes: 20,000, 19,000 & 21,000 feet
View Mission Report

April 8, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 3 missions are flown. Mission 932: 1,173 bombers and 794 fighters attack various targets in Germany; 9 bombers and 1 fighter are lost: 1. 339 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Derben oil depot (31) and Schafstadt Airfield (73); secondary targets hit are the Stendal marshalling yard workshops (73) and the marshalling yard at Halberstadt (218); Derben is hit visually and the others targets visually and with H2X radar; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 55 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 5 WIA and 35 MIA. Escorting are 239 of 252 P-51s. 2. 522 B-17s are dispatched to hit the marshalling yards at Plauen (86), Hof (101) and Eger (111) and an ordnance depot at Grafenwohr (203); the attacks are made visually and with H2X radar; 5 B-17s are lost and 58 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 1 WIA and 43 MIA. 235 of 246 P-51s escort. 3. 302 B-24s are sent to hit the munitions depot at Bayreuth (51), the Blumenthal jet aircraft factory at Furth (89) and the Unterschlauersbach (57) and Roth (91) Airfields visually; 39 B-24s are damaged. The escort is 245 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 is lost (pilot MIA). 4. 10 B-17s fly a screening mission. 5. 28 P-51s fly a scouting mission; 1 P-51 is damaged beyond repair. 6. 16 P-51s escort 19 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany. Mission 933: 11 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night. Mission 934: 12 B-24s bomb the Travemunde port area using PFF methods during the night. The 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), moves from Mount Farm to Chalgrove, England with F-5s.

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

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