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

April 26th    

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
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.

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

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