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

January 20th    

January 20, 1943
8th AF: Twenty-two Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group fly three missions. Two engage in a Rhubarb (small number of aircraft attacking ground targets usually in bad weather) and attack three locomotives at Calais, France; 14 fly an interception mission; and six fly defensive patrols. One aircraft is damaged beyond repair.

January 20, 1944
303rd BG: The 303rd BG (H) B-17 "Hell's Angels" returned to the USA for a tour of USA war plants after completing 48 combat missions.

January 20, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 186: during the evening, 4 of 5 B-17's drop 960,000 leaflets on Lille, Brest, Caen and Chartres, France without loss.

January 20, 1945
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 304
Target: Railroad Bridge at Mannheim, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 39
Crew Members Wounded or Killed: Lt. James Burns - DOW
Length of Mission: 6 hours, 40 minutes
Bomb Load: 5 x 1,000 lb RDX bombs
Bombing Altitudes; 26,000, 23,700, & 27,800 ft
View Mission Report

January 20, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 801: 772 bombers and 455 fighters are dispatched to hit synthetic oil plants at Sterkrade and rail targets and bridges in W Germany using H2X radar; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 bombers and 3 fighters are lost: 1. 36 of 309 B-17s hit the Holten oil plant at Sterkrade; 225 hit the secondary target, the marshalling yard at Rheine; 1 B-17 is lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 68 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 33 WIA and 61 MIA. Escorting are 189 of 199 P-51s; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 2. 187 of 223 B-17s hit the Heilbronn marshalling yard; 8 hit the secondary, the Pforzheim marshalling yard and 2 hit a target of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 18 damaged. Escort is provided by 39 of 48 P-51s without loss. 3. 170 of 230 B-17s hit the Mannheim marshalling yard and rail bridge; targets of opportunity are Stuttgart (24), Mannheim (21) and other (1); 1 B-17 is lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 29 damaged. The escort is 130 of 137 P-51s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 4. 36 of 39 P-51s fly a fighter sweep in the Frankfurt area; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 5. 16 of 16 P-51s fly a sweep in the St Vith/Duren area without loss. 6. 16 of 16 P-51s fly a scouting mission without loss.

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

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