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

May 20th    

May 20, 1943
8th AF: The 524th, 525th, 526th and 527th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 379th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrive at Kimbolton, England from the US with B-17F's. They will fly their first mission on 29 May 43.

May 20, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 156
Target: Airdrome at Orly, France
Crews Dispatched: 12 + 2 spares
Length of Mission: 5 hours
Bomb Load: 6 x 1,000 lb M-44 G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 24,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 170 rounds
View Mission Report

May 20, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 359: 638 bombers and 657 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in France and Belgium; 2 bombers and 4 fighters are lost; AAF claims 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-1 on the ground: 1. 190 B-17s are dispatched to bomb Orly Airfield (90 bomb) and Villacoublay Air Depot (73 bomb) in France; 4 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 48 damaged; 20 airmen are KIA and 6 WIA. 2. 125 of 177 B-24s bomb Reims Airfield and marshalling yard in France; 5 B-24s are damaged. 3. 271 B-17s and B-24s are dispatched to marshalling yards at Liege and Brussels, Belgium but the mission is abandoned due to heavy cloud cover; 2 bombers are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 41 damaged; 17 airmen are KIA, 16 WIA and 17 MIA. Escort is provided by 146 P-38s, 177 P-47s and 334 P-51s; P-38s claim 2-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 1-0-1 on the ground; 1 P-38, 1 P-47 and 2 P-51s are lost; 5 P-38s are damaged; 4 pilots are MIA.

May 20, 1944
A record 5,000 bombers raid 12 railway targets and nine airfields in northern France and Belgium.

May 20, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: The 859th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 492nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) [attached to 2641st Special Group (Provisional)], moves from Rosignano to Gioia del Colle, Italy with B-24s and C-47s.

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

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