This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History
September 13, 1942
8th AF: In England, the 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), VIII Bomber Command, moves from Molesworth to Podington, with DB-7s; the 322nd, 323rd, 324th and 401st Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Kimbolton from the US with B-17s (first mission is 7 Nov).
September 13, 1943
8th AF: The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bombardment Divisions are activated at Brampton Grange, Horsham St Faith and Camp Blainey, England respectively. They are formed from complements of VIII Bomber Command's 4 bombardment wings which are redesignated Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) effective this date; each bombardment division is organized into combat bombardment wings. Commanding Officers of the Bombardment Divisions are Major General Robert B Williams (1st), Brigadier General James P Hodges (2nd), and Major General Curtis E LeMay (3rd). HQ 6th Fighter Wing is inactivated at Atcham, England. HQs of the following Combat Bombardment Wings (Heavy) transfer as follows: HQ 1st Wing Brampton Grange to Bassingbourn. HQ 4th Wing from Camp Blainey to Bury St Edmunds. HQ 13th Wing from Camp Blainey to Horham. HQ 14th Wing from Camp Thomas to Shipdham. HQ 45th Wing from Brampton Grange to Snetterton Heath.
September 13, 1943
The VIII Bomber Command was reorganized. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bombardment Divisions were activated, formed from complements of the four Provisional Bombardment Wings.
September 13, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 242
Target: BMW Motor Plant at Eisenach, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 15
Crews Lost: Lt. C.W. Heleen, 1 KIA, 8 POW;
Lt. L.M. Walker, 3 KIA, 6 POW
Length of Mission: 7 hours, 35 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. XM43 bombs
Bombing Altitude: 29,100 ft
Ammo Fired: 2,635 rounds
View Mission Report
September 13, 1944
8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 3 missions are flown. Mission 628: 1,015 bombers and 477 fighters attack oil and industrial targets in S Germany by visual means; 15 bombers and 8 fighters are lost: 1. 376 B-17s are dispatched to oil refineries at Stuttgart/Sindelfingen (109) and Ludwigshafen (74); secondary targets hit are Darmstadt (95) and Wiesbaden (8); targets of opportunity hit are Mainz (22), a marshalling yard near Wiesbaden (12) and others (3); 4 B-17s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 134 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 37 MIA. Escort is provided by 73 of 74 P-47s, they claim 6-0-2 aircraft on the ground. 2. 342 B-24s are dispatched to hit Schwabish Hall Airfield (65), a munitions dump at Ulm (65) and Weissenhorn (45); a target of opportunity hit is Reichelsheim (1); 4 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 127 damaged; 3 airman are WIA and 39 MIA. Escort is provided by 99 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 14-0-5 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost. 3. 297 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Merseburg (141) and Lutzkendorf (77); targets of opportunity hit are Giessen (17), Eisenach (12), Altenburg (7), Gera (7) and other (19); they claim 1-0-0 aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 145 damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 67 MIA. Escort is provided by 233 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 33-0-4 aircraft in the air; 6 P-51s are lost. Mission 629: 11 B-24s are dispatched on an Azon mission to the oil refinery at Hemminstedt (6); 5 hit the secondary target, ammunition dumps at Kropp. Escort is provided by 15 of 15 P-51s without loss. Mission 631: 8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets on the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. 73 of 74 B-17s, escorted by 63 P-51s, continuing the UK-USSR-Italy-UK shuttle-bombing mission, take off from USSR bases, bomb steel and armament works at Diosgyor, Hungary and proceed to Fifteenth AF bases in Italy. 40 of 48 P-51s fly a strafing mission S of Munich hitting an aircraft dispersal area, airfield and marshalling yard; they claim 5-0-0 aircraft on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost.